In my draft folder is a kind of longform piece I’ve been working on regarding the seemingly neverending UNC cheating scandal. The scandal has been fascinating to me because as Carolina has struggled to do everything in its power to minimize the mess. From claiming it was an academic scandal for the entire school, not just the athletic department. To saying it was a rogue professor who made it all happen. To smearing an of their own people who might say this is a problem. All to protect “the Carolina Way.”
But in the end, they have only made it worse. They keep trying to cover, obfuscate, deny, attack, etc. All because they are so heavily invested in “the Carolina Way” as mythos that defines them.
I was going to draw a parallel to the Penn State/Sandusky scandal. As much as the Joebots, Franco Harris, and fringers won’t let it go, the school itself did. The Freeh report was forceful. It was strong and coupled with the accepted NCAA penalties actually let the school move on from that spot.
Their mythos may be tarnished. Argue that the culture of football first hasn’t really changed. But the school itself has removed most of the individuals and moved forward.
Then this happens.
At the end of Friday’s trustees meeting at the Penn State campus here, new trustee Al Lord proposed a resolution to delve into the Freeh Report with an open-ended goal of identifying possible flaws and missing information and fully investigating that information.
“I want the board to agree that we’re not done,” Mr. Lord said. “That’s all. Very simple.”
Moving such a resolution to an action authorized by the board will require significant legwork. The resolution would have to be introduced and recommended by a committee and then put in front of the entire board for vote. That likely would not be possible until at least the board‘?s next meeting, in September.
It gets better because the leading Joebot loon on the Board of Trustees made the actual goal very explicit. Not to review the report that came out 2 years ago. To reject it.
“In the end, we’re looking for a repudiation of the conclusions reached by Louis Freeh,” trustee Anthony Lubrano said.
Though just 10 trustees who were on the board in November 2011 remain as voting members of the board, the majority of the 30-person board still tends to act opposite of Mr. Lord, Mr. Lubrano and the seven other alumni trustees when it comes to sensitive issues as the Freeh Report and Joe Paterno’s firing.
The alumni trustees were elected in the months following the Freeh report and NCAA sanctions. When the fans and alumni were at their most defensive.
The alumni trustees didn’t run to be on the board, nor were they elected by alumni, for the broader good of Penn State. They were elected to battle for the legend of Joe Paterno and the mythos of the “grand experiment.” That is what they are doing. Damn reality and the passage of time.
Regardless of what it does to the school and the image. Regardless of the fact that it won’t change anyone’s minds. They can’t let go, and unlike some fringers on a message board who try to turn every string into their issue. These fringers actually sit in some position of authority and will keep plugging. Making sure no one forgets the scandal.
Just not the way they hope.