Statement on Commemoration of Joe Paterno’s 50th Anniversary

PS4RS Statement on Commemoration of Joe Paterno’s 50th Anniversary

September 1, 2016 —- Penn State President Eric Barron today announced that the university will commemorate the 50th anniversary of Joe Paterno’s first game as Penn State head coach during the Temple football game on September 17, 2016. This represents the university’s tacit admission that the “conclusions” of the Freeh Report were wrong. However, we will accept this recognition of Joe on September 17 as only the first of many steps necessary to repair the needless damage caused by the unwarranted condemnation of Joe and the entire Penn State community. The university must explicitly repudiate Freeh’s bogus “conclusions,” which were improperly influenced by outside forces acting against Penn State’s interests, including the NCAA and the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General. The university must publicly state that Paterno handled the report that was made to him in precisely the manner required by the university, and apologize to the Paterno family. We also encourage Penn State to join the Paterno family in their action against the NCAA, which sought to “leverage” the Freeh Report to extort the university. Finally, the university must apologize to the entire Penn State community for allowing Freeh to smear our entire culture with his outrageous statements about our priorities. Penn State must take these steps to begin to repair the damage done.

Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship (PS4RS), with more than 40,000 members, was formed to promote positive change within the University Board of Trustees, demanding transparent, trustworthy leadership. For further information on PS4RS, please visit, email, or go to Follow PS4RS on Twitter at @PS4RS.

PS4RS Statement on PMA Insurance Documents Release

July 12, 2016 — Today, a Philadelphia judge released settlement records relative to Penn State’s ongoing dispute with PMA Insurance. The insurance carrier had previously declined coverage of $93 million in claims that the University had already dispersed to more than 30 Sandusky accusers.

Files released today provide no additional or definitive information with regard to Joe Paterno’s knowledge of accusations that allegedly date back to the 1970s. In fact, they raise even more questions as to the University’s overall liability, given the fact that most of the claimants were not part of the original Sandusky court proceedings, spoke only through depositions represented by their attorneys, and have not had their accusations corroborated nor substantiated in a court of law.

In fact, the most damaging and consistent information provided by the claimants was the initiation of every one of their relationships to Sandusky through The Second Mile, the non-profit organization he founded and funded. Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship has continually called for a state inquiry into the activities and liability of the charity that falls under the purview of the Office of the Attorney General, and served as a gateway to every one of Sandusky’s victims.

“Analysis of the information released today further underscores the Penn State Board of Trustees’ inability to act in the best interest of Penn State at every turn,” said Maribeth Roman Schmidt, spokesperson for Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship, the grassroots watchdog group that has been critical of the trustees’ handling of the Sandusky case since 2011. “It is our opinion that the legal subcommittee is criminally negligent for paying out claims without first having the approval of the insurance company, and with seemingly haphazard inconsistency,” she said.

“Furthermore, today’s documents provide stunning insight into the University’s true opinion of the Freeh Report, for which it paid more than $8 million,” continued Schmidt. In its bid to hold PMA Insurance responsible for paying $93 million in claims, Penn State attorneys actually argued AGAINST the validity of the report, even scolding PMA for having a “myopic preoccupation with the Freeh Report.”

“This is the very document the University not only readily accepted without argument or challenge in 2012, but actually relied upon to pay the NCAA $60 million in fines. It is astounding that Penn State is blatantly trying to play both sides,” said Schmidt. “Why would the University accept the Freeh Report for the purposes of the NCAA Consent Decree, yet rebuke it when it comes to settlement claims?”

A final outcome of today’s document release exposes criticism regarding the lack of vetting of the claimants and the amounts of the settlements. An expert who reviewed the settlements characterized the payments as high to “extremely high.”

“This is a clear fiduciary breach on behalf of the Penn State Board of Trustees, and specifically the Legal Subcommittee who negotiated these settlements. We ask that any and all trustees who were privy to this process be summarily dismissed from their roles on the Penn State board.”

Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship (PS4RS), with more than 40,000 members, was formed to promote positive change within the University Board of Trustees, demanding transparent, trustworthy leadership. For further information on PS4RS, please visit, email, or go to Follow PS4RS on Twitter at @PS4RS.


May 6, 2016 — “Since Day One, Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship has promoted truth and transparency. That mission has not changed. We have learned firsthand that rushes to judgement are not productive and are often extremely harmful. Therefore, in the interest of truth and transparency, we ask that Penn State officials produce all records related to the PMA insurance investigation so that they may be evaluated fairly and fully in an environment of complete transparency.”

PS4RS backs Alumni Trustees’ continued efforts for Freeh Report source materials



April 20, 2015 —-  Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship (PS4RS) wholeheartedly supports the efforts of the alumni-elected trustees to gain unfettered access to the source materials for the Freeh Report, specifically today’s Common Pleas Court filing of a Petition to Compel Inspection of Corporate Documents.


The University’s continual stonewalling is especially worrisome in light of this week’s revelation that during Louis Freeh’s tenure as director of the FBI, the agency was peddling faulty hair-analysis “evidence” that resulted in wrongful convictions. Freeh comes from—and ultimately was in charge of—a culture that valued convictions over justice. President Eric Barron himself has acknowledged that “Freeh steered everything as if he were a prosecutor trying to convince a court to take the case.”


“It is extremely unfortunate that Chairman Keith Masser continues to improperly hide information from Penn State’s own trustees,” said Maribeth Roman Schmidt, spokesperson for PS4RS. “If there is evidence to support Freeh’s conclusions, it must be revealed. Otherwise, the Freeh Report must be formally rejected and Penn State must seek a refund and restitution for all costs arising from Freeh’s unsubstantiated conclusions. Furthermore, we are disappointed that President Barron seems to be backpedaling on his criticism of the report,” added Schmidt. “Just a few months ago, Barron told us the ‘Freeh Report is not useful to make decisions.’ But now he is using Freeh’s reporting regime as an excuse to deny trustees information they require—and are legally entitled to as fiduciaries—to make decisions about university expenditures of millions of dollars.”


Freeh’s incendiary conclusions about a defective Penn State culture have negatively impacted more than half a million Penn State alumni around the world. Over the past three years, alumni have consistently elected trustees who have promised to examine the basis for these conclusions.


“It is time for university leadership to stop ignoring the will of the alumni,” said Schmidt.


As former US Attorney General and Pennsylvania Governor Richard Thornburgh said last week, “For a community seeking to heal and come together, I would hope [Dr.] Barron’s courageous leadership in disavowing the Freeh report would be reason enough to seize the moment of the sanctions reversal, commit to transparency, and help the public understand all the events that have profoundly impacted so many lives.”


The Freeh Report obfuscated lessons that should have been learned about how nice-guy offenders “groom” entire communities. Above all else, the Freeh smokescreen for the public agencies that were responsible for overseeing Sandusky’s charity, The Second Mile, is a grave disservice to the children of Centre County, and, indeed, children throughout Pennsylvania and the entire country. It is long past time for the smoke to be blown away.


Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship, with more than 40,000 members nationwide, was formed to promote positive change within the University Board of Trustees, demanding transparent, trustworthy leadership. The organization has endorsed Anthony Lubrano (#1), Robert Tribeck (#2) and Ryan McCombie (#3) in the 2015 alumni trustee election. For further information on PS4RS, please visit, email, or go to Follow PS4RS on Twitter at @PS4RS.


2015 Penn State Alumni Trustee Ballot Dominated By PS4RS-Endorsed Candidates

Alumni Watchdog Group Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship Backs Lubrano, McCombie and Tribeck

March 2, 2015 —- Two current reform-minded trustees and one newcomer with an interest in the legal implications of the Freeh Report will be the only names on Penn State’s alumni trustee ballot this year. Today, Trustee Anthony Lubrano drew ballot position #1, Trustee Ryan McCombie drew ballot position #3, and Robert Tribeck drew ballot position #2 as the candidates readied themselves for an election season that has drawn as many as 83 candidates in years past. The 2015 alumni trustee election will take place through electronic balloting from April 10 through May 7, 2015.

“Penn State alumni have never been as unified and focused on correcting the errors of the past and helping the University achieve its goals for the future,” said PS4RS spokesperson Maribeth Roman Schmidt. “Over the last three years, the PS4RS-endorsed candidates have consistently been the voice of both the vocal and non-vocal majority of Penn State alumni who categorically reject the insulting ‘conclusions’ drawn by Freeh,” Schmidt continued.

“Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship is proud of the role we’ve been able to fill in bringing together an active, forceful community of more than 40,000 Penn Staters who have stood up for our tradition of Success with Honor through the University’s darkest days. We are growing and will continue to be a strong voice for alumni and supporters who believe that truth and justice are worth fighting for. We hope that every eligible alumnus will vote in this election and send a clear message that we are here, we care and WE ARE Penn State,” Schmidt concluded.

For further information on the three PS4RS-endorsed alumni trustee candidates, please visit, email, or go to Follow PS4RS on Twitter at @PS4RS and on LinkedIn.

Statement on Keith Olbermann suspension

PS4RS is gratified that Keith Olbermann was suspended after his atrocious comments attacking the selfless efforts of Penn State students participating in THON. Once again, when Penn State has been attacked, Old Main has remained silent while students, alumni and other members of the community have risen to its defense. However, it’s important to remember that Olbermann’s negative perception of the Penn State community is a direct result of the horrific things that Louis Freeh said about us. Our community will continue to suffer these kinds of attacks until this report is finally thrown on the scrap heap of history where it belongs. It is in the university’s interest to publicly release all of the Freeh-related materials that are being sought by the Paterno et al plaintiffs so that the truth of its creation – the collusion between certain trustees with an agenda, the Freeh Group, and the NCAA – becomes known to all. Hiding these materials serves only the interests of those involved in the report’s drafting. We ask the university to publicly release all materials so the public can judge the veracity of the report for itself. The remaining November 2011 trustees have an irresolvable conflict of interest with the university and must resign.

PS4RS 2015 Endorsement Announcement

The board of Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship is pleased to announce the endorsement of Robert J. Tribeck (1991) for 2015 alumni elected trustee, rounding out a PS4RS-endorsed slate which includes sitting trustees Anthony Lubrano (1982) and Ryan McCombie (1970). Notably, Mr. Tribeck is the principal author of the PS4RS Freeh Report Analysis and has served as co-chair of the PS4RS Legal Task Force. His letter of intent, biography and position statement are currently located under the “Notes” tab of the PS4RS Facebook page. We sincerely thank all 13 candidates who submitted letters of intent. Every one expressed unique experience, informed recommendations and incredible passion for Penn State, making the decision a difficult one. We applaud their interest in wanting to serve Penn State at the trustee level and encourage their involvement with all aspects of Penn State far into the future.

We kindly ask that you take the 2015 PS4RS slate into consideration when completing and submitting your nomination ballots which are due to the University by February 25, 2015.

Please look for more details in the coming days as to how you can help us quickly activate a campaign strategy that will spread the PS4RS message and provide Penn Staters with ample opportunities to meet our endorsed candidates. For the Glory!

PDF version:PS4RS Endorsements.01.30.15


01-28-2015: PS4RS applauds President Barron’s criticism of the Freeh Report

Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship applauds Penn State President Eric Barron’s criticism of the Freeh Report. Our Legal Review of the Freeh Report, which we published in September 2012 (more than two years ago), listed many of the same defects identified today by President Barron, as well as several others (visit to read our review). Since then, we have pleaded with the Board of Trustees, the administration, the press, and the general public to read our review to gain an understanding of the Freeh Report’s insurmountable shortcomings. We completely debunked the notion that there was anything “independent” or fair about the report. Our examination conclusively showed that the $8.1 million “investigation” was not conducted properly, was not complete, and is of very little value (even its recommendations were cribbed from other sources that the university could have accessed at no expense).

We are extremely happy that President Barron understands the shortcomings of this defective document. Nevertheless we are disappointed that the leaders of the Board of Trustees still refuse to acknowledge the incredible damage that it inflicted on the University and its students, faculty, employees, alumni and supporters. Finally, we thank President Barron for recognizing the passion of all those associated with Penn State, whose relentless fight for the truth was the catalyst for his review. We hope that his stance will lead to a complete repudiation of the report by the Board of Trustees and other subsequent actions to restore the University’s reputation.

AP: Penn State President: Freeh Acted Like Prosecutor; PSU president ‘not a fan’ of Freeh report into Sandusky, criticizes NCAA penalties.

PS4RS Comment on Corman & McCord v NCAA settlement

We thank Senator Corman and Treasurer McCord for their efforts on Penn State’s behalf. Unfortunately we cannot support an agreement that does not require the NCAA to acknowledge its wrongdoing. The NCAA had no authority to impose any sanctions on the university in connection with a criminal matter that has still not been adjudicated in a court of law. NCAA officials improperly set the direction of the Freeh investigation and then the NCAA imposed draconian sanctions based on the resulting sham report that did not even follow the NCAA’s own rules for the protection of those under investigation. The discovery in this case shows that the NCAA cynically took this path to prop up its own faltering reputation. The Consent Decree must be unambiguously retracted and the NCAA must apologize to the Penn State community for the language used in that decree.

NCAA press release (with terms of new agreement)
Sen Jake Corman press release


Today, we learned that the very trustees who voted against opposing the NCAA Consent Decree have now secretly penned an agreement with the NCAA that would supersede the original document. In excluding their fellow trustees from this discussion, the trustees behind this new agreement are flouting the recommendations of the Freeh Report that they so strongly supported. Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship urges Sen. Corman, Mr. McCord and Judge Covey to reject this last-ditch, face-saving effort by the trustees whose errors have been so costly to Penn State. Our 40,000 members want to shine the court’s spotlight into the dark corners of the original Consent Decree and hold accountable those who fraudulently scapegoated the entire Penn State community for the criminal actions of one man. Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship wholeheartedly supports the nine alumni-elected trustees who have been fighting for more than three years to defend Penn State and its honor.”