On campus the chant was: They say we only care about football, they say we don't care about kids....$10.6m!
As a PR person that specialized in disgraced people, it was an error in judgment. The discussion on this alone is proof of what I speak. It's a great cause, sure, but the wrong message to send.
The best thing Penn State or anyone can do in such a scandal is this:
1. Clean house.
2. Admit they were wrong.
3. Settle the lawsuit and make the terms public. (Many do disagree but it's penance. It tells any idiot with a camera or newspaper, we mean we fucked up and we're trying to make it right, and, yes, we know that's maybe not possible for obvious reasons. The settlement should include money and free psychological help for as long as they need it.)
4. Put mechanisms in place to make sure it doesn't happen again and make it public when they announce the settlement.
How Penn State did it wrong:
1. Blamed everyone but themselves. Their board was right to fire the two they put in-charge, Paterno and Spanier, but were guilty themselves of sleeping at the wheel.
2. See #1. From there they'll get everything else wrong.
The worst thing people hate is cover-ups within big organizations. The Catholic Church is begging people to come back. The cover-up hurt them and will hurt Penn State in the long-term. People will think, wonder who is doing it that got away with it? Kids will decide to go elsewhere. Perhaps big-shot professors will turn down Penn by accepting somewhere else. It will hurt them with talent.
A good example how to get away with a scandal is Bill Clinton. But, all he did was bang an intern. And, like or not, people liked Bill Clinton and hated Hillary. He had the charisma that never goes away. That's why the GOP hated him, but actually admired him in certain places they didn't like talking about. Why? Women saw him as weak...with women. Men did too but kept their traps shut and agreed with their wives lest the anger turned on them. They may have scorned him for doing it, but saw it as a human failing. Clinton was great at looking like a dumbass who didn't know any better--a victim. First, thing, he ignored it. When he admitted he had an "inappropriate relationship," the game was up. The GOP had egg on their faces. Now, if Bill had been say Newt Gingrich, they would have crucified him. Why? Newt had the image of a thug. The other reason Clinton got away with it is really easy: a bunch of women wanted to sleep with the guy, or had the fantasy. Clinton was the lover as opposed to Newt the thug. What women really, really didn't like about Bill was they he used Monica for blowjobs. But, they saw he as stupid for it. It didn't hurt that all the women Bill boned loved him for it except Paula Jones who they thought was just trying to cash in. Monica wanted the scarlet letter and the executive kneepads. Dumb broad got what she deserved they thought. So did a lot of other girls who were your wives. They guys just wanted to be Bill. Haha! Women didn't blame Bill for what he did like always with such guys. They blame themselves for being "stupid."