A group that’s been sharply critical of Penn State’s response to the Jerry Sandusky scandal released an analysis of the Freeh report Thursday, saying it came to conclusions without evidence.
Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship said it found 23 “key failures” in the report that university trustees hired Louis Freeh to do. PS4RS, as the group is known, criticizes what it said is a lack of evidence for the conclusions Freeh reached and how his team arrived at its findings that former university leaders Joe Paterno, Graham Spanier, Gary Schultz and Tim Curley plotted to conceal Sandusky’s sexual abuse of boys on campus.
The group also blasts trustees for accepting the Freeh report in its entirety after it was issued July 12.
In its 53-page report, PS4RS said failures of the Freeh investigation include: lack of documentation to support the conclusion that the four men concealed abuse; no consideration of the role of The Second Mile, the charity Sandusky started; lack of interviews with certain key witnesses; and not addressing conflicting accounts from Mike McQueary.
McQueary is the former coach who testified that he walked in on Sandusky naked in a shower with a boy.
PS4RS said the investigation should have included looking at the state Department of Public Welfare, police, Centre County Children and Youth Services, Centre County District Attorney and the Second Mile — agencies with professionals trained to recognize abuse.
The groups said the shortcomings also include not reporting on a “written threat by the brother of an influential member of University Board of Trustees to publicly disgrace Mr. Paterno as evidence of bias.”
Further details about that incident weren’t immediately available.
“If the Freeh Report were turned in to a Penn State professor as part of a student’s course work, it would undoubtedly receive a failing grade,” PS4RS spokeswoman Marybeth Schmidt said. “The trustees’ failure to critically review it has compromised the health, well-being and value of the university brand as it relates to every single group of its constituents, and subsequently has cost the university at least $100 million, with the counter continuing to tick upward.”
The NCAA based its penalties, including $60 million in fines, on the Freeh report.
A Penn State spokesman declined to comment. Penn State trustees will meet this afternoon in the Nittany Lion Inn.
Anne Danahy can be reached at 231-4648. Follow her on Twitter @AnneDanahy