A member of Judge Louis Freeh’s team who was part of the investigation into how certain Penn State officials handled reports of Jerry Sandusky sexually abusing boys said that the use of Freeh’s report by the National Collegiate Athletic Association as a basis for the punishments it gave to Penn State was unjustified, according to a report.
According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, a source close to Freeh’s investigation said Freeh’s report was meant to be used by Penn State to help the university move forward and that it was not meant to have been used by the NCAA in their decision-making for Penn State’s punishment.
After the Chronicle published the report, the Freeh Group released a statement denying that any members talked to the Chronicle.
“The Freeh Group emphatically stated that no member of its investigative team spoke to The Chronicle of Higher Education for its story,” the Freeh Group said according to the release. “The Freeh Group has no comment on the NCAA’s use of the Report.”
The NCAA used Freeh’s report to weigh the appropriate actions to take against Penn State according to what NCAA President Mark Emmert said at a press conference held last week, after the NCAA released what Penn State’s punishment would be.
Emmert went on to say at the press conference that Freeh’s investigation is more thorough than any investigation the NCAA has ever done itself.
Freeh was hired in November by the Penn State Board of Trustees to perform an independent investigation into whether certain Penn State officials knew about Sandusky sexually abusing boys and choosing not to report it to police.
Freeh’s report, which was released earlier this month, indicated that the late former head coach Joe Paterno, former university President Graham Spanier, former Athletic Director Tim Curley and former Interim Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Gary Schultz knew about sexual abuse reports involving Sandusky and chose not to report it.
The NCAA handed down its punitive measures against the Penn State football program last week. Some of the penalties include a $60 million fine, a four-year postseason ban, a loss of scholarships, a five-year probation of the university athletic program and all wins vacated from 1998 through 2011.