Penn State Press Conference: John Surma Fields Angry Questions About Joe Paterno's Firing

Here are some more notes from Wednesday night’s press conference. The Penn State Board Of Trustees’ decision to immediately dismiss head coach Joe Paterno and president Graham Spanier was unanimous, John Surma says. Spanier will evidently receive a financial settlement.

“We thought that because of difficulties engulfing our university. .. we felt it was necessary to make a change a leadership and set a new course,” Surma said.

Surma says he does not know if the university will still be paying the legal fees of Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, who are accused of perjury and of failing to report allegations of child abuse against Jerry Sandusky.

As I mentioned in my last post, a number of these journalists sound downright agitated – like angry students, not like journalists. It’s incredible, really. Many are asking pointed, and obviously-angry, questions, about Joe Paterno’s legacy with Penn State and about, for example, whether the Board of Trustees has been “gunning” for him for years – as if anyone who isn’t connected to Penn State would possibly see these events that way. Pointed questions are fine, clearly, but this press conference is heading into the realm of the bizarre, as if Surma were answering questions from season-ticket holders rather than journalists.

You can watch live footage of the press conference here.

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