CDT: Student Trustee Peter Khoury Forced to Drop Name From Paterno Lawsuit
Penn State student trustee Pete Khoury has removed himself as one of the plaintiffs for the Paterno lawsuit against the NCAA, and according to a startling report from the Centre Daily Times, Khoury was “threatened with being removed from the group that’s searching for the next university president if he didn’t drop out.”
We could not immediately confirm that reasoning with Khoury, but if the spirit of the report is true, the trustees’ bullying Khoury off of the lawsuit is a startling revelation and certainly cause for concern.
“My decision to come off of the suit entails looking at my unique position being a student who represents the university’s interest and also looking at what would be best to continue ensured and effective participation of a student in critical university matters here,” Khoury told the CDT, declining to be more specific.
The committee Khoury was referencing includes a lineup of the most tenured and experienced — and indeed, most controversial in the vocal Penn State alumni circles — trustees. Membership of the Presidential Selection Council, which the CDT says threatened Khoury with removal if he didn’t drop his name from the Paterno suit, include trustees Karen Peetz, Ken Frazier, Linda Strumpf, Ira Lubert, Keith Masser, Ed Hintz, Paul Silvis, Keith Eckel, Mark Dambly, Marianne Alexander, James Broadhurst, and Khoury. Aside from Khoury, those trustees have remained entirely steadfast to the company line and tend to stray from ruffling feathers or discussing Joe Paterno in a public way, unlike some of the newer trustees.
Penn State board spokesman David La Torre declined comment on the situation to the newspaper.
Four other trustees — Ryan McCombie, Adam Taliaferro, Anthony Lubrano, and Alvin Clemens — are also party to the lawsuit spearheaded by the Paterno family which aims to overturn the NCAA sanctions. While none of the remaining four are on the presidential selection committee, Lubrano and Clemens both reaffirmed their support and intention to stay on the lawsuit. Lubrano said he was “disappointed that board leadership resorted to those tactics” to the CDT.
Whether you agree with the lawsuit or not, it is in my estimation a disturbing situation that members of the board would resort to imperious tactics against one of its own members who was only standing up for something he believes in. Expect several public comment questions about this at the Board’s next meeting on September 20.