University officials are always quick to point out that Penn State is moving forward. While there’s debate about how best to do that, trustee Anthony Lubrano’s latest request in anything but progress.
In a statement issued Sunday, Lubrano said that Penn State should receive a refund from former FBI director Louis Freeh due to the “disservice” the investigation has been to all parties it was meant to serve.
Lubrano said the Freeh Report did not interview “14 key people” including Joe Paterno, Jerry Sandusky, Mike McQueary, as well as Jack Raykovitz, CEO of the Second Mile and no one from the district attorney’s office. The investigation was thereby left to draw conclusions from innuendo, he said in an interview with The Daily Collegian.
But Lubrano’s crusade focuses on the report from the wrong perspective. The Freeh Report was not established as a method to focus on the people involved or their reputations. It was not meant to be a document proving guilt or innocence — that’s for the courts to sort out.
The report’s real value lies in helping us understand where there were flaws in our leadership or structure that were in need of repair. The Freeh Report is not a legal document and is not foolproof.
Lubrano is fundamentally misunderstanding the value of the report, which was to address areas in need of reform at Penn State.
One of the most valuable aspects of the Freeh report was to provide the university with 119 recommendations in moving forward. More than 7,200 employees and volunteers received mandatory reporter training as a result of the Freeh Report.
One thing that we do know is that issuing a request for money to be returned to the university is anything but a step forward. Trustees like Lubrano who are primarily focused on rehashing old news should evaluate whether their agendas are really in the best interest of the university’s recovery.
There are plenty of areas in need to improvement at Penn State — but wasting energy on the details of the Freeh Report isn’t one of them.
A thorough review of the report is an idealistic vision for some, but those calling for the move have yet to present concrete plans in place to go about it, or to prove that it would benefit the university in the long run.