Penn State needs more time to respond to NCAA

Penn State has requested additional time to respond to questions asked by NCAA President Mark Emmert in a November 17 letter.

The NCAA is investigating the university's handling of accusations of child sex abuse against former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

Penn State vice president and general counsel Cynthia Baldwin wrote a letter to Emmert asking for more time, with Friday's deadline looming. In the letter dated December 12, it was revealed that Baldwin spoke to Emmert and other NCAA staff by phone on November 23.

"The University understands that the NCAA will continue to monitor these investigations and will have access to the report of the Special Investigations Task Force.

"At that time, the NCAA will determine if further response from the University is necessary. Therefore, the University is requesting an enlargement of time in order to accommodate the above process," Baldwin wrote in the letter.

Specifically, the NCAA is looking into Penn State's exercise of institutional control over its athletics program, as well as the actions taken by relevant individuals involved.

In early November, Sandusky was charged with 40 counts of various sexual crimes against children. About a month later, Sandusky was arrested for a second time on additional counts of sexual abuse. Bail was set for $250,000, which he paid the next day.

Sandusky, who has pleaded not guilty, waived his preliminary hearing Tuesday on charges he molested 10 boys.

But the case has reached far beyond Sandusky.

It has involved former PSU athletic director Tim Curley, who has been charged with perjury and failure to report, and stepped down from his position. Gary Schultz, who oversaw the school's police department, faces similar charges.

It swept up former head coach Joe Paterno and former university president Graham Spanier, who were fired November 9 by the board of trustees.

Those actions occurred after the November 5 release of a grand jury presentment, which detailed Sandusky's actions and found that eight young men were the targets of sexual advances or assaults starting in 1994 and continuing through 2009.

The breadth of the allegations, both in terms of time and number, prompted numerous questions. The charges and details in the grand jury report suggest that Penn State administrators turned a blind eye toward Sandusky's alleged actions, covered them up, or took little action once aware of them.

"The recount of these tragic events in the Grand Jury Report is deeply troubling, and if true, individuals who were in a position to monitor and act upon learning potential abuses appear to have been acting starkly contrary to the values of higher education, as well as the NCAA," wrote Emmert in his November 17 letter.

Emmert's letter listed four questions, which he said Penn State should answer by December 16. Specifically, the NCAA wants to know:

- How Penn State and/or its employees complied with various bylaws -- pertaining to institutional control, accountability and ethical conduct -- that Emmert cited in his letter.

- How Penn State exercised institutional control over the issues in the grand jury report, as well as if the school followed any procedures that may have been in place.

- If the people alleged to be involved have behaved consistently with principles of ethical conduct and honesty.

- What policies and procedures Penn State has in place to monitor, prevent and detect the issues related to the grand jury report, as well as what procedures Penn State has in place to take disciplinary action if such behavior is found.

Emmert wrote that the behaviors and failure described in the grand jury report try the integrity of the university and the NCAA.