Penn State University officials insist they've turned over a new leaf. The institution will be open and transparent, with none of the secrecy such as that which allowed former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky to sexually abuse children for years.
If it was genuine at all, the attitude didn't last long. Late last month, the NCAA announced collegiate athletic penalties against Penn State because of the Sandusky coverup. But harsher sanctions were prevented by negotiations involving university president Rodney Erickson, it was noted.
That was news to most members of the Penn State Board of Trustees, who hadn't been informed Erickson was talking with the NCAA.
The trustees' response was to hold an illegal secret meeting July 25 to discuss the NCAA situation. In fact, the board held at least two other secret meetings last fall.
Precisely that kind of concern about secrecy - at the expense of transparency and legality - allowed the Sandusky abuses to occur. Clearly, Penn State assurances to taxpayers, students, parents and benefactors were meaningless.