Penn State is trying to regain the trust of its alumni, and part of the plan calls for president Rodney Erickson to appear at town hall meetings around the state.
Not surprisingly, Erickson has been grilled about Joe Paterno and the school's Nov. 9 firing of the legendary coach.
As a result, a public relations operation that has been playing catchup from the start of this mess kicked into gear again Thursday afternoon. Penn State issued the following statement on Paterno's dismissal, from Board of Trustees chair Steve Garban and Board of Trustees vice-chairman John Shurma, who made the infamous announcement the night of Nov. 9.
"Many alumni have asked why the Board decided to remove Coach Paterno from his position as Head Football Coach. On Wednesday, November 9, Coach Paterno announced that he would retire at the conclusion of the 2011 football season. Given the nature of the serious allegations contained in the Grand Jury Report and the extraordinary circumstances then facing the University, the Board's unanimous judgment was that Coach Paterno could not be expected to continue to effectively perform his duties and that it was in the best interests of the University to make an immediate change in his status. Therefore, the Board acted to remove Coach Paterno from his position as Head Football Coach effective as of that date. Coach Paterno remains employed by the University as a tenured faculty member. The details of his retirement are being worked out and will be made public when they are finalized. Generally speaking, the University intends to honor the terms of his employment contract and is treating him financially as if he had retired at the end of the 2011 football season."
Not too much new other than Paterno's continued employment as a tenured faculty member and that his retirement details are being worked out.