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An Open Letter to the Penn State Board Of Trustees

In light of the recent changes, including the dismissal of Coach Paterno and President Spanier, it's clear that the Trustees are moving forward and trying to create accountability. For this I applaud you. I urge you to continue cooperating with the investigators and determining what crimes have been committed.

Penn State is a great institution of higher learning. To that it owes much gratitude to its football program. The sports program has generated significant interest and revenue, and both are critical for a successful education program.

Unfortunately, I think the University needs to do more than simply removing people who made poor decisions.

My recommendation, although unprecedented, I believe would warm the hearts of the tens of thousands of students and alumni, as well as the thousands of faculty members and employees across the state. It's important to maintain an exceptional level of integrity within the educational structure. That begins with an exceptional gesture.

I would like to see Penn State offer free education, not only to victims of crime, but to every child who participated in the program at any point in the history of the program. Each of these children was at some level of risk, and each of the parents are going through some level of anguish today.

I recognize that the majority of the program participants are adults today. Therefore I also recommend that Penn State offer free education to their children as well.

Yes, this could reach into millions of dollars of scholarship value, but compared to the hundreds of millions generated during Coach Paterno's tenure, I think you would be an appropriate gesture.

Ultimately your institution is designed with education in mind, therefore I believe that education should be the gift given to those whom were placed at risk within the walls of your facilities.

The majority of the people involved in this scandal are good people, Coach Paterno included, who made bad decisions. It's up to the Board of Trustees not only to hold people accountable for bad decisions, but they have the opportunity to make good decisions on their behalf.

Granting significant scholarships would be a first step. I assume you are considering several options on a smaller scale. My belief is that donations to underprivileged kids, or settlements with victims and their families will appear more like publicity than true penitence.

The Trustees must exceed the public's expectation if they are to win back any trust and goodwill whatsoever.

Sincerely,

Jason C. Tweed

Comments

  1. I want everyone to know, while I am saddened and somewhat angered, I'd still believe Penn State is an exceptional university. I believe that Coach Paterno is a good man with high integrity. Several high integrity people made bad decisions in this situation but that should not tarnish permanently the good they've done. I think the University has an opportunity as well as an obligation to its students, alumni, faculty and fans to set a new standard of integrity.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous10:10:00 AM

    I agree whole heartedly with it all! Some good people made exceptionally BAD choices when it came to this. I think that it's the subject that made it easier to make BAD choices. One of the reasons that child abuse is so insidious is that NO ONE wants to talk about it, to confront it, it is an unpleasant subject that most people just want to go away. This was something constantly swept under the rug and now it's out for everyone to see. I think giving educational scholarships would do far more lasting good than to throw money at the situation (lawsuits) and hope it all goes away. Also, it might even be cheaper in the long run.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous1:03:00 PM

    Jason...Perhaps generating a petition with this as the cover letter would help add wieght to your statements. I agree with you 100%. There are 3 parts in the process for the perpetrator, accountability, rehabilitation, and making the victim whole. Although the university did not committ the crimes, they are responsible..respondeat superior..."let the master answer" is commonplace and should certainly apply here. Rehabilitation is up to the perpetrator. I certainly hope that (along with time in prison) they will receive treatment so that somewhere along the way they will realize the switch we have that sets off the "NO, that's wrong" response...didn't work for them. As far as making the victim whole..never gonna happen. No amount of money won in a lawsuit..or any other compensation will stop the nighmares, give them back their innocence, or take away the pain they will and have endured.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for your comments, and for sharing the links on Facebook and Google+.

    One bit of good that may come from this... I hope other NCAA sports powerhouses recognize the backlash. They need to see that a university can see repercussions, in this case, many years after the crime.

    Sweeping something under the rug is far more dangerous than facing it. A scandal like this would have been embarrassing nine years ago, but not the punch in the face the university is experiencing today.

    Hopefully other schools will recognize that public perception and sports dollars are not more important than integrity.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous9:11:00 PM

    There is no way I would approve of the boards decision on how to inform JoPa. JoPa never was indicted and not all facts have been disclosed. The board acted like cowards and I feel they dishonored their position. They could have had the professionalism to have informed JoPa in person.

    ReplyDelete

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