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Faculty Senate Talks NCAA Sanctions; 30 Past Chairs Condemn Freeh Report

by on August 28, 2012 4:22 PM

John Nichols, professor emeritus and chair of the Faculty Senate from 2001-02 presented a statement signed by 30 past chairs condemning the Freeh report and its victimization of Penn State at the Faculty Senate's regular meeting on Tuesday.

The statement acknowledged the horrifying nature of the crimes committed by Jerry Sandusky, but said the Freeh report has done nothing but damage the Penn State community at large and what it subsequently caused.

"More central to our concerns are the recent sanctions levied against Penn State by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and, more importantly, the rationale for those actions and their negative impact on the academic well‐being of the University. The NCAA did not conduct its own investigation of the Penn State situation, but rather drew its conclusions from the findings of the Freeh Report. The NCAA Consent Decree, which substantially embellishes the initial Freeh findings in both tone and substance, claimed no standard of proof for its conclusions but nonetheless required Penn State to accept the Freeh Group's assertions as fact," the statement said.

Opinions regarding possibly taking action against the NCAA sanctions did not jive amongst Penn State Faculty Senators during discussion at the body's meeting in 112 Kern, the Graduate Building. 

A debate over whether to communicate with the NCAA in an attempt to have the organization reconsider the sanctions it dealt to Penn State was waged between current senators who disagreed over whether to move forward or try and seek redemption for individual students who have had scholarships sacrificed and wins vacated. 

Penn State President Rodney Erickson addressed the Faculty Senate at the meeting's onset, when he reiterated his intention to retire in 2014, once his contract is up and said the budget for the 2013-2014 academic year is in the works. He's hoping for a "modest increase" in tuition. 

"It will be reasonable knowing the recovery is still not robust in the state," Erickson said. 

Erickson also said discussions are in progress regarding Penn State's stance on the Right-to-Know Law, which in the past, the administration was known to be adamantly against.

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Laura Nichols is a StateCollege.com news reporter and @LC_Nichols on Twitter.
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