This is installment two of a multi-part opinion/analysis series that will highlight some interesting information about current and former members of the Penn State University Board of Trustees. Exhibit 2: Paul Silvis.
You’re a trustee at a major university involved in a tangled web of lawsuits, including one that involves a commercial disparagement claim by the family of its deceased famous football coach. What’s your next move?
Restek company photo
Well, if you’re Paul Silvis (and thank goodness, you’re not), you double down on the disparagement of Joe Paterno by passing out copies of an anti-Paterno, anti-Penn State football book ("Wounded Lions") to a group of 20 or so other university trustees at a meeting on February 25, 2016.
Attorney Larry Schultz, who was recently named to assist with the review of the Freeh Report, offered this assessment of Silvis' stunt:
“He did it to antagonize his fellow board members and for no other reason. It was an ‘in your face’ move. He could have privately sent that book to anyone he wished. As others have noted, this may actually harm the University, since it is a promotion of the very false narrative over which Spanier is suing the University. Silvis not only supports this book but passes it out at a BoT meeting. That was the sort of thing that is really of no value to anyone whatever except as a means of hurting people regarding a very sensitive subject. And what does it get him? A few cheap laughs at the expense of a heartsick widow?” (Schultz on the McAndrew Board, 2/26/16)
I have not read “Wounded Lions: Joe Paterno, Jerry Sandusky, and the Crises in Penn State Athletics; a rogue program, an iconic coach, and an unspeakable tragedy,” by Ron Smith.
I assume the book is anti-Joe Paterno, anti-Penn State football based on two things:
1. The words “rogue program” in the book’s title; and
2. This concise, yet comprehensive book review from Trustee Anthony Lubrano:
“When he offered the book to me I told him he could put it where the sun doesn't shine.” (lubrano on the McAndrew Board, 2/25/16)
I spoke to Ron Smith on the phone at some length in the summer of 2012, not knowing he was working on a book. He told me that while he was aware of some minor issues in the football program (unintentional and inconsequential secondary recruiting violations, for instance), that Penn State ran the cleanest program in the country and that the “Grand Experiment” (the origins of which he credited to former AD Ernie McCoy and former football coach Rip Engle) was real. He said he had never been asked to change an athlete’s grade.
He also said that “[Paterno] did more for this University than anyone else, with the possible exception of (former PSU president) George Atherton, but I wouldn’t want to live next door to him.”
So…one story in 2012. A different story when the book was published. A more profitable angle maybe? Certainly possible.
Or did Ira Lubert and Paul Silvis, both mentioned in the book’s acknowledgements, have some influence? Certainly possible.
Silvis has said that his “personal opinion is that the entire community was fooled by Jerry Sandusky. This has been ripping Penn State apart, ripping the alumni apart. I don’t believe any of those men really knew for sure that Jerry Sandusky was a pedophile because they would have acted.” (mcclatchydc.com,2/11/13)
However, he was on the moving forward train from the get go.
In the PSU Board teleconference of 8/12/12, his other face stated “We’ve got to move forward as a community, as a university. We can’t continue to rehash and relive the past. It’s not going to change.”
|Silvis: Likes"pedophile enabler" label?|
One McAndrew Board poster familiar with Silvis described him as “a complete tool.”
Another seemed serious when he related “It was great when Silvis had his cigar parties and had his step daughter and her high school friends dress provocatively and act as servers for him.” (Still in State College, The McAndrew Board, 2/25/16)
Apologies if SiSC was just being sarcastic; I missed it.
Pretty creepy, if true.
Scott Paterno and other credible sources say Silvis has been creating and telling lies promoting the company line and disparaging the Paternos (identifying Sue Paterno as the roadblock to the return of the statue, for one) to anyone who will listen.
And is there any lie bigger than this one -- told by Silvis and other feckless members of the Board of Trustees?
“The recommendations in the back of the Freeh report are really what we paid for and what we wanted."
Paul Silvis: Sowing falsehoods across the countryside.
Paul Silvis: Penn State’s “Johnny Crappleseed.”