Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Austerity At The Olympics: Each "Gold" Medal Contains 1.34% Gold

Austerity At The Olympics: Each "Gold" Medal Contains 1.34% Gold | ZeroHedge
Published on www.zerohedge.com | shared via feedly
As every Olympic athlete knows, size matters. The London 2012 medals are the largest ever in terms of both weight and diameter - almost double the medals from Beijing. However, just as equally well-known is that quality beats quantity and that is where the current global austerity, coin-clipping, devaluation-fest begins. The 2012 gold is 92.5 percent silver, 6.16 copper and... 1.34 percent gold, with IOC rules specifying that it must contain 550 grams of high-quality silver and a whopping 6 grams of gold. The resulting medallion is worth about $500. For the silver medal, the gold is replaced with more copper, for a $260 bill of materials. The bronze medal is 97 percent copper, 2.5 percent zinc and 0.5 percent tin. Valued at about $3, you might be able to trade one for a bag of chips in Olympic park if you skip the fish.



Size Matters...(via BBC)

NBC’s flair for the dramatic

NBC's flair for the dramatic could prompt a frustrating Olympic trend
Published on National Sports Journalism Cente... | shared via feedly
The father tried to maintain some semblance of composure – and succeeded, until the dismount – while the mother writhed in pain, as if she were watching her child undergo a horrible medical procedure.

In the end, everything worked out. The exercise went well, and the judges awarded a reasonable score. One would assume the parents' blood pressures went back to normal – or at least close to normal – and remained there until the next excruciating 60-second performance by their daughter.

That small snippet of the hundreds of hours of Olympic coverage being aired by NBC and its fellow TV family members sums up the network's approach to the Games. It's bad enough that popular finals competitions are withheld from viewers for airing during primetime "shows". It's worse that the entire tenor the coverage is tilted heavily toward the dramatic, and more specifically the American drama. It doesn't matter whether a Kazakh athlete's dreams are crushed, but if some volleyball player from Encino has a bad day, it's on par with the Lindbergh baby's kidnapping.
Go read the whole column.

It's NBC. Home of Today Show and parent of MSNBC, the "news organization" that brings you Laurence O'Donnel and F Chuck Todd.

NBC's coverage of the Olympics is akin to their drive-by style of news reporting. The Lindbergh baby kidnapping analogy is spot on. They're playing to an audience that they don't respect very much.

As long as the ratings are there, you can expect this kind of quality coverage to continue.

NBC Exec to unhappy viewers: "Consume, citizen."

Chairman Mark Lazarus defends NBC Sports' decision for tape delay -  SportsBusiness Daily Global
Published on www.sportsbusinessdaily.com | shared via feedly

"I think what we've proven is that the American viewing public likes the way we tell the story and wants to gather in front of the television with their friends and family — even if they have the ability to watch it live either on television or digitally," Lazarus said. "I inherently trust that decision is the right one and that people want to see these events."

Lazarus said that he has heard the complaints from Twitter, where tweeters protesting NBC's decision to tape delay certain events added "#NBCFail" to their tweets. But Lazarus said he trusts NBC executives and their years of Olympic experience with making programming decisions that are based on years of research. "As programmers, we are charged to manage the business. And this is a business," he said. "It's not everyone's inalienable right to get whatever they want. We are charged with making smart decisions for our company, for our shareholders and to present the product the way we believe is best."

NBC also received a lot of criticism for not showing the Games' opening ceremony live. Lazarus said the network never planned to stream the opening or closing ceremony live, saying that such an event would be too difficult online without proper commentary.

"We don't believe that a raw feed, which would be a host feed, without narration and broadcasting, would be a good user experience in a big stadium with lots of camera cuts," he said. "We think we created the best experience. Frankly, I think all of the noise about Queen Elizabeth and Paul McCartney on social media and in the digital world helped build excitement for our prime-time show."
Original article here.

Pretty darned arrogant, don't you think?

There's a reason for his conceit--NBC's ratings have been through the roof and could surpass those of the 2008 games in Beijing.

That doesn't mean the viewing public likes how the games are being shown. It just means that they're going to hold their noses and cheer for Team USA despite NBC's attempts to ruin the experience.

This is the same organization that had Twitter force one of its most vocal critics into silence.

They don't really give a damn what you think about their coverage and if you dare take to the streets to voice your displeasure, there might be a price to pay.

Bowl eligibility to remain at six wins

Football bowl eligibility is likely staying at 6 wins
Published on Sports Impact | shared via feedly
College football plans to keep 6-6 records, not 7-5, the benchmark to qualify for a bowl once a four-team playoff starts in 2014.
Last winter, conference commissioners discussed increasing bowl-eligibility standards, a change that would kill some of the 35 postseason games. The status quo seems to have won.
"I see it staying at 6-6 for the foreseeable future," said Wright Waters, the new executive director of the Football Bowl Association. "When commissioners went back to their conferences, they found out there's an awful lot of support for 6-6. That's 35 athletic directors who get an early jump on selling season tickets and 35 coaches who are talking to recruits about winning a bowl game."
 Grab the original.

College football is the second most popular sport, trailing on the NFL in fan following and TV marketability. While there have been some serious ho-hummers between 6-6 teams in tiny bowls with tiny attendance figures, it's still a valuable inventory and the real powers that be--the presidents and chancellors--understand that.

When you have a valuable inventory that you know people will buy, you do not remove it from the marketplace. You package it and sell it for the best price you can get while giving your players an opportunity to play a team they rarely face, in a venue they may never get to play in again.

Morning Six Pack: July 31, 2012

imageFarewell, July. As the silly season rapidly approaches a merciful end, enjoy this six college football stories from around the country.

Amid Roster Questions, Fans Rally for PSU Team

A pep band and more than 1,000 fans bearing signs and shouting their support for Penn State football turned out Tuesday morning to greet players gathering for offseason workouts amid a cloud of uncertainty…

Defending a national title: Focus on 2012 season, not past for Alabama

Back in 1965, there was no Bowl Championship Series, no ESPN and no on-field presentation of a crystal football to college football's national champions.

NCAA Board to Weigh Stiffer Penalties for Rule Breakers

Four-year bowl bans, 50-percent scholarship cuts, and financial penalties that could stretch into the millions. Those are a few of the tougher sanctions that athletic departments could face starting next August.

Big East wants new bowl for champion

The Big East Conference has discussed starting a new bowl game for its champion, likely in Florida, starting with the 2014 season, according to sources at Big East Media Days in Newport.

The case of the missing university mascot

It's an all-out dog hunt as Ruston residents hope to bring Louisiana Tech University's beloved mascot back home.

Quotable:

It's hard to remember LSU won 13 games and was No. 1 for most of 2011. What sticks in the discriminating college football mind, is quarterback problems and a 21-0 skunking by 'Bama in New Orleans.

"You still hear it now. Our kids still hear it now about the game," LSU offensive coordinator Greg Studrawa said. "Because everybody was so fired up after a wonderful season, that when it ends like that, that's what they focus on. Not the 13 wins, not how great it was up to that point.

"Now you get a chance for redemption."

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Graham Spanier’s gig as a federal employee?

Graham Spanier's gig as a federal worker is a mystery
Published on Washington Post | shared via feedly

Graham Spanier might have been ousted from his post at the helm of Penn State over the sex-abuse scandal that engulfed the university, but it seems he's found a backup employer: the American taxpayer. 


Only a disgraced public figure would consider joining the much-maligned ranks of the federal workforce as a step up, reputation-wise. We can assume there were no openings for a used-car salesman.

Spanier was faulted in an internal Penn State report after the conviction on child-molestation charges of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. The report said he, head coach Joe Paterno and others helped cover up Sandusky's abuse.

His lawyer confirms to the Loop that Spanier is working on a part-time consulting basis for a "top-secret" agency on national security issues. But the gig is so hush-hush, he couldn't even tell his attorneys the name of the agency.
 Get the original.

Folks I talk to indicate that Spanier isn't actually working for the US Government but is instead working for a contractor.

But who knows? This is the Obama Administration and what can you put past that bunch?

NBC has Twitter account suspended following criticism of Olympics coverage

Critic of NBC has Twitter account suspended after network complains
Published on Yahoo! Sports | shared via feedly

Guy Adams works as a writer for The Independent, a national newspaper in Great Britain. He lives in Los Angeles. Throughout the Olympics, he's taken to Twitter and ripped NBC repeatedly for its coverage of the Games in America.

Namely, he's criticized the network's reliance on using tape delays, a frustration shared by millions of viewers.Only in a marriage of old media and social media, Guy Adams no longer has a Twitter account. It was suspended Tuesday, and both NBC and Twitter ought to be humiliated by their thin-skinned, heavy-handed, and essentially pointless behavior.

Adams was no doubt relentless in his tweets.

"Am I alone in wondering why NBColympics think its [sic] acceptable to pretend this road race is being broadcast live?" he wrote in one. "Matt Lauer: 'Madagascar, a location indelibly associated with a couple of recent animated movies,'" he mocked on another. 
 Get the original.

There's a message being sent here, folks. If you don't get a tingle up your leg, NBC is coming after you.

So is Twitter, apparently.

I don't have an opinion on NBC's coverage of the London Olympic Games. But if I did, I'd like to think I could offer it frankly without having to worry about Big Brother giving me the business for it.

 If my Twitter account is suspended following this post, then thanks for all the follows, conversations and retweets.

It's time to #FreeGuyAdams.

Harvey Updyke reportedly en route to Happy Valley!! (snark)

Former site of Joe Paterno statue now features trees
Published on USATODAY NCAAF | shared via feedly
Spot where bronze likeness of late Penn State coach stood outside Beaver Stadium just eight days ago now has a row of freshly planted trees.

The Centre Daily Times reports the trees were planted outside Penn State's Beaver Stadium over the weekend. The weekend before, workers removed the 7-foot statue of the late coach in the wake of a child-sex abuse scandal that has engulfed the university.

Earlier in the month, an internal investigation found Paterno colluded with other high-ranking officials to cover up abuse allegations against his former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.
Mash here.

Former Bama Center William Vlachos Defends Saban

image One of Nick Saban’s former players—Center William Vlachos—defends his college coach against allegations made last week by weasel pimp sports agent Ralph Cindrich.

Vlachos was a member of Saban’s 2007 signing class, and spent all five years in Tuscaloosa including a redshirt freshman season.

Few players would know more about how the most successful coach in college football conducts business, and Vlachos minces no words in defense of his former coach.

“I didn’t see all the details to know what was said but I can tell you this, I spent five years there and Coach Saban runs an absolutely first class operation. There are no shortcuts and there is nothing fishy going on. I started forty games and I was drug tested, and I never got anything from anybody. “

“Everything is run by the book,” continued Vlachos. “He’s (Saban) is an extremely smart guy and he knows there is too much to lose by breaking the rules.”

..

“He always says that, he doesn’t make the rules, and I think there are probably some rules he doesn’t agree with,” said Vlachos. “But at the same time there are consequences to breaking them and I know he realizes that.

“Anything is believable in this day and age, the people you thought could never slip up but he’s (Saban) so on top of things and he’s so smart, I can promise you he’s not doing anything he shouldn’t be doing.

“He runs that thing the right way because it’s all about integrity with him and the best player plays and if you want to go there you go there and that’s that.”

If you ask the same questions of Julio Jones, Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson, Greg McElroy or any other of Saban’s former players, you will get the same answer.

And to Mr. Cindrich and his gaggle of pilers on, here’s that famous SEC Media Days quote again:

“High achievers don't like mediocre people; mediocre people don't like high achievers.”

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Morning Six Pack: July 30, 2012

imageOuch, Monday. At least these six college football stories from around the country will take the edge off of your pain.

Two Coaches’ Different Approaches to NCAA Sanctions

Like Bill O’Brien of Penn State, Jim Walden at Iowa State and Dennis Franchione at Alabama took over football programs receiving stiff recruiting limits.

Malzahn dismisses tailback Dyer from Ark. St.

Saw it coming, we did.

Penn State quarterback Robert Bolden visits LSU

We all know about the issues surrounding Penn State and their football program and how all of their players have become free agents, but what we don’t know is what LSU coach Les Miles is currently thinking…

South Alabama football team can take a big step forward this season

Joey Jones and the South Alabama football program take another big step in the plan to take the Jags to the highest level of football when they open practice for the team's most important season yet.

Penn State Seeks Settlements

Penn State’s president, Rodney Erickson, said the university was adequately covered to handle lawsuits stemming from the child sexual abuse scandal but hoped to settle many of them “as quickly as possible.”

Quotable:

There was a concern about doing what we could for the individual student-athletes to hold them as harmless as we could. This was a way of trying to do that. Some people may have thought we went too far, some people not far enough. You know? There's nothing you do in this life that doesn't have sometimes unintended consequences. So now everybody is all upset about who is going to steal whom, and so forth and so on. Our focus was on the student-athletes and what can we do for them given that they're caught up in this awful nightmare — and it was to try and help them.

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Morning Six Pack: July 29, 2012

imageThe breakfast of champions: These six college football stories from around the country.

Franklin's health is among Tigers' biggest questions

Missouri's highly anticipated football season kicks off Sept. 1 against Southeastern Louisiana and will reach a pinnacle Sept. 8 when Georgia visits Columbia for the Tigers' first Southeastern Conference game.

Michigan could steal the spotlight with a win

In an event that was destined to be dominated by the Penn State story, the Big Ten showed some media savvy by wrenching the spotlight away from Happy Valley, as well as it could, on Friday afternoon.

Oh, no… 

Penn State coach Bill O'Brien has raised the possibility of changing the Nittany Lions' classic blue and white uniforms.

USC may have committed an inadvertent NCAA secondary violation while recruiting Silas Redd

Imagine that…

Vanderbilt’s field got “Anchor Down” added to it

The Vanderbilt Commodores recently added in paint their phrase “Anchor Down” to the field. Vandy’s Head Coach James Franklin has been changing the culture there recently and is making some waves.

Quotable:

So LSU has five starters back on the offensive line, plus its best blocking tight end, its top four running backs, a monster truck for a fullback as a lead blocker, and a quarterback, who has never taken a snap with the game in play, calling the shots, and fans are excited about the passing game?

Be careful of Les-speak. Yes, Zach Mettenberger has the physical ability to pile up some impressive numbers and is far better than last year's combination of Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee. But it doesn't mean Mettenberger is going to be turned loose and throw 30 times each game. In fact, LSU may end up throwing fewer passes this season than it did in 2011.

What Miles is trying to say is that the passing will be more efficient, especially the deep throws on which Mettenberger has shown arm strength and touch. Miles would be a fool not to build the offense around that running game. Opponents are going to test Mettenberger early in the season by stacking the line and seeing if he can handle the pressure and make quick decisions. He will surely make some mistakes early. How much he improves will determine how far LSU goes.

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Boomer! Sooner! Boomer! Sooner!

This tent was constructed by IBleedCrimsonRed.com sponsor, Sunbelt Inflatable Tents.

You’d be surprised at how durable and affordable these things are.

image

They store easily, they’re easily anchored, they inflate in minutes and takedown in minutes, too.

Give’em a try, football fans. Click the image below and give Billy a call.

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If it wasn’t for Penn State THIS would be college sports’ biggest scandal of the offseason

Via Jon Solomon of the Birmingham News:

If not for Penn State, you would be sick of hearing about North Carolina by now.

North Carolina's own probe discovered 54 courses within the Department of African and Afro-American Studies that showed little to no evidence of teaching students, and dozens of independent study classes without academic rigor. Most of the students in the classes were athletes, including some classes with only football or basketball players.

According to the Raleigh News & Observer, North Carolina quickly created a summer-school course last year in this department. Nineteen students enrolled -- 18 current football players and one ex-player. There was no instruction. Students turned in a paper at the end of the term to Julius Nyang'oro, the department chairman. The News & Observer also reported another class in that department enrolled one student -- an athlete.

Chair stacking at Tennessee under the Fulmer regime.

Sociology self-study at Auburn under the Tuberville regime.

Academic scandal at Florida State under the Bowden regime.

None of the above even come close to scratching the surface of what’s coming out of North Carolina, a school already on probation for an agent scandal that cost the coach his job and stained the Tarheel image.

Dear college football programs: Stop screwing up classic uniforms

image And, another classic college football uniform is ruined by a college football program that cares more about buzz than tradition.

What you see on the right is an abomination.

The classic white helmet with the block “N” is gone.

The black “N” on the front of the jersey replaces the player’s number, which is reduced in size and moved to the left shoulder.

Gone also are the white pants, replaced with the same color red as the jersey.

How… cosmopolitan. How… European.

Oregon and Maryland have taken uniform atrocity to a totally different level but neither of those programs were known for winning championships while holding onto their cherished traditions, anyway.

I can tell you this: If the University of Alabama ever committed such a crime against tradition, there would be torch and pitchfork parades emanating from every corner of the Heart of Dixie. There have been a few tweaks here and there over the years, including a houndstooth pinstriping and minor changes to gloves, shoes and socks. But the Crimson Tide suits up in pretty much the same uniform it did when Paul Bryant prowled and growled on the sideline at Bryant-Denny Stadium fifty some-odd years ago.

Over at Tidefans.com, there is a running joke that whenever someone mentions uniform changes, the denizens of the board hijack the thread with demands for crimson pants and white helmets.

Of course, no one really wants such a shameful change and no one believes it’ll ever take place.

But if it does, there will be Hell to Pay.

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Morning Six Pack: July 28, 2012

imageQuick, get out there and get these six college football stories from around the country before the popcorn showers run you out of the yard.

Alabama will open preseason camp one week from yesterday

The Crimson Tide will open its 2012 season 29 days later in the Cowboys Classic on Sept. 1 against Michigan.

Nebraska to wear alternate all red uniforms against Wisconsin

Why do they mess with this? Seriously.

What's in a name? For Wisconsin's tailback Ball, everything

For all of 2011, we thought a tailback named Montee Ball torched the Big Ten. Turns out, his real name is MonteƩ. His success suddenly makes so much more sense, says Andy Staples.

O'Brien optimistic NCAA could reconsider Penn State penalties

Good luck with that, y’all.

SMU players believe prostitute robbed apartment

According to a police report, the players left a woman in their apartment and returned to find more than $3,000 worth of items missing.  LOL LOL LOL

Quotable:

Sports fans love underdogs and right now there is no greater underdog program than Penn State in both image and working conditions.

Taking away $60 million alone would cripple most programs. Taking away 10 scholarships a year for four years at that level of competition is a huge blow. A four-year bowl ban and NCAA clearance for players to leave the program and be eligible immediately at their new schools are damaging.

For sure, Penn State must pay for the crimes related to the Jerry Sandusky atrocities. It can be argued whether the school received due process in the NCAA's unprecedented sanctions, but harsh penalties were required.

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Dear Mr. Ralph Cindrich: Nick Saban has a statement for you

 

 

“High achievers don't like mediocre people;

mediocre people don't like high achievers.”

-- Nick Saban, July 19, 2012

image

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High expectations don’t faze those couch burners, y’all

As the season draws closer and closer, the hype and expectations grow larger.

Last week when West Virginia was picked to finish second to Oklahoma in its first season in the Big 12 and senior quarterback Geno Smith was named the league’s preseason Offensive Player of the Year over the Sooners’ veteran starting quarterback Landry Jones, it solidified the fact that without even playing a down as a member of the conference yet, West Virginia had already gained respect throughout the Big 12.

The expectations entering this first season are higher than ever, but the Mountaineers aren’t worrying about them.

“I’m not surprised,” Smith said. “That’s something that we all want. When we step on the field, we want to be No. 1.

“We’ve got 12 games to prove it, and what better way to do it than out on the field?”

Via UWire.

Don’t worry. Holgo Ball will fit in quite nicely with the Big 12, who all seem to have forgotten that defense is part of the game of football and, in the college game, is at least as important as offense.

Slinging the ball all over the field in a 42-38 shootout might make for great television, but it’s not winning any hardware outside of the Big 12.

Morning Six Pack: July 27, 2012

imageOnly five more weekends until college football, and six college football stories from around the country.

Reality rips holes in Big Ten's holier-than-thou stance toward the SEC

It's nice to know there are people in the Big Ten that aren't self-righteous and hypocritical, that don't act as if their conference is the Ivy League with bigger stadiums.

Derek Dooley on Tyler Bray: ‘Obviously, his accuracy isn’t where it needs to be. He missed the trash can.’

Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley would like quarterback Tyler Bray to improve his accuracy off the field too.

Trojans could lose starting end to season-ending pec injury

Even as USC courts a player on the offensive side of the ball who could bolster its title aspirations, a current player on the other side of the ball has reportedly suffered an injury that could prove costly.

North Carolina faculty seeks review of athletics, academics

A report by a special faculty committee at North Carolina is calling for an independent review of athletics and academics at the university.

Penn State LB Mauti lashes out at NCAA, Emmert over transfer policy

“For them to say that is helping (the players), for them to say they're doing us a favor to (be able to transfer) with no rules -- I'm going to choose my word carefully here -- it's a joke,” Mauti said. “An absolute joke.”

Quotable:

"At the time that I got offered that job, I had a younger brother who was at Louisville that had one more year to play. We're kind of a close family and we stick together and I kind of wanted to be there with him to finish off his college career. We had a new coach coming in so I wanted to be there to help him with that adjustment."

Brohm, who went on to serve as a quarterbacks coach at Florida Atlantic and Illinois before taking the offensive coordinator position at UAB, said that during his discussions with the Tide, it became apparent to him that the program was headed in a positive direction, despite coming off a 7-6 season.

"Everybody makes a few decisions they regret and that's obviously one of them. I definitely enjoyed meeting with Coach Saban and the whole staff when I was there and I knew that program was going to come around and obviously it came around fast."

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Alabama DL Jesse Williams blows up Twitter with 600 lb bench press

Seriously, he really did.

Bench press 600 lbs, that is.

Whether Twitter fainted in shock and awe is a matter of much public conjecture and debate.

Twitter went down at about 11:15 Eastern today, right about the same time that the photo below went viral on the popular social networking platform.

image 

Right after the network came back online almost two hours later, I posted the following Tweet:

image It didn’t go viral like the photo did, but it did get a boatload of RT’s. #humblebrag

The Associated Press wanted to blame Twitter’s outage on the Olympics.

pffft. We think we know the real reason.

Over at al.com, Matt Scalici has some of Williams’ teammates reactions to the feat.

To put this in perspective, that weight is approximately the same as two Michigan offensive linemen. Denard, watch your six, bro.

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Twitter is Down Like Joe Frazier

Via Associated Press:

People across much of the planet were having problems accessing Twitter on Thursday, a day before the 2012 Olympic Games are expected to cause a spike in use of the micro-blogging site.

The company acknowledged the problem, saying in a statement that its engineers are “currently working to resolve the issue,” although it didn’t go into any further detail.

Users reported outages or sluggishness in trying to access Twitter from countries in North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

The Olympics are expected to bring an unprecedented surge of activity by sports fans on social networking sites such as Twitter.

Football? Penn State may not even be able to keep the lights on

imageForget the bowl ban, the punitive scholarship losses and the 111 vacated wins from 1998 through 2011. Penn State may face a financial crisis that’s worse than any of that.

Jerry Sandusky’s victims are lining up at the courthouse and filing civil claims against Penn State.State Farm is pulling its sponsorship, with others likely to follow. Moody’s may downgrade the credit rating of Pennsylvania’s largest public university.

Oh, and Mark Emmert single-handedly slammed the school with a $60 million fine—the rough equivalent of a single year’s revenue from the football program.

Now, the university’s primary liability insurer seeks to deny coverage.


The motion, filed in common pleas court by the Pennsylvania Manufacturer's Association, says Penn State did not provide it with information relevant to the insurable risk the association assumed. The association has already sued Penn State over the coverage of one of Sandusky's victims' claims against the university, filed in November 2011.

The association has insured Penn State under general liability policies since 1976.

"It would be unlawful and contradictory to public policy to require PMA to provide coverage to PSU under any policy issued to PSU after May 1998 with respect to PSU's concealment of Sandusky's sexually abusive conduct ... and failure to take appropriate action to prevent Sandusky from molesting minors," the motion read.


If PMA’s legal maneuver is successful, it will leave the school solely and completely liable for any judgments leveled against it in the numerous civil liability claims filed by Sandusky’s victims and their families.

If reports are accurate, Sandusky’s abuse stretched for decades and there could be dozens of victims, each with nearly incontrovertible evidence of his direct liability and the school’s culpability in enabling the continued abuse.

Those claims could easily climb into the nine figure range, and could threaten the school’s ability to remain open unless the Pennsylvania legislature steps in with a bailout.

Faced with the choice of seeing its largest public university reduced to the status of your average community college or bailing the school out with hundreds of millions in state appropriations, how would the citizens of the state feel about their tax dollars going to pay the claims against a convicted child molester?

Forget about football. Penn State may not even be able to keep the lights on in Happy Valley.

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Morning Six Pack: July 26, 2012

imageIn less than two weeks, we’ll have REAL on the field football to watch. It’s pro, but… Enjoy these six COLLEGE football stories from around the country.

Auburn defensive back Jonathan Rose given release, plans to transfer

Processed.

Penn State president says 4-year ban was floated

Penn State faced the threat of a four-year ban on playing football before the NCAA imposed sanctions this week over the school's handling of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal, a university spokesman said.

Miles won't let new QB overshadow potent run game

Just like last year? We’ll take it.

Auburn will replace the Toomers Oaks trees in 2013

Right. On. Time.

Soon-to-be 8th grader offered LSU scholarship

LSU has given a scholarship offer to soon-to-be eighth grader Dylan Moses.

Quotable:

While many people praised the toughness of the NCAA’s penalties, some athletics officials raised questions about the association’s process, in which Emmert and members of the NCAA’s Executive Committee and Division I Board of Directors sidestepped the normal judicial system.

“When I got started in this business, it used to be one school, one vote,” said a longtime compliance director at a BCS university. “Now it’s one man, one vote.”

Although he stepped in this time, Emmert would be required to receive the board’s and the Executive Committee’s permission to issue sanctions in any future disciplinary case, Williams said.

“Hopefully we’ll never have another case like Penn State,” he said. “But we’re going to have a discussion about how best to handle any cases that might arise that might fall into areas like Penn State.

“There is clearly a potential for other cases where the issues at hand are the ethics and integrity issues,” he added. And while those matters may end up being processed through the traditional enforcement system, Williams said, it is possible that the NCAA could again give Emmert the power to handle things himself.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

BAMS Radio interview with host at center of racism allegations against Auburn football players

http://cbsatlanta.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/robredding-icon.jpgThe BAMSRadio crew had a special guest on the show last night—syndicated talk radio host Robert "Rob" Redding Jr.of Atlanta’s WAOK-AM.

The show kicked off at 8:00 pm CDT. Redding’s segment started at about 30 minutes in and ran a solid half hour.

On the show, Redding spoke at length about recent allegations by an Atlanta area father of two Auburn college students who accused Auburn football players Reese Dismukes and Patrick Miller of an incident in which the two harassed his children, using racist and sexist slurs. Henry M. Carter told Redding that Auburn police arrested his son, Kenya.

Carter later told Redding that Auburn police informed him that the charges against his son would be dropped.

Auburn police have repeatedly refused to comment on the incident or the arrest, but Redding indicated that something would happen on the matter today (without being terribly specific, however).

Here’s the podcast.

Redding is no lightweight. He’s an author of two books and has been cited by numerous mainstream news agencies including Atlanta Journal-Constitution, ABC News, The Boston Globe, The Baltimore Sun, The Washington Times and Editor & Publisher.

Redding is a frequent guest on the Fox News Channel and National Public Radio, and Talkers magazine noted his uniquely Independent views on government by listing him as one of the “100 Most Important Radio Talk Hosts In America.”

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Sports agent calls Emmert “bozo” and “hypocrite” and accuses Nick Saban of cheating

image“I have enough on Saban right now.”

Sigh.

In a rambling, ranting interview on KDKA in Pittsburgh this morning, sports agent Ralph Cindrich accuses Mark Emmert of corruption and says he was out to get Penn State.

But he also said “I have enough on Nick Saban right now,” and when pressed for more on what he had, he said “everybody has something on Nick Saban, for God’s sake.”

He then recites the same litany of complaints about the NCAA, college football and pay-for-play that you read on every college sports message board from sea to shining sea.

Listen to his rant below.

If this sounds familiar, it should. This is the same blowhard who made similar accusations in 2010.

When major events like the Penn State sanctions occur, publicity whores like Cindrich come out of the woodwork. They rant, they rave, they ramble. They are the quintessential Shakespearean idiots; full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Why go after Nick Saban? Well, our friends across the state think they have it figured out but the real reason: Saban is widely recognized as college football’s most successful coach. He’s won three national titles and three conference titles at two different schools in the country’s most powerful football conference. At SEC Media Days, Saban got more questions on the state of the game than he did the state of his football program.

He’s successful, he’s high profile and he’s not afraid to tell you what he thinks. He describes idiots like Cindrich with this quote from his comments to the media last week:

“High achievers don't like mediocre people, mediocre people don't like high achievers.”

Exit question: When was the last time that a Nick Saban coached program was hauled before the Committee on Infractions and handed stiff penalties for recruiting violations?

I’ll hang up and listen, Paul.

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Tennessee's Tyler Bray, roommate accused of throwing beer bottles off balcony at parked cars

  LOL

Tyler Bray, roommate accused of throwing beer bottles off balcony onto parked cars
Published on govolsxtra.com | shared via feedly
Michael Grandinetti
Tennessee junior quarterback Tyler Bray has been accused of throwing beer bottles off an apartment complex balcony onto parked vehicles, according to an incident report filed with the Knoxville Police Department on Monday.

Kirstie Allen, who resides at the apartment complex, said she called E-911 when she observed two people throwing beer bottles off the balcony. She said she recognized them as the 20-year-old Bray and Michael Grandinetti, a 26-year-old University of Tennessee graduate who formerly worked in the video department of the UT football office.


Get the original right here.

The silly season always seems to approach a crescendo about this time of year, doesn't it?

UPDATE: Check out EDSBS' "Practice Report."


Gerry DiNardo disputes Emmert's claim of his academics performance vs. Saban

Former LSU football Coach Gerry DiNardo disputes claim the program had poor graduation rates
Published on NOLA.com LSU beat | shared via feedly
Former LSU Coach Gerry DiNardo disputed via Twitter a statement by NCAA President Mark Emmert Tuesday that LSU had poor graduation rates when Nick Saban took over as coach in 2000.

DiNardo, who coached at LSU from 1995-99 before being fired when Emmert was Chancellor at the school, admitted the program had problems but said in a tweet late Tuesday, "what he (Emmert) said about academics was flat-out inaccurate."

"As a result of my time at LSU, football was recognized for a 70 percent graduation rate by the College Football Association for the first time in school history, contrary to what Mark Emmert said," DiNardo wrote in another tweet. In subsequent tweets he said LSU received the award in 2001, which reflected the success oif his first recruiting class and that LSU did not earn that award again until 2010.

"What I'm saying is that I raised the football graduation at LSU to the highest in their history at that point," DiNardo tweeted "and I'm proud of it."
Grab the original.

At issue are statements Emmert made to Bob Ley on ESPN's Outside the Lines. When asked how he defined academic success, academic success Emmert said: "At the time Nick Saban came in, we had the lowest graduation rate in the SEC. By the time he left, it was one of the highest graduation rates in the SEC. We had young men getting in all kinds of off-the-field problems before he showed up. By the time he left, we had virtually none of those."

There's some mud in the water, here. While it's true that LSU won the award DiNardo mentions, it's also true that the NCAA hadn't initiated the Academic Progress Rate (APR) system to measure academic performance on a consistent basis across NCAA member schools. Each school essentially defined its graduation rate and measures of academic success.

It's also true that during DiNardo's tenure at LSU, the football program was hot mess of slack discipline and poor on-the-field performance. The state of Louisiana--a fertile recruiting territory if there ever was one--was routinely being raided by other programs, with top talent leaving the state to play for competitors.

It was clear that DiNardo had completely lost control of the program and needed to go. 

What do Sandusky’s victims think about PSU’s fate? One answer may surprise you…

image At least one of Jerry Sandusky’s victims is upset and dismayed that Penn State University took down the statue of Joe Paterno and that the NCAA levied such crippling sanctions against the school on Monday.

The devoted Penn State fan feels that Sandusky’s victims should at least have been consulted.

In an interview with WGAL, Benjamin Andreozzi, the attorney for Victim No. 4, says that his client deserved to provide some input:


"The victims were not Penn State or the NCAA, the victims were the young men who testified in the courtroom and I think NCAA and Penn State owed it to them to at least consult with them before rendering a decision," Andreozzi said.

"I think you at least owe it to these young men to hear what their positions are regarding Joe Paterno and the statue, regarding whether Penn State should be sanctioned from participating in athletic events," Andreozzi said. "Instead Penn State and the NCAA took it in their own hands to play the role of judge and jury in this case without hearing from what could be construed as critical witnesses."


I agree. Would a Sandusky victim’s pleas for mercy have had an impact on NCAA President Mark Emmert’s single-handed dismemberment of the Penn State football program? Probably not. I am not the only one troubled by the unprecedented action announced during the 3:00 press conference Monday.

While I recognize that the university deserved punishment from college athletics governing body and that the statue needed to come down (at least temporarily), the victims of a crime should always be given the opportunity to provide input before sentencing.

The precedents here are breathtaking and they should literally scare you to death.

Consider the following scenario:

A college football coach engages in a long, adulterous affair with a female employee, which would constitute sexual harassment and create a hostile workplace. This behavior is repeated as the harasser moves from victim to victim. The school president knows what’s going on, but doesn’t step in to take action until the harassers actions are made public by say, a motorcycle accident.

While sexual harassment doesn’t rise even close to the level of evil committed by Sandusky, this is a pretty bad and likely unprecedented lack of institutional control, is it not?

The NCAA President now has the power to bypass the enforcement process and issue sanctions against the school, and need not even consult the victims before swinging the axe.

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Morning Six Pack: July 25, 2012

imageGetting over the hump is a lot easier when you start the day off with a six pack of college football stories from around the country.

We Must Change the Momentum of the ‘Dollar Culture’

“Punishing Penn State will not change the negatives of the athletic culture any more than punishing Enron changed the business culture. Overpaid coaches, overpaid executives, and everyone in such positions aren’t likely to allow a change in the culture that is making them richer than they could have imagined, and richer than is actually healthy for them.”

John L. Smith wants to leave Arkansas decision makers with “no choice”

“The way I look at it, the way our staff looks at it and hopefully the way this football team and program look at it is we’re going to give Jeff no other choice except to have to bring us back.”

Brown: Offensive balance key for Texas

Longhorns coach says team needs to make progress in passing game in order to rise in Big 12 and regain place among nation's elite teams.

I’m sensing a pattern in the Big 12…

Big 12 media days: Sooners will benefit from veterans on offense, Stoops says

With the decline of Oklahoma’s defense in the last few years, the Sooners have had to rely on their offense more than ever. That becomes much easier this year with the help of some veteran players.

The Air Raid Offense: History, Evolution, Weirdness – From Mumme to Leach to Franklin to Holgorsen and Beyond

The personal story of the rise and development of the Air Raid offense, the story of the men who developed and mastered it

Quotable:

The Southeastern Conference and the old Southwest Conference – basically the states of Texas and Oklahoma – were outlaw territory. Schools went on an off probation like workers changing shifts at a power plant. According to folklore, gossip and the NCAA Committee on Infractions, there were two kinds of programs in those leagues at those times: those that were caught cheating and those that hadn't been caught yet.

Today, the scofflaw geography has changed. The Big Ten can put on quite a perp walk, as can the Atlantic Coast Conference. Out in the Pac-12, Oregon may replace USC in the NCAA pokey. Before Syracuse exits the Big East for the ACC, it likely will have to face NCAA justice for failures of its drug-testing policy in regard to men's basketball. And we already know about Connecticut basketball.

It's suddenly a lot harder for one power league to claim moral superiority over another.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Pro tip to Radio Talk Show Hosts: It’s FOOTBAW

image If you are a radio talk show host and you have a regular show that airs in multiple markets, here’s an important survival tip for you: Talk about football. If your show airs in a significant number of markets in the southeastern United States, talk about college football.

Specifically, talk about Southeastern Conference football.

Make your show “caller driven,” not “caller friendly.” That way, when your dumbassed producer thinks you need to talk about something other than college football, your callers will deftly and doggedly steer you back on topic with timely calls about the latest college football scandals and why so-and-so’s claim that his school “be the bestest EVAR” is totally full of crap.

Paul Finebaum gets it. Randy and Pat on Sports Drive get it.

Tim Brando does not get it. Colin Cowherd does not get it.

In July, you will talk about rosters, possible two- and three-deep depth charts, incoming freshmen, off-season workouts, 7-on-7 workouts and recent recruiting news. And, Media Days.

In August, you will talk about rosters, incoming freshmen, the approach of fall camps and pre-season polls.

I think you see the pattern, here.

From September through December, you will talk about the ongoing college football season. Spend a lot of time on who is in the run for the SEC Championship and who might nobly serve as their designated victims in the BCS Championship. You will also spend many segments discussing who’s in the running for the Heisman Trophy and why whoever the SEC candidates are should/should not get an invite to the Downtown Athletic Club event at Radio City Music Hall.

In January, it’s one word, y’all: Crootin. That may only be interrupted with the rare segment on any coaching searches among southern schools.

In February, you will talk about the recently completed season and which among the SEC’s still surviving coaches are on the proverbial hotseat.

In March, it’s ok to spend the occasional segment on March Madness. But good GOD don’t spend the whole show on it. Remember: It’s FOOTBAW.

In April, entire shows can be dedicated to Spring FOOTBAW. Who’s having a good camp? Who needs work? Who among the early enrollees looks like a potential starter as a true freshman?

From May through June, it’s back to crootin.

In July you lather, rinse and repeat, beginning with the next installment of SEC Media Days.

It does not matter one teeny bit that some small fraction of your listeners want to hear NBA news, Major League Baseball or who’s on the leaderboard at The Masters. Ignore those high-brow, pointy headed intellectuals. They are a tiny minority and catering to them makes satellite services and radio affiliates size up candidates for your replacement.

Follow this formula to success, glory and riches. You can thank me with a guest segment on your show during prime time.

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Former PSU President Graham Spanier says he was a child-abuse victim

Former PSU President Graham Spanier says he wouldn't have 'turned a blind eye' to others
Published on The Patriot-News - PennLive.com | shared via feedly
"It is unfathomable and illogical to think ... someone who experienced massive and persistent abuse as a child," Spanier said in a reference to himself, "... would have knowingly turned a blind eye to a report of child abuse."

Unlike Curley and Schultz, who face perjury charges for allegedly lying to the grand jury about what they knew of and did about allegations againt Sandusky, Spanier has not been charged.

But the investigation is continuing and it is widely believed Attorney General Linda Kelly's investigators have been taking a harder look at Spanier's role since receiving e-mails indicating he was involved in the decision to keep the 2001 incident from police.
Get the link.

This story becomes more bizarre with each turn of the page.

Spanier doesn't claim to be the victim of child sexual abuse, but claims to have suffered physical abuse at the hands of a father who he says punched him around.


Troy AD Steve Dennis is bailing out

Troy AD Steve Dennis announces his resignation, no reason given
Published on Hicks Press Register | shared via feedly
"I have presented my resignation as director of athletics to Chancellor (Jack) Hawkins effective September 30,'' Dennis is quoted as saying in the news release. "Our athletic department has accomplished a great deal at Troy, and I believe this is the right time in my life to explore other opportunities.

"In announcing my departure, I thank the members of the coaching and support staffs of the Department of Athletics and I cannot thank Chancellor Hawkins enough for giving me this opportunity. He is a tremendous leader but most of all he is a great human being and it has been a privilege to work for and learn from him. I am sure that great things lie ahead for Trojan athletics and I look forward to watching the growth and maturity of the program in the years to come.''
Original via Tommy Hicks.

This is a curious development. Dennis has been on the job for more than seven years. There have been no major (announced) scandals and the program has done about as well as one could expect in the Sun Belt. The football program is on tap for a major renovation of its football stadium and the conference appears to be reasonably healthy.

So, why the abrupt resignation, with an effective date well after the beginning of the football schedule?

Maybe Dennis really does feel that he's accomplished all he can and that it's time to move onto other endeavors. Maybe not. Call it a hunch, but there sounds like there might be something else to this.

Penn State players react to Emmert’s announcement (parody)

Watch as Penn State student-athletes react to NCAA President Mark Emmert’s announcement of unprecedented sanctions against their school in the wake of the Freeh Report on the Jerry Sandusky schedule.



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Residents say "no thanks" to naming their street Cam Newton Drive

Will 'Cam Newton Drive' be intercepted?

Published on blogs.ajc.com | shared via feedly
10:31 am July 24, 2012, by Joel Provano


While it might not be as bad as, say, Nick Fairley Boulevard, the proposal doesn't sit well with some of the residents of the road. As critics have pointed out, even though Newton played high school ball at nearby Westlake High, he played college ball at Auburn and now plays for the Carolina Panthers, a division rival of the Falcons.

According to a story last week by the AJC's Johnny Edwards:
Several longtime residents of south Fulton's Scarborough Road are irked that the county wants to change their street name in honor of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, who has family living there. At a public hearing last week, neighbors said it would cost them money to change their personal records, and that Newton, age 23, is too young to have a thoroughfare named for him. One woman invoked Newton's theft arrest [when he was at Florida] and allegations that his father solicited money from a university [Auburn] recruiting his son.

South Fulton Commissioner Bill Edwards said personal attacks on Newton's family aren't warranted, that he's a Westlake High alumnus who "beat the odds," and if residents don't want Cam Newton Drive, the name will stay the same.

Report: Charges to be dropped against alleged Auburn victim of racial slur

 
Redding News Review Reports:Charges To Be Dropped Against Auburn Student Who Was Called Racial Slur
Published on atlanta.cbslocal.com | shared via feedly


The father of two Auburn students today says the charges will be dropped against his son who he says  was racially harassed by two Auburn football players.

Henry M. Carter, of Atlanta, says that the police chief of the Auburn Police Department assures him that the disorderly conduct charge against his 22-year-old son Kenya Carter will be dropped this week.

Kenya was arrested when the police were called to a local McDonalds last weekend. Auburn Police Capt. Thomas L. Stofer, a spokesman, had no knowledge of the charge being dropped. The elder Carter used Facebook to tell the story of how his son was wrongly arrested after his daughter and son had been racially harassed by two Auburn football players.


Via CBS Atlanta.

So far, Carter is the only one to have alleged the confrontation and as of this writing, there is no confirmation that racial slurs and other harassing language were involved.

Morning Six Pack: July 24, 2012

imageCool coffee or warm beer? It’s a tough choice, isn’t it? At least it’s easy to check out these six college football stories from around the country.

Media picks Florida State, Virginia Tech to make ACC title game

It seems no matter the year, Florida State and Virginia Tech will be favorites to compete for the ACC championship. 2012, you’re lacking some originality here.

Notre Dame Quarterback Rees Is Sentenced

Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees will perform 50 hours of community service after pleading guilty to resisting law enforcement and illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor.

Al Golden: “Back off.”

"What we do need is that we need to get everybody away from our program and let us go to work, because we don't need help," Golden said. "Let the coaches and the players sell the program, and everybody else stay away. We don't need help."

And so it begins…

Mass exodus could be on the horizon for the Nittany Lions. Silas Redd, arguably the best running back in the Big Ten not named Montee Ball, could be on his way out of Penn State.

Michigan DE Frank Clark suspended while facing home-invasion charge

Michigan coach Brady Hoke issued the following statement: "We are aware of the case regarding football student-athlete Frank Clark. This is a serious accusation and we will follow the lead of the judicial system. Frank was and will continue to be suspended pending the outcome of the investigation."

Quotable:

No one is defending Jerry Sandusky, or the overheated football environment that exists at some schools - most SEC schools, including Alabama - or the official reaction at Penn State. There is a criminal at the heart of this story, and he has been dealt with as a criminal should be. There may be more criminal action to come. But the individuals who will bear most of Monday's burden - players, coaches, fans - weren't criminals. They were decent people, I suspect, and might have come up with a decent response on their own. And it is not about football.

It might have been a glorious moment if Penn State's president and board of trustees had taken measures like those imposed Monday - or done even more, suspending football entirely - but without the push from the NCAA. Perhaps they couldn't do it on their own, but if so, what does that portend for the future at Penn State, regardless of the NCAA?

So the NCAA has chosen to hit Penn State in the ego, and in the wallet. Perhaps there was nothing else it could do. But it might have been better to trust to Penn State's conscience, because that is where real change, meaningful change, and real respect for the victims will have to come from. Could Penn State have done that? Maybe. Maybe not. But now we will never know.

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Emmert v. Penn State creates troubling precedent

imageNCAA President Mark Emmert set sail on dangerously uncharted waters when he handed down history’s most punitive sanctions on Penn State.

While no one disputes that harsh sanctions against the school were justified in the wake of the worst scandal in the history of college sports, there is plenty to disagree with in how those sanctions were formulated and the manner in which they were imposed.

In two strokes of a pen, the NCAA created a dangerous new precedent that allows its President to “negotiate” plea bargains with member schools while holding a gun to their head during the proceedings.

First, the NCAA Executive Committee—a group consisting of 20 members, 16 with voting privileges—authorized President Emmert to “to enter into a consent decree with Penn State University that contains sanctions and corrective measures related to the institution’s breach of the NCAA Constitution and Bylaws and core values of intercollegiate athletics based on the findings of the Freeh Report and Sandusky criminal trial.”

The by-law cited as authorization for such action states that the Executive Committee may “act on behalf of the Association by adopting and implementing policies to resolve core issues and other Association-wide matters.”


Penn State was allowed to cut a deal that lets them walk and lets the NCAA say that they “did something.”


I’m not certain that authorizing the President to completely bypass the enforcement process falls within the powers granted by the clause above. In what way does granting the President sweeping new powers—even in a unique case such as this—serve to adopt and implement policy?

Second, Emmert himself apparently “negotiated” a consent decree with Penn State officials. This, only six months after the death of Joe Paterno, eight months since Jerry Sandusky was arrested. Weeks after Sandusky’s conviction and days after the release of the Freeh Report, the NCAA was negotiating from a position of such strength that Penn State had no choice but to plead out.

Emmert named the tune. Penn State danced, or else.

Here’s the real treachery in the waters that lie ahead, sports fans: With this new process in place, member schools finding themselves in impossible public relations situations regarding potential rules violations now have a way of completely bypassing the Committee on Infractions and negotiating terms of plea agreements directly with the President.

North Carolina? Oregon? Miami? Are you paying attention? You can now avoid the lengthy, embarrassing and costly NCAA enforcement process by petitioning the NCAA Executive Committee to authorize the President to cut you a deal. No Notice of Allegations to publicize. No perp walk into the Committee on Infractions hearing. No months long wait to learn your fate. No public shame in having the Committee Chairman blast you in a public news conference for such a “shocking” disregard for the rules.

Simply get a deal cut in a matter of days, have the President hold a 3:00 minute news conference and you’re done.

This blog has long complained about the arbitrary and chaotic process that the NCAA uses to mete out punishment. There seems to be no logic, rhyme or reason in comparing cases of similar nature and handing out similar penalties. Granted, the Penn State case is totally unprecedented in its scale and horror, but do we really need an even more arbitrary process in place?

This case should have gone through the process. Let the Enforcement Division rebrand the Freeh Report as its own findings, let Julie Roe-Lache issue the Notice of Allegations, and let Penn State appear before the Committee on Infractions. Such a process may not have yielded the results everyone believes were needed, but the democratically approved process of enforcement would have been followed.

Instead, it’s been shortcut.

Had Penn State appeared before that committee, it’s entirely likely that the SMU Penalty would have been applied. Penn State saw that coming and got a sweetheart plea agreement instead. “Our backs were against the wall,” said interim President Rodney Erickson.

Maybe the NCAA membership is Ok with this, and perhaps legislation will be passed that formalizes this new plea agreement process. That’s the way it should be.

A 20-member group authorizing the President to hold a gun to the head of a member institution and demanding a signature on a consent decree, or else? If you don’t find that troubling, then the terrorists have won.

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