Sunday, March 17

Mark Battaglia: Full Transcript of Remarks to the PSU BOT

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’'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."


  1. Spoken like a true champion! Unbelievable that Suhey, Joyner, Garban, who all knew Joe's heart and Joe's ethics never came to the defense of a coach who played such a huge role in making them the successful men that they are--two orthopedic physicians and the Vice President of Penn State (Chairman of the Board of Trustees). How could they sit silently behind a man carrying out a personal vendetta (Surma) by while Joe was being crucified? Somehow they forgot the lessons Penn State taught them, loyalty, integrity, honesty. Shame, shame, shame. More than anyone else (except Jerry), they forgot the words, "May no act of ours bring shame to one heart that loves thy name. May our lives but swell thy fame, dear old state, dear old state."

    1. pennstatemyke,
      Paul Suhey was part of a small group of trustees, with Surma, who had been seeking Joe's ouster since 2007. My source of this information is impeccable.

  2. Bravo Mark. This is what success with honor is all about. The BOT falls very short of every life lesson ever taught by Coach Paterno.

  3. It's nothing short of sick that at least a couple individuals on the BOT used this tragedy to either seek revenge on Joe (Surma) or to accomplish something they had been unable to do since at least 2007 or sooner (Suhey and others). While they should have been focused on helping the university correct issues, helping the past and future victims of child abuse, and defending the good name of the university against the acts of a sick man, they were scheming for personal vendettas and agendas. absolutely sick individuals still remain in positions of power at Penn State and we will NOT move forward until we rid ourselves of all of them.

  4. This guy must have been tickled by Sandusky in the right places.