The PSU BOT has to have set some sort of record for bad decisions by a governing body with it's latest decisions to not only pay victim settlements, but to make sure the settlements are dragged out and highly publicized.
As I wrote just two weeks ago, PSU's public relations after the November 2011 indictment of Sandusky was voted as one of the worst PR disasters of both 2011 and 2012. However, what is happening with the settlements may be a repeat performance - and the irony is that the PSU BOT claims they are doing this to avoid prolonged bad publicity.
Folks, I have some prime real estate for sale in Florida if you're interested.
Settlements Are A "Set Up"Anyone who knows anything about PR knows that if you are trying to avoid bad publicity, you would not be issuing updates on the progress of the settlements. Obviously, those updates are a reminder of the scandal and casts a negative pall on PSU.
If the goal was to avoid bad publicity - as our trustees explain this exercise is about - then it would WAIT until all of the cases are settled, keep their mouths shut the entire time, and then make the announcement that all the cases were settled on a Friday night when no one is paying attention to the news.
However, as we all know, PSU isn't doing that. No, not in the least. In fact, it's been a constant drip of information about the settlements and the first settlement (to a victim whose abuse story was not believed by a jury) was accompanied by a press statement that stated PSU could have stopped the abuse.
However, even that statement was highly questionable because of the uncertainty surrounding the date of the crime. Nevertheless, PSU made this official statement:
"The pivotal issue from the university's perspective in dealing with the victims is where the incident occurred and when it occurred proximate to the 2001 shower incident."
As John Ziegler opined, this move was clearly done to undermine the cases of Spanier, Curley, and Schultz. How do they get a fair trial when PSU has publicly admitted culpability for this crime? Unless the venue of the trial is in Switzerland, it will be difficult to find an impartial, uninfluenced jury in this case.
Moving ForwardPSU hired so-called PR expert, Lanny Davis, to help manage the PR after the crisis.
I say "so-called" because Lanny just wrote a book and touted his work with Bill Clinton (impeached), Trent Lott (resigned), and Martha Stewart (jailed). So, he was an obvious choice for our train wreck governing body (known as the BOT) to help them manage the crisis.
Based on reliable sources, Lanny's recommendation was: blame it on the dead guy (Joe Paterno) and "move forward" -- the latter is a take off on his "move on" days with the Clintons.
Obviously, the moving on thing hasn't worked so well with the alumni, including PA Senator, John Yudichak, who were not pleased with the campaign and are not going away as long as something called "The Sun" rises and sets.
Howevever, the alumni and Yudichak don't have considerable influence with the media, who are aligned with the interests of Governor Corbett (Patriot News) and the PSU BOT (Centre Daily Times) and are ready to "move on" when given the order. For the record, some media outlets already have moved on and their reporters have been told not to cover the Sandusky story.
Bad Publicity Will Continue for the BOTWhile the some in the media and some football crazed PSU alumni have moved on, those who actually give a damn about PSU didn't. As a result, the BOT can expect PSU and their lousy decisions to stay in the news for a long time.
The Sandusky appeal is scheduled for September 17th. It's a good bet that the janitor incident convictions will be overturned. All Amendola has to do is submit a football media guide into evidence to disprove the dates - and what Louis Freeh called "the most horrific rapes" of the scandal will be wiped off the slate (make that 40 of 48 counts).
And then there is that pesky Paterno lawsuit against the NCAA, whose plaintiffs include those recalcitrant trustees (minus one) and rogue faculty members. The hearing is set for October 29th. Lots of media coverage for that one.
Next, there is the Federal investigation of The Second Mile that is expected to result in charges of a cover-up of Sandusky's crimes by the charity.
While Charlie Thompson of the Patriot News and other media types say they don't have any information on this investigation, here's the deal... this subpoena is still valid. The Feds are still looking for "things" flowing between The Second Mile and Penn State (or perhaps I should say, "The Corporation for Penn State"). It is hard to predict when the Feds will wrap up - white collar crime investigations take time - unless they are getting "help" from someone on the "inside."
Maybe that won't take so long after all. We'll see.
Newly elected Attorney General Kathleen Kane held on her promise to investigate the Sandusky investigation, so her results will obviously put PSU back in the news -- and that news will not be good if she's using the same evidence I did.
Kane has set no timetable for the release of her report, so Erickson has a shot at making it to retirement.
The question is, will he spend it on his farm or a farm that is owned by the Commonwealth?