Penn State Extends Settlement Proposal to NCAA, Trustees Left in the Dark
Penn State Trustees Anthony Lubrano and Al Lord are seeking information via a strongly worded letter to Chairman Keith Masser about a settlement proposal that Penn State has made to the NCAA in Senator Jake Corman’s lawsuit.
The letter from the pair of alumni trustees says that the alumni trustees were not involved in any discussion about the settlement, and they sought information about it from Masser on January 5 and 7. Getting no response, they made the public request for immediate information. The trustees suggest in the letter that only “handpicked” trustees are aware of the settlement proposal, and Lubrano said in a press release that he hasn’t been able to confirm a settlement has been made. It’s also unclear how, exactly, a co-defendant can settle with its co-defendant.
“Your repeated claims that our board now conducts business with greater openness, inclusivity, and transparency ring hollow because you regularly operate in a disturbingly secretive and non-inclusive manner,” Lubrano and Lord wrote.
Corman’s lawsuit has caused incredible unrest on the Board of Trustees since its November meeting. While the alumni trustees have sought to make Penn State a plaintiff in the lawsuit, the rest of the board has unanimously voted against doing so. The alumni trustees’ most recent effort to enjoin Penn State as a plaintiff resulted in a special meeting in December that only the alumni trustees attended. In a probably related twist, the board’s Committee on Governance and Long Range Planning will discuss “procedure for calling special meetings” at its meeting this Thursday.
“Much like your decision [along with then-chair Karen Peetz] to exclude the full board from the discussion of the terms of the Consent Decree prior to its execution, you appear to have once again decided to exclude the full board,” they wrote.
The alumni trustees have remained publicly active since Lubrano’s resolution to make Penn State a plaintiff in this suit failed. Since the last meeting, they’ve also requested unfettered Freeh Report documents and have written numerous op-eds about Penn State’s standing.
“As has been the case throughout this litigation, any conversation on possible ways to resolve this matter have been received and reviewed,” said Corman in a statement. “To date, I have not agreed to any settlement or proposed resolution. While I am open to conversations on a possible resolution, to be sure, any settlement will be judged upon what is best for the Commonwealth.”
Requests for comment to Penn State and the alumni trustees were not immediately returned. It’s safe to say the board’s meeting this week will be #buckleup-worthy.
UPDATE, 5:34 p.m.: Masser fired back at Lubrano and Lord this afternoon, saying the “suppositions that you present in your letter are incorrect” and that it would be damaging to the university to make public the details of any settlement.
Masser’s full response is below:
First, the suppositions that you present in your letter are incorrect. Second, as you are aware, the Board created a Subcommittee on Legal to oversee and provide guidance with respect to University legal matters. The Legal Subcommittee meets on a weekly basis to hear updates from counsel and to discuss outstanding legal matters. When it is appropriate to bring a matter to the full Board for its information or action, I trust that the Legal Subcommittee will do so. With respect specifically to the Corman v. NCAA litigation, you have previously been informed that any proposed settlement would be brought to the Board for its approval. Finally, it would be very damaging to the University to publicly discuss the possible terms of settlement of any litigation under discussion or consideration by the parties.