- Posted February 23, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Was Joe Paterno Framed?
John P Surma, who was vice chair (seved as chair the night Paterno was fired) of the Penn State Board of Trustees, and his brother, Vic Surma, Sr, may have carried out a vendetta against Joe Paterno that started in 2007 and culminated in the firing of Paterno in November of 2011.
I have been reading all the information put forth in the Freeh Report and the Paterno Family Report trying to figure out the truth in how this despicable tragedy all came about. I also have been reading information from the investigations of the authors of "Framing of Joe Paterno."
What I know now as fact is that the Vice President of the Board of Trustees and his brother (a former PSU football player) had a personal grudge against Joe Paterno since 2007, and vowed to "expose his (Paterno's) fraud to the national media before he checks out."
Victor Surma Sr is quoted by Sara Ganim as her source for the "attitude of former players." This information was also used in the Freeh Report, who relied on Ms Ganim's accounting of events.
In 2002, Vic Surma, Sr is quoted in a book as saying, "Joe instilled in us how to win. He's a special man, a special person. There's nobody better in taking high school players and making them men."
Vic Surma, Sr, ( a Pittsburgh Dentist) further writes in 2007 "The RAT (Paterno) has hurt so many young men, destroyed their self esteem, ruined their confidence, etc. I'm starting with a Pittsburgh reporter (Sara Ganim quoted in Freeh report) and hope to take his fraud national." This is quite a change from 2002--what happened?
The person who started the implosion that put Penn State on the defensive and supported Tom Corbett's plan of distraction of firing Joe Paterno to take the heat off the Board of Trustees was John P Surma, younger brother of Victor Surma, Sr. and VP of the Board of Trustees.
John P Surma was responsible for the cancelling of the regularly scheduled weekly press conference Joe Paterno was holding. Joe Paterno planned to answer questions about what he did, when, and why.
This cancellation fueled media speculation that the Board of Trustees would remove Paterno as head coach. Nothing could have had a greater impact on the public's view of the guilt or innocence of Joe Paterno or Penn State.
We know that the attorney general used blatant lies "that Paterno was informed of a blatant sex act by McQueary"--which we now know is false.
Vic Surma Sr was removed from the listserv board (denied access) for former PSU football players because of his antipathy toward Paterno (demand of other players) in 2007.
According to one source, John P Surma, after cancelling Paterno's press conference, made it clear that it was his intention to have Paterno fired so the board would finally show Joe who was "really in charge."
Evidence shows that John P Surma's antipathy toward Joe became obvious around 2007 after Vic Surma, Jr. left the team and Vic Sr went online to rant against Paterno.
Not long after Vic Surma, Sr started his online attack of Paterno, Tom Corbett began his "slow" investigation into the Sandusky charges and John P Surma came to prominent power over the Trustees.
Vic Surma Jr was a walk on wideout receiver on PSU football team from 2003 thru 2005.
Vic Surma, Jr left the team in 2006, with some "personal problems." The Surma family put the blame for this problem on Joe and never forgave him.
Joe and the Surma family never talked again after Vic, Jr. left the team.
Did Vic Surma, Sr and his brother's (John) anger over Vic Surma Jr's lifestyle choices, and their blaming Joe Paterno for the son's problems lead to the actions of John P Surma in November 2011? If the prejudice and anger shown by Vic Sr and John P coincide with something of this nature, it is Joe Paterno and Penn State that are paying the price for what should have been a private Surma family matter .
Vic Sr wrote on the Penn State Football listserv, "You know what kind of people we are dealing with. We've all played for him--[paterno] the biggest fraud of the college football world. To expect Paterno and his gang to help is a dream.....try to get blood out of a stone. Good luck." Obviously, he is angry that Vic Jr or the Surma family has not received some sort of assistance. What a change of heart after his glowing remarks of Paterno in a book in 2002!
No less than seven sources including arrest records indicate there were lifestyle and drug problems for Victor, Jr.
Conflict of interest abounds in the handling of the Sandusky Scandal at Penn State.
There was a failure to disclose the following:
Freeh report's client was the Board of Trustees, not Penn State, and therefore Freeh had a duty to act in the best interests of the board of trustees.
A substantial portion of the investigation was passed to law firm Pepper Hamilton, LLP, who had a direct relationship with individual members of the board of trustees.
In August 2012 FSS (Freeh) had been acquired by Pepper Hamilton, and Freeh is now chairman of Pepper Hamilton.
The Freeh Report failed to report on the written threat by the brother of Trustee Vice Chair John P Surma to publicly disgrace Mr Paterno.
It is time to pull all the pieces together and put the blame firmly where it belongs--on Jerry Sandusky as a "nice guy" pedophile who is serving essentially a life sentence in prison, and to repair the broken board of trustee system that currently runs Penn State. There clearly were conflicts of interest here, including relationships between Louis Freeh, the Second Mile, and individual members of the Board of Trustees.