Trustee: Penn State president Erickson to decide on Paterno statue

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Penn State University president Rodney Erickson wants school trustees to weigh in with him individually on the volatile question of whether a statue of late head football coach Joe Paterno should be removed from Beaver Stadium, a school trustee said today.

Anthony Lubrano said a number of trustees including him participated in a conference call Thursday night and were asked by the school's president to offer their opinions by email, over the phone or in person.

He said Mr. Erickson, rather than the board, will make the ultimate call regarding the statute.

Penn State said Tuesday it expects by next week to decide whether the monument should come down given findings in a school-commissioned investigative report that Mr. Paterno participated in an effort by top Penn State administrators to withhold from authorities word of a 2001 child sex assault on campus by former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

Mr. Lubrano said the school president is soliciting views regarding the statue from other Penn State constituencies, including alumni and student groups.

Mr. Lubrano described as "patently false" reports today that said trustees voted Thursday night to remove the statue.

"He's asking all the constituent groups for their input, which he should do, but the decision is his," Mr. Lubrano said of Mr. Erickson.

Mr. Lubrano said the conference call was informational and "more for us to talk about the logistics of team building exercises," upcoming meetings and related matters.

The conference call took place the same day that former board chairman Steve Garban announced his resignation from the board.

Mr. Erickson was not immediately available for comment today

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Bill Schackner: or 412-263-1977. First Published July 20, 2012 8:30 PM


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