Four days after tales of alleged child rape perpetrated by Jerry Sandusky surfaced in a Grand Jury presentment formalizing dozens of criminal charges against the former Penn State football coach, Sara Ganim and Jan Murphy of the HARRISBURG PATRIOT-NEWS reported of a power struggle within the Penn State Board of Trustees.
Excerpt fom the Nov. 9, 2011, Patriot-News story:
Inside Old Main, the iconic Penn State administration building, a faction of the board of trustees is standing up to take control of the sex-abuse controversy engulfing the university.
That group does not include board Chairman Steve Garban, the former Penn State treasurer and vice president for finance and operations. Sources suggest a new chairman could be named soon.
Trustees lack confidence in Garban’s ability to lead the university out of this mess given his close relationships with (Tim) Curley, (Gary) Schultz and university President Graham Spanier, sources said.
Yesterday, sources indicated Spanier’s job and that of head football coach Joe Paterno were in trouble over their handling of the sex-abuse allegations. The board is creating a committee to investigate the scandal.
The trustees dislike how a few board members appeared to have been notified that charges against Curley and Schultz were imminent while the vast majority of trustees were left in the dark until Saturday.
On Saturday afternoon, shortly after Attorney General Kelly released the indictment, some board members were told they should wait until Thursday to discuss the charges. That didn’t sit well with everyone. A core group demanded, and got, an emergency meeting within 24 hours, sources say.
Twenty trustees made their way to State College for the Sunday night meeting, while others called in by phone. It was at that session that the board began to question Garban’s leadership, and a faction began to coalesce around the need to take assertive actions.
Some trustees believe the university’s handling of the matter has been bungled. Sources said the statement issued Saturday by Spanier vowing his unconditional support to Curley and Schultz caught some by surprise — and disgusted them.
Hours after the Patriot-News report about the PSU Board of Trustees’ dissatisfaction with Garban’s leadership, Paterno was fired. Before the Nov. 9, 2011, press conference announcement of Paterno’s ouster, Garban told the gathered media, “The Board has asked John to head up all Board activities on the current matters.”
“John” was John Surma, Chairman & CEO of U.S. Steel and Vice Chairman of the Penn State Board of Trustees. It was Surma who then announced Paterno’s firing and took questions from a frenzied group of media and students.
But just two days after Garban ceded to Surma on “all Board activities on the current matters,” Garban himself announced on Nov. 11, 2011 - via official Penn State press release - the creation of a “special investigation committee“ that would “undertake a full and complete investigation of the circumstances that gave rise to the grand jury report. The committee will be commissioned to determine what failures occurred, who is responsible and what measures are necessary to ensure that this never happens again.”
From the official PSU release:
“There will be full accountability for those found responsible,” said Steve Garban, chair of the board. “All resources will be made available for the committee to fulfill its charge and there will be no restrictions placed on its scope or activities.”
Garban said when the investigation is complete, a full report will be given to the board at one of its regular meetings.
“Trustee Frazier has agreed to chair this important committee in this endeavor,” Garban said. “He’s experienced, seasoned and will provide the leadership necessary to prevail.”
48 hours earlier, the Patriot-News had reported that its sources were suggesting, “a new chairman could be named soon.”
Today, nothing has changed.
Perhaps the fact that Garban was instrumental in quickly promoting longtime Penn State administrator Rod Erickson from “acting president” to “president” - in less than 48 hours - has something to do with Garban’s unchanged status atop the Penn State Board of Trustees.
From the CENTRE (PA) DAILY TIMES on Nov. 18, 2011:
On Thursday, university spokesman Bill Mahon confirmed that Rod Erickson is the university’s new president, and there are no plans to conduct any search to fill the job.
While Erickson was named the acting president initially, Mahon said trustees soon agreed to change that to president — prior Nov. 11 trustees meeting, at which board Chairman Steve Garban introduced him as president and pledged the trustees’ support for him.
Or the fact that the media and public is apparently unaware of the intimate involvement of Garban’s son with “The Second Mile”, a charity Sandusky now appears to have set up to help him target children for sexual abuse.
For years the son of Steve Garban, Drew Garban, was an acting member of The Second Mile’s Board of Directors - right up until Sandusky’s arrest. (Garban’s name was, like many others, scrubbed from the charity’s website after details of Sandusky’s alleged sexual crimes against children were revealed.)
The Arthur C. and Evelyn M. Sandusky Society recognizes those individuals who have made an estate provision for, or a planned or deferred gift commitment to, The Second Mile. These gift commitments could include a bequest in a will or living trust, the designation of The Second Mile as the beneficiary of a retirement plan, a charitable remainder trust, the gift of a life insurance policy naming The Second Mile as beneficiary, and/or the execution of an estate note. We wish to thank the members of this society for providing a foundation for the future of our organization.
In addition to raising funds from those who wished to bequeath assets from their estate to The Second Mile, the Arthur C. and Evelyn M. Sandusky Society was set up to recognize Jerry Sandusky’s parents - who also created a charitable organization that included a boarding house for wayward youth. A house where Sandusky spent part of his youth.
In the same Centre Daily Times Nov. 18, 2011, piece that noted PSU Board Chair Steve Garban fronting the permanent hire of Rod Erickson as Penn State President, it was reported that Penn State University Trustee David Joyner had taken over as Penn State’s “acting athletic director” in place of Curley, who is now facing charges he lied to a Grand Jury when questioned about his role in reporting alleged crimes related to the sexual abuse of children by Sandusky in the Penn State locker room in 2002.
In the past two weeks, Penn State Athletic Department sources have told SbB that Joyner wants to hire interim Penn State football coach Tom Bradley as the school’s permanent football coach going forward. Bradley will reportedly interview for the position as soon as next week. (Bradley was reportedly a longtime, close friend of Sandusky and lived with Mike McQueary from 2006-07.)
Steve Garban was the leader who, as Chairman of the Penn State Board of Trustees, ultimately oversaw an environment which undeniably placed the personal desires of individual adults - and their business interests - above the welfare of children.
And despite Garban’s close relationship with all those involved with the alleged Sandusky child rape coverup, and his son’s intimate involvement in the operation of Sandusky’s charity as an acting Second Mile Board member and extraordinary financial contributor, the child-endangering environment at Penn State clearly remains alive and well.