NCAA President Mark Emmert commented (on Wednesday (January 1, 2012)) on the national athletics governing body’s ongoing investigation of the sex-abuse scandal engulfing Penn State University. According to a January 12, 2012, article by Steve Wieberg in USA Today, Emmert noted “Penn State has been ‘very, very forthcoming’ as the NCAA looks into the sexual abuse scandal that has rocked the school since November”. Wieberg reported Emmert “offered no firm time line on the NCAA investigation into issues surrounding the child sexual abuse scandal at Penn State”. Most importantly, Emmert stated “It’s critical that we ask the right questions about institutional control over athletic departments and ethical conduct of coaches and others involved in athletics. It’s spelled out pretty boldly in our constitution and in our core principles, and we have an obligation to act on those.” An investigation with such a scope would “touch on broader NCAA bylaws covering ethical conduct and institutional control”. Interestingly, Wieberg’s reporting produced the fact that Emmert “is conducting the inquiry rather than the association’s enforcement arm”.
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According to media reports, former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was accused on November 5, 2011, of sexually-abusing eight boys. The state also charged Penn State’s director of athletics and a vice-president for finance and business with perjury and failing to report what they knew about the allegations.
Based on this unfortunate story, the Michael L. Buckner Law Firm recommends institutions: (1) implement clear and consistent policies and procedures for reporting alleged criminal violations to the pertinent law enforcement agencies; and (2) provide university employees with education on reporting protocols.