Hello Fellow Penn Staters:
Last night I went to Valley Forge earnestly hoping for some straight talk from The new Penn State President. When I didn't hear any I tried to ask a question but despite holding my arm up for (no lie nor exaggeration) over an hour the microphone holders never got to me. I had very little faith that a written question about the Board of Trustees would get answered unless I personally asked it. I sat in the very front row and hoped that would ensure some opportunity to ask a question. The most telling part of the presentation is that the Penn State President was there and the Board of Trustees sent no one. Mr. Erickson continually answered questions with "I wasn't there" and "You'll have to as the Board of Trustees that question." As I was not allowed to ask the President I am now going to pose it to you and add some of my own commentary.
Here is a hypothetical for you.
Lets say you are an Alumnus of a large Land Grant Institution and you are very grief stricken that your beloved alma mater has been smeared with controversy and you want to know why the administration moved so slowly in its response to that controversy that the terms "glacial" and "sloth-like" seemed like inadequate adjectives.
Lets further assume the Board of Trustees of this Land Grant Institution ignored rumors on the internet at most major Penn State sites dating all the way back to September of 2010 that a certain ex-coach was the subject of child molestation charges and also ignored the publication of news that he had resigned from a charity he himself had founded. A charity that people widely believed was the only reason he was not still on the staff of the football program. Also assume that the coach still had at least 15 years in him according to the Paterno scale of longevity, and that the Board might at least be mildly curious as to whether Coach Sandusky was gearing up to toss his hat in the ring to be Paterno's successor.
Lets also assume that the same Board ignored news reports in March and April of 2011 in the Harrisburg Patriot and the Altoona Mirror and Pennlive.com and Black Shoe Diaries and just about anywhere else more than two (2) Penn Staters were gathered that Mr. Sandusky was being charged with heinous crimes and that Coach Paterno and various administration officials had been subpoenaed to testify about the heinous crimes.
Finally, lets assume that the Board froze in place, and that, despite the addition of an ex officio trustee who had been supervising the Grand Jury investigation before getting elected to Penn State Hater ...uh, I mean Governor, that the Board did absolutely nothing and said absolutely nothing for seven (7) months, such as oh, I don't know, issue the following cursory statement:
"In light of the existence of a Grand Jury convened against a former coach, Penn State has moved to exclude that former coach from the campus until such time as the extent of the allegations are made public. All Penn State personnel are hereby directed to cooperate in full measure with the Grand Jury Investigation."
Now, knowing that the Board reacted to its self-imposed last minute emergency by throwing the Dean of football coaches under the bus, and that there is a screaming need for the Board to acknowledge its horrific management of the crisis, including wasting over $300,000 on someone who allegedly knew how to manage a crisis, and that the Board needs to become transparent in its dealings, which of the following seems like the most appropriate manner to accomplish the restoration of the Board's image:
A. Pull in a guy who has plausible deniability because he can say things like "i wasn't there" and "You'll have to ask the Board" and throw him to the wolves while the Board hides under a rock;
B. Over produce a happy little video and put some guy in a headset to act like a Broadway stage manager and bring in a Penn State employee to be a "moderator" because if she asks any substantive questions you can fire her, instead of fielding softballs like what ice cream do you think should be named after you (an actual written question last night that I in no way believe came from an Alumnus);
C. Instruct the screening Penn State President to ramble on at a slow cadence so you can suck out the self-imposed time deadline and run to do the same thing in New York;
D. Do the exact same thing you accused Coach Paterno of, namely doing nothing, and still get to pick the next president and the next coach;
If you answered E., you are hereby sentenced to listen to the Alumni Town Hall stream tonight.
i will not be listening as God knows I cannot put up with any more tap-dancing.