Penn State Board Has a Job to Do! NOW


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Now is the time for the board of trustees …

To demonstrate leadership and defend our great school.

To practice openness and transparency in deeds as well as words.

To be a body of inclusion rather than one of exclusion.

To recognize that trust is earned in two directions.

To correct Mark Emmert for his many misstatements that have harmed our school.

To invite Louis Freeh to Penn State so that the community can query him regarding his conclusions.

To invite former U.S. Attorney General and Pennsylvania Gov. Dick Thornburgh and former FBI profiler James Clemente to Penn State so that the community can query them regarding their assessment of the Freeh report.

To respond to former Jerry Sandusky prosecutor Frank Fina’s statement that he “found no evidence” that Joe Paterno covered up Sandusky’s crimes by publicly repudiating the conclusions of the Freeh report.

To put back the statue and wall in their rightful place outside of Beaver Stadium.

To work to ensure that we leave Penn State a better place than we found it.

To join our 600,000 alumni who never lost the “We” in “We are.”

If we are truly interested in real healing, then we should demonstrate the courage and leadership that our roles as trustees require in order to serve the best interests of our great university. And if the Penn State community did not distrust us, then …

To formally honor the 61 years of service that Joe Paterno gave to Penn State.

written by trustee Anthony Lubrano

editor note: NOW IS THE TIME.  WE WANT THE STATUE AND THE WALL BACK WHERE IT BELONGS!

Penn State BOT and Dave Joyner Reason O’Brien Left


After days of dancing back and forth, with everyone from Penn State’s fans to the trustees wondering if head football coach Bill O’Brien was going to stay or go, he finally ended the suspense: O’Brien announced he would be leaving State College after two seasons to coach the NFL’s Houston Texans.

At first glance, it’s an old story: An NFL offensive coordinator gets a chance to lead a legendary college program, then jumps back to the NFL when he’s offered the opportunity to become a head coach. But after conducting hundreds of interviews inside Penn State’s program to write my latest book Fourth and Long, and several articles, I can tell you it’s not that simple. Or, rather, it’s almost that simple — but it’s not what you think.

Dig a little deeper, and you’ll see O’Brien’s decision — made at the eleventh hour, after much hand-wringing — was based as much on the appeal of the Texans’ offer as it was the lack of leadership presented by Penn State.

Probably no one felt this more acutely than the players on the 2012 team, Penn State’s first after the dismissal and death of Joe Paterno.

“Who was stepping up and taking it?” 2012 senior Michael Zordich asked me. “We were. They never stood up for us. Not the president, not the AD. They were silent. Silent. Thanks. Who was standing up for us? O’Brien — and that’s it.”

Trustee Anthony Lubrano, who was elected to the board as an alumnus in the summer of 2012, understands Zordich’s frustration. “From 1995 to 2011, until they accepted Graham Spanier’s resignation and fired Joe Paterno, those two were clearly the face of Penn State,” he told me. “Since their respective departures, no one has replaced them, and we’ve struggled to overcome that. New logos and slogans haven’t helped, either.”

‘It Lies With The Board’

Penn State’s problems start with its outdated 30-member Board of Trustees. While other universities elect or appoint their trustees, Penn State uses a bizarre hybrid to fill its Board. This includes the state secretaries of education, agriculture, conservation and natural resources; six appointees by the governor, nine elected by alumni, and six elected by Pennsylvania agricultural societies. It harkens back to the school’s founding as a land-grant college. Six additional trustees are selected by a committee representing business and industry.

Although the six business appointees, led by BNY Mellon president Karen Peetz, comprise only one-fifth of the board, they tend to have the most influence, and the nine elected alumni much less.

Consider three key decisions that were driven by just a handful of business appointees:

– On July 12, 2012, within hours of receiving the damning Freeh Report — which accused Penn State’s leaders of a “total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims” – a few business appointees officially accepted the report on behalf of Penn State. That decision, in turn, prompted the NCAA to accept the report in lieu of its own investigation, resulting in severe sanctions.

– Failing badly to select a permanent president in November 2013 (more on that later).

– Creating the $4.25 million per year salary for new football coach James Franklin, in early 2014.

The nine elected alumni trustees, in contrast, could count only one representative on one of those committees.

After NCAA President Mark Emmert delivered his famous quote about the “culture problem” with Penn State’s football program, in July of 2012, Lubrano, who had just been elected to the board as an alumnus, responded, “We do have a ‘culture’ problem. But it lies in the board of trustees.”

The Sandusky scandal has taken its toll on Penn State, as you’d expect. But right when the football team, at least, seemed poised to emerge from the crisis, the issues with Penn State’s leadership have persisted, manifest in their struggles to select a permanent president and to provide crucial support for a football program still in flux.

Hiring One Of Their Own

This brings us to the position of Athletic Director. After longtime AD Tim Curley stepped down in 2011, the process of replacing him has been similarly bumpy and unorthodox. The board quickly named one of its own, David Joyner, as the “Acting Director of Athletics.”

Joyner had been an all-American defensive lineman at Penn State in 1971, and went on to become an orthopedic surgeon. He was elected to PennState’s Board of Trustees in 2003, 2006, and 2009, taking one of the nine seats reserved for alums, voted on by alums.

Nonetheless, Joyner was an odd choice for athletic director. That Joyner had no experience working in an athletic department was a weakness Michigan, Notre Dame and Oregon had also overlooked in their searches, in favor of business experience. But what business experience Joyner had was not a ringing endorsement for his candidacy. In 2002, he founded a company which operated a chain of gyms called C-5 Fitness. In 2006, the company filed for bankruptcy.

“Some companies do go bankrupt, no matter what you do,” Joyner said to PennLive.com. “I’m certainly not a venture capitalist, but I’m told that successful venture capitalists fail 85 percent of the time.”

Messages to the Penn State Athletic Communications office to speak with Dr. Joyner (left in picture, with O’Brien and interim president Rod Erickson) for this story were not returned.

After Joyner took the job, trustee Ira Lubert, a real estate millionaire, arranged for the Joyners to stay in one of his homes in State College, and another in Hershey. Two months later, Penn State named Joyner the permanent athletic director.

The board’s decision to hire a fellow trustee attracted the attention of the Pennsylvania auditor general, who released a report in November 2012, stating it created “reasonable public perceptions of insider influence and conflicting interests.”

Penn State dismissed the AG’s concerns, but the players did not. After the 2011 team finished 9-3, without a permanent president, athletic director or head coach, the team captains called a players-only meeting to decide whether to accept the bid to the lowly TicketCity Bowl in Dallas. After a civil discussion, they decided if they represented Penn State’s values, they had to go.

All seemed settled — until Dr. Joyner addressed the team after their vote. According to over a dozen players present, he accused them of being “a bunch of children” for declining the bowl invitation, which prompted Gerald Hodges to stand up and demand Dr. Joyner show more respect. The two started walking toward each other, creating a commotion loud enough for assistant coach Larry Johnson Sr., waiting outside, to come into the room, hold Hodges, and literally escort him out.

Finally, when captain Devon Still told Joyner, “We already decided. We’re gonna go,” Joyner calmed down, and told the team they had their full support, but the players never bought it. After Joyner hired O’Brien, the players asked O’Brien to keep Joyner away from the team — essentially banning him from their sideline, their locker room and their team meetings — and Joyner obliged, not appearing before the team again until the 2012 senior banquet.

The Outsider

When Dr. Joyner courted Bill O’Brien after the 2011 season, he asked him to FedEx his resume and cover letter, then lost the envelope in the department mailroom for eight days until O’Brien called to make sure they’d received it. O’Brien was smart enough to ask about the possibility of the NCAA punishing the football program, but naïve enough to believe Joyner when he assured O’Brien the NCAA would steer clear.

On July 23, 2012, the NCAA leveled historically severe sanctions against the school for the Jerry Sandusky scandal, leaving Penn State’s football program to face a slow version of the death penalty. But O’Brien and a special class of seniors not only kept the team alive, they thrived, knocking off ranked teams en route to an 8-4 record.

Two days after Penn State finished the triumphant 2012 season by beating eventual Big Ten champion Wisconsin, I sat with Bill and Colleen O’Brien at their breakfast table. “We like it here,” Bill said. “She likes it here, and the kids do, too. We love this team, the families. I love the values here, and I believe in them.”

But as he was talking, his cell phone buzzed so often it almost fell off the edge of the table.

It wasn’t friends or well-wishers calling, but athletic directors from Boston College, Tennessee, and Arkansas, and the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns and San Diego Chargers. They all wanted to know one thing: What would it take to get O’Brien to jump?

The Monday after the football season ends, college and pro alike, is traditionally the day when the athletic director, the general manager, or the owner calls in the head coach to assess the season just past and to plan for the seasons ahead. But not at Penn State. At least, not in 2012.

While O’Brien’s phone was blowing up, Dave Joyner was on a hunting trip. It was the opening day of Pennsylvania’s deer season. When I asked O’Brien about this, he shrugged it off, but then-senior linebacker Mike Mauti did not.

“That enrages me,” Mauti told me, in December 2012. “Let’s lay it out there: He’s the reason we did all this. They hire anyone else, this doesn’t happen — and who knows where the program is? He’s it. If O-B leaves … it’s because they didn’t do their jobs and do what’s right.”

Nonetheless, O’Brien declined the overtures from other athletic directors and the NFL, and stayed put in State College. In the spring of 2013, Penn State bumped O’Brien’s pay to $3.2 million. To keep up with the never-ending arms race that is modern college football, O’Brien also received assurances from Joyner that he would increase the budget for assistant coaches’ salaries, recruiting and facilities face-lifts — the very things rivals Michigan and Ohio State already have.

O’Brien’s players followed up their inspirational 2012 season with an equally surprising 7-5 record this year. After the NCAA greatly reduced Penn State’s sanctions, and recruiting picked up accordingly, the program’s future suddenly looked much brighter.

New Year, Same Problems

But the school’s leadership, from the Board of Trustees to the athletic director, continued to stumble. After the Board set a meeting for November 1, 2013, to name SUNY Upstate Medical University president David Smith to replace interim president Rod Erickson, it canceled the meeting when Smith told one of the committee members he had received roughly $35,000 of unapproved income from a company that did business with the SUNY system. However, in a November 1 letter, SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher informed Smith they had discovered the total was actually $349,295. Smith resigned, but there is a flap about his continuing to draw a paycheck from New York state.

After Penn State’s 2013 season, according to insiders familiar with the situation, Joyner failed to follow through on his promises to boost O’Brien’s budget for assistant coaches’ salaries, recruiting and facilities. At the 2013 senior banquet, one witness said, the tension between the two men was “palpable. You couldn’t ignore it.” After the event, Dr. Joyner waited more than a week to respond to O’Brien’s requests to follow up on his promises. (When I asked O’Brien about these accounts, he did not deny their accuracy.)

Given this, when the NFL’s siren song resumed, O’Brien was ready to listen. The Houston Texans offered him the most appealing package: A great contract, a loaded roster, and strong, supportive leadership.

O’Brien based his decision partly on his long-held desire to become a head coach in the NFL, and the Texans’ attractive offer. But it wasn’t simply about money. It wasn’t State College, the Penn State fans or the players, either.

When I reached him last week, he said, “I want to be clear: I love the Penn State fans and always will. They were incredibly supportive, and the players were great. I love those guys. I just felt that this was the best move for me and my family.”

Joyner responded to O’Brien’s departure faster than he’d responded to O’Brien’s phone calls. He lured former Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin to State College for $4.25 million a year — a third more than O’Brien received his second season. Joyner was also willing to overlook the fact that four of Franklin’s players were charged in June for raping an unconscious 21-year old woman in a dormitory, and a fifth player who pled guilty to covering it up.

More By
John U. Bacon.

It is hard not to conclude the Texans wanted O’Brien more than Joyner did, and that Joyner was more eager to hire Franklin than keep O’Brien.

Reached this week, Mauti said of O’Brien’s departure, “It doesn’t shock me one bit, unfortunately. It didn’t take a genius to see it coming. You always try to leave your program better than you found it. That’s what O-B did. He gave us all he had, and that’s why I’ll always respect him. I wish him nothing but the best.”

O’Brien’s career as an NFL head coach has just started. At Penn State, however, instead of basking in the incredible good fortune of finding the right guy during a desperate time, the same school that needed only two head coaches for 62 seasons is now welcoming its second coach in two years.

The years ahead will tell us who made the best decisions. But it’s a safe bet that Penn State University will not return to its former heights until it finally addresses its fundamental problem: the lack of strong leadership.

– John U. Bacon 

Joe Paterno, We Are Because You Were–Remembering


The statue wall outside Beaver Stadium used to say the following:

“Joseph Vincent Paterno: Educator, Coach, Humanitarian.” 

And that about sums it up.  People who believe Paterno was just a football coach are kidding themselves.  More than any coach in sports history, Paterno’s impact spread well beyond his greatness leading his team on the field.

He demanded his players have strong academic standing, exemplified by his team’s top graduation rates year in and year out. He cared deeply about how his players performed on the field, but understood that their success after college was the most important thing. He didn’t coach for the money, shown by his modest home and lifestyle and his constant donations to Penn State. And even in his final days, Paterno remained loyal to the university that employed him for 61 years.

“They ask me what I’d like written about me when I’m gone. I hope they write I made Penn State a better place, not just that I was a good football coach,” a Paterno quote on the wall outside the statue read. –And Rodney Erickson and the Board of Trustees Removed it.

Oh JoePa, you certainly did. Before Paterno arrived at Penn State as an assistant in 1950, the school and its football program was barely known. In 2012, as Paterno has left this earth, the football team had national power status and a stadium with more than 108,000 seats. And with the help of the millions he donated to the school and the many lives he affected, the university has become a respected academic institution.

In today’s college and professional sports world, winning overrides everything. Class, academics and sportsmanship often seem to be thrown out the window. Most coaches appear to care about their paychecks and the championships they have won more than teaching young people to become better in their lives.

Paterno had a connection with the Penn State community that can’t be compared to any other coach in history. For more than half a century, Paterno was the face of Penn State. To players, students, alumni and fans, JoePa was a father or a grandfather figure. This close relationship was displayed by the strong emotional reaction on Penn State’s campus by students and fans on Sunday January 22, 2012 after news of his death.

There are and will always be great coaches. But none of them will ever be Joe Paterno

Penn State Football: Franklin Sells Penn State Fans What They Want To Hear


By Ben Jones

Success at the job requires a large amount of shoveling of post-digestive remains in order to get the target audience to fall for the pitch. You can fall for the presentation, but there is always the threat that the rug will be pulled out from under your feet when you take that leap of faith.

The guy says the car runs, but have you gotten it off the lot yet?

James Franklin, turns out to be — at first glance — the best used car salesman Penn State has seen in a long time. He has the energy, speaking for just over 40 minutes during his initial news conference, without losing pace or enthusiasm. He has the looks. A young energetic coach hitting his stride at the right time. His suit is probably the last thing you would have ever seen either of his predecessors wear.

There was a North Carolina blue pocket square poking out of his jacket, opposite a Penn State pin that was a fitting mirror image of the Houston Texans’ pin Bill O’Brien wore only a few days earlier. Both men, looking the part. Perhaps both men are better at their new jobs rather than their old ones.

But not every used car salesman is out to get you. Sometimes people really do find a deal, walking away with exactly what they wanted and what they were told they were getting. And sometimes with a little work, a used car can look like it was never driven before.

And that seems to be the kind of salesman James Franklin is. If O’Brien’s job was to put out fires. It seems only hours into the job that Franklin is focused on post-fire restoration.

Right now, that’s exactly what Penn State needs.

Franklin is aggressive, boldly declaring Penn State will “dominate” the state and region in recruiting. He used the word “dominate” on ten different occasions during his press conference. He was giving the Kanye West of coaching pitches, firing a salvo at Pittsburgh when he said that he respected the program but Penn State was going to recruit in every corner of the state.

“Well, I have tremendous respect for Pittsburgh, for the University of Pittsburgh, tremendous respect for their coach, tremendous respect for their university. But when I say Pennsylvania, and when I say Penn State, that is the whole state. That is the whole state.” Franklin said emphatically.

“I’m going to let you finish your recruiting pitch,” Kanye Franklin would have said to Pitt, “But I’m going to come and recruit those kids too.”

And that’s what fans want to hear.

Penn State in large part has been a dormant program over the past decade. It has every thing it needs to succeed at a high level but those assets have been under sold or under utilized. The program has only just now become accustomed to a head coach being active in the recruiting process.

John Urschel Named Best Person in Sports


on October 23, 2013 12:50 PM

 Penn State offensive guard and math wiz John  Urschel has another accolade to add to his many accomplishments: On  Monday, Fox Sports named him Best Person in Sports for “excelling in the classroom and on the field.”

Last year Urschel was selected as  a first team All-Big Ten guard and  was also named a Capital One/CoSIFA Academic All-American in 2012. He  finished his undergraduate degree in mathematics in just three years  while maintaining a perfect 4.0 GPA. He is now working on  earning his master’s degree and has plans to pursue a PhD after his  football career.

Urschel’s research has been published in the “Celestial Mechanics and  Dynamic Astronomy” journal, and he currently has several more articles  in the works. When he is not on the field he can be found teaching mathematics in classes such as Math 041. He can undoubtedly be considered one of the best student athletes in all of college sports.

While Urschel’s academic accomplishments are nothing to be scoffed  at, his success on the field is equally impressive. He has quickly  excelled as an elite athlete and NFL prospect after making the  decision to play football in ninth-grade. Last season he earned  first-team All-Big Ten honors after starting every game at right guard  and helped Zach Zwinak rush for over 1,000 yards. This year, he’s  continued to be a leader on the team while playing a key role in the  offensive line.

The Reason “We Are”….Penn State”


As SuperFan of the Maize Rage student section at the University of Michigan, I have the opportunity to travel to all of the Michigan football away games and experience what football Saturday means in different parts of the country. This feature will run after each away game this season, detailing the gameday experience for Michigan games outside of Ann Arbor. Previously: UConn.

When Michigan fans travel to different schools to watch the Wolverines play on the road, they regularly have to get used to a much smaller stadium and quieter atmosphere. In Week 4, the Connecticut Huskies broke a Rentschler Field record by packing 42,000 people into the stadium; about 70,000 less than that of a typical Ann Arbor game day.

This weekend was a different story. As the few Wolverine fans trickled into Beaver Stadium they realized that the structure was possibly even more impressive than our very own Big House.

When I first arrived in State College, one of the first things I learned was that this was the biggest game of the season for the Nittany Lions. On Friday night before the game the students were happy to explain their hatred for both Michigan and Ohio State, but it was clear that the night game against the Maize and Blue would be Penn State’s bowl game this year.

Beaver Stadium is an imposing structure, both inside and out (Derick Hutchinson, M&GB)

Not having been to Penn State since the Joe Paterno and Jerry Sandusky scandal, I wasn’t sure how touchy of a subject it was among the students. Surprisingly, it was basically the butt of all the jokes. Though our little group in maize never brought the scandal up, we did end up discussing it multiple times throughout the weekend. Penn State students want to prove that they have moved on from the nightmare and won’t let it define them.

Instead, they just want to beat Michigan.

While tailgating before the game on Saturday, Penn State fans made it very clear that Michigan was their main target. An enormous homecoming crowd of almost 108,000 couldn’t have included more than a few thousand Michigan fans. It was easy to pick them out because of the famous Penn State white out.

The white out stands for what separates the Penn State game environment from that of Michigan. During a maize out, Michigan Stadium has one maize section where the students stand and a mixed bag of maize and blue throughout the rest of the bowl. Fans don’t put much stock in participating in the game atmosphere but simply want to watch their team win. It’s tradition.

But in Happy Valley every single fan is ready to cheer like crazy for Penn State from the opening kickoff. The white out was breathtaking. Over 100,000 strong were decked out in all white and shaking white pompoms as Bill O’Brien led his team onto the field. This scene was unlike anything our little group of Michigan students had ever experienced, but we had faith that our undefeated Wolverines would quiet things down.

For much of the second half, we were exactly right.

Michigan came out of halftime with a bang, returning a fumble for a touchdown on Penn State’s first offensive play. A quarter later, the Wolverines were ahead by 10 points with six minutes to go and we were enjoying the eerie silence in the enormous stadium.

Though it has a smaller capacity than the Big House, Beaver Stadium is built entirely above ground and is much more intimidating both inside and outside. Second and third decks keep all of the sound in while reaching up much higher than the final rows in Ann Arbor. If you’re wondering how a structure like this can be safe, you aren’t alone.

Penn State’s famous chant is the Zombie Nation cheer, which gets the entire audience involved in jumping and screaming along. Because it was one of the things I was really looking forward to, I asked our host, a senior at Penn State, about Zombie Nation.

“There’s a new rule that we can only do it two times each game,” he told me. “We were doing structural damage to the stadium so they had to limit us.”

Derick (2nd from left) and his crew were impressed by the atmosphere and how welcoming the Penn State fans were (Derick Hutchinson, M&GB)

At the suggestion of damaging a concrete structure like Beaver Stadium I was astonished, but when Penn State came back and tied the game with under a minute remaining in regulation, Zombie Nation blared and the back wall of the stadium was visibly wavering back and forth with the Nittany Lion faithful.

It was the most incredible atmosphere I’ve ever been a part of, and I wasn’t even in an appreciative mood. Four overtimes later Michigan had missed easy kicks and taken costly penalties and Penn State was celebrating an unbelievable win.

Following such an emotional win I expected to be mercilessly harassed by the Penn State students all night, but was surprised when they continued a trend set before the game. While migrating toward the stadium for the game, our little group of Michigan fans was welcomed to Happy Valley countless times. Students, alumni and others went out of their way to walk past us and say good luck.

It was extremely strange. We weren’t sure how we felt about the hospitality because it didn’t feel right, but it was much better than being harassed in Columbus or East Lansing. After the game there were fans that laughed and jeered at us, but the number that told us good game probably outnumbered them.

Even though they always seem to beat Michigan in recent years, and they ended our undefeated season, it’s hard to hate Penn State fans because of how cool they were; both when they were sure they would lose and after they had won.

I hope that Michigan fans can learn from the atmosphere that exists within Beaver Stadium. The students lead the charge, but alumni and casual fans set it apart by participating much more than those around other Big Ten schools. Even the younger fans are fully invested in Penn State football, as we found out when a couple of three-year old girls started the “we are” “Penn State” cheer all by themselves from atop an RV after the game.

While I wouldn’t trade game day in Ann Arbor for anything, I do think that Michigan fans can learn from the commitment in Beaver Stadium. Michigan’s tradition and history set it apart, but there is room to make the Big House even better.

Winning on the road is a great feeling, but losing is definitely the worst. Thankfully, the Penn State faithful were bearable after the game, but I still had a bad taste in my mouth after Michigan blew the 10 point lead.

The first loss is one of the hardest each year, but Michigan won’t have to deal with an atmosphere like Penn State’s for the rest of the season.

Losing is never fun, but witnessing a Penn State night game was an incredible sports experience. Hopefully Team 134 can tighten things up and send us home with more road wins in 2013.

A message from The Penn State Online Magazine


Consider this a reminder. A reminder that what “we are” is a community, and that no one segment of that community exists without the others.

We are not Penn State without the faculty and staff who turn on the lights, teach the classes, serve the food, do the research, and mow the Old Main lawn.

We are not Penn State without the alumni who build the traditions, hire the recent graduates, start families of future Penn Staters, and give generously to ensure their alma mater can continue to thrive.

We are not Penn State without the students whose hard work, idealism, and ambition are the reason the rest of us have a university to work for and support.

Consider this also a plea.

To alumni, and to those who never attended a class but are invested as life-long Penn State football fans: Remember why this place exists. Remember the thousands of faculty members whose teaching and research improves lives. These brilliant, motivated people came to Penn State—and remain here—because Penn State remains a place they can do great, important work.

Remember, too, the tens of thousands of students planning and preparing for the rest of their lives. Remember that they’re living the life-defining moments you’ve already experienced, and that their experience these past two years has been among the most challenging in Penn State’s history. Remember that many of these students are working their way through college, balancing jobs and full class loads, or working toward a degree that may take years to pay off. These students, their needs and their perspective, deserve your respect, even when they might differ from yours.

And to students, particularly those in campus leadership roles, and those with a public profile and media platform that allows their voices to be heard among the din: Try not to add to the noise. Try to appreciate the emotional roots of dissatisfaction among some members of this shared community. Try, especially, not to generalize—to avoid the tone of us-vs.-them that seems increasingly to define our interaction. From State Patty’s Day to empty seats in the student section, you’ve felt victimized in the past by broad and sometimes unfair accusations; turning that broad brush against a huge alumni body you’ll soon be a part of helps no one.

The past two years have provided a harsh lesson on how easy it is for others to hold the actions of a few against an entire community. We’ve all heard countless references to “Penn State’s guilt,” as if an institution can do anything, and as if such careless language doesn’t have repercussions for everyone affiliated with it. We know this; we’ve lived it.

Too often now, such generalizations are directed at fellow members of this community. Alumni think this; students don’t understand that. Our internal discourse has taken on the worst aspects of our national political discourse: so much shouting, so little listening. No matter what side you’re on, you can see where that’s gotten us. If it continues, we only hurt Penn State. Which is to say, we only hurt ourselves.

Ryan Jones, senior editor, Penn State Online Magazine

Sandusky Prosecutor–Joe Not Involved in Coverup


This time, CBS Sports is getting in the mix with a Penn State feature on “60 Minute Sports” on Showtime at 10 p.m. tonight. The episode focuses on Frank Fina and Joe McGettigan, the two prosecutors who helped put Sandusky behind bars.

CBS released a clip of the interview yesterday and once you get past the “college football’s darkest episode” rhetoric, there is actually some interesting material.

Notably, Fina was asked if he thought Joe Paterno participated in a coverup of Sandusky’s actions as he believes former administrators Graham Spanier, Tim Curley, and Gary Schultz did.

“I do not,” Fina said straight up when asked if Paterno participated in a coverup.

“And I’m viewing this strictly on the evidence, not any kind of fealty to anybody. I did not find that evidence.”

Emails Conflict Testimony of Spanier, Curley, Schultz


Before the grand jury investigating child sexual  abuse by former Penn State coach Jerry  Sandusky, Spanier had denied that he had discussed with former Athletic  Director Tim  Curley and retired Vice President Gary  Schultz turning a 2001 allegation over to authorities.

Email shows otherwise. Confronted in 2001 with the question of how to  respond to another coach’s report of seeing Sandusky naked in a shower with his  arms around a boy’s middle, Spanier had agreed with Curley that the best course  of action was to skirt authorities and confront Sandusky directly.
“The approach you outline is humane and a reasonable way to proceed,” Spanier  wrote, according to the email presented as evidence during the preliminary  hearing on charges the men lied and hid Sandusky’s crimes.

Prosecutors detailed allegations that the men agreed not to report a 2001  allegation Sandusky sexually assaulted a boy in a shower even though they knew  he had previously been investigated for similar conduct.

Their “conspiracy of silence” allowed Sandusky to abuse at least three more  children on campus between 2001 and 2009, Beemer said in his closing  argument.

“By their own admission they had thousands of children on their campus for  all types of camps and activities and they take the position in 2001 to allow  Jerry Sandusky to have access to the campus,” Beemer said.

Beemer said evidence, including correspondence beyond emails, contradicts the  men’s grand jury testimony that they had limited knowledge of the 2001  allegation and a 1998 criminal investigation of Sandusky, and shows they worked  to deceive even as investigators closed in.

Bob Costas Doubts Paterno Involved in Cover Up


Emmy Award-winning NBC sportscaster Bob Costas said Wednesday concerning the  ongoing investigation of the Jerry Sandusky/Penn State sex scandal, “I don’t buy  the idea that [late head coach Joe Paterno] was actively involved in a  cover-up.”

“There’s a grand jury proceeding that just said there’s enough evidence to  take it to trial, which was no surprise to anybody,” Costas replied. “Spanier,  Curley, and Schultz, the administrators, who will go on trial.”

“But the main figure to the average person,” he continued, “the main figure  is still, other than Sandusky himself, Joe Paterno, who has since passed away.  And I really think that there is now some legitimate doubt.”

“I don’t know where the truth is,” Costas added, “but there’s some  legitimate doubt about the extent of Paterno’s involvement. The pat storyline  became, everybody, Paterno included, knew pretty much what Sandusky was up to.  And they all kind of conspired to cover it up to protect the image of the  football program at Penn State.”

“And you don’t think that’s true?” Leno asked.

“I  think that Paterno was negligent,” answered Costas. “I think he should have  recognized what was going on because the warning signals were there. But, having  read the Freeh report, and then having read some of what’s been put out to  refute it, I don’t buy the idea that he was actively involved in a  cover-up.”