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Posts Tagged ‘graham spanier’

More Charges Filed in Penn State Case

Another chapter in the long, sundry case of Penn State and Jerry Sandusky further emphasizes the challenges faced by Edelman PR, La Torre Communications and the institution itself as all work to restore the school’s previous reputation for greatness in both sports and academics.

Unfortunately, this latest update will undoubtedly inflict more damage on the school: it concerns staff attempts to cover up, deny or, at the very least, minimize the scandal. Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly just announced charges of perjury, obstruction of justice, endangering the welfare of children, and failure to report suspected child abuse against former University President Graham Spanier.

That’s quite a list–and we didn’t even mention the additional charges brought against the school’s former athletic director and vice president of business and finance, both of whom await trial in January.

Spanier’s greatest offense? After stepping down, he claimed that no one had ever mentioned the possibility of ongoing child abuse during his time at Penn State–but the email trail told a very different story.

Penn State’s board members and PR reps have been wishing Spanier would slink away and disappear for some time: first they argued over whether he’d resigned on his own volition after “going rogue and altering a press release that had been a collaborative effort”, and then he participated in this very ill-advised interview for some unknown reason.

Penn State and its PR organizations will never have to defend Graham Spanier again. Unfortunately, the law is far from done with him–and his case will expose the public to yet another angle on a tragic tale that can never be untold.

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Penn State Moves Forward on Two Fronts

Two of the parties involved in the ongoing Penn State child abuse scandal have decided to try and salvage their reputations—with very different goals, methods and results.

On the one hand, disgraced former president Graham Spanier has gone on a “PR offensive,” booking TV appearances and other interviews in an attempt to portray himself as a competent manager who was somehow oblivious to the abuse that just happened to be going on right under his nose. He even claimed that he himself endured physical abuse at the hands of his father–and while that makes for a true horror story, we fail to see how it would make him any less culpable in this case.

Newsday speculates that he may be taking this route because the investigation technically remains open–he wants to avoid prosecution while preserving his ability to continue a career in academics. But we can’t see Spanier achieving his goal of discrediting the findings of the FBI, especially when he wrote emails that appear to agree with former athletic director Tim Curley’s decision to avoid contacting child-welfare authorities in response to allegations made against Jerry Sandusky in 2001. Spanier looks more than a little desperate, and we have some advice for whoever happens to represent him: Leave that sinking ship.

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