By Dan Bernstein–
CBSChicago.com senior columnist
(CBS) Even in trying to do what they think to outsiders looks like the right thing, Penn State continues to expose itself as an institution with deep and endemic problems in handling the child rape scandal on its campus.
Trustee Al Lord last week said he was “running out of sympathy” for the “so-called” victims of Jerry Sandusky, and Lord has been one of those actively embracing appalling, fringe truther scenarios that try to exonerate convicted administrators and somehow clear the ruined name of Joe Paterno. The swift reaction to Lord’s shocking comments resulted in the end to his board re-election bid, and the board issued a statement Thursday urging his immediate ouster, saying Lord’s remarks were “offensive and embarrassing to the majority of the members of the Board of Trustees.”
So in other words, a meaningful number of board members didn’t find his thoughts offensive or embarrassing, and that’s because many agree with him. A growing faction led by conspiracy-theory-enthusiast Anthony Lubrano has been trying to pack the board with like-minded thinkers for years, with the goal being the restoration of the Paterno statue next to the football stadium.
These are people entrusted with the responsibility of directing a university, and they still remain too obsessed with creating alternate realities in which no boys were raped, no leaders were convicted of endangerment and no coaches were shamed. This is after $93 million paid by the school to compensate victims.
The scary downside to the immediate removal of Lord from the Penn State Board of Trustees is the very real possibility that the person replacing him will be even crazier and more dangerous.