By Ethan Rothstein
June 30, 2012
After the bombshell dropped Saturday that the late Joe Paterno may have been involved in the Penn State administration’s coverup of the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal, more bad news is coming for the athletic department in Happy Valley.
According to a report in the Chronicle of Higher Education, the independent investigation led by Louis Freeh has honed in on, among other things, special treatment the athletic department sought for some university athletes. According to a report by the Harrisburg (Pa.) Patriot-News, emails between former university President Graham Spanier and the school’s former general counsel, Wendell V. Courtney, “describe steps the two men took to protect players.” Also from the Patriot-News:
[An] unnamed source told the Chronicle some of the Freeh investigators “appeared to find it problematic” that some top Penn State officials had resisted adopting athletic oversight practices in use at many other schools.
“We’ll have to wait to see what the Freeh report finds,” (current university President Rodney) Erickson said. But, he added, “We will take responsibility for whatever is identified in the Freeh report, and we will make changes that address any issues that are raised.”
If the NCAA views the Freeh report as something viable on which to act, it could mean big sanctions coming down to Penn State. Despite Sandusky’s egregious acts, to this point it has remained unclear what, if any, action the NCAA could take against Penn State. However, if a general lack of oversight and favoritism for athletes is proven to have taken place, don’t be surprised in the NCAA brings the hammer down on the Nittany Lions.