Franco Harris’ ‘Upon Further Review’ forum draws crowd

From CDT staff reportsApril 20, 2013 

About 275 people crowded into the Days Inn ballroom on the eve of the Blue-White Game to hear Penn State football great Franco Harris lead a discussion on the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal and the firing of longtime Nittany Lions coach Joe Paterno.

Penn State trustee Anthony Lubrano repeated his call for information about the university’s deal with the Louis Freeh group, which last summer released the report that accused Paterno and other Penn State officials of concealing crimes committed by Sandusky in 1998 and 2001. Sandusky was convicted last June on 45 counts of child sexual abuse.

Lubrano, part of a panel discussion at the end of the 3-hour event, had previously called for the board of trustees to demand a refund from the Freeh group for the $6 million investigation. On Friday, he produced a letter he said would be sent to the board that calls for a disclosure of all information about the agreement that led to the Freeh findings.

The forum also featured presentations by 1990 Penn State aerospace engineering graduate Eileen Morgan, who argued against the evidence in the 1998 and 2001 Sandusky cases, and government analyst Ray Blehar, a Penn State business alumnus who criticized Freeh’s findings and the media’s coverage of the report and the ensuing NCAA sanctions against Penn State.

“There is no evidence of a cover-up,” Morgan said.

Blehar said he looks forward to the results of an investigation by state Attorney General Kathleen Kane into the original Sandusky investigation by then-AG Tom Corbett, now the governor.

Blehar said Kane’s investigation “will go a great way toward clearing this mess up.”

This was the latest in a series of “Upon Further Review” forums organized and hosted by Harris, a star Penn State fullback in the early 1970s known for making “The Immaculate Reception” in the 1972 NFL playoffs for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Previous sessions were held in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

Lubrano was joined on the panel by documentary filmmaker John Ziegler, Harrisburg attorney Rob Tribeck of Penn Staters For Responsible Stewardship, and CDT Executive Editor Chip Minemyer.

Ziegler recently appeared on NBC’s Today Show, which broadcast portions of a prison interview he did with Sandusky.

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