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OUTSIDE THE PENN STATER...
WHY? BECAUSE THE TRUTH MATTERS.
In November 2011, when the one sided, prosecutorial document, known as a grand jury presentment was released, it not only was used to indict Jerry Sandusky, but PSU as well. 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 (BOT) was unwilling to support him. These three men were relieved of their duties without due process. Moreover, the BOT had no evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of these individuals.
In the ensuing eight months, the BOT did nothing to defend PSU. Instead, it worked with the NCAA and the firm of Freeh, Sporkin, and Sullivan to cover for its own mistakes and place blame on PSU’s “football culture.” When Louis Freeh provided his (now discredited) report on July 12, 2012, the trustees praised his work and used it to again condemn PSU.
‘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’ and who accepted bearing ultimate responsibility for Sandusky’s crimes, still retain their positions and duties on the Penn State Board?
The Board terminated Paterno and Spanier because they lost ‘confidence in their ability to lead.’ Since the Board admitted they failed in their oversight and governance, why are they still leading and running this University? 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.
The BOT, as an entity, wrongfully placed the blame for Sandusky’s crimes on PSU. This dishonest act has enabled the continued abuse of Pennsylvania’s children by not focusing the attention of the scandal where it belongs – on PA’s child protection system. President Erickson and the BOT have stated that PSU will become a national leader in the prevention of child abuse. However, by these individuals refusing to acknowledge the problems within PA’s child protection system that not only enabled Sandusky's crimes, but continues to enable crimes today, the notion of PSU being a national leader is a farce. If you refuse to provide leadership in your "home" state, how can you lead the nation?
Instead, they are paying out tens of millions of dollars in settlements in an attempt to make the public believe the Sandusky scandal has been resolved. Fortunately, the TRUTH cannot be hidden by the underhanded maneuvers of the Board because they can’t control the legal system.
As the investigative and judicial processes unfold, the TRUTH is being revealed – and it looks nothing like the grand jury presentment or the Freeh Report that have been blindly accepted and promoted by the Trustees, the media and the general public. To wit:
- 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.
- To date, it has yet to be proven that Penn State, as an institution, is legitimately culpable for any of the crimes of Jerry Sandusky. Several allegations made against PSU officials have already been disproven.
- Aaron Fisher (Victim 1) reached a settlement despite having publicly stated that he did NOT blame Penn State, but instead blamed Central Mountain High School.
- Sandusky’s adopted son Matt, who came forward during the trial, reached a settlement even though his statements regarding when the abuse ended are contradictory and the abuse, of which PSU was never informed, occurred before 1997.
- The 1998 allegations (Victim 6) were fully investigated by local law enforcement and child welfare authorities and determined to be “unfounded” by the Department of Public Welfare. This was a colossal failure of PA’s abysmal child protection system.
- Through four different proceedings, the state’s key witness, Mike McQueary, who was deemed “extremely credible,” has yet to tell a consistent story about what happened in February 2001 regarding Victim 2.
- The allegations concerning Victim 2 were reported by Penn State to The Second Mile, Sandusky’s employer, and, based on sworn testimony and other evidence, possibly reported to Centre County Children and Youth Services by Penn State.
- Jack Raykovitz, Director of The Second Mile and mandated reporter, did not report the 2001 incident to authorities.
- The crime witnessed by the janitor involving Victim 8 has been disproven, based on physical and temporal (time) evidence. The eye-witness janitor was not a PSU employee at the time of the incident and could not have witnessed the crime.
- During the investigation of Sandusky, the Office of Attorney General learned of the 1998 incident by June of 2009, yet did not follow up on that lead until November or December of 2010. Had the investigation been conducted properly, Sandusky could have been arrested by the summer of 2009.
- Louis Freeh did NOT discover Gary Schultz’s “secret” files, as he claimed. Both Schultz and Kimberly Belcher turned over the files to the Office of Attorney General. The existence of the files was well known – they were not “secret.” Nor did Freeh “make independent discovery” of the e-mail evidence in the case in March 2012. According to OAG computer forensics expert Braden Cook, the PSU IT Department (John Corro) turned over the files in March 2011.
- Sandusky’s one-on-one access to children, not access to facilities, was the critical enabler of his crimes. That access was provided by The Second Mile – NOT Penn State.
Based on the above facts, it is quite evident that the entire narrative about this scandal is false. The Board of Trustees breached its fiduciary duties by accepting guilt before any legal basis for Penn State’s culpability was established. The Board should acknowledge former prosecutor Frank Fina’s claim that Joe Paterno was NOT part of a cover-up and apologize for its unwarranted firing of Paterno.
The Trustees revoked the duties of three honorable Penn State employees who collectively worked 120 years for the University, 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 problem, however, is not with the football program but with the members of the Board of Trustees.
This is a fight for the heart and soul of Penn State and we will not move forward without the TRUTH. JOIN OUR MARCH!
For The Glory,