The last stop on Rodney Erickson's three-city alumni town hall tour might well have been his best performance, as the Penn State President fielded questions from alumni on a variety of topics ranging from Joe Paterno's firing to how a professor can achieve emeritus status. The event, held Friday evening in Manhattan, featured a less robust attendance than either of Erickson's Pennsylvania appearances--in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia--but the 300 who made the trek to the Financial District and the Downtown Marriott on a bone-chillingly cold winter night came prepared to ask the right questions.
Yes, Penn State was "snubbed" by a handful of bowl selection committees. But the fact of the matter is, we're still playing in a post-New Year's bowl, against a Top 20 team, in a decent location. Dallas can't be all bad, if the NFL saw it suitable to host the Super Bowl just last year.
We knew this would be the next shoe to fall, and the only question was when--when the tide would turn from a criminal investigation into a wave of civil lawsuits against Penn State. The first was filed yesterday in Philadelphia, by a Minnesota lawyer, on behalf of a "John Doe" who was not among the eight alleged victims listed in the Grand Jury presentment.
Wednesday's UPUA meeting was delayed at the start--at 8 p.m., plenty of representatives were still downstairs at the Town Hall meeting that UPUA had partially sponsored--but managed to accomplish several initiatives, and in relatively quick fashion.
It's shocking and discouraging--if not completely unsurprising, given how this month has gone--to see a major newspaper give a forum to a disgruntled former employee for the voicing of grievances. Vicky Triponey, the former (and disgraced) Vice President for Student Affairs at Penn State, clearly went to the newspaper, selling a story, and in another sad chapter of this affair, The Wall Street Journal bought it.
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