When Gene Marsh got the call on the morning of July 17, he was holed up in a one-room cabin — with no running water and no toilets — in woodsy Chebeague Island off of Maine. “A shack fit for the Unabomber,” says Marsh, a 60-year-old tart-tongued Tuscaloosa, Ala., lawyer. Only six days earlier, he had been hired by Penn State to help negotiate sanctions from the NCAA in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal. On the phone was Donald Remy, the NCAA’s general counsel. The news was grim. Remy said Penn State was facing an unprecedented punishment: a multiple-season death penalty, no football for years.
“Are you overselling this?” Marsh asked.
“Absolutely not,” Remy said.