Sports, coaches hold sway at many colleges

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Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon maintains it is possible to run big-time athletic programs _ specifically football teams _ and avoid letting it get too big, partly by using tight campus communities not to insulate but to keep close tabs on what’s happening.

“These programs are not spread out over large expanses of geography, there are a limited number of people connected and they’re typically a short walk from the administration office,” Brandon said.

“There’s no reason in the world that big-time college football programs can’t have the appropriate controls. It doesn’t mean there can’t be problems from time to time, but there’s no reason the model can’t be properly supervised like any other organization.”

Sperber, the professor at Cal, wasn’t so sure.

“I feel sorry for Penn State. If you say `Penn State’ to the average American, they’re going to say `Sandusky‘ and `pedophilia,’” he said. “Eventually they’ll go back to Penn State and Nittany Lions, and all of that. I would hope people would learn (from this), although I’ve lived long enough to see so many instances where nobody learned anything.”

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AP Sports Writers Brent Kallestad in Tallahassee, Fla., and Larry Lage in Ann Arbor, Mich., contributed to this report.

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Follow Rusty Miller on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rustymillerap

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