Penn State Board of Trustees meets to discuss preisdent, NCAA sanctions
Penn State trustees said they are satisfied with university President Rodney Erickson's leadership after an unscheduled closed-door meeting on Wednesday night, where they were told Erickson accepted unprecedented sanctions against the football program to avoid a possible four-year shutdown.
The penalties for the university's actions surrounding the Jerry Sandusky child sexual-abuse scandal included a $60 million fine, a four-year ban on postseason bowl play, the invalidation of all of coach Joe Paterno's victories between 1998 and 2011, the loss of 40 scholarships and a provision permitting players to transfer and begin playing for other schools immediately.
Although some questioned whether Erickson had the authority to accept those sanctions without consulting the trustees, Penn State spokesman David La Torre said Erickson did not need the approval of the full board.
After the hastily convened meeting, the board issued a written statement endorsing Erickson's decision:
“The Board finds the punitive sanctions difficult and the process with the NCAA unfortunate. But as we understand it, the alternatives were worse as confirmed by NCAA President Mark Emmert's recent statement that Penn State was likely facing a multi-year death sentence,” the statement read in part.
Emmert said other penalties likely would have accompanied a shutdown of the program.
Questions about Erickson's communications with the board were asked less than two weeks after former FBI Director Louis Freeh delivered an investigative report, commissioned by the trustees, that condemned the board for a lack of oversight in the months leading up to the arrest of Sandusky, 68.
The report, which became the basis for the NCAA's penalties, faulted top university leaders including the late Paterno for concealing allegations about Sandusky.
Last month, the retired assistant football coach was convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period.
Freeh's investigation called for more transparency in operations and regular communications between the university president and trustees.
Melissa Melewsky, media counsel for the Pennsylvania Newspaper Publishers' Association, questioned whether Wednesday's session met the requirements of the state's Open Meeting Act. In its statement, the board insisted the gathering was a “discussion,” not a meeting.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Debra Erdley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7996 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- PUC fines 8 transport companies, including 2 in Western Pennsylvania
- Federal grand jury indicts chief operations manager for Pittsburgh office of Horizons Hospice
- Moon board president vows to end disruption of official business at meetings
- PennDOT to replace drivers licenses issued since November without proper security features
- Firefighters battle blaze in Upper St. Clair
- Newsmaker: Julia Kysela
- Pittsburgh councilwoman Rudiak announces bid for city controller
- Housing Authority OKs $36.2 million for 2nd phase of Hill District development
- Email scam hooks Carnegie Mellon University employees
- Southwest announces daily nonstop flight between Pittsburgh, Dallas Love Field
- Police arrest Allegheny County fugitive wanted for North Fayette burglary