Morning Playbook – Mark Emmert’s Pandora’s Box is Open

The latest developments coming out of North Carolina are not pretty (this seems almost trivial to say after the Penn State incident, but we move on). The News Observer went to town on the academic scandal that continues to unfold with details linking to former Tar Heel Julius Peppers. According to this report, the transcript of Peppers suggests the academic fraud at UNC may be broader than initially believed. Peppers' agent says many UNC athletes were not prepared for academics.

North Carolina's lack of a desire to dig deeper in to the history, as the News Observer puts it, suggest that the school is trying to sweep this under the rug and move on. Whether that is the case or not will be determined by others at a later time, but the public pressure on the NCAA and NCAA President Mark Emmert to do something is rising. 

Matt Hayes from The Sporting News practically drug Emmert out to the woodshed for an entire column, double dog daring Emmert to not do anything to North Carolina after pumping his chest out for the way he handled Penn State. You cannot compare any scandal to what happened at Penn State, but if the NCAA lets North Carolina slip by with a slap on the wrist, what will the national response be?

More links after the jump…

Lane Kiffin says the coaches poll can keep his ballot.

The Big East is closing in on a  new commissioner, maybe. One of the names thought to be in the mix is Major League Soccer president Mark Abbott. That would be an interesting name. The conference has also hired a firm to help negotiate a new television deal.

More Penn State news is not necessarily good news. After the NCAA dropped a sledgehammer on the football program, and thus the university, now the Middle States Commission of Higher Education is threatening Penn State's accreditation based on information revealed in the Freeh Report. This would be the academic equivalent of a death penalty, or it could just be a power move based off of public pressure.

Speaking of Penn State, senior defensive back Mike Wallace will miss the entire 2012 season due to injury. This is a significant blow to Penn State's depth in the secondary, which has not been affected by transfers, but graduation. Don't worry, his music career will continue to move forward.

A couple players had to unfortunately call it a career due to concussion issues. UCLA linebacker Patrick Larimore and Minnesota offensive lineman Jimmy Gjere each made the decision to step away form the football field, and thus bring more awareness to concussions in football.

Probably safe to say that Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez is no fan of Arizona State head coach Todd Graham. Alvarez spoke highly of former Wisconsin assistant coach Paul Chryst, who is the new head coach at Pittsburgh.

Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson thinks he could beat Usain Bolt in the 40-yard dash. Poll responders think otherwise.

The Crystal Ball Run gang took some time to discuss Bobby Petrino, and that is always a fun topic.

Have you been keeping up with where former LSU defensive back Tyrann Mathieu is heading? He wants to stay at LSU, even if it means sitting out a season. Our pal Matt Elder takes a look at what is next for the Honey Badger. This guy also shares his expert opinion. We also took a look back at some of his top moments at LSU.

Former Florida State cornerback Greg Reid is joining Division 2 Valdosta State. Former Miami safety Ray-Ray Armstrong has dropped his injunction against Miami and is preparing to play at NAIA Faulkner College, in Alabama.

Dennis Dodd of CBS counts down 25 things to watch in the 2012 season on Our co-managing editor Aaron Torres sees Dodd's 25 and raises him 25 more with 50 reasons to be excited about the start of a new season.

BYU has been doing a pretty decent job with video updates from summer camp. Here is the recap from day ten.

New Army football helmets. Also, new look Arizona mascots.

Do you like schedule desktop wallpaper? Here are some for Clemson, Oklahoma and Michigan fans.


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About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Previously contributed to Host of the Locked On Nittany Lions Podcast. FWAA member and Philadelphia-area resident.