Sunday, March 9

Alumna Ceil Masella’s Remarks to the Penn State Board of Trustees

March 7, 2014 - Hershey, PA

For the sake of these remarks, I will call the Board’s responses to the Sandusky scandal “Poor Decision Making”.   Poor decision can result in negative consequences.  When these consequences affect the lives of innocent people, a sense of integrity should move the decision makers to right the wrongs.

In 2011, this board sent a message to the world that Penn State is guilty.  The acceptance of the Freeh report and the NCAA sanctions served to confirm that.

I know many board members would like to “Move On”.  It’s not a matter of moving on.  We have all done that on many levels.  On this issue, it is a matter of honesty and integrity.   

There is no statute of limitations on ruining people’s lives. 

First of all, you have placed a cloud over Penn State’s reputation, which will be nearly impossible to remove.  Just as I always think of shootings when I hear the name “Kent State”, this University will always be linked to some type of Sandusky guilt if the record is not set straight.

Secondly, you brought heartache and unnecessary anguish to the faithful employees on whom you turned your back.

Then there is the brave group of young men who were left to represent their University on the football field, with no administrative support or leadership to speak of.  

This was never really a football problem until you made it one.

There are those young men who potentially could have held full scholarships at Penn State, but due to the unfair sanctions will sadly never set foot on this campus. 

There are businesses in town who continue to suffer financial losses because of the bad decisions.

There are graduates who have endured snide comments during job interviews.

There are hundreds of Lettermen who played under Joe Paterno still trying to understand the unwarranted removal of plaques celebrating their teams.

There is the statue of a well-respected coach, senselessly being held in captivity in some undisclosed location.  

Its absence is a blatant reminder of what you have done.

There are those who resent the fact that Penn State’s Athletic Department has been forced to operate this long under the direction of an unqualified Athletic Director. 

There are thousands wondering why the tuition should be raised and Faculty healthcare costs should rise, when the University is unnecessarily spending obscene amounts of money.

There are the alumni who have lost trust in this board.  According to The Penn Stater magazine, a whopping 84% don’t completely trust you.  That’s not a minority.

And then there is a widow who lives on the end of McKee Street, still wondering what she and her family ever did to deserve the kind of treatment they received.  

Do you have nothing to say to her?

I would say to this board today…. if you were to correct your narrative, then so many of us could start to move forward.  You could begin by at least publicly acknowledging Frank Fina’s statement of Joe’s innocence - just to get the ball rolling. 

As a good man once said:

“Take care of the little things and the big things will take care of themselves.”

Thank you.

YouTube link:  Ceil Masella

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