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How One Emotionless CPA Completely Dominated The Penn State Press Conference

U.S. Steel CEO and vice chairman of the Penn State Board of Trustees John Surma spent last night in the hot seat, fielding angry questions from bitter Penn State fans-cum-journalists (read: second year J-schoolers) distraught by this whole scandal nonsense. You see, it fell on his shoulders to announce to the world that the trustees canned head coach Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spanier.

Why do we care? Surma got his BS in accounting from Penn State University in 1976 and started off his career at then Price Waterhouse. He is a member of the AICPA and sits on the Bank of New York Mellon’s board. Therefore, he’s a member of the club.

And he handled last night’s Penn State press conference like a gangster. Even when angry “journalists” attacked.

See? This is why you send a CPA into the lion’s den. An architect would have crumbled. An engineer may have cried. A doctor would have cowered in fear. But a CPA? Stone-faced and calm with zero emotion, just how a Board of Trustees vice chairman should be when announcing a beloved coach has been canned due to, er, questionable discretion. And of course, because CPAs aren’t real big on that whole interaction thing, they called Paterno on the phone to tell him the news. Not a sit down or even coffee, but a phone call.

Told you he was gangsta.

Here’s the video: