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Will the Big Ten Commissioner be Able to Fire Coaches in the Future?

UPDATE (7/20/12, 10:46 a.m.): The Big Ten has issues the following statement today: “The draft obtained by the Chronicle was an early draft put together by the Big Ten staff in order to surface all of the options available. The option of giving emergency powers to the commissioner to fire personnel is not under consideration by the presidents and chancellors.”

In an article posted by The Chronicle the issue of giving Big Ten leaders the ability to fire coaches is discussed. This comes at a time when the Big Ten is at odds with what should be the proper punishment of the officials from Penn State. As most of you know, former coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted on 45 counts of child sex abuse last month. Now, following findings in the Freeh Report, it has become obvious that at least four top Penn State officials failed to report all that they knew about the child abuse allegations to the proper authorities back in 2002. As a result, the Big Ten is trying to figure out what combination of financial penalties, suspension, or termination of employment, would be suitable for this unprecedented situation.

The new plan would give “James E. Delany, who has overseen the league since 1989, and a powerful committee of conference presidents the ability to penalize individual members of an institution, should their actions significantly harm the league’s reputation” (The Chronicle). Provisions would also be set up to prevent boosters and trustees from pressuring university leaders to act in certain ways, thus empowering presidents and ADs to act with integrity and responsibility. Furthermore, it has been noted that the Big Ten”s 12-member Council of Presidents and Chancellors could potentially suspend, expel, or put a school on probation by a 70% (or eight member) vote.

All in all, the issue of punishing Penn State is tricky. If the school were to be banned from playing, there is no contingency plan in place to replace the lost games for opponents. What do you think will happen? Will the Big Ten approve this new plan? Will Penn State be banned, or is there too much at stake for that to happen? Leave your comments below.

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