Everyone at PSU covered up:That’s REAL “Lack of Institutional Control”

Things are rotten at PSU; their Trustees are finally waking up, and doing something about it. (Though they’re being pretty coy about McQuery, who is going to be a critical fact witness in every legal proceeding which unfolds — so they’re trying to curry favor with him, by not hanging him out to dry right away.)  The Vatican lacked institutional control, and kids’ lives were ruined as a result; PSU lacked control, and kids’ lives were similarly ruined.

But things are still rotten at the NCAA and the Big Ten.  Until they announce their intent to investigate, consistent with the clear mandate of By-Laws, the NCAA remains just a bunch of Mafia types providing protection for their choke-hold on every dollar of entertainment-wages which ought legitimately flow to the “performers” (players.)  It’s difficult to remember when the NCAA took the high moral ground, so drowning is the organization in disguised mercenary motives.

Before I get to the list of many By Law provisions which require and support investigation and prosecution by the NCAA, three questions:

1) Does Mark Emmert (Chief of NCAA) have kids?

2) Does Jim Delaney (Big Ten “Commissioner”) have grand-kids?

3) Everybody raise your hands if you think it’s crystal clear, even at this juncture, that PSU has probably suffered an astonishing Lack of Institutional Control over its’ athletics program for the last 10 years (at least)?  [Keep this term in mind: Lack of Institutional Control.]

Here’s the truncated list of NCAA Bylaws apparently violated by PSU:

1.2 “purposes of this Association are…to promote and develop educational leadership, physical fitness, athletics excellence and athletics participation as a recreational pursuit;”

2.1.1 Responsibility for Control…. [of] its intercollegiate athletics program in compliance with the rules and regulations of the Association, [which, under 2.1.2 Scope] …includes responsibility for the actions of its staff members and for the actions of any other individual or organization engaged in activities promoting the athletics interests of the institution.”

6.01.1 Institutional Control.  Administrative control or faculty control, or a combination of the two, shall constitute institutional control

6.4.1 Independent Agencies or organizations….“responsibility” for the conduct of its intercollegiate athletics program shall include responsibility for the acts of an independent agency, corporate entity or other organization when a member of the institution’s executive or athletics administration, or an athletics department staff member, has knowledge that such agency, corporate entity or other organization is promoting the institution’s intercollegiate athletics program.  This includes [under 6.4.2 Representatives of Athletics interests] responsibility for the acts of individuals, a corporate entity  or other organization when a member of the institution’s executive or athletics administration or an athletics department staff member has knowledge or should have knowledge that such an individual, corporate entity or other organization:   (e) is otherwise involved in promoting the institution’s athletics program.”]

10.01.1  Honesty and Sportsmanship: Individuals employed by (or associated with) a member institution to administer, conduct or coach athletics … shall act with honesty and sportsmanship at all times… and they, as individuals, shall represent the honor and dignity of fair play and the generally high standards associated with wholesome competitive sports.   11.1.1 Honesty and sportsmanship. Individuals employed by or associated with a member institution to administer, conduct or coach intercollegiate athletics shall act with honesty and sportsmanship at all times so that intercollegiate athletics as a whole, their institutions and they, as individuals, represent the honor and dignity of fair play and the generally recognized high standards associated with wholesome competitive sports. (See Bylaw 10 for more specific ethical-conduct standards.)

19.01.2 Exemplary Conduct. Individuals employed by or associated with member institutions for the administration, the conduct or the coaching of intercollegiate athletics are, in the final analysis, teachers of young people. Their responsibility is an affirmative one, and they must do more than avoid improper conduct or questionable acts. Their own moral values must be so certain and positive that those younger and more pliable will be influenced by a fine example. Much more is expected of them than of the less critically placed citizen.

“Promoting educational leadership”…. “Shall act with honesty and sportsmanship”….. “shall represent the honor and dignity of fair play”….”Their own moral values must be so certain and positive that those younger and more pliable will be influenced by a fine example. Much more is expected of them than of the less critically placed citizen.”

Taken together, all these provisions are,  in effect, a “morals” clause for any NCAA-member coach or administrator.  And they apply to VP Schultz, AD Curley, Jo Pa, and McQuery.   But, you say, Sandusky wasn’t a coach after 1999.  Yes, that’s true, but he was most likely a “representative” of PSU interests for at least the period up through and including 2002.  This is because there was a “nexus” between PSU and Sandusky’s Second Mile Foundation — and this nexus continued to operate, apparently, up through last year, when PSU/Second Mile summer camps were operated.  The two entities continued to not just co-exist, but also benefit each other. (Sandusky allegedly went so far as to promise one of his victims that he would be a “walk-on” football player at PSU — which fact alone is grounds for a finding that he was a “representative” of PSU FB under By law 6.4, and that PSU is/was responsible for his actions.)

In looking at this factual scenario, the NCAA has to confront the pragmatic implications of the widely accepted practice of allowing select individuals continued access to all PSU FB facilities. See, as an example, the lengthy charges against UNC, which involved recitation of facts reflecting that one or more NFL players (UNC grad Willie Parker, at a minimum) were given open and complete access to the UNC Athletic facilitites.

It is alleged that, when Sandusky “retired” from PSU in ’99, his separation agreement explicitly granted him full access to PSU facilities; it’s even alleged that, as late as last week, Sandusky was lifting weights on campus.  This access alone is prima facie evidence of the “tightness” of that nexus between PSU and Sandusky’s Second Mile Foundation, and of Sandusky’s status as a “representative” of PSU interests.

What’s obvious now is the numerous, all-the-way-up-the-corporate ladder violations of the above-described Bylaw-mandated  duties of honesty, sportsmanship,  and fairness.  And that all the characters involved — including Jo Pa, McQuery, Sandusky violated the By Law 19 extremely high standard:

“Their own moral values must be so certain and positive that those younger and more pliable will be influenced by a fine example. Much more is expected of them than of the less critically placed citizen.”

That’s it:  “Much more is expected than of the less critically placed citizen.”   And look at just how “critically-placed” Jo Pa, McQuery and the rest really were:  this all involved recognition of a real and present danger — not to adults, but to children — which would place even the average citizen’s duty at a much higher level.   So these guys should be held to the highest standard.  And all they did was coverup.

The point:  NCAA By Laws require investigation and prosecution of these PSU characters, and a finding that the “institution” has “lost control.”  It’s a challenge:  is the NCAA just a money-counting and grabbing outfit, or does it have any moral foundation?

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About brewonsouthu

Michigan and Big Ten fan, former lawyer, with interest in college sports and NCAA oversight and decisions, and sports generally.
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