Penn State trustees, taking ‘full responsibility’ for the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, announced initial steps to recover the university's tarnished reputation. Some say much more will have to be done, especially changing a campus culture in which sports coaches are idolized.
Gene J. Puskar/AP
It’s likely to take years for Penn State to fully recover from the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal that has blotted the reputation of the university and its most senior officials, including legendary head football coach Joe Paterno.
The board – which itself was criticized in the Freeh report for failing to create an environment in which much of the abuse might have been prevented – has begun by accepting what board chair Karen Peetz calls “full responsibility” for its failures.
Notably, the federal Clery Act of 1990 requiring the compilation and reporting of crime statistics, including sexual offenses, had never become policy at Penn State. Under the Clery Act – named for a young woman sexually assaulted and murdered in a Lehigh University dorm room in 1986 – Penn State officials were obliged to report Mr. Sandusky’s known activities to law enforcement officials.
"Our hearts are heavy and we are deeply ashamed," said trustee Ken Frazier. "We failed to ask the tough questions. We failed to push the issue."
IN PICTURES: Fallout from the Penn State scandal
Penn State President Rodney Erickson, who replaced Graham Spanier when the latter was fired, pronounced himself “horrified” when he learned of the allegations against Sandusky last November.
In his report to the trustees Friday, Mr. Erickson said: