Now that former Penn State president Graham Spanier has spoken, the facts in the matter of the Sandusky scandal and Penn State’s decade-long cover-up should be clear, right?
Clear as mud.
Do you believe Spanier? We’re back to “he said, she said, they said” with little hope of gleaning the truth. Stories continue to diverge. Spanier’s media story even conflicts with his past utterances and positions. If you ask this Turkey, there’s something rotten in the state of Denmark.
Invoking Shakespeare brings back distant echoes of Joe Paterno, but I digress.
Spanier is certainly bent upon clearing his name. Beyond that, he wants to steer clear of indictment, which some pundits believe is on the near horizon. His attorneys have gone over the Freeh report with a fine-toothed comb, categorically exposing all of its flaws and shoddy conclusions, inflaming the senses of the contingent of you out there (this Turkey included) who believe that Penn State was railroaded by Freeh at the behest of the University’s own board of trustees. Through counsel, former Penn State administrators Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, who are awaiting trial for perjury, supported the findings of Spanier’s attorneys.
Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship (PS4RS) stated the following in preparation for issuing a comprehensive analysis of the errors in the Freeh report:
“In [the August 22] press conference regarding characterization of Dr. Graham Spanier within the Freeh Report, his attorney, the Honorable Timothy Lewis, a former United States federal judge, could have no more clearly stated the position of Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship when he said, ‘Penn State University deserved better and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania deserved better.’ We would add, that under the leadership of the Board of Trustees, specifically the students, parents and alumni of Penn State also have deserved far better. Every criticism articulated by Judge Lewis today should have been obvious to each and every member of the Board of Trustees when — and if — they reviewed the Freeh Report in detail. With the perspective today of more than 50 years of federal investigative and judicial experience, it is more clear than ever that the Board of Trustees has failed in their fiduciary responsibility to Penn State by allowing such a blatant distortion of facts and rush to judgement to be the foundation for NCAA sanctions, Middle State accreditation warnings, and scathing deterioration of the Penn State brand. We call for their collective resignation immediately.”
Conspiracy theorists got a boost from Spanier’s denials and his attorneys’ work, at least momentarily. I believe that these conclusions, comforting as they may be, are premature, as the “truth” is ever changing.
The flawed Freeh report muddied the waters even before Spanier’s attorneys rebuked it. However, the current university president, Rod Erickson, and the board of trustees allegedly accepted the report as is. The board wants to move on with business, but how can that happen if new versions of the story continue to emerge? Now, we’ve got a divided house, with the “quest for truth” contingent squaring off against the “move on” group. Erickson and the majority of the board of trustees are in the “move on” group.
Spanier’s protestations of his own personal detachment from the affair smacks of plausible deniability. Did he run the University or did he not?
The Penn State Faculty Senate has now entered the fray as a disbeliever in the Freeh report. A spokesman for that group claimed that neither Erickson nor the board of trustees had formally accepted it as factual or accurate, contrary to what the NCAA claimed when it put the screws to Erickson.
This morning, Sara Ganim, the Patriot-News reporter most closely associated with the Sandusky scandal, wrote about inconsistencies between the board and Spanier on several elements of his story. I’ve pointed out some others in passing, and more have been and will continue to be unearthed by analysts more diligent than this lazy old Turkey. With doubt cast on these issues, we’re back to flailing around seeking the truth.
Finally, the ever controversial Greg Doyel of CBS Sports adds his two cents.
So, now, the prosecutors have a sneak preview of the defense Spanier’s lawyers will lay out for them. Will they indict him or not, already?