The Penn State trustee who chaired the board when the Jerry Sandusky scandal broke gave up his seat on Thursday, becoming the first university official to resign in the wake of a damning report on the university’s handling of the affair, according to Reuters and ESPN.
Steve Garban, a former Penn State football captain and a 14-year trustee, had been criticized by some colleagues for failing to inform the board about the Sandusky investigation before it became public. Former FBI director Louis Freeh’s investigation of the university found that Mr. Garban knew Mr. Sandusky was to be charged a month before his arrest last November.
“It is clear to me that my presence on the board has become a distraction and an impediment to your efforts to move forward,” Mr. Garban wrote in a resignation letter to Karen Peetz, his successor as chair. “These past months have been some of the most painful of my life.”
Mr. Freeh’s report concluded that university leaders covered up Mr. Sandusky’s child abuse for years to protect the reputation of the university and its football program. An alumni organization, Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship, has called for all 28 trustees serving during the scandal to step down.