Penn State

Billboards targeting Penn State board of trustees, Corbett go up around Harrisburg

Penn Staters unhappy with the university’s response to the Jerry Sandusky scandal are using billboards to spread their message.

“IF? Penn State’s Trustees are responsible for oversight why haven’t they resigned,” asks one of the messages on electronic billboards in the Harrisburg area.

Penn State graduate Jim Diebold said the hope is that people who see them will give the messages some thought and ask questions.

“Enough time has lapsed where a lot of the hysteria has calmed a bit. Hopefully, people will take the time when they see a message that should be thought provoking given what transpired over the last year,” Diebold, of Mechanicsburg, said.

There are six messages rotating on three billboards. The messages take aim at the Louis Freeh report, Gov. Tom Corbett — the attorney general when the Sandusky investigation began — and Penn State trustees.

“WHY? was Governor Corbett so quick to blame Joe Paterno and so slow to prosecute Jerry Sandusky,” another message reads.

Corbett has defended the length of time the investigation took and how it was done. A Penn State spokesman declined to comment.

Penn State trustees’ response to the Sandusky scandal, including the decision to fire Paterno as coach, fueled outrage among some alumni. Since then, the board-commissioned report by Louis Freeh and its questioning the “culture” at Penn State has also sparked anger in some fans. The report points to Paterno and three former Penn State administrators as trying to conceal abuse by Sandusky.

Diebold said the idea that what occurred was a product of the culture at Penn State is wrong.

“I think we all know that’s so far from the truth it’s almost comical,” he said.

The billboards will probably be up for a couple of weeks, Diebold said. Those behind them — referred to as Penn Staters 4 Truth — aren’t an organization, just a group of “like-minded people.”