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The cheating at West Point and the point-shaving in college basketball, coming in a 12-month span, devastated the public’s trust in college sports

“I remember that as being stupefying,” Jenkins said of the point-shaving in particular.

The SMU scandal was also a tipping point in big-time college athletics.

A few years later, the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Sports proposed major reforms in big-time college athletics, laying the responsibility to run clean programs at the feet of university presidents.

The Baylor scandal might be most similar to what is going on at Penn State because it involved a serious crime. The NCAA violations were unearthed as part of that investigation and the reputation of the university itself was scarred.

The chaos at Penn State has certainly done that already. But, at least so far, the school has not been affected on the field.

Sandusky has been retired since 1999. Paterno has not been accused of wrongdoing by law enforcement, but Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and another university official are facing charges of perjury and that they failed to alert police about abuse complaints.

NCAA President Mark Emmert weighed in only to say, “This is a criminal matter under investigation by law enforcement authorities and I will not comment on details. However, I have read the grand jury report and find the alleged assaults appalling.”

But after high-profile NCAA investigations over the past year at schools such as Ohio State and Miami, Penn State’s legal problems represent another black mark for college sports.

“Naturally,” Nebraska Athletic Director and former coach Tom Osborne said, “anything that affects one school in intercollegiate athletics in some way affects us all.”


AP Sports Writer Tim Reynolds in Coral Gables, Fla., and Associated Press writer Grant Schulte in Lincoln, Neb., contributed to this report.