But official sources have told NittanyWhiteOut that not all was as it seemed for Rose’s program. While no details are finalized, I’m hearing that multiple members of last year’s graduating class took money and gifts from boosters and agents. In particular, one player, who the source would not name, is reported to have lived in an apartment that was apparently paid for by a sports agent, who may have also purchased a home for her family. Reportedly, members of the team were also given free hotel stays, and even a free car at one point, by competing sports agents.
“This looks bad,” said one member of the team, who spoke with NittanyWhiteOut and asked that her name not be revealed. “But that had nothing to do with our championships, the winning streak, or anything that happened on the court. We did that all on our own.”
Still, the penalties could be severe–it’s almost a guarantee that the Nittany Lions three consecutive titles from 2007 to 2009 will have to be wiped out of the history books, and, pending an NCAA investigation of course, multiple scholarships could be lost. However, our source in the Athletic Department wasn’t expecting such harsh measures against the program.
“If anything happens, it will take years before we’re formally punished,” he said, speaking under the condition of anonymity. “Furthermore, the NCAA knows they can’t survive without Penn State women’s volleyball. I’ve take the precautionary measure of banning agents and other personnel from our practices from now on, so this sort of situation shouldn’t happen in the future.”
NittanyWhiteOut spoke with Zach Dirlam of Bleacher Report, who had this to say:
The NCAA is sending the message that they will pretty much ignore violations as long as your program wins championships year in and year out.
Russ Rose declined to comment on the record, but suggested that “in a couple years, everyone will forget about this.” He also dispelled rumors that he would become the personal coach for professionals Misty May and Kerri Walsh, which would’ve then allowed the current head coach at Tennessee, Rob Patrick, to step in and inherit one of the most successful volleyball programs in the nation.