Penn State professor Keith Nelson recently wrote a book about how Penn State’s reputation has been affected by the fallout from the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case.
The book, which is entitled “Free the Nittany Lions ! The Amazing Saga of the NCAA & PSU Football,” encourages readers to think about the sanctions imposed by the NCAA and consider the fairness with which Penn State was treated.
As previously reported, Nelson currently serves on the Faculty Senate and recently wrote a letter to the NCAA with the purpose of asking “the NCAA Board and its Sanctioning Committee to reflect upon the above observations and to consider new actions that would lessen or remove the recently announced PSU football-specific sanctions,” according to the letter.
The Faculty Senators voted not to send the letter to the NCAA at the Oct. 16 faculty senate meeting.
In his book, Nelson wrote with an informal and conversational tone, introducing sections with “Soooo,” or “Faculty Senates, huh?” but discussed very broad issues such as the Freeh Report or the Penn State culture.
“The untruths about Penn State Culture around academics and athletics and many other domains are challenged strongly,” Nelson wrote in his book. “These false statements were made both by the NCAA and the Freeh report issued at PSU.”
Freeh Group Spokesman Tom Davies declined to comment on the book.
Nelson said his desire to write his book came from his surprise that the information was not already “out there” and to try fill a gap in the public’s awareness.
“The NCAA in 2011 and 2012 violated its own by-laws and constitution and its long-established precedents,” Nelson wrote. “In a nutshell, it exercised and then tried to rationalize illegitimate power toward Penn State University and the PSU football program.”
Though the NCAA could not be reached for comment, NCAA President Mark Emmert addressed a similar subject in an interview with the Associated Press.
“'I think it's important to differentiate what the Penn State case was about and what it wasn't about,”' Emmert said in the interview with the Associated Press. “What we were interested in, and what we focused on was the behavior of those people around that situation, and whether or not the university handled the allegations and the information that it received appropriately.”
In the same interview, he added that the NCAA was not specifically interested in the crimes themselves, “but in what happened after those crimes were committed and how they were dealt with or not dealt with.''
The book is currently on sale for between $20-$25 locally at the Student Bookstore downtown, and McClanahan’s on College Avenue. It is also available for $7.95 on Amazon Kindle, as well as on eBay.
While McClanahan’s Penn State Room Manager Bailee Vaughn said McClanahan’s has sold a few copies, General Manager of the Student Bookstore John Lindo said the Student Bookstore has yet to sell any.
In an email, Penn State Spokeswoman Lisa Powers wrote that Penn State faculty are responsible for writing hundreds of books and publications every year.
“It's obviously our hope that the books they write add to the knowledge base and conversation on any given topic,” Powers wrote. “Given Penn State's role as one of the world's premier research universities it is not surprising that our faculty have a wide variety of interests, particularly ones for which they are passionate.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.