The woman who stood against the powers of Penn State way

Vicky Triponey – the sole  woman who as a Vice President over saw the student discipline has to quit from her post five years back as she experienced the first hand snobbish outlook, the brute work force culture, the secluded existence and a sense of entitlement. She was told that she was too confrontational, aggressive and does not fit within the culture of Penn State.  She often clashed with the former and late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno over the person responsible for disciplining the football players when they got into trouble. This conflict with such an iconic figure made her quite unpopular within the campus and almost ended her thirty years of academic career.

The latest Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, the findings of which were carried on by the special investigator, concluding that the late football coach and other top Penn State administrators had concealed Sandusky’s abuse to shield the University from bad publicity may have brought in a feeling of exoneration, self satisfaction for any other person. But Tirponey otherwise had a deep sense of sadness.

The inquiry was commissioned by the board of trustees by hiring the former FBI Director – Louis Freeh. This inquiry exposed how the personal failings of Joe Paterno and three other Penn State leaders along with the university’s football culture empowered and allowed an assistant football coach to molest fatherless boys.  Triponey agreed with the Freeh’s suggestion that the university’s trustees had leaded an effort to vigorously examine and understand the Penn State’s culture.

At the Penn State University, Triponey was among the few who stood up to the Paterno who was popularly known as “Joe Pa” and for sixty one years was well known with a football program that brought in millions of dollars into Pen State. But in that cacophony nobody at the top backed Triponey and no body cared whether she was right or even she had a valid point.

The Freeh report stated that the university leaders were very keen to please Paterno and above all the trustees were mere rubber stamps and the President who discouraged any objections and an administration that was busy with spin and appearances. That is what Vicky Triponey was pointing towards since 2005. Triponey was not involved in the Sandusky matter but she admitted that she was aware of the campus culture that allowed Sandusky to prey on boys for years without any checks and balances.  Triponey was one of the 430 witnesses that spoke with Freeh’s investigators. Joe Paterno’s family had rejected the findings of the special investigator and desired to carry on their own investigation in this regard.

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