|Erickson: Five Point Promise was template|
For Freeh Report & NCAA Consent Decree
While the Freeh Report concluded that the "culture" permeated the University from the top (Spanier) to the bottom (the janitors), the fact of the matter is that Freeh was only repeating the indictment of the "culture" that was put forth by President Rod Erickson (very likely with guidance from the PSU BOT inner circle) on Nov. 11th, 2011.
Erickson's first point of the five point promise is below:
1. I will reinforce to the entire Penn State community the moral imperative of doing the right thing - the first time, every time.
-- We will revisit all standards, policies and programs to ensure they meet not only the law, but Penn State's standard. To oversee this effort, I will appoint an Ethics Officer that will report directly to me.
-- I ask for the support of the entire Penn State community to work together to reorient our culture. Never again should anyone at Penn State feel scared to do the right thing. My door will always be open.
This point is disturbing on a number of levels, the first of which is that Erickson is basing the statement on the unproven allegations from the Sandusky grand jury presentment. Next, he repeats the "moral" argument made by Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan. Last but not least, Erickson indicts the culture based on the dubious, self-serving explanation provided by the janitors, that they feared they'd lose their jobs for reporting a retired football coach (Sandusky) in 2000.
While there are many evidentiary issues with the janitor Ronald Petrosky's account of the crime, the fact that McQueary reported Sandusky just three months after that incident certainly rebuts the argument that "anyone at Penn State" felt "scared to do the right thing." This fact also underscores the importance of the timeline of the Sandusky crimes and indicates the PA Office of Attorney General deceived the public by putting the crimes out of order in the Sandusky grand jury presentment.
This statement, as well, as many others by Erickson and the PSU BOT in the aftermath of the scandal, would have never seen the light of day if it had to pass review by a legal counsel that was putting the interests of the University first. Unfortunately, neither Cynthia Baldwin (then) nor Steven Dunham (from July 2012 forward) have done their jobs in keeping PSU from making statements that assume guilt and liability for enabling Sandusky's crimes.
Spanier's Leadership & Athletics As A Rogue ElementIn points two and three of Erickson's five point promise, he takes a shot at the leadership of PSU under Spanier and then singles out the Athletic Department as if it is not under any control of the University. These also were prominent themes in the Freeh Report.
2. As I lead by example, I will expect no less of others. I will ensure proper governance and oversight exists across the entire University, including Intercollegiate Athletics.
3. Penn State is committed to transparency to the fullest extent possible given the ongoing investigations. I commit to providing meaningful and timely updates as frequently as needed. I encourage dialogue with students, faculty, staff, alumni, and other members of the Penn State Community.
|Freeh: No evidence to support PSU Athletics|
was not complying with active PSU policies
It was unfair of Freeh to condemn Paterno, McQueary, and Curley for not reporting the 2001 incident under the Clery Act, considering the police department, who administered the program, didn't have a mechanism in place for reporting until 2007. Moreover, compliance with policies related to child protection, such as conducting criminal background checks at sports camps, was under the purview of the Outreach and Cooperative Extension Office, not Athletics. See pages 58-69 of Report 2 for a complete analysis of the findings.
NCAA Fines to Support Child Abuse ProgramsPoint 4 of Erickson's promise was:
4. We will be respectful and sensitive to the victims and their families. We will seek appropriate ways to foster healing and raise broader awareness of the issue of sexual abuse.
The NCAA sanctions included a $60 million dollar fine earmarked for child abuse prevention programs and/or the assistance of victims of child abuse.
Acceptance of Freeh Report A Foregone ConclusionIn point 5 of the "promise," Erickson pledged to take immediate actions on the findings. This again is an inappropriate statement, given that any responsible board would first review the report and its findings to determine their validity before acting. Crisis management expert, Steven Fink, makes that point very clear in his critique (Blunder #2) of the Board's actions.
5. My administration will provide whatever resources, access and information is needed to support the Special Committee's investigation. I pledge to take immediate action based on their findings.
|Frazier: As SITF co-lead had a conflict|
of interest in praising the Freeh Report.
|Peetz: Added to narrative regarding|
Spanier's control of University