Trustees Unanimously Approve Penn State-NCAA Settlement
Joe Paterno got his wins back today, but perhaps something even more incredible happened: Penn State’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously on the settlement that made it happen.
I exaggerate, of course, but that the vote passed unanimously without any discussion on a board so fragmented is certainly noteworthy. According to Trustee Anthony Lubrano, who stepped out from today’s meeting to address the media, the board had a “healthy discussion” during an “emotional day” in executive session this afternoon and spent only 45 minutes discussing its terms.
“It wasn’t a perfect settlement,” Lubrano said, “…but today was a win for Penn State.”
Lubrano, who’s been the alumni trustees’ torchbearer this week in regard to the Corman settlement and litigation, preferred an ab initio settlement, meaning the now-invalidated consent decree would be deemed completely illegal. He expressed his view, which the eight other alumni trustees probably share, that the settlement is a mixed bag — it rights some wrongs, but stops more information about the NCAA’s dealings from being revealed.
That might not necessarily be the case, though. The Paterno family’s lawsuit against the NCAA is still ongoing, and just yesterday revealed that NCAA Chair Ed Ray did not read the Freeh Report prior to sanctioning Penn State. There are still loose ends despite the settlement, Lubrano said, like Sue Paterno having to deal with her family’s lawsuit.
“I will say this to you — this has never been about football for me. Ever,” Lubrano said.
Will today’s positive discussion mean more board unity moving forward? Lubrano hopes so. He even complimented Ken Frazier for his decorum during the executive session, in which he asked Lubrano to carefully consider how he would vote on the resolution to accept the settlement, as his vote carries so much sway.
“I think it was important that this was unanimous, and I think that’s why Ken came to me. It was symbolic for this vote to be unanimous,” Lubrano said.
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“As we work together to make the impact as least disruptive as possible to our students and employees, we strongly urge Congress and the president to end this impasse.”
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