I have said numerous times that I don't want the NCAA involved in the PSU nightmare, but Dan Wetzel threads an interesting storyline today in his latest piece...
Spanier was the ultimate NCAA busybody. He sat on and later chaired the organization's Board of Directors, a position arguably more powerful than NCAA president. He was on the high-level NCAA management council. He chaired the BCS Oversight Committee.
He was everywhere over the last decade and a half, the epitome of the faceless bureaucrat that churns out all those lopsided NCAA rules and bizarre statutes in an effort to exert an iron grip on the system.
The NCAA is often vilified. It isn't the workers at the Indianapolis headquarters who deserve scorn. It's the Spanier types, the presidents and commissioners who write the rules one committee meeting at a time (usually from a Florida beachfront hotel).
He was a model of self-interest, distorted ethics and misplaced authority, much of it derived from the false concept that Penn State football operated on a higher ethical level than the rest of the country.
"He'd always lean on the Penn State thing," said one administrator who served alongside Spanier on NCAA committees. "He always made the Penn State part known. Like, 'Well, we do it within the rules and still win at Penn State, at Penn State football. Why can't you? Why lower the bar? What's wrong with you?' "
I am confident in saying that some of the rules that Spanier "wrote" were some of the rules that nailed USC two years ago.
I am doing my best to not go with the mob mentality that wants PSU hammered with the death penalty by an organization that makes it up as they go along, but it is getting harder and harder not to feel that way.
What is the proper punishment? Paying millions in settlements and having PSU's name disgraced publicly because of this may not be enough.
I am not the biggest fan of Wetzel, but he isn't lying about Spanier. Even if the Freeh report has some more questions and a few gaps, There is some pretty damning stuff in the report regardless of how some might want to parse it.
Just because the NCAA nailed USC while they basically looked the other way on tOSU and UNC doesn't mean I want some other school hammered. I have only wanted consistency...the problem is here is that this is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT!
I can see where there could be a competitive advantage with the big four conspiring to keep this quiet, I can also see the hypocrisy of people like Graham Spanier...the question is can the NCAA squeeze that thought the needle of their enforcement arm? The same enforcement arm that twited Lake's and McNairs stories to hammer USC.
I will say this...if the NCAA does get involved and hammered PSU then ALL of the member institutions have only themselves to blame for not thinking 3-shots ahead.
Where will it stop?