Legal Matters

On July 23, 2012, the NCAA announced its penalties against Penn State, which included a four-year prohibition against post-season play for the football team, the loss of scholarships, the vacating of past wins, and a $60 million fine. Penn State President Rodney Erickson, with input from legal counsel and members of the executive committee of the Board of Trustees, accepted the NCAA-imposed penalties.

The events surrounding allegations of serious misconduct on our campus have led to multiple investigations and lawsuits. The process of establishing what happened, determining personal and institutional accountability and ensuring that these events do not happen again is essential to our community's recovery and eventual healing.

The University is continuing to cooperate fully with all appropriate government authorities and all criminal and administrative investigations, including those described below. Out of respect for the legal process and the privacy of individuals involved it would not be appropriate to comment on specific charges, evidence or individuals until the legal process and such investigations are completed.

  • Attorney General: The Grand Jury investigation is ongoing, which means further questioning and charges may yet occur.
  • Penn State Board of Trustees' Special Investigations Task Force: Former FBI director and federal judge Louis Freeh led an independent investigation from November 2011 to July 2012 into what failures occurred and what changes should be made. Judge Freeh was given unfettered access in order to conduct a thorough independent investigation. The Freeh Report was released online at http://progress.psu.edu/the-freeh-report simultaneously to the University community, Board of Trustees, the media and the general public on July 12, 2012. (More information about the Freeh Report can be found here.) The engagement letter with Freeh, Sporkin & Sullivan can be found here.
  • U.S. Department of Education: This review under the Clery Act has been underway since November 2011 to examine University processes and policies regarding the reporting of and response to crimes committed on campus. The Department of Education issued a preliminary report on July 12, 2013 here.
  • NCAA: In July 2012, the NCAA announced their penalties against Penn State, which included a four-year prohibition against post-season play for the football team, the loss of scholarships, the vacating of past wins, and a $60 million fine. Penn State President Rodney Erickson, with input from legal counsel and members of the executive committee of the Board of Trustees, accepted the NCAA-imposed penalties. Click here to download a one-pager regarding the decisions surrounding the NCAA-imposed sanctions on Penn State.

In September 2013, a decision of the NCAA Executive Committee was made to modify the scholarship limitations previously imposed on the University. This action was taken in recognition of Penn State's significant progress under and continued compliance with the Athletics Integrity Agreement. The move granted immediate relief from both the initial scholarship restrictions and overall team limit restrictions previously imposed on the University's football program. This modification restored a total of 65 scholarship opportunities for football student athletes wanting to attend Penn State.

(To read a statement from the NCAA, visit: http://www.ncaa.org/wps/wcm/connect/public/ncaa/resources/latest+news/2013/september/executive+committee+to+gradually+restore+penn+state+scholarships.)

  • United States Attorney, Middle District of Pennsylvania: This investigation is ongoing and the University is cooperating fully. For the University's statements on this investigation, visit http://live.psu.edu/story/58025.

Middle States: The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is the organization that accredits degree-granting colleges and universities in the Middle States region, which includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and several other locations. At its session on November 15, 2012, the Middle States Commission acted to accept the University's monitoring report, to note the visit by the Commission's representatives, to remove the warning, and to reaffirm Penn State's accreditation. Penn State is in full compliance with all accreditation requirements. For more information on the Middle States process and recent actions relative to the University, visit http://www.psu.edu/vpaa/accreditation.htm.

Please refer to the Progress section of this website for more information about proactive actions Penn State has taken in response to these allegations and our efforts to make sure this kind of activity never occurs on our campus again.