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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