Former Penn State faculty leaders blasted the NCAA and former FBI director Louis Freeh on Tuesday over their handling of the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal, saying Freeh's report - prepared for the university - and the NCAA's $60 million in fines unfairly punish the entire university community.
The scholars said Freeh used "scant evidence" to support conclusions that the NCAA then relied upon and embellished to set sanctions that harmed not just the athletic department but Penn State's academics well-being and financial health.
Freeh defended his work Tuesday in an interview with The Associated Press. Addressing specific criticism that his team did not interview Mike McQueary and other key witnesses, Freeh said his team respected requests by state prosecutors to rely on their grand jury testimony. McQueary is the graduate assistant who saw Sandusky, a former assistant football coach, in the shower with a boy in 2001.
His 267-page report concluded that failures of leadership, an intense football culture and an unbending desire to protect the university's reputation all served to enable Sandusky as he molested young boys for years. Sandusky, a longtime defensive coordinator, was convicted in June of abusing 10 boys, some in the locker room showers.
The faculty leaders took special issue with the NCAA, saying it jumped to conclusions in finding the school had a long history of putting football over academics. The former teachers said they had hundreds of years of collective experience at Penn State and had never been asked to change grades for athletes or approve of phantom courses or majors.
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