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Released this morning at http://live.psu.edu/story/58341
Report of the Board of Trustees concerning Nov. 9 decisions
Monday, March 12, 2012
The following report has been posted to the Penn State Openness website at http://openness.psu.edu/updates.html
The removal of Graham Spanier as Penn State president and Joe Paterno as football coach
The Pennsylvania State University Board of Trustees has been asked by members of the Penn State community, including students, faculty, staff and alumni, to state clearly its reasons for the difficult decisions that were made unanimously on the evening of Nov. 9, 2011 -- to remove Graham Spanier as president of the University and Joe Paterno as head football coach for the remaining three games of the 2011 season. Our decisions were guided by our obligation as Trustees, always, to put the interests of the University first.
We share the grief of the entire Penn State family at the passing of Coach Paterno. We also continue to respect and appreciate Dr. Spanier’s and Coach Paterno’s lasting contributions to Penn State. We especially honor the great legacy of Coach Paterno in making his football program a model for his emphasis on academic as well as athletic performance and for his generous support of Penn State through the years.
We offer this report guided by one overriding commitment going forward -- to remember the children who may have been victims of sexual abuse on or near the University Park campus over the last 10 or more years and to support their healing process as best we can.
President Graham Spanier
We determined on Nov. 9 that Dr. Spanier should be removed because he failed to meet his leadership responsibilities to the Board and took insufficient action after learning of a 2002 incident involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky and a young boy in a Penn State facility. This failure of leadership included insufficiently informing the Board about his knowledge of the 2002 incident. He also made or was involved in press announcements between Nov. 5-9 that were without authorization of the Board or contrary to its instructions.
On Nov. 9, Dr. Spanier asked the Board for a vote of confidence. Since for the reasons cited above we were unable to provide it, we voted that evening unanimously to remove him as president and informed him of that decision. Dr. Spanier remains a tenured professor at Penn State.
Coach Joe Paterno
Also on Nov. 9, the Board unanimously made the decision to remove Coach Paterno for the last three games of the season. He had announced earlier that day that he would be retiring at the end of the season.
Our most important reason – by far – for this difficult decision flowed from what we learned on Nov. 5, for the first time, from a “presentment” (report) by a Pennsylvania Grand Jury about Coach Paterno’s early 2011 sworn testimony.
The report stated that a Penn State graduate assistant had gone to Coach Paterno’s home on Saturday morning, March 2, 2002. The report quoted Coach Paterno as testifying to the Grand Jury that the graduate assistant told him that he had seen Jerry Sandusky, the coach's former assistant coach up to 1999, "in the Lasch Building showers fondling or doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy."
While Coach Paterno did his legal duty by reporting that information the next day, Sunday, March 3, to his immediate superior, the then Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley, the Board reasonably inferred that he did not call police. We determined that his decision to do his minimum legal duty and not to do more to follow up constituted a failure of leadership by Coach Paterno.
The Board spent hours on conference calls between Saturday, Nov. 5, and Tuesday, Nov. 8, discussing appropriate action and our fiduciary responsibility as the Trustees. On Wednesday evening, Nov. 9, we met in person in State College. At about 9 pm, we unanimously made the difficult decision that Coach Paterno’s failure of leadership required his removal as football coach.
We are sorry for the unfortunate way we had to deliver the news on the telephone about an hour later to Coach Paterno. However, we saw no better alternative. Because Coach Paterno’s home was surrounded by media representatives, photographers and others, we did not believe there was a dignified, private and secure way to send Board representatives to meet with him there. Nor did we believe it would be wise to wait until the next morning, since we believed it was probable that Coach Paterno would hear the news beforehand from other sources, which would be inappropriate.
Thus, we sent a representative of the Athletic Department to ask Coach Paterno to call us. When the coach called, the Board member who received the call planned to tell him that (1) the Board had decided unanimously to remove him as coach; (2) the Board regretted having to deliver the message over the telephone; and (3) his employment contract would continue, including all financial benefits and his continued status as a tenured faculty member. However, after this Board member communicated the first message, Coach Paterno ended the call, so the second and third messages could not be delivered.
Many alumni, faculty, staff and students are inquiring about how we plan to honor Coach Paterno’s many contributions to the University. It has always been the Board’s intention to fulfill his employment contract and to name him head coach emeritus. Other options also are under consideration, but the Board feels it would be premature to make any final decision at least until the final report of the independent counsel Judge Louis Freeh is publicly issued in conjunction with the Special Investigations Task Force.
Remembering the Children
We remain committed to remembering the children who were allegedly assaulted over the last 10 or more years, many on Penn State’s University Park campus, and whose lives may well be scarred for years to come. The University has offered and will provide counseling and related health care services. We have contributed financially to organizations dedicated to protecting victims of sexual assault and child abuse.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, joined by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, have agreed to join with the University to co-sponsor a national forum at Penn State on child sexual abuse. We plan to invite representatives from our 24 campuses, as well as from other Pennsylvania colleges and universities. We hope to turn this tragedy into an important teaching moment. We hope such a forum would bring together the nation’s experts to inform all on recognizing early signs of child sexual abuse, the long-term effects on child sexual assault victims, and the legal and ethical responsibility to report even suspicions of such abuse.
As one member of the Board of Trustees, Ken Frazier, put it so well:
“…. [E]very adult has a responsibility for every child in our community. And …we have a responsibility not to do the minimum, the legal requirement. We have a responsibility for ensuring that we can make every effort that’s within our power not only to prevent further harm to that one child, but to every child.”
That is our commitment to the children…and to the core values that have always made Penn State a great university.
Follow me on Twitter @Lions247
they need to just shut up. They're just making PSU alumni want to fire them even more.
No better alternative to a phone call? Yeah, I can't think of one either.
It is my understanding that had joe called the police and not got curley and schultz in the loop he would have violated university and state protocol, and subject to immediate dismissal and possible fines and jail time.
Maybe i am misunderstanding the policies
The board's leadership was where?????
I think my head might explode. I wasn't even going to read this because I knew how angry it would get me. I was wrong, I'm even angrier than I imagined I would be. Every time this scandal dies down a bit, these idiots speak up again. It's like they want to continue this twisted sort of martyrdom as long as they can. Either that or they are just plain stupid and don't realize the negative value of bad publicity. Their cowardly treatment of Joe can't be justified, and their further attempts to just reinforce how wrong they were.
Finally, can they please stop saying "Remember the Children"? That wording connotates death, and gives rise to even more negative thoughts in outsiders' heads. Something like "Keep the children in your thoughts" would be a much more appropriate phrase to use. But why would I expect anything the Board of (Mis)Trustees does to be appropriate?
"A lion does not concern himself with the opinions of the sheep"- Glenn Carson
Lame. They just need to give it up already. What's done is done. Quite making yourselves look even worse!
"DOMINATE the state" - James Franklin 1/11/14
You are not misunderstanding anything at all.
You have it exactly right.
I have been taught I never actually hate others. That hate just breeds more hate. But I'm sorry, I legitimately HATE these people.
Follow me on Twitter @rayraycotto
Four months and that was the best they could do??
This is an utterly valueless document. I wonder how much time the trustees and attorneys wasted in drafting this.
That statement is one huge stinking pile of BS.
“We need to keep this (expletive) together,” Mauti and Zordich to Hill
I doubt that did much to gain them any love from the Alumni...it sure as heck did nothing for me other than confirm what I already knew...the current BOT at PSU were not and are not qualified to handle this mess and they are paying a lot of money to lawyers and PR firms for very bad advice.
PENN STATE FOREVER
Agree with you 1992! Look at the timing, four months later! Can't help but believe this bs was put out to back Corbett's idiotic comments last week which have come under fire by many. Embarrassing for PSU...
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by PsuRagu 2 years ago
Great, lets bring up what this stupid story again about Joe doing his legal duty but being the football coach, must now become a police investigating force. It has been said by McQueary that Joe did follow up with him to ask him how he was doing about all this and McQueary did not show any displeasure with Paterno about the situation. Does he need to open a case himself for a past coach he really had no relationship with?
He put it in the hands of people he thought would take care of it and that he could trust. Those people failed Joe, the victims, and the University. McQueary met with Curley/Schultz directly. Also, why did they not fire Curley for "not following up"?
"Whoever’s trying to kill me isn’t getting the job done. But one day, I’m going to punch that f___r in the face."
"We determined that his decision to do his minimum legal duty and not to do more to follow up constituted a failure of leadership by Coach Paterno."
The irony of THIS BOT to accuse Coach Paterno for "lack of leadership." Given that he didn't witness the alleged "crime", there is an established procedure for investigating claims of child abuse in PA. He admitted that he didn't know the details of how to handle a situation like this, other than he knew he should notify the Athletic Director - which he did. This is an Administration failure ("lack of leadership") pure and simple. But let's continue to make Joe the scapegoat - let him rest in peace for God's sake!
They'll never admit the real reason - to quell the media firestorm and please the masses.
And enough about the children - anyone with a brain and heart feels terrible about the children - does it need to be said every time this issue is brought up?
Continuing to bring this up just burns me - shut up about it and let it go - I can't take it anymore!!
This post was edited by PSUlionbacker 2 years ago
"One man didn't build this program and one man sure as hell cannot tear it down."
This is something that should've been released just after Paterno's firing. Not four months after the fact.
The other thing that irks me regarding this statement release is that he can't even defend himself. Haters will be haters though even if it's the so called "BoT" of the University.
True point Josh. Fortunately, I think we all know at this point that Joe doesn't need defended, we all know who the idiots are that messed up, including the BoT.
This post was edited by PSU2001 2 years ago
what's sad is it took nearly 6 months to make a statement, which meeans to me that they didn't have a solid reason to fire him in the first place, just that they subjected to public scrutiny.. reminds me of how spanier didn't release a statement until after he was fired, at least he acted swifter than this group of cowards..
Yeah I guess the board couldn't ask Joe to be there during the meeting and get his full side of the story. Instead of basing their decision from the grand jury summary.
As someone so eliguintly put it, this is a pile of Bull Shit
When was the statement constructed? The quoted portion of the statement is written in present tense. Seeing as how Joe Paterno is no longer with us, I don't imagine that he will be named head coach emeritus anytime soon.
These people all need to go. This letter is the biggest crock of shyte I've ever read.
They fired Joe because the media firestorm was completely out of control due to their, dare I say, "failure of leadership". They figured firing a living legend and the guy that put you on the map would make everyone see how serious they were and get them off their back.
They did it with a phone call at 10 PM because they were too cowardly to leave their save haven of Old Main and face the cameras. Sending a small delegation to speak to Joe in person would have caused too much turmoil? Well, what did the phone call do? It outraged the students to the point they almost burnt State College to the ground. That worked well.
If "failure of leadership" is the standard by which one gets fired, all of these people deserve to lose their jobs.
Between the Corbett thread and this one I've given out more up votes than I have given in the last 2 weeks!
And Corbett should be removed from office.
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