Steve Garban quietly falls on his sword, and takes an opportunity with him

Published July 19, 2012
Steve Garban press conference

Hey. Did you hear that? Steve Garban, the embattled Penn State trustee, finally resigned tonight. He knew about the Sandusky charges a week before they were announced, but apparently did nothing to stop the train wreck from unfolding.

What? You didn’t hear anything? Oh, right. That’s because his resignation barely made a whisper.

There was no statement of regret that you’d normally read from a board chairman who exhibited such a massive failure of leadership. He accepted no responsibility for his missteps in November that tore the Penn State family apart.

The only notice of his resignation came from a memo from President Karen Peetz that was buried inside the trustees’ web site under “Other Updates” – accessible from a link half-way down the page.

No announcement was made by Penn State’s crack media team. Garban held no press conference  to answer for his actions. And when the Centre Daily Times called him tonight, Garban referred a reporter to Penn State’s official spokesmen, declining to explain why he decided to step down.

A loyal soldier for more than three decades, Garban fell on his sword and quietly slinked off into the darkness.

Peetz thanked Garban for his service, and praised his decision to go. “This selfless leadership exemplifies the culture shift we are working hard to create,” she wrote in her memo. “I will miss Steve and his many contributions to the board, but I understand and respect his reasons for leaving.”

But she stopped short of explaining those reasons. Only Garban’s letter of resignation – which accompanied her memo – was left to explain why he decided to step down nine months after the scandal broke.

It is clear to me that my presence on the Board has become a distraction and an impediment to your efforts to move forward.

I had not planned to run again when my term expires next year, but I now feel it is best for the Board and the University that I submit my resignation from the Penn State Board of Trustees, effective immediately. This is not a decision I have come to lightly. It is a decision that is my own.

As the crisis unfolded in November, his incompetence forced him to hand the reins to Vice President John Surma. But that wasn’t enough to make him resign. Instead, Garban gave up his chairmanship permanently, intending to finish out the last year of his term.

Then the Freeh report was released, and he he got caught. In Steve Garban’s mind, only then was it time to go.

It’s one of the saddest resignations I’ve seen. An opportunity to repent and show some real leadership is gone.

And so is another chance for the Penn State family to have something to be proud of.

  • John Klice

    I respect Mr. Garban. He is a kind, patient, compassionate mensch…\//

  • John Klice


    about time they honored a woman for putting (Joe Pa)in his place; (after he died?)

    ============================================== Just a little flash fiction… Sometimes I let my mind wander. And sometimes it does not come back.

    ============================================== She has consistently been named among American Banker’s “25 Most Powerful Women in Banking.”

    In 2011, “—–” ranked #1 in this survey,

    which is based on the nominee’s job responsibility, management style, crisis management skills, influence within the industry and charitable endeavors.

    ChairROEman of the Pennsylvania State University’s Board of Trustees. (elected after having ran uncontested?)

    (the “right” to have an abortion performed on due process, presumption
    of innocence, and the American Judicial System with legal and FBI

    The football program is just a feet-U.S.???

    Her “zero tolerance” policy Out of jealousy, envy, envy, pride, and wrath. Gluttony of sloth at the trough, and greed. (and the last is not the least)

    SHE changed her “official” Bio immediately, after manipulating the board. I am number one. I am invincible. I am the woman who rules Beaver Stadium. And she doesn’t care if the valley is happy or not. Snow White and the Board of dwarfs, minus one mensch of integrity who resigned. Bashful, Doc, Dopey, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, and Sneezy…

    We will reward the zombies who let her rule. We will gut the stores of loot and give it to our lawyer friends. How many times does 30 go into 60 million? Like Judas was a lawyer, 2000 years ago. Like all lawyers feel; “they earned it”.

    Just like free choice true lies. The prerogative of presumption of guilt No due process, no competent defense counsel, Manufactured pathos by sensationalizing the horrible. Prejudicial and inflammatory slander and libel. But the FBI “Hatchetman” filled the bill, as stipulated for the board of her mesmerized dwarfs… “An allegation, based on conjecture, is not proof.” And yet they executed him anyway. And denigrated his legacy of virtue.

    After much thought it would be better if all those football players who honored honor

    rather than HER success,

    turned the other cheek in contempt, and disgust, and let the women’s field hockey team take over the stadium. (they earned it?)

    They could share it with the women’s soccer team now that women are equal in Happy Valley’s PTA. (PMS Transylvania Authority)

    If there was ever a man who had to pay for all the sins of all NCAA schools all times, AND the NFL, all times, they picked the right man…

    And he would just say, “It is finished.” “Forgive them,” “For they know not what they do.”

    =================================== a line from the “Crucible” the movie, play written by Arthur Miller on the Witch-hunts of Salem…

    (and parable for McCarthyism)… subversive and by the use of tactics involving personal attacks on individuals by means of widely publicized indiscriminate allegations especially on the basis of unsubstantiated charges.)

    “You are pulling down heaven and raising up a whore” ? Arthur Miller, The Crucible