The following remarks were made by BOT Chairman Karen Peetz during today's (Aug. 12) special meeting regarding the NCAA consent decree:
Over the last few days, questions have been raised about the process in which the NCAA crafted and imposed, and the University accepted, what are unquestionably harsh sanctions that will have a significant impact on the University and its students, student-athletes, alumni, faculty, staff and other constituencies. Questions have also been raised about the Freeh Report and how that report was used by the NCAA as the basis for its action.
I had intended to call for a vote this evening to ratify the Consent Decree. Not because ratification is legally required. It is not. But, rather, because President Erickson's authority had been challenged publicly by some of our own trustees, the leadership of the Board wanted to publicly demonstrate the Board's support of President Erickson and the University's commitment to fully perform and comply with the Consent Decree. We had hoped to clear up any lingering misunderstanding with respect to the Board's and the University's position on this matter. Given that Trustee McCombie yesterday indicated publicly that he has instructed his lawyer to refrain from taking any further action, a formal vote may not be as necessary as we had initially anticipated.
The Penn State Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting via conference call at 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12. The sole purpose of the special meeting is for the trustees to consider ratification of the binding consent decree imposed by the NCAA and accepted by the University. The public can listen to the meeting at the following web site online: WPSU.org/live.
In addition, those interested may also call in to the following conference call number, which is available on a first-come, first-served basis with a limit of 50 people: 1-866-393-1766. The following access code is required: *1855# (star, 1855, pound key).
To read the NCAA consent decree, visit http://www.ncaa.com/content/penn-state-conclusions online. President Rodney Erickson's statement regarding NCAA consent decree can be found at http://live.psu.edu/story/60475 online. Statements also have been made by the Board of Trustees (http://live.psu.edu/story/60509), Penn State Acting Athletic Director David Joyner and Head Football Coach Bill O'Brien (http://live.psu.edu/story/60478); Penn State's varsity athletic coaches (http://live.psu.edu/story/60489); and members of the football team (http://live.psu.edu/story/60506).
When they take the field at Beaver Stadium for their 126th season, The Pennsylvania State University football team will wear uniforms featuring a blue ribbon to support all victims of child abuse. Also, for the first time, the names of each football player will adorn their jersey in recognition of their resolve and dedication to the team and the University.
“The Penn State community stands with all victims of child abuse,” said Acting Athletic Director David Joyner. “Coach Bill O’Brien and his football team made it clear they want to support victims and bring more awareness to this issue, which affects so many.”
The University released the following statement today regarding the recent Mitchell appointment:
We look forward to working with former Maine Senator, George Mitchell, who will coordinate with the University, including the Athletics Department, to ensure that the University complies the terms of the Athletics’ Integrity Agreement. His extensive experience on the boards of major companies, such as Xerox, Fedex, Staples and Disney, and deep understanding of the sports industry, make him uniquely qualified for this position. University representatives hope to meet with Senator Mitchell soon to discuss how we will work together.
The following op-ed written by President Rodney A. Erickson appeared in the Opinions section of The Washington Post on July 27, 2012.
The Way Forward For Penn State
Since the news about Jerry Sandusky broke last fall, the most challenging chapter in Penn State’s history has unfolded in the glare of the national spotlight. Those of us in leadership roles at Penn State have faced questions for which there is no playbook. I have spent many nights — and many more with our leadership team — considering the actions we must take to ensure that this university endures as an institution of which we can all be proud and one that learns from the past to be a brighter light for the future.
I knew when I accepted the position of president in November — and the Board of Trustees strongly agreed — that, for Penn State to move forward, we would need to uncover and expose the full scope of the university’s knowledge of Sandusky’s actions. We could not wait for courts to bring evidence to light. So, knowing that we would need to accept accountability for whatever was discovered, the board asked former FBI director Louis Freeh to lead an independent investigation.
The full article can be found here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-way-forward-for-penn-state/2012/07/27/gJQABmenEX_story.html