PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



Board of Trustees Addresses Freeh Report Findings

The Board of Trustees has a regularly scheduled meeting in Scranton today and Friday, but they had a great deal more to talk about than at an ordinary meeting. With the Freeh report released this morning, having met and read through the details of the report, the Board addressed the media at 3:30 p.m. today.

“We are horrified, we are saddened,” said Chairwoman Karen Peetz, adding that there were “not enough superlatives” to describe Trustees’ emotions at the crimes committed.

Chairwoman Peetz, Trustee Kenneth Frazier, and University President Rodney Erickson all spoke at the conference. They began by taking responsibility for Penn State’s failures in handling the allegations of sexual abuse against Jerry Sandusky, and the Board’s failure of properly overseeing administrators who dealt with those allegations. They also declared that this kind of tragedy would never again happen at Penn State.

Attempting to explain the Board’s course of relative inaction, the Trustees cited their extreme faith and trust in, and their very high regard for former President Graham Spanier. “We believed what we were being told was accurate,” said Frazier. Both he and Chairwoman Peetz invoked the familiar theme of hindsight, but neither used it as an excuse for the tragedy and ill judgment. Frazier repeatedly stated that he regretted that the Board did not “force the issue” when they first learned of a grand jury investigating Sandusky when it was reported in The Patriot-News on March 31, 2011, over seven months before charges were brought against the former coach. Both Frazier and Peetz said, like others have, that they wished they had done more.

In response to a question into whether individual members (former Chairman Steve Garban, and Trustee John Surma were mentioned) had any knowledge of the allegations, Peetz said that the Board was looking into who knew what and when. And when asked if the Trustees intended to resign, Peetz said that they did not.

The Board was asked about Joe Paterno’s legacy and reputation from now on. They left it in neither a positive or negative light, but offered a more nuanced perspective.” Trustee Frazier brought up Paterno’s excellent 61-year record of service to Penn State, and also his massive failures in this case. “You have to measure any human by the good they’ve done, and the bad they’ve done,” he said. However, he also echoed the main point of the Freeh report. Graham Spanier, Joe Paterno, Tim Curley, and Gary Schultz did not put the welfare of children first.”

But the Board expressed an optimistic outlook for the University. “Penn State’s best days are ahead of us,” said President Erickson. He also described plans to implement recommendations from the Freeh report into University policy, and shared his wish for Penn State to become “a constructive leader” in preventing and reporting suspected child abuse in the future.

The Trustees seemed to agree that change is needed at Penn State. Erickson said that he needed to reevaluate the administrative and governmental culture at Penn State, as Chapter 10 of the Freeh report outlined. And Frazier looked ahead, saying, “This marks a new era at Penn State.” Said Peetz, “Above all, we must restore trust in our community.”

About the Author

Dan McCool

Dan is a senior and has been writing for Onward State since January 2010. Did you miss him? Nah, neither did we. He's returning after a semester abroad in England and will be serving as Arts Editor. Favorite things in life include references to The Big Lebowski.


More by Dan

Erase Your Expectations: Dan McCool’s Senior Column

Don’t worry about what you should be doing, or how what you’re doing is going to fit into the cadre of college—or Penn State, for that matter—predetermined by our culture. Go make your own Penn State, without any expectations; you’ll be much happier.

After Condom Spat, UPUA Approves Funding for Sexual Violence Prevention & Awareness Month

UPUA Is Walking to Harrisburg, Not Much Else


Shea Moyer Lifts Penn State Women’s Soccer Past West Virginia 1-0

Sophomore midfielder Shea Moyer scored the game-winning goal in the 80th minute of a rainy season opener at Jeffrey Field.

Penn State Women’s Soccer Poised For Strong 2018 Season

Incoming Penn State Track & Field Athlete Kristian Marche Shot To Death In Philadelphia

Former Women’s Gymnastics Coach Files Lawsuit Against Penn State Over Handling Of Abuse Allegations

Men’s Soccer Trio, Reading United Win PDL Eastern Conference Title, Fall Short Of National Championship

Student Life

Start The Semester Off Right With These Welcome Week Activities

Don your brightly-colored college shirt and officially begin your Penn State career with these Welcome Week activities.

Nike Releases New Penn State Sneakers

Penn State Parking Office Runs Into Student Permit Purchase Issues

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Onward State is hiring for the fall semester and we’d love to have you join us.

Start The Semester Off Right With These Welcome Week Activities

Don your brightly-colored college shirt and officially begin your Penn State career with these Welcome Week activities.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Assessing Penn State’s Front Seven Following Tuesday’s Medical Retirements

Penn State’s defensive line rotation will be shaken up following Ryan Buchholz’s medical retirement from football, while the coaching staff is letting the linebackers duel it out during camp.

Send this to a friend