PS4RS Media Statement on Release of the Freeh Engagement Letter
March 11, 2013 —- Beginning in April 2012, long before the issuance of the Freeh Report, officials of Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship began requesting a copy of the engagement letter of Freeh, Sporkin & Sullivan. Those requests continued as it became apparent that FSS was not working for the University but was instead acting on behalf of the Trustees, as outlined in the PS4RS review of the Freeh Report in September 2012.
Now, nearly one full year after our initial request, the FSS engagement letter has finally been released and its confirms our worst fears: contrary to what the public, the media, and even the NCAA were led to believe, Freeh Sporkin & Sullivan was not hired by Penn State University, nor was that firm acting as counsel to Penn State. Instead, that firm was hired by the Board of Trustees and, as such, FSS’ ethical obligation was to the Board of Trustees and not to the University.
This is far more than semantics – this goes to the very nature of which entity was owed an ethical duty by FSS. Sadly, that entity was NOT Penn State. In light of this incredibly significant disclosure, it is imperative that the public, the press, and the NCAA review the work of FSS in a far different light, given that the firm was neither engaged by nor working for the benefit of Penn State University. This is yet another epic failure of the part of the Board of Trustees in their stewardship of Penn State.