Suppose you have fiduciary responsibility for an organization and you discover that an outside entity used a threat to compel one of your employees to sign over $60 million of that organization’s money without consulting you.
I don’t know what Penn State’s trustees think their duty might be in that situation, but I would regard it as mine to call my organization’s attorneys.
As reported by the news media, the NCAA not only threatened to shut down Penn State’s football program unless President Rodney Erickson agreed to sanctions the NCAA might well have had no right to impose, but it did not even allow him to consult the trustees.
“Several trustees said they are furious the board was not given a chance to vote on the agreement, which they say is bad for Penn State,” an ESPN report said.
NCAA Executive Committee President Ed Ray denied, however, that the death penalty was ever on the table. Former NCAA investigator Ameen Najjar went even further by saying, “The NCAA had/has no authority to impose any penalties in that situation and PSU’s president sold the school down the river!”
Why haven’t the trustees taken any identifiable action to address this situation?
Karen Peetz and Kenneth Frazier may well have undermined the board’s ability to defend the university by affirming the Freeh report’s findings of guilt last July — without apparently bothering to read the report first.
If they had done so, they would have found the numerous defects and deficiencies that others have found.
William A. Levinson