Penn State Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour recently told the press that she saw no evidence of an athletic “culture” problem, contradicting the university-commissioned Freeh report.
Barbour went even to say, “I believe based on what I’ve seen that that’s a mischaracterization that there was a problem with Penn State’s culture. I don’t buy that.”
Inexplicably, the Penn State trustees have allowed, even promoted, that “mischaracterization,” costing the university millions, soiling reputations of men of the highest integrity and driving alumni by the tens of thousands to Penn State’s defense.
That is why Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship supports Graham Spanier’s defamation suit against Louis Freeh, his firm (Freeh, Sporkin & Sullivan) and Penn State. The numerous lawsuits surrounding this $8.5 million report — Spanier’s being only the most recent — are beginning to expose it for the fraud it is.
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Former attorney general Dick Thornburgh called the report “flawed and incomplete.” Penn State President Eric Barron said it created an “absurd” and “unwarranted” picture and was “not useful to make decisions.”
PS4RS observed that the report perversely “prevented a full and complete review of what actually went wrong, and why trained professionals failed to recognize, intervene and prosecute Sandusky years earlier.”
Now Barbour calls the Freeh report a “mischaracterization.”
As we await next steps in Spanier’s legal filing, we continue to question why the trustees remain far more defensive of the report and its source materials than they are of the very institution they have been charged to protect.
Maribeth Roman Schmidt
The writer is the spokeswoman of Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship.