Mark Emmert has the weapon stashed somewhere. We've seen its destructive power. When nailed down on the subject of whether he will ever drop the bomb again that almost killed Penn State football, the NCAA president hesitated -- just a bit.
"If you're asking me: Will there be a case like Penn State in the next 10-15 years? My answer is, 'I have no idea. I certainly hope not. We all would hope and pray not,' " Emmert said in September to a group of Division faculty athletic reps. "None of us has the capacity to predict what will come. But in my 30 years working in higher education, I have seen one case that would justify these extraordinary actions and that was it."
In the year since the grand jury's presentment against Sandusky, college athletics has changed forever. We now know it is possible for a non-profit organization with voluntary membership to burn a football program to the ground.
Emmert's weapon came this close to shutting down Penn State football in the wake of the Sandusky scandal. Even short of that, Nittany Lions everywhere may one day wish for the swift clean mortal blow of the death penalty.