The Penn State Football Letterman's Club has chimed in with a strong opinion on the way NCAA sanctions were handed down against the Nittany Lion program Monday.
While making no mention of specific sanctions, the group — through a prepared statement — took exception with certain comments NCAA president Mark Emmert made while announcing the punishments.
"More than 100 years ago, the NCAA was created to ensure that sports are fully integrated into our colleges and universities," Emmert said at one point, "and that the athletic programs wholly embrace the values of higher education."
The suggestion that Penn State did not embrace those values bothered the Letterman's Club.
"His assertion that a balance between academics and athletics (specifically Penn State football) did not exist previously is baseless and intellectually dishonest," the release said. "It is with great pride that the members of our Club know that we have done it the 'right way' for several decades and we will not allow Dr. Emmert's careless remarks to tarnish the legacy of Penn State Football."
The verbatim release from club president Tim Sweeney and vice president Justin Kurpeikis is below.
On behalf of the Penn State Football Letterman's Club, our thoughts and prayers continue for the victims and their families in the heinous criminal acts of Jerry Sandusky. Their lives have been negatively impacted forever and it is important that their stories are not overshadowed by those continuing to define and sensationalize their narrative.
The penalties and bans imposed on the Penn State Football program by the NCAA are severely damaging well beyond the stated time frame. Our Club endeavors to stand with all Penn Staters in supporting the current members of the State Football team under the leadership and direction of Coach Bill O'Brien and his staff. Bill is committed to carrying on the successful development of student-athletes that has been a model for the past several decades. There is not a better individual to lead us through these difficult times than Bill and we are fortunate to have him directing the future of Penn State Football.
After listening to Dr. Mark Emmert's press conference this morning, his assertion that a balance between academics and athletics (specifically Penn State Football) did not exist previously is baseless and intellectually dishonest. It is with great pride that the members of our Club know that we have done it the right way for several decades and we will not allow Dr. Emmert's careless remarks to tarnish the legacy of Penn State Football. The academic standards and the well-documented historic graduation rates at Penn State far exceed the standards set forth by his organization. This is simply one illustration of many over the past several months where the facts do not supersede those with an agenda.
The Penn State Football Letterman's Club stands united with all current Penn State students, Penn State Alumni, and Penn State fans throughout the world as we remain proud of our University, our reputation, and our traditions. We will defend her honor and the institutions within that have made Penn State a world-class University. The world is soon to learn the true meaning and depth of the credo that defines us.... WE ARE..... PENN STATE!!!!!
Tim Sweeney, President
Justin Kurpeikis, Vice President
Penn State Football Letterman's Club