Penn State football great Franco Harris and a group of passionate Joe Paterno supporters will honor the longtime coach two years to the day after he was fired via phone by the university’s board of trustees.
The public is invited to attend “Upon Further Review” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Days Inn, 240 S. Pugh St., State College.
The group maintains that Paterno was unfairly fired and that media reports have unreasonably branded him as part of the alleged coverup of Jerry Sandusky’s child abuse allegations in 1998 and 2001.
The organizers plan to review the information that has been revealed over the past two years from the fallout of the Sandusky scandal. They also plan to discuss how the Sandusky scandal turned into a Penn State scandal, and they will provide new information, said one of the organizers, Ray Blehar.
Other presenters will be Eileen Morgan and John Ziegler, the California filmmaker who released the documentary called “The Framing of Joe Paterno.”
“I want them to take away what the mainstream media reports (are) not always 100 percent true,” said Morgan, a Penn State alumna from Woodbridge, Va. “Our main purpose, as always, is to continue to search for the truth. Wherever that leads us, that’s where we’ll go.”
Morgan and Blehar organized the “March 4 Truth” rally against the Penn State board of trustees at the tail end of its meeting in September. Ziegler is also known for publishing prison phone interviews with Sandusky.
The presentation will be followed by a panel discussion that includes Rob Tribeck, a member of the alumni group Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship, and two-time Penn State trustee candidate Ryan Bagwell.
Penn State trustee Anthony Lubrano had previously said he would sit on the panel, but on Thursday he said will not be able to attend.
Bagwell, a Penn State alumnus living outside Madison, Wis., is waging several court battles in Pennsylvania. One of those is an open-records request under the state’s Right-to-Know Law for emails from the investigative team of Louis Freeh to Ron Tomalis, the former Penn State trustee and state education secretary who was on the special task force that hired Freeh.
Harris will moderate the panel discussion.
Paterno was fired Nov. 9, 2011, by the board. The legendary coach died a few months later, on Jan. 22, 2012, from lung cancer.
(This report was updated to reflect that Lubrano will not participate in the panel discussion and that Ziegler's film had already been released.)