Sunday, January 18

Alice Pope: Posting on Settlement With NCAA

From Blue-White Illustrated, McAndrew Board

The settlement of the case between Corman/McCord and NCAA/Penn State is a major step forward.  Here's why.

NOW WE HAVE THE NCAA OFF OUR BACKS.  With the consent decree repealed, the
sanctions are gone and we are not on probation.  We knew this would happen eventually anyway, but by repealing the sanctions - something that almost never happens - the NCAA is demonstrating they know they have no leg to stand on.

BUT WHY DON'T WE GET TO KEEP THE $60 MILLION?  I wanted the money back.  It was clear that was not going to happen.  So, fine.  Our university can help the children of Pennsylvania.  $12 million stays at Penn State for research on prevention of child abuse, in whatever way we choose.  Those folks doing this work  -- the Penn State Network on Child Protection
and Well-Being - are making a real difference. 

On the down side, it is unfair to remove "all" the sanctions and yet make us pay a fine, and the people who say that the fine makes us look guilty have a point. We can at least take some comfort in the fact that the money will be spent in ways that will attack a horrible problem in our society.

WHEN DOES THE NCAA GET THEIR COMEUPPANCE?  Today, and every day from now on, because people who are paying attention know that they had to cave because they were wrong.  I know they are spinning the situation in the media, but the settlement we signed does not say they "acted" in good faith in sanctioning us.  It said they had a legitimate and good faith "interest" in the Jerry Sandusky matter.  Well, sure, they're the NCAA, they have an "interest" in understanding any problematic event at a member school.  I don't love the language but that's all it says.  We "Nine" would never, ever have voted in favor of any agreement saying they "acted" in good faith when they imposed the sanctions.  Corman held tight on that for us.  Please understand, I will never forgive and forget hearing my school referred to as "road kill" - but now that they are reaping what they sowed, natural consequences will take over from here. 

WITHOUT A TRIAL, HOW WILL WE FIND OUT THE ANSWERS TO ALL OUR QUESTIONS?  It has been quite informative to see the materials coming out of discovery and depositions in this case.  But, as much as we all wanted a front row seat at the trial, we pretty much know what happened and how it happened.  The NCAA behaved despicably towards once of
its member institutions, and now everybody knows it. As Senator Corman stressed in his press
conference, there is more yet to come out. We don't need a trial to get it.  We will learn even more from the Paterno suit, and we will pursue any other necessary strategies until we are satisfied we understand all we need to know.

WILL THE NARRATIVE EVER GET CHANGED?  Yes, because we are not finished, and we will
keep working together as long as it takes. This settlement was one step.  I believe it is a tipping point, and that the justice we are seeking will now come, in time.  But there is no perfect outcome in a situation like this.  We all know that some things can never be undone.
 But to the best of our collective abilities, we will restore honor to our university, and we will do it by continuing to work hard and by remembering who we are and where we come from.  I am very encouraged by this settlement, but, like a famous coach who won 409 games stressed to his players, I am trying not to dance in the end zone and instead act like I've been here before.  Thanks to you all for letting me represent you on our board.  It is difficult work, but it is always an honor and a privilege to serve Penn State.

And please join me in thanking Senator Corman and Treasurer McCord for doing the heavy lifting that resulted in an outcome far better than we could have imagined


  1. "Success without honor is an unseasoned dish; it will satisfy your hunger, but it won't taste good." - Joe Paterno

    More to be done.

  2. I generally agree but I don't know if "the NCAA is demonstrating they know they have no leg to stand on." They are spinning this like crazy saying they did it to assure the $60 million was not tied up for several more years and can get to victims immediately. That's hogwash of course because the NCAA delayed the use of the money by forcing Corman/McCord to sue them to enforce the PA law.

    I think the NCAA and Penn State settled because they knew it would be extremely embarrassing to have bigwigs like Emmert, Freeh, Ray, Erickson and several trustees testify and to have all those damning emails made public. The 11/11 Penn State trustees may have been more desperate because they gave the NCAA a sweetheart deal.

    Judge Covey never did get a chance to rule on the admissibility of the 377 disputed emails. If I was Judge Covey, I'd be upset that so much of my time was wasted, and the parties did an end run around the court's desire to examine the legality of the Consent Decree.

    1. Tim,
      Agree that the NCAA is composed of hypocrites. They had no problem delaying the distribution of funds while they fought Corman and McCord.

      If they really cared, they would have made sure the $12M went to child abuse prevention as they intended it to be spent WHILE they were fighting the court battle.

      At least Corman and PSU didn't agree to saying the Consent Decree was legal, but I don't like the end run because it delays the truth from being exposed.

      But in the end, the truth will be exposed.

  3. I hope you are right that the truth will be exposed but I bet the NCAA, Freeh and Penn State are already trying to work out a settlement with the Paterno lawsuit plaintiffs to prevent a trial.

    I think the 11/11 Penn State trustees were very anxious to settle the Corman lawsuit because their majority will end sooner or later. Governor Wolf may cut into their majority with his appointments and with his influence, even though he has no vote himself.

    Just imagine if the 11/11 Trustees lose their majority before the Paterno lawsuit goes to trial. Penn State could join the Paterno plaintiffs in the lawsuit and waive attorney-client privilege for all Freeh documents and all Trustee documents.

    If I was Wolf, I would cut $60 million from the state appropriation to Penn State this year and say that if Penn State Trustees can voluntarily give away $60 million then they can easily absorb a $60 million cut.

  4. With all respect due to Trustee Pope, I must say that her statements here don't all hold water.

    The NCAA (read Ray, Emmert, and all others in the email discussion that is now public) is likely WAY more happy to have PSU off ITS back than vice versa.

    Certainly, not "all" know what happened and will now re-embrace the proud history of PSU and Joe Paterno, academic and otherwise. The haters still hate, most likely.

    If the original Consent Decree is not legal, HOW ON EARTH can a new version, intended to dissolve and supercede the original, be acceptable now??

    So all eyes turn to the Paterno suit... for real exposure of the wrongdoings. I presume Scott Paterno still has some say in this. The first to publically cry mea culpa on behalf of his "client", PSU, and even Jerry Sandusky. So much for the family lawyer remembering that chapter on Due Process. Maybe he'll now forget that he thought protecting Mike McQueary trumped honoring his father's final request. The truthers can only hope.

    1. Pope says "we are not on probation" but Penn State is effectively still on probation because they are still saddled with the Athletic integrity Monitor.

      I don't understand why the alumni trustees snatched a partial defeat from the jaws of victory. They went over to the dark side to protect the 11-11 trustees, their minion Freeh and the NCAA from being exposed in court. It seems like the entire Board of Trustees breached their fiduciary duty by giving away $60+ million.

      The settlement seemed very hasty and poorly done.

      1. I see no guarantee that the NCAA could not revisit the issue if Spanier, Curley and Schultz are convicted.

      2. I see nothing about whether the Big Ten gets to keep bowl revenues for another 2 years.

      3. The settlement lacked a joint statement and gag order. The NCAA is spinning like crazy to Penn State's detriment, and is still libeling by talking about "Penn State’s role in enabling child sexual abuse to occur on campus."

      4. Penn State has nothing about the settlement on the main page of their website to counter the spin at Steven Fink is very right about how poorly Penn State continues to mishandle the Sandusky crisis.

      A sensible settlement would have had the NCAA match Penn State's $60 million donation, not fine, to prove their commitment to fighting child abuse was not just hot air.

    2. Tim,
      Steven Fink shares your sentiments and so do I.

      Read Fink's piece here:

  5. In viewing the actions of 1/16/2015, I think it is VITALLY IMPORTANT to do so with the following in mind:
    The evil scoundrels of the PSU BOT (and their allies) are COUNTING ON the fact that - in their minds - Penn Staters will put "football" ahead of the pursuit of the truth
    The actions of 1/16/2015 were not a reason to celebrate….if fact, just the opposite.
    I was not part of the 112 wins. I didn't make the sacrifices on and off the field to achieve those wins. Those folks who did most certainly deserve to have those wins restored to the record books.
    My concerns are the price we paid for that line in the record books, and more importantly, the possible implications of OUR actions in celebrating these events.
    In exchange for the rightful recording of the wins, we (Penn State):
    - PSU authorized a $60 million extortion payment
    - PSU justified the NCAA's involvement in the affair (an affair that had NOTHING to do with PSU football or Intercollegiate Athletics)
    - And, most importantly, terminated the discovery and trial process…effectively killing (from the standpoint of this case at least) the pursuit of the truth……While giving the NCAA and the PSU BOT a "get out of jail free" card for the malfeasance that had been discovered to date.
    Perhaps my anger and frustration was enhanced because I told so many (including members of this message board) over and over again that this is exactly what was going to happen….and to please be prepared for it, and to understand what it means.
    The actions of Corman, in concert with the BOT scoundrels, to terminate the suit was to be expected.
    It is crucial to separate the results of the CORMAN SUIT from the actions of SENATOR CORMAN. The CORMAN SUIT, clearly, provided more illumination than we ever could have expected when it was initially filed to simply challenge "who controlled the money". That discovery was brought about by the actions of the Commonwealth Court. SENATOR CORMAN did nothing but seek to control the extortion funds (through the filing of his suit) and then work to kill the suit - not once, but twice, after the Commonwealth Court broadened the discovery process.
    They…..through their mouthpiece Louis Freeh…said that all of us put "football" ahead of basic human decency. We know that they are absolutely wrong about that. Hell, even they knew that wasn't true.
    But, were they right in their other assumption - the one they did believe…..that Penn Staters would put "football" ahead of the search for the truth? That is in essence what they are counting on...what they have always counted on. They think that after they have returned all of the "football stuff" we will all quiet down, and forget about the real reasons that prompted the discord of the last three years.
    They now feel they have won, not because of the "409"….but because of the reaction of so many Penn Staters to the "409". Every time they see someone lauding Senator Corman, every time they read some article about our "victory" over the NCAA, every time they hear a Penn Stater bragging about "beating the NCAA"…..they laugh, and they celebrate.
    Think about this……..what would JVP be doing right now? Celebrating the return of his victories to the record books? I don't think so. As he is known for saying "Success without honor is an unseasoned dish; it will satisfy your hunger, but it won't taste good." I can't think of a more apt time to ponder that quote.