Posted July 27, 2012

Report: Freeh Group member finds fault in NCAA’s use of report

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Mark Emmert and the NCAA used the Freeh report in sanctioning Penn State because it was “vastly” thorough. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

The 267-page document that was relied heavily upon by the NCAA in sanctioning Penn State football was never intended to use as justification for punishment, a member of the group that cultivated it said recently.

In a report by the Chronicle of Higher Education, a member of the Freeh Group said the document was not “meant to be used as the sole piece, or the large piece, of the NCAA’s decision-making.”

Penn State received a $60 million fine, four-year postseason ban, reduction of scholarships and vacation of wins from 1998-2011. NCAA President Mark Emmert said the organization relied on the report because it was “vastly more involved and thorough than any investigation we’ve ever conducted.”

The report, commissioned by PSU’s Board of Trustees, was led by former FBI Director Louis Freeh. His team conducted more than 400 interviews and looked through more than 3 million documents before releasing the report earlier in the month.

“The Freeh team reviewed how Penn State operated, not how they worked within the NCAA’s system,” this person said. “The NCAA’s job is to investigate whether Penn State broke its rules and whether it gained a competitive advantage in doing so.”