July 13th, 2012 by faye
The Penn State Board of Trustees is taking “full responsibility” for not stopping retired American football coach Jerry Sandusky from abusing children sexually.
According to reports, Karen Peetz, Penn State Board of Trustees chair said on a news conference Thursday that the panel “accepts full responsibility for the failures that occurred” in the sex abuse scandal which involved Jerry Sandusky. The PSU also vowed to work with the administration of the school and ensure that such things do not happen again.
These failures were exposed in a report of former FBI director Louis Freeh’s eight-month investigation — the results of which were released on early Thursday showing most of the senior leaders of Penn State University “failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade,” referring to football coach, Jerry Sandusky. The act is said to have allowed senior university officials like the late coach, Joe Paterno and former president Graham Spanier to conceal the activities of Sandusky.
Penn State Board of Trustees chair Peetz and board member Kenneth Frazier acknowledged board members did not ask the appropriate questions of Spanier, allowing the former president to consider the case as something that was not as serious as it actually turned out to be. “We did not press the issue,” Frazier said.
Karen Peetz, who got the position of chair in January just two months after Jerry Sandusky was arrested, said that board members should have had “their antennae up” when a report from a newspaper was published in the spring of 2011 about the state attorney general’s investigation of Sandusky. She added that the panel was caught flatfooted when the Jerry Sandusky scandal was exposed last November with his arrest.
“We feel concerned and misled in the entire situation,” Peetz added.
Joe Paterno and Graham Spanier were subsequently dismissed five days after Jerry Sandusky was charged. Athletics director Tim Curley and former university vice president Gary Schultz were also arrested and charged with perjury for their grand jury testimony in the case and failure to report child abuse.
Peetz also added that all talks about honoring or not honoring Paterno, a major college football’s winningest coach who had 409 victories, will have to be carefully weighed in the months ahead by the Penn State Board of Trustees, as well as the entire university community because of the sensitivity of the legacy left by Paterno.
“Sixty-one years of excellent service to the university (by Paterno) is now marred,” she said.
Erickson said that the culture of football at Penn State University is among aspects that is currently under review, but then stopped short of condemning the program.
“We need to be careful we don’t paint the entire football program over a long period of time with the same brush,” he said. “Were there particular aspects of football that allowed these things to go on? We will look at that, but football had been an important part of university life. We want to take a look at all aspects of our culture (at the school) to make sure this never happens again.”