Tuesday, March 11

THE PENN STATE UNIVERSITY BOARD OF TRAITORS


By Barry Bozeman

Who are these exceptional men and women granted the honor of serving as Trustees of the great institution of higher learning known as The Pennsylvania State University? Who are these successful businessmen and women who rose to positions of power and prominence and were chosen to safeguard the reputation and financial resources of one of the finest institutions in the land? 

What manner of leader would fail to stand up for the integrity and honor signified by the Nittany Lion and the motto: Making Life Better? What Trustee would capitulate to a Presentment before trial and accept blame prior to judgment or liability for the actions of a former employee 11 years in the past?  If anyone attacks an institution you are entrusted to defend and protect, what will you expect if you lie down and surrender before the legal process indicates any fault or blame? Where is there any "SUCCESS WITH HONOR" in that cowardly rush to injustice? 

In the face of a media tsunami of bad publicity, these cowards and turncoats chose to surrender any claim to right action and accepted blame on behalf of the University based on a Presentment containing the lie that one of their assistant coaches had witnessed a child being "subjected to anal intercourse" by a former employee in the football locker room. They chose to accept the claim that two administrators and their football coach conspired to cover up this alleged incident based on various flimsy accounts by a possibly damaged and compromised assistant coach.  What do we call such people?  

trai·tor   noun
1.  a person who betrays a friend, country, principle, alma mater, etc.
"they see me as a traitor, a sellout to the enemy"
synonyms:       betrayer, backstabber, double-crosser, renegade, fifth columnist; turncoat, defector, deserter; collaborator, informer, mole, snitch, double agent; Judas, Benedict Arnold, quisling;

informal:  snake in the grass, two-timer, rat, scab, fink

usage:  "convicted traitors will be executed"

Isn’t TRAITOR the proper word for the members of The PSU Board of Trustees in their handling of the all out attack on the university they are "trusted" to manage on behalf of its students, employees, and alumni?






















This particular Board of Trustees – particularly the Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Tom Corbett, John Surma, Karen Peetz, Ira Lubert, and Kenneth Frazier, to name only a few – has “served” Penn State University by abandoning the President they hired, Graham Spanier, Vice President Gary Schultz, and Athletic Director Tim Curley, and condemning them as guilty along with the world famous icon and Coach Joe Paterno on the basis of a Presentment, a document that makes the best case for an indictment by a grand jury without any cross examination of witnesses, exculpatory evidence, or questioning by defense counsel. 

They fired Coach Joe Paterno – a man who had brought nothing but honor to the job for which he was hired and praise for the manner in which he conducted himself and the successful football program that brought honor and positive recognition to the university he served. No single individual was more the well regarded  face of Penn State or such an asset in terms of positive recognition.  Joe Paterno is worth 100 John Surmas, Karen Peetzes, or Ken Fraziers.   

Their capitulation to the media and fear of “bad publicity” led them to make disastrous decisions concerning the financial well being of the University by paying out millions of dollars to victims of Jerry Sandusky that had nothing to do with anything involving Penn State

On the advice of the Governor, they hired his feckless hitman, Louis Freeh, and accepted a report blaming their administrators and football coach for a conspiracy to cover up for Jerry Sandusky on “evidence” that anyone with minimal cognitive ability would reject out of hand. The Freeh investigators never even questioned Mike McQueary, Coach Paterno, Gary Schultz, or Tim Curley. The Board accepted this report in total without any review or question within hours of its release. They did not even read it.

That's unbelievable and unforgivable. 


This group of men and women failed at every turn to do even the minimum to protect the reputation and financial well being of the university they were sworn to protect. With protectors like this, Penn State did not require enemies.

Under the guise of “MOVING ON,” this Board of Traitors chose to throw their university under the bus. In the face of a tsunami of bad publicity brought on by Linda Kelly's presentment of lies and half truths, they decided prior to trial that Graham Spanier, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz were guilty. 

Although they had every right and reason to defer judgment until the facts were in and the legal process had run its course, they decided to play judge and jury themselves and operate as if the deceptions and lies of the Freeh report and the Kelly indictments and Presentment were unassailable facts despite every indication that the evidence against Spanier, Curley, and Schultz was dependent on the word of an assistant coach whose story kept changing and whose character is probably seriously flawed. His recollection of events 10 years in the past (OR was it 11?) was accepted as truth. He did not even get the year or month right. 

WHAT BENEFIT WAS GAINED BY THIS RUSH TO CAPITULATE?

The alumni and students of Penn State University have every reason to rid themselves of this Board of Traitors and to sue them for a breach of responsibility. Their failure to stand up for and protect the university from this attack by the media and the OAG is unpardonable. There is no indication that their premature capitulation would have any benefit to the university in the event Spanier, Curley, and Schultz were eventually found guilty of the charges brought by the OAG.

If these business leaders ran their corporations and financial institutions like they ran the Board of Trustees, they would be bankrupt and competitors would be lining up to take them to the cleaners. If they are willing to pay out millions and accept guilt on the basis of flimsy accusations and the thin "evidence" of the Freeh Fiction, their businesses would be beset with frivolous lawsuits. 

Why would the BOTraitors accept the word of Mike McQueary over the words of Coach Paterno, President Spanier,  VP Schultz, or AD Curley?  What possessed them?  What advantage can they claim for this capitulation prior to trial and verdict? 

It seems their best explanation is a desire to “put this behind them” no matter the cost, as if choosing to accept the blame where none is due would lessen the ill effects. How could such a group of business leaders and politicians have such a collective lack of backbone or sense of reason and purpose?

Penn State is their university as well as yours. Is it not worth fighting for?  How is it Penn State's fault that Jerry Sandusky once coached football there 11 years prior to the indictment and press conference that brought this dilemma to Penn State’s door? Penn State set out to help "at risk" kids in PA by providing places for some charitable events of The Second Mile. Since when is that a crime or even a fault? How can the previous employment of a single law breaker cost the former employer $60 million dollars? 

What did Penn State do that made it responsible for $60 million dollars in settlements and millions more in lost revenue due to sanctions by the NCAA against their football program?  How could this Board of Traitors decide to accept these sanctions? Coach Paterno was never charged, much less convicted, of any wrong doing but the BOT could not wait to tear down this prime asset to Penn State, remove his statue, and erase his name. What was the cost of that decision to Penn State?

As a graduate of the University of Tennessee, I liken the value of Coach Paterno to Penn State to the value of Coach Pat Summitt of the Lady Volunteers Basketball Team to Tennessee. Coach Summitt is invaluable to Tennessee. Her name and statue grace the basketball court and the campus and bolster the image and fund raising capability of the university. Coach Paterno's image and reputation were much the same for Penn State. But this BOT erased that positive and made it a negative for Penn State when they chose to attempt to erase the connection between this honorable man and the university he loved and supported. The cost of that betrayal is impossible to calculate. 

In another personal parallel with Tennessee and Penn State, I learned that Jerry Sandusky was heavily recruited by Tennessee after high school by then coach Bowden Wyatt. Sandusky, a teetotaler, turned down the alcoholic Wyatt in favor of PSU. I often wonder what would have happened if he had set up The Second Mile here in my hometown as a Tennessee player and coach. To see Penn State so severely penalized because Sandusky was offended by alcohol is strange to me.

Sandusky could have happened anywhere.

I would like to think the BOT at Tennessee would have had more backbone than their counterparts at PSU. My father was a State Supreme Court Justice and gave legal advice to the board here in Knoxville as President emeritus of the Alumni Association.. Judge Bozeman would never have allowed a capitulation based on that Presentment to occur. It would be unconscionable for him to allow his university to be so damaged by such a twist of fate until all the facts were in and the legal process had run its course. That's why we have a rather ponderous legal process that requires time to unveil as much truth as can be found in an adversarial system. You wait until it's beyond all doubt that you have liability before admitting to a guilt that is this costly. The only reason to admit to something this bad is to hide something that is worse for the people who are willing to admit the guilt.

So what do these PSU board members have to hide and what did they gain by damaging Penn State?

Time was never going to make the situation worse. The media tsunami was unprecedented as it was. It was clear from the beginning that there would be trials stretching out for at minimum 2 years and the story would not die until all the verdicts were in. There would be no MOVING ON or MOVING FORWARD until every aspect of this situation was resolved in a court of law and every investigation was complete. Penn State has legal counsel on retainer and a entire law school. They could not possibly believe accepting guilt and paying out millions in settlements would net them a savings in legal costs. All they did was expose themselves to further legal liability from the administrators and the family of the coach they fired.

What will this Board of Trustees' excuse be if Spanier, Curley and Schultz are acquitted or the charges against them are dismissed? How will they explain their actions if Spanier's suit against Freeh is successful? What kind of liability have they acquired for Penn State if these men choose to sue them and Penn State for the damage they did by accepting blame on their behalf?

What if the end result is no payment to McQueary on his whistleblower suit and possibly even perjury charges against him?. What happens if clear evidence of malfeasance on the part of the OAG is uncovered by the Kane or Federal investigations into this mess? There will be some BOT members who will have to answer for their stupidity. And if it turns out the Feds find Ira Lubert and his connections to the Second Mile along with the donations to the Corbett Campaign from the Second MIle influenced the decision of the board, all bets are off. If the Corporation For Penn State turns out to have been a way to line the pockets of some of these people, these Trustees may end up as trustees in Allenwood Federal Penitentiary after a few years on their sentences. Will they keep their PENN STATE LIVES HERE re-branding signs on their cells?


18 minutes into this video, Stephen Fink of Lexicon Communications Inc. a crisis management company talks about the absurd knee jerk reaction of the BOT to this crisis. Everything they did was wrong from a crisis management perspective. Everyone interested in good management of a crisis and the abject failure of the PSU BOT should watch the Stephen Fink segment of this video. Fink's closing statement is "There is nothing wrong with Penn State except for the Board of Trustees and that's what needs to be changed".

Fink shows a PENN STATE LIVES HERE card found on his pillow at a State College hotel after learning that it's part of a re-branding effort by the BOT. Fink says "Penn State has no need to re brand. There is nothing wrong with the Penn State Brand." The Board of Traitors? Well I think we can skip the re-branding of the BOT and go straight to the tar and feathers.

John Surma has left the board and Karen Peetz and Ken Frazier are on their way out. Corbett will escape when his term as Governor ends  The damage they have done will have no effect on their lives or incomes. They seem to know the best thing for them to do is to try to distance themselves from the decisions that came close to bankrupting the university after doing unprecedented damage to its reputation. They are responsible for damage that never needed to be done if they had simply waited and allowed the legal process to run its course. They had the responsibility but none of the liability.

This is a dangerous situation. It cost them nothing personally to tuck tail and accept blame on the part of every student, alumni, faculty member, athlete, and employee along with the good people of State College. They go back to their 7 figure net worth and corporate board rooms with their golden parachutes. How awful is that?

On a scale of 1 to 10, it's an 11.

It will take some legal expert who knows more than I do to speculate on any personal liability these board members may have for their cowardice and failure to perform faithfully the duties their exalted positions required. But they should forever be disgraced and reviled for their behavior. Cowards and traitors should never be chosen to guide a great institution like Penn State.

Clemens Resigns

Latest Development: At least one member of the Board of Trustees has seen the light. Al Clemens resigned from the Board with this apology for his part in the horrible decisions following the Linda Kelly Presentment and the Louis Freeh Report

Here’s Clemens in his own words, falling on the sword:
I have resigned from the Penn State Board of Trustees.
For most of the 18 years I served as a Trustee, I was proud to help Penn State grow and achieve its deserved stature, in both academics and athletics, as one of America’s top-rated public Universities.
On November 9th, 2011, I and my fellow Trustees, voted to fire Joe Paterno in a hastily called meeting. We had little advance notice or opportunity to discuss and consider the complex issues we faced. After 61 years of exemplary service, Coach Paterno was given no chance to respond. That was a mistake. I will always regret that my name is attached to that rush to injustice.
Hiring Louis Freeh and the tacit acceptance of his questionable conclusions, without review, along with his broad criticism of our Penn State culture was yet another mistake. In joining the Paterno family and others in their suit against the NCAA, I have distanced myself from the Board on this issue. I am determined to reverse all of the misguided sanctions which were designed to punish a football program without blemish, and were aimed at student-athletes innocent of any wrong-doing.
Over the past two years, concerned Alumni have spoken clearly and forcefully. They have replaced six incumbents with reform-minded Trustees determined to acknowledge and redress errors of judgment with positive actions. Those who believe we can move on without due process for all who have been damaged by unsupported accusations are not acting in Penn State’s best interest.
While I will continue to advocate for Penn State, I step down from the Board in keeping within the spirit of our vote for 12-year term limits. It is time for new leadership to step forward.
Penn State’s future is bright. Our President, Dr. Barron, brings him a fresh perspective, grounded in first-hand experience of the true culture of Success with Honor. We have the opportunity to move forward united in our commitment to truth.
I urge all who love Penn State’s name to fight on. WE ARE Penn State.

A Crack In The Wall 

Mr Fink updates and expands his remarks on his weblog in this post A CRACK IN THE WALL FINALLY  in response to the Clemens statement and resignation.

In the Clemens resignation and statement, we have the first real crack in BOT unity over the firing of Coach Paterno and the acceptance of the Freeh fiction. The impact of this cannot be overstated. The Paterno and Spanier firings were unanimous acts of a shell shocked Board railroaded and manipulated by the leaders, particularly Corbett and Surma who orchestrated the entire affair. With this first defection from their unanimous group, we have an opportunity to seek out other Board members from Nov 2011 and ask them to make public their apologies and regrets for what was done. The more Board members who acknowledge the mistake the better. So we appeal to anyone who has any connection to these Board members to help us and appeal to them to come forward. Maybe we can get the ball rolling with the Al Clemens statement and open up the entire situation to the scrutiny it deserves.


NOW IS THE TIME FOR BOARD MEMBERS active in Nov. 2011 to join Mr. Clemens and stand with him in condemning the actions of Nov 9, 2011. Only then will they begin to redeem themselves from the damage they caused. That act will allow us to eliminate them from The BOARD OF TRAITORS list.

We urge our readers and supporters to email the Board members and ask them to join Al Clemens in repudiating the actions of the Board in Nov 2011

This following list of email addresses can be copied and pasted into your email program. For now we advise those with the time to compose their own messages to the Board Members citing the Al Clemens statement and Stephen Fink blog to urge former and current members to join Al And Stephen in denouncing the decisions of Nov 2011 as mistakes.

Here is a list of email addresses you can copy and paste into any email address window


And this is the text with links of the email I sent to the list under the Subject heading   

JOIN AL CLEMENS and STEPHEN FINK NOW. 

Members of the PSU Board of Trustees,

Al Clemens has shown you the way up to light. Stephen Fink of Lexicon Communications -the professional crisis manager has shown you the error of the Nov 2011 decisions. 

WE at the Second Mile Sandusky Scandal FREEHdom Fighters website have issued a challenge. Do you want to remain known as part of The Penn State University Board of Traitors? 

Now is the time to stand up and be counted 

No hiding behind the ridiculous Gag Order denying your right to publicly dissent. 

Join Al Clemens, Stephen Fink, PS4RS and the other many alumni groups who oppose the damaging decisions of Nov 2011 and the acceptance of the FREEH Fiction - and make your voice heard as one who put Penn State first - above any personal benefit from being a part of this Board of Trustees.   

It's time to act . 

Feel free to copy and paste my text or change it or use your own words. Just send email when you can. The BOT needs to hear us. EMAIL EMAIL EMAIL 

Board members your choice is clear. You can choose to try to hide behind the misguided "gag order" that restricts you from making clear your dissent from the damaging decisions of Nov 2011. Or you can risk removal from the Board by doing the right thing and joining Al Clemens in his statement. Better to be subject to removal than to remain a traitor to your Alma Mater. If a few of you stand together in this it will be far more damaging to those who might try to have you removed than it will to you. Penn State Alumni will support you for standing up for Penn State vs attempting to protect your Board membership. Do you really want to remain part of the Board that caused this damage to Penn State?

Here at SMSS, we intend to revisit some of the information we've posted in the past two years about the Board of Trustees members and to add some new information about them, their ties to The Second Mile, their financial dealings with TSM and PSU, and anything else we uncover that may reveal the reasons they made the massive mistakes that put Penn State at such a disadvantage and cost the university so much in capital and reputation.

7 comments:

  1. *standing ovation to this masterpiece!!*...

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  2. Big Orange! I worked at Oak Ridge National Lab for 3.5 years before going to work with the Department of Defense. To this day, half of my best friends are UT grads. I love eastern Tennessee!

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  3. Thank you Barry and Ray for your tenacious efforts in this fight. Is there an end game in sight?

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  4. Thank you Barry and Ray for your tireless and tenacious efforts to this cause. Welcome back Barry. Is there an end game in sight?

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  5. Barry,

    It's great to have you back. And I'll second the thanks to you and Ray for your efforts. I hope we have three Alumni elected traitors go down in this election and some of the old guard soon to follow!

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