Penn State trustees slated to talk about sanctions
Last Modified: February 16. 2013 6:49PM
The trustees office said on its website that public meetings would be held Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.
A copy of the agenda obtained this week by The Associated Press showed topics including the NCAA sanctions to be discussed Sunday. The Centre Daily Times last week also obtained an earlier version of the agenda.
The landmark NCAA penalties for the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse included a four-year bowl ban and a $60 million fine.
Rodney Erickson took over as president after Graham Spanier lost his job days after Sandusky was charged. Erickson has said he‚??s not coming back after his contract expires in 2014.
The meeting comes about two weeks after the board held a conference call, in which the vast majority of trustees voiced support for Erickson‚??s acceptance of severe penalties imposed by the NCAA over the school‚??s handling of a scandal.
The panel could not vote because 10 days‚?? notice of the meeting was required, an issue raised by two trustees at the start of the call. But more than two dozen members of the 32-member board then voiced support for Erickson‚??s decision and a desire to move forward, although many criticized the NCAA sanctions themselves.
School officials have said that attempts to lessen sanctions didn‚??t work, and that the NCAA had threatened to shut down the program entirely ‚?? a punishment known as the ‚??death penalty.‚?Ě
The NCAA‚??s punishment was based on the findings by former FBI director Louis Freeh in his internal investigation for Penn State into the scandal. Freeh said Spanier, former coach Joe Paterno and two other school officials concealed allegations against Sandusky going back to 1998 ‚?? conclusions vehemently denied by Spanier, the officials and Paterno‚??s family.
Paterno died in January at age 85.
Most recently, Spanier ‚?? through a series of interviews and via his lawyers at a Philadelphia news conference this week ‚?? has portrayed himself as the innocent victim of a witch hunt and a rush to judgment by Freeh.
The agenda for the trustees‚?? weekend meeting also lists Freeh report recommendations as a topic for Sunday.
The meeting begins Saturday with private sessions on governance, team building and an update on legal issues. Board committees are to meet in public session in the afternoon. Trustees are also scheduled a new student convocation in the evening.
Trustees have previously held retreats, but received some criticism for not holding public sessions or widely-publicizing the gathering.
Separately next week, the university‚??s Faculty Senate at a regularly-scheduled meeting Tuesday is also slated to discuss the NCAA sanctions, and whether to make a public statement or send a statement to the NCAA on the issue.