STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — The president of Penn State University says he will review the Freeh Report, a document regarding the school’s response to the Jerry Sandusky molestation scandal that has divided the university and its alumni since it was issued more than two years ago.
President Eric Barron vowed Saturday in a statement on the university’s website that he would conduct “a thorough review” of the report and supporting materials.
“The contents of the report have led to questions by some in the Penn State community. I do not want people to believe that Penn State is hiding something. I feel strongly about this,” he said.
“For this important reason, and since I was not here during its completion, I will conduct my own review,” he said, vowing “all deliberate speed” although there was “considerable documentation to analyze.”
The report produced for the university in 2012 by a team led by former FBI director Louis Freeh concluded that high-ranking university leaders concealed key facts about Sandusky’s abuse of children to avoid bad publicity. It included more than 100 recommendations for change that have been adopted by the university, from governance to child safety.
What has rankled many were the criticisms of former coach Joe Paterno, who died a few months after Sandusky’s arrest in 2011, as well as then-president Graham Spanier, former athletic director Tim Curley and former vice president Gary Schultz.
Spanier, Curley and Schultz are charged criminally with covering up complaints about Sandusky, a retired defensive football coach. Sandusky was convicted in June 2012 of 45 counts of sexual abuse involving 10 children, including incidents on campus. He was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in state prison. The former administrators await trial in county court in Harrisburg. A trial date has not been scheduled.
Freeh’s report was issued shortly before a consent decree between Penn State and the NCAA resulted in a four-year bowl ban, a $60 million fine and a temporary loss of football scholarships. The NCAA recently ended the bowl ban earlier than scheduled and said Penn State can return to its full complement of scholarships next season.
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