Wednesday, January 1

2014 is here and the Sandusky scandal is not a "distant memory"

Then PSU BOT Chair Karen Peetz was wrong about Sandusky scandal being a "distant memory" by the time 2014 got here.  


Ray Blehar

In November 2012, then-PSU BOT Chair Karen Peetz, in response to a question about the impact of the Sandusky scandal on finding a new president to replace Rodney Erickson, said ""By the time someone gets here in 2014, it will be just a distant memory."

It's New Year's Day 2014 and it's clear that Peetz got it wrong.

Not only is the scandal not a distant memory, but with the departure of football coach Bill O'Brien, it is quite certain that talk of the scandal, the unwarranted NCAA sanctions, and the fall out at PSU will permeate the airwaves during the period up to and after the selection of PSU's next head coach.

But Peetz's statement was clearly wrong before the recent news about O'Brien broke.

As we have learned, the wheels of justice in Pennsylvania have turned very slowly for former PSU administrators Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, and former President Graham Spanier and interest remains high in the outcome of their criminal trials.  

The latest turn in the saga came last week, with the release of former PSU General Counsel Cynthia Baldwin's grand jury testimony and the revelations that she told the judge "she represented the University solely" then sat silently as she heard Graham Spanier state she represented him.  

Most legal experts who have weighed in believe that Baldwin's conflict of interest and breach of attorney-client privilege will doom most of the case going forward against the PSU three.  

However, the Sandusky scandal was the proverbial bad penny that PSU could never get rid of, mostly because of the ham-handed management of the scandal's aftermath by the BOT and continuing ineptness from it's PR mouthpiece, David LaTorre.

Had the BOT's intention truly been to move forward and put the scandal behind the University as quickly as possible, it would not have hired Louis Freeh to perform a sham investigation then hold a grandstanding press conference to announce the findings.  It wasn't until the PSU BOT had used Freeh to wrongly blame Paterno and the football program for enabling Sandusky's crimes and then were complicit with the NCAA to levy near death-penalty sanctions on the football program, that they decided it was time to move forward (and put the scandal behind the University).

As e-mails from the Pennsylvania Department of Education revealed, the PSU BOT Special Investigations Task Force, who hired Freeh, disbanded just days after he issued his factually challenged report.   Apparently, the task force never reviewed the report, nor did the BOT.  Their desired result was achieved:  the truly criminal elements at PSU were not exposed and Freeh reasonably concluded that Paterno and the administrators were enablers of Sandusky's abuse, with their reputations smeared.

In retrospect, the BOT's moving forward might have actually worked had they not decided to lump Paterno in with the administrators.  The evidence of Paterno's knowledge of the 1998 incident was practically non-existent and anyone who can read English knew that there was no change to any plans in 2001 based on anything Paterno said.  

The railroading of Joe Paterno so obvious (to everyone except the media) that there was no way the PSU alumni were going to move forward until the truth was exposed. 

In September 2013, when prosecutor Frank Fina was asked about Paterno's role in covering up Sandusky's crimes, he responded, "I did not find that evidence."  Fina's statement confirmed the railroading of Paterno.

Fina's statement also validated the $64,000 question that the alumni continue to ask: "what is so important to keep hidden that the PSU BOT would trash Joe Paterno and his legacy, the University, and the football program, as well as pay nearly $100 million,  in order to keep it from being discovered?"

The good news on this first day of 2014 is that PSU alumni, friends, and fans are not the only people who are looking for the answer to that question. 

Over the last few weeks of 2013, there was an uptick in interest about the "back stories" of the Sandusky scandal by a handful of journalists.  The Federal investigation and the PA Attorney General investigations continue to press forward.  And reliable sources indicate that the Spanier defamation case against Louis Freeh may soon go on the offensive.

The Sandusky scandal is far from a "distant memory" and the people who have been part of the  offensive against PSU for two years are finally going to be put on the defensive. 


  1. Yay!!!

    And Spanier's attorney seems just feisty enough with just the professional experience* to lead this offense!!

    Time to load up on firewood, winter abbey ale, and popcorn!!

    Financial Services Litigation
    Government Investigations, Corporate Compliance and Criminal Defense
    Health Law
    Litigation Services
    Named one of "America's Top 50 Women Litigators" by The National Law Journal, Elizabeth Ainslie has tried more than 75 cases to verdict and conducted innumerable evidentiary hearings, sentencings, oral arguments and arbitrations.

    From 1979 to 1984, Ms. Ainslie was a federal prosecutor for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, serving as the chief of the Fraud Section during 1983 to 1984. After leaving the U.S. Attorney's office, Ms. Ainslie worked for 15 years at a law firm she founded. She co-chairs Schnader's Government Investigations, Corporate Compliance and Criminal Defense Group."

    May the Blue New Moon month of Jan 2014 begin the revealings of all that was so NOTPSU!

  2. I, personally, wish that Peetz was gone. She has a unique way of saying the wrong thing at all the wrong times. Can not wait to vote her out! I keep wondering if anyone on the B reads any of what has been written in the last year or are they just hiding out.

  3. It's too bad Peetz cannot be voted out as she is one of the turncoat alumni who got her seat through the Business and Industry faction's secretive, back door selection process. But yes, her foot-in-mouth disease is severe. You have to wonder what *they* saw in her but clearly it has more to do with her willingness to cover up for them than with her personal integrity.

  4. Although not directly on topic I would like to see Coach O'Brien, at his hiring press conference, go out of his way to emphasize the quality of the student- athlete he found at PSU when he arrived, how that positively refelcted on JVP, et al and the non- existence of the so called football culture. Let's see if he has the balls to lay it out there for the world to see

  5. I agree. The entire against Spanier et al. seems to have been exposed as a fraud. The Lynn ruling that a 2007 law can't be applied retroactively negates the child endangerment charges.

    The new evidence at the preliminary hearing and document releases for the Baldwin motions showed the obstruction charges were bogus, although obstruction charges against Baldwin might be appropriate.

    The failure to report charge was filed beyond the statue of limitations, and I never did hear if a judge ruled on the motion to dismiss that.

    I'm disappointed that Attorney General Kane didn't pull the plug on the case long ago and blame it on Attorney General Kelly. Kane embraced it for too long so now the failure will be hers.

    1. Perhaps AG Kane is smarter than you think she is. Had Kane pulled the plug on this after taking office, we wouldn't have learned about the lies of Freeh and Baldwin.

      The longer this goes, the more truth we will get to see/hear.

    2. Do you think Harmon will play a large role in revealing truths around the 1998 events, and perhaps earlier issues with Sandusky and his tendency to push boundaries?

    3. No. I think Harmon is part of what I'm calling the Keystone Cover Up. His testimony about 2001 didn't make any sense, especially about the 1998 file. It was Harmon who mislabeled the 1998 file as "administrative information." At the request of AG Kelly, Freeh was not permitted to interview Harmon. I suspect Harmon reported the 2001 incident to CYS (at the request of Schultz) and knows that CYS didn't bother to investigate his former neighbor and fellow church goer, Sandusky.

  6. Peetz is basically a crony of Surma. Up until Spring 2012, Surma was on the Board of Directors at Bank of NY Mellon where Peetz is an executive. Plus in January 2012 Peetz was named to the Board of Directors of SunCoke Energy, a manufacturer of a key ingredient for the steel-making process with U.S. Steel (where Surma was CEO for almost a decade) was one of its major customers.

    Surma most likely handpicked her to take over as BOT Chair in 2012, so he could still maintain his influence while the Freeh report was put together and made public. Once Surma made sure he accomplished his goal of destroying Paterno's legacy, he no longer needed to be on the BOT. Not too much a coincidence Peetz relinquished her role as BOT chair on Jan 18, 2013, while Surma announced he was leaving the BOT shortly after on February 8, 2013.

  7. Dream on! If you want to teach kids about duty, honor, and commitment, hold up BOB and Lane Kiffin as examples of what not to do. No doubt other coaches will be trying to convince our recruits that character and integrity mean nothing if you can find greener pastures.

    If BOB were raised as a good Irish Catholic boy, the guilt must already be getting to him, and the wail of the Banshee getting into his dreams.

    Yes, Joyner, et al. were inept, but he was paid about 6 megabucks to put up with it. I know hundreds of people who would put up with a lot more for that kind of money. And I don't know anyone whose work environment is the garden of Eden.