Penn State football coach Bill O'Brien wants the university to consider a proposal to ask the NCAA to modify the heavy sanctions against Nittany Lions. O'Brien also considers lawsuits like the ones filed by Pennsylvania's governor, a state senator, and the Paterno family to be detrimental to that cause. This is all according to a presentation O'Brien gave this morning to PSU's board of trustees in what was supposed to be a closed executive session. So how do we know this? Because the meeting took place in a room with glass doors so anyone in the hallway could look in and see. A new era of transparency at Penn State!
Though not allowed inside, Mike Dawson of the Centre Daily Times had an unobstructed view of O'Brien's entire presentation:
It’s not clear what the proposal entails or when the request would be made to the NCAA.
One of the presentation slides had the heading “potential proposal to modify sanctions” and one had a heading concerning the impact of the scholarship reductions that are part of the sanctions.
Another slide read “Individual lawsuits do not help us!” with the words “do not” underlined and in capital letters.
That slide said the lawsuits would discourage the NCAA from working with Penn State to modify the consent decree. The lawsuits would result in “bad press,” the slide also read.
Dawson's report says O'Brien got a standing ovation from the board after he was finished. No vote was taken, and individual trustees declined to comment after the meeting was over. The university's lawyer said the meeting was "purely informational" and thus was permitted to be a closed executive session under Pennsylvania's sunshine law. It's the first anniversary of the release of the Freeh report, and the Penn State community remains bitterly divided over its findings. The board may also vote today—in a public session—on a proposal to settle claims with some of Jerry Sandusky's victims.
Photo: Associated Press