The fallout of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case continues. The latest casualty is Steve Garban, a longtime and influential member of Penn State’s Board of Trustees
Garban resigned, bowing to pressure by some of his fellow trustees who were angry at him for failing to alert them about the Jerry Sandusky criminal investigation in April 2011.
The trustees have become increasingly alarmed this week that the NCAA will hand down an extreme punishment, possibly the death penalty for its football program for its “loss of institutional control” during the Jerry Sandusky years.
Several trustees flatly argued in private sessions this week that Garban’s resignation was needed to show the public the board was serious about “moving forward.”
In a letter to board chairwoman Karen Peetz, Garban wrote: “It is clear to me that my presence on the board has become a distraction and an impediment to your efforts to move forward.”
“These past months have been some of the most painful of my life,” Garban wrote. “After absorbing the findings of the Freeh Report last week, the Board of Trustees accepted responsibility for the failures of governance that took place on our watch. Following the release of the report, you also asked each member of the board to evaluate our individual paths forward.”
Garban is the first Penn State trustee to quit since the release of the Freeh report, which was highly critical of the trustees’ handling of the Sandusky matter and the firing of coach Joe Paterno.
The Board of Trustees hired former FBI director Louis Freeh to conduct the investigation, which interviewed 430 people and reviewed more than 3.5 million documents over eight months. The 267-page Freeh report was released July 12.
Only one thing is certain: the fallout is not over. More administrators – and the school at large – will go down.