The loudest voices in this upcoming Board of Trustees election are those who are living in the past, driven primarily by an unhealthy thirst for vengeance. They refuse to acknowledge that the present poses new and distinct challenges, and that our Trustees are the ones who must lead this university through an uncertain future.
Author Devon Edwards
Earlier this evening, Onward State reported that Joe Paterno had passed away; however, the mountain of evidence stacked opposite that report became too much to ignore. At this time, I would like to issue a retraction of our earlier tweets.
Courtney O’Bryan’s death was and is, unmistakably, a tragedy. I think I speak for all of Penn State when I say how shocked and saddened we were to hear the dreadful news. But when I found out that THON had responded by mandating attendance at canning workshops, I wondered if the lesson her death taught us had actually been learned, or if the organization simply aimed to obfuscate the real risk.
The last stop on Rodney Erickson’s three-city alumni town hall tour might well have been his best performance, as the Penn State President fielded questions from alumni on a variety of topics ranging from Joe Paterno’s firing to how a professor can achieve emeritus status. The event, held Friday evening in Manhattan, featured a less robust attendance than either of Erickson’s Pennsylvania appearances–in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia–but the 300 who made the trek to the Financial District and the Downtown Marriott on a bone-chillingly cold winter night came prepared to ask the right questions.
Yes, Penn State was “snubbed” by a handful of bowl selection committees. But the fact of the matter is, we’re still playing in a post-New Year’s bowl, against a Top 20 team, in a decent location. Dallas can’t be all bad, if the NFL saw it suitable to host the Super Bowl just last year.
We knew this would be the next shoe to fall, and the only question was when–when the tide would turn from a criminal investigation into a wave of civil lawsuits against Penn State. The first was filed yesterday in Philadelphia, by a Minnesota lawyer, on behalf of a “John Doe” who was not among the eight alleged victims listed in the Grand Jury presentment.
Wednesday’s UPUA meeting was delayed at the start–at 8 p.m., plenty of representatives were still downstairs at the Town Hall meeting that UPUA had partially sponsored–but managed to accomplish several initiatives, and in relatively quick fashion.
It’s shocking and discouraging–if not completely unsurprising, given how this month has gone–to see a major newspaper give a forum to a disgruntled former employee for the voicing of grievances. Vicky Triponey, the former (and disgraced) Vice President for Student Affairs at Penn State, clearly went to the newspaper, selling a story, and in another sad chapter of this affair, The Wall Street Journal bought it.
Last week, everything normal at Penn State seemed to stop, as we focused all our energy on the ongoing scandal that shows no sign of going away any time soon. The UPUA wasn’t immune from the external events–it cancelled its weekly Assembly meeting. But last night, they didn’t exactly make up for lost time. With just one piece of legislation on the table, and an extremely uncontroversial one that didn’t spend a single dollar, UPUA finished its quickest meeting of the semester thus far, in under an hour.
It would be a bit of an understatement to say that it’s been a long week. Even since the news broke last weekend of the indictments of Jerry Sandusky, Tim Curley, and Gary Schultz, the story has moved a breakneck pace–and it’s been hard to catch up.
Our Liveblog chronicled most of the developments as they occurred, but there’s plenty you may have missed during the week that was. Included below are links to all of our coverage of the ongoing scandal.
In just four days, Thanksgiving break will be upon us–and god, it could not have come at a better time. I think I speak for this entire university when I say that after the week we’ve had, a nice break is sorely needed.
But as it is wont to do, Thanksgiving break snuck up on you this year. You were so busy, you didn’t see it coming. And now, you’ve got to get out of town by Friday and haven’t figured out how you’re getting home.
Have no fear, loyal reader. We’re here for you.
This will be, in all likelihood, the last time that Penn State offers a class on “Joe Paterno, Communications, and the Media,” otherwise known as COMM 497G, but if this was its final semester, it’s going out with a bang. Today, Sports Illustrated’s Joe Posnanski and Yahoo’s Pat Forde spoke on how the media handled this story. To read what they had to say, check out student tweets, mine included, from the class.
After 62 years, 409 wins, 2 national championships, millions of dollars donated, one library, and countless lives touched, Joe Paterno is going out in the worst possible way. After a lengthy private meeting, Penn State’s Board of Trustees announced in a press conference late Wednesday that Joe Paterno, the face of a university, and perhaps of college football, would not be able to leave this football team on his own terms.
In January of 2010, Penn State hired Cynthia Baldwin as the university’s full-time general counsel and chief legal officer. This wouldn’t have been notable, if it weren’t for the fact that she was the first in-house lawyer the university ever had. Before Baldwin, Penn State relied on Wendell Courtney, an attorney in the Central Pennsylvania law firm of McQuaide-Blasko, for most of its legal work. In addition to serving as primary counsel for the university, he also did work, pro bono, for The Second Mile charity.
Multiple sources have informed Onward State that Penn State President Graham Spanier announced on Monday a 1% raise for all faculty members. It is believed, but not yet confirmed, that the raise was a university-wide one, extending from professors “down to janitors and grounds crew.”
Even before this sordid affair began, we had our doubts. Could the 84-year old, who’s spent more time up in the press box than down on the field, really demand a contract extension? Deep down, we’d all been wondering whether this would be Joe Paterno’s last year. But now, I think it’s safe to say, we know it will be.
If it was a heavyweight battle then, I’m not sure what you’d call it now. But although the power struggle between the man labeled its leader and the man who enjoys that perception may appear inconsequential, it looms large over how the university has responded to the allegations that have shocked a nation.
This isn’t how it was supposed to end. I suppose that’s only too obvious. Nobody could have ever predicted that it would be involvement in an alleged child-abuse cover up that finally put down Joe Paterno. But it’s not a fitting end for a man who deserved so much more.
The title of this post is not hyperbole. It’s not just the college football world that’s turned it’s eye to Penn State, it’s curious individuals from every corner of the globe. And perhaps its only when Al-Jazeera feels it necessary to chime in with a report on the case that has rocked State College that you realize the true scope of these alleged crimes and cover-ups.
Lawyers for both deposed Athletic Director Tim Curley and the now-resigned Vice President for Finance and Business have released statements, reiterating their clients’ innocence. Caroline Roberto, Curley’s attorney, compared the charge of “failure to report” to a speeding ticket, because the two are both summary offenses. She also said that the perjury charge was a “last resort,” claming that prosecutors “charge it when they can’t prove the person did anything wrong.”
Penn State’s student radio station, The Lion WKPS-FM, has cited sources in a tweet indicating that Urban Meyer purchased a house in Boalsburg. Rumors surrounding Urban Meyer’s potential involvement as Penn State’s next head coach have swirled for months, ever since he stepped down from his post at Florida. Although these reports are yet uncorroborated, it’s reasonable to trust in the integrity of the radio station.
At last night’s Board of Trustees meeting, Tim Curley was granted administrative leave, stepping down from his position as Penn State’s Athletic Airector. In his stead, Graham Spanier appointed Mark Sherburne, a senior administrator in the athletic department.
For the past three years, Sherburne has been Penn State’s Associate Athletic Director for Administration. Sherburne works with all 29 of Penn State’s varsity teams to ensure NCAA compliance and is the administrator of Penn State’s Varsity “S” Club and Football Letterman’s Club.
Given the nature of Jerry Sandusky’s alleged crimes, and just how complicit some highly-respected members of the Penn State family are said to have been, it’s hard to be outraged against anything else. This is a dark day for our university, likely the darkest. There is no silver lining to what’s happened. And what’s far worse than the black mark that this will be against Penn State is how the alleged affair irreversibly changed the lives of so many young children. It is a tragedy of the utmost proportions.
Wednesday night, UPUA made significant strides, both in its own development, and in creating a program for the benefit of the student body. And they did it in record time. Indeed, what was easily the shortest meeting of Penn State’s student government might well have been among its most influential. Just as important, though, is that there was hardly an ounce of debate on any of the legislation brought up Wednesday.
Wednesday night’s meeting of the University Park Undergraduate Association was, perhaps, a microcosm of sorts for the Sixth Assembly, a snapshot of the first two months of T.J. Bard’s presidency. Unfortunately, the Assembly failed to capture the momentum provided by last week’s wholly successful meeting, instead falling back on its own reliable trope of creating disagreement where unity ought to be fostered.
Penn State has managed to add yet another tool to eLion: Declaration of a Minor. It all began a year ago, in October 2010, when the Faculty Senate adjusted a policy, which allowed students to declare minors from any campus that offered required the courses. But it was in the execution where this idea arose, with the Senate declaring that the approval process for adding a minor was needless, and recommending its elimination.
The University Park Undergraduate Association’s first town hall meeting of the year was a lot like a Passover Seder–in that listing all the reasons why Wednesday night’s meeting was different from all other meetings would take quite a while. For one, there were dozens of students in attendance, rather than the scant two or three who typically show up. Open Student Forum wasn’t just a formality, but an avenue for constituents to voice their opinions. And the location–in the HUB already occupied by a tent village not twenty feet away–made for an interesting situation, where anyone without a microphone could hardly be heard over the din.
Perhaps it’s just kismet, but UPUA’s timing couldn’t have been better. Following the now-infamous decision to spend $3000 on promotional materials, and a week off, attention now turns to the Princeton Review test prep subsidy that’s been lying in wait since the beginning of the semester. Although P.T. Barnum might have said “there’s no such thing as bad publicity,” UPUA ought to jump at the chance to flip the script for the better.
I don’t envy the Senior Class Gift Committee. Tasked with finding the three best out of more than 120 submitted ideas is no easy task, especially when measured against university concerns and realities. As much as we might have wanted an fully animatronic 80-foot Robocop defending the Old Main lawn, something that awesome simply isn’t feasible.