GRAPEVINE, Texas - The NCAA's unprecedented sanctions on Penn State as a result of the Jerry Sandusky child sex scandal probably won't lead to similar penalties at other universities in the future, The Chronicle of Higher Education quoted NCAA President Mark Emmert as saying Monday.
Emmert spoke at the Division I-A faculty athletics representatives and athletics directors' annual meeting.
If the Penn State violations had solely involved the criminal acts of Sandusky, the former Nittany Lions assistant football coach convicted in June of 45 counts of sexually abusing children, Emmert said, "We would've said, 'Gee, what an awful circumstance, but it's not our issue,'" The Chronicle reported on its website.
But "the institution's failure to deal with those issues made it our issue," he said.
The NCAA used Penn State's acceptance of the Freeh report's findings as the springboard to impose the penalties, which included a $60 million fine and four-year bowl ban.
"Are you prepared to say this is different, it's a one-and-done?" Josephine R. Potuto, the faculty athletics representative at the University of Nebraska, asked Emmert.
"If you're asking me, 'Will there be a case like Penn State in 10 to 15 years?,' my answer is, 'I have no idea. I certainly hope not. We all would hope and pray not,'" Emmert responded, according to The Chronicle.
"But in my 30 years of working in higher education, I've seen one case that would justify these extraordinary actions, and that was it."
Potuto, a former chairwoman of the NCAA's Division I Committee on Infractions, then asked Emmert if the NCAA was considering writing a policy or bylaw that would cover its ability to intervene as it did with Penn State.
"No, not precisely," he said. "The authority I used in the Penn State case is something I never plan to use again."
But in a tweet responding to Emmert's comments, Michael McCann, director of the Sports Law Institute and a professor of law at Vermont Law School, said that legal precedent from a U.S. Supreme Court ruling allows the NCAA to issue sanctions without providing due process to its member institutions, The Chronicle reported.
Because of that, he wrote, "Emmert can change his 'plans' as he wishes."