President: Penn State should be 'rewarded' for post-Sandusky changes

Penn State University's new president Eric J. Barron visits for an editorial board meeting on Tuesday, May 20, 2014. ( MICHAEL S. WIRTZ / Staff Photographer )
Penn State University's new president Eric J. Barron visits for an editorial board meeting on Tuesday, May 20, 2014. ( MICHAEL S. WIRTZ / Staff Photographer )
Posted: August 27, 2014

HARRISBURG - The new president of Pennsylvania State University said Monday that the school should be "rewarded" for establishing what he said was the best compliance and sports ethics program nationwide following the Jerry Sandusky sex-abuse scandal, but stopped short of calling for a reduction of NCAA penalties.

Speaking to reporters after a monthly press luncheon in Harrisburg, Eric Barron was asked whether he believed the NCAA's sanctions, including $60 million in fines, should be reviewed.

His answer: "This is my general view in life: If you're doing well, you should be rewarded. So if we are sitting there with what I think is the best compliance and sports ethics program in the nation, Penn State should be rewarded for that."

Barron added: "But I won't go further than that."

This month, Penn State's board of trustees voted, 19-8, in favor of a litigation settlement proposal that essentially binds the university to comply with the NCAA sanctions, including the fines.

At the luncheon, Barron, president since May, also steered clear of weighing in on many of the controversial issues involving the university, focusing instead on laying out his vision of the role the university can play in bolstering the state's economy.

He declined to discuss whether he believed the university's board of trustees should be restructured or reduced in size, or whether there should be a review of an internal investigation into the university's handling of the child sexual-abuse scandal involving Sandusky, the former assistant football coach serving decades in prison for sexually assaulting boys.

Part of his job as president, he said, is "to make sure the pot is not stirred."


acouloumbis@phillynews.com717-787-5934

@AngelasInk

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