The Penn State Board of Trustees originally fired the record-setting coach Nov. 9, in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal that has rocked the university. At the time, the board drew criticism for sacking Division I's all-time wins leader via a late-night phone call.
More criticism came when questions arose concerning the closed meeting during which the decision to fire Paterno was made, and whether it violated Pennsylvania's Sunshine Law.
So the board's nine-member executive committee held a teleconference Friday morning that was open to the public (it was conducted in a meeting room at the Nittany Lion Inn on campus). During the “meeting,” it voted without dissent (8-0, with new president Ron Erickson abstaining because he was on the agenda) to “reaffirm” the dismissals of Paterno and former school president Graham Spinier, and the appointment of the new president (Erickson).
University spokesman Bill Mahon said, “This reaffirms and ratifies the decisions they made on Wednesday, Nov. 9.” The full 32-member board must approve the actions at its next regularly scheduled meeting in January. That is expected to be no more than a rubber-stamping of Friday's decision.
Seven members of the public attended the 8 a.m. meeting. That included Paterno's daughter, Mary Kary Hort, who took notes and asked questions of Mahon after the teleconference ended.
Hort declined an interview request from FOS.