Don Van Natta says "PSU (BoT) expected to ratify sanctions (officially)".
The Penn State University board of trustees will hold a special meeting Sunday and is expected to formally ratify the consent decree of sanctions agreed to last month by university president Rodney Erickson and the NCAA, "Outside the Lines" has learned.
Board chairwoman Karen Peetz called the meeting "so that there can be no misunderstanding as to where we as the board stand."
Erickson and the NCAA signed a consent decree on July 23 that laid out a package of sanctions against the university and football program as a result of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. The sanctions include a $60 million fine, a four-year bowl ban, scholarship losses and the vacating of wins from 1998-2011.
The resolution the board will consider states "the process followed by the (NCAA) was unfortunate and the punitive sanctions are difficult," and refers to the consent decree as "binding."
The outcome of Sunday's meeting seems almost certain, sources told "Outside the Lines," because two straw polls about whether to appeal the sanctions were taken by a quorum of trustees during a conference call Tuesday.
So it looks like Peetz and the full BoT is trying to head off that NCAA lawsuit by the Paterno-loyalist trustees.
Also, Adam Rittenberg reports that "O'Brien urges Penn Staters to move forward".
But he also made it clear that the Penn State community needs to start turning the page. O'Brien referenced this several times during his media briefing Thursday:
- "This is a special place. Now we all have to come together and realize we're in the position we're in. We have to. We have to stop arguing about it, and we've got to move forward."
- "I've got to make sure that our football team does a great job of coming together, playing as good of football as they can play and then involving themselves in the community in many ways because we've got to move forward. I always talk about this meeting can't be a review of the last meeting. We have to accomplish what we did in the last meeting, implement those ideas and then move on to the next meeting. We've got to get going that way, forward. So that is my goal with this football team. Hopefully, that helps the university."
- "We're very mindful of what happened here. But it's time to stop the dour attitude, it's time to think about ways to help us through this. It's time to understand that we've got to move the university, the athletic department and the football team forward."
O'Brien sent a direct message here without doing it in an overly direct way.
It's a free country, and if people want to file appeals, even on actions that aren't appealable like NCAA sanctions, they can. But does that help O'Brien and the Penn State program? Is it merely creating more distractions for a team that has more than its share the past 10 months? Is it further hurting the perception of Penn State?
I exchanged emails with a member of Penn State's Letterman's Club earlier this week. He said he supported the appeal from the former players, but also felt it was a distraction for O'Brien and the current team.
At some point, it stops becoming about restoring legacies or wins or blasting the NCAA or the university president or the board of trustees. At some point, the focus and energy needs to shift toward what's happening now and what will happen in the future.
[bold in quote is mine - NC]
Rittenberg's article is important in that he's pointing out to readers the fine-line that BOB is trying to walk here. BOB's actually trying to talk this batshit crazy fanbase off of the ledge and focus on the future. It really could blow up in his face if he's not careful. Because "how dare you draw attention away from the Paternos and our virtuous leader?"
When all is said and done, it appears that the cult is Paterno's actual legacy at Penn State. Good luck BOB, I hope you're successful. You might want to hire some security for your family though.