Penn State’s insurance company reportedly balked at paying compensation to Jerry Sandusky’s victims on the grounds that the policy covered, at most, one incident of sexual abuse of a person in Penn State’s care or custody. Penn State’s trustees, as led by Karen Peetz and Keith Masser, therefore paid out roughly $90 million of the university’s money on the assumption that insurance would cover it.
Suppose for example that an uninsured drunk driver causes a 30-car pile-up that involves me and my own vehicle. If I tell the all the other motorists that I am responsible and that my insurer will pay for their injuries and property damage, my insurer will rightfully tell me that I am on my own.
Penn State’s trustees similarly accepted responsibility for damages in which Penn State almost certainly played no role whatsoever, and then asked their insurer to pay for their crisis mismanagement and rush to judgment. This is why Penn State’s students and the commonwealth’s taxpayers are likely to end up stuck with the bill, and rightfully so — not because they did anything wrong but because their trustees looked for the easiest way, rather than the right way, to handle the Sandusky crisis.
William A. Levinson, Wilkes-Barre