Sunday, September 15

EILEEN MORGAN: The PSU BOT: Does it answer to anyone?

Eileen Morgan

In November 2011, when the Grand Jury Presentment to indict Jerry Sandusky became public, Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley was put on administrative leave, head football coach Joe Paterno was terminated, and University President Graham Spanier was put in the position of having to resign because the Board of Trustees was unwilling to support him.  These three men were relieved of their duties without due process.  Moreover, the Board had no evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of these individuals. 

On July 12, 2012, The Penn State Board of Trustee's Kenneth Frazier issued the following statement (in part) within hours of the release of the Freeh Report.

Today’s comprehensive report is sad and sobering in that it concludes that at the moment of truth, people in positions of authority and responsibility did not put the welfare of children first.  The Board of Trustees, as the group that has paramount accountability for overseeing and ensuring the proper functioning and governance of the University, accepts full responsibility for the failures that occurred.

This raises the question: How do these trustees, who ‘accept full responsibility for the failures that occurred’, still retain their positions and duties on the Penn State Board?  

If they accepted bearing ultimate responsibility for Sandusky’s crimes, then why has there been no change in their status or positions?  

The Board terminated Paterno and Spanier because they lost ‘confidence in Paterno’s and Spanier’s ability to lead.’  Well, the Board has ‘paramount accountability for overseeing and ensuring the proper functioning and governance of the University.’  Since they admit they failed in their oversight and governance, why are they still leading and running this University?  

They have, as an entity, accepted blame for Sandusky’s crimes.  They are paying out tens of millions of dollars under the theory that the University was responsible for Sandusky, even in the years after his retirement.  Many of the Penn State stakeholders, that is, the faculty, alumni, students, and supporters, have virtually zero confidence in the Board’s ability to lead.  Therefore, based on the Board’s yardstick, all of the seats of the November 9, 2011 trustees should be revoked.

In fact, former Chief Deputy Attorney General Frank Fina claimed in a recent interview on 60 Minutes Sports that he found NO evidence that Joe Paterno conspired to cover up Sandusky’s crimes.  Why hasn’t the Board acknowledged this or apologized for their unwarranted firing of Paterno?

Why doesn’t our University’s governing body have to answer to their stakeholders or some higher power for their decisions?  Isn’t this the exact ‘unchecked power’ that Freeh accused Joe Paterno of having?  

The Board revoked the duties of three honorable Penn State employees who collectively worked for the University 120 years, yet the same rules and criteria for termination somehow do not apply to them.  

How ironic is that?  

Clearly, Penn State has a culture problem.  This culture problem, however, is not with football program, but with the 11-9-11 members of the Board of Trustees.


  1. What are the PSU stakeholders' options regarding removal of or otherwise holding accountable the members of the 11-9-11 Board?

    Surely a BoT must answer to its stakeholders. So, specifically, what are the options in this case?

  2. Dear Eileen:
    I hoped that you would have figured this out by now. Ken Frazier probably scripted Freeh's press conference. Ken Frazier was in collusion with Freeh and the NCAA to produce an accusatory document. Freeh is chairman of Pepper Hamilton executive committee. Pepper Hamilton represents Merck (and got paid 8.1 megabucks by Frazier and his BOT cronies). Merck donates lots of money to Tom Corbett's campaign coffers. Ken Frazier is using the same strong-arm tactics that he and Pepper Hamilton used to cover up the fraudulent data package they submitted to FDA on Vioxx in 1999/2000. When the depth of the fraud was discovered in 2009, PA's AG (Tom Corbett) took no legal action against Merck. Texas and many other states threw the book at Merck and just stopped short of negligent homicide charges, since 88,000 Americans died premature deaths due to Frazier's fraud. Australia actual considered homicide charges, but got tied up in a legal morass. Frazier is a murderer. Tom Corbett is an accessory.

    1. So PSU's stakeholders have a worthy opponent (Frazier). No need to lay down, though, in this case. Frazier's own dismissive comment, on record, of "so-called due process" should provide strong evidence in support of the position that Frazier and the other 11-9-11 PSU BoT members did NOT act in the best interest of PSU. Regardless of Frazier's (and Corbett's) success at escaping guilt previously, the Sandusky case clearly suggests that something other than fair, open investigation is going on.

      Many are hoping to use the facts to reveal the truths in the Sandusky case, regardless of their opponents efforts to divert attention.

  3. You have just voiced my opinion exactly. If they knew, then why are they not as guilty as everyone else. Frazier, in my opinion is the worst possible leader that PSU could have possibly elected.
    Thank you for your very informative information,

  4. Replies
    1. Great to hear you're coming, Bob!

      Bring your family and friends.

      Torches and pitchforks are optional.

  5. The people who could truly hold the BOT responsible are the Governor of PA and the PA legislature. Unfortunately the Governor is intrinsically involved in the cover-up, so he's not going to do anything and has the ability to further obstruct any investigation.