July 23, 2013
As newly elected Trustees to the Board of Trustees of The Pennsylvania State University, we want to make clear that we fully support the legal claims filed against the NCAA by our Trustee colleagues Al Clemens, Ryan McCombie, Peter Khoury, Anthony Lubrano and Adam Taliaferro.
Based on information we have reviewed, we agree the NCAA breached its contractual obligations to Penn State to treat the University and its student-athletes, coaches and administrators fairly and in accordance with the NCAA’s own constitution and bylaws. That did not happen. Rather, the University and the affected individuals were denied due process of law.
We support a legal review of the sanctions imposed on Penn State, the basis for the sanctions and the process used to enact them.
We further support an open and thorough review of the Freeh report by the Board of Trustees in light of accounts from credible and respected sources that the report is seriously flawed and incomplete. This report is the sole basis for the NCAA sanctions and has become the reference point for the media and the public. It is accepted as truth because the board never formally rejected it. As Board Chairman Keith Masser recently observed in USA Today however, many of the conclusions in the report appear to amount to “speculation.” In our view, this matter calls for openness, thoroughness and transparency. The greater Penn State community has been calling for this action, and they deserve no less.
There are those who suggest that we should move on and accept the NCAA sanctions as imposed, and we respect their views and commitment to Penn State. But to do that would not be in the long-term interest of this great University and the broader Penn State community. We firmly believe that truth and justice should never fear an open hearing and review – whether in the courts or before the Board of Trustees.