Thursday, February 19, 2009

Penn State and Russell Collude, Workers Get Screwed?

The last time we checked on Old Main's sweatshop dealings we found that Graham had come up with an underhanded plan to renew Russell Athletics' contract, while appearing to take a principled stand against Russell's unfair labor practices. Graham's plan called for Russell to promise to fix things in return for a renewal of its Penn State contract. Well it turns out that-surprise, surprise-Russell made that promise on February 16. (H/T Rein In Russell) So it looks like there won't be any need for Graham to cut those ties to Russell. And if all goes according to plan, by the next time the contract is up for renewal this whole nastiness will have been forgotten. Pretty slick, huh?

But there could be even more to this than Old Main scheming to preserve it's Russell contract while pretending to take the high moral ground. Let's recall the plan, which I've dubbed Double Super Secret Probation, as Graham explained it to a Collegian reporter.
"We made a decision several weeks ago to put Russell on probation. We informed them more recently of our deadline for addressing issues that have been identified and for answering questions we posed to them," Penn State President Graham Spanier wrote in an e-mail. "Their response will determine whether we renew our relationship with them."
Notice the time lags between the conception, execution, and public announcement of the plan. What was happening during that time? Could it have been that Old Main was colluding with Russell during that time to cook up a plan to staunch Russell's loss of contracts with other schools? Now that would even be slicker.

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