The NCAA today notified Penn State president Rodney Erickson that it is launching an investigation into the university's "exercise of institutional control over its intercollegiate athletics programs, as well as the actions, and inactions, of relevant responsible personnel."
The full text of the letter is viewable below. If you can't get yourself through the rather dull bylaws and the articles he's quoted, Mark Emmert's concern is how (or if) the school took control of the scandal as the details unfolded. (For what it's worth, Penn State's in-house inquiry is essentially the same, only probably more corrupt.) Penn State's potential failures, you see, could well be a blemish on the upstanding institution that is the NCAA:
The behaviors and failures described in the allegations set forth by the grand jury try not only the integrity of the university, but that of intercollegiate athletics as a whole and the NCAA member institutions that conduct college sports. It is critical that each campus and the NCAA as an Assocation re-examine how we constrain or encourage behaviors that lift up young people rather than making them victims.
The university must respond by December 16 "in order for the NCAA to determine next steps."