CENTRE COUNTY — A day after Penn State University trustees ended meetings to exchange ideas about repairing the school’s image, the charity for troubled youths started by former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky announced it wants to postpone plans to transfer programs and assets to a youth ministry.
David Woodle, interim president and chief executive officer of The Second Mile, told The Associated Press the charity agreed to ask for a postponement in response to opposition from some of Sandusky’s sexual abuse victims.
On Monday, Woodle said that The Second Mile, the state attorney general’s office and victims’ lawyers are filing a joint petition in Centre County Orphans’ Court.
The charity was financially crippled by the child-sex abuse scandal involving Sandusky, its founder and onetime public face. It had sought court approval to shift programs and millions of dollars in assets to Arrow Child & Family Ministries Inc.
On Sunday, Penn State University trustees ended a two-day meeting in State College to exchange ideas about how to repair the university’s image after the Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.
A presentation by the board’s public-relations consultant unexpectedly sparked a discussion about using Penn State’s Sept. 1 home football game against Ohio University as the vehicle for a variety of promotional gimmicks to draw attention to Penn State’s athletic and academic track records.
Trustee Anthony Lubrano said the first season-opener since Penn State’s troubles began will draw heavy national media coverage and provide a unique opportunity to kick off the university image-rebuilding.
New York public-relations executive Richard Edelman outlined an aggressive campaign to promote Penn State through conventional media and the Internet.
“You can’t hide in your shell. You have to begin telling the good stories about PSU,” Edelman said.
During the retreat, the head of Penn State’s board of trustees warned of difficult times ahead as the school tries to make changes following the child sex abuse scandal.
Board Chairwoman Karen Peetz said Saturday that the months ahead “may be less shocking, but they may well be more difficult as the legal ramifications of this tragedy continue to play out.”
Peetz said the board was committed to making changes and was reviewing plans to implement recommendations of a report by former FBI Director Louis Freeh.
She said some may want to “fight back” but officials must accept responsibility, try to “right wrongs” and make improvements.
Also on Sunday, the trustees discussed a timetable for finding Rodney Erickson’s replacement as president of the university. Erickson wants to retire by July 2014.
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