July 6, 2012, 8:05 am
If you believe Joe Paterno never used email or tried to influence an investigation, as his representatives have suggested in recent days, read this.
From our report today:
“I want to make sure everyone understands that the discipline of the players involved will be handled by me as soon as I am comfortable that I know all the facts,” said the April 7, 2007, e-mail, which was signed “Joe.”
“This is my understanding as well,” wrote Graham Spanier, Penn State’s president.
June 29, 2012, 3:55 pm
Nocera & Robinson: Student Athletes Only Taught… by FORAtv
“It cannot be a uniformly happy task these days to represent the NCAA in public,” writes James Bennet of The Atlantic.
On Thursday, the job fell to Wally Renfro, the vice president and chief policy adviser to the NCAA, to defend his association. He did so, Bennet writes, “while seated on a stage at the Aspen Ideas Festival between what a defender of the status quo might regard as the Scylla and Charybdis of reform: On his right, Taylor Branch, the civil rights historian and author of an article in The Atlantic last fall decrying “The Shame of College Sports“; and on his left, Joe Nocera, who since Branch’s article has used his New York Times column to conduct something of a crusade against the NCAA.”
Here’s how Renfro defended the recent scandal-filled era in college sports: “I’ve been with the NCAA 40 years, and this …
June 29, 2012, 11:43 am
I spent a few days in Happy Valley this week reporting on Louis Freeh’s investigation. Freeh, the former FBI director, and his team of high-profile lawyers and law-enforcement heavyweights, were hired seven months ago by Penn State’s Board of Trustees to get to the bottom of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
The Freeh Group is due out with a report sometime in the coming weeks that is expected to identify who knew what about Sandusky, the ex-Nittany Lions coach convicted last week on 45 counts of sexually abusing children. More importantly, why didn’t anyone do more to stop him?
I talked to nine people who have been interviewed by Freeh’s team, and they described the investigation as delving deep into e-mail trails and other records. Based on their conversations with Freeh’s staff, here are a couple of the main areas that investigators appear to be focused on:
Top Brass. In addition…
April 19, 2012, 3:13 pm
Chapel Hill, N.C.–That’s the provocative question Kathryn Shea teed up here today at the annual meeting of the College Sport Research Institute. After studying decades’ worth of major-infractions cases involving men’s basketball, she’s come away with a pretty strong view: Not only do the rules appear to do little to deter violations, but the NCAA has become more lax in enforcing the stiffest penalties over time.
Shea, an assistant professor of sport management at Springfield College, looked at an admittedly narrow set of data: 167 major-infractions cases involving recruiting inducements in men’s basketball. But she came away with some striking findings:
Because colleges have little incentive to point out problems in their programs, few actually do. In her sample, just 13 percent of institutions self-reported the violations.
And as the NCAA has diluted the rules governing…
April 16, 2012, 6:00 am
Compared to the shenanigans in men’s basketball, the women’s game is relatively clean, writes Sally Jenkins in Sunday’s Washington Post. But NCAA rules violations announced last week against Baylor University, the reigning women’s national champions, could signal the moment when the women’s game lost its way, Jenkins says.
No disrespect to Jenkins, but if you listen to the players, women’s basketball already has some of the biggest problems of any sport–and coaches are largely responsible. According to a 2010 NCAA survey of nearly 20,000 college athletes across all sports and divisions, women’s basketball players singled out their coaches as a primary source of their dissatisfaction with the sport: More than a third of the Division I players surveyed said they had been contacted too often during the recruiting process, and just 39 percent of players—the lowest percentage across …