Oh, great. The NCAA did something stupid again. We are shocked.
A group of NCAA internal e-mails shows that their may have been some deceit involved when the organization levied one of the strongest penalties of all time to Penn State back in 2012 on the heels of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
The revelations here aren't that stunning. We knew going in the NCAA was moving into uncharted territory by sanctioning a school for the criminal acts of one guy and for the allegations of a cover-up.
That had never been done before, which most of us knew.
What we didn't know is that the NCAA had some trepidation about it.
One of the e-mails, from then director of enforcement Julie Roe Lach to VP of academic and membership Kevin Lennon stated; “I know we are banking on the fact school is so embarrassed they will do anything, but I am not sure about that, and no confidence conference or other members will agree to any of that. This will force the jurisdictional issue that we really don't have a great answer to that one.”
They guessed right. Penn State basically said "Do what you will". The school was slapped with a $60 million fine, a bowl ban until 2017 and limited to 65 scholarships for the football team.
Those sanctions will be lifted after this year.
The NCAA did respond to the accusations that they singled out or targeted Penn State by saying essentially the conversations, debates are a part of the discussion over the merits in taking such actions. They were not out of line nor did they indicated a vindictive nature.
It looks kinda bad, but to take action, such a discussion needed to be had.
Did they (the NCAA) take advantage of a situation? Probably. Did they have to act and act decisively, absolutely. The Penn State folks still consider it an assault on them. And maybe to an extent it was. But what was uncovered there had to be addressed and measures had to be taken in order to make sure it would never happen again.
Deal with it.