clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NCAA Emails Revealed

PA Sen. Jake Corman's recent brief included a handful of particularly unflattering NCAA emails. Enjoy.

Jamie Squire

Filed November 2nd in The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania District Court, PA Senator Jake Corman's response to the NCAA's attempts to suppress emails from discovery as "privileged"  finally made explicit what many college sports fans have known implicitly for years: the NCAA made a questionable decision regarding Penn State.

Mark Emmert became President of the NCAA in October 2010, and it didn't take the college sports world long to realize Emmert intended to be a tough new sheriff.  Emmert quickly moved to flex his muscle when he destroyed USC with draconian penalties that even UCLA thought were a bit stiff. The NCAA, after years of being parodied by everyone, was back, and stronger than ever.

That was the intended message, at least.  But as the NCAA's public image continued to suffer through 2011, Mark Emmert latched on to the Jerry Sandusky scandal as a perfect opportunity to regain public credibility.  Although he knew there was zero precedent for the NCAA adjudicating a criminal matter, the chance to wield a little power was too much to pass up.

So, with the help of his hand-picked, trusted lieutenant Julie Roe, Emmert concocted "a bluff".  Page 16 of Sen. Corman's brief (linked above) includes just a few intra-office emails, out of thousands requested for discovery.  And many parts of those are redacted.  But the few sentences that remain include some whoppers:

"I characterized our approach to PSU as a bluff when talking to Mark [Emmert] yesterday afternoon after the call.  He basically agreed..."

"I know we are banking on the fact that the school is so embarrassed they will do anything..."

"How did PSU gain a competitive advantage by what happened?"

h/t to Billpsufan's FanPost

**Ed Note- The NCAA has released a statement regarding the aforementioned emails. You can reach the official web page right here, but here is the full (and brief) statement.

Debate and thorough consideration is central in any organization, and that clearly is reflected in the slecively released emails. The national office staff routinely provides information and counsel to the membership on tough issues. The NCAA carefully examined its authority and responsibility to act in response to the athletics despartment's role detailed in the Freeh report. Ultimately, advised by all information gather the Executive Committee determined to act and move forward with the Consent Decree.

UPDATE: Penn State has responded by offering its own statement, and it's safe to say the university finally seems ready to show some teeth to the NCAA:

We find it deeply disturbing that NCAA officials in leadership positions would consider bluffing one of their member institutions, Penn State, to accept sanctions outside of their normal investigative and enforcement process.

We are considering our options. It is important to understand, however, that Penn State is in the midst of a number of legal and civil cases associated with these matters. We therefore have no additional comment.

We also want it to be clear: Penn State’s commitment to the fight against child abuse and to the implementation of best practice governance, ethics and compliance programs and policies remains steadfast.

Eric Barron President

Keith Masser Chair, Board of Trustees