Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Psu Alumni Group Rebuts Freeh Report

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Psu Alumni Group Rebuts Freeh Report

Article excerpt

A Penn State University alumni group Thursday sharply rebutted the Freeh report and its assessment of the school's handling of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, saying its authors in a rush to judgment produced a biased and error-filled report.

The 52-page review and analysis released by Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship, or PS4RS, said the report by former FBI director Louis J. Freeh's law firm ignored key witnesses and advanced unsupportable conclusions that wrongly tarred the university and its leaders, including the late football coach Joe Paterno.

It called on the NCAA to rethink its landmark sanctions including a $60 million fine and four-year postseason bowl ban that relied heavily on the report's sweeping conclusions.

And it said more focus should have been placed on exploring why trained professionals outside Penn State who were alerted years ago to potential crimes by Mr. Sandusky did not intervene. The only logical reason that angle was not explored more thoroughly was that it was at odds with the report's "predetermined goal," PS4RS asserted.

It said the most important victims were the children sexually abused by Mr. Sandusky, but added that the process created others.

"Wholly innocent people, from students to alumni to business owners to citizens of Pennsylvania, were the victims of an incredible rush to judgment," the report stated.

Its release came as Penn State's board of trustees -- a group that PS4RS has urged be replaced -- prepared to meet today on the University Park campus for a session that will mark the first time trustees have allotted meeting time for public comment.

David LaTorre, a Penn State spokesman, said the university and board had no comment on the PS4RS findings. A spokesman for the Freeh Group could not immediately be reached.

The PS4RS report was notable, not only for its tone but for its scope, including a bulleted list of what the group called 23 key failures of the Freeh report and its authors. …

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