The Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting Wednesday to “consider a potential litigation settlement,” according to a press release. The meeting will begin via conference call at 8:30 a.m. and will be open to the public. It will be streamed at http://www.wpsu.org/live. The board will meet in executive session prior to the public meeting.
Last week, the alumni trustees sent a to board chair Keith Masser calling for a meeting to discuss the university’s stance on the consent decree and settlement talks between the NCAA and the state of Pennsylvania. Penn State, however, released a statement saying that the meeting had been determined prior to the sending of the letter.
“Last week, Chairman Masser determined that it was advisable to call a special meeting of the Board to discuss a possible settlement of the Corman litigation,” the statement reads. “Prior to Trustee Lord’s letter, all trustees were contacted to seek a meeting, which has been set for Wednesday.”
The Corman litigation refers to the Endowment Act that will keep the $60 million fine within the state and that was put on hold for 30 days so that a settlement might be reached between the NCAA and Pennsylvania.
The nine trustees believe a meeting is necessary to make sure the entire board is informed on settlement discussions. The meeting will center around where fine money the school must pay will go, as well as the validity of the sanctions. The alumni-elected trustees wrote in the letter that recent court decisions give the board a chance for a “do-over” to challenge the consent decree.
“The NCAA is at serious risk in this, as in other PSU-related litigation and other matters nationwide. It must find a way to resolve its issues soon. Time is short. We have been told the board had no opportunity to dispute the Consent Decree in 2012. Let us not make that mistake again. Keith, the NCAA no longer holds a ‘death penalty’ over our heads,” the nine trustees wrote in the letter to Chair Masser.
Following the NCAA’s lawsuit with Pennsylvania over the Endowment Act, a Commonwealth Court ruled in April that the fine money should stay in the state. It also called for Penn State to be made a party to the case. According to the trustees’ letter, the Commonwealth requested Penn State take an official stance on the consent decree “in the form of a full board.”
“Yet to date most of the board has been excluded from these conversations. Only secret meetings that you and the legal subcommittee hold have addressed the subject,” the nine trustees wrote.
The university also announced that the board’s Committee on Governance and Long-Range Planning will meet at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 15, to consider governance reform proposals and suggestions at the Penn Stater Conference Center. The meeting will be open to the public and will be held in room 204 of the conference center.
Below is the letter sent to Masser by the trustees, calling for the meeting: