Maybe I don’t know enough about how the NCAA works but the sanctions that are coming down from the NCAA seem to be a huge over-step.
Before I get started, most of you already know that I am the father of 2 young boys, the Sandusky situation makes me sick. I can’t imagine the horror the victims of Sandusky’s acts have and are going through. That being said, closer analysis is warrented into the NCAA’s role in this tragedy.
Yes, we all understand that Gerry Sandusky and those who covered for him are sick and delusional human beings, but is killing the program really the answer to this tragedy? Killing Penn State football largely hurts those with no idea what was going on inside the Penn State football showers. It hurts every non-revenue sport in Happy Valley, not to mention the economy of a small town that depends on a vibrant PSU football team each fall.
The NCAA appears to have little or no jurisdiction or ground for what they are about to do; I know the knee jerk reaction is to cheer the NCAA’s decisive action, but maybe we should exercise some caution before we go all in to applaud this effort.
Let’s take a look at what the NCAA is and what its function is:
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is an association of 1,281 institutions, conferences, organizations and individuals that organizes the athletic programs of many colleges anduniversities in the United States and Canada. It is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The NCAA dates its formation to two White House conferences convened by President Theodore Roosevelt to “encourage reforms” to college football practices in the early 20th century, which had resulted in repeated injuries and deaths and “prompted many college and universities to discontinue the sport.” Following those White House meetings, Chancellor Henry MacCracken of New York University organized a meeting of 13 colleges and universities to initiate changes; at a follow-on meeting, 62 institutions became charter members of the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (IAAUS). The IAAUS was officially established on March 31, 1906, and took its present name, the NCAA, in 1910.
The NCAA’s power lies in it’s charter.
The NCAA enforcement program strives to maintain a level playing field for the more than 400,000 student-athletes. Commitment to fair play is a bedrock principle of the NCAA. The NCAA upholds that principle by enforcing membership-created rules that ensure equitable competition and protect the well-being of student-athletes at all member institutions.
The enforcement program is dedicated to creating positive student-athlete experiences by preserving the integrity of the enterprise. The mission of the NCAA enforcement program is to reduce violations of NCAA legislation and impose appropriate penalties if violations occur. The program is committed to the fairness of procedures and to the timely and equitable resolution of infractions cases.
A fundamental principle of the enforcement program is to ensure that institutions abiding by NCAA legislation are not disadvantaged by complying with the rules.
Investigating and punishing member schools and/or individuals for criminal behavior is not included in any part of the enforcement charter, nor is it part of the function or practice of the NCAA. The NCAA has no business getting involved in investigating or handing down punishments for criminal behavior that has nothing to do with sports related activities. The U.S has a legal and civil system for that very purpose. The fact that criminal behavior occurred on a college campus and involved members of the football staff does not change the jurisdiction or authority of the NCAA.
Penn State’s football program violated no NCAA by laws, a fact acknowledged by NCAA President Mark Emmert in his letter to Penn State University following the initial allegations and investigation.
Before you applaud the NCAA for their swift actions regarding Penn State, take a minute to think about weather or not it is even an NCAA issue. This is a criminal issue and should be resolved in the courts. A hefty settlement for the victims and a HUGE punitive cash settlement from PSU athletics to stop child molestation would do more to solve this issue than punishing a group of people who weren’t involved in any way.
Again, the NCAA got it wrong.
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