Recent court depositions, and the discovery process for the Paterno estate’s lawsuit against the NCAA, show that the Paterno statue should have never been removed.
It therefore needs to be returned to its rightful place effective immediately.
Trustees Kenneth Frazier and Keith Masser were forced to admit under oath that they and their colleagues, as of Nov. 9, 2011, not only scapegoated Joe Paterno for public relations reasons, but then lied about this in March 2012 when they said they fired Paterno for “failure of leadership.” Masser’s deposition says, “The decision to remove Paterno had nothing to do with what he had known, what he hadn’t done.
It was based upon the distraction of having him on the sidelines would have caused the university and the current football team harm.”
Nobody who scapegoats any subordinate is qualified to hold any position of trust, and no organization can afford to tolerate liars in responsible positions. Discovery in the Paterno estate’s lawsuit, meanwhile, obtained an email in which ex-Trustee Paul Suhey directed former President Rodney Erickson to remove the statue to placate the now-disgraced NCAA.
“I don’t care if you have to bring your own bulldozer over and drag it to your farm, do it!” Suhey wrote, to which Erickson replied, “That’s precisely what I’m trying to do, Paul. Was on the phone earlier with Mark Emmert.”
As far as I can tell, Suhey had no authority as an individual trustee to give Erickson this directive, and Erickson had no right to obey it.