Louis  Freeh, Ken Frazier

Updated: Freeh report investigating PSU’s actions in Sandusky case released

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Following multiple email leaks and lots of anticipation, the internal investigation into the role of Penn State’s administrators in the Jerry Sandusky case has finally been made public.

The Freeh report concludes an initiative that began in November of last year in the weeks following the first report of the Sandusky scandal and was headed by former FBI director Louis Freeh. 

Here is the LINK to the entire the Freeh report and here’s a LINK to the opening statements (Note: if one or both the sites are down, it’s because of high traffic. Check back later). We’ll have more updates coming both in this post and throughout the day.

  • Investigators conducted over 430 interviews and reviewed over 3.5 million documents in the process.
  • The report claims the most important documents in the investigation came between 1998 and 2001 and were identified as emails sent among president Graham Spanier, VP Gary Schultz and athletic director Tim Curley. Not coincidentally, all three declined interviews on advice of their counsel. Additionally, the Attorney General asked that former assistant coach Mike McQueary not be interviewed.
  • The findings corroborate the Grand Jury indictment of Sandusky. There was no “attempt to investigate, to identify Victim 2, or to protect that child or any others from similar conduct” except for instances of re-occurrence. Spanier, Schultz, Curley and Joe Paterno “concealed Sandusky’s activities from the Board of Trustees, the university community and authorities.”
  • Those four also knew of the 1998 investigation of Sandusky and did nothing. In 1999, when Sandusky retired, he was allowed to “continue to work with young people through Penn State.”
    • On May 3, Sandusky assaults Victim 6 in the Lasch Building shower. Between May 4 and May 30, Curley, Spanier and Schultz are made awareof subsequent investigation. “Behavior — at best inappropriate @ worst sexual improprieties… Is this opening Pandora’s Box?… Other children?” 
    • Curley then says he “touches base” with Paterno. He emails Schultz, Spanier: “Anything new in this department? Coach is anxious to know where it stands.” 
    • There is a BOT meeting on May 15. Spanier does not notify the board of the ongoing investigation of Sandusky. 
    • After officers meet with Sandusky in June of 1998 — charges were not brought from Victim 6 allegations — Schultz emails Curley and Spanier that he thinks “the matter has been appropriately investigated.” 
    • Sandusky notifies Curley in 1998 that he is considering retirement. Paterno “gives him the option to continue to coach as long as he was the [head] coach.” Sandusky then assaults Victim 4 during the 1999 Alamo Bowl. 
  • From the Victim 2 incident of 2001, in which McQueary walked in on Sandusky and a young boy in the showers:
    • After hearing of the incident from Paterno, Curley, Spanier and Schultz were prepared to execute an action plan that included informing the board chairman of Sandusky’s charity, The Second Mile, and child welfare services. That plan changes after Curley speaks with Paterno. This occurs between Feb. 27-28, 2001.
    • March 16, 2001: BOT meeting. Spanier, again, does not inform the board of the Sandusky incident.
    • August, 2001: Sandusky assaults Victim 5 in the showers of the Lasch building after being told not to bring children into athletic facilities.
  • From 2011 in the months leading up to the release of the Grand Jury indictment of Sandusky:
    • Spanier informs the BOT of the investigation in May, but downplays it. In response, the board asks limited questions. The subject is not brought up again by either side until the Grand Jury testimonies are released.
  • Pages 39-54 document the 1998 investigation of Sandusky. Page 47 begins the involvement of university officials.
    • Schultz already knew of the incident before a May 4 meeting on it, though it is unclear how he obtained the information. In confidential notes from the meeting, Schultz writes the acts were “not criminal.” It’s unclear if Schultz derived that conclusion himself or not. Once the matter was considered closed, no further action was taken by any officials. Curley briefed Paterno on the situation, but it’s unclear as to how the details were relayed.
  • The incident in 2000 where a janitor saw Sandusky assaulting a boy in the shower (page 65):
    • Two janitor saw Sandusky in the showers of the Lasch building doing something one said “he would never forget.” The two consulted a third janitor and the topic of bringing authorities into the matter was discussed. However, the first janitor (Janitor A) said “no, they’ll get rid of all of us.” The second janitor (Janitor B) concurred to investigators. “Paterno… had so much power. If he wanted to get rid of someone, I would have been gone,” they said.
    • Pages 68-79 review the actions by Penn State officials following the McQueary allegation. Curley is called an errand boy” for Paterno and “loyal to a fault.”
  • Pages 89-96 review Penn State’s reaction to criminal charges brought against Sandusky, Schultz and Curley. PSU communication member says some on the staff were “sheep” for Spanier, who pushed for “unconditional support” of Curley. However, confidence in Spanier’s ability to lead comes under fire in the following weeks; the board states the choice to fire him was easy, while firing Paterno was not.
    • On October 29, 2011 in a game vs. Illinois, Sandusky was seen in Nittany Lion Club. It was in that year that, for the first time, Sandusky’s name was taken off the school’s annual invitation list for season football games.
  • Page 97 reviews the findings on PSU’s Board of Trustees, who failed to inquire reasonably into Sandusky allegations in 1998 and 2001.
  • Page 110 claims that PSU officials and Paterno violated the law by not reporting the 2001 incident of abuse between Sandusky and Victim 2. Beginning on 112, the Clery Act, which PSU officials should have followed, is explained in detail.
  • Page 120 of the report reviews the university’s policy on child protection. Recommendations for change are made on page 127.
    • An interesting note: there is, according the report, an “over-emphasis on the ‘Penn State way'” as an approach to decision-making.
  • Documents and emails are made available just after halfway down the report.

Northwestern remembers Randy Walker 10 years after his passing

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Ten years ago Wednesday, the college football world was rocked by the unexpected and sudden loss of Northwestern coach Randy Walker.

The athletics department produced a touching video tribute to the man who suffered a heart attack at the age of 52, seven years into his tenure in Evanston.

Walker’s death unexpectedly thrust a young former Wildcats linebacker named Pat Fitzgerald into the head coach’s chair.

“I would prefer to be toasting to his longevity right now,” Fitzgerald says in the video.

Walker posted a 37-45 mark at Northwestern, including a surprising 8-4 campaign in 2000.

That followed a successful nine-year run at Miami University, the southwest Ohio school where he was a player.

Report: Ole Miss violations laid out to NCAA by stepfather of Laremy Tunsil

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The Mississippi football program might not find out its NCAA fate very soon, but the rest of the world learned more specifics regarding the accusations the Rebels face Wednesday.

Sports Illustrated published the results of its investigation, including specific allegations levied by a man in the process of getting a divorce from the mother of star offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil.

Lindsey Miller detailed several potentially serious violations involving Tunsil and his family, and SI was able to view some of the information he says he turned over to the NCAA during extensive interviews.

The NCAA’s Notice of Allegations is consistent with Miller’s claims in numerous places, including 12 occasions of free lodging that totaled $2,253. Miller says he told the NCAA those nights were arranged by boosters he met through [Mississippi DL coach Chris] Kiffin, but the NCAA never found that link. Kiffin’s name appears 13 times in the Notice of Allegations, but none of those prove he set Miller up with boosters.

Tunsil was part of a surprisingly star-studded recruiting class in 2013, but head coach Hugh Freeze has consistently defended his program against accusations his recruiting success was thanks to illegal methods.

Freeze, who took over as coach in December 2011, may minimize the NCAA’s case, but nine of the 13 football allegations relate to his tenure there. (Four allegations, including fraudulent ACT scores, occurred under former coach Houston Nutt.) There are four Level I violations under Freeze and a significant Level II failure to monitor charge in which the NCAA says the athletic department and football program failed to monitor Tunsil driving three different loaner cars between August 2014 and June 2015. (That latter allegation is the one Ole Miss is disputing.)

Perhaps complicating matters is the fact Miller went to the NCAA only after having a fallout with Tunsil and his mother, Desiree Polingo, during the summer of 2015.

Polingo denied Miller’s accusations via a statement to SI, and in another statement a lawyer for Tunsil told SI, “You have to consider the source.”

Mississippi has already admitted to 12 of the 13 allegations and self-imposed penalties, but it remains to be seen if the NCAA Committee on Infractions will find the punishment sufficient or more is added.

The full SI story goes into deeper detail about the situations facing not only Ole Miss athletics but also the NCAA enforcement model itself.

NCAA announces common-sense change to bowl selection process

SANTA CLARA, CA - DECEMBER 26:  Andy Janovich #35 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers jumps over Jayon Brown #12 of the UCLA Bruins during the Foster Farms Bowl at Levi's Stadium on December 26, 2015 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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The NCAA Division I council announced 5-7 teams will still have a chance to make a bowl this fall.

They will have to wait until all of the 6-6 teams have been picked, though.

The common sense rule tweak was announced Wednesday.

Nebraska, Minnesota and San Jose State all made bowls last season despite finishing the regular season 5-7, and coincidentally they all won.

In a statement, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, who serves as chair of the football oversight committee, said the postseason selection process “makes sense and is fair to the schools and the bowls.”

APR scores will continue to be used to designate which 5-7 teams are eligible to take up the bowl slots left available after all of the 6-6 teams have been selected.

After swelling to 41 games last season, the postseason is not set to expand again until at least the 2020 season as a result of a moratorium on the certification of new bowls was established by the council in April.

NCAA inquires about additional Sandusky victims from Penn State lawsuit

BELLEFONTE, PA - OCTOBER 09: Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky (C) leaves the Centre County Courthouse after being sentenced in his child sex abuse case on October 9, 2012 in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. The 68-year-old Sandusky was sentenced to at least 30 years and not more that 60 years in prison for his conviction in June on 45 counts of child sexual abuse, including while he was the defensive coordinator for the Penn State college football team. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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Penn State and Joe Paterno‘s family have already done their part to return the tragic Jerry Sandusky saga to the news this year.

Now the NCAA apparently wants to join in.

The Centre Daily Times reports the college sports governing body has requested information regarding two men allegedly victimized by Sandusky, a long-time Penn State assistant coach, in the 1970s.

Their stories came to light in a court filing from a lawsuit involving Penn State and an insurer. The school tried to collect on a policy to help pay settlements it reached with more than 30 individuals who accused Sandusky of sexually abusing them.

The university tried to recoup money for those settlements from liability insurer Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association, but PMA challenged that in court. The two men’s cases were revealed in an order by Philadelphia Judge Gary Glazer that referenced their cases, years earlier than the 10 Sandusky was convicted of in 2012. One said he told Paterno.

The CDT story does not give any indication the NCAA might want to revisit the sanctions that were handed down in 2012.

Rather, it is looking for defense fodder in a defamation lawsuit filed by the family of Paterno, the legendary Nittany Lions head coach

The estate claims the college sports oversight group defamed the man who helmed the program from 1966 until his firing in 2011 after the Sandusky story broke.

A key point is the NCAA’s acceptance of the findings of the Freeh report, the university-commissioned investigation of the Sandusky scandal, which placed blame on four Penn State leaders, including Paterno, who died six months before it was released. The NCAA then levied historic sanctions on the university, including stripping 110 wins from the Nittany Lions, dropping Paterno from first place in the leaderboard for most wins by a Division 1 coach.

But in new documents, the NCAA says it needs the information about the two claimants to refute the estate’s defamation claims.

Sandusky was convicted in 2012, and some of the sanctions Penn State agreed to accept from the NCAA were gradually lifted in the following years.

While Sandusky reportedly continues to work on getting his convictions overturned, it’s not hard to imagine Sandusky’s victims and plenty of members of the Penn State community would prefer to move on from the tragedy — allowing both time to heal in whatever way is possible.

The same can most likely be said of current coach James Franklin, who took the job two-plus years ago after coach Bill O’Brien endured the brunt of the storm and maintained solid recruiting despite the sanctions.

During the spring, Franklin told CBSSports.com, “This is really year one for us in a lot of ways,” citing a return to having close to a full allotment of scholarships.