NCAA head: I’m not ruling out ‘death penalty’ for PSU

The Penn State Nittany Lion.
via Flickr

The head of the NCAA, which governs U.S. college sport, said the Penn State sex abuse scandal involving a former football coach was so egregious that he would not rule out applying the so-called “death penalty” to the university, which would cancel an entire football season.

In his first public comments since former FBI Director Louis Freeh released a scathing report on Penn State, NCAA President Mark Emmert said the systematic sexual abuse of young boys by former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was “unprecedented” in college sports.

Asked in an interview on the PBS Tavis Smiley show Monday night about the death penalty, Emmert said: “I don’t want to take anything off the table. The fact is this is completely different than … anything else we have dealt with.”

“I don’t know that past precedent makes particularly good sense in this case,” Emmert said.

Sandusky was convicted last month on 45 counts of abusing young boys over a period of more than a decade. He befriended many of the boys through a charity he established and abused some of them in the showers of the football program.7

Freeh’s report released last week said the late head football coach Joe Paterno, along with the university president and top athletic department officials, knew of the abuse but chose not to tell the authorities because they feared it would damage the Penn State “brand.”

The National Collegiate Athletic Association is considering sanctions against the Pennsylvania college. The NCAA last November sent a letter asking the university to defend its actions. After release of the Freeh report, the NCAA said in a brief statement that it was awaiting a response from Penn State.

College football is a huge generator of money for major universities in the United States because of large television contracts and millions of fans attending games every Saturday in the fall.

Critics have questioned whether the NCAA would apply harsh penalties to Penn State, which Forbes magazine rates as the third most valuable program in U.S. college football.

The last time the NCAA applied the “death penalty” in football was against Southern Methodist University (SMU) in 1987. In response to a system of payments to players, who are supposed to be amateurs, the NCAA canceled an entire season. SMU’s program took years to recover.

Emmert said the NCAA would do what is best in the Penn State situation. “There’s an enormous amount of political courage … to do the right thing on a variety of cases,” he said.

Once Penn State responds to the NCAA’s letter, the organization will decide whether to press charges against the college. Key decisions on the matter will be made by an infractions committee that consists of ten members, a majority drawn from universities that are members of major college conferences. The chair of the committee is Britton Banowsky, Commissioner of Conference USA.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Is #JusticeForAvaLynn a case of bullying?

On Saturday, the hashtag #JusticeForAvaLynn became one of the trending topics on Twitter. Users circulated the above photo of 5-year-old AvaLynn, posted by her mother…

International

Terrorism could spread to US and Europe in…

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East,…

National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

Gossip

Joan Rivers on life support: Report

TMZ reports that comedian Joan Rivers has been placed on life support, "completely reliant on machines to stay alive." Rivers has been hospitalized since she…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: Lesbians, men most likely…

Lesbians, men most likely to achieve orgasm Location: U.S. Study subjects: 2,850 people Results: Whether you find it shocking or not, a new study reports that…

Wellbeing

VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.