Penn St. Inquiry Nears End, Findings Expected Soon
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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) Penn State’s internal investigation into the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse case is drawing to a close and the findings are expected within weeks, which would enable the university to confront the next difficult chapter in the scandal well ahead of the new academic year.
Following the former assistant football coach’s arrest in November, university trustees appointed former FBI Director Louis Freeh to lead the sweeping investigation. His central mission was to find out how and why Penn State failed to stop Sandusky – who was convicted last month on 45 criminal counts for sexually abusing 10 boys, some on campus – and recommend changes to help prevent more abuse.
With football training camp opening in a month and classes starting Aug. 27, the latest timetable, if met, will assure that the university’s own failings can be identified before another school year gets under way.
Freeh’s inquiry helped uncover new evidence for the ongoing criminal investigation and will also be central to other inquiries. It is expected to shed more light on the relationship between athletics and the administration and the influence wielded by the late coach Joe Paterno. A fractured Penn State community, meanwhile, is still seeking answers about the events that led to the ousters of Paterno and school President Graham Spanier.
The U.S. Department of Education is examining whether the school violated the Clery Act, which requires reporting of crimes on campus. And the NCAA, the governing body of college athletics, is conducting its own inquiry.
More than 400 people were interviewed as part of the Freeh investigation, including everyone from top administrators and trustees to retired secretaries and former staffers in the athletic department.
A spokesman for Freeh this week declined to comment on when the report would be finished, and the university on a website on the response to the scandal hasn’t deviated from its late summer timeline.
But school president Rodney Erickson recently told the Centre Daily Times newspaper that he expects the Freeh report by mid- to late July.