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NCAA President Discusses Penn State Sanctions

NCAA President, Mark Emmert, appeared on CBS This Morning where he discussed the sanctions imposed against Penn State.

Here's what he had to say.

"The intent is fairly straightforward, but the challenge is enormous. The intent is to make sure that we keep our values straight. We play sport in America in our schools — and K-12 schools and universities — for the purpose of embedding in our youngsters the kind of core values that we all associate with sport. Responsibility, honesty, integrity and fair play, and when you have a sport program that casts those values aside for the values of hero worship or winning at all costs, then you've completely lost track of what's going on. We're trying to force everyone to look at why we play these games and what is this about and let's keep those values in the right perspective."

"The actions of Penn State itself send the message of 'rethink big-time sports at your college'. We’re reinforcing that message by saying that kind of behavior is intolerable in intercollegiate athletics. We can't stand to the side and watch the values of intercollegiate athletics be blown up in that fashion. We want everyone to pay attention. This is indeed a cautionary tale that the athletic tail can't wag the academic dog."

"We're not naive. I've been a university president and been a participant in some of the most successful athletic programs in the country. I know firsthand what that looks and feels like. This isn't about trying to hold down athletics. I'm one of the biggest supporters of athletics in the country. But, it’s about trying to keep perspective. Trying to keep in balance the sets of values that we all hold so dear in the academy."

"It's about an institution that had a severe systemic loss of integrity. It failed to maintain control over its athletic program. There were multiple violations of any sense of ethical conduct. Those are the things that surround and build up the culture inside an athletic department and we simply can't abide that. Rather than saying there's one little specific rule that's been breached here, this is a systemic failure."

"Many people wanted us to impose the so-called death penalty, the suspension of play. The reason that I, and the executive committee, decided not to impose the death penalty, was that it was too blunt an instrument. It affects too many people that had utterly nothing to do with these affairs. The marching band didn't have anything to do with this. The mom and pop that's running the hot dog stand in the town didn't have anything to do with this. The rest of the institution probably had nothing to do with this. We're trying to focus the penalties where they’re most likely to change the culture. We're saying to Penn State, don't worry about going to the Rose Bowl next year, worry about getting your culture right and your values right, and in a few years you can worry about going to a bowl game."

"Everyone suffers. In the end, there's no pretense here that this is a surgical strike here. It affects everyone. That's the unfortunate reality of where we find ourselves. This is not a happy day for college sports. This is a very, very difficult moment."


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