UNIVERSITY PARK -- Former Pittsburgh Steelers and Penn State running back Franco Harris and documentarian John Ziegler attended a Los Angeles event Wednesday to ask NCAA president Mark Emmert a question about the Penn State sanctions, and the police were called after Ziegler and others with him refused to stop recording with a handheld camera.
The watch commander for the Rampart Community Police of the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed officers from his department visited the site, the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, to respond to a disturbance and that no one was arrested. The NCAA did not immediately return a call seeking comment, nor did a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce.
The watch commander said the police were called after the Chamber of Commerce asked Ziegler and others with him to stop recording the event. Ziegler said he was told in advance he could bring handheld cameras. He said four people had cameras and that Harris didn't.
A Chamber of Commerce web page said Emmert was to speak on the NCAA's efforts to embrace academics and to protect and sustain the collegiate student-athlete model. During the question and answer portion of the event, Ziegler said Harris asked Emmert a question about Penn State, along the lines of "why Joe Paterno didn't get any due process." Ziegler said he was asked to stop recording by NCAA representatives after Harris asked that question.
After Emmert was done speaking for the event, Ziegler said, Harris approached him to ask a follow-up question about suggesting Emmert speak to the committee on infractions regarding the Penn State sanctions. Ziegler said Emmert gave a quick response and then immediately left through a back door. He said NCAA representatives attempted to block him from recording the follow-up question. The police, Ziegler said, didn't arrive until after Emmert had left.
Harris lives in Pittsburgh. Ziegler said Harris flew to Los Angeles to attend the event on 36-hour notice.
Ziegler operates the website framingpaterno.com and has released a "mini-movie" about Joe Paterno and what he characterizes as unfair treatment of the former coach with regards to the Jerry Sandusky scandal.