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Vultures again will be trying to pluck away PSU players, all because of clueless Emmert's transfer policy

November 25, 2012 - Cory Giger
Mark Emmert, president of the No Clue About Anything organization that governs college sports -- a body that allows its member institutions and leagues to stab each other in the backs in search of the almighty dollar and TV contracts -- dropped the hammer on Penn State with severe sanctions in July.

I am not here to judge the sanctions as a whole. Everyone can do that on your own, based on whatever criteria you want to use with regards to punishing Penn State for the Sandusky scandal.

I am here, however, to talk about one absolutely asinine component of the sanctions that Emmert should be ashamed of and vilified for.

Vultures will be descending upon Penn State now that the season is over, pecking away like ruthless scavengers at the Nittany Lions' roster, all because Emmert, in his infinite cluelessness, thought it would be a good idea to allow the players to transfer all the way up until August and be eligible to play immediately.

Somehow, Emmert figured this would be a good idea and that he would be helping Penn State's players by letting them leave. What this scavenger scenario undoubtedly will reveal, however, is the shadiest side of college sports -- a side that serves no respectable purpose.

The feeding frenzy is going to be pathetic to watch.

One cannot help but feel compassion for the Penn State underclassmen, who just came off a memorable season in which many of them starred on a team that defied the odds -- and oddsmakers -- by finishing with an 8-4 record.

Their reward? Their cell phones will be blowing up with calls and texts as they hear from countless schools trying to pry them away from Penn State. Family members will be hounded, as well, by recruiters making one false promise after another to players' parents.

Remember, these kids are college students, too. Over the next month, they'll be trying to finish up classwork and studying for finals, then will be hoping to enjoy a nice Christmas break with their families and friends.

But no. Thanks to Emmert and his ridiculous attempt to "help" these players have more options, they'll have to be spending what one can only imagine will be an enormous amount of time dealing with the vultures from other schools seeking fresh meat.

Those coaches will be playing by the rules, mind you, which should tell you something: The rules are an embarrassment to everyone involved, an embarrassment to sportsmanship and an embarrassment to college athletics.

Letting Penn State's players transfer before this season was one thing. They weren't responsible for any aspect of the scandal, so sure, give them a free out if they wanted it.

Some took it.

The overwhelming majority did not, and many made it abundantly clear they didn't appreciate the distraction of being recruited against their will.

Some players will take advantage of the transfer option this time around, too. Maybe three or four, perhaps a few more.

But once again, the overwhelming majority will not. (At least not if Bill O'Brien remains at PSU. If he leaves, then a bevy of players probably will, too.)

Penn State's players not only won't get the reward of going to a bowl game, additionally, the ones who have no intention of leaving no matter what also have to face the punishment of being bombarded by coaches' sales pitches starting shortly and continuing for the next eight months.

Emmert and the people at the No Clue About Anything organization who came up with this sanction were incredibly short-sighted and insensitive to the plight of the student-athletes at Penn State. They don't deserve to be stalked by coaches from other schools, not after everything they've already been through in the past year.

And O'Brien doesn't deserve to have to put up with the nonsense of having to continuously recruit the players on his own team every single day until August. He's doing his job the right way -- and doing a darn good job, too -- but the No Clue About Anything organization dealt him and his staff a crushing blow by allowing players the leave-anytime-you-want kind of free agency that even professional athletes don't enjoy.

What a disgrace, all done in some sorry attempt by Emmert to show mercy to Penn State's players.

You sure showed them all right, Mark Emmert.

Did you ever think of asking them if they wanted your help in the first place?

Cory Giger is the host of "Sports Central" from 4 to 6 p.m. daily on ESPN Radio 1430 WVAM. Reach him at 949-7031 or @CoryGiger on Twitter.


O'Brien did indeed say ‘fighters’

It sounded like Bill O’Brien said an expletive during his postgame TV interview Saturday night, and there was a ton of social media discussion about it afterward. I've gone back and watched the replay 20 times on my DVR at home, and if you don't know beforehand what O’Brien said, it certainly sounds like the expletive.

However, if you listen to O'Brien while thinking he could be saying “fighters” and listening specifically for that word, you can tell he does indeed say fighters as his voice cracks. The coach was emotional, and it was an unfortunate time for his voice to crack, but he did not drop a terrible expletive on national TV.

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