The woman who stood up to Joe Paterno
Vicky Triponey, former head of student affairs at Penn State, is photographed on Friday, July 13, at The College of New Jersey, where she's now interim director of student affairs.
July 16th, 2012
11:31 AM ET

The woman who stood up to Joe Paterno

by Ann O'Neill, CNN

(CNN) - Vicky Triponey knows all too well the power Penn State's late football coach, Joe Paterno, held for more than half a century over the insular slice of central Pennsylvania that calls itself Happy Valley.

She experienced firsthand the clubby, jock-snapping culture, the sense of entitlement, the cloistered existence. It's what drove her five years ago from her job as the vice president who oversaw student discipline.

She was told she was too aggressive, too confrontational, that she wasn't fitting in with "the Penn State way."

She clashed often with Paterno over who should discipline football players when they got into trouble. The conflict with such an iconic figure made her very unpopular around campus. For a while, it cost Triponey her peace of mind and her good name. It almost ended her 30-year academic career.

Another person might have felt vindicated, smug or self-righteous when former FBI Director Louis Freeh delivered the scathing report on his eight-month investigation of the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal. But Triponey sensed only a deep sadness.

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Filed under: College • Extracurricular • Policy
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  5. Brian

    Just a few things about what Vicky Triponey actually did while at Penn State:

    July 18, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
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    It was not just Penn State, but UConn as well

    July 16, 2012 at 9:12 pm |