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View Diary: Corbett announces he plans to get ALL sanctions against Penn State overturned (49 comments)

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  •  I thought Penn State agreed to the sanctions (18+ / 0-)

    If they did not appeal the sanctions I am not sure how they can now say that it was unfair.  I think that governor is just looking to cover his own involvement but why bring it up now?  A big mistake.

    •  The Univeristy is not part of the suit (9+ / 0-)

      This is all on the Governor.

    •  And It's an Arm of the State, Correct? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk, Translator

      So, we have a government agency agreeing to the deal, and then after the fact the governor sues to overturn the deal that government agency agreed to.

      Good luck with that.

      The bigger part of the story is that the civil suit will probably not be resolved until the sanctions have run their course anyway, or almost.  So, unless the District Court orders the sanctions stayed (unlikely) we won't see anything happen until they are already over anyway.

      What could be interesting is if the governor gets to do discovery into the internal e-mail of the NCAA and stuff like that.  The USC assistant coach who got beat up by the NCAA sued, and the NCAA is trying to prevent the e-mails which led the judge to conclude that the coach has a case from being released to the public.

      When is the governor up for reelection?

      •  Penn State's relationship to the state of PA is (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LordMike, Algernons Labyrinth, Loge


        Less direct than the name suggests.

        •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The Governor holds a seat on the Board of Trustees and a portion of its members are also his political appointees.  There is clearly a chain of delegated public authority argument to be made, irrespective of public vs. independent relational nuances between the state and the institution.

          In addition, the semi-autonomous or "state-related" status of the University should not insulate the Governor from the actual or implied authority the state has granted to the institution to manage it's affairs independently. If the University is granted a wide degree of administrative and managerial latitude by the state, then the state should not therefore be able to assert that as grounds to challenge any independent actions the school might have taken.

          Under these circumstances, it is difficult to me to see how the Governor has legal standing to challenge the NCAA sanctions in the first instance or is not fully bound by the terms of the Consent Decree signed by the University's President -- both as threshold matters.

          If any claim is to be made for any purported "misuse" of state funds in connection with the NCAA enforcement action, it would be asserted against the University.  However, in addition to specific violations of express NCAA Rules underlying the sanctions, that Organization to which PSU belongs also holds regulatory authority over any matter that affects the integrity of members and their respective programs.  It is a very broad mandate that most certainly encompasses and controls on the Governor's claims.

          The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety. H.L. Mencken

          by ancblu on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 07:32:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Catch-22 (0+ / 0-)

          If Penn State isn't a state agency, more or less, then the governor wouldn't have standing to complain about anything. If somebody does me wrong I can sue about it, but my governor can't.

          Kind of a "heads I win, tails you lose"  deal.

    •  Lot of people defend Penn State (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PeterHug, lina

      There are a host of people (I'm not one) who defend Penn State and think the Freeh report and the NCAA sanctions were unjustified. I've even run into people in sports administration who feel sympathetic to Paterno and PSU.

      Just so we remember: Fans rallied in support of Paterno. The Paterno statue had to be taken and away and hidden in the dead of night. Several members of the board of trustees are upset about the Acting President accepting the transactions. Fans throughout the state think PSU was treated unfairly.

      Christian Dem points correctly to "institutional control" as the issue on which the NCAA can hang its hat. The institution has to control the athletic program. But it's clear in this case the tail was wagging the dog -- the athletic program dictated how this situation would be resolved to the institution.

      Graham Spanier LOVED Joe Paterno, and the football program, and Paterno's willingness to help raise funds. Spanier made a monstrous blunder in judgment when he acquiesced in sweeping the allegations under the rug. And I think the institution violated federal law in not reporting its suspicions to appropriate local law enforcement authorities.

      So, why is Corbettt doing this? I think he's grandstanding to the "sports at any cost" crowd. He doesn't care whether he wins or loses; what he's after is winning over the allegiance of these voters.

      •  The Freeh report was an unjustified Whitewash (0+ / 0-)

        The purpose of the Freeh report was to insulate the Second Mile Charity from culpability.  This was the "go to" charity in all of central PA, and most all of the business leaders and "up and coming" political figures from that area were deeply involved with The Second Mile at one time or another.  

        While it is debatable as to exactly what was reported up the chain at Penn State (read all of the E mails) - the jist of the entire case against Spanier (University President), and even Paterno is based upon the testimony of Mike McQueary (the assistant who witnessed the rape).   His testimony to the grand jury and to Freeh completely contradict what he is alleged to have said about the incident the day it happened.  The day of the rape, McQueary called his father with his concerns, and McQueary's father allegedly called a well known physician in PA to hear his son's story and get advice as to what he should do.  The Physician claims that McQueary said he saw the kid in the shower when the kid peered out from behind the curtain/stall, but that all he only saw a man's arm reach out and pull the kid back in.  Later, he saw Sandusky outside the shower room (in a towel) and assumed that it was likely him in the shower.

        The physician's advise was to report the incident to the University (as opposed to the police) - and I assume the reason the physician gave that advice was that McQueary claimed he never saw Sandusky with the kid  - he only inferred as much.  Ten years later, McQueary claims he saw them together in the shower.  To this day, McQueary claims he "soft shooed" the incident to Paterno "out of respect" for him.  And the doctor's account would tend to indicate that that McQueary did the same with him on the night of the incident.

        While any such behavior is inappropriate, there is a big difference between "anal intercourse" and "horsing around" - and it seems entirely possible that "horsing around" was all that was reported to Spanier and Paterno.  It is certainly possible that Spanier and Paterno knew exactly what happened, but it is just as likely that they didn't - that McQueary downplayed the entire incident to them.  Herm Edwards asked a very good question on ESPN - What 6-5, 220 pound 26 year old former football star sees a 15 year old boy being raped by a 60 year old man and does nothing to stop it?  I will tell you, the same 26 year old who downplays the incident to his superiors and only comes clean 10 years later under threat of criminal charges.  Think about it, a crime of "failure to report" was committed by someone - the question is whether it is the Penn State administration or Mike McQueary.  

        It is interesting that it took over a year to indict Spanier, and I suspect he will not be convicted of anything.  McQueary will not survive cross-examination.

        Regardless of all of this, the purpose of the Freeh report was not to find out what happened and who was responsible - it was to lay the blame entirely on the PSU administration so that the case would be over.  Think about it - there has been no mentioned of the "Second Mile" since the PSU near death sentence.  While it is unclear what the PSU board of trustee's knew, it is very clear that the second mile board/administration were well aware of multiple allegations.

        The whole sordid mess is disgusting - but who in the administration knew what and when (which goes to the heart of lack of institutional control) is entirely based on inconsistent and uncorroborated testimony of the witness Mike McQueary.

        •  What a bunch of bollocks ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          There were at least two reported allegations of Sandusky's sexual abuse that preceded the 2002 "McQuery" incident -- one involving a 1998 complaint made to a victim's High School and another involving a janitor witness in 2000.  

          These claims were completely suppressed by authorities both on and off campus, including the disgraced Spanier, Schultz, Curley, Paterno and then President of the BoT.  They only regained traction AFTER Pulitzer Prize winning local journalism forced the issue onto the national stage.

          Penn State engaged in an institutional cover-up of extraordinary magnitude and at the highest levels for over a decade -- and this is shown by not only the Freeh Report, but the State Attorney General's office that has also pursued criminal claims against senior members of the PSU Administration for this conduct.  

          There are also other outstanding state and federal investigations still pending -- but there is no doubt they will confirm what you apparently refuse to admit.

          As to The Second Mile, all this is hardly a whitewash to protect that organization and its contributors.  Its CEO resigned and it is now a defunct entity, having participated equally in the same sort of PSU protective cover-up that no one can reasonably deny.

          The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety. H.L. Mencken

          by ancblu on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 08:12:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  1998 Complaints (0+ / 0-)

            I think you will find the 1998 complaints were handled properly (by the book) by the PSU administration.   The allegations were turned over to the local police (not the Campus Police) by the administration.  Are you saying it is the University's job to oversee the local Police and DA?  Should your employer terminate you if you are accused of something and the police come back and say their investigation yielded nothing?

            Once there was a second allegation - regardless of how it was presented (from McQueary), Sandusky should have been dismissed/banned from the program.  But McQueary reporting seeing them in the shower together is a completely different thing than hearing something in the shower and seeing a recently showered Sandusky in the locker room 10 minutes later.

            Watch the Spanier trial - if their ever is one.  It will be instructive.  As for the second mile being "shut down", tell me what board members were disgraced (after receiving multiple allegations) and lost their jobs over this.  I have no issues with the NCAA actions if McQueary reported then what he now says he did - but to take his statements now at face value requires you to ignore eyewitness testimony as to what he reported then from a very credible witness.  - something the Freeh report had no issue doing.

            As for the emails that are so probative - read them all.  It is entirely possible they are alluding to a cover up, and just as possible they are referencing the potential fallout from rumor and innuendo.  If you think that it is a stretch to be concerned about adverse publicity for any kind of alleged sexual impropriety, ask the Duke Rape boys about life after the incident or Woody Allen who will always be the child molester.

            Fortunately, the four you mentioned (Curley, Spanier, Schultz, and the President of the BoT), will get due process.  If they are found guilty - so be it.  But the trials (if there are any) will be based on all the evidence- not just the portions of it to support a specific conclusion - as was the Freeh report.  

            Whenever this topic comes up, it amazes me how so many people support punishment without any sort of due process.  Perhaps we should just do away with the entire criminal justice system and have former law enforcement officials conduct investigations, write reports and then dole out sentences.  If the NCAA wants to dole out punishments to their members (which they are well within their rights to do), they should conduct their own investigation and proceed based on those conclusions - as they have done in every other enforcement case.  But to take the Freeh report at face value as the basis for those sanctions is irresponsible.  If McQueary is discredited (and he may well be), much of the conclusions drawn from the Freeh Report will be discredited as well.

            •  I do not see how the issue (0+ / 0-)

              of "Due Drocess" in any way plays into the issue of the Freeh investigation and the NCAA sanctions to which PSU consented.

              PSU hired the Freeh law firm -- thus providing a widely credible, arms-length investigator to determine the facts and reasonably drawn conclusions about the incident.  The Freeh-PSU relationship is therefore essentially between private actors and Due Process is not a relevant issue.

              The NCAA also relied extensively on the findings and conclusions of the Freeh Report which was shared by PSU that commissioned it.  All relevant parties further acknowledge this was a reasonable and appropriate foundation for purposes of NCAA review because the report  was far more comprehensive than anything the NCAA could undertake.  And again ... no Due Process concerns are implicated because there is no "state action" involved.

              Similarly, PSU consented to the NCAA sanctions - after substantial consultation with the governing organization, advocacy on a multitude of issues and consideration of even more draconian alternatives.  But ... once again ... there is no state action involved in this regulation by the NCAA of institutional conduct by one of its members -- no Due Process issues are presented.

              If you are concerned with issues related to conformity with either established or ad hoc procedures developed by the NCAA in response to an unprecedented event, you do so only by ignoring the reality of how this unfolded -- especially PSU's active involvement and concurrence with the entire process and outcome.  That PSU is not joining the Governor's litigation speaks volumes on the supposed issue you are conjuring.

              The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety. H.L. Mencken

              by ancblu on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 12:02:33 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You mis-read what I wrote (0+ / 0-)

                My comments related to due process were related to the four PSA administrators.  As I stated above, the NCAA can do as they wish - they do not have to be fair or impartial.  They can ignore exculpatory testimony all they want, however a criminal trial cannot.    

                Beyond that, I have a number of issues with your reasoning.  By your logic, President Clinton supported/agreed with the conduct of the investigation and the subsequent conclusions of the Independent Council because he appointed him (Janet Reno, who appointed Star worked for him).  

                The worst part of your argument is that you talk about Freeh as if he is some ethical public servant who is beyond reproach.  
                Throughout his career, he has been accused of tailoring his investigations to reach pre-ordained conclusions.  The FBI has been doing this since its founding - Have you not studied Hoover?  Freeh simply continued with the fine tradition.  As for PSU, he was brought in to reach a pre-ordained conclusion (in order to inoculate board members and Central PA politicos associated with the Second Mile) and he had to ignore some very credible testimony to do it.  

                From Your Reply:
                "If you are concerned with issues related to conformity with either established or ad hoc procedures developed by the NCAA in response to an unprecedented event, you do so only by ignoring the reality of how this unfolded -- especially PSU's active involvement and concurrence with the entire process and outcome.  That PSU is not joining the Governor's litigation speaks volumes on the supposed issue you are conjuring."

                Really, PSU consented to the punishment because they had no choice.  They were given two options, the one they took or complete cancellation of the program.  You treat it as if they willingly agreed to any of this.  Many trustees are on record with their displeasure of the Freeh report and the NCAA sanctions that were forced upon them.  Trust me, many of the trustees support the findings of the Freeh report the same way Bill Clinton supports the Starr report.

                As for not being part of the litigation, are you serious?  PSU is not part of the litigation because they are still under the NCAA's disciplinary thumb.  

          •  Ok, so go after and punish all those... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            ...people who might have contributed to the ugly mess.  But why the entire existing and future students vast majority that don't do sports but enjoy...or do you suggest they are some how/ way partly at fault for supporting the football program?

            Our nations quality of life is based on the rightousness of its people.

            by kalihikane on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 12:57:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Every NCAA sanction (0+ / 0-)

              directly and indirectly affects the entire membership of the sanctioned organization -- including past, present and future students, alumni, administrators, faculty AND athletes

              Go ask anyone associated with The Ohio State, University of Southern California or even the death penaltied Southern Methodist University how their entire communities were and continue to be impacted by substantial NCAA sanctions.

              And I simply cannot comprehend your argument.  Even in criminal matters there are a host of "innocents" adversely affected when a perpetrator is punished with jail or worse -- and certainly not least the perpetrator's family and friends.

              Each of the current student-athletes scholarships were protected and each also was granted the unrestricted opportunity to transfer to another institution if they chose to do so.

              And to your specific question -- the most significant problem identified by the NCAA and Mr. Freeh was the deeply embedded and long-standing PSU "culture," which you must admit can only be created by the contributions of each and every member of the PSU community, whether individually or in aggregate.  For this culture to change, everyone must suffer some measure of accountability.

              All of this seems so manifestly self-evident I can scarcely understand the objections.

              The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety. H.L. Mencken

              by ancblu on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 01:51:50 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  "Fair" argument but in my mind not ... (0+ / 0-)

                ...acceptable.  I am somewhat influenced by past issues and one particular incident has some relevance at least to me.  On December 7, 1941, Japan declared war on United States with their sneak attack at Pearl Harbour, Hawaii.  As a consequence of that attack and the thousands of US citizens killed, the US government rounded up thousands of Japanese Americans, the vast majority citizens of the USA, school children, parents, business owners, etc., and placed them in concentration camps over the western US.  No warrants, nothing. They were placed under guard 24-7 for 2-3yrs.  When finally released they went back to homes that were occupied by others, businesses operated by others, farms taken over by get the idea.  Because they were "guilty by association" they suffered significant losses; material, spiritual, etc.,.  All because they were of Japanese ancestry.  Obviously it is an overly dramatic comparision but in fact what is happening to students present and past and anyone associated with PSU is punishment for being associated with Penn State U.  Is that fair?

                Our nations quality of life is based on the rightousness of its people.

                by kalihikane on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:07:58 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  No ... it is not a fair comparison (0+ / 0-)

                  as a matter of fact, ethics or law.

                  The Japanese intern case in US history involved systemic state action discrimination based upon race and national origin.

                  Your analogy to private NCAA sanctions against the PSU community for lack of institutional control over a sports program involves nothing of the sort ... by any sensible measure of comparison.

                  The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety. H.L. Mencken

                  by ancblu on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:59:25 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  What? (0+ / 0-)

          Please -- it's very hard to take this argument seriously. The point of the Freeh investigation was to clear Second Mile? And the fault here lies with Second Mile? I don't get it.

          And since when were physicians licensed to give legal advice?

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