You probably saw the news from this afternoon: The NCAA has commissioned a review of its enforcement program after obtaining sealed information from Miami booster Nevin Shapiro's lawyer for the organization's investigation into Miami. Not having subpoeana power, the NCAA is not allowed to, as it says, "compel testimony through procedures outside of its enforcement program."
As Penn State fans are wont to do (and rightfully so) anytime the NCAA is in the news, they are probably questioning this situation and wondering if it should extend to the NCAA's actions against the University. Like say, if the NCAA is not allowed to get testimony from procedures outside its enforcement program, should it have been able to use the Freeh Report against Penn State?
As lawyer and writer for Athnet John Infante put it via Twitter, three things make this situation different from the Penn State one: Louie Freeh didn't have subpoena power, the Freeh Report was released to the public and Penn State was obligated to provide information.
Further, the NCAA's enforcement staff had nothing to do with Penn State. Nothing. It was an executive decision by Mark Emmert and his group of school presidents that the NCAA claims was allowed as part of its constitution.
After hearing today's news about the NCAA, I thought of something the sports lawyer and Vermont Law School professor Brian Porto told me about a month ago. He mentioned how Penn State fans and sympathizers of the school's punishment were complaining about the NCAA not following through with its usual procedure of enforcement. How they wanted the NCAA enforcement staff. For years, Porto said, scholars, fans and pretty much everyone had complained about the NCAA enforcement staff. Today's news shows how right all of us were. As much as the NCAA's decision to punish Penn State lacked due process, the NCAA's usual means of investigating and punishing programs lacks due progress as well.
So in short, none of this will likely lead to any changes for Penn State. The only way this could be brought up with anything involving Penn State is if the state's case goes to trial. Perhaps the state's lawyers could use this as evidence of the NCAA being an unstable, untrustworthy organization and thus shouldn't have been able to punish PSU.
But the news does bring up an important thought: Given this latest fiasco and the trouble the NCAA is having with USC assistant coach Todd McNair, it seems Penn State could've had a good chance to succeed if it fought the sanctions back in July, though such a fight would have entailed signifcant risk.
|< Prev||Next >|