President Barron’s Comments on the NCAA Settlement

January 16, 2015 at 5:35 pm 4 comments

Penn State president Eric Barron addressed the media for about 20 minutes this afternoon, talking about the agreement that repeals the NCAA’s sanctions against Penn State. Here are a few of his comments:

—”I’m pleased we can close this chapter,” he said, “and look ahead to the important challenges and opportunities that face Penn State.”

—In addressing “a few key details” of the agreement, he mentioned that the $60 million fine imposed on Penn State “remains in the state of Pennsylvania, first and foremost.” Of that, $48 million goes to the Commonwealth, and the other $12 million “will remain at Penn State, to create an endowment, which is a long-term investment in [programs] … to help eradicate child abuse.”

—Asked about the fate of the Paterno statue, and other calls for Penn State to honor Joe Paterno’s career, Barron said: “Those who know me know that I prefer not to talk about things that will be a topic of discussion [publicly] … before chatting with lots of people. [But] there will be a time and place.”

—Asked what becomes of the Big Ten sanctions, including the sharing of football bowl revenues, Barron pointed out that the Big Ten is a party to the Athletics Integrity Agreement that will be renegotiated under the terms of the settlement. “I will discuss it with my fellow presidents,” Barron said. “They’re expecting that discussion to occur.”

—Barron was asked if, with the 2012 consent decree now erased, this might be a good time for academia to take a fresh look at the NCAA and its powers. “Hindsight is a fascinating thing,” Barron began. “I’ve talked to many of my fellow presidents, and did so to my ACC representative when I was at Florida State, suggesting that the NCAA moved too quickly. At the same time, they came to their decisions with the best possible motive—of not wanting to have such things occur, and with the notion that they had a responsibility to look … at institutional control. I see little purpose in trying to fault them.”

—He was asked to talk about how much communication there was with the Board of Trustees in the negotiations with state officials and the NCAA. He wouldn’t say much, except that “I hear frequently from my trustees, and that’s a good thing … but negotiation of details is first and foremost with the attorneys. … Then, when you have a sense of what agreement is possible, that’s the best time to bring it to the board. Then they can make the best possible decision. And, as you can see, the vote was unanimous.” He added that the negotiations were going on “right up to that moment,” presumably meaning right up until the start of the trustees’ meeting this afternoon.

—Asked again about the Paterno statue, he said: “Same answer. [I’m a] boring guy. There’ll be a good time and place.”

—In November, President Barron said he was committed to personally reviewing the Freeh Report. At today’s news conference he said today’s events don’t change that plan. “I am very appreciative that we’ve hit a tremendous milestone today, and that’s what we’re going to focus on,” he said, “but I don’t think my responsibilities change.”

—Asked if he had a message for students who might be inclined to celebrate today’s news, he referred to the spontaneous—but peaceful—rally that took place when Penn State’s bowl eligibility was restored last fall. “Our students acted with a high level of enthusiasm but with a great deal of respect,” Barron said, “and although I think I told you I was always worried about such an activity, I was very pleased by their behavior. And I’m hoping from every inch of my body that I can be equally proud today. This is something to be very happy about; this is not something that should promote destructive behavior in any way, shape, or form.”

Tina Hay, editor

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Entry filed under: Board of Trustees. Tags: , , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Greg Szymik  |  January 17, 2015 at 10:14 am

    The Penn Stater blog continues to provide the most in-depth information about what the university’s administration is saying/doing. There was nothing mentioned elsewhere in the media, not even in the university’s ‘Penn State News’, about President Barron’s news conference. I would have thought that several of his comments, such as his intent to review the Freeh report, were newsworthy. But then, except for your blog, I would have been wrong. Thanks

  • 2. Myke Triebold  |  January 17, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    Reblogged this on Penn State News and Information and commented:
    Let’s rejoice in what we accomplished so far, knowing that there are other issues still to be resolved, and wrongs that need to be made right!

  • 3. Crazy Train  |  January 18, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    The NCAA “came to their decisions with the best possible motive”…how can President Barron say that with a straight face?

  • 4. Mariez  |  January 23, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    And it’s the PA tax payers who will foot the bill for this travesty with an incident that had nothing to do with Penn State Football. It was a criminal matter. What a joke. I am a Penn State graduate–BS and MS degrees from this fine institution but have not resided in PA since the 70’s–no jobs there. Good luck to you all!

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