Saturday, October 13

Where We Stand and Why We're Here

Where WE stand, and Why We’re Here
the FREEHdom Fighters.

For followers of this blog, its time we provided an update and some perspective on where WE are as an organization standing as a voice of dissent in the rush to judgment against Penn State.  Most of the country believes they have the real story, have drawn their conclusions, and closed the door on this scandal.  Sandusky’s sentencing was just one more deadbolt sealing that door.  But it’s far from over.  The general public has lost sight of, and compassion for, the immediate victims of Jerry Sandusky’s actions, as well as the many, many thousands of victims for whom this saga is an ongoing matter of daily life.  Perhaps as importantly, good people have been condemned outside the realm of justice.

For many contributors to the story it was never about “the kids”, but a one of a kind, sensational news event with the potential to bring down an institution, and a man who was the least deserving of a campaign of accusation and derision as anyone connected to the scandal.  Some people will re-engage when a new tidbit of information emerges regarding the case, many won’t bother.  We’re here to keep this ongoing injustice in the forefront of public consciousness, and to help those with the necessary standing to take action in correcting these injustices.

Why are the people across the land who absorbed this story important to this scandal?  They…you,  are part of the dialog because you too are victims. Victims of a media that passed off sensationalism for journalism; victims of government officials who shamelessly lied to you to advance their individual agendas, victims of a hidden truth you have every right to know. While the Penn State community has suffered greatly, the outcomes are far reaching for all of us.

Many people both inside and outside the Penn State world were immediately struck by the notion that something wasn’t quite right in the way things unfolded in November 2011.  Penn State’s back was suddenly against the wall of public opinion and curiously had no apparent idea how to deal with this reality.  It began publicly with the firing of Joe Paterno, which signaled an admission of implausible guilt, and was followed by inexplicable actions of the institutional management organization of Penn State, centered on the Board of Trustees. These actions are at the forefront of our scrutiny.  An institution that evolved over decades as a paragon of doing things “the right way” had, over the span of a few weeks, been recast as among the worst examples of institutional corruption in our history, with the lightning rod of child abuse engendering the moral outrage needed to sell that story.  We don’t believe the abrupt conclusions regarding Penn State came about accidentally, or were reached based on the merit of facts.

If you’ve followed this case and this website you know that something is very wrong with what has transpired, and at this point you likely are beginning to distrust what you’ve been fed by the broad spectrum of  sports and news media.  Some media personalities are beginning to soften their tone, if not back-pedal. There is a lot more to come before this chapter is closed, if it ever does in fact find closure. The premise behind this website, and others like it, it is to widen the scope of public understanding beyond the now-accepted notion that this was a Penn State problem, a  Penn State crime; and to show there are ties to this scandal far beyond the university that have been artfully pushed into the shadows.  There are many powerful public and private figures who stand to fare poorly from this scrutiny, and some of them are publicly urging that we need to ‘move on’ and accept the current version of events, and turn our focus back to a false normalcy.  Some of these people are Penn Staters of the highest standing.  A few might be simply misinformed, some just easily misguided by deliberate deception, and some complicit in the cover-up that is intuitive to many.

The people here at SMSSS who have joined together to examine the very complex web of misperceptions, factually strained conclusions, and hidden agendas who committed to this effort following a flawed Grand Jury Presentment by the Pennsylvania District Attorney have no motivation beyond learning the truth, no matter where that truth might lead.  We have put a great deal of effort into dissecting the available information, and have presented the resulting analysis in a series of articles here. Some may question our tedious focus on seemingly minor details, given that a man is in jail for the crimes,  our leadership is calling for us to move on, and there is as yet no other smoking gun.  We are sometimes strident in our affirmations; we’re human, we’re passionate, and we’re not journalists.  We recognize the story for Penn State could get uglier, but none of us believe that responsibility falls on the man we largely recognize as a moral and institutional leader of Penn State:  Joseph Vincent Paterno.

We ask for your support, your contribution of knowledge you may have of these matters, your time where you can lend it, and most importantly that you keep your minds open and embrace the belief that we can uncover the truth. The deliberate destruction of an honorable institution and the honorable men who made it so should not stand in a society with every means short of capitulation to find the truth.  Please help us in our quest.
Fight On, State


  1. I had the privilege of playing for Coach in the 1960s and have a step-son who also played. I have an unwavering loyalty to a man who has influenced so many young men in the most impresionable time of their lives. I have read close to 90% or more (including the Freeh fiction report) and listened to many more sports shows with their unsubstantiated and basiclly garbage (not an ESPN fan anymore) reports than I care to remember. The PSU BOT have in my mind, committed the most horrific rush to justice in the history of college sports.
    The fact that (yes fact) JS was NOT an employee of PSU football when all of this was to have taken place and the BOT did nothing to refute the penalties has left me with a very poor impression of our college leaders. Unless there was a reason for the BOT, who over the last 50 + years have enjoyed the increase in profits from football, are just clueless as to where the real problem is and it maybe with them.

    1. Robert, we are working very hard to uncover what it is they are trying to cover up. It has become clearer over time and with each new move by these crooked bastards that their motives are not pure and that they are deliberately diverting attention onto Joe and football. So privileged few had the opportunity you did to have Joe in your life, and I'm glad you are one of us

  2. Robert (Bobby, as you were known when you played for Joe/PSU),

    First, I was too young to remember when you played in the '69 Orange Bowl, but saw the tapes later. Great catch! I'll bet you were surprised Burkhart could throw it that far. ;-)

    Next, you are correct. There are many problems with the BOT - but cluelessness isn't one of them. Their acts were deliberate and they will face justice later on down the road. You have my word on it.

    Finally, we have good reason to believe the Freeh Report will be on the ash heap of history before too long. It is just a matter of time before we can assemble the facts and get them into the hands of the people who will undoubtedly call the NCAA and Freeh to account.

    1. He only threw it that far out of fear! I will continue to follow until this whole thing plays out. If you did not play for JoePa you have no idea what a great coach and friend he became for me and many others who put on the Blue and White. Please continue your effort to make things right.

  3. John Surma is on the Board of Directors of the Bank Of New York Mellon Corporation. A 2012 prospectus states the following:

    To the extent that such activity is required to be disclosed in Exhibits V or VI, for at least the previous five years, none of the directors or executive officers of the Company has:

    (c) been subject to any official public incrimination and/or sanctions by statutory or regulatory authorities (including designated professional bodies) or ever been disqualified by a court from acting as a member of the administrative, management or supervisory bodies of an issuer or from acting in the management or conduct of the affairs of any issuer."

    Wouldn't the sanctions levied against Penn State fall under this since the BOT is the governing body of Penn State?

    1. I wish. Unfortunately, the NCAA only governs college sports, and Surma himself isn't actually a member of the NCAA. Ironic, I know, that PSU can be hammered for the actions of someone not employed by the University and the athletic teams were neither involved not affected.

  4. Surma slithered off the bank board in April, presumably.

  5. Surma informed the board of his "retirement" from BK (Bank of NY Mellon) on 2/13/12. He was a member of the board since 2004, at which time the firm was known as Mellon Financial (he was not affiliated with Bank of NY). They then merged with Bank of NY in 2007. This is all listed in the proxy statement (i.e. form DEF-14A) issued 3/9/12 with the SEC. The directors of BK are voted for annually and have been for a while, so this is not a "staggered" board where people serve multi-year terms (as PSU is). This makes his "retirement" all the more amusing.

  6. I'm sure that US Steel does all of their banking wih BK. The Mellon's and US Steel have a long history together. I think that the BOTs incompetence and/or coverup is of a great concern to their shareholders and their respective corp and outside affiliations, this goes for all of the board members.