Official Press Release: : PENN STATERS FOR RESPONSIBLE STEWARDSHIP RELEASES CRITICAL REVIEW & ANALYSIS OF FREEH REPORT

PENN STATERS FOR RESPONSIBLE STEWARDSHIP RELEASES
CRITICAL REVIEW & ANALYSIS OF FREEH REPORT

SEPTEMBER 13, 2012 —- Two full months after Louis Freeh managed to pass off a wholly unsubstantiated distortion of the facts as a “full and complete report” that convicted three Penn State administrators and the University’s football coach in the court of public opinion, Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship (PS4RS) today released its Critical Review & Analysis of the Freeh Report. The grassroots watchdog group, numbering more than 12,000 members, has been consistently critical of the Board of Trustees’ handling of events related to the Sandusky case since it broke in November 2011. Its Legal and Regulatory Task Force, comprised of more than 40 legal experts, logged thousands of hours in preparation for this analysis to educate the Trustees themselves, the NCAA and the general public as to the gross negligence exercised in using this document as the basis for any critical decision-making or direction-setting, including that which was recently handed down by the NCAA.

The PS4RS Legal and Regulatory Task Force set out to examine the Freeh Report critically — to differentiate between facts supported by documented evidence, facts without evidentiary support, opinions of the author, and wholly unsupported conclusions reached by the author. The purpose of the PS4RS Critical Analysis & Review is to identify the shortcomings, inaccuracies, and the gross incompleteness of the Freeh Report.

The PS4RS Critical Analysis & Review specifically outlines 23 key failures of the Freeh Report that are notable not just in their quantity, but in their magnitude. The analysis goes far beyond the already public criticisms of failure to interview individuals central to the case and unsubstantiated conclusions. It further delves into issues relating to exactly who Freeh’s client was — Penn State University or the Board of Trustees; conflicts of interest in the hiring of Freeh; failure to provide specific documentation to support the concept of concealment; and complete absence of consideration of the role of the Second Mile and its failure to act upon report of the 2001 incident.

The PS4RS Critical Analysis & Review states: “It is our sincere hope that, by drawing attention to the gross inaccuracies of the Freeh Report, the public at large will step forward and demand that the true facts be discovered, and that the true entities and individuals who failed in their law enforcement or child welfare positions will be identified and asked to answer for their inaction.” Those trained professionals include members of the: Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare; Centre County Children and Youth Services; State College Borough Police Department; Centre County District Attorney’s Office; and The Second Mile — none of whom PS4RS states were given the necessary consideration to deem this report remotely “full and complete.”

It is the position of the members of PS4RS that a critical review, such as that done voluntarily by the watchdog group, should have been conducted by the University before the Freeh Report was released publicly. Failure to do so has led to unfair and inaccurate conclusions, sanctions and warnings levied by such groups as the NCAA and Middle States Accreditation. “If the Freeh Report were turned in to a Penn State professor as part of a student’s coursework, it would undoubtedly receive a failing grade,” a PS4RS spokesperson said. “The Trustees’ failure to critically review it has compromised the health, well-being and value of the University brand as it relates to every single group of its constituents, and subsequently has cost the University at least $100 million, with the counter continuing to tick upward.”

PS4RS Summary of Review of the Freeh Report
PS4RS Identification of Key Failures of the Freeh Report
PS4RS Review of the Freeh Report

Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship membership has doubled in size since the release of the Freeh report. The organization, which has more than 12,000 members nationwide, was formed to effect positive change within the University Board of Trustees. For further information on PS4RS, please visit http://www.PS4RS.ORG, email ps4rsinfo@ps4rs.org, or search “WE intend to vote out the Penn State Board of Trustees” on Facebook. Follow PS4RS on Twitter at @PS4RS.

26 thoughts on “Official Press Release: : PENN STATERS FOR RESPONSIBLE STEWARDSHIP RELEASES CRITICAL REVIEW & ANALYSIS OF FREEH REPORT

  1. Everyone,

    Great job on the review and analysis. This makes the score about 8 – 0 on reasonable and intelligent people hammering the Freeh Report. I’m convinced more than ever that it’s not worth the paper it’s printed on much less the $6.5 mil we’ve been told it cost.

    Maybe this effort will finally get the BOT to bring Freeh to a public meeting and have him either rebut the 8 against or admit that his report was a phony and retract it completely.

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  2. Excellent report, sure hope you can get someone to read it who has the power/influence to throw out the Freeh report and start the whole evaluation process over again. Also hope future reports spend more effort on Corbett’s role in preventing investigation/prosecution of Sandusky and the role of his 12 BoT lackeys in hiring Freeh and that their role in firing JoePa as a diversion to redirect attention from his shortcomings.

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    1. Truly Good work. How is PS4RS getting this information out to the press? Someone should send a copy to 60 Minutes and others in the sports media like Brent Mussburger and Lou Holtz who have been rationale.

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      1. Chuck — so far 325 outlets have picked up the AP feed including the New York Times. Sara Ganim is the Alpha Reporter on this story with her Pulitzer credentials and she ran a very positive article in the Patriot-News. It has gone viral on the Internet and Maribeth Schmidt is fielding dozens of inquiries for follow ups.

        Not bad for an all-volunteer effort.

        Gary Levitt
        Editor

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  3. MAJOR kudos to all who did the tedious work to produce the comprehensive analysis of the Freeh Report. Excellent, excellent work. Thank you very much.

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  4. PS4RS – Outstanding work.

    I do have a question. Many of the people who have critically reviewed the Report and identified the huge number of flaws have repeatedly said that the real facts will come out during the trials set for January. Is that true? Will many or all of the topics you have covered in your analysis be ‘fair game’ during the court trials? I ask because if this is not the case, what legal actions can be taken to force an accurate in-depth investigation? Or….can we only wait until a news organization or the BOT or the NCAA or someone, anyone, decides to pick up the story and do a real investigation?

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  5. Thank you to all the volunteers that put their time into this report. Unfortunately, to rebuild reputations both for the individuals and university devastated by the Freeh Report and BOT, it will take a lot longer than how fast they were able to crush them. Keep up the fight!

    I see from the one post that it has been picked up by the AP and other news agencies. Have any of the TV or radio media outlets asked to interview anyone about the report? I am figuring they will not because it would put them in bad light since they were all on board with the Freeh report.

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  6. Great report – very thorough. A huge thank you to all the members who worked so hard on this.

    One thing in here that I wasn’t aware of is that Freeh is selling his report on Amazon. That is shocking. As the BOT commissioned and paid for the report, they must have given the OK for that. Yet another huge slap in the face to PSU, students, alumni, and supporters. To actually be selling this piece of crap report on Amazon for $20 – evidently with an intro by the illustrious Governor Corbett – is unbelievable. These guys could not be more in your face with their complete delight in screwing PSU and playing puppet masters with our lazy media. This is yet another disgrace in a long line of disgraces by Freeh, Corbett, and the BoT. (BTW, the reviews for it on Amazon are scathing).

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  7. Excellent work. I hope the reasonable people of influence, mention by others in their replies, do start to ask for the real facts beyond this and do hold Freeh accountable for the many errors and assumptions. let the truth flow. Again, Great job!

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  8. The BOT’s, through their absolute breach of trust and professional responsibility, which includes the Freeh investigation, and the resulting abortion of athletic /academic governance perpetrated by the NCAA, was to Penn State and the citizens of Pennsylvania that, Pearl Harbor was to the United States.

    It may take many years, but all involved will be held accountable! The reckoning will result in all sitting BOTs at the time of origin of the failures will be removed. The Freeh report will be exposed in a court of law under prosecution by the new governor, and state AG for the errors and omissions proven in civil litigation! The NCAA will be abandoned in favor of a more democratic body with focus on the student athlete needs.

    What university can believe that this could not happen to them and their community! when a bunch of vindictive academic self absorbed elitist without statutory authority can attack, and cannibalize one of it’s most revered members! Member ship in this group just is not worth it!

    This was a terrible crime against kids! What purpose did it serve for the entire state of Pennsylvania to be made a victim in the name of revenge, Surely it is not justice!

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    1. I share your passion, as do tens of thousands of others, to correct the multiple unequivocal injustices that have been heaped upon the all-inclusive Penn State community. Justice must and will be served.

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      1. You may have “opened” the meeting to the public, but your minds are as closed as they were in November 2011.

        I takes chutzpah for Mark Dambly to state with a straight face that “we haven’t carte blanche accepted everything in the Freeh Report” and that “People misinterpreted that we were accepting all of the conclusions that he drew in the report.”

        The BOT made NO effort to counter one word of the report when Freeh did his dog and pony show in Philadelphia for the benefit of the media in what amounted to a public crucifixion of Penn State, Joe Paterno, Schultz, Curley and Spanier. The BOT paid him $6.5 million to nail the blame for the Sandusky mess on Paterno to justify the fact that the BOT fired him with NO proof of any wrongdoing and you got what you paid for and to now attempt to say – “the people misinterpreted” is a flat out lie. Ms. Peetz first words following the “show” in Philadelphia was to release a statement saying that “we accept the conclusions of the Freeh Report” only later did we find out that the BOT hadn’t read the report!

        The fact that Peetz then stated that the BOT has no plan for a detailed review of the Freeh Report is absolutely outrageous considering the damage that report has done to not only the reputations of Paterno, Schultz, Curley and Spanier but also to the reputation of the university. We are now the butt of cheap jokes and the kind of comparisons that make any real Penn Stater livid because our BOT allowed this to happen.

        The admission on Thursday that the BOT had no crisis management plan in place is further example of outright incompetence and failure to fulfill your fiduciary responsibility to protect the university. There are no multibillion dollar institutions or corporations that don’t have crisis management plans. Frazer, Peetz, and Surma all work at multibillion dollar corporations, all of which have crisis management plans in place so why didn’t they care enough about the university to have one in place? Incompetence – that’s why and a total lack of concern about the university.

        Then we were treated to the ludicrous comment also from Mark Dambly that “the board has not taken a position on the guilt or innocence of the four leaders the Freeh report accused of trying to cover up Sandusky’s child abuse.” How exactly do you think the firing of Paterno and Spanier is perceived by the public if not as the board’s position in regard to their guilt or innocence? What message do you think was sent when you took down Joe’s statue and re-did the entire area as though it were a horrible crime scene that had to be eradicated? The BOT “judgment” on Paterno and Spanier occurred long before the Freeh Report was released, the Freeh Report was just your collective CYA justifying what you did.

        Of course, the ignorant manner in which was Franco Harris was treated was embarrassing because of what it further exposed about the BOT; namely, that you are still a group of craven cowards (excepting the newest members and Joel Myers) who cannot stand to hear criticism or dissent. Franco Harris has brought Penn State glory from the time he was a player at PSU, through his career in the NFL, and now as a very successful businessman. He’s a shining example of what any university wants a student/athlete to become – a success and a man unafraid to stand by his principles and his convictions despite attempts by others to malign him simply for being unafraid to challenge the sanctions of the NCAA and the trashing of Joe Paterno and Penn State football and the university as a whole.

        There was no good reason to not allow Franco to speak other than that Peetz didn’t want him to have a forum and turning off his microphone was a ridiculous act of pettiness and just further reinforces with the rest of us alumni the utter contempt in which the BOT holds us and our opinions and questions.

        Of course, all of this ignorance with Harris coincided with the unwillingness once again of the BOT to tell the truth in regard to the supposed threat of the “death penalty” for football. Ed Ray says there was no threat and he has NO reason to lie, Erickson says there was a threat and he has every reason to lie. I’m sad to say that I believe Ray over the president of my own university.

        Finally it was equally disturbing to read in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer that Peetz “chastised the (public) speakers for leaving the hotel ballroom midway through the three-hour session.”
        Is that the way Ms. Peetz shows “respect” to her customers and employees at BNY-Mellon? That action on her part showed once again the utter lack of leadership ability or even common sense of the BOT Chairwoman. Another embarrassing display of childish behavior by someone who supposedly should know better.

        Precisely why should the public speakers have stayed at that point? Their questions weren’t being answered and they’d just watched the BOT attempt to humiliate a respected alumnus. I think at that point everyone realized that this BOT meeting was just another fake attempt to show “transparency” and “change” when all it amounted to a was public performance devoid of substance and devoid of any real concern for truth, accuracy, or accountability.

        Sherry and Bruce Sauerwine
        PSU ‘69 and ‘70

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        1. Great job, leaving before the meeting was over , sounds like someone was shutting off her mic! And one important thought,let’s post the biography of all the BOTs we would like to resign. Maybe a boycott of their businesses and pratices by “we are” would get their attention that they are not welcome anymore! Maybe it will spread to the stock holders and other customers or corporate affiliations! Some will say, but who will we get to replace them! I say it we already know worst case , and what it got us with these clowns!

          Even more effective, I would welcome the ps4ever to start a movement to form a shadow BOT’s , with a nonprofit charter , constitution, by laws and term limits. We should play the long game, creat a new forum, an alumni association that becomes it’s own super pac in PA. Its time has come, if the bot, the state governor, the NCAA does not want to play by the rules of a democratic society. Then “we are” needs to shut down their mic, pull all support and place it’s resources under the control of a new independent Board.

          It would be great to have all future endowments and donations to be placed in a properly secured escrow account managed by an independent board.

          Maybe ps4ever corporate charter needs to be amended! Think Big! They can only ignore you as long as they believe they can afford too!

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  9. A great analysis of the Freeh Report. I cannot believe that the BOT would hire a law firm, and God knows that there are more that enough in the United States, with ties to Board members. It is not only amazingly ridiculous, but also amazingly idiotic. How can these people be trusted to lead a university when they cannot even make an objective decision with this importance behind it?
    If this is how “behind closed doors” really operates, then the University should remove any and all ethics courses taught within its educational systems.

    George F. Aul ’08

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  10. I would like to know when the BoT decided to put the Special Investigations Task Force together? If it was after the November 09, 2011 removal of Spanier and the firing of Paterno, then they had less than two weeks before they hired the law firm of FSS on November 21, 2011(Freeh at pg. 2 remarks to the press). Within Freeh’s remarks to the press, he states that the Board was unprepared to deal with the filing of criminal charges against University personnel and the firing of Paterno (Freeh at pg. 6). As all of these decisions were facing the BoT, how much better prepared were they to handle the hiring of an “independent Invesigative team”? The Board needs to be completely transparent about the timeline and events surrounding the hiring of the FSS law firm.

    George F. Aul ’08

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  11. Digging a bit deeper, I found that in the Freeh Report under Key Findings Ch. 5 that the Board called for a Special Investigations Task Force only after the presentment of criminal charges in November 2011. According to the Freeh Report Timeline of Significant Events that date was November 07, 2011 when the criminal charges were announced at a press conference. According to the Freeh Report, no specific date in November was ever mentioned when the Special Investigations Task Force was formed with its members. We do know that the Chairman of the Task Force was Ken Frazier and the Vice Chairman was Ron Tomalis (Freeh remarks to press pg. 2). This timeline is significant because the FSS law firm was retained on November 21, 2011 by the Special Investigations Task Force (Freeh remarks pg. 2).
    With a very narrow time frame, the BoT formed a special committee, specified its duties, chose its officers, then hopefully the Task Force started looking for an “independent investigative team”. This was all done in less than two weeks, with members with employment duties elsewhere, when the FSS law firm was retained on November 21, 2011. How many legal firms were contacted by the Special Investigations Task Force before choosing FSS? Was FSS chosen because of the name Freeh being indentified with the FBI gave some special credibility? Or was this a rush to make a quick decision to free the Board from harsh criticism?
    Again, the BoT with the Special Investigations Task Force needs to have complete transparency about the timeline and events regarding the hiring of the FSS law firm. According to Freeh, the Special Investigations Task Force retained his law firm (Freeh remarks pg. 2). They were responsible for the 6.5 million dollars of University monies, and maybe more, being spent (I assume with BoT approval). The BoT must answer for its decisions and actions!

    George F. Aul ’08

    Like

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