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You still think America can change its university football culture? Penn State can’t even get rid of Steve Garban!

Like Auburn and other all-balls-no-brains schools, Penn State packs its board of trustees with witless jocks, guys who played for the university back when. Garban (scan his bio if you have the stomach) was until recently chair, baby. Penn State doesn’t fool around. Penn State leaves nothing to chance.

Of course, if Penn State had any sense – intellectual, moral, whatever – the entire board of trustees would have resigned months ago. But even the trustees themselves know that Garban – Grade A Paterno beef – has to go. Garban, who knew a lot about the Sandusky situation but told virtually no one – certainly not his fellow trustees – is refusing to leave the board. And no one can make him leave.

Why not?

It wouldn’t be the Penn State Way.

Margaret Soltan, July 16, 2012 8:07AM
Posted in: sport

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9 Responses to “You still think America can change its university football culture? Penn State can’t even get rid of Steve Garban!”

  1. Crystal Says:

    I was discussing the Penn State affair with my mother, a non-academic. She commented, “How can a football coach be more powerful than the university president? That’s crazy.” I think that sums it up quite nicely.

    Since this is a family website, I don’t believe I’ll quote what she said when I explained how many football coaches get paid more than their university presidents.

  2. jim Says:

    Can the Governor fire Garban? McDonnell threatened to fire the UVA trustees, you will recall.

  3. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Good question. I would guess that he can. I would also guess that the problem with doing that is he’ll set in motion a chain reaction – people will want him to fire the other trustees.

  4. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Crystal: They get paid millions more.

  5. veblen Says:

    The Gov only appoints a handful of trustees at Penn State and he would only be able to dismiss those. Garban is an alumni trustee, so he can’t be canned by Corbett.

  6. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Thanks, veblen. If Garban’s an alumnni trustee, they’ll never get rid of him.

  7. veblen Says:

    There was a time when there were not term-limits on trustees. A few years ago, the Board changed its rules to cap service to 5 three-year terms. But those already on the Board were grandfathered in, so to speak. They were limited to an additional fifteen years. On Friday, I believe the Board reduced the number terms to four.

    Anyway, Jesse Arnelle, a former Penn State football player, has been on the Board since 1969. I believe he is the longest-serving member. Here is bio from he Trustees’ website.

  8. GTWMA Says:

    The Governor? You mean the guy who slow-walked the Sandusky investigation when he was Attorney General, because he was afraid it might jeopardize his campaign, even as he collected donations from Second Mile board members? You think that guy is the one who is going to fire Garban?

  9. Margaret Soltan Says:

    GTWMA: Well, governors are subject to more forms of pressure than trustees. But anyway. Garban’s gone.

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