Legal experts are now beginning to review whether the NCAA improperly sanctioned Penn State. And, the worst part of it all is, Penn State may not be able to fix any of the damage.
"A blind acceptance," that's what some legal experts call Penn State's sanctions agreement with the NCAA earlier this week.
"I have never seen a major institution, roll over and die like Penn State did," said Lee Roberts, a Lock Haven, Clinton County-based attorney.
A task force part of Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship will start digging into this issue. The grassroots organization was created during the Jerry Sandusky fallout. It was successful in bringing new trustees to Penn State. Now, it hopes to bring clarity to a messy, legal situation.
Legal experts say according to the NCAA constitution, the association may've violated its procedures when it delivered tough sanctions against Penn State Monday. About 50 lawyers nationwide through the grassroots organization are working to find possible wrongdoing in the NCAA-Penn State deal.
"This was an incredible rush to judgment by one man, the President of the NCAA, Dr. [Mark] Emmert, and a whirlwind negotiation," said Rob Tribeck of PS4RS.
According to the NCAA bylaws, there's a procedure to deal with violations of conduct by university athletic programs. Penn State could've demanded a review by the association's Committee on Infractions. If that happened, a report would've been written recommending possible sanctions. Penn State also could've appealed these penalties.
Roberts says that the NCAA has no tool to measure how to penalize institutions, like Penn State.
"In criminal court, there are sentencing guidelines, that based on the type of offense and the prior record score that there is a standard sentencing range. The NCAA has no guidelines and no standard sentencing range," said Roberts.
PS4RS questions whether Penn State president Rodney Erickson had the authority to sign an agreement to the sanctions without trustees voting. With his signature, Penn State may've waived its right to any appeal in the future and will likely suffer from the sanctions for years to come.
Penn State, through multiple statements says that signing the agreement with the NCAA was the right thing to do for all victims of child abuse.