Former NCAA Investigator Says Erickson Sold Penn State Down River

Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

His timeline and circumstances of talks on the Penn State sanctions may dispute his claims, though.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel came out with a story this afternoon which released parts of emails between NCAA investigator Ameen Najjar, who was the NCAA enforcement director before being fired in May 2012, and Nevin Shapiro, who is the focal point of the scandal at the University of Miami, while Shapiro was in jail. Much was discussed about the Hurricanes' situation, but a particular email, dated August 7th, talks of how the NCAA handled the Penn State situation:

"The Penn State deal is a travesty," he wrote. "The NCAA did not impose anything. Penn State agreed to and self-imposed the penalties, waved all due process and waived any right to appeal. The NCAA had/has NO authority to impose any penalties in that situation and PSU's president sold the school down the river!"

Two things to note before putting 100% faith in Najjar's statement:

  1. Remember that Najjar was fired from the NCAA in May 2012. Talk of NCAA sanctions against Penn State did not seem to begin until after the Freeh Report was released in early July 2012, almost two months after he was disassociated with the organization.
  2. While Najjar was the NCAA's enforcement director and may still have had contacts within the organization even after his firing, we know that it was the NCAA's Board of Directors that made the decisions regarding the sanctions that would befall Penn State as President Mark Emmert allowed the normal enforcement process to be circumvented in an unprecedented matter. The chances that Najjar had contact with any of the 18 school presidents that make up the Board of Directors is slim.

It seems highly unlikely Najjar knew exactly what was going on with regards to Penn State sanctions. We all know that the NCAA didn't really have the power to do what they ended up doing and none of us are former NCAA enforcement directors.

And so we revert back to the old debate on whether you trust Mark Emmert and Ed Ray or Rodney Erickson more, a debate that will likely never conclude with a clear-cut answer.

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