NCAA President Mark Emmert released the following statement today regarding the Penn State scandal:
Regarding the ongoing Penn State criminal investigation, the NCAA is actively monitoring developments and assessing appropriate steps moving forward. The NCAA will defer in the immediate term to law enforcement officials since this situation involved alleged crimes. As the facts are established through the justice system, we will determine whether Association bylaws have been violated and act accordingly. To be clear, civil and criminal law will always take precedence over Association rules.
So, which NCAA by-laws might apply here? One suggestion is by-law 2.4:
2.4 THE PRINCIPLE OF SPORTSMANSHIP AND ETHICAL CONDUCT [*]
For intercollegiate athletics to promote the character development of participants, to enhance the integrity of higher education and to promote civility in society, student-athletes, coaches, and all others associated with these athletics programs and events should adhere to such fundamental values as respect, fairness, civility, honesty and responsibility. These values should be manifest not only in athletics participation, but also in the broad spectrum of activities affecting the athletics program. It is the responsibility of each institution to: (Revised: 1/9/96)
(a) Establish policies for sportsmanship and ethical conduct in intercollegiate athletics consistent with the educational mission and goals of the institution; and (Adopted: 1/9/96)
(b) Educate, on a continuing basis, all constituencies about the policies in Constitution 2.4-(a). (Adopted: 1/9/96)
It’s hard to imagine that the NCAA could do any more damage to the image of Penn State right now. It’s equally hard to imagine how any sanctions could punish the institution more severely than its being punished now in the court of public opinion.
Exit Question: Is this College Football’s “Watergate?” The one event in the history of something uniquely American that everyone points to as the day everything changed?