Trustee Al Lord proposed a resolution at the end of today’s Board of Trustees meeting at Penn State Schuylkill that the Board of Trustees should “finish” the investigation conducted by Louis Freeh. The board plans to vote on the resolution after executive discussion during its next meeting scheduled for Sept. 18-19.
After today’s meeting, Lord said such unfinished matters in the Freeh Report included the lack of interviews with key figures in the case including Joe Paterno and Graham Spanier. He also said Spanier’s complaint against Freeh in his currently held civil suit against him includes some revealing information that he hopes the board will investigate.
“The board tells me we didn’t accept [the Freeh Report],” Lord said. “To me, the absence of a rejection is an acceptance.”
Lord did not specify exactly how the board would conduct this investigation, but did say it would likely be done by a third party.
The NCAA, which levied its sanctions against Penn State based on the Freeh Report’s conclusions, would possibly be affected by an investigation.
“The NCAA is 150 percent dependent on the accuracy of the Freeh Report. They bought it hook, line and sinker,” Lord said. “And if [Spanier, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz] are guilty, they’re guilty, but I don’t think we’re even close to enough evidence and I’m very concerned now with what’s going to happen with the criminal case. If it’s going to be dismissed, it’s going to be deemed a technicality.”
The proposed resolution was brought by Lord after Chairman Keith Masser’s final comments at the end of the meeting. The board did not move to vote on the proposal today, because the board’s legal counsel noted privacy issues necessitated an executive session.
Lord was elected to the board in May as one of PS4RS’s endorsed candidates. This was his first meeting as a trustee.
“I want the board to agree that we’re not done. That’s all. Very simple,” Lord said. “…I want the board on the record. I’m just at my first meeting, and it’s Kafka-esque trying to figure out where one stands in this whole endeavor.”
Here is the entirety of the resolution:
“Whereas, certain conclusions of the Freeh Report have damaged the reputations of Penn State, certain of its former officials, and its Board of Trustees;
Whereas, the Freeh Report is acknowledged by the NCAA to have formed part of the basis for the Consent Decree the NCAA imposed on Penn State;
Whereas, certain conclusions of the NCAA investigation have caused financial and reputational damage to Penn State, certain of its former officials and to its Board of Trustees;
Whereas, the Board of Trustees accepted the Freeh Report and the conclusions stated therein on the basis that the Freeh Report was accurate, completed, and the product of a comprehensive investigation;
Whereas, the Board of Trustees accepted the NCAA investigative findings on the same basis;
Whereas, the Board of Trustees believed the NCAA had adhered to its own charter and bylaws and was authorized by those documents to impose each of the various punishments in the Consent Decree and, on that basis, the Board of Trustees endorsed the Consent Decree;
Whereas, in the nearly two years since the Freeh Report was issued credible criticisms of the Freeh Report have emerged;
Whereas, in the nearly two years since the NCAA Consent Decree was imposed, credible criticisms of the process by which the NCAA adopted the investigative findings in the Freeh Report, and credible criticisms of the manner in which the NCAA adhered to its own charter and bylaws in imposing punishments on Penn State, have emerged;
Whereas, the Board of Trustees has come to question the accuracy and completeness of the Freeh Report and has come to believe that it may not be conclusive in all material respects; and
Whereas, the Board believes it imperative to fully investigate all matters not fully addressed by the Freeh investigative team.
Therefore be it Resolved that the Board of Trustees shall immediately undertake to identify maters not fully investigated and complete the investigation of such matters.”