Penn State Alums Fume Over Handling of Scandal

President tours state to discuss Sandusky aftermath, Paterno firing
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2012 9:21 AM CST
Penn State Alums Fume Over Jerry Sandusky Aftermath, Joe Paterno Firing
Penn State University President Rodney Erickson gives a thumbs up before a town hall meeting with alumni Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012, in King of Prussia, Pa.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Penn State's president is holding town-hall meetings for alums as fallout from the Jerry Sandusky scandal continues, and audiences aren't going easy on the school's leader—especially where Joe Paterno is concerned. At his second of three stops, Rodney Erickson heaped the blamed squarely on Sandusky, the AP reports. "It grieves me very much when I hear people say 'the Penn State scandal.' This is not Penn State. This is 'the Sandusky scandal,'" he said. "We're not going to let what one individual did destroy the reputation of this university."

Alumni attendees weren't so sure. "You said it's not a Penn State scandal, but it is, because perception is reality," said one. Most audience queries focused on Paterno's firing. "I'm a big Joe Pa fan, and I think he was treated unjustly," said one alumnus. Several asked if Erickson plans to apologize to Paterno. Erickson said it was not his place, since the board had fired Paterno. He frequently reminded the audience that he reports to the board, and can't tell them what to do. But another alumnus complained that Erickson "takes his marching orders from the Board of Trustees," which has "sent him out on this three-day spree." (More Penn State stories.)

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