PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



Keith Masser Calls USA Today Editorial “Sensational”

We should really be used to this by now.

Board of Trustees chairman Keith Masser made headlines earlier this week after a USA Today editorial called “Penn State leaders don’t endorse Sandusky coverup findings” said that Masser classified the Freeh report’s conclusions about Joe Paterno, Graham Spanier, Tim Curley, and Gary Schultz as “speculation” in an interview with the newspaper.

The video attached to the editorial indicated no such sentiment but dozens of media outlets, including this one, picked up the story and ran with it ironically based on that one word — “speculation.” PS4RS and the Paterno family both chimed in. Patriot News reporter Charlie Thompson even called Masser’s remarks to USA Today a “(complete) personal, 180-degree turn on the Freeh Report on Penn State’s role in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal that was over a year in the making.”

It turns out that it wasn’t really worth the hullabaloo.

Masser penned a PR-conscious letter to the editor to USA Today only two days later that charged the newspaper with running a “sensational headline” and calling the editorial a “gross misrepresentation.” This letter much better aligns with the company line the trustees have been following for most of the last year:

Fellow trustees Keith Eckel, Paul Silvis and I met with USA TODAY editors and reporters. We shared the remarkable progress that has been made at Penn State over the past year. Unfortunately, USA TODAY mischaracterized that conversation (“Penn State leaders don’t endorse Sandusky coverup findings“).

Our Board’s focus has been to identify where our system broke down and implement changes to better protect our students, faculty and community. To make those changes, we needed an independent investigation into how Jerry Sandusky was allowed to do what he did on our campus. That investigation became known as the “Freeh report.”

The first aspect of the report was 119 recommendations on how our university could improve our structure, process and transparency. We are proud to say we have completed 115 of them.

The second aspect was former FBI director Louis Freeh’s “conclusions.” The report provided documents that led to assertions about the motives of former Penn State leaders.

In our discussions with USA TODAY, we stated that the Board did not vote on the conclusions, because it is not within our purview or our fiduciary responsibility to do so.

Despite clarifying this point, USA TODAY ran a sensational headline implying that we somehow rejected the Freeh report. That is a gross misrepresentation.

I am proud of our community’s willingness to take the hard but necessary road, and we remain optimistic about what we can accomplish.

Carry on, I suppose.

About the Author

Kevin Horne

Kevin Horne was the editor of Onward State from 2012-2014 and currently holds the position of Managing Editor Emeritus, which is a fake title he made up. He graduated from Penn State with degrees journalism and political science in 2014 and is currently seeking his J.D. at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law. A third generation Penn Stater from Williamsport, Pa., Kevin is also the president of the graduate student government. Email: [email protected]


State College Links
More by Kevin

Hometown Brewery Releases Beer Honoring Evan Pugh

Penn State’s first president Evan Pugh was born in 1828 at Jordan Bank Farm, three miles south of the city center of Oxford, Pennsylvania, an hour west of Philadelphia in Chester County. One-hundred eighty-nine years later, an Oxford brewery is honoring one of the preeminent champions of “liberal and practical” higher education in the form of a delicious Porter.

Penn State Basketball Downs Colgate 72-59 In Front of Thanksgiving Eve Crowd

Why Honoring Paterno Still Matters


Spillane Has Been Effective For Men’s Lacrosse In Ament’s Absence

Nick Spillane has been a major contributor for men’s lacrosse this season, which is especially important given the loss of Grant Ament to injury.

Big Ten Announces 2018-2019 In-Conference Hoops Matchups

From Manager To Walk On: Penn State Softball’s Ashton Mensinger Enjoying Unexpected Opportunity

Penn State Women’s Lacrosse Loses To Maryland 13-8

Penn State Men’s Lacrosse’s Ryan Keenan Selected In MLL Draft

Student Life

Homecoming 2018 Logo Revealed

The Homecoming Executive Committee revealed the Homecoming 2018 logo at halftime of the Blue-White game.

Miniature Penn State Tailgate Bus Up For Sale, Tailgate Never Has To End

Creamery ‘Brew And White’ Iced Coffee Now Available

Saquon Barkley Shows Some Skin On SI Cover

The NFL Draft begins Thursday, April 26, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Barkley is expected to be a top-five pick, and he and his most vehement supporters say there’s no reason he won’t go No. 1 overall.

Blue Beats White 21-10 In Penn State’s Spring Scrimmage

Mac Hippenhammer’s two-touchdown performance highlighted a Blue team victory Saturday at Beaver Stadium.

Dry Weather Expected For Blue-White Weekend

Predicted temperatures in the mid-50s and mostly cloudy skies should make for a pleasant (but more importantly, dry) Blue-White Weekend.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Miniature Penn State Tailgate Bus Up For Sale, Tailgate Never Has To End

The bus was purchased at a church and designed to carry 22 children. Now it carries about 30 cases of beer.

Send this to a friend