Tag Archive: Jerry Sandusky


“As I read the decision by the NCAA, I read between the lines and there was nothing but a lot of envy. They wish they all were Trojans.” – Former USC Athletic Director Mike Garrett

“… We’ve cooperated fully.” – Oregon Football Coach Chip Kelly

“Part of the NCAA’s problem here is fairness and consistency, never an organizational strong suit.” – ESPN Pac-12 blogger Ted Miller.

How come the Founding Fathers understood the temptation and eventual tyranny that comes from absolute power being given to one omnipresent body with virtual dictatorial control?

They enshrined in the nation’s Constitution the doctrine of  “Separation of Powers” between the executive, legislative and judicial branches. I know this policy to be true because I read all about it in civics class back in elementary school. We can also watch it in action as the nation is poised to go off the “fiscal cliff.”

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Where we don’t see a similar separation of powers is the NCAA or the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Instead, the process appears to be arbitrary and capricious (words that make lawyers happy).

How long will a process take? A week? Two years? Four years? Who knows?

If one university is permitted to go through the summary disposition process (e.g., Tennessee) involving its dealings with recruiting “mentor” Willie Lyles, shouldn’t another university (e.g., Oregon) be permitted to go through the same process involving the same Willie Lyles? That makes sense, except that is not the case.

Former USC Athletic Director (and Heisman Trophy winner) Mike Garrett pursued a course of confrontation with the NCAA. The result was four years of probation, a two-year bowl ban, and a drastic reduction of scholarships.

Conversely, Oregon has chosen a path of accommodation with the NCAA, one subsequently advocated by new USC Athletic Director Pat Haden for his school. And yet, after two-long years, the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions (COI) wants to hold a hearing to drag Oregon figuratively through the burning coals.

ESPN blogger Ted Miller wrote recently, “It’s possible that the COI just wants to talk.” And talk they will in February or April or June or August. Heck, why not all of them?

As a resident Duckologist and super Oregon fan and informal commentator for a generation, I am frequently asked what will happen to the Ducks before the NCAA because of Le Affaire de Lyles (e.g., $25,000 payment to Lyles allegedly to recruit a player, Lache Seastrunk, who was buried in the Oregon depth chart and never played a down for the Ducks).

I am also asked if Chip Kelly with a record of 45-7 will bolt for the NFL (there are jobs galore open today) purely because of the NCAA and Willie Lyles. The insinuation is that Pete Carroll left USC for the Seattle Seahawks because of the NCAA, so why shouldn’t Kelly do the same?

My answer to both questions is HIIK…Hell If I Know.

And that is the point. Even if you look to dysfunctional Washington, D.C., you can reasonably expect a Democratic White House to behave in a certain way. You can anticipate the Democratic Senate to go one way and the Republican House of Representatives to go the other. The Supreme Court with its 5-4 conservative majority more times than not will come down in the predictable fashion.

The NCAA and predictable fashion are oxymorons. The NCAA almost wiped out the economy of State College, Pennsylvania. What will it do to Oregon? Yes, I fully understand the difference between Jerry Sandusky and Lyles, but I still see no consistency of deliberation and enforcement…what the lawyers like to call, precedent or precedence.

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What I do see is NCAA President, Dr. Mark A. Emmert, sitting in judgment over the University of Oregon. Emmert was the president of the University of Washington for six years and received his bachelor’s degree in political science from the same school that is the most intense rival (putting it mildly) of the University of Oregon.

 

He should recuse himself from this process.

In the final analysis, I am hoping for the best from the NCAA and fearing the worst. Something tells me to anticipate the latter. That will make the folks in Seattle and Corvallis real happy…until it is their respective turns.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separation_of_powers_under_the_United_States_Constitution

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/ncaaf–oregon–ncaa-reach-impasse-in-football-investigation-215913743.html

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/pac12/2012/12/21/oregon-ducks-chip-kelly-ncaa-investigation-recruiting-services/1783763/

http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jul/21/sports/la-sp-usc-garrett-haden-20100721

http://bleacherreport.com/tb/d9cHT?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=oregon-ducks-football

http://espn.go.com/blog/pac12/post/_/id/51448/oregon-fans-should-be-worried-and-angry

http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/8764076/oregon-ducks-ncaa-hearing-scout-willie-lyles-according-source

http://www.ncaa.org/wps/wcm/connect/public/ncaa/ncaa+president/mark+emmert+biography

If I had a dollar for every time a colleague came up to me and suggested that I perform some public relations magic that overcomes a well-chronicled FUBAR, I would be a very rich hombre.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the implied compliment. It is just in certain cases there comes a point when a debacle has passed the point of PR no return. The party in question cannot be saved by effective use of strategic communications. Instead, the situation requires an outright miracle…and PR pros cannot walk on water or change water into wine (even though some egos will claim they have these powers in the name of billable hours).

Former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky is one of these cases. Even prison inmates have a caste system, and child molesters are the low-of-the-low. Even though this sounds cruel, his life is over. He cannot be saved with an infinite amount of spin or even divine intervention.

A less egregious case (alleged child molestation is hard to surpass when it comes to despicability) is former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner. What was he thinking when he decided to tweet his junk to coeds across the fruited plain? Do you think any self-respecting public relations pro would want to develop an Anthony Weiner comeback campaign? Hmmm…Let’s start with an appearance on “The O’Reilly Factor”…that will garner some media attention. Maybe Jon Stewart and “60 Minutes” will be interested as well?

OJChase

There are literally dozens of other instances in which the public relations atrocity is beyond the pale. The individual or individuals simply cannot be rescued, and in most cases they do not deserve to be saved. Mike Tyson bit off the ear of Evander Holyfield; OJ Simpson dodged the law once, but failed the second time and remains in the slam; Dominic Strauss-Kahn may have been acquitted, but the image of him charging buck naked at a hotel chamber maid is frankly too much to even imagine. Texas Governor Rick Perry’s nationally televised brain fart, not remembering the third federal department he wants to abolish (that would be the Department of Energy, guvnah), cannot be spun into a positive. Pass the chicken salad.

Having acknowledged that certain people do not deserve to be saved (my list above is way too short, but you get the idea), there are some cases in which time can serve as a healer. For those of you mature enough to remember, Richard Nixon gave his “last press conference” in 1962, was elected president six years later and then resigned in disgrace six years after that. His career was the ultimate Dow Joneser from a public relations standpoint.

Nixon

How many wrote off golf superstar Tiger Woods after his 19th hole activities with a bevy of beauties was revealed? He lost his personal PR campaign to save his marriage, but the focus has returned to his golf game and his place among the best players ever to play in the sport’s grand slam tournaments.

Kim Kardashian’s 72-day “marriage” to basketball stud Kris Humphries (seemed like 10 minutes) will only contribute to her attention-society persona and her handlers will figure out even more intriguing ways to cater to the those obsessed with le affaire of the Thirty-Mile Zone.

Today, we all read about the failure of the congressional super committee to tame the nation’s $15 trillion deficit. The market responded by selling off to the tune of 248 points, but one suspects this stalemate was already baked into the numbers. Now it is time for the blame game between the talking heads of both parties.

One of the key methodologies of crisis communications is to immediately point to the future, making today’s bad news, old news. “Yes, yes, the super committee was hopelessly deadlocked, but we still have a whopping deficit…so what should we do about it?” Keep in mind that those that trade in information (e.g. editors, reporters, correspondents, bloggers, analysts, commentators) always want to know what comes next (e.g. what will the market do tomorrow, next week, next month, next year). Once one presidential election is in the books, the question is who will win four years later? Hmmm…you just won the world title, can you repeat?…

As a society our memories are relatively short. Richard Nixon had a future after losing to Pat Brown in 1962. Tiger Woods has another tournament to play. Mizz Kardashian has another party to make an appearance and what will she not be wearing? There is even a future for AH-Nold Schwarzenegger and his over-eager Schlange, just not in politics. Will POTUS convene another deficit reduction committee? Wasn’t his jobs bill expected to be funded by “savings” identified by the congressional deficit-reduction committee? Sorry for the digression.

sandusky

And then there is Jerry Sandusky. Everyone deserves a fair trial. He will have an attorney, and his day in court. For him, there is most likely a prison cell and the people who already live in the same penitentiary, and they don’t like those who molest children. There will be no one to give him PR advice, because quite frankly (if proven beyond a reasonable doubt to be guilty) he does not deserve PR counsel…let alone miracle workers.

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