Penn State trustee to appeal NCAA sanctions
State College, PA (Sports Network) - Lawyers on behalf of a member of the Penn State Board of Trustees sent out a letter to the NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee saying they will appeal the sanctions levied against the university.
Lawyers for trustee Ryan McCombie sent the letter to Wendy Walters, Staff Liaison for the Appeals Committee. Other unidentified members of the Board of Trustees were also mentioned in the appeals letter.
The letter, obtained by a few media organizations, said the appellants will challenge the NCAA's adoption of the results of former FBI director Louis Freeh's investigation, which accused former head coach Joe Paterno and other Penn State senior officials of concealing critical facts relating to Jerry Sandusky's child sex-abuse case.
The letter states the consent decree against Penn State, which included a four-year postseason ban, $60 million fine, five years probation and a vacation of all wins dating to 1998, was null and void since the school's president "lacked the legal authority to agree to the entry of the decree."
The NCAA also violated "its own established rules and procedures by failing to have an investigation conducted by members of the enforcement staff or outside counsel familiar with the NCAA's investigative standards and other procedural protections," according to the letter.
Attorneys Paul Kelly and Gregg Clifton wrote in the letter that McCombie's "heart breaks for the victims of this terrible saga, and he and other members of the Board are committed to taking decisive measures to demonstrate respect for the victims and to insure that such reprehensible conduct can never again occur in the future."
On Friday, the Joe Paterno family sent an official appeal letter to the NCAA asking for a 30-day window in which to file a written response relating to the sanctions.
The university was punished for its collective failure to report Sandusky, a former assistant under Paterno. Sandusky was convicted on 45 counts of sexual abuse against 10 boys over a 15-year period.
08/06 21:25:57 ET