“We could try to assert jurisdiction on this issue and may be successful but it’d be a stretch,” wrote former NCAA Vice President of Enforcement Julie Roe in an email on July 14, 10 days before the sanctions were announced. “I characterized our approach to PSU as a bluff when talking to [NCAA President Mark Emmert] yesterday afternoon after the call. He basically agreed b/c if we make this an enforcement issue, we may win the immediate battle but lose the war when the COI [Committee on Infractions] has to rule.”
Not only did the NCAA admit that it was bluffing Penn State when it extorted it into signing the consent decree — it admitted that, without Penn State complying out of embarrassment (or whatever reason Old Main gives these days), it didn’t have jurisdiction to act.
“I know we are banking on the fact the school is so embarrassed they will do anything, but I am not sure about that, and no confidence conference or other members will agree to that,” wrote NCAA Vice President of Academic and Membership Affairs Kevin Lennon on the same day. “This will force the jurisdictional issue that we really don’t have a great answer to that one…”