A hard row for new Penn State president and head coach

    Best of luck to Rodney Erickson and Bill O’Brien as they take over administration of Penn State University and its scandal-plagued football program, respectively. It will take some doing to earn back the nation’s trust.

    Child sex abuse allegations and the resulting arrests of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky and other PSU officials delivered a severe blow to the pride of Penn State students and alumni. The subsequent firing of Penn State’s president, Graham Spanier, and legendary football coach Joe Paterno left even more damage in the wake of the scandal. 

    Now Penn State has a new president, Rodney Erickson, charged with cleaning up the mess, and a new head coach, New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien.

    What do you think of the newhires? Good moves for Penn State?

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    O’Brien, who has no prior connection to the university’s football program, is now saddled with the responsibility of digging the discredited football program out of the quagmire of scandal. His outsider status could help or hinder his progress.

    For his part, Erickson is in the midst of a series of public town-hall meetings with Penn State alumni intended to address the child sex abuse charges against Sandusky. The larger purpose, perhaps, is to begin earning back some trust (and further donations) from Penn State’s army of graduate supporters.

    Best of luck to Rodney Erickson and Bill O’Brien. They have a tough row to hoe. It will take some doing to earn back a degree of trust and admiration for Penn State football. Good on them for trying.

    By the time the town-hall sessions were reported, registration for all three—in Pittsburg, King of Prussia, and New York City—filled up quickly. However, you can eavesdrop on the conversation by watching a live stream from New York at www.alumnitownhall.psu.edu tomorrow at 7 p.m.

    Correction: An earlier version of this article mistakenly implied that Graham Spanier had been arrested in connection to the Penn State sex abuse scandal. He was not.

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