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NCAA will investigate Penn State scandal
Question of the Day
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — The NCAA has told Penn State it will examine how school officials handled a child sex abuse scandal that has shocked the campus and cost the school’s former president and coach Joe Paterno their jobs.
NCAA president Mark Emmert sent a letter to Penn State president Rod Erickson saying that the governing body for college sports will look at “Penn State’s exercise of institutional control over its intercollegiate athletics programs” in the case of Jerry Sandusky, the former defensive coordinator accused of 40 counts of child sex abuse.
Penn State released the letter Friday. The university was given until Dec. 16 to respond.
“It is critical that each campus and the NCAA as an association re-examine how we constrain or encourage behaviors that lift up young people rather than making them victims,” Emmert wrote.
Sandusky is accused of abusing eight boys, some on campus, over 15 years. Among the charges is an alleged assault in 2002 that was not brought to the attention of police, according to a grand jury report, even though top officials at Penn State knew there was an accusation of inappropriate behavior.
The resulting scandal has tarnished the image of a once squeaky-clean football program that has prided itself on the slogan “Success with Honor.”
“It will be important for Penn State to cooperate fully and provide any assistance possible to the NCAA,” Erickson said in a statement. “The university’s and NCAA’s interests are perfectly aligned in identifying what went wrong and how to prevent anything similar from happening again.”
In addition to the ongoing criminal investigation of Sandusky, Penn State has started its own, internal review and the U.S. Department of Education is examining whether the school failed to report incidents of sexual abuse on campus, as required by federal law.
Emmert, in his letter, said the allegations in the case are testing “not only the integrity of the university, but that of intercollegiate athletics as a whole and the NCAA member institutions that conduct college sports.”
The NCAA in the letter asked Penn State to respond to various questions, including:
— How did Penn State exercise “institutional control over the issues identified in and related” to the grand jury report? Did the school have procedures in place that were, or were not, followed?
— The NCAA also wants to know if “each of the alleged persons to have been involved or have notice of the issues identified in and related” to the grand jury report behaved according to the school’s policies on honesty and ethical conduct.
— The NCAA also asked Penn State to explain its policies and procedures that are “in place to monitor, prevent and detect the issues identified in and related to the Grand Jury Report.”
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