The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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August 20, 2013

State News in Brief | PSU board: Student trustee had a choice

HARRISBURG — The student trustee on Penn State’s board “had to make a choice” between helping select the university’s next president or remaining a plaintiff in a lawsuit filed against the NCAA by the family of the late football coach Joe Paterno, a board spokesman said Tuesday.

The trustee, 23-year-old graduate student Peter Khoury, told the Centre Daily Times for a story published Tuesday that he is withdrawing from the lawsuit, which seeks to overturn stiff NCAA sanctions imposed last year because of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. The sanctions include a four-year bowl-game ban and a $60 million fine.

The board is not a party to the litigation.

Khoury said he was threatened with removal from the 12-trustee presidential selection committee if he did not drop out of the suit. The committee is searching for a successor to university President Rodney Erickson, who plans to retire when his contract expires in June.

Man says he’s proud of Paterno billboard

HARRISBURG – A central Pennsylvania man says he paid for a billboard on a rural highway praising Joe Paterno because he wanted to shine a light on the late Penn State football coach’s accomplishments.

Larry Peters, 79, a Hummelstown native, told PennLive.com on Monday that he sponsored the billboard near Thompsontown in Juniata County, about 50 miles from State College.

The two-panel billboard touts Paterno’s 409 career victories beneath a blue sign with lettering that reads “You can’t cover up 61 years of success with honor.”

A group called Penn Staters For Responsible Stewardship designed similar billboards placed across the state last fall, but said it wasn’t behind the latest one.

The billboards take issue with investigators who determined Paterno knew about past child sex abuse by former assistant Jerry Sandusky, who was convicted and imprisoned last year.

The NCAA has sanctioned the university over the sex abuse scandal, but supporters say Paterno, who was fired and died in January 2012, wasn’t at fault.

Peters said he believes officials were merely assuming that Paterno knew about Sandusky’s actions, but he doesn’t believe that.

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