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Thursday, July 26, 2012
Delany: 'Moral authority' in Penn State case

By Brian Bennett

CHICAGO -- The Big Ten's punishment for Penn State was relatively light in comparison to that levied by the NCAA. The biggest sanction the league handed down was the loss of bowl revenue for four years, which will amount to about a $13 million fine.

But commissioner Jim Delany said the league was prepared to dole out more severe punishment if the NCAA sanctions hadn't been as harsh as they were. And even though some wonder about the right of the NCAA and the Big Ten to issue such punishments without a hearing, Delany has no qualms about what happened.

"A lot of people want to debate about NCAA penalties or Big Ten penalties, and those debates are fine," Delany said at Big Ten media days in Chicago. "But to me they miss the point very much, because they're not in any way related to what happened to the victims of (Jerry) Sandusky's actions.

"I don't really care if it's a precedent. I don't really care about whether or not they had jurisdiction or whether or not there was an underlying NCAA violation. The only thing that matters to me is I think the NCAA did have moral authority to act, and I think the Big Ten had moral authority to act."

Still, Delany said no penalty can undo the harm that was done in State College, Pa.

"Justice can never really be served in this case, because the victims can never receive justice," he said. "There's no amount of legal, criminal, civil, NCAA, Big Ten action that can change that or help them."

Despite all that, Delany praised how new school president Rod Erickson, athletic director Dave Joyner and head coach Bill O'Brien have handled themselves during this crisis.

"It's been dark in many, many ways, but sometimes it's darkest before the dawn," he said.