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Penn State President Rodney Erickson is not getting a warm reception

January 12, 2012 |  4:20 pm


Penn State President Rodney Erickson is scheduled to appear Thursday night at a hotel near Philadelphia in the second of three town hall events to discuss the university's handling of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation charges, but alumni aren't greeting him with open arms. Erickson did not satisfy many in the crowd at a similar meeting held Wednesday night in Pittsburgh.

Erickson said in an interview on Tuesday that the Penn State trustees knew about the Sandusky allegations months before the news became public.

A 2002 alumnus, Ryan Bagwell, who's seeking a trustee seat in voting that will start next week, told the Associated Press that Erickson "takes his marching orders from the Board of Trustees, which has sent him out on this three-day spree."

FULL COVERAGE: Penn State scandal

"We want to hear from the trustees. We want them to explain why they made the decisions they did," Bagwell said. "Their silence is just incredible. It just keeps getting worse."

The Board of Trustees released a statement Thursday evening responding to questions raised about the firing of football coach Joe Paterno. Paterno, they said, was fired and not allowed to retire after the season because of "extraordinary circumstances."

"The details of his retirement are being worked out and will be made public when they are finalized," the statement said. "Generally speaking, the University intends to honor the terms of his employment contract and is treating him financially as if he had retired at the end of the 2011 football season."

In Pittsburgh, the most applause came after one questioner suggested that the entire Board of Trustees step down.

"If you keep doing the same thing over and over again, you shouldn't expect different results," said Tim King, vice president of the Greater Pittsburgh alumni chapter.


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--Houston Mitchell

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: Penn State President Rodney Erickson minutes before Tuesday's meeting. Credit: Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press.