In the Lions’ Den tells the true story of a scandal at Penn State University that unfairly resulted in the firing of the nation’s most successful and admired collegiate football coach and the respected president of the university. The book chronicles a criminal justice system run amok, political vindictiveness and retribution, moral panic, and the influence of a twisted media narrative. It is, in short, the anatomy of a smear, a memoir told by the university president who lost his job after an outstanding career in higher education. The story, which is so outlandish that it would be impossible to make up, involves villains and heroes, fear and bravery, the rehabilitative value of friends and family, and coping with adversity.
Targeted Age Group:: 18-80
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I hadn’t initially wanted to write about any of this—ever—preferring to leave it behind me and avoid reliving it by retelling it. Little did I know in early November 2011 that my life was about to unravel in a nightmare of false accusations and labyrinthine legal proceedings stemming from a scandal surrounding a man I barely knew. It was a scandal that would not only cost me my job, but in the eyes of those who focused only on the sensational media coverage and a thoroughly discredited investigative report, my reputation.
Ultimately, would justice prevail, and at what cost? Or would it prove what George Orwell wrote in a 1946 essay, “We are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right”?
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