Local/State

Penn State president assures alumni he's listening

Saturday, January 14, 2012
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Penn State President Rodney Erickson assures frustrated alumni he's a good listener.

Erickson heard the same themes over and over in three cities in three days of often tense meetings with the university's graduates.

Why hasn't the Board of Trustees been more accountable? Why wasn't the school's public relations response better prepared when officials knew a former football assistant coach was being investigated?

And, of course: Why was Joe Paterno fired?

Erickson faced about 300 alums in a packed hotel ballroom in lower Manhattan on Friday night, the last stop on a road trip intended to calm anger about how the university has dealt with a child sex abuse scandal involving longtime defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.

Instead, the sessions have triggered more anguish and another round of introspection for the people who love the school and its football program.

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