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NCAA President Mark Emmert Doesn't Back Down from Penn State's Sanctions

by on September 22, 2012 12:07 PM

NCAA President Mark Emmert told reporters on Friday in Detriot that Penn State's sanctions were the most reasonable penalties the organization could have doled out, and the university is handling them well. 

According to the Detroit Free Press, Emmert said he believes one of Penn State's biggest problems was Joe Paterno's power and the extent to which he held it over university administration. 

"You can't have part of an organization that's so revered and so powerful that not only can you not control it, you can't even ask a question," Emmert said.

"You can't (even) go in there and say, 'So what happened here?' ... This is the flip side of the great popularity of sport. We all love sport, we revere its coaches, the players become heroic. That doesn't mean they're not human beings and we should not ask hard questions of them. So there is a cautionary tale here that you can never have somebody become so powerful that it causes us to lose our moral center."

Emmert also gave some insight as to how the consent agreement came to be signed by Penn State President Rodney Erickson and the NCAA.

"They didn't say, 'Fine' – that would be an exaggeration – but they said (it was) the least worst direction for the university and it will be best for the university, relative to all the other options available for us," Emmert said.

"The president there, some of the other board members there, have been criticized for it, and I think those criticisms are dead wrong. The current president and the leadership there are working extremely hard to get this behind them and move on and fix their culture problem."

Laura Nichols is a news reporter and @LC_Nichols on Twitter.
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