Mark Battaglia Addresses Board of Trustees

Mark Battaglia was the starting center on the 1982 National Championship Football Team.  The first of Penn State’s many National Championship Teams (1968, 1969, 1973, 1986, and 1994) to be recognized as such by the AP and UPI polls.  I was fortunate enough to spend a week of fly-fishing in Montana with Mark back in 2003 and we’ve been friends ever since.
On March 15, 2013, Mark addressed the Penn State Board of Trustees at the meeting in Hershey.

Here are his words: “Thank you.  And thank you for the opportunity to address the Board today. My name is Mark Battaglia and I was fortunate enough to be on the 1982 National Championship Team.

Sadly, to date, there’s only one man who has admitted that with the benefit of hindsight that he wished he would have done more. You see Joe Paterno held us to a higher standard as players. In the classroom, in our lives, on the football field.
And we’re here today to hold you, the Board, to a higher standard.
More specifically, those who have already been held to a higher standard because they played for Joe Paterno or they had brothers or nephews who played for Joe Paterno.
They knew Joe Paterno like we knew Joe Paterno.
They were in the huddle with him when the game was on the line, they looked in his eyes, they saw the man, they knew the man.
And yet, they wouldn’t take his call. They wouldn’t make a call.
They sat around silently.
Worse yet, maybe they led the effort to fire Joe.
Was it personal? A personal disappointment?
Did they let a personal issue lead to a potentially $100 million debacle?
You know, Joe always said ‘you’re never as good as you think you are when you win and you’re never as bad as you think you are when you lose.’
The good news here is that we are losing, we didn’t lose, we are losing badly.
We need to change the strategy.
We need the leadership from those very people who played for Joe to lead us out of this thing by changing.
You painted yourself in the corner with this Freeh report. I’m sorry Mr. Frazier…
And this ‘move on’ thing…it’s not happening. The alumnus, the alumni are not buying it.
So Joe said, always said, ‘you have to believe deeply in your heart that you are destined to do great things.’
You guys can do that. There’s still time.
There are 500,000 alumni out there hoping and praying that you accept the challenge.
Thank you.”
Posted by at 11:25 PM

Lettermen Plan to “ROAST” the Board of Trustees

Some 30 Penn State lettermen are planning to roast the university’s board of trustees at their meeting Friday afternoon in Hershey.

The lettermen have registered to speak during the public comment period during the meeting, and they plan to hold a press conference after the meeting.

“We want to look the trustees in the eyes and tell them that their actions over the last 16 months have brought great harm upon Penn State, our beloved program and the innocent players and coaches who now occupy our locker room,” Brian Masella, a tight end and punter from 1971 to 1975, said in a statement.

The meeting starts at 1:30 p.m. in Room 302 of the University Fitness and Conference Center at Penn State’s Hershey Medical Center.

The players hope to secure all 10 slots during the public comment session in the hope of persuading the trustees to reconsider the conclusions of the Freeh report and the unprecedented NCAA sanctions.

The board just began offering a public comment period this academic year, and university spokesman David La Torre said the “(b)oard looks forward to hearing from all parties who will speak.”

“Now that Sue Paterno has come forward with the exceptional and thorough work of Gov. Dick Thornburgh, FBI expert Jim Clemente and attorney Wick Sollers, we stand united with her and her family in decrying the absurd conclusions of Louis Freeh,” the players said in a news release. “He didn’t know Joe.

“We knew Joe.”

The players’ statement said the trustees should have had the courage to speak to Paterno in November 2011 before forcing him out as the coach.

Trustee and former Nittany Lion lettermen Paul Suhey disputed that Paterno was fired and said the coach was “retired three weeks early.”

Suhey said the board regrets that it was carried out by a phone call.

“People are still so hurt by that, and you know, damn it, we screwed it up,” Suhey said.

The terms are up this year for Suhey and fellow alumni trustee Stephanie Deviney, who are facing a hostile environment for re-election.

Harris Effort Not About Football Legacy


by Bradley Mitchell

Franco Harris’s efforts to get to the truth are not about restoring a football legacy. It’s about correcting a huge public misperception about the Penn State culture and Joe Paterno.The real culture of Penn State is one of academic and athletic excellence with integrity and character — a uniting culture of genuine pride and worthy reverence for alumni, students, faculty and staff.Ironically, the man who consistently, tirelessly and relentlessly led the efforts to build this differentiating culture for 61 years was a football coach.How many universities have a libraries named after football coaches and athletic arenas named after former university presidents?Penn Staters are excited about our culture because Penn State does it differently — does it the right way, with legitimate student athletes, students who are here for an education and happen to play sports.In response to editor Chip Minemyer’s cheap shot (“Franco Harris should use voice to support PSU beyond football,” CDT, Sunday), it wasn’t that Harris was afraid to take a hit; he knew when and how to take a hit. Running out of bounds and perhaps avoiding injury in favor of a longer and more productive life with no diminution in his football performance, Harris underscores my point: The Penn State culture produces smart people with character, and some of them, like Harris, happen to be great athletesHarris obviously believes courageous leadership in the face of public criticism is a hit worth taking in our quest for the truth and setting the record straight. I do, too.


Emmert Needs to Resign or Be Fired!!

The NCAA has become a circus, and President Mark Emmert is the clown wearing a big red nose.  An agency designed to regulate and enforce the rules of college sports is now being pointed to and laughed at by the schools under its watch.  What was supposed to be an investigation of University of Miami and former booster Nevin Shapiro involving cash and trips to strip clubs he gave to Hurricane players for almost a decade turned into the NCAA instead reviewing its own enforcement staff.  Shortly after the NCAA launched its detective work into the Shapiro case, it was revealed in January the NCAA paid Shapiro’s lawyer $19,000 for additional information obtained via her subpoena power in the case.

Now the NCAA can’t use any of the information acquired, which is 20 percent of the total evidence it has on Miami.

Emmert then fired his vice president of enforcement, Julie Roe Lach, holding her accountable for the failed plan to collect more information on Shapiro around NCAA bylaws.  The NCAA’s wrongdoing in the Shapiro case is just the tip of the iceberg. Ever since Emmert took over in November 2010, the NCAA has been a colossal mess.

It passed legislation in October making head coaches on college campuses liable for what their assistants do. Apparently, Emmert didn’t get the memo.  North Carolina and Penn State were punished because of former head coaches Butch Davis and Joe Paterno’s ignorance to what was happening around themYet, when the tables turn on the NCAA and it’s brought under scrutiny, Emmert uses unawareness as his defense“I knew nothing,” has been Emmert’s response to the numerous bonehead tactics employed by his own enforcement investigators.

Coaches are held accountable for not maintaining an atmosphere of compliance. So why isn’t Emmert?  There’s no standard set in place when it comes to dealing with NCAA infractions. Take the cases of UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad and University of Texas sophomore Myck Kabongo.  Kabongo was suspended for the first 23 games of the 2012-13 season for accepting airfare to Cleveland, Ohio from former Longhorns teammate Tristan Thompson in October 2012. The grand total of cost for his trip? A whopping $476.  The Longhorns’ best player finally played in his first game on Feb. 13 against Iowa State. By then, Texas’ record was 10-13, which most likely leaves it out of any kind of postseason tournament.

At UCLA, Muhammad was investigated for receiving approximately $1,600 in benefits on visits to North Carolina and Duke paid for by financial adviser Benjamin Lincoln. His family said Lincoln was a family friend and he asked the NCAA for approval before paying for the visits.  So what was Muhammad’s penalty from the NCAA?  Because he had to sit out of UCLA’s first three games of the season, the NCAA reinstated Muhammad on Nov. 11 with no further penalties. The Bruins are currently 19-7 and should find themselves in the Big Dance come March thanks much in part to Muhammad’s 18.5 points per game.

Sounds fair, right?

It turns out the NCAA was trying to save face again with its inquiry into Muhammad’s situation. In December 2012, the NCAA fired the lead investigator of the Muhammad case, Abigail Grantstein, after her boyfriend was overheard on a plane talking loudly about the case.  So was Muhammad actually cleared of wrongdoing, or did Emmert and his goons just want to cover up one of its lead investigators’ boyfriends who told an entire airplane about an ongoing NCAA case?

A review of the external NCAA enforcement had many casualties like Roe Lach, and of course, Emmert escaped unscathed.  Yet another example of how Emmert holds universities to double standards but doesn’t feel the need to impose on himself.

Say one thing, do another, has become Emmert’s bread and butter, which is bad news for the NCAA and its credibility going forward if he doesn’t resign.

Joe’s Legacy Is In Our Hearts, Not Statues or Buildings

By Keith Platt

While the powers that be can tear down statues and vacate wins, Joe’s legacy
isn’t encapsulated by a building, a statue or a trophy. Joe’s monument is
enshrined in all of the young men he taught to be leaders. Joe’s legacy is
enshrined in each of those young men that we had the honor and privilege to
cheer for and call our own. Whatever moral failings Joe may have had, he always
managed to recruit the highest caliber of young men to play football for his
team. This is evidenced by the graduation rates and GPA, at or among the highest
in Division I Football. It is also evidenced by the large amount of players who
chose, voluntarily, to give their time and efforts to Special Olympics and THON.
This is how I choose to remember Coach Paterno

What is Joe Paterno’s Legacy? It is THE PENN STATE WAY!

Excerpted from the SBNation, bscaff

The legacy isn’t the statue in front of Beaver Stadium. The mob can have that. Take it down. Joe never liked it to begin with.

It is not that 23,000-seat Beaver Field begat 107,000-seat Beaver Stadium. It’s not 409 wins, National Championships, undefeated seasons, Academic All-Americans, Peachy Paterno ice cream, black shoes, cuffed pants, or white socks. It’s not the referee doll Grandma Sue hung in effigy on the front porch.

It’s not even the Library, or the College of Liberal Arts, or the Paterno Fellows, or the Religious Center, or the Centre County Special Olympics, or the Greek Scholars.

And it’s not just the football lettermen, so many of whom graduated and enjoy successful, productive lives.

It’s the Penn State Way. It’s an ethos. It’s why Penn Staters are so conflicted and upset.

The Penn State Way commissions a multi-million dollar independent investigation which, in eight months, revealed more than did three years of state criminal investigations. Then, the Penn State Way publishes the painful results for the world to mock, while we admit our mistakes, and resolve to move forward and improve.

Do you know why Penn State alums have been so angry with you, Board of Trustees? It’s because you acted precisely opposite of the Penn State Way, when you fired Joe without facts; then claimed he wasn’t fired; then requested his 1980 PSU rotary telephone using a form letter; and then fired him again in another press release.

But, at least you spent $6.5 million wisely. At least you redeemed yourselves.

That’s right, lazy, angry sportswriting jerks. The reason you can tear down the Paterno temple; the reason you can claim Joe lied is because Penn State investigated itself more critically than the Commonwealth government. Then, it told all to everyone. How does that compare to SMU you nooby stooges?

WE don’t cut corners. WE play all or none. WE do the right thing. WE maintain higher standards. WE give our best effort always. WE help the less fortunate. And, WE stand up, are counted, and WE FIGHT! when WE see a wrong. That’s why…


Yes, Joe Paterno failed the Penn State Way in the Sandusky scandal. He wasn’t alone, nor was he the most culpable. But, over the preceeding 60 years, he also taught and lived the Penn State Way. He is, in large part, precisely why Penn Staters feel that there is a “Penn State Way” at all.

That is a great legacy. It’s a far sight better than the sportswriters’ Paterno temple. And no amount of scorn, contempt, or shouting can change it.

Freeh LIES!!

Written By Jeffrey Simons, Aurabass


After Curley’s initial updates to Paterno, the available record is not clear as to how the conclusion of the Sandusky investigation was conveyed to Paterno. Witnesses consistently told the Special Investigative Counsel that Palerno was in control of the football facilities and knew “everything that was going on.”  As Head Coach, he had the authority to establish permissible uses of his football facilities. Nothing in the record indicates that Curley or Schultz discussed whether Paterno should restrict or terminate Sandusky’s uses of the facilities or that Paterno conveyed any such expectations to Sandusky. Nothing in the record indicates that Spanier, Schultz, Paterno or Curley spoke directly with Sandusky about the allegation or monitored his activities.

  1. Freeh flat out LIESthere is NO record of any “update” by Curley to Paterno.
  2. Then he uses the prejudicial unfounded theory that Joe knew “everything that was going on”
  3. Then Freeh blames Paterno for doing nothing to restrict Sandusky’s use of facilities over an investigation he was not supposed to know about and did not know about.
  4. And states that the record shows Paterno never spoke to Sandusky about the allegations.
How can anyone take Freeh’s claims about Joe seriously after reading that?
So let’s skip forward to the 2011 Grand Jury Testimony of Joe Paterno and the allegations that he LIED to the Grand Jury.
Paterno also testified in January 2011 before the Grand Jury. Paterno was asked,

“Other than the [2001] incident that Mike McQueary reported to you, do you know in any way, through rumor, direct knowledge or any other fashion, of any other inappropriate sexual conduct by Jerry Sandusky with young boys?” Paterno responded, “I do not know of anything else that Ierry would be involved in of that nature, no. I do not know of it. You did mention — I think you said something about a rumor. It may have been discussed in my presence, something else about somebody. I don’t know. I don’t remember, and I could not honestly say I heard a rumor.” The Special Investigative Counsel requested an interview with Paterno in December 2011. Through his counsel, Paterno expressed interest in participating but died before he could be interviewed. Paterno’s family has publicly denied that Paterno had knowledge of the 1998 incident!”

These are the statements used to say Joe lied about knowing of the 1998 investigation. He is now 85 years of age trying to recall if he knew or heard anything about any other incident. He seems to struggle to recall if he had heard a rumor.
The 1998 investigation was conducted confidentially. It appears that Gary Schultz through Tom Harmon at the PSU police was somewhat aware that an investigation was in progress and Tim Curley was advised by Gary Schultz that a DPW Dept of Public Welfare person Lauro was going to interview the boy and Jerry at some point. This does not mean that Gary or Tim were given more than this access to information about the 1998 investigation. It did not seem that serious to them. To extrapolate that Joe would even be interested seems to be a stretch. Joe had a football program to run and a mother’s complaint about a shower with a coach wasn’t a big issue for this reason expressed quite well by PSU Coach Anderson at the Sandusky trial.

Dick Anderson, a longtime Penn State assistant and Sandusky friend who retired in January, testified that he and other members of the football staff were present when Sandusky brought young boys into the team’s showers. He said he never witnessed anything inappropriate.”If Jerry would bring someone in with The Second Mile, they had been working out, for whatever reason they came in, it was not uncommon … with the other coaches in the shower as well, adults and children often shower together at gyms. He noted, for example, that it’s not unusual for him to be in the showers with boys at the YMCA.

In a section of the Freeh report titled A. Sandusky’ s Criminal Activity 1995-1998on page 40

Before May 1998, several staff members and football coaches regularly observed Sandusky showering with yormg boys in the Lasch Building (now the East Area Locker Building or “Old Lasch”). None of the individuals interviewed by the Special Investigative Cormsel notified their superiors of this behavior. Former Coach Richard Anderson testified at Sanduskys trial in Irme 2012 that he often saw Sandusky in the showers with children in the football facilities but he did not believe the practice to be improper.“

Freeh labels this to be revelations of “Criminal Activity” but that is only in the wake of the 2012 conviction of Sandusky on the grooming charges where the pattern of this grooming establishes them as critical..Rightly or wrongly the coaching staff did not consider these kids using their locker room and showers to be criminal in any way. Since that was the prevailing attitude it’s easy to see why Joe would not consider this investigation of a shower to be of any importance. Joe like these other coaches was of a time when males of varying ages used group showers all the time without it seeming anything but natural.
Freeh seems to base his entire indictment of Joe and Penn State on the premise that they knew or thought Jerry Sandusky was a criminal pedophile because he showered with boys. Freeh assumes this meant they did not care about protecting kids from sex abuse. It seems clear to me they never considered these showers to be sex abuse. As athletes and coaches they had always seen men and boys in showers and thought nothing of it.
Absent any proof of actual sexual activity these Penn State men would never suspect this 30 year coach who lived and worked with them long hours as family to be a pedophile. He was Jerry the Charity Founder, Foster Father and the man honored by George HW Bush and Senator Santorum who wrote books and was the prized Defensive Coordinator at Linebacker U. He loved kids and gave all his spare time to helping them. How could he be some evil predator and bugger of young boys.
So put yourself in Joe’s shoes in 1998 wiping any knowledge of Jerry Sandusky from your mind.
1) These emails do not show that Joe was notified of anything to do with 1998
2) Emails and notes show that Joe was in a dilemma on what to do about Jerry as a coach because
    a) he spent too much time doing admirable charity work and
    b) he was considering retirement and a position as assistant Athletic Director
3) Joe would not be alarmed by any rumor or report about Jerry showering with kids
4) If Joe knew anything why would he lie about an investigation that held NO CRIMINAL behavior?
Joe Paterno was never known to be a LIAR. Louis Freeh? well there are Lies in this report.
I am a Tennessee Grad living in Knoxville with no ties to Penn State and no particular love for Joe P.