NCAA: It’s not our job to ensure educational quality


By Sara Ganim, CNN

Updated 8:47 PM ET, Wed April 1, 2015

In response to lawsuit, NCAA says it doesn’t control quality of education for student-athletes
But its website emphasizes importance of education, “opportunities to learn”
Lawsuit claims students didn’t get an education because of academic fraud at UNC

(CNN)After years of making the case that the education of athletes is paramount, the NCAA now says it has no legal responsibility to make sure education is actually delivered.

On its website, the NCAA prominently states, “It’s our commitment — and our responsibility — to give young people opportunities to learn, play and succeed.” And later, it says that “in the collegiate model of sports, the young men and women competing on the field or court are students first, athletes second.”

But the NCAA is taking a very different position in response to a lawsuit filed by former University of North Carolina athletes. The lawsuit claimed the students didn’t get an education because they were caught up in the largest known academic fraud scandal in NCAA history.

In its response, the NCAA says it has no legal responsibility “to ensure the academic integrity of the courses offered to student-athletes at its member institutions.”

Even with pages of online information about academic standards, and even though the NCAA has established a system of academic eligibility and accountability that it boasts of regularly, NCAA attorneys wrote in this court filing that “the NCAA did not assume a duty to ensure the quality of the education of student-athletes,” and “the NCAA does not have ‘direct, day-to-day, operational control’ ” over member institutions like UNC.

“It’s nonsense. It’s double talk,” said Gerald Gurney, a former athletic-academic director who is now president of The Drake Group for academic integrity in collegiate sport.

“If you look at their basic core principles, it’s all about academics, the experience, the integration of academics, and the education of the student is paramount,” Gurney said. “They seem to talk out of both sides of their mouths.”

The NCAA referred calls for comment to an online statement, which read in part:

The NCAA believes that the lawsuit misunderstands the NCAA’s role with respect to its member schools and ignores the myriad steps the NCAA has taken to assist student-athletes in being equipped to excel both in the classroom and on the playing field.

“This case is troubling for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that the law does not and has never required the NCAA to ensure that every student-athlete is actually taking full advantage of the academic and athletic opportunities provided to them,” said Donald Remy, NCAA chief legal officer.

In its response to the lawsuit, it also likened its role to that of the American Bar Association or American Medical Association, and said that those entities are not sued every time a lawyer or doctor acts inappropriately.

‘Lost its meaning’–The scandal at UNC involved thousands of athletes who, over 18 years, were funneled into classes that never met, where advisers fudged grades and accepted plagiarism so that athletes who were falling behind in class could remain eligible to play sports.

Mary Willingham, the UNC whistleblower turned NCAA critic, has for years said that athletes across the country are accepted to colleges even though they’re academically underprepared and then pushed into classes where little work is required. The system of eligibility that the NCAA brags about, she says, is a sham.

“Why do we go through the trouble of compliance if we can’t legitimize that the courses are real and the education is real anyway? It makes no sense,” said Willingham, who recently wrote a book about the UNC scandal called “Cheated.” “If they can’t legitimize that the academics are real and take no responsibility for that, then why certify students semester after semester to play? It’s lost its meaning for me.”

The NCAA’s claim that it’s hands-off when it comes to athletics seems to be a direct contradiction of what the organization has been repeating for years, not just in the rhetoric on its website, but in speeches by its president, Mark Emmert, and in court defending itself from numerous lawsuits over paying athletes.

For example, before it lost a case filed by former UCLA player Ed O’Bannon, suing for the right of athletes to make money off their images and likenesses, the NCAA stood on the pillar of amateurism, insisting that college athletes are paid with an education.

That’s the defense the NCAA is now using in another class action filed by big-time sports attorney Jeffrey Kessler, seeking to make college sports a free market where athletes are paid salaries based on their value.

In response, the NCAA said that what sets college sports apart from pros is education: Consistent with “its commitment to amateurism, member institutions conduct their athletics programs for students who choose to participate in intercollegiate athletics as a part of their educational experience and in accordance with NCAA bylaws.”

Attorney Michael Hausfeld, who represented both O’Bannon and now the UNC athletes, said this:

“This startling inconsistency is unfortunately all too symptomatic of the NCAA’s shifting rhetoric and faltering commitment to its college athletes. NCAA President Mark Emmert has repeatedly proposed that ‘What we live for is the education of our athletes,’ but the NCAA’s record tells a far different story.”

But Rick Burton, professor of sport management at Syracuse University, said it’s not realistic to think that the NCAA would regulate every professor and every course an athlete might take at each university across the country.

“I understand, I think, where the NCAA is coming from. We would not let the NCAA come in and tell us how to run our chemistry department at Syracuse University,” he said.

“It sounds like someone is trying to say the NCAA should have been supervising that department at the University of North Carolina, and there’s no logic to that,” he said. “The people who are saying the NCAA should be held accountable for academics at every school are just looking for an opportunity to throw rocks at the NCAA.”

UNC, which was also sued, has admitted to the fraud, but also asked for a judge to throw out the case, saying the athletes waited too long — seven years — to sue and the “educational malpractice” theory doesn’t apply. UNC claims it is protected by state law

No health and safety enforcement–This is reminiscent of another NCAA reversal.

The NCAA, which was founded a century ago to protect athletes from “dangerous and exploitive athletic practices,” now says it does not enforce health and safety rules.

In fact, in response to a lawsuit filed by the family of a player who died in 2011, the NCAA wrote: “The NCAA denies that it has a legal duty to protect student-athletes.”

A CNN investigation found that the NCAA has failed to open investigations in several cases where safety rules allegedly were broken. It has also fallen behind in imposing rules for concussions — far behind even the NFL.

Ramogi Huma, president of the National College Players Association, and a leading thorn in the NCAA’s side for decades, said this latest backpedaling from the NCAA leaves him wondering why the organization exists at all.

“There’s nothing left the NCAA can claim it does that is beneficial to college athletes or society. One has to wonder what does the NCAA do if it doesn’t protect players? If it doesn’t play a role in the education of college athletics? It begs the question of why does the NCAA exist — and why does it have a tax exemption.”

Suhey Directs Erickson to Tear Down Statue


Recent court depositions, and the discovery process for the Paterno estate’s lawsuit against the NCAA, show that the Paterno statue should have never been removed.

It therefore needs to be returned to its rightful place effective immediately.

Trustees Kenneth Frazier and Keith Masser were forced to admit under oath that they and their colleagues, as of Nov. 9, 2011, not only scapegoated Joe Paterno for public relations reasons, but then lied about this in March 2012 when they said they fired Paterno for “failure of leadership.” Masser’s deposition says, “The decision to remove Paterno had nothing to do with what he had known, what he hadn’t done.

It was based upon the distraction of having him on the sidelines would have caused the university and the current football team harm.”

Nobody who scapegoats any subordinate is qualified to hold any position of trust, and no organization can afford to tolerate liars in responsible positions. Discovery in the Paterno estate’s lawsuit, meanwhile, obtained an email in which ex-Trustee Paul Suhey directed former President Rodney Erickson to remove the statue to placate the now-disgraced NCAA.

“I don’t care if you have to bring your own bulldozer over and drag it to your farm, do it!” Suhey wrote, to which Erickson replied, “That’s precisely what I’m trying to do, Paul. Was on the phone earlier with Mark Emmert.”

As far as I can tell, Suhey had no authority as an individual trustee to give Erickson this directive, and Erickson had no right to obey it.

Karen Peetz–Honesty and Integrity is an Issue For Her


Ms. Karen B. Peetz has been the President of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation since January 01, 2013 and serves as its President of BNY Mellon NA. Ms. Peetz served as the Chief Executive Officer of BNY Mellon’s Issuer, Treasury & Broker Dealer Services since July 2008.

She was Chairman of the Pennsylvania State University’s Board of Trustees when the Consent Decree with the NCAA was signed. Ms. Peetz has a Bachelor of Science from Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Science from Johns Hopkins University.

Bank of New York Mellon will pay $714 million to settle state and federal charges that it engaged in a scheme to defraud clients by systematically adding hidden spreads to foreign currency trades executed on their behalf, government prosecutors announced Thursday.
BNY Mellon, based in New York, “admitted the factual details of its fraud” and will fire certain executives involved in the fraud, including the head of products management, David Nichols, who was named as a defendant in the federal lawsuit, according to New York’s attorney general and the U.S Attorney’s office in Manhattan. The trust and custody giant also will “reform its practices to improve and increase the information it provides to its customers,” the joint release said.
BNY Mellon had foreshadowed the settlement last month in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing in which it said it was revising fourth-quarter earnings downward by $598 million to account for the anticipated deal.
State and federal fraud charges in the matter were filed in 2011. A former currency trader for BNY Mellon in Pittsburgh, Grant Wilson, was previously identified as a whistleblower in the case.

Age 58

Total Calculated Compensation 5,532,958

She is connected to 225 board members in 6 different organizations across 7 different industries

Alumni have harsh words for Penn State trustees during public comments


LORI FALCE
HERSHEY — “How important is accountability?” Barry Fenchak asked at the Penn State board of trustees meeting.

If the public comments were right, it’s pretty important. Fenchak, a faculty member and alumnus who has been removed from past meetings for disrupting the public comment portion with his outspoken critiques of the board, held to form as he kicked off Friday’s comments with harsh words again.  “We all know that the genesis of so many issues we face is from the unaccountable board,” he said. “This is the cancer that afflicts Penn State.”  He wasn’t alone in his criticism.

Penn State Boardwatch chairman and former trustee candidate Jeff Goldsmith took them to task for disregarding suggestions for reforming the board structure.  After months of debate and many options for streamlining or making other changes, the governance committee opted in September to endorse a last-minute plan that added student, faculty and selected at-large trustees, plus the immediate past president of the alumni association, as voting members, but took votes away from the state secretaries of education, agriculture and conservation and natural resources.

In November, however, after Tom Corbett lost the gubernatorial race, Tom Wolf asked that they delay passing the reform until after his inauguration. State Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, R-Benner Township, and Sen. John Yudichak, D-Luzerne, also pushed for delay as they worked toward reform.  The board moved ahead, but suspended taking away the secretaries’ votes. That means the voting total will become 36 when the new members are added.

Yudichak is collecting co-sponsors for a new quest to change the structure. He hopes to introduce his bill next month.

“You’re not getting on top of it,” Goldsmith told the board. “Engage the state. Work with them. If you don’t do it, the state will do it for you. It’s time to stop being reactive. It’s time to be proactive.”

There were attacks on the Freeh report as a “self-inflicted wound” the board delivered to the university. Alumnus Steve Masters called the actions “rash and irresponsible, a dereliction of fiduciary responsibility.”

A student even had damning words for one unidentified trustee. Melissa McCleery, a member of the sexual assault task force, said that at the January meeting, one of the board members dismissed her with rolled eyes, leaving her “the most disrespected and insulted” she had ever felt in her life.  The public comments were made in a conference room at the Hershey Lodge while the board members were in another room. It was the second time the setup was used.  “We will continue to come to this mockery of a public comment session as long as they have them,” alumna Denise McClellan said.

Read more here: http://www.centredaily.com/2015/03/20/4662235_alumni-have-harsh-words-for-penn.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

Baltimore Ravens Offensive Lineman John Urschel Publishes Paper In Math Journal


Some NFL players spend their offseason working out. Others travel around the world. Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman John Urschel has done both while also getting an article published in a math journal.

Urschel, the Ravens’ 2014 fifth-round pick who graduated from Penn State with 4.0 GPA, also happens to be a brilliant mathematician. This week he and several co-authors published a piece titled “A Cascadic Multigrid Algorithm for Computing the Fiedler Vector of Graph Laplacians” in the Journal of Computational Mathematics. You can read the full piece here: http://arxiv.org/abs/1412.0565

Here’s the summary of the paper:

“In this paper, we develop a cascadic multigrid algorithm for fast computation of the Fiedler vector of a graph Laplacian, namely, the eigenvector corresponding to the second smallest eigenvalue. This vector has been found to have applications in fields such as graph partitioning and graph drawing. The algorithm is a purely algebraic approach based on a heavy edge coarsening scheme and pointwise smoothing for refinement. To gain theoretical insight, we also consider the related cascadic multigrid method in the geometric setting for elliptic eigenvalue problems and show its uniform convergence under certain assumptions. Numerical tests are presented for computing the Fiedler vector of several practical graphs, and numerical results show the efficiency and optimality of our proposed cascadic multigrid algorithm.”

When he’s not protecting Joe Flacco, the 23-year-old Urschel enjoys digging into extremely complicated mathematical models.

“I am a mathematical researcher in my spare time, continuing to do research in the areas of numerical linear algebra, multigrid methods, spectral graph theory and machine learning. I’m also an avid chess player, and I have aspirations of eventually being a titled player one day.”

– See more at: http://yahoo.thepostgame.com/blog/balancing-act/201503/john-urschel-baltimore-ravens-nfl-football-math#sthash.avUHj2Tm.dpuf

Thanks to Kebmodee for bringing this to the attention of the It’s Interesting community

Penn State President Statement on Fraternity Facebook Group


BY SHAWN ANNARELLI
sannarelli@centredaily.comMarch 19, 2015 Updated 4 hours ago

Penn State President Eric Barron released a statement late Wednesday calling a Kappa Delta Rho members-only Facebook page, where members allegedly shared pictures of nude women, “appalling, offensive and inconsistent with our community’s values.”

The whistle was blown on the fraternity in January by a former KDR member, who told State College police about a private, invitation-only group called “2.0,” according to an affidavit of probable cause filed by State College detective Chris Weaver.

The member told police there were 144 members on the page, including students and graduates. He also said it was the second time the fraternity made such a page, because an original group called “Covert Business Transactions” was shut down after a woman allegedly found topless photos of herself on the page after a member forgot to log off, according to court documents.

Barron said the images were not only unacceptable, “but also potentially criminal.”

“As president of Penn State, I am shocked and angered by the apparent disregard for not only the law, but also human dignity,” Barron said in the statement. “I pledge that everything within our power will be done to hold those responsible accountable for their actions and to assist anyone who has been victimized by these shameful acts.”

Barron, however, also took a shot at media, which he said “clamor for immediate expulsion of unidentified and yet-to-be charged individuals.”

He urged patience to allow the criminal investigation to play out.

“There are still no named suspects in this case, nor charges — and we cannot speculate on the details of this matter without potentially compromising the investigation itself,” Barron said. “We are not only assisting police, we also are pursuing our own student conduct inquiry. It’s important to note that due process is a fundamental aspect of any criminal or disciplinary investigation. If we wish to find the facts and hold individuals accountable, we must honor the commitment to basic fairness in the processes involved. We will see this process through.”

Barron said he applauded the Interfraternity Council for suspending the Penn State KDR on March 3.

“It is understandable that there has been considerable public outcry demanding the immediate closure of the chapter,” IFC President Rick Groves said in a statement.

“I would like to reiterate that this investigation is still ongoing, and any decision before its completion would be, at best, premature,” Groves said. “A system that caves to public sentiment is not distributing justice; it is distributing vengeance. … Rest assured that Kappa Delta Rho will be held accountable. Their justice will be swift, but it will not be frantically determined.”

Barron said the university is also working with KDR’s national headquarters to determine whether the fraternity will continue to have a presence at Penn State.

Barron said some members of the university’s leadership, though he did not specify who, think the fraternity system at Penn State should be re-evaluated.

He urged anyone with information about Kappa Delta Rho to contact the Penn State Office of Student Conduct at 863-0342 or the State College Police at 234-7150.

Shawn Annarelli can be reached at 235-3928. Follow him on Twitter @Shawn_Annarelli.

Ex-PSU President Files Defamation Suit Over Sandusky Report


STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Former Penn State president Graham Spanier filed a defamation lawsuit Wednesday that accuses ex-FBI director Louis Freeh of scapegoating him in Freeh’s scathing report on the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

The long-promised lawsuit called the Freeh report “a public relations product” that faulted Spanier, then-football coach Joe Paterno and other school leaders in order to vindicate the board, which had hired Freeh to conduct the internal probe amid allegations concerning Sandusky, a former assistant coach.

The suit also accused the university of breach of contract.

“The Penn State Board of Trustees needed Freeh to assign blame for Sandusky’s behavior and to justify the hasty personnel decisions made in the aftermath of the Sandusky scandal,” Spanier’s lawyer, Libby Locke, wrote in a press release.

By the time of the July 2012 report, the board had fired Paterno, gotten Spanier to resign and sent vice president Gary Schultz back into retirement, the lawsuit noted.

Spanier, Schultz and former athletic director Timothy Curley are still awaiting a criminal trial over their handling of complaints that Sandusky was molesting children.

Freeh also knew the NCAA expected him to target high-level school officials “to justify the NCAA’s highly dubious claim to have jurisdiction to punish Penn State for Sandusky’s actions,” the lawsuit said.

New Penn State President Eric Barron has pledged to review both the report and the source material, given the acrimony that has developed in its wake. Freeh’s report was issued shortly before a consent decree between Penn State and the NCAA that resulted in a four-year bowl ban, a $60 million fine and a temporary loss of football scholarships. The NCAA recently ended the bowl ban and restored the scholarships.

Freeh’s office did not immediately return a message Wednesday seeking comment. A university spokesman said officials would have no comment until they can review the complaint.

Spanier Files Suit


Former Penn State president Graham Spanier is suing former FBI chief Louis J. Freeh for defamation and tortious interference and Penn State University for breach of contract, according to a complaint filed Wednesday afternoon in Centre County, Pennsylvania.

The 140-page lawsuit accuses Freeh and his law firm, Freeh Sporkin & Sullivan, of “knowingly and maliciously” publishing “false and defamatory” statements about Spanier in the July 2012 Freeh report that accused the longtime PSU president of being part of a cover-up of child sex abuse by retired assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

Spanier, 66, filed his civil lawsuit while waiting to stand trial on charges of perjury, endangering the welfare of children, obstruction of justice, failure to report child abuse, conspiracy to commit perjury and conspiracy to endanger the welfare of children.

“By all accounts, Dr. Spanier was one of the most honored and decorated university presidents with a sterling reputation before Freeh and Penn State published these false conclusions,” said Libby Locke, a lawyer for Spanier and a partner at Clare Locke in Alexandria, Virginia. “Dr. Spanier knows that he is innocent. And once an impartial jury has the opportunity to weigh the full body of evidence — not just Freeh’s one-sided presentation of it — Dr. Spanier is confident that the public will know it, too.”

Officials from Penn State declined comment; Freeh’s office said he was traveling and not available for comment.

The complaint also accuses “certain members” of Penn State’s board of trustees of making “disparaging statements” about Spanier in the weeks and months following Sandusky’s arrest in November 2011.

Spanier served as Penn State’s president from 1995 through 2011.

His lawyers accuse several PSU trustees of falsely telling members of the media and the public that Spanier had been fired when he and the university signed a termination agreement that allowed him to keep an array of benefits, including a tenured professorship, which Locke said he still has, though the university is in the process of attempting to revoke it. In addition to publishing the Freeh report on a university website, two members of the board of trustees “repeatedly made negative comments about Dr. Spanier” during two news conferences that violated a non-disparagement clause in Spanier’s termination contract, the lawsuit alleges.

The Freeh report’s damning portrait of Spanier led directly to criminal charges being filed against him by the Pennsylvania attorney general and have “caused him economic harm,” his lawsuit alleges. Two other former PSU leaders — former athletic director Tim Curley and former university president Gary Schultz — are also awaiting a criminal trial on charges of perjury and failure to properly report suspected child abuse.

In July 2013, Spanier filed notice that he intended to file a libel-type lawsuit against Freeh, but his complaint was not filed until Wednesday afternoon at the Centre County courthouse in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. Spanier’s defense of the criminal charges and his fight to rehabilitate his reputation will now travel on parallel tracks — one in the Dauphin County criminal courthouse and the other in the Centre County civil courthouse.

In his 267-page report, Freeh alleged that Spanier, football coach Joe Paterno, Curley and Schultz “repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky’s child abuse from the authorities, the university’s board of trustees, the Penn State community and the public at large.”

But Spanier’s lawsuit denies his role: “During his tenure as President of Penn State, Dr. Spanier never received any information that Sandusky had abused a child. Dr. Spanier was never provided information that would lead him to conclude that Sandusky had ever committed a criminal act directed at a child until after Sandusky’s criminal indictment.”

“Louis Freeh concluded that Dr. Spanier was aware of Jerry Sandusky’s reprehensible behavior, and that he actively covered it up,” Locke said. “That is false. ”

In the complaint, Spanier’s lawyers say Freeh and his law firm were hired by the Penn State Board of Trustees, at a total cost of $8.3 million, to deliver a “preconceived outcome” that justified the board’s decisions to fire Paterno and terminate Spanier’s employment contract at the height of the country’s outrage over the Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

Spanier sat for an interview with Freeh and two his investigators on July 6, 2012, six days before the Freeh report’s release, and for a question-and-answer session that lasted four and a half hours, the complaint says. By then, the complaint alleges, Freeh’s “preconceived outcome for the report” had already been written.

The suit also alleges that Freeh “intentionally interfered” with Spanier’s prospective employment opportunities after leaving Penn State. In April 2012, Freeh heard from trustees that Spanier had been hired by the federal government to work on national security matters after he was cleared during a background check in a Federal Investigative Service report, the complaint says. But Freeh later told the trustees that he and his colleagues had “done our job” and contacted federal officials, the complaint alleges.

“Soon thereafter,” the lawsuit says, “Dr. Spanier’s assignments were terminated.”

“As Dr. Spanier’s defamation complaint lays out, Freeh recklessly and maliciously disregarded evidence demonstrating Dr. Spanier’s innocence, including a Federal Investigative Service report vindicating Dr. Spanier,” Locke said.

In addition, the lawsuit alleges that Freeh discovered exculpatory testimony and facts that refuted the accusations against Spanier, and “purposefully avoided interviewing the most critical individuals with most relevant knowledge.” Freeh and his investigators did not question Paterno, although the coach offered to be interviewed before his death of complications from lung cancer in January 2012. Freeh also did not interview Curley and Schultz, who were both charged in November 2011.

The complaint also attacks Freeh’s “lucrative business model” as a former federal judge and former FBI chief hired by institutions to conduct “so-called ‘independent investigations’ and producing ‘investigative reports’ custom tailored with preconceived storylines to meet his clients’ objectives.”

According to the complaint’s timeline, it’s clear that Spanier’s lawyers intend to rely upon a cache of documents produced during discovery of a recently settled lawsuit filed by two Pennsylvania state officials against the NCAA, including emails, memos and meetings between Freeh’s investigators and NCAA lawyers and enforcement officials in the weeks after Freeh was hired by the Penn State Board of Trustees on Nov. 21, 2011.

Spanier is seeking compensatory and punitive damages from Freeh; his law firm, which is now part of Pepper Hamilton; his consulting firm, Freeh Group International Solutions; and Penn State.

A Penn State spokesman declined to comment about

Don Van Natta Jr. | email
Senior writer, ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com
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Shame Brought on By Penn State Fraternity on Facebook


HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Penn State University fraternity was suspended for a year Tuesday after police began investigating allegations that members used a private, invitation-only Facebook page to post photos of nude and partly nude women, some apparently asleep or passed out.
A former member of Kappa Delta Rho tipped police off to the page, telling them in January that it had been used by members to share photos of “unsuspecting victims, drug sales and hazing,” according to a copy of a police warrant obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press.  The ex-member also provided authorities with printouts from the page.
The fraternity’s national executive director, Joe Rosenberg, told the Penn State chapter in a letter on Tuesday that it is banned from most activities for the near future and must reorganize.  He said the suspension was “for the most serious misconduct, most serious disregard of fraternity rules, policies and property by the chapter.”
A Penn State administrator called the allegations a violation of the standards and values required for recognized student organizations.  “The evidence offered by the Facebook postings is appalling, offensive and inconsistent with the university community’s values and expectations,” Damon Sims, Penn State’s vice president for student affairs, said in a news release.
Sims said the school continues to investigate, and vowed that the university would find those responsible and hold them accountable.  Police said anyone who posted the photos could face misdemeanor charges of harassment or invasion of privacy, with a fine the most likely sentence.
An investigation of the informant’s computer “yielded information on two victims whose images would rise to the level of criminal action,” State College police Lt. Keith Robb said Tuesday.
Facebook was contacted to disable the site and to obtain more information for the investigation, Robb said.
Some of the postings involved nude women in “sexual or embarrassing positions,” the warrant reads. “It appears from the photos provided that the individuals in the photos are not aware that the photos had been taken.”  Penn State’s Interfraternity Council said a full review of Kappa Delta Rho’s conduct will be launched.
According to the ex-fraternity member who went to police, a second page dubbed “2.0” was started in about April 2014 after a woman depicted on the first Facebook page, called “Covert Business Transactions,” complained.  The informant said the woman was visiting the fraternity when a member accidentally left his Facebook page logged in, and she noticed a topless photograph of her had been posted to the group.Robb told the AP she wanted the photo removed but did not wish to press charges.
“A lot of that is probably what we’re going to end up with, people who don’t want anything done, just these photos removed,” Robb said. “That’s already done.”
The investigation was first reported by WJAC-TV in Johnstown.  According to the warrant, the fraternity’s page had 144 active members that included both students and alumni.  The photographs accompanying the warrant included images of fully nude and partly clothed women and a scene of a man appearing to grope a woman, her pants partly pulled down.
Police said the informant who visited the police station provided brief explanations about individual photos. One, he said, showed a woman vomiting in a member’s room. Another, he said, showed “the type of stuff that happens at KDR.” Two other images showed strippers hired by the fraternity for a party.  Some of the posts included with the warrant were images of cellphone text exchanges, including one from a woman apparently concerned about a casual sexual encounter the night before and whether birth control was used.

2015 Trustee Election


After three years of a slow-motion coup, with angry alumni trying to put their stamp on a Penn State board of trustees that many felt they no longer recognized, the revolution, it appears, is over.

In a manner of speaking, anyway. The university announced Monday that just three alumni candidates have qualified for this spring’s ballot for three open alumni trustee seats, meaning the April 10 through May 7 election is essentially uncontested. So, without further ado, PennLive projects the May’s trustee election winners: incumbents Anthony Lubrano and Ryan McCombie, and newcomer Rob Tribeck, a Harrisburg attorney. But seriously, this is an incredible turn of events after three years of unprecedented interest and participation in the alum election process: No less than 86 candidates entered the field in 2012, the first year after the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal turned the public perceptions of the school on its head. Even last year, a field of 30 entered the scrum for three seats. One clear victor here is the grassroots alumni group Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship, which has pretty much owned the alumni election process over the last three years, whether it was fighting incumbent alumni trustees or other slates that argued the PS4RS way was too extreme. The group had thrown its endorsements to Lubrano, McCombie and Tribeck this year. But the drop in candidate interest is also likely due to the fact that the alumni as a whole have no more directly-elected members remaining from the board that voted to, among other things, fire the beloved Joe Paterno. Along the way, big-name incumbents like Jesse Arnelle, Joel Myers, and Paul Suhey have been defeated, or withdrawn from the race before they could be. PS4RS spokeswoman Maribeth Roman Schmidt certainly proclaimed victory after the ballot was set Monday. She said, in part: “Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship is proud of the role we’ve been able to fill in bringing together an active, forceful community of more than 40,000 Penn Staters who have stood up for our tradition of “success with honor” through the university’s darkest days. “We are growing and will continue to be a strong voice for alumni and supporters who believe that truth and justice are worth fighting for.” The nine alumni members still don’t represent anything close to a majority of the overall board. But they have begun to wield influence on some issues as the overall board has gradually turned over, and they certainly give voice to a passionate group of supporters that had felt disenfranchised after the events of November 2011.–Charles Thompson