PS4RS Statement on Reduction of NCAA Sanctions
September 25, 2013 — Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship (PS4RS) is pleased that the NCAA, at the behest of Senator George Mitchell, has revisited the unprecedented and improper sanctions that it levied on Penn State in July 2012.
“Perhaps recognizing the enormity of its error and the recently filed lawsuit in Centre County Pennsylvania, particularly in light of the thorough debunking of the Freeh Report, the NCAA has taken the first step toward repairing some of the damage that it and Penn State’s leadership have inflicted upon Penn State,” said PS4RS spokesperson Maribeth Roman Schmidt.
While PS4RS does not agree that Penn State ever required an Athletic Integrity Monitor, nor that the football program is in any way responsible for Jerry Sandusky’s crimes, the members of PS4RS are grateful that Senator Mitchell recommended this reduction in sanctions. We are extremely happy for the student-athletes who will be afforded the opportunity of a great Penn State education.
Rob Tribeck, Chair of the PS4RS Legal Task Force, who met with representatives of Senator Mitchell’s team in May 2013 on behalf of PS4RS, expressed additional gratitude. “Senator Mitchell has recognized the need for a reduction, if not elimination, of these outrageous sanctions. This action today, while not completely eliminating the sanctions, is a significant step forward to recognizing that the sole basis of the sanctions was the Freeh Report’s wholly unsupported conclusions regarding Coach Paterno and the football program.” Tribeck continued, “The Freeh Report has been completely discredited by each and every qualified person to review it, including representatives of the Pennsylvania Attorney General and the lead prosecutor of Jerry Sandusky. This action today confirms what many have believed since July 2012: the Freeh Report’s conclusions were grossly flawed and improperly attributed responsibility to Coach Paterno and the football program.”
PS4RS remains committed to providing any additional support to Senator Mitchell or the NCAA in connection with its further review of these sanctions. To put this matter to rest, once and for all, the NCAA must rescind all sanctions and retract the offensive statements made about the Penn State culture.