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Penn State Officials Find NCAA Emails 'Deeply Disturbing'

by on November 05, 2014 6:20 PM

Penn State fires back following the release of emails in which the NCAA suggests it was bluffing when threatening to impose dire sanctions on the university.

In a statement released late Wednesday, university president Eric Barron and board of trustees chair Keith Masser call the NCAA emails "deeply disturbing."

The statement goes on to say the university is now considering its options.

The court documents were released as part of a court battle between the NCAA and Pennsylvania state senator Jake Corman. They include email correspondence from 2012 between top NCAA officials. In the emails, former NCAA Vice President of Enforcement Julie Roe describes the NCAA's actions as a "bluff."

"I characterized our approach to PSU as a bluff when talking to Mark [Emmert, NCAA president] yesterday afternoon ... " Roe writes to NCAA Vice President of Academic and Membership Affairs Kevin Lennon.

"He basically agreed b/c I think he understands that if we make this an enforcement issue, we may win the immediate battle but lose the war when the COI [committee on infractions] has to rule."

Roe questions whether the NCAA has jurisdiction to sanction Penn State for criminal actions that were unrelated to athletic competition. She writes it is "a stretch" to argue the NCAA has jurisdiction, and suggests the NCAA "could make the control argument based on ethical failures by senior leaders" instead.

The full Penn State statement appears below:

Statement from Penn State officials related to public release of internal NCAA emails discussing proposed sanctions against Penn State

"We find it deeply disturbing that NCAA officials in leadership positions would consider bluffing one of their member institutions, Penn State, to accept sanctions outside of their normal investigative and enforcement process.

We are considering our options. It is important to understand, however, that Penn State is in the midst of a number of legal and civil cases associated with these matters.

We therefore have no additional comment.

We also want it to be clear. Penn State's commitment to the fight against child abuse and to the implementation of best practice governance, ethics and compliance programs and policies remains steadfast."

Eric Barron, President

Keith Masser, Chair, Board of Trustees

Click HERE to read the entire StateCollege.com report on the NCAA emails.

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Steve Bauer was the Managing Editor of StateCollege.com. Steve and his wife Trina are longtime area residents. They reside in State College along with a wacky Golden Retriever named Izzy.
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