Former Penn State Board of Trustees member Joel Myers has fired off another critical assessment concerning the NCAA's handling of sanctions against the university's football program.
In an Op Ed article that was posted on Pennlive.com Thursday, Myers says the NCAA "acted in deceptive ways, using not only extortionate-like threats, but what seems to be bullying, bluster, and bluffing and possibly outright lies to exact an agreement from a new Penn State president reeling from being thrust into the middle of the Sandusky crisis."
Former Penn State President Rodney Erickson has said the NCAA threatened to impose the death penalty on Penn State's football program unless the university signed a consent decree paving the way for the NCAA to impose sweeping penalties. That included a loss of scholarships, the removal of 212 football victories, a ban on bowl appearances and a $60 million fine.
That $60 million fine is at the center of a lawsuit filed against the NCAA by Pennsylvania State Sen. Jake Corman and Treasurer Rob McCord. Emails released in court documents suggest the NCAA was "bluffing" the university when it threatened sanctions. The emails also question the NCAA's authority to impose its sanctions.
According to Myers, "The NCAA apparently acted in this unprofessional and perhaps illegal way because they did not have a basis under their own charter and rules to impose harsh penalties on Penn State. ... This is the basest form of improper behavior by an organization which by its very nature should be the guardian of morality, student welfare, fair play, and best practice."
Myers goes on to say, "The NCAA cannot support, articulate and stand for the basic ideals of higher education, which is one of the pillars of American society, if it itself abuses its power and uses unscrupulous methods."
He also repeated an earlier claim that it's the NCAA that deserves the death penalty. Myers asserts the NCAA needs a makeover with new people, practices procedures and guidelines.
Myers called on the NCAA to restore Penn State's football wins and return the monetary penalty, adding, "I do not expect the NCAA to actually act responsibly in this manner based on its past action."
An email sent to the NCAA asking for comment was not immediately returned.
Joel Myers is the father of StateCollege.com's owner and founder, Dan Myers.