A Penn State University trustee late today notified the NCAA that he and several other board members intend to appeal the landmark sanctions imposed on the university and its football program for the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.
The trustee, Ryan J. McCombie, a retired Navy Seal, said the Freeh investigative report upon which the NCAA based its sanctions did not provide due process to those involved.
He said Penn State President Rodney Erickson did not obtain board of trustees approval and therefore lacked authority to enter an agreement not to challenge the sanctions announced on July 23, including a post-season bowl ban and a $60 million fine.
The letter submitted to the NCAA by attorneys for Mr. McCombie expressed deep sympathy for the children victimized by Mr. Sandusky, a retired assistant football coach, and support for decisive actions to ensure such "reprehensible conduct"r is not repeated. But it also said a rush to judgment does not advance those goals.
"The desire for speed and decisiveness cannot justify violating the due process rights of other involved individuals or the university as a whole," stated the letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "That is what has occurred here."
Asked about the appeal, the NCAA reiterated its position that the sanctions are not subject to appeal. David La Torre, a Penn State spokesman, said the university had no comment.
The family of late Penn Sate football coach Joe Paterno on Friday sent its own letter of intent to the NCAA saying his survivors and estate would file their own appeal.
Staff writer Mark Dent contributed reporting. Bill Schackner: email@example.com or 412-263-1977.