Uncover the full story
President Eric Barron should be applauded for issuing a call for civility among Penn Staters (“Penn State letter urges civility, Sept. 5, CDT). Since Barron assumed the presidency, he has consistently acted with professionalism and vision. He is correct that Penn Staters need to be able to have frank discussions about the Sandusky scandal without the discussions degenerating into insults.
Lost in the reaction to Barron’s letter is a subtle but startling fact: The letter represents the first time that anyone among Penn State’s leadership has publicly admitted the Freeh report did not capture the truth. By signing a letter that states “We are likely never to have the full story” about the scandal, the events that precede it, and its aftermath, dozens of Penn State administrators finally have acknowledged what has been obvious to most Penn Staters for quite some time: The Freeh report does not offer the full story.
The trustees who commissioned the Freeh report have steadfastly defended the report since it was issued, and they have refused to debate its merits. This stonewalling has stifled discussion and fostered hostility from Penn Staters who were offended by the Freeh report’s conclusions. Now that dozens of Penn State’s leaders have broken the proverbial, let the civil and candid discussion begin. With a sincere and thoughtful effort, perhaps we can uncover the full story.