State Sen. John Yudichak questions Freeh report, urges Penn State to challenge sanctions

mdawson@centredaily.comMarch 5, 2013 

A state senator from northeastern Pennsylvania has joined the growing chorus of university and elected officials speaking out in defense of Penn State and against the Freeh report.

State Sen. John Yudichak, a Democrat from Luzerne County, on Monday said Penn State should try to see if the NCAA sanctions could be modified. He went on to say Penn State should re-examine the Freeh report, which was released this past summer and accused senior university administrators of concealing abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky.

“I believe that it is the responsibility of Penn State University and the (b)oard of (t)rustees to immediately address the serious shortcomings of the Freeh report and to seek an amendment to the consent decree with the NCAA to remove or reduce all sanctions against Penn State University,” said Yudichak, a Penn State alumnus, in a statement.

Penn State spokesman David La Torre declined to comment.

Yudichak said he released the statement after speaking with Ron Tomalis, the state’s education secretary and member of Penn State’s board of trustees, about Penn State’s response to the Sandusky scandal.

Scott Paterno, one of former head football coach Joe Paterno’s three sons, gave Yudichak an endorsement Sunday on Twitter after the senator first criticized the Freeh report last week.

“@SenJohnYudichak is a guy Penn Staters should follow,” Paterno wrote on Twitter. “Regardless of your take on Freeh, PSU BOT need governance reform and reduced to 18-22.”

Yudichak joins a growing group of leaders who have voiced their opposition to the Freeh report or the NCAA’s sanctions.

Gov. Tom Corbett sued the NCAA to overturn the sanctions, and state Sen. Jake Corman was behind a new law that aims to keep the $60 million fine Penn State has to pay inside the state. The NCAA has challenged both initiatives.

Penn State trustees Anthony Lubrano, Ryan McCombie, Alvin Clemens, Joel Myers and Adam Taliaferro have spoken out since the Paterno family’s rebuttal to the Freeh report last month.

Lubrano has called on Penn State to seek a refund of some of the $6.5 million spent on the Freeh report. Most recently, Myers penned a long email released Thursday in which he said the NCAA should reverse the sanctions and admit it was wrong.

Mike Dawson can be reached at 231-4616. Follow him on Twitter @MikeDawsonCDT.

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