Tag:Mark Emmert
Posted on: November 8, 2011 12:33 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2011 1:37 pm

AP: Joe Paterno to retire at season's end

Posted by Jerry Hinnen and Adam Jacobi

UPDATE - Nov. 9: The Associated Press is reporting that Joe Paterno has decided to retire at the end of the season.  

As the amount of alleged victims in the Jerry Sandusky case climbs rapidly, reports are emerging that Penn State head coach Joe Paterno's coaching career will soon come to an end. Official support for Paterno is reportedly "eroding," even as Nittany Lion fans rally in support of the longtime coach. 

The New York Times reported Tuesday that Paterno's 46 years as Nittany Lion head coach "will soon be over, perhaps within days or weeks." According to two sources familiar with top administrative discussions who spoke to the Times, talks to determine "how to manage his departure have begun."

"The board of trustees has yet to determine the precise timing of Paterno’s exit," the Times writes, "but it is clear that the man who has more victories than any other coach at college football’s top level and who made Penn State a prestigious brand will not survive to coach another season."

At least one person has come forward to dispute the Times report. Joe's son Scott Paterno said at a gathering of reporters at the Paterno household on Tuesday afternoon that "nobody has asked Joe [Paterno] to step down" and that Paterno would be coaching at Nebraska this weekend.

"There has been no contact about anything to do with anybody stepping down," said Scott. "The status quo holds. It's the same as it's always been. He's the coach at Penn State. When there's more to add I will."

Later, at Paterno's home, a crowd of hundreds gathered in an impromptu rally for the embattled head coach. Cries of "we love you, Joe" and chants of "Let Joe stay" peppered the air. Paterno emerged from his house to give a brief statement, but did not answer questions. 

More on Sandusky investigation
Gregg Doyel Gregg Doyel
Not letting Paterno speak demonstrates Penn State's cowardice. Read More >>
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The Associated Press, citing an unnamned source close to the situation, reports Paterno's support among the Penn State board of trustees was "eroding," but that the final consequences of that lack of trust were still unclear. That source also indicated that Penn State president Graham Spanier was also the subject of waning confidence by the board, but again: the extent to which that support was fading and what that might ultimately mean isn't clear yet.

What is known, however, is that the Penn State board of trustees held an emergency meeting Tuesday night. Chairman Steve Garban acknowledged to the Associated Press that the board was "in session" when asked. A person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the schedule was not made public said the trustees were having a teleconference Tuesday evening.

The Board of Trustees released a statement Tuesday expressing outrage over the “horrifying details” of the Sandusky case. The board announced it would form a committee to investigate the “circumstances that gave rise” to the case. The statement did not mention the job status of Paterno or Spanier.

Meanwhile, reports have emerged that the number of alleged victims in the Sandusky case is growing after the state attorney general and police commissioner publicized two phone numbers to help potential victims contact investigators. According to Fox 29 in Philadelphia, the number of alleged victims has more than doubled in just one day and as of Tuesday evening, approaches 20. Sandusky has yet to be charged in any of the new allegations that are coming in.

Paterno was scheduled to speak at a press conference Tuesday morning, but the conference was canceled, reportedly by Spanier. The Times later reported that Paterno will not hold an off campus press conference as was rumored. Paterno did coach Tuesday's practice.

According to the grand jury report that charges Sandusky with 40 counts of sex crimes against minors, Paterno was told of an incident involving Sandusky in a Penn State locker room in 2002 and reported that incident to his superiors But the head coach allegedly made no further effort to follow up on the incident as Sandusky enjoyed continued access to PSU facilities.

In a statement, NCAA president Mark Emmert said that the Sandusky scandal "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," said Emmert. "As a parent and an educator, the notion that anyone would use a position of trust to prey on children is despicable. My thoughts and concern goes out to the alleged victims and their families."

State police commissioner Frank Noonan said Monday that Paterno fulfilled his legal obligations and was in no danger of being charged with any criminal wrongdoing, but that he felt the 84-year-old coach had not lived up to his moral obligations.

"Somebody has to question about what I would consider the moral requirements for a human being that knows of sexual things that are taking place with a child," Noonan said. "I think you have the moral responsibility, anyone. Not whether you're a football coach or a university president or the guy sweeping the building. I think you have a moral responsibility to call us."

For more on the story, here's this week's edition of the Doddcast. CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd talks about the Penn State situation, Joe Paterno's legacy and potential replacements for Paterno, among other college football topics. You can subscribe to this podcast in the iTunes store

Posted on: October 26, 2011 2:26 pm
Edited on: October 26, 2011 2:58 pm

Q&A with NCAA VP Kevin Lennon

Posted by Bryan Fischer

NCAA Vice President of Academic and Membership Affairs Kevin Lennon has been with the association for nearly 25 years and oversees a wide-ranging department that includes student-athlete reinstatement, compliance and other issues. He sat down with CBSSports.com to discuss several of the reforms that are currently making their way through the legislative process ahead of this week's meetings.

CBSSports.com: How did you wind up at the NCAA?

"I went to Harvard as an undergrad and played some varsity and club sports there. Then I came to work at the NCAA then I went to the Southwest Conference. I was actually the first guy hired by the Southwest Conference after SMU had their death penalty. That was an interesting time to be down there and see a culture that was very different. Spent a couple of years there and have been back at the NCAA ever since. I've been the vice president for nearly 13 years."

Any interesting stories from your SWC days?

"When Fred Jacoby became commissioner of the SWC, in his first meeting the coaches had him leave the room - the commissioner - so that they could do their draft. They were buying all the same guys so they realized, let's just be more organized. 'You need these two defensive tackles, you take them, we'll take him.' They literally had a draft board. Poor Fred had come from the Mid-American Conference down to that environment.

"I'm reminded that in light of all the challenges we have now - which are significant - there was a period of time where it was just a different era."

What's been the biggest change at the NCAA during your time there?

"I think the whole development of the compliance efforts has been significant. My sense is that every time you have major cases that are processed, it does send some shock waves through the membership and then there's a response. It's a little bit reactive. Particularly among the FBS programs, we've seen more energy and more effort put into rules compliance. I think that's helped change the culture to some extent.

"At the same time, I think you've had that academic reform wave. We have more coaches that are talking about academic success and those types of things. Over the last decade, those are kind of the two things that I've seen that have changed clearly from earlier."

You work with over 1,000 schools in three division, what are the difficulties you see at each level?

"Division III has their challenges. We go through this financial audit program that says you can't offer any athletic aid or factor it in to your packages and sure enough, there's some outliers. That speaks to me just in general about the competitive nature of athletics. Even in a place where you're not offering athletic scholarships, people want to win and they sometime cut some corners.

"Division II, in terms of life in the balance, have really done a nice job of saying you can have a high quality athletics program and still be acclimated as part of the regular student body. In Division I, you see why you fly across the country for a football game. The public's interests, the pressures surrounding the competitions, the influences on the student-athletes themselves, commercial issues, create just an interesting mix from a regulatory perspective. It's just pretty darn complex. We probably spend 98% of our time on it."

The Board of Directors has several major changes they'll look at this week, is there more change this year than ever before?

"Yes. I don't think you can look at the action items that are going in front of the board and not say this is a big deal. There are some big ticket items as I would describe them. I think there was some significant issues brought up under President (Myles) Brand but I look at between now and April as very significant. There are major things with respect to access to championships that will really get people's attention. The two-year college transfer stuff will make sure that whole community is better prepared and have a significant ripple effect.

"I'm excited about the new rules group I'm working with. We have a great opportunity to get the board to just re-write that (manual). We really want to identify what do we care most about at the NCAA. It's kind of hard to tell right now. It's usually thrown together and you don't know what the priority is. To a large extent, we've always said if the membership adopts the rules, they're all of equal importance. How do you say that is more important than that? I think we finally have some courage at the presidential level to say, 'You know what? This is more important, this is a principal of what we do."

Full cost of attendance is being talked about a lot but the $2,000 figure thrown out seems a bit arbitrary.

"Out of the blocks, there is some thought that you can always go up. I think that's something the NCAA does a pretty good job of. We'll use data to figure out if there's a lot of unmet need that tells us we'll need to go to $3,000 or $4,000. I think people will be willing to do that. Keep in mind that most people will get their Pell Grant on top of that and we're going to open up other non-athletic aid that a student can receive that won't count against their total. Then there's the special assistance fund money, we give out $35 million a year. It will be fascinating to take a needy student with the two grand and the Pell Grant and the student assistance and see just how much they got at the end of the year. We're trying to meet the unmet need and I think $2,000 is a reasonable place to start. The Board could say it needs to be $3,000 to start, that will be determined by them."

One of the presidential working groups is looking at cutting scholarships in football and men's basketball, what's the reasoning behind that?

"There's a really interesting idea that's developed out of that rules group in terms of building in incentives to get yourself back to the full allotment. Like the access to championships, where you must have a certain score to be eligible, how about you have a high enough APR you can get yourself back to 13 in men's basketball. The baseline could be lower but you incentivize by academic performance teams having their full allotment of scholarships. I think it's a great idea.

"If we look at the rules, we don't have any incentives that say go above minimums and you receive benefits. I like the idea and it's one that we'll take up in earnest, that's a powerful piece. If you're a poor performing team, you may play with 11. If you're a high academic team, you'll get 13. It's some competitive advantage for a team that does well academically. I think there's a fundamental issue that our membership is walking into that says, you want to be a Division I member? There is a minimum expectation as to what you need to be providing."

Some have suggested that there be a another division for big time FBS schools.

"I think the thought is that the tent is big enough under Division I to allow for this diversity of mission. Having said that, within the regulatory structure, we need to redefine competitive equity. Up to this point, it's been whatever the last member, in terms of resources or commitment - we can't allow others to do things that would hurt them competitively. We are really getting away from that. You'll see, out of this rules group, a redefinition of what fairness means and what opportunity means.

"All that will allow conferences to have more say in how they regulate themselves versus some others. That's something that we're openly examining. Cost of attendance is a perfect example, not everyone will be able to do that. In the past we would have said you can't go to two grand because this school can't do it. Now we'll say if you can do it, do it. We're maturing to some extent and allowing enough within the tent to not
stand in their way of improving the student-athlete experience."

How big is the NCAA manual in a year or two?

"We're marking it up. My thinking right now? I think you blow the thing up. While we may have a copy somewhere in the vault, the approach should be if you had to start with a new day, what would it be. I think you'll see outcome based principles, we may end up having eight of them. You can't recruit using a third-party, you need to deal directly with the young man or woman and their family. That's a principle, you violate it and you'll face significant penalties. You may have some operating bylaws underneath that.

"I'll give you one example. One bylaw we have we've gone from 13 pages to four in the first cut. (The manual) will be significantly reduced."

Has there been a wake up call at the NCAA?

"It does seem like we had a lot of things happen this past year, there's no denying that. Malfeasance among parents, among students, there's been more of a spotlight on administrators. You could call it a perfect storm. There's been new leadership coming in and saying this doesn't feel right. To Mark (Emmert's) credit, he's been pretty aggressive in trying to figure out the systemic causes of why we're here.

"I thought the Presidential Retreat, and I've been here 25 years, was one of the most thoughtful, honest conversations about why we got where we are and what we can do about it."

Posted on: October 25, 2011 6:25 pm
Edited on: October 28, 2011 11:19 am

PODCAST: West Virginia, Big 12, Heisman and more

Posted by Chip Patterson

Realignment moves at a rapid pace, and just when everything calms is usually when there is about be another new development. In this edition of the CBSSports.com College Football Podcast, I join Adam Aizer and J. Darin Darst to discuss West Virginia's reported move to the Big 12, the narrowing Heisman race, and we engage in a heated debate over paying players in the midst of Mark Emmert's recent grant-in-aid proposal..

We also analyze several possible national championship scenarios, including what it would take for Boise State to finish No. 2 in the BCS standings and if a LSU-Alabama rematch is possible. Finally some reader questions get some answered, including apologies from Darst for calling Penn State an "average" team.

Your emails could be read on the next edition of the CBSSports.com College Football Podcast, so send them in to podcast[at]cbsinteractive [dot] com.

Remember, all of the CBSSports.com College Football Podcasts can be downloaded for FREE from the iTunes Store.

You can listen to the podcast in the player below, pop out a player to keep browsing, or download the MP3 right to your computer.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview
Posted on: October 13, 2011 3:59 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2011 1:21 am

NCAA exploring scholarship cut for several sports

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The NCAA is exploring a reduction in the number of scholarships programs can give out as part of a long-term look at reallocating various resources around the organization and at member schools.

The proposals are in a very early stage and stem from one of the four presidential working groups established by President Mark Emmert following his August Presidential Retreat. The groups are expected to recommend significant changes to the operation of Division I athletics to the NCAA Board of Directors to address the growing need for reform.

Following a six-hour meeting in late September, the Resource Allocation Working Group, chaired by Georgia President Michael Adams, agreed to consider a reduction in FBS football scholarships from the current number of 85 to 80 and a reduction in the number of FCS football scholarships from 63 to 60. The reductions would likely follow a move toward a full cost-of-attendance scholarship that is expected to be passed in early 2012. In addition to football, the group agreed to consider a reduction in the number of men's basketball scholarships from 13 to 12 and in women's basketball from 15 to 13.

The cuts are just a few of the controversal recommendations the working group is expected to pursue prior to their presentation to the Board of Directors at the NCAA Convention in January. According to a summary of the group's update, obtained by CBSSports.com, it was agreed upon to recommend eliminating all foreign travel, reduce mandatory out-of-season practice time and explore a reduction in competition (i.e. cutting the number of games for several sports).

Other presidential working groups are also examining financial costs, NCAA rules and student athlete-well being. The NCAA Legislative Council and Board of Directors will both meet next week in Indianapolis.

Posted on: September 29, 2011 4:55 pm
Edited on: September 30, 2011 11:43 am

PODCAST: McMurphy on Week 5

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It's a big week for news down in Baton Rouge, what with LSU's big win over West Virginia, Jordan Jefferson's return to the team, and Les Miles suddenly a potential NFL head coaching candidate. In this edition of the CBSSports.com College Football Podcast, senior writer Brett McMurphy talks to our Adam Aizer about all of that and much more: Clemson's visit to Virginia Tech, Mark Emmert's efforts to clear college football's good name, and which top 25 team is in upset trouble this weekend.

Listen by clicking below, downloading the mp3, or popping out the player to continue browsing. And to make sure you don't miss and future appearances from McMurphy on the CFB Podcast, subscribe in iTunes by clicking here.

Posted on: September 26, 2011 5:09 pm

Emmert takes ADs to task on realignment

Posted by Tom Fornelli

NCAA president Mark Emmert isn't exactly pleased with the way college sports have looked in recent weeks thanks to all the talk of conference realignment, and on Monday he let a lot of schools know about it. Athletic directors from all across the country were in Grapevine, Texas -- just outside of Dallas -- on Monday for their annual meetings, and while Emmert was speaking to them, he let them all know he found the way the schools have handled themselves to be troubling.

“People today have greater doubt, greater concern about what we stand for and why we do what we do," said Emmert. "And that is a huge problem for us."

“The specter of the past couple weeks of conference realignment has not been a healthy thing. The world’s convinced that’s all we care about…that all this is about money. I didn’t read many of us stepping up and saying that this will work really well for student-athletes because we’ll do X, we’ll do Y, it will create more resources, it will help us stabilize our programs.

"It was all about the deal."

Emmert then went on to outline some of the changes that the Division I Board of Directors will consider for its meetings next month, and said that this is the perfect time for for change. Emmert said that the schools should be embarrassed by their recent behavior and now have a chance to show the world "what we really care about."

Which I believe is making money. No, wait, no, it's the student-athletes. My bad.
Posted on: September 26, 2011 4:57 pm
Edited on: September 26, 2011 5:10 pm
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Posted on: September 22, 2011 10:43 pm
Edited on: September 22, 2011 11:06 pm

Big 12 tensely commited to an all-in future

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Eye on College Football: The latest conference realignment news
RapidReports: Up to the minute information on conference shifts

Chaos? Nah. We're all one big happy family.

Texas is in. Oklahoma too. Missouri has helped lead the charge.

That's the message that came out of middle America Thursday night. The Big 12 was saved and nine teams are committed to the future. Things were different, it was time to move forward.  

Despite the Sooners flirting with the Pac-12 and the Tigers with the SEC, everybody was staying put. The other Big 12 schools pledged solidarity led by the two schools who had explored leaving more than anyone.

Make no bones about it, Oklahoma wanted to go West and the only way that could have happened was if they could have convinced Texas to make concessions. That didn't happen and the Sooners had to concentrate on saving the conference they had spend the past 16 years in.

"This is a positive development for our state," President David Boren said. "It's a win-win for all of us. I'm optimistic about the future of this conference."

Never has there been so much optimism about a conference that someone wanted to leave days earlier than there was Thursday night in Norman.

Commissioner Dan Beebe, as part of the demands made by the Sooners, was pushed out in favor of former Big Eight commish and current consultant Chuck Neinas. Beebe would likely have been looking for a new job regardless what happened this week after the Big 12 nearly imploded for a second time in just over a year. He was placed in an impossible situation - between a rock (Texas), a hard place (Oklahoma) and a vulture (Larry Scott) - but he did an admirable job considering the circumstances.

Beebe did, after all, keep the league together following the departure of Colorado and Nebraska and added a millions to every school's coffers with a big second tier rights agreement. The commissioner's best move might have been, however, giving life to a hilarious alter ego on Twitter.

“I have been honored to serve the Big 12 Conference for the past eight and one-half years, including the last four-plus as its commissioner," Beebe said in a statement. "I care deeply for these fine institutions and the citizens they represent. It is satisfying to know the Big 12 Conference will survive, and I congratulate the members for taking strong action to ensure a bright future as a premier intercollegiate athletics conference."

Beebe's next move is anyone's guess. He'll be well taken care of after negotiating out of a new contract that was signed just last year. Perhaps he should head back to the NCAA, where he once was an investigator on staff, and help President Mark Emmert navigate the murky waters of college athletics he knows all to well.

"The bottom line is we achieved substantial reforms," Boren said. "We feel extremely good."

Yet, in a move reflective of how dysfunctional the conference still was, confusion reigned before, during and after Missouri and Oklahoma's dueling press conferences to announce those reforms. At one point, Boren's voice came through while Missouri Chancellor Brady Deaton was speaking on his call. One school leader said one thing, another school's leader said something slightly different.

Boren filibustered  - he is a former senator - about the Big 12 agreeing to a six-year grant of right for each all first and second tier media rights. Everybody was putting their faith in the conference for the next six years. Television revenue would be shared equally for the first time in the league's history. All for one (conference), one for all.

But that wasn't what the Tigers said. A spokesman told the New York Times that there was only "an agreement to pursue the grant of rights." Oklahoma's general counsel later told the Associated Press no contracts were signed.

The Big 12 schools wanted to imprison themselves to a conference hours from breaking apart but they couldn't even do that properly. To say that was this whole saga in a nutshell would be doing it a disservice. Wednesday and Thursday were supposed to be about saving something but what, exactly, was that?

Everybody was moving forward together, but are they really? Sschools were concerned about Texas and ESPN's Longhorn Network yet they had just gotten engaged to be married the next six years without any promises in return about LHN. Boren later added that it "was very possible" Oklahoma would be the second school with their own network. Instead of working on a problem, it appears the Sooners would rather double-down.

Texas has always been about Texas. The Pac-12, under Scott, has always been about the conference and the biggest reason as to why they wouldn't budge to meet the Longhorns' demands. The same is true in the Big Ten where just a few years ago they extended their grant of rights at least 20 more years. Schools have gone all in on their conferences while Texas hasn't. They've gone all in on Texas.

And that's their right. But if it looks like an independent (The Longhorn Network), walks like an independent (exploring life after the Big 12 numerous times) and talks like an independent (DeLoss Dodds), then the Longhorns might just be an independent.

And that's what needs to change. We'll see how firmly committed to the Big 12 Texas really is over the coming weeks and months.

"There are a number of trust issues that have to be discussed," Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt said earlier in the day. "I think there is a commitment that has to be discussed long-term."

Trust or no trust, the Big 12 schools are about to sign a binding agreement no one wants to sign.

"The University of Missouri is going to continue to work for what is best for the University of Missouri," Deaton said. "We have seen that aligned with the Big 12 Conference and we will continue to work with the various issues we have within the conference to carry it forward."

Conspicuously absent from all the activity was the one school that everybody was upset at. Accused of running the conference via proxy, ruining the Sooners' hopes of heading west and driving rival Texas A&M to another conference, one didn't hear much - if anything - about the Texas.

"The University of Oklahoma has no decision to drive the train anywhere. We have no desire to dominate the Big 12 conference," Boren said. "I hope no one will write in the future that anyone is driving the train in this conference."

Boren's right, it's not time to write, it's time to toast. The Big 12 has been saved.

To six more years of hating Texas!

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com