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PSU Board of Trustees issues statement, promises ‘complete investigation’

Penn State Community Shaken By Sex Abuse Scandal Getty Images

Whether a Penn State fan, general fan, or observer, the past 10 hours or so have been surreal as we’ve all watched an entire program, an entire administration, completely fall apart before our very eyes.

It’s been like watching a movie.

The accusations and indictment of former PSU defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky on 40 counts of alleged sexual activity with children are heartbreaking; the inaction of Penn State president Graham Spanier — outside of his “unconditional support” of AD Tim Curley and VP for Finance and Business Gary Schultz  — has been dumbfounding.

Watching coach Joe Paterno hold an impromptu press conference outside his home as a mixture of support from students and demand for answers from the press collided on his front lawn wasn’t something I thought I’d ever see.

It’s been complete anarchy.

So Penn State’s Board of Trustees is stepping in. The board called an emergency meeting tonight and will meet again Friday, during which time they will appoint a special committee to “undertake a full and complete investigation of the circumstances“. Below is the board’s full statement:

The Board of Trustees of The Pennsylvania State University is outraged by the horrifying details contained in the Grand Jury Report. As parents, alumni and members of the Penn State Community, our hearts go out to all of those impacted by these terrible events, especially the tragedies involving children and their families. We cannot begin to express the combination of sorrow and anger that we feel about the allegations surrounding Jerry Sandusky. We hear those of you who feel betrayed and we want to assure all of you that the Board will take swift, decisive action.

At its regular meeting on Friday, November 11, 2011, the Board will appoint a Special Committee, members of which are currently being identified, to undertake a full and complete investigation of the circumstances that gave rise to the Grand Jury Report. This Special Committee will be commissioned to determine what failures occurred, who is responsible and what measures are necessary to insure that this never happens at our University again and that those responsible are held fully accountable. The Special Committee will have whatever resources are necessary to thoroughly fulfill its charge, including independent counsel and investigative teams, and there will be no restrictions placed on its scope or activities. Upon the completion of this investigation, a complete report will be presented at a future public session of the Board of Trustees.

Penn State has always strived for honesty, integrity and the highest moral standards in all of its programs. We will not tolerate any violation of these principles. We educate over 95,000 students every year and we take this responsibility very seriously. We are dedicated to protecting those who are placed in our care. We promise you that we are committed to restoring public trust in the University.

 

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36 Responses to “PSU Board of Trustees issues statement, promises ‘complete investigation’”
  1. cfbfaninbadnfltown says: Nov 8, 2011 11:40 PM

    They need to act more like cops in the first 23-25 hours of a murder and less like the NCAA and their glacier like speed to turn things around. They need to put Tom Ridge in charge and give him the same level of freedom he had at Homeland to get the job done. You can interpret that last part anyway you like.

  2. tommy57 says: Nov 8, 2011 11:52 PM

    The last paragraph of the Trustee statement is exactly the correct tone, but they must now move forward with all deliberate speed and produce results in a timely fashion.

  3. thefiesty1 says: Nov 8, 2011 11:54 PM

    Time is of the essence. A committee will have a report, oh, about this time next year. Too little, too late. Purge the entire administration and athletic staff this week.

  4. stevenfbrackett says: Nov 9, 2011 12:07 AM

    Little late in coming. It should have been launched the minute you found out something unseemly might be going on involving this guy and kids – when the grand jury was seated at the latest.

    Behold! The power of bad press!

  5. rocco3437 says: Nov 9, 2011 12:13 AM

    This statement and putting this board together to investigate is to late. This all should have been done back in 1998 when the first incident was reported. The entire Penn State staff and Trustees should be ashamed of themselves for allowing a football coach to ultimately run an entire campus. Buying players is not looking so awful right now is it ?

  6. packerfantastic says: Nov 9, 2011 12:22 AM

    Like a small kid once said to Shoeless Joe Jacksoin during the Black Sox scandal, “say it ain’t so, Joe”. Unfortunately, it is so.

  7. cappa662 says: Nov 9, 2011 12:27 AM

    Having psu investigate psu is having sandusky investigate himself on child molestation charges. Get a clue penn state. The public has no faith in you. Have the Feds come in and investigate everything.

  8. sweepthleg says: Nov 9, 2011 12:38 AM

    If the PA Governor is not putting pressure on these trustees to take quick decisive action to clean house at the state’s Flagship institution I’d be surprised.

    JoePa is going to have to be force out the door and this is going to get VERY ugly before it’s all said and done. The scene outside his house with the students will only fortify his out of touch resolve that he was not in the wrong. The stink and magnitude of this scandal makes it impossible for higher authorities to not get involved and clean up the public institution.

    For better or worse JoePa is the public face of Penn State which has served him well in the past, but now he must face the brunt of the public outrage. He should bow out now before more of these horrid details emerge (and they will).

    The man was the leader of Penn State and did nothing in the face of very strong allegations. And yes to anyone pointing out he did full fill his legal requirements (barely). But it’s the moral that the rest of us non complete homers are worried about, and just think that all the details have yet to emerge so who knows what else will come out in the coming days/weeks.

    Don’t even get us started on the OSU vs PSU game for the top spot in the Leaders Division. We all knew those division names would come back to bite the Big 10 in the ass.

  9. californiarestinpeace says: Nov 9, 2011 12:46 AM

    Spanier, Schultz, Curley, McQueary and Paterno have known about this heinous crime going unreported since 2002. They’ve known Sandusky was being indicted for the past 3 years. They’re very smug about their innocence and unconditional support for each other. Their attorney’s are defiant and even cocky about how fast they’ll get off. Here’s what I know: Sandusky deserves the death penalty. Schultz, Curley, McQueary and Spanier: life in prison and plenty of prison justice. Paterno should put a loaded .45 in his mouth and pull the trigger. I’d respect him again if he did that. I don’t see any other respectable way out and its a damn shame because Sandusky is the cause of so much destruction here, its beyond comprehension.

  10. turk1842 says: Nov 9, 2011 12:59 AM

    Not that I don’t hold Penn St to highest degree of responsibility but where the hell was the parents of the children at for 12 years as a father of 5 I would have done everything in my power to make this know to all, the press, police and to DHS. My voice would have been heard by some other, then that of Penn St.

  11. delfi2 says: Nov 9, 2011 1:02 AM

    Well put statement. seems like someone with a little common sense and half a brain has finally arrived to the horrow show that is Perv State.

    Now, lets see if these trustees and appointed committee members can ‘do the right thing’?
    you know, what should have been done 10 plus years ago, or so it seems.

    Will this place ever get its reputation back?
    I am not so sure.

    I will be watching closely to how this all plays out. Gotta admit this one has disturbed me down to my core. I played sports all my life, in fact, I was a coach for 10 years and do not understand how this went on for so long without anyone saying a word?

    Cover ups are usually worse than the crime, but not here… sad day for sports, REALLY, for PEOPLE.

    JoePa? really? This guy was squeaky clean, no? if he is not, then who is?

    who can we trust?

    Today, I see pictures of JoePa and the pedifile and it creeps me out….creepy old pervs….totally different perception now of these two fools.

    Paterno biggest mistake?
    imo, to not take care of ‘all’ kids, not just ones who played football for him.

    his mantra…to take care of his kids and return them back to their moms and dads a better person. really?

    what about those 9, and who knows how many more, victims you so conveniently looked the other way and did not help?

    Makes me sick

  12. barnesaintnoble says: Nov 9, 2011 1:14 AM

    They really need to clean house before the game next weekend. Fire Paterno and whoever else has been a part of the program since 2002, and the Penn State President. Otherwise this Penn State team will be vilified more than any other team in any other sport, ever. Which is actually a shame for the kids who play there, because they believed they were playing for a morally sound man and they seem to have a pretty good team.

  13. drunkenagitator says: Nov 9, 2011 1:19 AM

    From what I have been reading and hearing about the Sandusky case, the news didn’t come as a total surprise for some PSU insiders and/or locals. Plenty of people had suspicions (or worse) about the guy, many people have claimed he was often seen with children and that he’d had children with him at official PSU facilities as recently as 2007. Yet somehow, even after being seen raping a minor in the PSU locker room by a trusted Paterno assistant nine years ago, he was still given total access to the program’s facilities until he was indicted. It totally boggles the mind that Paterno & staff still welcomed his presence around PSU football. It’s unimaginable that no one objected to him being around or questioned him as to why he spent so much time around children. It would almost be understandable if Sandusky had managed to somehow “fool” them all for many years, but he was actually witnessed doing these things and somehow avoided any consequences.

    Sandusky will get his day in court and if he’s guilty he will most definitely get his just rewards. “Guilty on 40 counts of child molestation” = poor way to make new friends in prison. So will the perjurers. The question for these trustees is: how and why was this man permitted to have this kind of access to the football program? Why didn’t anyone come forward and demand that something be done about it? Where did the buck stop and for what reasons? Is Paterno really just a naive, all-football-all-the-time guy, did Sandusky effectively bamboozle him with lies, or was there some other reason he allowed this guy to hang around?

  14. wgward says: Nov 9, 2011 1:22 AM

    This proclamation rings hollow. Cowards and enablers, there are…and part of the same culture of dereliction of duty that got Penn State where it is today. They are part of the culture of failure. Who is going to “save” Penn State?

    The longer they linger, the longer the stain, the stench, and the sickening cowardice of the wholesale inaction by all the identified actors becomes an existential cancer on Penn State.

    They should have fired the guy, yesterday.

  15. tommy57 says: Nov 9, 2011 1:26 AM

    I agree with those who posted that speed is essential; after all, what is there to investigate? We know that if any of the victims were named Curly, or Spanier or Paterno, the response would have been much different. If the young boy in the shower had been named McQueary, I’m certain the immediate action would not have been a phone call (at least, I hope not). This investigation should be concluded within a week, and in the meantime, suspensions should be imposed. If Paterno and McQueary are in the stadium on Saturday, the bleachers should be empty.

  16. southernpatriots says: Nov 9, 2011 3:28 AM

    While these investigations are ongoing, what is being done to provide the adults who were children when raped and assaulted by Sandusky with the best ongoing therapy and care to bring as much healing to them as possible?

    We know the wheels of justice are now moving after years of coverup and inaction by Penn State Unversity employees. We know there are privacy guards, but it would be good for the President of PSU to issue a statement indicating all possible assistance is forthgoing to the victims of Sandusky, the fomer coach and employee of PSU and the state of Pennsylvania.

    Our hearts continue to be broken for the children who were raped and sexually assaulted by Sandusky and then their horror was covered up by Penn State (and thus state of Pennsylvania) employees.

    We know the Governor of Pennsylvania is now involved. He should provide an oversight counsel or special counsel/investigator who would make sure the PSU investigation is thorough. Though a PSU investigation is normal procedure, it should not be relied upon at face value to have uncovered all the truth.

    An independent investigation is justified by the long coverup of these horrors by PSU employees, so now an investigation of PSU by PSU is absurd. The Governor and/or Attorney General should appoint an independent counsel/investigator.

  17. yippityskippity69 says: Nov 9, 2011 4:22 AM

    Truly disgusting that a man with his influence and notoriety would use these things to start a mentor type program for young kids if he in fact is a child molester. The trust that has been betrayed by a man whom parents certainly felt safe letting him around their kids is chilling to say the least. I hope the whole Penn State coaching staff, Athletic directors & anyone else with the program who knew about this and did nothing is a very valid reason to clean house completely. Paterno is a legendary college coach who’s image will take a hit in this one

  18. mondzy805 says: Nov 9, 2011 8:23 AM

    These people destroyed Penn State. All the Fans and alumni should demand Head taken off at University Park, Pennsylvania.

  19. polegojim says: Nov 9, 2011 8:51 AM

    When was the last time a news conference was held in a coaches front yard?

    Jim Tressel

    It will be sad to see JoePa go out this way, but go out he will. It can’t rightfully end any other way.

  20. rexachss says: Nov 9, 2011 8:53 AM

    My stomach hurts and its my fault …a grown man who people trusted lured a child into anal sex with a wife @ home and for years he still had privileges from a lucrative institution living a comfortable lifestyle….what message are you sending to the not so well to do people who are not a part of the good ole boy network….they all have to get out and be registered…..just like privileged people do to criminals in depressed areas!

  21. rexachss says: Nov 9, 2011 9:09 AM

    Give these kids free lifetime education an honorary degree and income for.life so their next generations have a better opportunity then they were dealt. And that’s not enough! !!!

  22. blastfurnaceknows says: Nov 9, 2011 9:20 AM

    Let me see if I understand this: This institution that has failed miserably for a decade or more, that has allowed a predatory monster to continue to walk in its midst while knowing what he was capable of, is going to NOW conduct a “complete investigation” that is intended to “restore the public trust in the institution.”

    That’s what you all came up with? After how many hours of discussing it? After your President gave unconditional support to two charged with perjury and failing to report a child rape? After a decade or more of inaction?

    Honestly, YOU STILL DO NOT GET IT AND CLEARLY NEVER WILL!!!!!!! Penn State University will NEVER, and I mean NEVER, be the same again. Thank you Trustees for now adding your names to the colossally clueless and morally inept. Good God, is there no one there who has yet grasped what THIS IS?

  23. fummer34 says: Nov 9, 2011 9:51 AM

    THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE YRS AGO, NOT AFTER THE FACT! THEY COULD HAVE PREVENTED THIS INSTEAD OF TURNING A BLIND EYE…..JUST REMINDER TO ALL THOSE INVOLVED.. KARAMA IS A BITCH!

  24. bunkmcnulty says: Nov 9, 2011 9:59 AM

    This needs to be taken out of Joe Pa hands, the President’s and maybe the Trustee’s. This is a State School. The State should immediately initiate a complete investigation. Can’t the govenor act.

    While that investigation takes place, all football operations should be suspended. Period.

    While that is not fair to many who had nothing to do with this, honestly their gripes of fairness would be secondary to that of the real victums in this whole mess. To the players and those uninvolved I would apologize, but we all have had life’s lesson of not being fair at some time or another. Football, and the money generated from it should be way down the list of priorities at PSU at the moment.

    Goodness, in just 2 days the potential number of victums has doubled by some accounts. PSU Trustees, is this that hard to see? Just shut things down while this terrible mess is sorted out. You would take tremendous pressure off this situation by stopping the ridiculous discussions that still center on football and who should do what, etc. Shutting it down puts the attention where it needs to be. And I don’t give a damn if that is fair or not. There are at least 8 boys (and more to follow) that weren’t treated very fairly and actions of PSU officials may have helped allow this continue. Stop football and sort it out. This is so easy to see. Park your emotions on the side PSU and do the right thing.

  25. dkhhuey says: Nov 9, 2011 10:01 AM

    It is too bad that the trustees and PSU staff bleeding out concern for the poor innocent children didn’t have the same caring attitude when they were actually being anally raped in the PSU training room shower. Hollow as hollow can be. The only thing this group will be investigating is how they can limit the legal exposure of the university as well as soften the wording so the university doesn’t look so cold, soulless, and careless.

  26. hushbrother says: Nov 9, 2011 10:01 AM

    You know, lost amidst all the anger and outrage and questions about the scandal is what seems to me to be the real central question here, which is, Is Joe Paterno a Hall of Famer?

  27. cosmoman11 says: Nov 9, 2011 10:01 AM

    In 2002 a special committee may have been the right thing to do. In 2011 all it does is allow the trustees to delay doing what they are afraid to do. Fire or force resignations of Spanier, Paterno, McQueery and anyone else culpable in what can only be called a cover up. And then try to live with yourselves knowing that your inaction for the last 9 years resulted in more boys being raped.

  28. yankehammer says: Nov 9, 2011 11:57 AM

    I don’t feel comfortable with Penn State running the fact finding proceedings. This should be done by the police. Perhaps the FBI? A police force outside the jurisdiction of the state of Pennsylvania would be preferred. Definitely not the college itself. At least not until a full official investigation has been completed.

  29. tigersgeaux says: Nov 9, 2011 12:06 PM

    As southernpatriots suggested, we think on an earlier blog, the Governor is now involved and should appoint a special prosecutor with authority and power to compel witnesses and to investigate anyone or anything related to the Sandusky case or any related event(s).

    Does Pennsylvania have a special investigatory unit or division such as do many states (Georgia has the Georgia Bureau of Investigations–GBI)?

    The FBI will not get involved unless a child is taken across state boundaries, the crimes are seen as civil rights violations (which may very well be the case), or be invited by the Pennsylvania state law enforcement, which can happen any moment since the Governor is the head and can make that decision.

  30. lookatthefarside says: Nov 9, 2011 1:11 PM

    The Feds need to step in.

  31. thetooloftools says: Nov 9, 2011 1:36 PM

    Yea.. too bad this is about 10 years too late.

  32. lookatthefarside says: Nov 9, 2011 2:36 PM

    PSU’s football locker room/showers needs to be torn down.

  33. Gelpi2011 says: Nov 9, 2011 10:18 PM

    Students of Penn State, stop defending Paterno. When a crime is committed you are supposed to dial 911, plain and simple. It is a moral duty, it is a legal duty. Don’t you get it? There was a serial rapist on the campus and Paterno was on notice and he chose not to protect the faculty. Paterno failed miserably, he needs to go yesterday. Shame! Penn State can only start healing when they clean house. Fire the Paterno. Playing games are not the most important things in life. Penn State you are looking foolish.

  34. southernpatriots says: Nov 10, 2011 1:38 AM

    JoePa is now gone. Not another game as coach. Interim coach and staff will be installed, to give time to search for a head coach, assistants, and staff, to clean house as we hope they will at the end of this season, if not sooner.

    The Board of Trustees, motivated by the Governor of Pennsylvania is moving swiftly to make changes and clean house. While this is going on and an investigation is conducted, we hope and pray Penn State and the state of Pennsylvania does not forget the many victims. These young adults who were raped and molested as young children need therapy and assistance now to help bring as much healing as possible to them. Don’t forget the victims!

  35. cfbfaninbadnfltown says: Nov 10, 2011 2:05 AM

    @ southernpatriots

    If it were me in charge I’d keep Larry Johnson Sr. and the safeties coach. The safeties have been a great unit all season and Larry turned down the maryland job to show loyalty to the school. Normally I’d say keep Tom Bradley, but now that he’s the interim coach he can’t go back to being an assistant. Honestly he’ll probably get a job with the Steelers after this season, especially considering his brother works for the team.

  36. maratechfan says: Nov 10, 2011 11:07 AM

    I appreciate the Board of Trustees investigating? However they should have been aware of this themselves and hold some RESPONSIBILITY to those victims.
    Who is going to investigate this Board of Trustees?

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