Penn State Paid $8 Million For The Freeh Report

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The Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal has cost Penn State more than $41 million, according to the latest figures released by the university on a special website designed to chronicle PSU's compliance with NCAA sanctions and recommendations in the Freeh Report. But of perhaps even more interest to those voices both inside and outside the community clamoring for more information on the Board of Trustees' agreements with Freeh, Penn State also released its previously confidential agreement with Freeh's firm, detailing the scope of his responsibilities and his rates.


The total damage for the Freeh Report? A shade over $8.1 million. The "engagement letter," dated Nov. 2011 and signed by Louis Freeh and the Board's then-chair Steve Garban, can be found below. From the Centre Daily Times' recap,

Freeh’s findings were to focus on failures in the reporting process, the cause of those failures, who had knowledge of the abuse and how those allegations were handled by Penn State leaders and employees.

Freeh said the investigators would maintain a file consisting of correspondence, deposition transcripts, exhibits, physical evidence and reports.

Investigators would report any “discovered evidence of criminality” to authorities and notify the leaders on Penn State’s task force. If Freeh’s investigation identified any victims of sexual crimes, the investigators would report that information to law enforcement, too.

The AP calls the letter's language "fairly standard." It sets out billable hourly rates, though those are blacked out here. The $8.1 million cost for the Freeh Report comes as part of the university's up-to-date accounting of all the costs for the scandal, which have reached $41 million. That includes payments for various legal fees, public relations firms, and the first of five $12 million payments to cover NCAA fines.

The releases came in response to the university's critics calling for greater transparency, but Penn State has always operated under opacity—which is partially the reason we're here in the first place. Pennsylvania's "state-related" universities, including PSU, Pittsburgh, and Temple, are exempt from open-records laws. Unlike public schools in 47 states (Alaska and Delaware are the other exceptions), Penn State does not have to respond to FOIA requests. At nearly every other state school, reporters could have obtained the e-mails discussing the cover-up of Jerry Sandusky's 2001 shower incident. Transparency now is good, but transparency back then could have stopped crimes from being committed.

The university's agreement letter with Louis Freeh's firm: