Former Penn State president Rodney Erickson was once a highly respected university provost, and rightly so.
Now most of the Penn State community despises him for his role in accepting the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s questionable sanctions, removal of the Paterno statue and support for the Nov. 9, 2011, board of trustees’ incompetent, cowardly and dysfunctional actions.
In 2012, Penn State board trustees Kenneth Frazier and Karen Peetz affirmed the Freeh report’s inaccurate and dishonest findings that Penn State had somehow enabled Jerry Sandusky’s crimes against children.
Then, when the NCAA used their statements as an excuse to impose sanctions on Penn State, they failed to remind the NCAA that they had no authority to speak on Penn State’s behalf.
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Peetz and Frazier were far from the only trustees responsible for the resulting disaster, but their colleagues were smart enough to keep their names off it.
The Commonwealth Court recently opined this board’s failure to question or challenge the financial part of the consequent NCAA sanctions constituted dereliction of fiduciary duty.
Erickson, as well as Penn State, therefore, deserved far better from the trustees who ostensibly begged him to become president in the first place.
Although the alumni have fired about half these trustees, or encouraged them to self-deport, Eric Barron needs to make sure the others who set Erickson up for failure do not do the same to him by embroiling him in the NCAA controversy.
William A. Levinson