Paterno tribute

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Recent headlines and stories state that Penn State trustees canceled a tribute to Joe Paterno that was scheduled to be made by President Rodney Erikson (“Penn State Trustees Canceled Paterno Tribute,” March 26). With information that was previously confidential coming out, it can be told that appearances are not all they seem.

It is true that the week Joe Paterno died, President Erickson planned a statement honoring Joe Paterno. However, many news sources reported that the day after he shared the five-paragraph tribute with school trustees via email, Penn State apparently reversed course, newly released records show.

What the records do not show, because they were not all released, is that trustees were informed — not asked to take formal action — about the statement. My response to Rod and the rest of the board upon seeing the expected tribute was three words.

“Yes. Well done.”

I expected the tribute to be made and supported it. I was informed the next day that President Erickson had decided not to issue the statement. I did not reverse course and will be posting these emails on my website at

I have supported an appropriate tribute to Joe Paterno, including the expected statement by President Erickson and my statements before the board of trustees in public session as recently as January that Joe Paterno be honored in front of the library he funded with a new statue.

Attempts to vilify and single out alumni trustees are misplaced and the facts show it.

Penn State Board of Trustees
State College, Pa.

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