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Penn State trustees install new leadership
Question of the Day
“Immediately, we will reach out to the victims we know of and seek to pay for their abuse-related health costs, to pay for related counseling that they’ve had to have to date and pay for counseling going forward related to abuse,” she said. School President Rodney Erickson declined to give a range about how much it might cost.
General counsel Cynthia Baldwin said the university has been served legal notice that it was the subject of a second civil complaint related to the Sandusky case, though the lawsuit had not been filed. The first known civil suit was filed in late November.
The departures of Garban and Surma from leadership positions had nothing to do with the investigation, Frazier said. Garban had decided in November to step aside as the chairman, citing his past ties to the university and as a former football player.
Surma, an executive at U.S. Steel, said the duties of the board during the scandal increasingly took much time away from his job.
The board also approved five recommendations from Freeh, including a strengthening of school policies for programs involving minors; prompt reporting of allegations of abuse; and increased security measures within the athletic department.
The meeting, in the ballroom of a campus hotel, drew a larger-than-normal crowd of at least 200 people, including a couple of candidates hoping to win election to the board this spring. Former Penn State running back Franco Harris, a vocal critic of the administration and a Paterno supporter, also attended and held a question-and-answer session afterward attended by about 100 people.
They listened to Harris and another critic, prominent donor and alumni Anthony Lubrano, air their grievances about the firing of Paterno and the way Penn State’s Board of Trustees functions. There were several white poster boards propped up in the front of the room with famous Joe Paterno quotes.
The crowd was very receptive to the duo, nodding their heads with each points and, at times, erupting into applause.
“It’s going to take people like you, here in this room, spreading the word,” Harris told the crowd. “It’s not a Penn State sex scandal, it’s not a Penn State football sex scandal, it’s not a Joe Paterno sex scandal. It’s a Jerry Sandusky sex scandal. And what the board did was wrong.”
The trustees have said Paterno was ousted in part because he had a moral obligation to pass on to police a 2002 allegation that was relayed to him by a graduate assistant. Paterno told his superiors at the university about the accusation, and authorities have said the coach is not a target of their criminal investigation.
“We still have respect and gratitude for coach Paterno’s legacy and for his many contributions to Penn State,” Peetz said, “and to (fired school President Graham) Spanier for his years of dedicated service and leadership.”
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