Erickson expressed concern and sorrow for the victims of the Jerry Sandusky sex scandal; news that has rocked not only PSU, but also the world of college football and the nation as a whole.
This has been one of the saddest weeks in the history of Penn State, he begins. And my heart goes out to those who have been victimized. I share your anger and sorrow.
Although we cannot go back to business as usual, our university must move forward.
We are a community. Our work is as vital as ever. We remain committed to our core values and we will rebuild the trust, honor and pride that have endured for generations. Please join me in this effort, Erickson concludes.
Rodney Erickson was named the new president of PSU Friday, after the board of trustees met to quickly decide on a replacement for former president Graham Spanier.
This marked the board of trustees' first scheduled meeting since the Sandusky sex scandal broke, reports WNEP-16 news. They had previously held emergency meetings throughout the week to decide how to handle Graham Spanier and Joe Paterno.
Spanier was fired, along with head football coach Paterno, for his involvement in the Sandusky scandal.
Both Spanier and Paterno had knowledge of at least one sexual assault incident involving Sandusky and a minor male.
Once having been named president, Erickson said the entire situation is a tragedy for many lives and it will take all of us a long time to come to grips with it. He also said that the board plans to establish a committee to determine what failures occurred, who is responsible, and what measures are necessary to insure that this never happens at our University again and that those responsible are held fully accountable.
Paterno's firing sparked further criticism not only from PSU students who loved the 84-year-old football coach that led for 46 seasons, but also from those who believe assistant coach Mike McQueary should be fired as well.
McQueary is the one who actually saw Sandusky sexually assaulting a 10-year-old boy in the PSU showers. McQueary testified that he saw Sandusky sodomize a young boy in the showers at PSU but never reported this to the authorities.
The assistant coach was scheduled to coach Saturday's game against Nebraska but he will no longer be in attendance due to multiple threats.
Read the full text of Erickson's statement to PSU here.