Letters to the Editor

Paying for bad decisions

Penn State’s trustees, as “led” by John Surma, Rodney Erickson, Karen Peetz, and now Keith Masser, thought they could put the Jerry Sandusky scandal behind them by paying more than $90 million to everybody who claimed to have been abused by Sandusky. These include, as I understand, individuals whom Sandusky was not even charged with abusing.

The trustees also thought they could sell their public relations problem to the university’s insurance company, Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association Insurance Co. Rodney Erickson even assured state Sen. Michael Stack of this in his letter of Dec. 11, 2011: “It is the expectation of the university’s administration that our liability insurance will cover any obligation arising from civil lawsuits.”

Recent rulings by Judge Gary Glazer in a lawsuit between Penn State and PMA show that the trustees thought wrongly, and now the university’s students and the commonwealth’s taxpayers are likely to have to pay for the board’s mismanagement of the Sandusky crisis. It is simply not fair to PMA or PMA’s other customers to have PMA pay for the board’s reckless acceptance of responsibility, on Penn State’s behalf, for mostly unproven actions in which Penn State played no role.

William A. Levinson, Wilkes-Barre