Letters Encouraging the BoT to Table to Vote on the NCAA Decree

A public BoT meeting is scheduled for Sunday, August 12 at 5pm via conference call. The foundation of this call is a historic decision for Penn State – the board can vote to table the decision on the NCAA consent Decree. A total of 15 votes (there are currently 30 voting members) is needed to table the vote which is the current preferred option. If the Board votes in favor of the NCAA decree, (16 votes) even though they were told this power lies with Dr. Erickson, there would be no legal standing to move forward with the Appeal that Ryan McCombie filed this week.

The following are the letters written to the Board of Trustees to encourage them to Table the vote.

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32 comments
  1. Look Around

    Where once a bronze statue of a legend had stood
    To honor achievements in a life filled with good
    Where success was defined by much more than a win
    But by players who came to be mentored by him

    Physicians and lawyers some would go on to be
    Musicians and teachers were also among Thee
    Whatever the venture the results were the same
    These men became leaders after playing the game

    They learned from the greatest that there’s no “I” in team
    Believe in each other to accomplish your dream
    Respect your opponent to get his in return
    Know that every mistake is a lesson to learn

    Fifteen minutes early was a mantra he’d preach
    As well that a man’s grasp should not exceed his reach
    He strove to be humble never asking for much
    For his greatest rewards were the lives that he touched

    What wealth he’d acquired he had given most back
    To the library that bears his name on a plaque
    And as for the building where the team comes to play
    One hundred ten thousand come to watch on game day

    In his forty six years they’d expand it five times
    With money he had raised from collecting our dimes
    Over forty six years he’d accomplished so much
    Even after they said he’d begun losing touch

    His four hundred nine wins are the most of All-Time
    Ahead of such legends as Bowden and Bryant
    He never once cheated and his players made grade
    Or they’d be subjected to a Joe Pa tirade

    And as for traditions he held them in esteem
    Black shoes and plain jerseys with no names to be seen
    He was cherished and loved by the greatest of fans
    Who flocked to the Valley in RV’s and sedans

    Some came down on Thursday, students camped out at night
    And they filled up the Beave in a huge sea of white
    He raised up five children with his beautiful wife
    And seventeen grand kids who brought joy to his life

    His family lived in the same modest ranch house
    Ever since the day when he took Sue as his spouse
    After all that he’d done for the place that he loved
    One day in November out the door he was shoved

    He was given no trial no judge or a jury
    The world wanted justice, they seethed in a fury
    A scapegoat was needed, they said Joe was to blame
    And the media tried to abolish his name

    Removed from a trophy, a day care center too
    They tried for peach ice cream but that didn’t fall through
    But the thing that hurt most and brought forth such disgust
    Didn’t come from the press but from those we’re to Trust

    Amid secret meetings and with protests abound
    They decided it best to take Joe’s statue down
    They brought in the police and they shut down the street
    As construction workers covered Joe with a sheet

    Then in came a fork lift with a noose on the end
    And they lynched him once more even though he was dead
    I imagine they laughed as the rest of us cried
    For what they expected was that we lost our Pride

    But there’s something the Board just cannot understand
    And that’s that we’ll never stop admiring this man
    He’s done too much good, he’s too deeply engrained
    If the whole place burned down he’d be that which remained

    He lives in our hearts, you can see where he’s found
    Just remember his words, “Look around, look around!”.

    Written by: Joshua David Kochel

  2. joesimonetta said:

    Gary, thank you for your much appreciated note. Please let me share some further thoughts and observations with you.

    A number of key events conspired to create the perfect storm that resulted in the unjust and devastating NCAA sanctions and their absurd acceptance without resistance by Penn State’s president and Board of Directors. The tragic sequence of events follows:

    1. THE VERY FLAWED FREEH REPORT WAS NEVER MEANT TO BE USED IN THE NCAA’S DECISION MAKING. “According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, a person connected to the Freeh report, which condemned Penn State’s handling of Sandusky’s abuse, said THE NCAA SHOULD NOT HAVE BASED ITS HARSH SANCTIONS AGAINST THE UNIVERSITY ON THE INVESTIGATION.

    “THAT DOCUMENT (THE FREEH REPORT) WAS NOT MEANT TO BE USED AS THE SOLE PIECE, OR THE LARGE PIECE, OF THE NCAA’S DECISION MAKING,” THE SOURCE TOLD THE CHRONICLE ON THURSDAY. “IT WAS MEANT TO BE A MECHANISM TO HELP PENN STATE MOVE FORWARD. TO BE USED OTHERWISE CREATES AN OBSTACLE TO THE INSTITUTION CHANGING.”

    ESPN: http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/8207795/report-freeh-report-source-criticizes-ncaa-penalties-penn-state-nittany-lions

    2. THE MEDIA CREATED MASS HYSTERIA. The “Framing of Joe Paterno” website is “dedicated to the notion that an out of control news media has created a false narrative in the Jerry Sandusky scandal, which has effectively framed Joe Paterno for crimes he didn’t commit and of which he may have had very limited knowledge. THIS HAS RESULTED IN AN UNJUST DESTRUCTION OF A MAN’S ENTIRE LIFE WORK AND LEGACY, WHILE DOING INCREDIBLE DAMAGE TO A UNIVERSITY AND FOOTBALL PROGRAM WHICH MAY NOT HAVE DESERVED THE UNPRECEDENTED AND ILLOGICAL PUNISHMENTS THEY RECEIVED.”

    There is much more at their web site: http://www.framingpaterno.com

    3. THERE WAS NEVER A THREAT OF A DEATH PENALTY. It’s been reported that Penn State faced a four-year death penalty if it did not accept the NCAA sanctions. That’s false.

    Dr. Ed Ray, Oregon State president and chairman of the NCAA’s executive committee, states that the death penalty or suspension of play was OVERWHELMING REJECTED.

    Dr. Ed Ray: “BUT THE OVERWHELMING VOTE – WE TOOK A VOTE – IN BOTH THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND THE DIVISION I BOARD WAS NOT TO INCLUDE A SUSPENSION OF PLAY OR DEATH PENALTY, and then we quickly moved to the menu of actions that you heard about today, and we voted unanimously to support that package. AT NO TIME DID WE EVER HAVE A DISCUSSION ABOUT, “IF THEY DON’T DO THIS, WE’RE GOING TO DO THAT.’’ THAT IS A CONVERSATION THAT NEVER OCCURRED.”

    http://www.oregonlive.com/beavers/index.ssf/2012/07/oregon_state_beavers_a_qa_with.html

    4. PRESIDENT ERICKSON AND THE UNIVERSITY BOARD OF TRUSTEES CAVED INTO, AND LEFT UNCHALLENGED, THE FREEH REPORT, THE MEDIA’S FALSE NARRATIVE, THE RESULTANT MASS HYSTERIA, AND THE UNJUST AND DEVASTATING NCAA SANCTIONS.

    WHAT TO DO NOW?

    1. A number of appropriate lawsuits from a mix of plaintiffs are in various stages of progress. These will unfold in public in due time. Justice will be served.

    2. I have tracked the Sandusky scandal carefully and the extraordinary and widespread damage it has caused. I am convinced that a great injustice has occurred. I am infuriated at what has been done to Joe Paterno, his family, and to Penn State and those associated with the university: students, faculty, alumni, football players, coaches, businesses, etc. I believe there should be a class-action lawsuit against the NCAA’s unjust sanctions by all who have been affected adversely.

    3. I am in touch with John Ziegler at “The Framing of Joe Paterno” web site. I am impressed with the talent and dedication of the five individuals associated with this web site and its mission. Interestingly, only two of the five have former associations with Penn State. http://www.framingpaterno.com/who-we-are

    They would like to do a documentary film, “The Framing of Joe Paterno… How an Out of Control Media May Have Railroaded an American Icon.”

    John Ziegler would like to have this film done by the end of this year. It will cost about $500,000 to make and about the same amount to promote the film. A million dollars is needed. I have agreed to assist with the fund raising. Any help from any readers would be most appreciated. You can donate at their web site: http://www.framingpaterno.com. Anyone interested in investing in this film (beyond a donation) can contact me or John Ziegler. This film must get made.

    Best,

    Joe Simonetta
    JoeSimonetta@gmail.com

  3. joesimonetta said:

    Board of Trustees of the Pennsylvania State University,

    I am a Penn State alum (’66, Business Logistics). I also hold master degrees from the University of Colorado (Architecture) and Harvard University (Theological School). At Penn State, I lettered in two varsity sports.

    I write in the strongest terms possible in opposition to the ratification of the following resolution:

    Whereas, the Board of Trustees of the Pennsylvania State University believes that the process followed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) was unfortunate (!) and the punitive sanctions are difficult, nevertheless, it is hereby

    RESOLVED, that the Board of Trustees wishes to and hereby does ratify the Binding Consent Decree Imposed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association and confirm the University’s execution and acceptance of the Consent Decree as of July 23, 2012.

    The draconian penalties levied by the NCAA on Penn State University are a travesty of justice and way beyond the bounds of a proportionate response to Sandusky’s crimes. I write this aware fully of the support given to the NCAA decision by many, but not all, in the media and by the self-righteous (at times the same).

    There is an appropriate and rising chorus of those opposed strongly to what the NCAA has done improperly to Penn State.

    It is preposterous that the Freeh report – peppered with opinion and speculation – upon which NCAA President Mark Emmert decided, has been taken as the final word. It’s not the final word. Key witnesses involved in ongoing litigation have yet to be interviewed. What will happen if in pending trials evidence is uncovered that refutes the Freeh report? Why would such potentially explosive loose ends be allowed?

    Why was there such a rush to judgment and to inflict such enormous damage?

    Why was there not due process before the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions? Why did the Penn State president strike a Faustian Bargain with the NCAA? No right to appeal?! Why was Penn State’s Board of Trustees not consulted? Why does the board allow this decision to stand unchallenged?

    Yes, criminal and civil laws were violated. These issues are for our judicial system, not for the NCAA which has crossed the line ominously. It is the NCAA that has gone beyond and “lost institutional control.”

    Louis Freeh claims that the root of the problem was the “culture of reverence” for football. Well, if that is the indictment, why not eliminate all sporting events at all levels? And eliminate every other “culture of reverence” as it is pervasive in every field of endeavor. It’s endemic to human nature to revere the achievement of excellence. It’s not a crime.

    Answer me this Louis Freeh and Mark Emmert, how is it in the Penn State “culture of reverence” and in an academic environment that “lost institutional control” over its football program did the team year after year not only excel on the field but in the classroom? As of the end of the 2011 season, PSU had the highest graduation rate of any football school.

    The extrajudicial judgments and penalties that have been levied on Penn State by the NCAA are egregious unmistakably. Due process cannot be allowed to be violated. It cannot. This NCAA decision is tantamount to indiscriminate carpet bombing of everything that is Penn State. It is overkill and it is wrong on many accounts.

    I URGE YOU TO NOT RATIFY THE RESOLUTION. STAND UP FOR AND FIGHT FOR PENN STATE, DUE PROCESS, AND JUSTICE!

    Joe Simonetta (PSU, ’66)

    • ps4rs said:

      Joe — we were on campus at the same time and I appreciate your thoughtful and forceful words. The Penn State we’ve known and been proud of for the last half century is being badley mismanaged and the BoT has shown disdain for Alumni like you and I. We will continue to work hard to change that. And I have no doubt that we will ultimately succeed.

      Gary Levitt ’64
      Editor

  4. sherrysauerwine said:

    Subject: Consent decree vote

    Please stand up for Penn State University — do not allow our university to be defined by the Freeh Report and the words of Mark Emmert of the NCAA. In both instances there was an attempt to paint the university as being a place in which the prime concern, the “culture,” was football driven. You KNOW that is not true. We are a great academic institution in which important research and discoveries have occurred, we graduate outstanding men and women who make a difference in the world, we have also produced some outstanding athletes because we have fine athletic programs including the Olympians who have thrilled us the past two weeks but we are not defined by football.

    I have friends around the country, friends who are not Penn State grads who cannot believe that our president and the BOT have allowed the university to become a punching bag for pundits, opinionators, editorialists, etc. Today I received an e-mail from a friend and attached to it was a front page story about Penn State — the newspaper — the Daily Mail in London!

    Please table the vote tomorrow and heed the letters sent to all of you by Dr. Joel Myers your fellow trustee for many years and Ryan McCombie, one of the newest trustees, they both offered rational, well-defined reasons for tabling the vote and stepping back and thinking and discussing the ramifications of what accepting this consent decree will mean to Penn State. It’s time to stop allowing outside entities — the media, the NCAA, Louis Freeh, or anyone else define or determine Penn State’s future, it’s time for Penn Staters and the board of Penn State to take care of our university.

    Sherry and Bruce Sauerwine
    PSU 1969 and 1970

  5. Dear Board of Trustees,
     
    As an alumnus of Penn State University, I urge you to NOT ratify the decree imposed by the NCAA in the upcoming August 12 meeting.
     
    The NCAA has acted outside of its purview.  The Sandusky scandal, while horrifying and tragic, occurred outside of Penn State Athletic activities.  No employee of Penn State Athletics ever committed a crime an no proof has been obtained to show that any coach or player had any culpability in the cover-up of the scandal.
     
    If you ratify this decree, you are yourselves part of the cover-up to uncover the whole truth of what happened.  As our Board of Trustees, you are charged with acting in the best interests of the University and ALL of its departments, including athletics, despite your personal feelings of those departments.
     
    Penn State Football was not given due process and investigations are still ongoing.  Until ALL investigations are complete, sanctions such as these are out of bounds and against regulations.  Let all investigations run their course before going with yet another knee-jerk reaction that will harm our university even further.
     
    I implore you, please DO NOT ratify this decree next week.
     
    Sincerely,
    Stacey Biemiller Maisch
    New Jersey
    Penn State graduate, Class of ’97
     

  6. geoa201 said:

    Penn State University Board of Trustees:

    Before the 10-day waiting period to vote on the proposed NCAA sanctions is up, I wanted to share this little story from the The 48 Laws Of Power by Robert Greene.

    When The Waters Were Changed

    Once upon a time Khidr, the teacher of Moses, called upon mankind with a warning. At a certain date, he said, all the water in the world which had not been specially hoarded, would disappear. It would then be renewed, with different water, which would drive men mad. Only one man listened to the meaning of this advice. He collected water and went to a secure place where he stored it, and waited for the water to change its character.
    On the appointed date the streams stopped running, the wells went dry, and the man who had listened, seeing this happening, went to his retreat and drank his preserved water. When he saw, from his security, the waterfalls again beginning to flow, this man descended among the other sons of men. He found that they were thinking and talking in an entirely different way from before; yet they had no memory of what had happened, nor of having been warned. When he tried to talk to them, he realized that they thought that he was mad, and they showed hostility or compassion, not understanding. At first he drank none of the new water, but went back to his concealment, to draw on his supplies, every day. Finally, however, he took the decision to drink the new water because he could not bear the loneliness of living, behaving and thinking in a different way from everyone else. He drank the new water, and became like the rest. Then he forgot all about his own store of special water, and his fellows began to look upon him as a madman who had miraculously been restored to sanity.

    Tales of the Dervishes,
    Idries Shah, 1967

    Standing alone always takes more courage than being in a huddled mass. Please, vote NO to the proposed NCAA sanctions.

    Respectfully,

    George F. Aul PS4RS

    • ps4rs said:

      George, this is a marvelous story. I read “Tales of the Dervishes” back in the sixties or early 70’s but I’d forgotten this one. Thanks to you I’ll have the pleasure of re-reading Indries Shah as I enter my own early 70’s.

      You never dip in the same river twice.

      Gary Levitt
      Editor

      • geoa201 said:

        Thank you for the reply. I did notice one typo in the story, it should read “meaning of this advice” not “his advice.” I wanted to correct that so the story reads as it appears in text.

    • ps4rs said:

      I made the change for you. Thanks again.

  7. geoa201 said:

    Board of Trustees:

    Penn State University has been subjected to one of the worst scandals in any university’s history. The Freeh Report clearly indicates failure at every level at Old Main; however, this report should not be the ultimate guide to governing Penn State University as a whole. The report does contain some assumptions within it, whether true or not, they are still only conjectured opinions.

    The Board has an obligation to weigh all the facts, however ugly they may be, and render decisions based on the best interest of the University. Such a case is the decision regarding the proposed NCAA sanctions against the University. This cannot, and should not, be an easy decision to make; however, a rush to “get the issue resolved” must not be the Board’s primary goal.

    The NCAA has made its decision regarding penalties levied against the University; however, it has been silent about its portion of the blame for this tragedy. The governing body of collegiate athletics has the responsibility for complete oversight within all of its collegiate athletic programs. In this situation, the NCAA failed to intervene, at any point, prior to the Freeh Report release.

    If the Board accepts the NCAA sanctions against the University, the message sent is that the NCAA is held blameless and is more powerful than any university governing body. Isn’t power and the abuse of it the real reason that this tragedy was allowed to occur?

    Penn State University has the ultimate responsibility to right the wrongs that have been committed. A rush to “get the issue resolved” will only dilute this responsibility. Please, vote NO on the proposed NCAA sanctions against the University.

    Respectfully,
    George F. Aul PS4RS

  8. As a psychotherapist, my career has been devoted to treating victims of childhood abuse. Consequently, I am well aware of the enduring and serious effects of childhood abuse. I am also aware of values that matter a great deal to abuse victims. Key among these values is the importance of fairness, justice and safety – not simply in relation to their abusers, but in the wider world. They need to see fairness, justice and safety being embraced and practiced in the wider world. They often fear that violations like that to which they were subjected will analogously be perpetrated in any of the many ways people can be unfair, unjust and hurtful to one another.

    In the context of these observations, I wish to ask the Board of Trustees to put aside for now a vote on the NCAA sanctions and to devote themselves to a full pursuit of the truth in this matter. The media, the Freeh report, and the NCAA sanctions have contrived a narrative of what happened regarding Jerry Sandusky — and Penn State’s supposed role in it — that distorts the truth. Emotion-driven responses, hasty and unquestioned assumptions, and vengeance-driven actions characterize the responses of those who ought to be contributing to a fair, just, and safety-enhancing response to Sandusky’s horrific behavior. Exactly this kind of response is terrifying to abuse victims.

    Many allegations have been made about what happened at Penn State in regard to Jerry Sandusky and his abuse of children. The essence of the claims is that Penn State officials failed to act as they should have and that they failed to do so because a ‘culture of football’ led the administrators to value and protect the football program at all costs, even at the cost of children being abused.

    Many assertions have been made as if they were facts. The fact remains, however, that neither of these claims has been demonstrated to be true. Additionally, they both may be false.

    According to the Freeh report, Penn State officials did, in fact, respond to the Sandusky situation. The facts cited by Freeh represent the ‘dots’ that need to be connected in order to understand what really happened. Freeh connected them in the most damaging and damning way, asserting that, using the cult-like power that he alledgedly held, Joe Paterno turned Curley, Shultz and Spanier from their plan to report Sandusky and thereby effectively covered up the Sandusky affair.

    Maybe. Maybe not. It has not been shown.

    Another way to connect the dots shows four men facing a difficult situation which had been muddied and confused by previous official determinations of Sandusky’s innocence. The facts presented by Freeh show that they discussed the issue and decided on a course of action, specifically to confront Sandusky, ban him from bringing children onto campus, and to inform the Second Mile of their action. This course of action is hardly a ‘cover-up.’ It is an attempt to address the issue of Sandusky’s behavior. Furthermore, there is no evidence whatsoever that a ‘culture of football’ influenced the decisions of Spanier, Curley, Shultz or Paterno. That claim is nothing more than an unsupported assertion. And ‘assertion’ doesn’t make it so.

    That their attempt did not stop Sandusky is not relevant to the charges made against Penn State. During the entire course of reports, investigations, and inquiries regarding Sandusky, numerous people and agencies were ineffective in stopping him — until the recent Grand Jury and trial brought him to justice at least 13 years after the first known complaint about him.

    Failure to be effective is not the same as failing to act in either a legal or morally required way.

    As the board’s scheduled presentations argued (on behalf of the NCAA’s decision!), organizations frequently have to make the best decisions they can without applying standards of ‘due process’ and sometimes without even having all the information they might wish to have.

    If one were willing to grant that, like Mr. Erickson, Mssrs’ Spanier, Curley, Shultz and Paterno were men who had demonstrated deep integrity and high values over their lifetimes, one might be inclined to connect the dots in a way that creates a very different picture than the Freeh report and the public narrative of what happened. Until a full rebuttal of the Freeh report has been considered, the board of trustees should not close the matter of the NCAA consent decree. And when the rebuttal has been heard, I believe it will be demonstrated that Penn State did nothing wrong, did not fail in its duty and that no decisions were made to protect football at Penn State over the needs of children.

    (In this whole matter, it is everybody’s dearest fantasy that someone truly had the power to stop Jerry Sandusky and failed. In reality, all the people who actually have authority, power and responsibility in these matters [Child and Youth Services, Dept. of Welfare, Police, District Attorneys, Attorney’s General] would explain that it is not that simple. Many, if not most, of our efforts to stop child abuse are ineffective and fail. Why should Penn State be held to a standard to which no one else is held?)

    Sincerely,
    Robert Nace, M.Div., Psy.D.

  9. I implore the Board to vote against this agreement. I do not believe temporary President Erickson had the authority to enter into this agreement with the NCAA without first obtaining approval from the Board. He has VIOLATED the terms he agreed to when made temporary President by the Board and action should be taken against him for doing so. Additionally, the NCAA had no legal right to impose ANY sanctions on PSU as PSU did not violate any NCAA rules. Erickson says he made this agreement because the only option was the “death penalty” for PSU sports but the NCAA President has stated that the death penalty was not discusssed. Any attempt by the NCAA to impose any sanctions on PSU should be vigorously challenged but this cannot be done unless this agrement is VOIDED.

  10. To the Trustees of the Pennsylvania State University –

    As a 2003 graduate of Penn State, I have always shown great love towards my university. Even after I graduated from “Dear Old State”, I have cheered on dancers at THON , dumped change out of my car ashtray when I see a “canner” freezing on the side of the road, donated each and every year to the College of Education, smiled extra bright when I hear of Penn Staters making major medical advancements, and cheered loudly for our football team. Over the past 10 months, the love I have towards my university has not faltered – but yet I feel betrayed. As an 8th grade American history teacher, I always question my students to find the whole story. America’s past is not pretty. We mess up. However, that does not mean that we idly sit by while people pass judgement upon us without all of the facts. The media does not have all of the facts of this horrific case. We as a university do not have all of the facts. The current students and alumni do not have all of the facts. We owe it to the American society, abused children everywhere and future generations of Penn Staters to find out how this great university “messed up”. I ask that as a member of the Board of Trustees, that you please join Ryan McCombie’s appeal of the NCAA sanctions on our university. Everyone deserves to know the truth and it was clear that the Freeh “Report” was clearly an opinion of what happened. An appeal of these sanctions will ensure that the truth will in fact come out.

    When I teach my 8th grade students about due process, they understand the importance of this principle in our government. It ensures that there is time to find the truth. It is a principle that helps distinguish our country as a leader in a free and democratic world. I hope that you understand this concept just as well as my 8th graders do. Seek the truth. Ensure we get due process. Support fellow trustee Ryan McCombie.

    Thank you for your time,
    For the Glory,

    Jamie Higgins Shaull
    B.S. Secondary Education – 2003

  11. Dear BOT Members:

    I listened with a sinking feeling to Sunday’s Board of Trustees meeting (hereinafter referred to as Rod-A-Palooza). I can appreciate the conundrum faced by President Erickson in dealing with the NCAA. But the continuing calls to move forward caused me to ask myself, move forward from what? It seems to me that we are moving forward from a college that prided itself as a place of high integrity and with a reputation for doing things the right way to a place that puts expediency ahead of all else. Keep listening to your PR flack (Adelmann) and we won’t be able to tell Penn State from LSU (you know, that college with the low graduation rate that Mark Emmert worked for before he found religion).

    As a 1968 Penn State graduate who had two children also graduate from Penn State, I took great pride in the fact that my kids were exposed to and had ingrained in them the same qualities I valued. Joe Paterno was the embodiment of those ideals, but this isn’t truly about Joe. It’s about those ideals.

    With the exception of Lubrano and Myers, and maybe a few others, you must have attended a different Penn State than I did. That Penn State must have emphasized expediency over all else and I’m glad I missed it.

    So, you go ahead and move forward. I’ll stay behind and support those who want to find the whole truth about this situation.

    And please don’t insult me by saying I don’t care about the victims. You may find this hard to believe but you can mourn the lifelong pain of Jerry Sandusky’s victims while also resisting a rush to judgment and waiting for all the facts, not Freeh’s fictional account based on a real life story.

    And also please don’t tell me what Bill O’Brien thinks. I don’t really care. I wish him well and will be at the games but he doesn’t have a stake in Penn State’s past. I have such a stake, but I increasingly wonder if I have a stake in its future.

    Tony Villiotti

  12. Ladies and Gentlemen,

    It has come to my attention that the BoT will be meeting this Sunday to ratify the binding consent decree imposed by the NCAA on Penn State. I strongly urge you to not ratify these sanctions as it establishes a very dangerous precedent in not only the University, but in society at large. Due process was not used to arrive at the incriminating facts contained within the Freeh report, propositioned by many individuals on this very board. By accepting these sanctions, you are essentially admitting guilt for an act that has not been proven in the court of law (except for the case of Mr. Sandusky).

    One of the reasons I love our country is that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Unfortunately, the media and now potentially the BoT itself threaten this very ideal. As a Penn State alumnus, I have been ashamed at the handling of the events in recent months. I have stood up on a regular basis to defend our proud name, but I find it increasingly difficult to do so when our members refuse to acknowledge that the Freeh report is simply one opinion on a complex situation with what is no doubt a deep-seated conspiracy at its core. Contrary to popular belief, it is not just about Mr. Paterno and the unjust way he was defamed/portrayed by the media and the University itself. This is a mission every American citizen should stand behind if they believe in our founding fathers and the ideals that have served our nation so well.

    I challenge every member of this board to “put your shoe on the other foot”. If you were being incriminated by the Freeh report and media how would you feel? Would you not feel entitled for a chance to defend yourself and prove your innocence or guilt? It is easy to pass judgments on someone when the perceived “quality” of the Freeh report producers is so seemingly high. I would ask that the NCAA as well as the board take this opportunity for reflection. Look at what you are doing and think what if it were me? I truly believe each one of us would want our nation’s rights/core tenants to be upheld at all costs.

    For the glory (we hope to restore now and in the future),


    Shawn Patrick Vause
    Information Science & Technology – ’06

  13. Trustees:

    My name is Romin Currier. I graduated from Penn State University in 1995 and I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, cum laude, in 2000. I have no association with Penn State’s football program other than attending some of the games. I have been a proud member of the Penn State community since 1991 and credit the Penn State culture for becoming the person that I am today.

    I am writing to each one of you today to ask that you postpone ratifying the NCAA sanctions. As an attorney, I understand the difference between evidence and inferences, between facts and opinions. I have been involved in cases in which the liability appeared indisputable only to be shocked that given due process, the full facts ultimately produced a completely different outcome. I am also a contributor to the Innocence Project which takes on cases of individuals on death row who have been convicted of horrible crimes. This amazing organization has now indisputably proven (mostly through DNA evidence) that 248 once convicted murderers, rapists, etc. were in fact 100% innocent.

    I share this with you not because I question the charges against Sandusky nor do I question the testimony of his victims. What I do question are the conclusions in the Freeh report and the sanctions handed down based on nothing more than the questionable conclusions reached in the report. I have read the report in full, including the notes and emails relied upon to support the conclusions. I understand that the officials discussed whether this was child abuse, the need to report it and the ultimate decision not to report it. In a vacuum, I understand that these initial facts lead one to infer a cover up. Yet, I am confident based on years of experience that there are other facts that will be uncovered that will shine these facts in a different light. And I am absolutely certain that these facts do not support the sanctions that were handed down on Penn State.

    For example, in 1998, when the first child abuse allegation was reported, it was fully investigated. DPW investigated it, the police department investigated it, child psychologists with specific experience in child abuse cases were called in to interview the child and the district attorney was involved. Penn State (along with the very officials that are the subject of the cover up allegations) fully cooperated with the investigation. The testimony of the child and the testimony of Sandusky was “essentially the same.” They worked out together in the gym and then both showered together. The district attorney found that no criminal activity occurred and closed the file.

    Fast forward three years later. Sandusky is again spotted in the shower with another kid. The report that was made to Paterno was that McQueary saw Sandusky in the shower with a young boy and it really upset him. McQueary himself testified that he never told Paterno of actual abuse. Paterno nevertheless shares this information with Schultz and Curley the very next day and ask that they investigate it. Schultz and Curley obtain a copy of the 1998 report in which very similar allegations were made, fully investigated and determined by the district attorney that no crime had been committed. They discuss what might be the best approach this time including notifying DPW again and confronting Sandusky. After further consideration and discussing it with Paterno, Curley decides he is going to confront Sandusky first. Curley describes Sandusky’s behavior as a problem and states a need to notify DPW if Sandusky does not acknowledge this problem. Curley then confronts Sandusky who admits showering with the young boy just as in 1998 but again is adamant that nothing criminal occurred. Curley then notifies the director of the Second Mile that the allegations were made. He also notifies Sandusky that he is prohibited from bringing any more kids on the campus.

    What is inferred in order to go from these set of facts to the conclusions reached in the Freeh report is that Curley believed child abuse occurred. What is also inferred is that Curley, Paterno, Schultz and Spanier hatched a plan to cover up the actual child abuse. Yet, these inferences are not only unsupported by the evidence, they are in fact contradicted by the evidence. For example, since Spanier and Schultz’s notes were “confidential” and intended for their eyes only, why isn’t there any note on actually covering up child abuse? Moreover, if these officials truly intended to cover up these crimes, why disclose the allegations to a third party, i.e. the Second Mile?

    Based upon the facts as they actually exist thus far, it is equally as likely that these men took McQueary’s statements about seeing Sandusky in the shower with a young boy and compared them to the allegations and the findings from the 1998 incident in which every agency possible participated in the investigation and concluded that no criminal activity occurred. It is my understanding that there is a dispute about what McQueary told Schultz and Curley. Yet, the “confidential” notes that no one was supposed to see describe the shower behavior as merely “horsing around.” If McQueary decided to be more graphic with Curley than he was with Paterno, why do these confidential notes support Curley’s version of the events? Since we do not have a clear understanding of what was actually disclosed during Curley and Schultz’s meeting with McQueary, it is too early to judge it. This fact is important because it is necessary to reach the conclusion that Curley and Schultz knew of actual child abuse (as opposed to the merely inappropriate behavior that was described to Paterno and similar to what was identified in the 1998 incident). It is at least equally likely that Curley and Schultz ended this entire investigation with the understanding that while they believed Sandusky’s behavior to have been inappropriate and a “problem”, there was nothing to support criminal behavior. If this is the case, then there is no basis for the Freeh’s conclusion of a cover up. Importantly, this conclusion is consistent with the actual evidence that does exist.

    Now, I understand that there were individuals that have come forward now and testified that they were aware of the abuse, i.e. McQueary and the janitor. But this is not the basis for the sanctions. The sanctions are based upon the University’s knowledge through its top officials of actual child abuse and deliberate efforts to cover it up. Thus, the knowledge of one or two individuals on a campus the likes of Penn State does not rise to the level of knowledge by the institution nor does it support the theory of a cover up.

    At the end of the day, this board has to make a decision on whether to ratify the sanctions handed down by the NCAA. These sanctions are unprecedented. They are also well beyond what is warranted. For example, even if we assume everything is true, why do the sanctions go all the way back to 1998? Such a sanction implies a cover up dating back to the first report. If this impression is not challenged, America and the world will accept that Penn State actively covered up such child abuse dating all the way back to 1998 even though it was the district attorney’s office, not Penn State that concluded no crime occurred in 1998. Moreover, if these facts are not addressed publicly, a cloud of suspicion will linger over our University for generations. The crimes will not be remembered as Sandusky’s crimes but Penn State’s crimes. Only an open and public investigation can educate the public of the truth.

    Keep in mind that we as alumni only seek due process and let the chips fall where they may without regard to any individual. But the sanctions could not be worse as the “death penalty” does not apply to Penn State since it is the only university that has never been subjected to major NCAA violations. Ironically, this is due to the very leadership that the NCAA now seeks to tear down. I hereby formally request that this board not ratify the NCAA sanctions. Hold meetings, debate the facts and after the board fulfills its duty to do exactly this, then you can choose to either ratify the sanctions or challenge the sanctions or challenge some aspect of the sanctions.

    Romin Currier, ’95

  14. Distinguished Members of the Penn State Board of Trustees:

    As an incoming freshman, I chose to attend Penn State because of its high academic standing. The sanctions imposed by the NCAA are trying to undermine our distinguished academic programs. The current culture at Penn State does not need to changed. This is evident in many ways: the high graduation rate of our student athletes, the marketability of a Penn State degree, and the success of Penn State graduates in the world.

    This evening, you have the opportunity to oppose these NCAA sanctions. The NCAA has not performed their own investigation and have accepted the Freeh report as factual evidence. The Freeh report has not considered all of the facts of the Sandusky case. The NCAA’s acceptance of the Freeh Report violates Penn State’s right of due process.
    I am asking you to reject the consent decree until all of the facts in this case have been presented. As leaders of Penn State University, the Penn State community requests of you to stand behind OUR university and everything it stands for.

    If you are among the members who have expressed their decision to reject the decree, I thank you. For those of you who have not made a decision, I request of you to stand with the others and reject the decree.

    Sincerely,

    Victoria C. Hall
    Class of 2016

  15. Dear Penn State BoT

    I know your time is valuable and you are reading many emails lately (or maybe not). If you could take a few minutes I’d appreciate it you would be so kind to hear my story, to feel it, remember your own (if you have a Penn State story) and follow your heart, not only as a Penn Stater (if you are one) but as an American. I’m sorry it’s a little lengthy but I felt it was all important for you to hear.

    In 1996 I made my way to Simmons Hall as a freshman. I was honored to be accepted to main campus as a freshman as most of my graduating class chose PSU but only 4 of us went to UP. I quickly learned what WE ARE meant and I was hooked…. For life. Penn State was my home for four years and another year and ½ when I moved back to work for Centre County Youth Service Bureau as I waited for my now husband to graduate. Nittany Nation became my family, in some ways even more than my real family because as many of you know, Penn State is a bond that only we can fully understand. I’ve tried to explain this feeling in countless ways to those that likened this notion to that of a “cult” or “groupthink” or even thinking we in some way feel superior or elitist. I did this before November 2011 (many times) and even more over the past 9 months. Though it’s much more difficult these days as no one can seem to separate what we know now from what we are in reality. No one seems to care about who we really are anymore. No one seems to want to hear about our values and doing things the right way because to everyone else this never existed. But I think we ALL know, it did exist, and it still does. I witnessed it, many of you did too. I have strived to live my life this way, the right way, the Penn State way. I have worked to start teaching concepts such as success with honor, making an impact in the world and doing the right thing to my young children. I think many of you have done this same thing with your own kids.

    People used to joke about my love for my school because to them, college was simply college. A great time, parties, an education that enabled to them achieve their career goals, lifelong friends were made but a part of who they are? That wasn’t something outsiders (typically) could comprehend. They didn’t understand how I could willingly walk away from a job (just as a hostess while in grad school) to go to a New Years Day bowl game and they certainly didn’t understand how it was about SO much more than just football. They laughed that I have enough PSU gear to wear for a month, that everywhere you look in my house there’s something Penn State, from a picture to a trash can, a magnet or blanket, to my degree proudly displayed, the 1st thing I would hang in the 6 states I have lived since graduating and probably 15 moves I’ve made. Attempting to explain to a bartender in Tel Aviv why a “football coach” was on my credit card was especially challenging and a bit humorous. Now, sadly, I worry about wearing my gear or displaying my PSU pride publicly because the media has created a lynch mob. They created this world where everyone who accepts their truth has so much hate they are starting to unleash it on us, the students and alumni. I fear for the safety of my babies with each new report of harassment and violence I hear about. Our lack of a fight against such venom only leads these people to believe it must all be true. You and I know it’s not. I am a proud Penn Stater and I want to feel safe in my desire to show that pride, to show the world this piece of who I am.

    As a Jew, feeling a bond to a people is sort of innate in me. It was only natural to feel this bond with my Penn State family. The WE is a Jewish value for me. Being a part of something greater than oneself. Taking care of your family, your community, the world. The pursuit of justice is another concept deeply rooted in my Jewish heritage and fighting for justice is well, a no brainer. As a Jew I also question things. I question anything and everything that simply defies logic, that lacks evidence or that I know is simply not the whole story. If there’s more to it then I believe it is our duty to seek the truth. The truth truly shall set you free and without it, we are nothing. I’ve read comments from some (of you) about letting it go, about moving forward and how fighting prevents us from doing that. I can assure you, as a Jew, this is not how my people have survived all this time through much worse persecution than what my Penn State family is facing today. We survived because we believed and we fought for what we believed even if it meant death. We do not revisit our past every year as a means to live in it or to prevent us from moving forward. We do not seek justice for victims of the Holocaust even decades later because we are stuck in the past. We do it because it is the right thing to do, to be the voice for those who have perished, to give them justice. And we simultaneously move forward as we fight and seek truth and justice. We do both. It is possible, I promise you.

    As an American, I am keenly aware that I would not be here today nor would I have the freedom to practice my minority religion had our forefathers not fought for our freedoms. Had they not fought for truth and justice for ALL. Had they not fought for our freedom of speech, to speak the truth even if no one wants to hear it anymore. What if no one fought for equality for women or the civil rights movement? What did my friend and fellow alumni (and medal of honor recipient) Lt. Michael P Murphy die for if we refuse to fight for our school which he loved as much as any other Penn Stater? If we refuse to fight for the due process our university deserves? What did he fight and die for if we, as Americans, don’t stand up for our own ideals here on our own soil? I learned of this concept called “innocent until proven guilty” pretty early in life and I believe this is a founding principle of America for a good reason. If we forget those reasons or ignore them or worse yet make quick decisions out of FEAR of worse consequences then we are no better than the communist nations we frown upon. We are no better than the tyrants that oppress their people or the all those that sat by and watched their neighbors be carted off to the gas chambers out of FEAR. And this case has far less dire consequences. Though I worry how dangerous it could get for us if we continue to let the world think this is who we are.

    WE can’t move forward if that means forging ahead based on lies, incomplete truths and a lack of due process and justice. There is no moving forward if that is our new foundation. There is no Penn State if that’s what we are telling our current and future generations to base their love and devotion on. There is no honor in accepting what has been written when many, even many of you, believe there is little to no truth to it. And we all know there is little to no facts to back up any of the accusations that have been made. If we continue to allow the media and NCAA to create the future of Penn State and to do so without a fight then what are we? One thing I know we aren’t is Penn State. That breaks my heart and leaves me feeling as though a piece of my soul has been ripped from me, it leaves me incomplete. It leaves all of us incomplete.

    I urge you to fight. I beg you to remember what we are fighting for and not just as Penn Staters but as Americans before all else. Show the nation what we are made of. Remember why we even adopted the WE ARE slogan to begin with, to stand in solidarity with our African American football players, because it was the right thing to do no matter the outcome. Please do not to base your decision on fear of worse consequences, sanctions the NCAA has stated weren’t even on the table. Please do not base your decision on some notion of moving forward because fighting AND moving forward are not mutually exclusive of one another. We have been moving forward and we will continue to do that, but we won’t go very far if we continue to allow others to define us based on lies. We won’t be that beacon of light in the lives of victims of abuse or be able to prevent such atrocities in our society if our foundation is broken and our history is one that defies our American values of justice and due process.

    Please table this vote until due process and the truth can be revealed. Please fight for what we all have built, for our pride, for our honor, for what is right. Fight for the glory of Penn State.

    Sincerely,
    Jaci Hoosier (HDFS, ‘00)

  16. Dear Board of Trustees. Your institutional duty is to act in the best interests of Penn State, not just to rubber-stamp actions of the PSU Administration. In fact, if previous Boards had acted in accordance with their duty, the entire Sandusky matter would have been dealt with many years ago. So now it is your chance to assert your proper authority so that the NCAA matter will receive full and careful study before the University makes any commitment to the NCAA.

    On a personal level, I think that you need to review very carefully the Freeh report and other information concerning the role of Joe Paterno in the actions taken over the years with reference to Jerry Sandusky. Should you find that Joe knowingly condoned a cover-up of a criminal action by Sandusky you can support the penalty of victories being declared forfeit, for that is a penalty directed at Joe’s legacy rather than the University or today’s athletic program. But if you do not find clear evidence of Joe’s complicity in a criminal cover-up, then you must oppose that part of the penalty.

    Ray Anderson, ’63 B.A.

  17. kgpdx78 said:

    Dear Trustees,

    I understand the value that might be derived in moving on and focusing on the future, but I do not see how one wrong can be righted through carrying out another one. Justice is compromised if it is realized through the carrying out of another injustice. Current students, alumni who list their Penn State degree with pride on their resume, football players and coaches past and present who have followed the rules, our past leaders who are still to have their day in court, and the Paterno family who deserve so much better than they’ve received, deserve an opportunity for a full review of this outcome by the board, and if it is found that they’ve been wronged, deserve to have the record righted and the truth pursued by their University.

    I believe in living life through the front window and not the rearview mirror. I think there’s still much to see in front of us before we can put it behind us.

    Keith Grimm, ’92 LIR

  18. To the PSU BoT:
    There is no such thing as an “expedient” with regard to justice/injustice and/or honor/dishonor. With few exceptions, you seem to be fixated on expediently responding to Sandusky and some other, yet undetermined, parties, dishonor AND BLATANTLY IGNORING any concept of justice or honor for the untried and unheard. The part of my 20 years of military service that I absolutely loathed was witnessing the ” incompetents in-charge” as they fed the heads of innocent subordinates to the great head-god in-the-sky to cover their collective a**es. Please, man up to your own sins of omission and allow the untried and unheard a day in court.

  19. I plead with you to vote NO on the NCAA Sanctions against Penn State. A sanction of this magnitude deserves at least an appeal. There are significant questions as to whether the NCAA has the authority to do this. They did not complete an investigation of their own, but relied instead on others flawed reports. Principals involved have not had their day in court. And foremost, it is the Fiduciary Responsibility of the Penn State Board of Trustees to protect and preserve the assets of the institution, given so generously by the alumni, friends and donors of Penn State. Take a firm stand and argue your case in the courts and in public. This is the cleanest football program in the country in the past half century. It is not a football problem. It is an institutional management problem. The consequences of one deranged past employee of Penn State should in no ones right mind bring an entire institution to its knees. Vote NO! Voting yes sets a terrible precedent for the intrusion of the NCAA into ALL NCAA member schools’ internal affairs…far beyond the NCAA’s purview of athletics. No, No, NO!

    Don’t take the easy way out and hope that this sickening problem will just go away. To ratify this NCAA ruling will be a big mistake that will have terrible consequences for years to come. Vote NO!

    Christopher Gilbert ‘67

  20. Dear Board of Trustees,
    I am writing you today to ask you to table the vote on ratifying the sanctions imposed by the NCAA. Dr. Emmert acted prematurely and did not even follow NCAA protocol in dealing with this issue by going through his infractions committee. He based his decisions on a flawed Freeh Report. He based his decision on your very own actions of making Joe Paterno a fall guy.
    I sent the above letter to all of you and only two BoT members replied to me, Paul Silvis and Anthony Lubrano. I do not think this is a way to mend fences with your current students or alumni. Dr. Poole replied on behalf of President Erickson and he gave me the same reply as he did to other alumni.
    Please do not act hastily as you have done in the past and table this vote. There are two court cases coming up for Tim Curley and Gary Schultz and on going investigation.
    I will always love Penn State because my education there for both degrees contributed to my success as a teacher. I am extremely disappointed in the previous actions of this Board in this matter and I hope you restore some of my fatith in you by tabling the vote. Thank you.

    Geraldine Killisky Penn ( I am not Mr. Penn but I am Mrs. Penn) ’69’ & ’72’

  21. tdpsu said:

    Dear Board Member,

    As a 1981 Alum, I urge you to seriously consider the impact of your vote today and rather than rush to judgement, take the slow and measured response and table the decision until more information can be gathered for a more informed final decision. I have read Trustee Joel N. Meyers letter to the board and feel that he is approaching this important decision in a manner that is in the best interest of the university. Please show leadership and responsibility by making an informed decision rather than a rushed one.

    Sincerely,

    Ted DiNardo

  22. Dear Mr. Silvis,
    Thanks for your quick response to my letter. I live in a suburb of Atlanta, GA so although I appreciate your offer to meet, I am not able to do so.

    Dr. Emmert has it wrong. Education has always been more important than football and students are going to PSU for their education not football. Dr. Emmert should have followed proper NCAA protocol and sent this to the infractions committee. President Erickson should have gone to the BOT. Our school should have not been blackmailed with a death penalty or the sanctions. These sanctions have punished past players who worked so hard on and off the field. How in the world is that fair and how is it fair to use the Freeh report who did not even interview key players including Joe Paterno before his death. The NCAA is not a court of law and no one was under oath. It is unfortunate that they use civil law and apparently did not base their decision on the grand jury report. If so, the winning games would not be part of the sanctions since Joe Paterno was not charged with anything by the grand jury unlike Curley and Schultz. I hope that the NCAA gets sued by many. They should be called into court for what I consider to be a violation of their own protocol as well as besmirching the name of Joe Paterno who was not the criminal and punishing the innocent. I am going to have to disagree with you and anyone on the Board who feels the same as you.

    More important than the NCAA sanctions, my letter addressed the actions of the BOT in the way they treated Joe Paterno in his firing and the removal of the statue. I resent that Joe Paterno who always stressed the importance of education was made the fall guy and was not treated by the BOT with the same respect as Tim Curley, Gary Schultz, or Mike McQueary. None of them were fired. Curley and Schultz were Paterno’s superiors and neither of them who were charged with perjury should have been allowed to retire or put on administrative leave. Mike McQueary left the scene without interceding. He did not call the police. His version of the incident has changed over time. Joe Paterno was charged with nothing by the grand jury. Had he lived he would have been a witness for the prosecution. I think the way the BOT treated him contributed to his death. Shame on all of you for firing him over the phone and firing him at all.

    I do not think President Erickson should be our President. I watched an interview of him on Sunday, July 29 on CBS and I was so upset by some of the things he said. I don’t think he is a good representative of our institution and is out of touch.

    We won’t make donations to Penn State until we have a new President and the BOT members who were on the Board at the time of the Paterno firing resign. Tom Corbett should be the first to go. Shame on him. I do not want any of my money going to sanctions. I am sure I am not the only alum that will no longer contribute. I would be more than willing to contribute to a legitimate scholarship fund that would independently fund scholarships for football players. We will also contribute to our local club’s scholarship fund.

    I will always be proud that I received two degrees from Penn State and that I accomplished what I did in teaching because of my Penn State education. It contributed to my excellent teaching which was recognized in all of my teaching positions.

    Thanks for taking the time to respond to my letter. Your response seemed to focus on the NCAA sanctions which was not the major part of my letter to you as I only wrote one sentence referring to it.

    I will always be a proud Penn Stater but I am not proud of those in control.

    Geraldine Kilisky Penn ‘69’ ‘72’

    From: Paul Silvis [mailto:Paul.Silvis@restek.com]
    Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2012 10:08 AM
    To: Gerri Penn
    Subject: RE: I have always been a proud Penn Stater and did my best to make contributions when I could. I am ashamed of the actions by both the administration and BOT

    Mr. Penn,

    Are you living near State College? I would like to meet with you and answer your questions and allegations eye ball to eye ball. While we may not agree on the BOT actions, we will agree both of us love Penn State and are trying to do the best we can do for the University in its entirety. You deserve an explanation. Please let me know if we can meet face to face to discuss your concerns.

    Here is a synopsis of the NCAA sanctions that were levied. It gives you the sequence of events that is critical to understand what took place with the NCAA:

    http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/8228641/inside-secret-negotiations-brought-penn-state-football-brink-extinction

    All of us on the Board, like you are equally frustrated with the NCAA sanctions and the pain the Alumni and University have to endure over the Sandusky actions for the past year. We are all paying the price from the actions of a few. Penn State is a great institution and we are constantly being portrayed in a negative light by the media and talking heads. My son told me that he used to go to a Penn State bar in DC and recently they took all the Pen State memorabilia out. It is heart wrenching and unfair that such a great university has to receive all this bad publicity when we had the highest academic graduations rates of any athletic program. Sandusky has inflicted tremendous pain on all of us.

    The Board has held numerous vigorous discussions with attorneys knowledgeable about the NCAA and Rod’s and the Executive Committee’s authority to sign the consent decree. We also discussed the Freeh report and whether the NCAA had the right to use the information. We also exhaustively examined the NCAA appeal process in Penn State’s case. We have concluded:

    1. It is inaccurately reported that the Freeh report was the only information the NCAA used to make their decisions. The NCAA used numerous documents and fact finding to reach their conclusions including the Freeh report. Rod has been cooperating with the NCAA ever since the Grand Jury preceding’s was released frequently providing information at their request. The NCAA had the right to use the Freeh report because they use civil court law and not criminal law to make their decisions. The University is bound to make decisions based on reasonable evidence and would be afoul of the law if we waited for criminal proceeding to make decision to do what is best for Penn State as an institutions. I am convinced if the Freeh report was not available to the NCAA they would have reached the same conclusions regarding lack of intuitional control and criminal intent. There is no magic lever that can make the NCAA sanctions change based on an argument about the completeness or accuracy of the Freeh report.
    2. Yes President Erickson had the authority to sign the consent decree. This issue has been exhaustively reviewed by knowledgeable attorneys. After exhaustive reviews of time lines and decision points, Rod had a choice between accepting the consent decree or four years of the death penalty. While the consent decree is simply awful to those who had nothing to do with the infractions, the NCAA had the authority to impose the sanctions. I am convinced our attorneys fought for Penn State and did the best job they could in this circumstance. There has been no evidence presented to the Board that would make us believe a different negotiation team or being more defiant against the NCAA would have changed the outcome.
    3. Yes the NCAA has the authority to issue sanctions against Penn State. We signed up for the NCAA’s oversight and rules. We hired attorneys who have exhaustive experience writing the bylaws and rules for the NCAA and thy absolutely had the authority to do what they did to Penn State. Unfortunately there is no truth to the rumor that the NCAA overstepped their authority in Penn State’s case.
    4. The Board has concluded Ryan McCombie’s and the other NCAA appeals submitted by will not work. It has no legal basis and is not supported by facts regarding the NCAA. Ryan’s appeal is heartfelt and his actions are honorable. Unfortunately after spending numerous hours with experts we have no legal leg to force the NCAA to appeal the sanctions. Ryan’s appeal gives false hope to Alumni that somehow we can change the sanctions the NCAA levied against Pen State.

    The Board’s role is to exert oversight to do what is best for Penn State as an institution. We were given tough choices. While you may disagree with our decisions, we made those decisions with Penn State’s long term wellbeing as our guiding light. I wish I could click my fingers and change the past but we can’t. We can change our future. We have to get past looking for blame or assuming life is fair. It is what it is. We need to pull together as Penn Stater’s and take Coach O’Brien’s warrior spirit. If we keep beating each other up and looking for someone to blame, we will tear this University apart. Please read Ryan’s appeal for Unity.

    A House Divided…

    These last months have been painful and difficult. Our University is besieged from all quarters with an overarching criticism of our culture, ethics and integrity. The Nittany Nation finds itself in narrow straits with few allies and little maneuvering room. A person is not defined by how he acts in tranquil waters and fair weather. A person is judged by how he responds in storms and crisis – so too, will be our University.

    We cannot continue to fight internally and win the bigger battle of who we truly are as a University. I understand the visceral anger many feel, recognize the blame many seek to place and sympathize with the calls for punishment and retribution. I understand the total frustration we have felt as the last 9 months unfolded. Nevertheless, history invariably judges fairly and truthfully the events of today. Now, we need to await that judgment. We must resolve our family squabbles later when a full understanding of these events is known. Now, there are more than enough external battles to be fought and won.

    Crisis calls for unlikely bedfellows. During the “Cold War” The US and the Soviet Union who had a strategy of “mutual assured destruction” (MAD) were, nevertheless allies against terrorism. Our family cannot continue to expend our psychic energy attacking each other no matter how great our rage. There are sufficient external forces doing that already. Regardless of how we feel about Coach Paterno, the Board of Trustees or the Administration, we all know that we do not want our University torn apart by internal strife. History will reveal what happened here! History will fairly and truthfully judge all of the actors in this Shakespearean tragedy. Now we need to await that judgment and move forward together for our University.

    Today – right now- we all need to address the huge challenges facing Penn State. We should conduct ourselves in a manner today that will allow us to look back a decade from now with pride and honor. This will require the cooperation, coordination and commitment from all dimensions of the University. The entire family must engage! From the Board of Trustees to the Lettermen, from the Alumni Association to the alumni groups, from the students to the faculty and townsfolk. We all need to come together for the Pennsylvania State University to heal, recover and thrive. We need to show the World once again who Penn State truly is and always has been – that we represent a great and noble University with loyal alumni & friends, dedicated and heartfelt students and a staff second to none. We can do this! After all – We are Penn State!
    Ryan J. McCombie

    From: Gerri Penn [mailto:pennfam@bellsouth.net]
    Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2012 10:44 PM
    To: ‘Rod Erickson’; ‘Marianne Alexander’; ‘Richard Allan’; ‘Al Clemens’; ‘Tom Corbett’; ‘Dan Cotner’; ‘Mark Dambly’; ‘Stephanie Deviney’; ‘Keith Eckels’; ‘Ken Frazier’; ‘George Greig’; ‘Sam Hayes’; ‘Ed Hintz’; ‘Betsy Hube’; ‘Ira Lubert’; ‘Anthony Lubrano’; ‘Keith Masser’; ‘Ryan Mc Combie’; ‘Joel Myers’; ‘Karen Peetz’; ‘Carl Shaffer’; Paul Silvis; ‘Linda Strumpf’; ‘Paul Suhey’; ‘John Surma’; ‘Adam Talieferro’; ‘Ron Tomalis’
    Subject: FW: I have alway been a proud Penn Stater and did my best to make contributions when I could. I am ashamed of the actions by both the administration and BOT

    From: Gerri Penn
    To: president@psu.edu ; bot@psu.edu
    Cc: ‘Gerri Penn’
    Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2012 4:40 PM
    Subject: I have alway been a proud Penn Stater and did my best to make contributions when I could. I am ashamed of the actions by both the administration and BOT

    Dear President Erickson and Board of Trustees,

    I chose to attend Penn State in 1965 because it had a very highly rated Education Department. I did not choose to go there because it had a great football team. I really knew nothing about football. Coach Paterno became Head Coach my sophomore year and I attended every home game from 66-69. I was privileged enough to meet Coach Paterno in his office in Rec Hall. He invited me in his office and he encouraged me to do well in my studies. We did not talk about football at all other than me telling him he was doing a great job. I was correct that I received an excellent education. When I decided to take a break from teaching to get my Master’s Degree, I once again chose Penn State even though I was accepted at other schools.

    My husband and I have both been proud Penn Staters. We have donated what we can afford for the past 35 years. When the news broke about Jerry Sandusky it sickened me to hear what he did to young boys. It made me sick that he was not charged in 1998 or any years after that until 2011. I think about all of the young boys who could have been spared from his abuse. I was disgusted when I heard that the BOT chose to fire Coach Paterno in such a disrespectful way even though the grand jury, did not find him complicit in anything. The criminal was Jerry Sandusky. The BOT and University did not fire Tim Curley who was complicit and was charged with perjury, he was put on a leave of absence. The BOT and University did not fire Schultz who was also complicit in his lack of action and charged with perjury, he was allowed to retire. Joe Paterno announced he would retire at the end of the season but you chose to fire him and make him a fall guy. Even Mike McQueary who witnessed the offense by Sandusky, did not intercede at the time and left Jerry Sandusky in the shower with the boy, was put on leave. I am ashamed of the BOT. All of them should step down who were on the Board at that time. I am ashamed of President Erickson’s decision to remove Coach Paterno’s statue. I am ashamed that Governor Corbett did not do anything to stop future sexual abuse victims by not charging Sandusky sooner. I am ashamed that Curley and Schultz did not do what they should have when Coach Paterno told them about what Mike McQueary told him. You have all failed as leaders in my eyes. Coach Paterno was the only one man enough to say he wishes he would have done more. We did not make a donation to Penn State in 2011. Instead we were one of alumni who donated over $500,000 to RAINN. I wrote on my donation card, that I won’t donate again to PSU until the BOT steps down. We will donate to RAINN again this year when we receive our PSU donation request.

    Since you removed Coach Paterno’s statue, how can you in good conscience keep the Paterno family money? Don’t you think that is a bit hypocritical? I hope you put Coach Paterno’s statue in a museum. He helped so many students in their education, not just football players. The Freeh report is a joke and not what I consider independent since it was authorized by a bad BOT. Coach Paterno was never even interviewed before his death. He should have been the first one interviewed. I also think it is wrong that the BOT chose an acting Athletic Director from one of their own members, David Joyner.

    As you can tell I am disillusioned with all of you. You let the media crucify Coach Paterno. You let them force you into wrong decisions. You did not stand strong with the NCAA and make them follow proper protocol. You based decisions on a flawed Freeh Report.

    President Erickson, you are out of touch as far as what our University means to incoming students. I participate in College Fairs in Atlanta. If you heard what these potential students ask about, you would know their prime interest is not in the football program. Penn State is already known as a fine educational institution, great in research, law, medical, engineering, etc.

    I will continue to love Coach Paterno. I will continue to feel alumni and students are Penn State and now I will feel that the BOT and the President are not Penn State and do not represent the current students and alumni of our University. I am so glad that my husband and I made it back to Penn state in May and I will cherish our pictures at the ‘Statue’.

    Sincerely yours,

    Geraldine Kilisky Penn ‘69’ & ‘72’

    Dear Mr. Silvis,
    Thanks for your quick response to my letter. I live in a suburb of Atlanta, GA so although I appreciate your offer to meet, I am not able to do so.

    Dr. Emmert has it wrong. Education has always been more important than football and students are going to PSU for their education not football. Dr. Emmert should have followed proper NCAA protocol and sent this to the infractions committee. President Erickson should have gone to the BOT. Our school should have not been blackmailed with a death penalty or the sanctions. These sanctions have punished past players who worked so hard on and off the field. How in the world is that fair and how is it fair to use the Freeh report who did not even interview key players including Joe Paterno before his death. The NCAA is not a court of law and no one was under oath. It is unfortunate that they use civil law and apparently did not base their decision on the grand jury report. If so, the winning games would not be part of the sanctions since Joe Paterno was not charged with anything by the grand jury unlike Curley and Schultz. I hope that the NCAA gets sued by many. They should be called into court for what I consider to be a violation of their own protocol as well as besmirching the name of Joe Paterno who was not the criminal and punishing the innocent. I am going to have to disagree with you and anyone on the Board who feels the same as you.

    More important than the NCAA sanctions, my letter addressed the actions of the BOT in the way they treated Joe Paterno in his firing and the removal of the statue. I resent that Joe Paterno who always stressed the importance of education was made the fall guy and was not treated by the BOT with the same respect as Tim Curley, Gary Schultz, or Mike McQueary. None of them were fired. Curley and Schultz were Paterno’s superiors and neither of them who were charged with perjury should have been allowed to retire or put on administrative leave. Mike McQueary left the scene without interceding. He did not call the police. His version of the incident has changed over time. Joe Paterno was charged with nothing by the grand jury. Had he lived he would have been a witness for the prosecution. I think the way the BOT treated him contributed to his death. Shame on all of you for firing him over the phone and firing him at all.

    I do not think President Erickson should be our President. I watched an interview of him on Sunday, July 29 on CBS and I was so upset by some of the things he said. I don’t think he is a good representative of our institution and is out of touch.

    We won’t make donations to Penn State until we have a new President and the BOT members who were on the Board at the time of the Paterno firing resign. Tom Corbett should be the first to go. Shame on him. I do not want any of my money going to sanctions. I am sure I am not the only alum that will no longer contribute. I would be more than willing to contribute to a legitimate scholarship fund that would independently fund scholarships for football players. We will also contribute to our local club’s scholarship fund.

    I will always be proud that I received two degrees from Penn State and that I accomplished what I did in teaching because of my Penn State education. It contributed to my excellent teaching which was recognized in all of my teaching positions.

    Thanks for taking the time to respond to my letter. Your response seemed to focus on the NCAA sanctions which was not the major part of my letter to you as I only wrote one sentence referring to it.

    I will always be a proud Penn Stater but I am not proud of those in control.

    Geraldine Kilisky Penn ‘69’ ‘72’

    From: Paul Silvis [mailto:Paul.Silvis@restek.com]
    Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2012 10:08 AM
    To: Gerri Penn
    Subject: RE: I have always been a proud Penn Stater and did my best to make contributions when I could. I am ashamed of the actions by both the administration and BOT

    Mr. Penn,

    Are you living near State College? I would like to meet with you and answer your questions and allegations eye ball to eye ball. While we may not agree on the BOT actions, we will agree both of us love Penn State and are trying to do the best we can do for the University in its entirety. You deserve an explanation. Please let me know if we can meet face to face to discuss your concerns.

    Here is a synopsis of the NCAA sanctions that were levied. It gives you the sequence of events that is critical to understand what took place with the NCAA:

    http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/8228641/inside-secret-negotiations-brought-penn-state-football-brink-extinction

    All of us on the Board, like you are equally frustrated with the NCAA sanctions and the pain the Alumni and University have to endure over the Sandusky actions for the past year. We are all paying the price from the actions of a few. Penn State is a great institution and we are constantly being portrayed in a negative light by the media and talking heads. My son told me that he used to go to a Penn State bar in DC and recently they took all the Pen State memorabilia out. It is heart wrenching and unfair that such a great university has to receive all this bad publicity when we had the highest academic graduations rates of any athletic program. Sandusky has inflicted tremendous pain on all of us.

    The Board has held numerous vigorous discussions with attorneys knowledgeable about the NCAA and Rod’s and the Executive Committee’s authority to sign the consent decree. We also discussed the Freeh report and whether the NCAA had the right to use the information. We also exhaustively examined the NCAA appeal process in Penn State’s case. We have concluded:

    1. It is inaccurately reported that the Freeh report was the only information the NCAA used to make their decisions. The NCAA used numerous documents and fact finding to reach their conclusions including the Freeh report. Rod has been cooperating with the NCAA ever since the Grand Jury preceding’s was released frequently providing information at their request. The NCAA had the right to use the Freeh report because they use civil court law and not criminal law to make their decisions. The University is bound to make decisions based on reasonable evidence and would be afoul of the law if we waited for criminal proceeding to make decision to do what is best for Penn State as an institutions. I am convinced if the Freeh report was not available to the NCAA they would have reached the same conclusions regarding lack of intuitional control and criminal intent. There is no magic lever that can make the NCAA sanctions change based on an argument about the completeness or accuracy of the Freeh report.
    2. Yes President Erickson had the authority to sign the consent decree. This issue has been exhaustively reviewed by knowledgeable attorneys. After exhaustive reviews of time lines and decision points, Rod had a choice between accepting the consent decree or four years of the death penalty. While the consent decree is simply awful to those who had nothing to do with the infractions, the NCAA had the authority to impose the sanctions. I am convinced our attorneys fought for Penn State and did the best job they could in this circumstance. There has been no evidence presented to the Board that would make us believe a different negotiation team or being more defiant against the NCAA would have changed the outcome.
    3. Yes the NCAA has the authority to issue sanctions against Penn State. We signed up for the NCAA’s oversight and rules. We hired attorneys who have exhaustive experience writing the bylaws and rules for the NCAA and thy absolutely had the authority to do what they did to Penn State. Unfortunately there is no truth to the rumor that the NCAA overstepped their authority in Penn State’s case.
    4. The Board has concluded Ryan McCombie’s and the other NCAA appeals submitted by will not work. It has no legal basis and is not supported by facts regarding the NCAA. Ryan’s appeal is heartfelt and his actions are honorable. Unfortunately after spending numerous hours with experts we have no legal leg to force the NCAA to appeal the sanctions. Ryan’s appeal gives false hope to Alumni that somehow we can change the sanctions the NCAA levied against Pen State.

    The Board’s role is to exert oversight to do what is best for Penn State as an institution. We were given tough choices. While you may disagree with our decisions, we made those decisions with Penn State’s long term wellbeing as our guiding light. I wish I could click my fingers and change the past but we can’t. We can change our future. We have to get past looking for blame or assuming life is fair. It is what it is. We need to pull together as Penn Stater’s and take Coach O’Brien’s warrior spirit. If we keep beating each other up and looking for someone to blame, we will tear this University apart. Please read Ryan’s appeal for Unity.

    A House Divided…

    These last months have been painful and difficult. Our University is besieged from all quarters with an overarching criticism of our culture, ethics and integrity. The Nittany Nation finds itself in narrow straits with few allies and little maneuvering room. A person is not defined by how he acts in tranquil waters and fair weather. A person is judged by how he responds in storms and crisis – so too, will be our University.

    We cannot continue to fight internally and win the bigger battle of who we truly are as a University. I understand the visceral anger many feel, recognize the blame many seek to place and sympathize with the calls for punishment and retribution. I understand the total frustration we have felt as the last 9 months unfolded. Nevertheless, history invariably judges fairly and truthfully the events of today. Now, we need to await that judgment. We must resolve our family squabbles later when a full understanding of these events is known. Now, there are more than enough external battles to be fought and won.

    Crisis calls for unlikely bedfellows. During the “Cold War” The US and the Soviet Union who had a strategy of “mutual assured destruction” (MAD) were, nevertheless allies against terrorism. Our family cannot continue to expend our psychic energy attacking each other no matter how great our rage. There are sufficient external forces doing that already. Regardless of how we feel about Coach Paterno, the Board of Trustees or the Administration, we all know that we do not want our University torn apart by internal strife. History will reveal what happened here! History will fairly and truthfully judge all of the actors in this Shakespearean tragedy. Now we need to await that judgment and move forward together for our University.

    Today – right now- we all need to address the huge challenges facing Penn State. We should conduct ourselves in a manner today that will allow us to look back a decade from now with pride and honor. This will require the cooperation, coordination and commitment from all dimensions of the University. The entire family must engage! From the Board of Trustees to the Lettermen, from the Alumni Association to the alumni groups, from the students to the faculty and townsfolk. We all need to come together for the Pennsylvania State University to heal, recover and thrive. We need to show the World once again who Penn State truly is and always has been – that we represent a great and noble University with loyal alumni & friends, dedicated and heartfelt students and a staff second to none. We can do this! After all – We are Penn State!
    Ryan J. McCombie

    From: Gerri Penn [mailto:pennfam@bellsouth.net]
    Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2012 10:44 PM
    To: ‘Rod Erickson’; ‘Marianne Alexander’; ‘Richard Allan’; ‘Al Clemens’; ‘Tom Corbett’; ‘Dan Cotner’; ‘Mark Dambly’; ‘Stephanie Deviney’; ‘Keith Eckels’; ‘Ken Frazier’; ‘George Greig’; ‘Sam Hayes’; ‘Ed Hintz’; ‘Betsy Hube’; ‘Ira Lubert’; ‘Anthony Lubrano’; ‘Keith Masser’; ‘Ryan Mc Combie’; ‘Joel Myers’; ‘Karen Peetz’; ‘Carl Shaffer’; Paul Silvis; ‘Linda Strumpf’; ‘Paul Suhey’; ‘John Surma’; ‘Adam Talieferro’; ‘Ron Tomalis’
    Subject: FW: I have alway been a proud Penn Stater and did my best to make contributions when I could. I am ashamed of the actions by both the administration and BOT

    From: Gerri Penn
    To: president@psu.edu ; bot@psu.edu
    Cc: ‘Gerri Penn’
    Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2012 4:40 PM
    Subject: I have alway been a proud Penn Stater and did my best to make contributions when I could. I am ashamed of the actions by both the administration and BOT

    Dear President Erickson and Board of Trustees,

    I chose to attend Penn State in 1965 because it had a very highly rated Education Department. I did not choose to go there because it had a great football team. I really knew nothing about football. Coach Paterno became Head Coach my sophomore year and I attended every home game from 66-69. I was privileged enough to meet Coach Paterno in his office in Rec Hall. He invited me in his office and he encouraged me to do well in my studies. We did not talk about football at all other than me telling him he was doing a great job. I was correct that I received an excellent education. When I decided to take a break from teaching to get my Master’s Degree, I once again chose Penn State even though I was accepted at other schools.

    My husband and I have both been proud Penn Staters. We have donated what we can afford for the past 35 years. When the news broke about Jerry Sandusky it sickened me to hear what he did to young boys. It made me sick that he was not charged in 1998 or any years after that until 2011. I think about all of the young boys who could have been spared from his abuse. I was disgusted when I heard that the BOT chose to fire Coach Paterno in such a disrespectful way even though the grand jury, did not find him complicit in anything. The criminal was Jerry Sandusky. The BOT and University did not fire Tim Curley who was complicit and was charged with perjury, he was put on a leave of absence. The BOT and University did not fire Schultz who was also complicit in his lack of action and charged with perjury, he was allowed to retire. Joe Paterno announced he would retire at the end of the season but you chose to fire him and make him a fall guy. Even Mike McQueary who witnessed the offense by Sandusky, did not intercede at the time and left Jerry Sandusky in the shower with the boy, was put on leave. I am ashamed of the BOT. All of them should step down who were on the Board at that time. I am ashamed of President Erickson’s decision to remove Coach Paterno’s statue. I am ashamed that Governor Corbett did not do anything to stop future sexual abuse victims by not charging Sandusky sooner. I am ashamed that Curley and Schultz did not do what they should have when Coach Paterno told them about what Mike McQueary told him. You have all failed as leaders in my eyes. Coach Paterno was the only one man enough to say he wishes he would have done more. We did not make a donation to Penn State in 2011. Instead we were one of alumni who donated over $500,000 to RAINN. I wrote on my donation card, that I won’t donate again to PSU until the BOT steps down. We will donate to RAINN again this year when we receive our PSU donation request.

    Since you removed Coach Paterno’s statue, how can you in good conscience keep the Paterno family money? Don’t you think that is a bit hypocritical? I hope you put Coach Paterno’s statue in a museum. He helped so many students in their education, not just football players. The Freeh report is a joke and not what I consider independent since it was authorized by a bad BOT. Coach Paterno was never even interviewed before his death. He should have been the first one interviewed. I also think it is wrong that the BOT chose an acting Athletic Director from one of their own members, David Joyner.

    As you can tell I am disillusioned with all of you. You let the media crucify Coach Paterno. You let them force you into wrong decisions. You did not stand strong with the NCAA and make them follow proper protocol. You based decisions on a flawed Freeh Report.

    President Erickson, you are out of touch as far as what our University means to incoming students. I participate in College Fairs in Atlanta. If you heard what these potential students ask about, you would know their prime interest is not in the football program. Penn State is already known as a fine educational institution, great in research, law, medical, engineering, etc.

    I will continue to love Coach Paterno. I will continue to feel alumni and students are Penn State and now I will feel that the BOT and the President are not Penn State and do not represent the current students and alumni of our University. I am so glad that my husband and I made it back to Penn state in May and I will cherish our pictures at the ‘Statue’.

    Sincerely yours,

    Geraldine Kilisky Penn ‘69’ & ‘72’

  23. To the members of the Penn State Board of Trustees:

    “Fight on State,” comes to mind every time we hear the negative attacks and falsehoods that continue to be repeated about Penn State and it’s culture. Do you not feel the same? Do you not hear the snickers, the jeers, the out of line comments made by the media and in particular the sports commentators? We are asking you to fight for us; fight for the reputation of Penn State, fight for due process. We are so much more than football and I refuse to allow others outside the Penn State family to define us as such. 

    We urge you to not accept the sanctions imposed by the NCAA and agreed to by President Erickson.  We believe the basis for imposing these sanctions are unjust and unwarranted. Blindly accepting their sanctions would be a travesty, you will be forever cementing the public perception that Penn Staters are just a bunch of perverts who put their football program first over protecting children from a pedophile.  It’s time we started pointing the finger at the real monster-Jerry Sandusky. 

    Success with Honor is not dead and never has been.  Our reputation deserves to be defended and preserved. We will continue to “fight” and ask that you join us.

    For the glory,

    Paul R Sykes, 93
    Erika L Sykes, 92

  24. Letter I submitted:

    Members of The Pennsylvania State University Board of Trustees,

    I implore you to vote to table your decision to ratify the NCAA sanctions at tomorrow’s special meeting.

    As you are painfully aware, due process has not taken place. Also I am certain that you are aware that new information is beginning to surface pointing to the possibility that this unspeakable tragedy goes deeper than anyone has imagined – even beyond the boundaries of Penn State. It is your moral and fiduciary responsibility to table your final decision until all facts are known.

    Hundreds of thousands of alumni, students, and supporters are depending on you to do the right thing. The seriousness of your next move cannot be overstated. Table the vote.

    Sincerely,

    Alexander M. Della Bella, DMD (’80)

  25. Dear Board of Trustees members,

    I’m sure you get a lot of these, but I hope you have a moment to spare for this one.

    As a Penn State Alumni, I have to start every conversation with some form of disclaimer about how I feel bad about what happened to the kids. I now don’t have to qualify this with what allegedly happened, because the man who did it has been found guilty and put in jail. However, the fact that I support my alma mater has nothing to do with how I feel about children.

    For over 40 years I have been able to point with pride to the fact that my school graduated more players, that our coach stood up by benching players for what was right even when it “hurt the team”, that players into the third generation felt good enough about it to send their children and grandchildren back for the same experience, and that the coach used to scare the players by having an academic coach follow them in to the quad to see what they were doing and why they weren’t studying.

    Our world judges by the headlines, and we rush to manage public relations. This is very different from a thoughtful approach to an analysis. We are overlooking what might have been the contemporaneous thoughts about: a man who – while we now know he was doing harm – was publicly devoted and praised for helping children; about the appropriate reaction to a person being accused who had previously been found to be not guilty enough to prosecute; and about a manager’s complicated relationship to a co-worker’s failings, once having properly reported the offense.

    What happened to the kids was addressed as a matter of law. Certainly there is a need to address the administrative and institutional reaction to a bad situation. If we in fact, through our errors, supported an environment that brought harm to children, we also need to be held accountable. I presume the children and parents have rights to sue us and the state for making this possible. It is imperative that we not allow this to happen again.

    That said, none of this is the jurisdiction of the NCAA.

    The fact that the retired coach used the largesse of his office to conduct his awful practice, does not mean that the sports program functioned in a way so as to encourage it. If so, the NCAA with its Billion dollar budget and rampant sports cultural influence is equally guilty, and I find no penalty in their actions for themselves.

    Almost every day, I ask publicly why should the girl’s field hockey team be on probation because of what a guilty creep did in a locker room? Why should the sports program be penalized because a janitor lacked the same personal courage that every worker in any job might have because he’s afraid, rightly or wrongly, of what his boss might say or do if he spoke up.

    The NCAA has clearly overstepped its bounds and we, because we don’t have the courage of a worker to stand up, are afraid to speak up and say this is wrong and take THOSE consequences. WE, because we are afraid that people can’t think beyond a talk radio sound bite, won’t work through the reasoning it takes to actually figure out what happened. Freeh’s, “I don’t know, but the only reasonable conclusion” is a fairly weak basis for a third party determination. Whoever heard of a hearing without witnesses and a judgement by someone who wasn’t present at the hearing and doesn’t have standing to serve?!

    WE better get this right. We need policies and procedures to keep this from happening and ways of dealing with it in the future if it does. I believe the university is committed to that and is taking appropriate actions to do so. This has to do with the school, not the sports teams, just because these things happened in a gym.

    The reason WE ARE PENN STATE is because some kids stood up and together and said we aren’t racists and we’re not going to play if we can’t play and stay together. We need to stand up and say, we didn’t handle this right and we’re going to fix it together. But this is OUR job, not the NCAA’s.

    Thank for reading if you got this far. Please stick up for the school and tell the NCAA to at least observe its own proper procedures. This quick action on their part does not put the pain behind us. As a Penn State alumni, I have to deal with it personally, publicly, and professionally every single day, and I imagine I always will.

    Noel Poole
    Class of 1971

  26. The Board should not be reactionar and vote in the affirmative to uphold the NCAA actions. President Erickson, doubfully, had to permission of the entire Board of Trustees to act on behalf of the University – vote NO

  27. Dear Board Members, (please distribute to all members before August 12 special meeting)

    I know that all of you as well as all alumni are deeply sadden by the Sandusky scandal. The actions being taken to restore the image of the University are commendable. Penn State officials involved in the 2001 cover up (the only actual cover up that occurred) will be tried in a court of law and sentenced accordingly. This is the proper venue for their criminal actions. The Freeh Report and the NCAA sanctions are a gross over reach of the actual facts and of any reasonable legal due process. The conclusions of the Freeh Report would not be upheld in a court of law. Yet the report and the resulting media frenzy and NCAA sanctions has caused irreparable harm to Penn States’ image, student enrollment, future endowments and grants, and the entire athletic program. It is in the best interests of Penn State that the Board challenge the sanctions.

    I understand the pressures and the mind set that existed during the negotiations with the NCAA. However, it sounds like the University was blackmailed by the NCAA to accept these sanctions. The NCAA is not omnipotent, and there is sufficient justification to appeal the sanctions in a court of law for lack of due process and failure to follow their own rules for investigating potential infractions. A member of a law firm specializing in defending universities in disputes with the NCAA should be invited to address the Board prior to voting on August 12. .

    The challenges of these sanctions initiated by trustee Ryan McCombie and others are necessary and appropriate. They have my full support and that of many other alumni. It is my sincere hope that other members of the Board will join in these actions. They are in the best interest of the University.

    Sincerely,
    Robert and Lorraine Joyce (class of 62)

  28. I believe that the Penn State BOT must table the vote to endorse the NCAA consent decree. There has been insufficient consideration and discussion regarding the economic impact. A vote in favor of the NCAA consent decree will bring forward new legal action to unseat specific members of the BOT for failure in their fiduciary duties.

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