Penn State's Code of Conduct was required after school President Rodney Erickson agreed to
sanctions handed down by the NCAA this summer. A code was approved by the Board of Trustees on Friday. WTAJ was there, and found that the newly approved code simply enforces the guidelines already in place.
Board of Trustee's member Anthony Lubrano was one of three trustees looking to emphasize
that passing a code of conduct didn't mean the board agreed with President Rodney Erickson accepting the NCAA sanctions.
"This code of conduct is a direct result of the Academic Integrity Agreement. We didn't want there to be any suggestion that by accepting this, that we were also accepting the consent agreement because as you well know, we've never even debated it."
Board of Trustees Chairman Karen Peetz thinks it's a great move to approve the code, and hopes it's followed by everybody. Especially her board.
"...Hopefully it starts at the top, from a board modeling that. That we have a code, we understand it, we do it, we adhere to it."
Peetz says that Penn State students are working on their own code of conduct. One that's separate from athletics.
"I think that would be really terrific, if we had a code of conduct that went for all Penn State, the whole community."
The Code of Conduct is set by Penn State, the Big Ten, and the NCAA. It covers many topics, from academic integrity to drugs, hazing to rape. Athletes and coaches have to follow them strictly. There's no retaliation against someone who reports seeing another breaking the code. People, who report a violation, can do it anonymously. While chairman Peetz thinks the board will lead by example, Lubrano says it's a tough sell to "Penn-Staters", many of whom don't trust this Board of Trustees.
"We have a long way to go to regain confidence as part of the Penn State community in this particular Board of Trustees."
Student-Athletes, coaches, administrators and the board will have to sign the six page Code of Conduct. Chairman Peetz also says that the board will begin searching for Rodney Erickson's replacement. She acknowledged that they won't hire a new Athletic Director until a new President is hired.