Today in PSU/politics . . .
P-G sports blogger Bob Smizik says the mayor owes Harris an apology:
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl owes Franco Harris an apology. His cheap shot at Harris yesterday was reprehensible. Calling for Harris to step down as the chair of Pittsburgh Promise was a third-rate political trick that will backfire. Labeling Harris as uncaring of the victims in the Penn State sexual-abuse scandal was a leap of logic only a fool would undertake. Harris is an honorable man who has done much good work in this region. He didn’t deserve that.
The scandal is pushing some state legislators to consider putting Penn State under the state's open records laws (and Pitt too). From Bill Schackner:
Penn State as well as the University of Pittsburgh, Temple and Lincoln universities -- each a public institution -- are largely exempt from the disclosure law, even though collectively they receive more than $500 million in state taxpayer support each year.
It is a status that experts have described as unique in the nation and one those schools have used their considerable sway to maintain.
Sports Illustrated noted the oddity of the exemption in its big piece on the scandal yesterday:
Their domain is Happy Valley, and while it's the Happy that's stressed, the Valley is significant too. For a prominent university, Penn State is remarkably isolated, nestled in the hinterlands of Pennsylvania, six hours from the nearest conference rival and three hours from a major city. (As many learned last week, the impenetrability is heightened by a status that exempts PSU from meaningful state open-records laws. Many documents related to the Sandusky case, such as e-mails between university officials, are not subject to public disclosure.) Like Russian nesting dolls, there are levels of isolation within Penn State, the innermost of which is the football team, which has separate facilities from the rest of the athletic programs and a lavish training facility all its own.
In a largely positive NYT op-ed on Joe Paterno -- which is worth reading for many reasons, including JoePa's thoughts on "Moby Dick" -- the Paterno Family Professor of Literature at PSU, Michael Berube mentions open-records laws too:
Penn State has been an emphatically “top-down” university; decisions, even about academic programs, are made by the central administration, and faculty members are “consulted” afterward. Now Penn State will very likely lose its exemption from open records laws, and rightly so. But the administration must begin treating faculty members, and their elected representatives on the Faculty Senate, as equal partners in the institution. Perhaps if a faculty ethics committee had been informed about Mr. Sandusky in 2002, one of us could have advised administrators to inquire more aggressively into the case instead of circling the football program’s wagons.
The Patriot-News notes that the salary Jerry Sandusky's charity Second Mile was paying to its ex CEO Jack Raykovitz was more than that what similar-sized chartities pay their leaders. What's more, his wife was/is the number two exec at the charity and makes $100,000 a year.