PS4RS Statement on Commemoration of Joe Paterno’s 50th Anniversary

September 1, 2016 —- Penn State President Eric Barron today announced that the university will commemorate the 50th anniversary of Joe Paterno’s first game as Penn State head coach during the Temple football game on September 17, 2016. This represents the university’s tacit admission that the “conclusions” of the Freeh Report were wrong. However, we will accept this recognition of Joe on September 17 as only the first of many steps necessary to repair the needless damage caused by the unwarranted condemnation of Joe and the entire Penn State community. The university must explicitly repudiate Freeh’s bogus “conclusions,” which were improperly influenced by outside forces acting against Penn State’s interests, including the NCAA and the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General. The university must publicly state that Paterno handled the report that was made to him in precisely the manner required by the university, and apologize to the Paterno family. We also encourage Penn State to join the Paterno family in their action against the NCAA, which sought to “leverage” the Freeh Report to extort the university. Finally, the university must apologize to the entire Penn State community for allowing Freeh to smear our entire culture with his outrageous statements about our priorities. Penn State must take these steps to begin to repair the damage done.

Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship (PS4RS), with more than 40,000 members, was formed to promote positive change within the University Board of Trustees, demanding transparent, trustworthy leadership. For further information on PS4RS, please visit, email, or go to Follow PS4RS on Twitter at @PS4RS.

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