Penn State Beaver Stadium

The NCAA, an organization founded and guided on the basis of creating rules and bylaws, eschewed its entire rule book in 2012 when Mark Emmert and co. forced agreed to a consent decree including an unprecedented sanction of Penn State following the Jerry Sandusky fiasco. Emmert slapped agreed to Penn State with a $60 million fine, a four-year bowl ban, a 20-scholarship deduction and the vacation of all wins from 1998 to 2011, and stepped entirely outside of precedent in doing so.

Keyed by a lawsuit from Pennsylvania senate majority leader Jake Corman, we learned Thursday that then-NCAA executive vice president Ed Ray didn’t even read the Freeh report – which happened to be the entire basis for the NCAA’s sanctions.

Ideas built on shaky ground tend to collapse at the first sign of adversity, and the NCAA’s plan to handle the Penn State mess was built on the shakiest ground possible.

Penn State’s bowl ban and scholarship reductions were lifted in September and on Friday the NCAA announced it would restore the Nittany Lions’ vacated wins, making Joe Paterno once again the FBS all-time wins leader with 409 victories.

In the end, the NCAA’s out-of-step sanction package was torn apart in less than three years.

What occurred on Penn State’s campus was beyond vile and reprehensible, but the NCAA managed to do the one thing it couldn’t do and, in reality, the only thing it has proven capable doing – it found a way to make a bad situation worse.

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National columnist - Zach joined the staff in 2012...and has been attempting to improve Doug and Scott's writing ability ever since (to little avail). Outside of football season, you can find him watching the San Antonio Spurs reading Game of Thrones fan theories.