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One-on-One with Rodney Erickson: Penn State Expects to Respond to NCAA in Coming Weeks

by on July 17, 2012 6:00 PM

This is the first in a two-part series of an interview with Penn State President Rodney Erickson, who spoke to reporter Laura Nichols on Tuesday in his office in Old Main. Check back Wednesday morning for Part 2.

Penn State President Rodney Erickson knows the road to recovery is long, winding and expensive, with hurdles that include possible fines and sanctions.

An investigation into the university's possible violation of the Clery Act is ongoing, and Penn State plans to respond to the NCAA in coming weeks in an effort to decide what action, if any, needs to be taken.

Despite the tragedy and crisis that gripped the community for the past eight months, Erickson is adamant the students, faculty and staff that embody the true core values of Penn State have what it takes to move the university forward.

"We will emerge as a stronger, better university," Erickson said.

On the Clery Act:

"The Clery investigation is ongoing. I don't expect a report from the Clery Team in the near future – most Clery investigations tend to take often a year and a half or more. I'm sure they're going to want to do a very thorough job in the midst of all they have.

"When we get that, we will obviously have to move to implement any additional changes they may require.

"We've already done quite a number of things as the Freeh report indicated to comply with Clery Act more fully – we've hired a Clery Act coordinator and put in police services and security units and we now have the identification component of mandatory reporters. We have put protocols in place.

"There may be additional things that emerge from the Clery investigation, and at such time, as we receive that, we'll certainly implement.

"The most likely outcome, judging from what's happened at other universities is that we will receive a fine and be required to implement any remaining requirements."

On the NCAA and possible sanctions for the football program:

"We'll be responding to (NCAA) President Emmert's letter that we received from the NCAA on Nov. 17.

"The NCAA had allowed us to wait in our response until we received Judge (Louis) Freeh's report and recommendations. Now that we've received it, we've begun to start the process of incorporating those recommendations in our response to NCAA.

"Once the NCAA has that, we'll continue in dialogue with them about what are appropriate sanctions.

"Certainly we would be responding, hopefully within next couple of weeks."

On if former Penn State President Graham Spanier and former Athletic Director Tim Curley are still employed by the university:

"Yes, Mr. Curley is on administrative leave and Dr. Spanier is a tenured member of the faculty.

"We're in the process of reviewing those relationships."

Laura Nichols is a news reporter and @LC_Nichols on Twitter.
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