The list of people associated with Penn State University in one capacity or another who individually or collectively did little or nothing to stop Jerry Sandusky from molesting children from Second Mile either while visiting facilities at Penn State or when Sandusky invited them to away games is getting longer.
The current Board of Trustees of PSU, the current Governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Corbett, who was previously the State Attorney General, and even the current President of PSU must be tickled that all scrutiny has been shifted from them to Joe Paterno.
Yes, Joe Paterno was powerful and he probably ran his football program with an iron fist but he was not bigger or more powerful than Curley, Schultz, and ex-PSU President Spanier. These three men could have easily stood up to Joe Paterno – if that was what it would have taken to convene a Grand Jury and ultimately bring Sandusky to trial and to prevent PSU from a lot of embarrassment and possibly financial devastation.
Spanier, in addition to being President of PSU, was also on the Board of Trustees and as a result had additional clout and credibility while serving in those capacities. Also on the Board at the time was Governor Ed Rendell.
Between Governor Rendell and then Attorney General Corbett, along with the three PSU administrators, this entire matter could have been brought to an abrupt halt and Sandusky could have been charged and found guilty years earlier than his trial played out.
If Rendell and Corbett chose to act together in a bipartisan manner – considering they are from different political parties, it would not have been political suicide for either of them – sure, they would not have been popular in “Happy Valley” but the bulk of the scandal would have been rightly focused on Sandusky instead of Penn State.
So, we have a Board made up of extremely powerful individuals in Industry and the public sector sitting on their laurels – and they are now feeling relief that Paterno is taking all the heat.
It is as though people are finding reason to exhume Joe Paterno’s body every day to mock him, spit on him, and throw him back in the ground. When will it ever stop?
Today they removed Paterno’s statue from Penn State – what is next? Will they remove JoePa’s remains and move them to a pauper’s grave in Western Pennsylvania? Don’t put it past this crew.
Please don’t get me wrong – Joe Paterno probably attempted a cover-up using his position of power at Penn State and that, by itself, was a very bad thing to do – BUT, believe me, there is more than enough blame to go around. I believe this whole Sandusky thing is not a cover-up initiated by only one powerful football coach. I believe it is a conspiracy perpetrated by the private and public sectors – made up of high elected officials in the State of Pennsylvania as well as a small tight knit group of very affluent members of the Board of Trustees and high senior executives at Penn State.
The constant bashing of Joe Paterno will stop when the media shift focus from Joe Paterno and start focusing on Spanier, Curley, Schultz, Governor Corbett, ex-Governor Rendell, current PSU President Rodney Erickson and even the executive committee of the PSU Board of Trustees – every last one of them. I believe that some, if not all, of them, know a lot more than they are leading us to believe. They all have a lot to lose – careers, income, and even pensions – all of which are reasons to clam up – and to protect each other.
Let’s take them one at a time.
Spanier – he ran the show at PSU from an executive management position and to me was quietly more powerful than Joe Paterno – but supposedly Paterno convinced all three – Spanier, Curley, and Schultz to participate in a cover-up? Yea, right, and I have a “bridge to nowhere” in Alaska to sell you.
Curley and Schultz – these two, I believe, were told everything by Paterno – yet even though they were technically above him, they, along with Spanier, caved to Paterno. Again, let me sell you that bridge.
PA current Governor Corbett, who was then PA Attorney General – this is the guy that was the lynchpin in all of this. He was the one who was high above PSU who could have forced a serious investigation and demanded a Grand Jury and also coordinated with the PSU Board to nip the whole Sandusky issue immediately in the bud. He made little or no progress regarding Sandusky – did he cave to the “Board”, which leads one to believe that the “Board” knew much, much more than they are admitting.
PA Ex-Governor Rendell – when things were heating up about Sandusky, Rendell was on PSU’s Board of Trustees and he would have had both public and private contacts who could have more than stood up to Joe Paterno (if in fact that Joe was the Big Bad Wolf everyone is portraying).
Current PSU President Erickson – I find it hard to believe that Curley and Schultz bypassed Erickson to go straight to Spanier – if anything, if these three stooges felt the need to cave to Paterno, they might have thought twice if Erickson was also on their side. Again, I find it hard to believe that Erickson is squeaky clean – especially if the other three were either fired or put on administrative leave – with or without pay.
The Freeh report discusses how Corbett did not do enough regarding the scandal and this same report, along with senior members of the Board itself talking about how they did not ask enough questions. If that is the case, why are they still on the Board and why is Corbett still the Governor of Pennsylvania?
I believe the student body of PSU – from all campuses should collectively demand a thorough investigation of the board – especially the executive committee. It should also demand that whoever is in charge of the investigation have subpoena power to require all individuals to testify and any PSU board members, administrators, coaches, and even high government officials at the executive level in the State of Pennsylvania be required to submit to questioning.
So, who should step down right now? That is easy.
I believe the following should happen:
- The entire Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees should resign en masse. There are a lot of previous members of the Executive Committee that served prior to Sandusky’s indiscretions who could temporarily fill those seats until new members can be selected. I know they feel that continuity is needed but that could not be further from the truth.
- Governor Corbett should resign immediately and if necessary, depending on laws governing a replacement, there could be a special election.
- Current PSU President Erickson should resign as well. An executive search committee could be formed to find a suitable replacement.
- Curley and Schultz should resign and await results from the Grand Jury to see if they will be indicted.