Who is Vicky Triponey?

Who is Vicky Triponey?
And why does she hate Joe Paterno?

Hell hath no fury like a woman spurned. And there is no doubt that Vicky Triponey was spurned by Joe Paterno.

Triponey was hired in 2003 by Graham Spanier after a rocky and controversial stint at the University of Connecticut. Within months of her arrival at Penn State she began a “Reign of Terror” aimed at consolidating power within her Office of Student Affairs and crushing or eliminating anything or anyone that challenged that power.

She began by dismantling the Student Organization Appeals Board. This Board, composed of students, faculty and administrators, heard appeals from organizations like the student government and the fraternity council. Triponey became the sole arbiter of of any questions or disputes, with no appeal possible.

She then informed the campus radio station, LION 90.7, that all funding would be terminated unless her office was given direct control over programming and content. She famously warned, “the first thing to go will be Radio Free Penn State” — the popular talk show known for its frank criticism of some of the administration’s decisions.

Triponey next turned on the Student Supreme Court which was part of the Undergraduate Student Government (USG). For fifty years, the Court effectively registered and oversaw student organizations. Again, she usurped all decision-making power and became the judge and jury herself.

After, essentially dissolving the USG, the student government, and replacing it with an organization under her direct control, she decided it was time to butt heads with Joe Paterno.

In 2007, she pounced on an off-campus incident: Anthony Scirrotto, a safety on the football team, and his girlfriend were accosted and assaulted by three drunken students on a State College street. Two of those attackers were subsequently found guilty of harassment and criminal mischief. Later that evening, Scirrotto and a number of his teammates met up with the attackers at an off-campus apartment party, where a confrontation and fight ensued.

In a series of emails to Dr. Spanier, Triponey insisted that she alone had the responsibility to discipline the players involved and indicated that suspension or expulsion was called for. Joe Paterno pointed out that since the incidents were off-campus and everyone involved was facing criminal trials, it was necessary to wait for DUE PROCESS to take its course and that in the meantime he would, as always, determine team discipline.

Ultimately, all charges against Scirroto were dismissed in exchange for a guilty plea to misdemeanor trespass resulting in a fine of $500 and 25 hours of community service.

Joe used the incident as a teaching moment, sentencing the WHOLE TEAM to a season of after-game stadium cleanup duty. When Triponey protested and insisted that she alone should determine the fate of the players, Joe said he really didn’t think she understood teenagers very well, having never had children of her own. (Ouch!)

That set her off on another round of emails and threats. By this time she had made so many enemies on campus and was creating so much turmoil, that Dr. Spanier asked for her resignation, acknowledging the mistake he had made four years earlier.

Now, with Joe gone and Spanier sidelined, Triponey gets to play her “I told you so” card in a very receptive media environment, obscuring the plain truth that absolutely nothing she did or didn’t do in her disastrous tenure at Penn State had any relationship whatsoever to the Sandusky affair and it’s aftermath.

Even Louis Freeh ignored her complaints in his biased summary of his investigation. We don’t know if she influenced Mark Emmert. What we do know is that she is a bitter, disgruntled former employee who was spurned by Penn State and Coach Paterno.

And that she believes she understands kids in their late teens and early 20’s better than a man who spent 61 years mentoring them. And who helped raise five of his own kids and 17 grandchildren.

That’s who Vicky Triponey is. And that’s why she hates Joe Paterno.

82 thoughts on “Who is Vicky Triponey?

  1. Thank you, very interesting. This account is at odds with what I remember was reported in NY Times last fall, which (if my recollection is accurate) said that Joe objected to allowing this incident to be pursued by State College police — wanted it to be handled internally — and punished entire team rather than allowing PSU to take disciplinary action against the individual players. Can you provide news articles or other documentation in support of your version? I would like to have a solid basis for telling your version of the story to doubters.

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  2. I believe the article you are referring to was in the Wall Street Journal originally and it was based on an interview with Triponey, herself, four years after the incident. There’re are many contemporary articles and there is a very long and consistent record of Coach Paterno taking a hands-off policy to any court proceedings involving players. The issue here really came down to whether Triponey’s Office of Student Affairs had jurisdiction over an off-campus incident which had already resulted in arrests by the State College police and was in the process of being adjudicated.

    Ultimately the most serious convictions were of the two non-players that attacked Scirotto and his girlfriend. Scirotto and another player pled guilty to misdemeanor trespass and all other charges against the players were dismissed in court.

    Joe decided to punish the team collectively for the poor judgement of a few, pointing out that student-athletes were role models and were held to a higher standard than their fellow students. He knew that peer pressure from their teammates would have a lasting effect on future behavior and he was proved right. None of these players were involved in any further problems.

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  3. Great article Gary. I can’t believe any respectable university would employ her. She should be working night shift by herself at a package store where she couldn’t adversely affect any more kids.

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  4. Mill Run. Really?? Whether you went to PSU or not you should at least recognize that the school really doesn’t need individuals that want such power and internal reviews instead of police and law handling things.

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  5. To: Gary Levitt
    Myke Triebold
    Susan Newkirk Lewis
    And your readers

    I believe I said somewhere that if any of the people intent on attempting to destroy my wife by circulating vicious lies such as those referenced below did so in their own names, I would respond in kind. Thus I write in what is probably a vain effort to tell the truth should any of you care.

    1. Triponey was hired in 2003 by Graham Spanier after a rocky and controversial stint at the University of Connecticut. Within months of her arrival at Penn State she began a “Reign of Terror” aimed at consolidating power within her Office of Student Affairs and crushing or eliminating anything or anyone that challenged that power.
    Dr. Triponey was hired by Dr. Spanier, true enough. Her “stint” at UConn, however, was anything but “controversial.” The student leaders there would tell you how helpful she was in empowering them to manage the student fee process, helping to put them in a position to actually govern the distribution of their own fees. The newspaper articles on which your peers have relied to spread this particular bit of nonsense are much more balanced than you would lead people to believe. Some familiar with her record have referred to her as a “rock star” regarding her performance at UConn. Suffice it to say she did a great deal to modernize and democratize student governance, establish a civil culture, help grow the football program (Yes, that’s right – the football program), and empower students to make decisions affecting their own futures.
    As to this notion of “consolidating power,” the details of which will be addressed below, be advised that Dr. Triponey’s entire career has been dedicated to the growth and empowerment of students so they may become constructive participants in our society. The only power monger in this episode is the idol on whose behalf you continue to spew hateful falsehoods.
    2. She began by dismantling the Student Organization Appeals Board. This Board, composed of students, faculty and administrators, heard appeals from organizations like the student government and the fraternity council. Triponey became the sole arbiter of any questions or disputes, with no appeal possible.
    Patently false. First, the fraternity and sorority chapters have their own councils that make judgments about their behavior. You should study up on this. Secondly, the initiative was merely to streamline and modernize the process to assure due process in organizational appeals. She has never acted in a way to supplant student decisions with her own. This was an effort to delineate the process between organizational misconduct and individual misconduct and had nothing whatever to do with eliminating anyone’s right of appeal. Indeed, you might want to check with Greek leaders of that era to get some facts about how Dr. Triponey handled these kinds of matters. But of course you won’t.

    3. She then informed the campus radio station, LION 90.7, that all funding would be terminated unless her office was given direct control over programming and content. She famously warned, “the first thing to go will be Radio Free Penn State” — the popular talk show known for its frank criticism of some of the administration’s decisions.

    Utterly and completely false. The quote you cite here was never said, if at all, certainly not in the context you cite; your attribution of the sentiment is a damnable lie. The radio station had, at least in part, been funded temporarily with a grant of funds from the Division of Student Affairs. Had that practice been allowed to continue, the radio station would fall within the institutional control of the university and, thus, actually have its content judged against institutional interests. What she told the students was that the radio station would need to be treated differently if it were a university station by dint of funding source. Her initiative here was to change the source of funding from the Division of Student Affairs to student activity fees. The radio station would, indeed, no longer receive manna from heaven – that’s true, as it would need to apply for, and justify its need for, funding through the student activity fee process. But the student fee-source of funding would assure the station could continue as a student entity. Accountable to —- students!!! Thus, the “free speech” you assert she was trying to squelch was something she was, in fact, attempting to preserve, irrespective of the content. Certainly not the power grab you depict, though a few entitled little brats had their “free” lollipop taken away and were told they would have to justify their continued existence to their peers.

    4. Triponey next turned on the Student Supreme Court which was part of the Undergraduate Student Government (USG). For fifty years, the Court effectively registered and oversaw student organizations. Again, she usurped all decision-making power and became the judge and jury herself.

    The issue here is a student organization’s right to exist. The first amendment of the US Constitution assures all citizens the right of “association,” meaning they can create whatever groups, committees, political parties, etc. that they want. Simply put, the Student Supreme Court was dilatory in delaying approval of a religious organization and got the university sued. The Student Supreme Court was, in effect, attempting to judge and to deny some student organizations the right to exist. Heaven only knows what criteria they were using to exercise such judgment, but no matter what standard they chose, it was incorrect simply because it had no right to deny the existence of an organization. Dr. Triponey ended this noxious practice by replacing it with a registration system, a non-judgmental, ministerial process that did reside in the Division of Student Affairs. This was a modernization process that brought PSU into compliance with existing US constitutional requirements. All a student group would need to do is register. To be recognized as a “registered” student organization made a group eligible to use facilities and to apply for student fee support. This, by the way, is the practice at virtually every college and university in the United States.

    5. After, essentially dissolving the USG, the student government, and replacing it with an organization under her direct control, she decided it was time to butt heads with Joe Paterno.

    Again, complete fiction. She did not “dissolve” USG. Nor was what evolved “under her direct control.” A young man named Galen Foulk ran for USG President twice; was elected the first time and re-elected the second. His explicit platform both times was the reform of the ineffectual USG. Following his second election, he managed to have, in effect, a plebiscite to ask the students if USG should be replaced with something else. The result was overwhelmingly positive. He and a group of student leaders then crafted a plan and put that plan to a vote of the students. It was adopted. It was then, with 4 elections reflecting the student voice affirming the need to change, Dr. Triponey recommended to Dr. Spanier that the new organization be recognized as the official student government.

    6. In 2007, she pounced on an off-campus incident: Anthony Scirrotto, a safety on the football team, and his girlfriend were accosted and assaulted by three drunken students on a State College street. Two of those attackers were subsequently found guilty of harassment and criminal mischief. Later that evening, Scirrotto and a number of his teammates met up with the attackers at an off-campus apartment party, where a confrontation and fight ensued.

    I am not going to spend a great deal of energy correcting your grossly inaccurate depiction of the incident at the Meridian apartments other than to say there were more than 12 players, as many as two dozen allegedly, beating the living crap out of two guys, one of whom ended up in the hospital. This occurred some 45 minutes after these two young men confronted and verbally assaulted Scioritto and his girlfriend. This attack was pre-mediated and organized. Some of the players invaded the apartment; some stood in the hall keeping watch while the other group of thugs engaged in TV-like violence by breaking a bottle of beer over one of the victims’ head among other things. The only point I will concede here is that the episode did indeed start and stop off campus, which I think is your point in underscoring that it began on a “State College” street. The fact that more players were not charged and convicted is not evidence of the innocence of the players so much as it is a testament to the fact that the players were coached to take the Fifth Amendment at a preliminary hearing and a weak-kneed prosecutor who failed to use his power to grant immunity and compel testimony.

    7. In a series of emails to Dr. Spanier, Triponey insisted that she alone had the responsibility to discipline the players involved and indicated that suspension or expulsion was called for. Joe Paterno pointed out that since the incidents were off-campus and everyone involved was facing criminal trials, it was necessary to wait for DUE PROCESS to take its course and that in the meantime he would, as always, determine team discipline.

    Again, your characterization of what Dr. Triponey said and did during this time is completely false. The gist of the e-mails was to defend the integrity of the student judicial process, something to which all students are subject. In addition, the Code of Student Conduct that was in place at that time and well before Dr. Triponey’s arrival at Penn State (like the vast majority of other colleges and universities in America) applied to student conduct even off campus. What this means, of course, is that it does not matter where all this took place; the student judicial process would still play a role. If these guys were members of the Chess Club, they would be subject to this process. But football players, by the grace of your idol, were to be treated differently. No conclusion regarding expulsion had been reached at the time of those e-mails. Indeed, those decisions were to be made by a hearing board that would include students. Dr. Triponey would serve as appeals officer in the event the student would choose to appeal. This is the student version of “due process.” And there is no need to wait for the criminal process to be complete, as the student discipline process has no bearing on the criminal prosecution and likewise the criminal prosecution has no bearing on student discipline. They are separate matters.

    More importantly, Dr. Triponey never insisted that she alone had responsibility for discipline. This Orwellean re-write of history would be laughable were it not driven by your irrational hatred toward Dr. Triponey and your ambition to hurt her in every way imaginable. The essence of her view is that student athletes in this situation are subject to three forms of discipline: (1) as citizens of the larger society / community, they are accountable to the law and criminal courts; (2) as citizens of the university community they are accountable to the Student Code of Conduct and its processes, and; (3) as athletes they are accountable to team rules and the coach. The only person insisting that he and he alone handle the discipline of these thugs was your idol. He even said so in an e-mail to Dr. Spanier. This was covered in The Chronicle of Higher Education. And, by the way, there is not one shred of evidence to support your assertion that your idol was interested in “due process.” That’s crap and you know it. The only “process” he cared about was his.

    8. Joe used the incident as a teaching moment, sentencing the WHOLE TEAM to a season of after-game stadium cleanup duty. When Triponey protested and insisted that she alone should determine the fate of the players, Joe said he really didn’t think she understood teenagers very well, having never had children of her own. (Ouch!)

    Not quite. The “stadium clean-up duty” lasted all of two weeks (see the Centre Daily Times). And, oh by the way, if the coach was so interested as you claim in “due process” why were the innocent players – those who did not engage in this particular episode of thuggery — punished along with the guilty? Common athletic punishment ? Sure. Due process? Not at all. Please. As to the remark the your idol made on the radio. . . well, that was simply an act of condescension that was both incorrect and in poor taste. Dr. Triponey’s scholarship is in student development. To suggest she knows nothing about student discipline belies the fact that, at the time, she had 25 years of experience and a national reputation for working effectively with college students. Not only did she understand discipline, she understood how to help them grow as citizens: an area, it would seem based on the track record of known illegal activity by the players, that your idol fell short in this area.

    9. That set her off on another round of emails and threats. By this time she had made so many enemies on campus and was creating so much turmoil, that Dr. Spanier asked for her resignation, acknowledging the mistake he had made four years earlier.

    Again, you are more than a bit off base here. The coach, his errand boy (the putative Athletic Director) and Dr. Spanier continually, and inappropriately, interfered with the established student judicial processes, attempting to replace the determination to be made by a student discipline board with their judgment – in effect denying students a voice – by negotiating sanctions acceptable to your idol. Dr. Triponey attempted to defend the process without regard to what the outcome might be. Dr. Spanier, 5 months after the Meridian episode did indeed ask for her resignation. He never did, however, “acknowledge” hiring her was a mistake. He did indicate she was not fitting in with “the Penn State way.” In retrospect, I guess we would have to conclude that was true to the extent “the Penn State way” included cover ups and denying due process in humoring what some have described as an aging megalomaniac and his despotic authority as the equivalent of law.

    10. Now, with Joe gone and Spanier sidelined, Triponey gets to play her “I told you so” card in a very receptive media environment, obscuring the plain truth that absolutely nothing she did or didn’t do in her disastrous tenure at Penn State had any relationship whatsoever to the Sandusky affair and it’s aftermath.

    Again disingenuous at the least. This has nothing to do with “I told you so.” It does, however, speak to the secretive, deceptive culture that prevails in the football program and at the executive level of the university in acting as a shroud for the football program. The Meridian episode, when you look at the real facts (as opposed to the ones you invented), demonstrates how “the Penn State way” operated to impose dichotomous sets of standards: one set of rules for the football program and players – your idol shall decide right and wrong; and one set for everyone else. This chapter highlights how protecting the guilty at the expense of the innocent was an integral part of protecting the image of “the Grand Experiment.” It thus, delineates how it would be possible for the same set of actors to treat a monster “humanely” while ignoring the value of children’s lives.

    11. Even Louis Freeh ignored her complaints in his biased summary of his investigation. We don’t know if she influenced Mark Emmert. What we do know is that she is a bitter, disgruntled former employee who was spurned by Penn State and Coach Paterno.

    Again, wrong. The investigation, appropriately, focused narrowly on the Sandusky episode, and thus her interactions with your idol and Dr. Spanier were relevant only to the pattern and practice of conduct evidenced by their handling of the Meridian episode (and others). Thus, her observations regarding the prevailing culture at Penn State were merely affirmations of what Freeh’s team had already discovered for themselves based on what, to the objective eye is clear and convincing evidence. Dr. Triponey is neither bitter nor disgruntled. I won’t bother to share with you what she really feels because, candidly, it is none of your damn business.

    12. And that she believes she understands kids in their late teens and early 20′s better than a man who spent 61 years mentoring them. And who helped raise five of his own kids and 17 grandchildren.
    That was never the issue except for the fact that your idol arrogantly — and wrongly — proclaimed it.
    13. That’s who Vicky Triponey is. And that’s why she hates Joe Paterno.
    As her husband, I can tell you that the person you have described is certainly not Vicky Triponey. You and your ilk have for several years engaged in vicious, false, hateful, vindictive dialogue and actions toward her. From you and your kind she has received both overt and implied threats; she has been called vulgar names and subject to vile insults. You have never met her. Those who have worked with her, who know her, paint a vastly different picture than the person you describe. She is a caring person who has always had the students’ best interests at heart. This does not mean they always got their way, as understanding limits is a part of maturing. So, yeah, some overly-indulged students and some so-called grown-ups who should know better discovered they don’t always get their way. No surprise that they — and you as part of this insidious cult – should lash out in this ridiculous manner. That you actually put your name on this stuff signifies something just a bit different, as the vast majority of this crap has been done anonymously. It also means, however, that now we know who you are and you might want to think about accountability for your public statements.

    The vast majority of people who know Dr. Triponey, who have worked with her, appreciate and admire her work. They will not speak up to the likes of you because of the hateful invective you and your kind spew at anyone who dares to disagree with your fantasmagorical version of “the truth.” The fact is that Dr. Triponey received a resolution of appreciation from Penn State’s USG at the end of her first year – signed by every member of USG. Later she was named an honorary Nittany Lion mascot by Penn State’s cheer leaders. And later still, she was saluted (chosen by students!) as the honorary Grand Marshall for Penn State’s Homecoming parade. This is hardly the record that you falsely describe. It is the record of someone who has served honorably and effectively in helping students grow and discover themselves and serve their campus community with distinction.

    Vicky has dedicated her life to creating campus cultures that help students develop to their full potential and become productive citizens who contribute in positive ways to the community at large and the civic dialogue. And I must say, it is apparent you and your peers have been denied that opportunity as evidenced by your continued hateful, lying rants in homage to your fallen idol.

    Michael R. (Mike) Meacham

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    1. Mr. Meacham,

      Penn State alumni would not be posting “The Vicky Triponey Timeline of Terror” if Dr. Triponey was not participating in ongoing efforts to smear Coach Paterno–and your use of the phrase “aging megalomaniac” will win no friends here either. The first thing you and Dr. Triponey need to realize is that anybody who gets into a boxing ring and begins to throw punches has to expect to get hit in return. Dr. Triponey has thrown some hard punches, and I think low blows, in some very large publications including, I believe, the Wall Street Journal. Noting your comments about overt physical threats, which are NOT acceptable either legally or morally, I am speaking figuratively. As an example, some of the very lame punches that have been thrown at me consist of accusations of being a supporter or enabler of pedophilia.

      Contrary to what you have implied above, Coach Paterno never said he had the authority to control discipline of his players outside the football team. If a player got into trouble with the law, he had to face the consequences in the court system. If he was found guilty, there would very likely be football-related discipline. The same thing happened if a player got behind in his grades. Paterno once threw a player off the team and suspended another for simply being seen in an airport bar contrary to his clearly stated rules.

      The problem, as I understand it, is that Dr. Triponey thought she had the authority to impose football-related sanctions like suspensions from football, in addition to those available to her through the University’s disciplinary system. She discovered very rapidly that she was messing with the wrong person when she tried that.

      Re: “The fact that more players were not charged and convicted is not evidence of the innocence of the players so much as it is a testament to the fact that the players were coached to take the Fifth Amendment at a preliminary hearing…” Well, they were 100 percent within their rights to do that, and it is quite likely that their attorney advised them to do that (and rightly so).

      The collective punishment that Paterno imposed on the team for these players’ actions is not all that uncommon, and it seems to be more or less accepted by the participants. The result is of course is that the other players doubtlessly called the offenders on the carpet and said, “If you want to play on OUR team, you will never do anything like that again.” I don’t know if that is how I would have handled it, but it seems to have been effective.

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      1. What Mr. Meacham seems to fail to realize, that virtually all branches of the United States Armed Forces doles out punishments very similarly in nature to how Paterno handled the punishment of the team in the Scirotto affair.

        Secondly, there was only one charge where one player plead guilty to: Criminal trespass. The two who jumped Scirotta and his girlfriend were convicted for assault and harassment. As Mr. Meacham is squirming his way around these facts.

        Mr. Meachem also continuously uses the word “your idol,” offending a large portion of of Penn State graduates and students, as well as many others who have never been associated with the university, but have used their reading and analytical skills to see the flaws in the Freeh Report.

        Third, Mr. Meachem is a hypocrite. He never met Mr. Paterno, and yet somehow draws this overarching image of an evil monster, despite the thousands of direct character witnesses to who he was as a man. In the very same breath, he says the exact same thing about his wife: That we do not know who she is as a person, and goes on to explain her positive qualities.

        The fact of the matter is, she is human, just like all of the rest of us. Mr. Meacham would have us believe she is without any flaws whatsoever, while disparaging another person whom he never even met.

        Mr. Meacham would do well to keep his mouth shut about matters he knows nothing about.

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    2. Mr. Meacham,

      I am quite certain that your wife has many, many wonderful qualities, has done many, many wonderful things and is a bright, intelligent woman. But I find it hugely ironic that when the Joe Paterno supporters say the EXACT SAME THINGS ABOUT HIM as you say about your wife, you refer to him as our “idol”, as if it’s not at all possible that he possessed the same qualities and we’re all blinded by our love for our precious football team and coach. If those are your views, you know absolutely NOTHING about Penn State, Penn Staters or the culture. Obviously, Penn State’s experience with your wife wasn’t terribly pleasant. Are you surprised that we would stand behind a man who earned our respect for 61 years as opposed to a woman who served PSU for only 4 years, and whether correct or not, was perceived as somewhat of a terrorist in the students eyes? You, and your wife, have conjured up this idea that the football culture was created by this power monger who only cared about wins, losses and the protection of his program. Would this be the same power monger who benched players, good players, with eligibility, simply for skipping classes? The REAL issue here is that you’re perfectly fine with Joe Paterno being raked over the coals in the media because your perception is that he deserves it, and that’s based on your wife’s experience with him. Unfortunately, your wife is the only person who got to tell their side of the story. Judge Freeh conveniently neglected to talk to Joe before he died. And if you’re upset that people are talking badly about your wife, just imagine how Sue Paterno must feel about how people are talking about her husband! Finally, regarding insults and threats…..I have been called a “f’ing ignorant whore” and a “pedophile lover”. I have also been told by one that they hoped my daughters would be raped so I could see how it feels. Believe me, I, and pretty much every other PSU alum, completely understand how mean words and threats hurt. If your wife has endured that, I’m deeply sorry. And, if Mr. Levitt has stated anything untrue in his article, I’m sure he’ll investigate that and issue revisions as needed. He too is an honorable man.

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    3. Wow. Vicky has to have her ‘old man’ defend her, canrt stand up for herself. Poor thing. Shouldnt she have retired by now??? If not, she should.

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    4. 4. If you look at the actual proceedings of that case the supreme court was only being diligent in their handling of the organization. They were by no means trying to block the group. There were processes in place which had to be followed. Every organization had to follow the steps regardless of their religion, sex, race or creed. They were delayed because they failed to follow these properly. It was the organization at fault, not the USG Supreme Court. Had the court done anything different they would’ve opened the school up to many other suits from other student groups who had been delayed or denied due to not following these steps previously. Contrary to belief it is not supposed to be how loud you yell or how much you threaten that gets you your own way.

      5. Galen’s campaign did call for reform the first time. His idea the first time was nothing close to what came out at the end after our “esteemed” VP got ahold of him. It’s easy to get re-elected when your the name on campus that is known there is an average of maybe 10% of students, if that who vote in student elections. Saying that he got student support after supporting the radical ideas of the VP somehow says that she did not take over student government is about as effective as saying McDonalds food is better than Baby’s because more people eat at a McDonalds every year. What about the association of Big 10 student governments officially condemning her and the changing of student government as it was? There was a change needed in USG, but what was needed was not to have administration take away student control of everything, which is exactly what Vicky Triponey did in her quest for ultimate power. What about the changing of UPAC? I notice that hasn’t been mentioned, much like USG, control was taken away from students and given to administrators, jobs were created, money was taken out of students budgets and given to pay someone….real helpful to those paying.

      I sure hope she’s enjoying her 15 minutes of fame because just like every fame seeking junkie she too will fall and it will be hard. She has thrown a good man and a good university under the bus and her day will come. Ultimately some day she will arrive at the pearly gates for just long enough to see Paterno on the other side giving her the finger.

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    5. Mr. Meacham-Triponey:

      You and your wife seem like perfectly represenative examples of modern, feminist, bitter academic apparatchniks, engaged in constant hand-wringing over why the universities football program draws over 100,000 attendees every week but the school’s rendition of The Vagina Monologues drew less than a dozen. Doesn’t seem fair, does it.

      I suspect that each of us who have attended large universities can remember some discipline-minded “bitter betty” like your wife. I’m sure you will make each other very happy and you certainly deserve each other. But 600,000 alumni probably aren’t wrong in their assessment. Nonetheless. if they are, then your wife’s exile to a relatively minor-league program, where she can only terrorize several thousand students instead of tens of thousands, will be short-lived, and she’ll be back doing what she loves best a much larger program very soon. But somehow I doubt it.

      P.S. If they ever make a remake of The Munsters, we now know who has the inside track to play Herman:
      http://content.usatoday.com/communities/campusrivalry/post/2012/07/former-penn-state-dean-not-surprised-by-freeh-report/1

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  6. Mr. Meacham:

    I respect your right (and perhaps obligation) to defend your wife and I appreciate that you have properly identified your relationship. I have noticed that you failed to mention that relationship in other forums.

    I do not appreciate, however, your snide references to Coach Paterno and his supporters. I’ll speak for myself when I say that Joe Paterno was not my idol. He was a friend and a mentor for over 50 years. His record of commitment to our University and unprecedented achievements of success with honor speaks for itself.

    Your wife came to Penn State with her own agenda. There is nothing unusual nor nefarious in that. I will accept your perspective that her intentions were well meant. But not only have I spoken with many students and colleagues of hers during her relatively brief tenure, I closely followed the events contemporaneously and have referred back to archives of both the Centre Daily Times and the Daily Collegian. The FACT that she handled herself in such a way as to make many enemies and to create turmoil and controversy on a campus that was doing quite well before she arrived cannot be disputed. She was advised by Dr. Spanier and others to proceed with tact and respect for longstanding traditions. Instead, she chose confrontation and impatience. That is what led to her dismissal. You and she may choose to blame Coach Paterno (who can no longer speak for himself) or the “football culture” which managed to win championships and graduate 87% of its student athletes without ever violating a single NCAA rule. But that only confirms the inability to reflect on Dr. Triponey’s own self-inflicted wounds.

    The reality remains that nothing your wife did or did not do between 2003 and 2007 had any relationship whatsoever to Jerry Sandusky nor to any alleged coverup. Why then is she presenting herself to the media as a hero and a whistleblower retroactively? Could it be that she hopes her 15 minutes of fame will translate into an upward career move? It must be galling to her to be relegated to a backwater commuter school with an enrollment exceeded by many high schools.

    And, just for the record, I never said I hated your wife. I asked why she hated Joe Paterno. And I believe you have confirmed that hatred and answered the question.

    Gary Levitt ’64
    Life Member of the Alumni Association.

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  7. BTW, Mr. Meacham, I monitor all incoming comments and approve them before they are published. We are averaging about 4,000 to 5,000 views per day. I have given you the space and consideration to express your views fully. I have confidence that our readers are capable of reaching their own conclusions.

    GL

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  8. Dear Mr. Meacham: I was wondering (so informed opinions can be made) if you can explain to me exactly how no one else noticed Joe Pa’s special rules for football players, etc, in over 60 years ? Just curious. 😉

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  9. It’s funny how often that phrase “due process” comes up. I guess it’s only the right of a certain privileged few.

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  10. Well Mr. Meacham- seems that your wife can dish it, but can not take it when dished back at her. Very unfair of your wife to go and preach the ‘truth’ when the man she is bashing is not their to defend himself. You defend your ‘idol’ and I guess we will defend ours.. Oh, wait, we have never said he was our idol, just that we want due process and people like your wife to think before they speak and quit reaching for that 15 minutes of fame at the expense of so many. Many of whom have no ties to Sandusky and his heinous crimes.

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  11. You know what? Joe Paterno is dead. She is grandstanding and sopping up her 15 minutes off the back of a dead man. SHAME on her. Period. It would be one thing if she was involved, but Triponey had NOTHING to do with the Jerry Sandusky situation. I understand Mr. Meacham’s desire to defend his wife, but I’m sorry–her (and now his) unnecessary vitriol against a man who can’t defend himself is unconscionable. Says a lot about someone’s character attacking someone who can’t fight back. Disgusting.

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  12. Mr Meacham, as I read the Freeh report I was curious as to which Penn State senior official used the term “errand boy” to describe Mr Curley (page 75). Your post above clears that little mystery up for me.

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  13. I just wonder if this is what your wife told you, or were you along for the ride? Opinion is subjective. Our mission to to have all the facts come out. I resent the innuendo that Joe was an “idol.” I respected him immensely and believed in his morality and commitment to the students of Penn State and the University as a whole, but that did NOT make him my idol, or my hero. Some may choose to say that, but for me he was a role model and a great HUMAN caring and God-fearing man. I admire your defense of your wife, but it is clearly a convoluted one sided story.

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  14. It is hard to ignore the vitriol and condescension in Mr. Meacham’s post. Not a very measured defense of Ms. Triponey. The bottom line is that MANY people did not like her actions while at Penn State, while MANY people appreciate the selfless contributions of Joseph Vincent Paterno. It is easy to apply the circular logic of a kool aid drinking cult (we’re used to it, our own Board of Trustees throws us that line of logic whenever we catch them lying to us), but I don’t see any other faculty or students, past or present, rushing to defend Ms. Triponey’s conduct while at Penn State. Nor do I see any other faculty or students, past or present, capitalizing on this horrific scandal by impeaching the reputation of Mr. Paterno.

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  15. Dear Mr. Meacham: I was there when your wife worked for Penn State. I was on CCSG, who worked closely with the Commonwealth Campus’ and USG. I also was involved with THON. And what I can remember about your wife she wasn’t very well liked in those organizations. I also think I remember that she wanted THON shortened, which every THON family looks forward to every year.

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    1. And Please don’t forget the MILLIONS of dollars this raises for an excellent cause! Why would ANYONE want to shorten such a unique and wonderful philanthropic event? It’s the biggest student run philanthropy in the world I believe. What type of person wouldn’t be 100% behind this?

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  16. Dear Mr. Meacham,
    You seem to have your own abundancy of hatred towards Penn State in general. Of course you would take your wife’s version of events. She is your wife and perhaps because of this you can’t be unbiased. I can only suspect that your wife helped write and edit this as it drips with intense hatred.

    You say many indulge in vindictiveness, I would push back and ask why did Vicki Triponey feel it necessary to contact the WSJ and agree to be interviewed on ESPN? As you said in your letter her e-mails had nothing to do with what was going on in the Sandusky case and the Freeh report was written to devle into that. It appears that Dr. Triponey now felt she had shoebox to stand on and spew her hatred for the University and the man she “thought” responsible for her short tenure. That’s a sad testament to her frame of mind these many years later. Did it make you all feel better to see her name splashed across CNN, MSNBC, etc? Does this make you feel better now? More importantly how did this 15 minutes of fame help any of the victims?

    If she’s as great as you have proclaimed, then you should be self assured she can work for many years in her New Jersey school and hopefully be a productive member of that organization.

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  17. Mr. Meacham,
    Interesting that your wife can find the time to do interviews with the Wall Street Journal, CNN, and ESPN, or anyone else who will throw her softball questions to answer. Yet the minute someone on a blog says something negative about her, she has her husband jump in to defend her. You have just got a small taste of what the past 9 months have been like for Sue Paterno, how does it feel?

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  18. Actions speak louder than words, Mr. Meacham. The fact that Ms. Triponey made her rounds on the media circuit when none of the current situation had anything to do with her, shows her true character. And it isn’t good.

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  19. To several (but probably not all) of the comments above:
    1. Vicky has only responded to a small fraction of the requests for interviews, declining a great many more than granting; she did not contact ANY media outlets. Indeed, Vicky has only worked with reporters who are interested in helping others understand the dysfunctional culture in an effort to prevent similar cultures from yielding similar results.
    2. A LOT of people refer to Tim Curley as Joe’s “errand boy.” He was. And I was not interviewed by the Freeh investigation so they got that phrase from someone else.
    3. If you look at Black Shoe Diaries, BWI, Fight on State, Onward State and the “Timeline of Terror” to see the despicable lies and vulgarity to which my wife has been subjected, you might understand why I am, shall we say, nonplussed. And, yes, it shows. If your loved ones had been treated in this fashion you, too, might be a trifle upset. Moreover, this hateful and uncivil behavior is exactly indicative of the toxic culture that allowed a monster like Sandusky to flourish.
    4. THON has flourished since it was moved to Bryce Jordan and was slightly shortened for dancer safety. Uh….who was it who convinced the university to approve the move to BJC? Yeah, that would be my wife.
    5. I do not hate Penn State. My experience there, on the whole, was quite good, though obviously colored by the way my wife was treated.
    6. What I reported in my response to Mr. Levitt’s “column” if that’s what you call it, was fact, not interpretation. And not one of you….NOT ONE….has addressed any of those facts. You repeat past subjective interpretations (“many people didn’t like her” ) but you address not one matter of substance. And that is the problem w/ your movement….it is fueled on an emotional attachment to a man now gone. I regret the extremity of your collective cognitive dissonance.
    7. So long as the institution and its stakeholders deny that the underlying culture is the petri dish that facilitated the monster in his work, it will be impossible for the university to fully recover. And THAT is tragic because there are many wonderful aspects of the place outside of football.
    8. And as for the comment about Mr. Levitt being an honorable man — perhaps. But his “investigation” is at best thin. He wasn’t there; he has never met my wife. Yet he perpetuates blatant lies. He says he doesn’t “hate,” but how can anyone who casts aside the truth so cavalierly in favor of such a noxious collection of fiction exude anything but “hate?”
    9. Me condescending? Well, probably. It is bothersome to me that the truth gets supplanted by gross distortions, lies and ad hominem attacks.

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    1. Mr. Meacham: for someone who decries ad hominem attacks, you certainly don’t hesitate to launch them. Nonetheless, having taken on the responsibility of editing this Blog, I will respond to you, although frankly I don’t believe either you or your wife is worth the effort.

      1. Dysfunctional culture? Penn State was one of this country’s great public universities long before your wife came in 2003 and it has continued to be since your wife left in 2007. If you are referring to the failure to understand and expose Jerry Sandusky, I have searched in vain for any evidence that your wife brought any attention to that matter during her four years on campus. You also were associated with the University. While you are sanctimoniously assigning collective guilt, you might want to explain how you missed what should have been obvious. With all the contacts your wife had in the administration, did she never hear rumors or gossip concerning the highly respected Founder of the Second Mile Charity? Or did she just shrug it off? Or worse participate in a coverup? Can she prove that she didn’t know and that she didn’t participate in a coverup? Sounds outrageous, doesn’t it, that anyone would make that kind of accusation without any evidence of guilt? Well, welcome to the club. We are all still waiting for evidence of Coach Paterno’s guilt. I understand that you are a lawyer, so I needn’t explain what constitutes evidence.

      2. A LOT of people referred to Tim Curley as Joe’s errand boy. Does putting LOT in capitals indicate that this is a fact? Your wife did testify and you seem to share a LOT. The Tim Curley I knew was considered by a LOT of people in college sports to be one of the outstanding Athletic Director’s in the country. He ran a $100,000,000 department that used no taxpayer dollars. He won conference and national championships in both men’s and women’s sports. He consistently graduated student athletes at levels matched only by schools like Stanford, Northwestern, Vanderbilt, and the Ivies.
      In your circle, he may have been referred to as an errand boy, but that hardly qualifies as LOTS. Would you like to share the name of someone other than you or your wife who called him that, so that he or she could confirm or deny?

      3. Black Shoe Diaries, BWI, Fight On State, Onward State, the Timeline of Terror (which links to many contemporaneous published articles) and this Blog are all filled with despicable lies which you refute by . . . calling them despicable lies. While you have every reason to be biased, you claim your account is all de facto objective truth. I’m wondering why those of us who only knew your wife through her actions would be conspiring to tell those despicable lies. To us, she was just someone who came, created a lot of noise and controversy, and was fired. Is that a despicable lie?

      I am honestly nonplussed at your reference to the vulgarity your wife has been exposed to. You ask what our reaction would be if one of our loved ones had been treated in this fashion and you refer to a toxic environment. Surely you jest. You compare the criticism your wife has received from Penn State stakeholders to media lynching Joe Paterno has been subjected to both before and since his death? (And yes, many of us consider Joe part of our family and a cherished love one). In my neighborhood the only word to describe that whine is chutzpah. Look it up.

      4. I have no direct knowledge of your wife’s involvement with THON.

      5. I really don’t know or care what your feelings towards Penn State are or what colored them.

      6. I couldn’t find a single fact in your letter to refute. Whatever you and Louis Freeh might pretend, opinions are not facts. Your defense of your wife was entirely subjective as are the opinions of those who think she did a great deal more harm than good in her 4 years. The only FACT that we all agree on is that she was hired by Dr. Spanier and fired by Dr. Spanier. You say she is not a disgruntled ex-employee. I, and a LOT of others think she is. We are all entitled, I guess, to draw our own reasonable conclusions.

      7. Like all large institutions, we have our share of good people and bad people. I think we would all agree that Sandusky was a monster. We clearly have differing opinions on your wife and Coach Paterno. I think most of us would agree that therevare many wonderful aspects of Penn State. You don’t include the football program. LOTS of us do.

      8. I don’t hate your wife. I hate the noxious collection of fiction and the bitterness she exudes. I hate that she is obviously basking in this opportunity to trash my friend who can not respond and my Alma Mater that is being led, for now, by weak apologists.

      9. I have condescended to respond to you in detail. I doubt that anything will be gained by continuing on this road.
      I sincerely hope that you and your wife are able to find peace. But I fear that, right now, you are looking in all the wrong places.

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    2. Mr. Meacham,

      Perhaps it would’ve been adequate for your wife, when approached by all of these media outlets, to simply say “I’ve given my statements to Judge Freeh”. But instead, she felt it necessary to accept their requests for interview and continue her condemnation of Joe Paterno. Your comment about “dysfunctional culture” is WAY out of line and gets to the heart of what’s wrong with your wife’s comments…….the “dysfunctional culture” is HER perception (and apparently yours). The fact of the matter is, if we’re to be honest, there’s a problem with the culture surrounding ALL of collegiate sports, and sports in general! Parents are essentially mortgaging their homes so their 12 year old can make the best, most premiere, travel sports team in the hopes that they’ll gain that elusive scholarship, and, more importantly, their parents can live vicariously through them. Those are the EXACT principles that Joe Paterno fought against! He preached family, academics and then athletics as priorities, IN THAT ORDER! He disciplined players, contrary to Vicky Triponey’s assertions, for major and minor offenses. When a player could no longer perform on the field due to injury or other circumstances, he didn’t toss them aside like yesterday’s garbage. He stuck by them, helped them achieve their academic goals and even assisted them when looking for jobs and internships. That was his level of commitment, not to football, but to making kids into men and making certain they had a future! That’s the Joe we know! Again, I am indeed sorry that your wife might be suffering a backlash of abusive comments. I really am! As I stated earlier, I have been subject to many of them myself. But, on the surface, my perception is that she grasped at the opportunity to throw a good man under the bus, even though she had no involvement in the Sandusky matter and, after only 4 years at Penn State, she had no idea of what it means to be Penn State!

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    3. I believe you owe thousands of students and alumni and apology. THON and it’s success and its being moved to BJC was because of the hard work of those students.

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    4. 4. THON has flourished since it was moved to Bryce Jordan and was slightly shortened for dancer safety. Uh….who was it who convinced the university to approve the move to BJC? Yeah, that would be my wife.

      You’re kidding me. You have GOT to be kidding.

      The Dance Marathon was started in 1973. From 1979 to 1998 it was held at the White Building Auditorium. In 1999, Thon moved to Rec Hall and in 2007, it was moved to the Bryce Jordan Center. Prior to your wife’s arrival, Thon had been moved to larger venues TWICE – for the simple reason that as it continued to grow, become more popular on campus and attract even more student groups – it needed a larger arena. Moving to the BJC was not due to your wife’s clever brainchild – it was an INEVITABLE move based on the growing popularity of the world’s largest student-run philanthropy. It didn’t move to BJC because of your wife, it moved to BJC because of the STUDENTS.

      I really, really don’t know why you think it was anything other than a no-brainer, considering there was only ONE other indoor facility on campus that was larger than Rec Hall.

      THON has flourished from 1973 through 2012. In case you haven’t noticed, it flourished for over 20 years BEFORE your wife even heard of it OR the Bryce Jordan Center.

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  20. Any person of rational thought can take 10 seconds to look at Ms. Triponey; review the history of her actions; review her interactions with others; and conclude that she is a miserable, power-hungry, bureaucrat attempting to justify her barren existence and make everyone as unhappy in life as she is. If any further proof is needed, she graduated from PITT – Johnstown.

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  21. “It is bothersome to me that the truth gets supplanted by gross distortions, lies and ad hominem attacks.” Something we can agree on Mr. Meacham.

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  22. Mr. Meacham,
    You say, “What I reported in my response…was fact, not interpretation”. Yet you have not provided any proof of anything you wrote; we are just supposed to take your word for it. Surely some of the administrators at the schools where your wife has worked could substantiate your claims. Perhaps some of the people who considered your wife a “rock star” at UConn could explain why they thought of her as such.
    Former State College police officer and District Judge Carmine Prestia felt compelled to write about his experiences with Joe Paterno and his football players, in which he proclaimed, “Never once in my time as a police officer or judge has anyone in the football program asked me to cover up anything, withdraw a charge, or do something else unethical. I certainly saw a number of players get in trouble. Offenses ranged from simple summary offenses to felonies of the first degree.” (http://www.statecollege.com/news/columns/district-judge-never-once-any-sign-paterno-tampered-in-justice-system-988524/)
    I would hope your wife would want to do interviews discussing the good things she’s done at the schools where she’s worked, rather than denigrating Joe Paterno.

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  23. Mike Meacham,

    Can you please clarify your wife’s past and current relation with NCAA president Mark Emmert, with whom she worked at UConn? Has she had any contact with him since November 2011 in regards to Penn State and/or the Freeh report? Thank you.

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  24. I suspect that a person who spent his/her formative undergraduate years, between 1975-79, at The University of Pittsburgh would have developed a certain perception of Joe Paterno; perhaps one that is hard to put away. No knock on Pitt, but I don’t think that there were/are a lot of Joe Paterno Fan Club meetings in/around the Oakland campus.

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  25. Mr Meacham…Thank you for the amusement! Did you really attempt to attribute THON”s success with your wife!? I think you’ve fallen down the rabbit hole. As for the statement “this hateful and uncivil behavior is exactly indicative of the toxic culture that allowed a monster like Sandusky to flourish”. I hope your realize your wife’s (and your) comments in the media ARE the toxic culture. Have you ever heard the saying. “If one person thinks you are wrong, there is a 50/50 chance you are”? As the number of people who think you are wrong increases, in this case up to 600,000 of us, well you may want to do the math yourself….

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  26. I dont like how she trys to act like joe did not want them punished or like they should be exempt when he just wanted to handle it his way which was proven to work for over 60 years.

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  27. Ya’ll don’t don’t get it; don’t want to get it; and are not worth any more of my time. As the man said, “You can’t handle the truth.” All you can do is impugn the integrity of someone who reported the truth. This will all come out in the end. Let all the facts come forth.

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    1. You didn’t answer the question about Emmert. I think you are running from the truth. And you are right about your time. We’re not drinking your Kool Aid.

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    2. Believe me Mr. Triponey (I mean Meacham), we ALL look forward to the day when all of the facts come forth. THAT’S WHAT WE’VE BEEN ASKING FOR SINCE NOVEMBER!!!!! What would be helpful is if people would allow the process to run its course before spouting off their opinions to the WSJ, CNN, etc.! Again, I would assert this disagreement is about perception. And, for individuals, perception is truth! Your perception is that we’re railroading your wife. Our perception is that she’s railroading Joe Paterno. We could argue the point all day long and those perceptions are likely not going to change. I appreciate how fervently you’re defending her…..I can only hope that my husband would do the same for me! And I can appreciate that her perception differs from most Penn Staters, afterall, her tenure there was pretty short and it sounds fairly unpleasant. Joe Paterno PROVED himself over 61 stellar years of service at Penn State. That is MY perception!

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  28. Mr Meacham… You are selective in the questions you answer. I’ve not seen a response re: the Mark Emmert question. This is interesting…

    In the long run, we look forward to the federal investigations and the truths that are uncovered.

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  29. “y’all don’t don’t get it” is a double negative . . . which means we really DO get it? I can handle the truth, please reply to my questions in regards to if your wife had any contact with Mark Emmert since November 2011. I just find it odd that no other administrator from Student Affairs over the last 60 years has come forward to say anything bad about Paterno. Quite the opposite. And there were many Penn State student organizations who were regularly voicing their opinions in the Collegian in regards to the power grab being led by Ms. Triponey. I also find it odd that no other co-worker, former or present, has come forward to say Ms Triponey ever complained to them about Paterno, or Spanier, or Penn State, or has even stepped forward to her defense. Penn State has been the compliant punching bag of public opinion for 10 months now, and NO ONE will back her up?? THAT I find very telling indeed.

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  30. The Triponey’s have obviously been used to peddling their story to reporters who have little or no knowledge of Penn State beyond the Sandusky headlines. When faced with challenges to their version of the “truth” they run and hide. The most damning evidence of their bitterness, hatred and distortions lies in their own words

    BTW, I have posted every single response (with the exception of two repetitive ones by Mill Run) that were submitted. I think the readers of this blog (over 50,000 views) have made their opinions clear. Thank you.

    Gary Levitt ’64.

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  31. “Mr. Triponey” – To your credit, you are clearly defending your wife, which (as a wife, myself) I find honorable. However, no matter how eloquently you verse your argument, the reality is that you have provided nothing substantial to back up your points. The mere fact that you are “the husband” here, may lend credibility to your (or rather your wife’s) story– but not proof. As an attorney (so I’ve read) you do recognize this, yes?

    That said, and in the interest of fairness and the desire for the full and complete truth surrounding all matters of Penn State and Jerry Sandusky, I will be the first to say that Mr. Levitt has not provided any links to further prove his facts, either.

    I strongly suggest, gentlemen, that you begin posting pertinent links at your earliest convenience.

    I’d like to start by making something perfectly clear. Please do not confuse my appraisal of your one honorable act in defending your wife, with my labeling you an honorable man, on the whole. While your act of coming to your wife’s defense is chivalric (at best) it is also predictable, customary and quite honestly, boring. The reality is that I know nothing about you, but for what you’ve written within this thread. But there are elements of your rebuttal that are extremely telling.

    Your repeated use of the term “idol” is (I sense, deliberately) condescending and smacks of bitterness and bad taste. I suppose your intention was to incite the people within these grassroots communities. And kudos to you for your success! But allow me to point out the extreme error of your collective presumption – and how some of your argument can easily be used against you.

    You’ve pointed out that Gary has never met your wife. That’s fair – if true. But how many “idol worshipers” within these grassroots organizations have you, “Mr. Triponey,” met personally? I have no way to predict your answer, but I can say with certainty, that you and I have never met. And from that perspective, I can tell you that you have deeply offended me with your assertion that everyone, myself included, worships Joe Paterno in an idol-esque fashion.

    The reality is that, as a student at Penn State (from 1992 -1997), I worked both in the Football Dining Hall and later in the Academic Support Office under the immediate direction of Don Ferrell (DF). While I did not report directly to Joe Paterno, I was responsible for collecting data on both past and present football players’ academic and athletic achievements and/or failures (those who dropped out of the program, university or both). The reports that I generated, based on my researched, were placed directly on Joe Paterno’s desk. I have first hand knowledge of Joe Paterno’s desire to fully understand the results (whether positive or negative) of his impact at Penn State. And I take immense pride in the idea that I was able to provide him with the statistics of his Grand Experiment from the inception of his time at Penn State through my time as a student there. I knew Joe Paterno, personally. I actually knew this man that I continue to support and defend – not worship. Don’t put your asinine label on me “Mr. Triponey.”

    As a student closely associated with the football team, I frequently think back to conversations I had with various players over the years. But since much of this thread circles around Joe Paterno’s tight control over the athletes on his squad, let me relay a conversation I had with a particular player that speaks to that topic:

    There was a kid by the name of Robert Lupo from New York (Long Island, I believe). See what I’m doing here? I’m providing you with a verifiable fact that you can confirm, at your leisure. At the time Robert (Bob) was a fifth-year senior and a walk-on football player. He wasn’t at PSU on a coveted scholarship, like the players whose names you would recognize. Bob was an Architectural Engineering major. (← Another fact.) His final and fifth year at Penn State brought with it a class requirement that was only offered during the fall semester and only offered during the same time slot as football practice. (It is worth noting that the class was workshop style, focusing on an end-of-semester final project.) Thinking he was being proactive, he approached this professor during his office hours to explain the dilemma. Thankfully (from Bob’s perspective), the professor was extremely reasonable. The professor told him that as long as Bob checked in with him once a week and maintained a C average in class, he was cleared to attend football practice. With the issue resolved, Bob approached Joe with the professor’s solution. To which Joe answered flatly, “No.”

    Bob: No?

    Joe: That’s not good enough. You will meet with your professor once a week. But you’ll meet with me twice a week – and you’ll bring your project with you each time. If you don’t maintain a B average, you’ll have to return to class. Period.

    I share this story with you “Mr. Triponey” to illustrate that despite your (and/or your wife’s) attempts to paint Joe as a control freak who demanded corporal control of his athletes with the express purpose of shielding and protecting them from discipline; his reasoning was actually quite the opposite. Joe was tough on his players. He demanded excellence at the academic, athletic and personal level from each and every one of them – scholarshipped or not. He wasn’t willing to relinquish that control to someone he didn’t feel was qualified to handle things on a level that matched his own.

    See, the problem with the dynamic between your wife and Joe Paterno, it seems, is that they both were/are control freaks, to one degree or another. The difference is that Joe Paterno’s motives were to maintain control of a program he built on integrity and excellence. Where as (from my perspective) your wife’s motives were strictly hang on to her failing career at Penn State. No wonder you and your wife are such snarky individuals.

    At the end of my time as a student at PSU, I recognize that my role within the Penn State football family was peripheral, at best. But let’s explore another sub-group of within these grassroots communities who would likely be incredibly insulted with your “idol worshipper” label. Let’s talk about the Lettermen, because their membership does exist here, too.

    How about a little game of numbers? For the purposes of argument, let’s just say that a football squad is made up of roughly 100 players, per season. Now, times that by the number of seasons that Joe Paterno was coach at PSU (61, I believe). And this gives us . . . approximately 6,100 men who belong(ed) to the Lettermen’s Club. But, let’s keep these numbers simple and call it 6,000 even. Okay?

    Now, I’m not suggesting that these grassroots groups consist of 6,000 Lettermen. But (again, for ease of argument) let’s say that 1/6 of that group of men support these groups – ultimately support Joe Paterno. That’s 1,000, yes?

    That’s 999 more supporters (who spent a minimum of fours years with Joe Paterno, at PSU) than what I’m seeing here in defense of your wife. That means that, so far, your wife has 1/100 of 1/6 of the support that Joe Paterno has. That’s sad.

    I would argue, that if 1,000+ men are willing to attest to Joe Paterno’s character, after his 61 years of service to PSU, your wife should be able to come up with at least 10 supporters from her four year tenure. I think that’s perfectly reasonable.

    So “Mr. Triponey,” my challenge to you is find me 10 Vicky Worshippers and ask them to step forward in her defense with their own personal accounts of their time with her at PSU. But be sure they come armed with facts.

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    1. It is rare to find a man whose words AND silence are so incredibly transparent. With that stellar quality, maybe we should ask “Mr. Triponey” to run for a seat on our BOT. [Insert extreme sarcasm, here.]

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  32. I just happened to stumble across this, and figured I need to make a comment about Mr. Triponey. I’ll copy part of this below for the context.

    She then informed the campus radio station, LION 90.7, that all funding would be terminated unless her office was given direct control over programming and content. She famously warned, “the first thing to go will be Radio Free Penn State” — the popular talk show known for its frank criticism of some of the administration’s decisions.

    He called that “utterly and completely false.” It’s funny, because I was in some of those meetings. Her dislike of Radio Free Penn State, a show of which I was a panelist for a number of years, was well known. She would literally berate Andy, the show’s host, in front of all of us. It is also known by many people who were around the radio station that she offered to fund the station to the tune of $25K over a number of years (which varied) if the station killed off RFPS and “fired” Andy (he was an adult volunteer). She was refused. In short, I have never personally heard her say that quote, but I have heard that quote repeated by at least 8 people who were in those meetings. One of the people who has repeated it was Dr. Stan Latta, who at the time was the university person in charge of clubs, of which the LION is one. Dr Latta worked directly under Dr Triponey.

    I can also comment about Ms Triponey’s time at UConn. In the course of doing RFPS, I talked to a number of students and staff that were at UConn while Triponey was employed there. I don’t remember a single person from UConn actually liking her. They were glad to see her leave.

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  33. Keith — it is so helpful to hear from people like you who were actually there at the meetings. The Triponeys are busy spreading their revisionist history to the national media where they are seldom, if ever, challenged. Mike Meacham (Mr. Triponey) has usually backed up his wife in the comment sections without revealing their relationship, as if he were impartial and just trying to set the record straight. He as even written articles without that disclosure. These are not people who value the truth. Thanks for being a credible witness.

    GL

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    1. You are very welcome. I have never met Mr Meacham that I remember. I have had the misfortune to be in the same room as his wife on a number of occasions. She always struck me as she hated dissent on what she wanted to do. The students were under her, and we needed to bow down to her greatness. Quite the narcissist.

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  34. Fact – Paterno knew about 1998 & 2001 incident. Fact – he is just as culpable as Curley, Schultz, Spanier. Fact – NCAA sanctions are real and harsh. PS4RS – until you accept this your wates effrots will continue to prevent Penn State from truly moving forward!!

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    1. Fact: Curley and Schultz will have their day in court. Fact: Neither Paterno nor Spanier have yet to be charged.

      We agree that the NCAA sanctions are harsh and real. We disagree that the best way forward is on our knees. Our efforts are to replace incompetence with competence, to vote out the remaining Alumni representatives, and then to vote out Governor Corbett so that a majority of the BoT will once again have the confidence of those they represent. Fact: 90% of Alumni surveyed by the University do not trust the current Trustees. Efforts in the pursuit of justice are never wasted.

      Fact: None of this has anything remotely to do with Vicky Triponey.

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      1. PS4RS and Dave Geiss- Bravo for your excellent answers. It is said that the world falls for the hate-filled party line of the media, fact-Freeh report and the spineless PSU BOT/President. It is far more devastating when a (supposed) Penn Stater fails to use their wonderful education and critical thinking skills and chooses to fall in line with the BOT rhetoric.

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    2. Fact: in 1998 Sandusky was ivestigated by the police and the county prosecutor decided there was not enough evidence to try him. There is no evidence at all that Penn State officials had any input to those government decisions. Is the University or any employeer going to act on an accusation that was found baseless by the authorities?

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      1. No Dave, they shouldn’t and, in fact, I don’t think the NCAA should have vacated wins all the way back to 1998 as the matter was investigated legally and dropped. However, when the 2001 incident came to light it was, or should have been, apparant to the powers that be that it was time to make sure the proper legal authorities were contacted and FOLLOWED UP WITH. This is where Spanier, Curley, Schultz and Paterno are equally culpable. Joe can’t have it both ways -send away the powers that be when they asked him to retire but never really follow-up with them after he continued to see Jerry at PSU functions/practices with young kids. Also, something is amiss when the President and AD allow the football coach to dictate terms. This should NEVER happen, so Spanier and Curley are also to blame for Joe’s ultimate position of power – he should have been fired if he refused to resign. Honestly, do you really think everyone in a position of power and influence at PSU (including the Board) and outside of PSU (all the way up to the Governor) are culpable but Paterno is not? Really? REALLY?

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        1. PSU Wanting:

          You seem to indicate that you are certain that Joe Paterno knew about the 1998 incident. What makes your so certain? And in your answer, please provide page numbers, paragraphs, etc. of whatever report you have found this info. This has weighed heavily on my mind, so I’d appreciate the help.

          Additionally, (assuming you have the proof that he did, in fact know) with those answers, please provide documentations of WHEN he learned of the incident. During the 1998 investigation? After the 2001 incident? When he was called in 2011 to testify in front of the Grand Jury? Or at some other point in time.another time?

          I appreciate your help in clarifying this for me.

          Thanks!

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          1. Amy and Jeffrey – the e-mails cited in the Freeh report implicate Paterno in both 1998 and 2001. The titles and contents of these e-mails between Spanier, Curley and Schultz are not a myth. Amy, I won’t do your research for you – you can cite the page numbers and paragraphs if you would like from the Freeh report. Yes, I know your reply, you don’t agree with the Freeh report. But that’s your choice. Even though it’s filled with much opinion, the reasonable mind can also glean fact from it. Be careful, too, what you wish for when you all throw out the “due process” card as I think we’re all going to find that there’s even more daming proof to come the usual characters (PSU admin, 2nd mile, et al) knew more and so did Paterno. BTW – did you see where Ryan has advised hsi counsel to hold off on the appeal to the NCAA…

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            1. I hope you have taken the time to read the actual 260 page report, since the 7-page summary is little more than a slanted press release. The e-mails you reference are anything but conclusive. We don’t know whether “Coach” refers to Sandusky or Paterno. Sandusky was still on staff and was commonly referred to in the athletic department as Coach. Paterno was almost always referred to as Joe. In the second instance, we have no idea what was said in the meeting. Joe could have simply suggested they talk to Sandusky first to get his side of the story before going public. That would comport with the Joe I knew.

              We all hope this will be cleared up when Tim Curley testifies under oath. Until then, your and Louis Freeh’s suppositions are no more reasonable than mine or Amy’s or Jeffrey’s.

              GL.

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              1. GL – I read the entire report and Joe’s name is referenced in e-mails pertaining to both the 1998 and 2001 incidents. I completely agree that we have no idea what Joe said in either case but we do know that he was aware of both cases. In the 2001 case he may have even advised that the admin do indeed go to the authorities when Curley spoke with him and maybe Curley actually didn’t heed that advice. I’m not questioning any of that. However, it’s not disputable that Joe knew about both cases and, if he would have practiced what he always preached – going above and beyond – he would have been dubious as to why JS was still posting at PSU games/functions with teenage boys after the 2001 incident. Where’s the evidence that he ever did anything more than report to his “superiors” after waiting a day so as not to ruin their weekends?

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                1. What you’re suggesting, if true, falls far short of a coverup. Joe, himself, said that with the benefit of hindsight he wished that he had done more. No one is arguing that mistakes were made. The question is we’re they honest mistakes based on the information available at the time (including Sandusky’s sterling reputation as founder of a widely respected charity and approved adopter of six boys) or was there a cynical attempt to cover up his activities to somehow protect the football program. No one has yet explained how reporting Sandusky would have damaged Joe’s reputation or hurt his football team. Can you?

                  GL

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  35. Mr. Meacham-YOU can’t handle the truth about your wife. As for your response about your wife not contacting any media outlets-that’s futile. It doesn’t matter how it happened-what matters is that she did the interviews (and very strategically since you said she had many interview offers, yet she selected the biggest outlets for exposure) on a subject that had NOTHING to do with her. That says a lot about a person’s character and again, it isn’t good.

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  36. Do not vote to accept! JoPa would never allow a Pedophile on Campus
    Spanier,Schultz ? The ring is going to be discovered & eventually
    JoPa cleared—-Ncaa punishment should not have been against
    kids on the football team who are completely innocent.The LIBERAL
    Media is part of the Problem in the Country & could not wait to bring
    our first Class School down.Wait until the other trials are over,before you
    rush to Judgement again.In the end the TRUTH & Gods will make all OK
    again.

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    1. Stephen — the “liberal media” and the “conservative media” have all piled on. Have you heard what Rush and O’Reilly and Hannity have been saying about our Alma Mater?

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  37. “Amy and Jeffrey – the e-mails cited in the Freeh report implicate Paterno in both 1998 and 2001. The titles and contents of these e-mails between Spanier, Curley and Schultz are not a myth. Amy, I won’t do your research for you – you can cite the page numbers and paragraphs if you would like from the Freeh report. Yes, I know your reply, you don’t agree with the Freeh report. But that’s your choice. Even though it’s filled with much opinion, the reasonable mind can also glean fact from it. Be careful, too, what you wish for when you all throw out the “due process” card as I think we’re all going to find that there’s even more daming proof to come the usual characters (PSU admin, 2nd mile, et al) knew more and so did Paterno. BTW – did you see where Ryan has advised hsi counsel to hold off on the appeal to the NCAA…”

    No, there is nothing in the Freeh report that implicates Joe in 1998. There is one email, which may have been altered by the Freeh team, that has a subject line “Re:Paterno”. Paterno was never called “coach” by Tim Curley in any other email cited in the Freeh report. Paterno is also not “implicated” in 2001, we only know he fulfilled his legal and moral responsibility by reporting Mike mcQueary’s observation to men responsible for ensuring an investigation. We know Curley says he talked to Joe (notice, not “coach”). We don’t know if he talked to Joe, or if he did talk to Joe what the nature of their conversation was. PERIOD. Those are the only “facts” we know and only a limited mind would extrapolate anything more without a shred of evidence, or an interview with Curley.

    I don’t give a damn what we find out with due process. I want it. I want the truth and I am grown up enough to deal with it.

    Ryan is still pursuing his lawsuit, he is waiting for the BoT to fulfill their legal obligations in following their own bylaws.

    Like Slaten says, I could spot you “Tuesday” and you still may not get the day correct if I asked you.

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  38. Think of it like buying on ebay, you buy from those with predominately positive feed back and avoid those without it. So whose story should I believe. Students, faculty, and staff at Penn St. total approximately 40000/year for 60 years = 2.4 million observers and the only non-Sandusky affair complaint I have found is from Vickey Triboney and her husband (who wasn’t there)- and I have made much effort to find other negative comments to no avail. If you tried to read the positive comments you wouldn’t have enough time.

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    1. You will need to enlighten us as to where you have found all of these positive comments. And since you don’t even know what her name is, I don’t know how seriously I should take your opinion.

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      1. I didn’t say I found them all, I said all I found were pro Joe comments and I only found one negative Joe comment. I admit I did accept Felix’s comment that there are 600,000 alumni and I haven’t found a negative comment from any of them either. If you can’t take my note seriously is it cause you accept the one negative comment and ignore all the pro Joe comments and the rest of this blog – or do you just fault me for not being able to spell cause I graduated from other than PSU?

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  39. Here’s all we need to know about the kind of egomaniac that Triponey is. Direct quote from an article about her in the 7/22/2010 Philadelphia Inquirer — In reference to after the WSJ interview appeared: The greater public reaction at the time Triponey said, “was not just an awkwardness. I mean, I felt unsafe. To the point, I went back for a funeral a few months ago for a dear friend, one of the few friends I still had at the place . … I would not stay at a hotel in State College. I stayed in Lock Haven.”

    That reveals a person with a real paranoia — and an overly inflated opinion of herself. 99% of the desk clerks in State College would have had no idea who she was nor would they have cared and yet she is paranoid enough to think that they would and that would incite them to violence!

    If I were the College of New Jersey, I’d never make her “interim” VP of student affairs a “pernanent” title because this woman has issues and fromthe tone of his posts, I’d say her husband does too. If you throw rocks at people, you’d better expect that some missles will fly back at you. Ms. Triponey was more than happy to trash Paterno and Penn State and now she and her husband are highly offended that people are unwilling to take it and are answering back.

    She obviously contacted the new outlets initially to get the ball rolling on interviews. Since her first public notice was in the Wall Street Journal, my guess is that she contacted them and offered that she’d be willing to tell a tale about Paterno. No one had ever heard of her prior to that article so Mr. Meachem’s assertion that media approached her can only be true AFTER she approached the Journal and that interview appeared.

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    1. I am from Williamsport, and an alum of Penn Tech (Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport ’10), I have worked with the student radio station, and have many contacts both in PSU and PCT. I have heard the name “Vickey Triponey” once or twice in passing before she ever “went public.” I can certainly state that I would never be able to pick her out from the crowd, even after her little publicity stunt. Nor would I even care to.

      Growing up in this region, I can state with absolute certainty that there was no cause whatsoever for her to feel unsafe anywhere in or around State College, even after her public appearance. Such a claim is so ludicrous to the point of the absurd.

      To think that she would be any safer in Lock Haven than in State College is completely pointless. Lock Haven has a university as well, and a fairly decent one at that. The students of Lock Haven University also followed this story with great interest, as did the rest of the nation. I know quite a few LHU students that were just as angry with Triponey as the general student population at PSU. The only difference is, there are only two hotels in Lock Haven, as opposed to….what? 15+ in State College? It would be quite a bit easier to find her in LH if one were actively searching for her.

      If she were smart, she would have stayed in WIlliamsport. It’s a larger town than even SC, with more hotels, and further away. Nobody would think of looking for her there.

      Besides, it is rather egotistical of her to think that many people would know of her planned visit to the area for a funeral! The only logical conclusion is that she’s just simply a media-attention whore.

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