Inside Opinion

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Tag: Mark Emmert


Emmert takes unprecedented steps for unprecedented sins

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

Penn State has avoided the dreaded NCAA “death penalty” – a ban on competition – for its cover-up of assistant coach Jerry Sandusky’s child sexual abuse. But the punishment announced Monday by NCAA President Mark Emmert nevertheless sends a strong message to college sports officials. Let’s just hope they hear it.

The message: That even highly profitable, revered sports programs will be held accountable for transgressions that once might have been considered outside the purview of NCAA action.

The tough penalties against Penn State include a $60 million fine, loss of bowl revenue, reduction in scholarships, a four-year postseason ban and vacated wins from 1998 to 2011. Current athletes may transfer to other schools without consequences.
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The South Sound has a big stake in Emmert’s successor

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

If ever an institution needed to get it right in picking its next leader, the University of Washington does now.
The UW will soon be losing Mark Emmert, its best president in decades. There’s a lot at stake in his replacement, for the state as a whole and also for the South Sound.

Whoever takes his place will walk into a crisis. The Legislature has long been lukewarm about funding higher education, and the recession has given lawmakers ample justification to carve deeply into the UW’s muscle and bone. The threat is becoming existential.

Over the last three years, the Legislature has raised tuition while cutting its support for Washington’s flagship university by a full third. Students are writing bigger checks for skinnier course offerings, larger classes and fewer labs. For the first time, they now pay more than half the cost of their educations – a sharp erosion of a public university’s mission to offer affordable diplomas to those who can’t afford private school tuition.

The best solution, given the scarcity of funding, is to allow the UW and other public colleges to set their own tuition rates – requiring the affluent to pay full freight and offering generous financial aid to students who need it. But lawmakers have refused to cede control of tuition, preferring to impose across-the-board increases on rich and poor alike.
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