We Won ESPN Color Day Spirit Competition–Best FANS!!!

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; August 29, 2012 — Penn State has won the inaugural
College Colors Day Spirit Cup, along with $10,000 toward the University’s
general scholarship fund, as part of the Pledge Your Allegiance campaign. The campaign was launched by the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC), a division of
IMG College, and NCAA Football, to celebrate the excitement and energy surrounding the kickoff of the 2012 college football season.

The competition encourages fans to wear their favorite school’s colors on Friday, Aug. 31. Penn State Football Eve will launch the season Friday at 7 p.m. and all Nittany Lion fans are encouraged to wear blue and white to the rally that will feature Coach Bill O’Brien and the squad. There is n0 admission or parking fee for Football Eve. Penn State opens the season Saturday, hosting Ohio at 12 p.m. in Beaver Stadium.

The campaign, a Web-based rivalry powered by ESPN.com, featured 172 colleges and universities from across the nation. Penn State won with 44,801 pledges — rounding out the top five schools were Texas A&M, Missouri, West Virginia and Alabama.

The competition began on Aug. 1; Penn State took the lead in the competition about a week into pledging and maintained its lead until the end. Penn State’s surge came as the result of a grassroots effort on the part of students, alumni, employees and fans. The contest also was promoted on Penn State’s Facebook page and on Twitter.

“We are elated to see this incredible expression of Penn State pride, spirit and support demonstrated by our students, alumni, faculty and staff, and friends and fans in winning the Pledge Your Allegiance contest,” said Roger Williams, executive director of the Penn State Alumni Association. “This national victory is what Nittany Nation is all about. We know Penn Staters everywhere will join us in celebrating by wearing their blue and white with great pride.”

A formal presentation of the award will take place during the 2012-13 academic year.

“We are honored to recognize Penn State as the winner of the College Colors Day Spirit Cup and congratulate them on a tremendous effort to rally their fans in the inaugural Pledge Your Allegiance contest,” said Catherine Gammon, senior vice president, brand development, the Collegiate Licensing Company. “We thank all college fans who participated in the competition and encourage fans to continue supporting their favorite school by wearing their college gear on Friday, Aug. 31.”

In order to determine which school has the most spirited fan base, College football’s 173 million fans were encouraged to visit http://www.espn.com/collegecolorsday to pledge their allegiance to their favorite college or university. Standings were tracked nationally, as well as by conference.

The contest was scheduled to run through College Colors Day on Aug. 31, however, due to inauthentic activity on the Pledge Your Allegiance website, administrators ended the online competition on Aug. 24. Penn State was determined the winner based on the authentic pledges that were received through Aug. 24.

This year, College Colors Day is bigger than ever with more than 200 participating universities, the NCAA, and more than 10,000 stores representing the nation’s top retailers participating in events and promotions to provide fans all the gear they need to show their college spirit. The collegiate fan base is the largest, most affluent, and the most well-educated in all of sports. Collegiate licensed merchandise generated
nearly $4.6 billion in retail sales in 2011, with royalties from the merchandise
going back to colleges to support scholarships and campus development programs.

“Together We Are One”

By Matt Morgan mmorgan@centredaily.comState CollegeCentre Daily Times

                                    The Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County’s “Together We Are One” campaign is not just about local business owners or county residents — it’s about bringing the entire Penn State community back together.

Committee member Dave Nevins will be speaking on behalf of the committee during Friday’s Football Eve pep rally, asking people to support the campaign and its mission.

Nevins said that at least 750,000 Penn Staters have felt the impact of the fallout from the Jerry Sandusky scandal, the Louis Freeh report and the NCAA sanctions, including students at both University Park and commonwealth campuses, alumni, local residents and university employees.

He said it’s time for everyone to be reunited and focus on moving forward.

“The media portrayed the incident as being something that defines the entire community,” Nevins said. “We feel we are defined by so much more.”

Before launching its official fundraising campaign, the group earned more than $60,000. So far, it has printed 20,000 posters, 20,000 buttons and four banners — which were hung over the downtown entryways — all preaching the message of togetherness.

Nevins said plans for funds include scheduling tangible events to bring the community closer, and he thinks some money will go to local social service groups specializing in child sex abuse awareness. He added that eventually the campaign wants to transcend the community and help to repair Penn State’s image on the national stage.

“We want to focus everybody’s attention on what a great community this is,” he said.

The Penn State Football Show

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Nearly 40 radio stations in six states will carry the Penn State Sports Network’s “The Penn State Football Show” this year, with the season debut program set to air Thursday, Aug. 23. The program will also be carried live on http://www.GoPSUsports.com via Penn State All-Access.

The one-hour call-in program will take place at Damon’s Grill on East College Ave. in State College every Thursday at 6:05 p.m. from late August through the end of the football season. In late November, “The Penn State Basketball Show” will debut on most of the same Network stations and run through mid-March. “The Penn State Basketball Show” also will originate from Damon’s.

Football coach Bill O’Brien, men’s basketball coach Patrick Chambers, assistant coaches and members of the football and Nittany Lion basketball teams will be among participants on the programs.

“The Penn State Football Show ” will feature Coach O’Brien and other members of the football program answering questions from fans at Damon’s, online and on the phone. Fans can submit questions to www.GoPSUsports.com/askthecoachor call 1-800-52-LIONS begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            1-800-52-LIONS     end_of_the_skype_highlighting (525-4667) to ask questions of the coaches and student-athletes.

O’Brien will not be able to participate live in this week’s show due to the team’s practice schedule but will join the show live at Damon’s starting August 30.

Steve Jones, the radio play-by-play voice of the Nittany Lion football and basketball teams, is host of “The Penn State Football Show” and will be joined by Roger Corey, who hosts the Penn State Sports Network’s football pre-game Tailgate Show. Jeff Tarman is the producer of the show, which is a presentation of Penn State Sports Properties, a property of Learfield Sports.

“The Penn State Football Show ” can be heard on stations throughout Pennsylvania as well as New York City and northern New Jersey, Olean. N.Y., Youngstown, Ohio, Hagerstown, Md., Salisbury, Md. and Seaford

McGloin, PSU Quarterback Refined

CDT, Guy Cipriano

McGloin said coach Bill O’Brien and position coach Charlie Fisher are transforming the quarterbacks into refined players.

“I’m definitely light years ahead of where I was, not only in terms of a quarterback, but in terms of a leader as well,” McGloin said. “Coach O’Brien and Coach Fisher are doing a tremendous job with the quarterbacks. They are teaching us the right way how to play the game of football and the right way how to play quarterback. We have never had anything like that before here, so we are really happy with the progress that we have made.”

After 17 days of camp, quarterback might be one of the roster’s most stable positions.

O’Brien named McGloin the starter on June 1, giving the outspoken fifth-year senior three months to prepare for next Saturday’s opener against Ohio University at Beaver Stadium. McGloin spent the past two years competing with Rob Bolden, who transferred to LSU last month.

Sophomore Paul Jones’ methodical development and the inexperience of true freshman Steven Bench has allowed McGloin to embrace his role without fretting about job security. Teammates seem relieved to conduct training camp without looming quarterback questions.

“You definitely see a lot more confidence in not just him – he’s always been a confident guy — but when you watch him,” Zordich said of McGloin. “He’s more poised, he knows what he’s doing. He’s confident in his throws and decisions, and it shows on the field. It helps when you are not in the middle of a quarterback controversy where if you make a throw you’re thinking, ‘If I miss this throw, am I going to get pulled.’ You can kind of let it out there and throw it. It’s working for him.”

McGloin has started 10 games over the past two seasons. But McGloin watched the younger Bolden open the past two season openers.

McGloin’s experience might help him navigate this year’s opener. Ohio, which went 10-3 last year, presents a tricky on-field test. The off-the-field challenges are also immense, as McGloin must steady an emotional team playing in the aftermath of last month’s severe NCAA sanctions levied against the school. The game also marks the program’s first since former coach Joe Paterno’s death.

“Anytime being the starting quarterback at Penn State you are going to have a lot of pressure on you,” McGloin said. “Now more than ever people are looking at what type of person you are and what type of leadership you have. People that know me know that I’m loyal guy. I want to be loyal to the program. All we want to do is go out there and play football.”

Center Matt Stankiewitch, a close friend who has known McGloin since high school, said he’s noticed a different player this preseason. Stankiewitch’s career at District 11 Blue Mountain High School ended with a 39-16 district playoff loss to West Scranton in 2007.

The Warriors’ starting quarterback? A senior named Matt McGloin.

“I think the confidence level is the big thing for Matt McGloin,” Stankiewitch said. “He has really taken that leadership role of being the quarterback and embracing that. He really has that confidence. I remember facing him back in high school, and he has that confidence when he takes that huddle and during the play.”

The Book, Paterno–

Paterno,” Joe Posnanski‘s biography of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, will be released on Tuesday.
The book, which was started well before charges were filed against Jerry Sandusky in November, talks at length about a relationship between the two men that was contentious from the very beginning.

The book delves into key moments in Paterno’s coaching career and addresses his role in the Sandusky scandal in the Overture and in later chapters.
Posnanski calls Paterno and Sandusky “polar opposites.” As Sandusky’s Penn State career neared its end, members of Paterno’s family described what they called the coach’s “Why I Hate Jerry Sandusky Memo.”
Sandusky’s retirement after the 1999 season was also discussed in great length, and the book draws the same conclusion as former FBI director Louis Freeh‘s investigation: It appeared to have nothing to do with a 1998 incident involving Sandusky and a young boy in a Penn State shower.
Regarding a 2002 incident in which then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary witnessed Sandusky in a Penn State shower with a boy, Paterno told Posnanski a similar story to what he told a grand jury.
“Did you consider calling the police?” Posnanski asked.
“To be honest with you, I didn’t,” Paterno responded. “This isn’t my field. I didn’t know what to do. I had not seen anything. Jerry didn’t work for me anymore. I didn’t have anything to do with him. I tried to look through the Penn State guidelines to see what I was supposed to do. It said that I was supposed to call Tim [Curley]. So I did.”
Among some of the other excerpts of note:
On people saying he protected Sandusky over children
“How could they think that?” he asked, and no one had the heart to answer. “They really think that if I knew someone was hurting kids, I wouldn’t stop it?”
They looked at him.
“Don’t they know me? Don’t they know what my life has been about?”

On Jerry Sandusky
In 1993, Paterno wrote what the family would sometimes call the “Why I Hate Jerry Sandusky Memo.” In it Paterno complained that Sandusky had stopped recruiting, seemed constantly distracted, had lost his energy for coaching, and was more interested in his charity, The Second Mile. “He would gripe about Jerry all the time,” one family member said.
On son Jay Paterno
Did he hope that someday Jay would replace him as coach? It’s hard to imagine a father not thinking along those lines, but Joe insisted that wasn’t in his mind. “Are you kidding me?” he scoffed. “You think I would want Jay to have to deal with that?”… “Jay’s a good coach, a darned good coach. And I think a lot of people refuse to see that because his name is Paterno.”
On the Paterno statue
Paterno disliked the statue. Not  because of the craftsmanship or the dimensions or anything like that.  The statue and the stone wall behind it and the words carved into the  stone, it all felt like a celebration of self, a mausoleum. But even  these were not the reasons for Paterno’s distaste. The reason was a  single finger, the index finger, the statue of Joe Paterno raised to the heavens. We’re No. 1.
On The Second Mile
Paterno would say again and again that he did not see anything perverse in Sandusky’s dealings with children. His problem with The Second Mile was much simpler: the kids annoyed the hell out of him. … He did not want kids around when there was work to do.
On a 1998 investigation
There is reason to believe that, whatever Paterno was told, it did not make much of an impact on him. The coaches’ meeting that leads this section was held on May 26, 1998 — precisely at the time Sandusky was being investigated — and his detailed and pointed notes make no mention of the investigation. Also, by the late 1990s, he had explored numerous options for removing Sandusky from his coaching staff. … If Paterno did know the details of the 1998 investigation, he might have used it as a way to get rid of Sandusky. He did not.
On Sandusky’s retirement in 1999
[Paterno] told Sandusky he would not be the next head coach at Penn State. Sandusky mentioned the early retirement package, and Paterno suggested it might be a good time for him to take it. Both men later said that the 1998 incident was never discussed.
On Sandusky’s retirement package, which included access to Penn State facilities
When I told Paterno that people would find it hard to believe the could not have influenced Sandusky’s retirement package, he said, “People like to give me too much power. That’s Tim’s department. I told Tim how I felt. He worked out the deal as he saw fit.”
On conclusions of the Freeh report
The general media takeaway from this email chain [discussing how Penn State officials should handle McQueary’s testimony] was that Paterno had convinced Curley to back off reporting Sandusky and to handle this in-house. Others familiar with the emails believed instead that Paterno had demanded they confront Sandusky.

Penn State adds defensive back prospect

By Guy Cipriano — State CollegeCentre Daily Times

Penn State’s 2013 recruiting class has returned to double digits.

Jordan Smith, a defensive back from Washington, D.C., orally committed to Penn State on Saturday. Smith is the first addition to the 2013 recruiting class since the NCAA levied major sanctions against the school  on July 23.

The 6-foot, 180-pound Smith also held offers from Colorado, Kansas and Hawaii. His commitment increases  the 2013 recruiting class to 10 players. Smith, rated a two-star prospect by Rivals.com, and Northview (Fla.) High School safety Neiko Robinson give the class two defensive backs.

Smith will play at H.D. Woodson High School this season. He had 64 tackles and two interceptions while playing for Archbishop Carroll of the Washington Catholic League last season.

NCAA appeal a losing battle? Experts: PSU has little recourse, risks reviving negative message

By Anne Danahy adanahy@centredaily.com — State College – Centre Daily Times

 When it comes to the NCAA, due process and other standards of a court of law don’t apply.

That’s according to one expert in NCAA regulations and enforcement. David Ridpath, associate professor of sports management at Ohio University, said Penn State doesn’t have to be a member of the NCAA if it doesn’t like the sanctions the organization imposed on the university for its role in the Jerry Sandusky scandal. But, in this case, Penn State President Rodney Erickson already signed off on the penalties.

Ridpath said the 1988 case of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, basketball coach versus the NCAA gave the NCAA a huge amount of latitude. That case, involving a basketball coach who fought his suspension, made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled the NCAA isn’t a state agency.

“That court case gave them license to say, ‘If you want to be in our club, you have to follow our club rules,’ ” Ridpath said.

Ridpath, who had his own run-in with the NCAA as an athletic administrator at Marshall University, said he doesn’t like the way the NCAA handled the Penn State situation, but he thinks those fighting it need to take their complaints to the university.

“Their beef is with Penn State,” he said. “Penn State didn’t need to accept those sanctions.”

Several entities — at least one trustee, the family of Joe Paterno and a group of former players — have filed notices of appeal with the NCAA for the sanctions it imposed on Penn State for its role in the Sandusky scandal.

Although on Friday, that trustee said in an email to the board that he was refraining from further legal action while the matter is under consideration.

They argue, in part, that the NCAA was wrong relying on the findings of the Louis Freeh report. Penn State commissioned the former FBI director to complete that report on the university’s response to the former football coach who has been convicted of sexually abusing boys on campus.

Gene Grabowski, senior vice president at Levick Strategic Communications, said if Penn State wants to get past the crisis it will have to find a way to get those appealing the decisions to stop. Otherwise, Grabowski said, from a communications perspective, the continuing story will be disastrous for the university.

“It keeps everyone thinking and talking about the past and old wounds, rather than moving forward,” he said.

He compared it to Republicans wanting to talk about Watergate. He said while there may be more nuances and precise facts than have come out, the big truth is wrongdoing took place.

“The university needs to make a public call for moving forward, taking the penalties and asking everyone to come together,” Grabowski said.

That may be what happens at 5 p.m. today, when trustees vote via teleconference on supporting accepting the NCAA sanctions.

Gary Roberts, dean and professor at the Indiana University Robert McKinney School of Law, Indianapolis, said he thinks the only entity that would have a legal standing to challenge the decision with the NCAA or in court would be the university itself.

“Having said that, who is the university? That gets kind of tricky,” Roberts said.

He said that would depend on factors such as the university’s governing documents, structure and tradition. In any case, a challenge would have to come from a majority of the board — not just a single member.

“Certainly I think a strong argument could be made that the NCAA did not have the legal authority to do to one of its members what it did because its own rules don’t provide for it,” Roberts said.

Roberts, a sports law expert, said he thinks the NCAA knew the legal risks, but was hoping Penn State wouldn’t challenge them. The association assumed and appears to have been proven correct that the president and most trustees wouldn’t want to put the university through a lengthy legal battle.

Penn State Trustee Speaks Out on Due Process

From Trustee Ryan McCombie
10 August 2012
To: The Pennsylvania State University Board of Trustees
As I noted during the Board meeting last Tuesday (August 7), my principal issue in this ongoing saga is the lack of fairness and due process that has been afforded the University and other parties, including persons completely innocent of any wrongdoing, at the hands of the NCAA. My focus in the protective notice of appeal that was filed, and in future proceedings that may be considered, will not be on the authority of President Erickson; rather, it will be on the unlawful and extortionate actions of the NCAA, and the “rush to judgment” that has occurred as a result. This Board should not become a part of this rush to judgment under the guise of attempting to put this matter behind us. So long as the full truth has yet to come out, and there has not been a fair and thorough adjudicative process, this institution will be unable to truly begin a healing process.
Everyone should understand that at the moment in time and under the circumstances that were presented to President Erickson, he faced truly draconian choices. Under the duress of the tyrannical and unbridled power of the NCAA – – power to impose sanctions and penalties not only on our University but an entire region of Pennsylvania – – President Erickson did what I believe most of us would have done. Standing before an almighty adversary with academic, economic and other lives at stake, bravado is seldom a good tactic. Our President knew that he could be criticized for his difficult decisions, but his responsibility was to protect and mitigate the damage that had been done to what he held dear and was responsible to defend. At that moment in time, I believe President Erickson acted with courage and self sacrifice.
It is however, the very imposition of these circumstances of unbridled power, lack of due process, and total lack of accountability by an organization which has acquired immense power, that I protest. By their own admission this was not a negotiation, it was a “cram down” intended to do grave damage to this University and its reputation.
When I see fear in the eyes and voices of University Presidents, Athletic Directors and coaches when discussing the NCAA, I know something has gone fundamentally wrong. No one should fear their government or governing body. The unchecked power of the NCAA and its ability to decree and impose penalties on its members, and by extension their communities, without due process or the rule of law – even their own – must be reviewed.
There have been a great many mistakes made in this Shakespearean tragedy, but it is culminating in the authority of an organization that has become too powerful and too willing to use that power well beyond its charter, by-laws or established precedent.
I have just had an opportunity to read the email by Joel Myers with his suggestions and proposals for moving forward on these issues. I fully support and endorse Mr. Myer’s recommendations and the reasons behind them. The NCAA’s consent decree, to which I take exception, criticizes this Board for failing to “perform its oversight duties” and for failing in its “duties to oversee the President and senior University officials.” We should not fall victim to these same fiduciary shortcomings now, simply because it will help take the attention off the NCAA or make it easier for them to deprive certain parties with their rights to have the decree reviewed by an independent appeals committee. To allow sufficient time for the full and deliberative review that Mr. Myers suggests, I will instruct my counsel to refrain from further prosecution of pending appeals or consideration of other legal actions. It is time to pause, reflect and be fully informed as a Board before casting further votes that will impact the present and future of this great University. Let’s not continue this rush to judgment and pursuit of closure for the sake of closure.
Ryan McCombie August 10, 2012

Ryan McCombie Appeals to the Penn State Board of Trustees

Ryan McCombie’s Appeal to the Board of Trustees 06 August 2012
Dear fellow board members
The challenges we have dealt with over the past year have been the most difficult and demanding that any Board of a Public University has ever faced. The issues are incredibly painful and highly contentious and the path that we should follow is anything but clear. Nonetheless, it is our mission to determine what happened without favor or bias toward the responsible parties, just as it is our duty as trustees to act in the best interests of Penn State. I do not believe the recent actions of the Administration and the NCAA have been consistent with that mission, and I cannot but feel that our inaction is a failure in our duty. I believe we owe to all involved – especially our University community – to insist on and require full due process before we accept these penalties.
Due process is not a theoretical concept to me. It is one of the core values that I fought for as a Navy Seal and as a 26-year veteran of the US Navy. I spent much of my adult life in 3rd world countries ruled by tyrannical dictators. Little did I know upon retiring from this exciting yet stressful vocation to bucolic Central PA, that I would become embroiled in a comparable experience here.
I respect Louis Freeh and I appreciate the work he and his staff did to investigate the handling of the Sandusky matter. At the same time, I think it is important to recognize that the Freeh report is not the equivalent of a legal hearing or review. No one testified under oath; multiple key witnesses were not interviewed; accused parties were not given a fair chance to respond; the findings were highly subjective; and several individuals are still waiting to have their day in court. Yet despite these very serious limitations and others, our Board allowed the Freeh report to be presented as a full and fair review, which it most certainly is not; and we stood by passively while the University accepted an unprecedented penalty from the NCAA, based entirely on the findings of the Freeh report. These are grave mistakes that inflict undue harm on the entire Penn State community, in addition to compromising the rights of numerous individuals.
The argument that is given on all of these issues is that we must do whatever we can to serve the victims and act in a way that eliminates the chance that something like this can ever happen again. I support that end and understand the sentiment behind it, but also know that we owe it to our University and the constituencies we represent to demand due process in this matter. Our desire for speed and decisiveness cannot and must not justify actions that clearly and decisively compromise the future of this institution, unfairly tarnish its reputation and violate the rights of accused individuals. If in the rush to put this crisis behind us, we act in a way that limits the discovery of the full truth or unfairly blames certain individuals, while exempting others who rightfully deserve blame, we will have completely failed on the most important task this Board will ever have.
It is for these reasons that I have decided to file an appeal today with the NCAA seeking a full due process hearing. Additionally, I will be, along with others, seeking to determine whether President Erickson had the authority to enter into the consent decree absent Board approval. It is my belief that this matter did require board approval and that we should engage in a full, and complete, review. In the end, we all benefit from having this matter handled correctly and with full regard for due process – only then can we be truly confident in the result and the actions we take as a board. Furthermore, only after we have given all involved the opportunity to be heard can we move forward together as one University.
It is my sincere hope that some or all of you will join me on this path. If you wish to join in my appeal, please contact my attorney, Paul Kelly, at (617) 305-1263, or by email paul.kelly@jacksonlewis.com.
Let me also be clear: I do not do this seeking a predetermined result nor do I claim to know what the final answers will be. If there is blame to be borne by any or all of our officials, a due process hearing will not hide that fact and I will accept it – as will the tens of thousands of Penn Staters out there not assuaged by a limited process.
I know my actions will be poorly received by some on this board and in the community at large. To that end it would be easier to remain silent and allow these unfair actions to remain unchallenged. I cannot do this. As long as I am a member of this board, I will fight to learn the full truth of the Sandusky scandal and then, and only then, endorse the assignment of blame and the imposition of sanctions.
For the Glory,
Ryan J. McCombie

Penn State trustees led by Ryan McCombie file appeal

Story by Dan Van Natta, ESPN

A Penn State board of trustee member filed an appeal Monday afternoon with the NCAA over sanctions levied against the university after the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal.

Three other trustees joined the appeal, which states that the consent decree university president Rodney Erickson signed with the NCAA agreeing to the sanctions is “null and void” because Erickson “lacked the legal authority” to enter into such an agreement without the board’s approval.

Trustees and a person with first-hand knowledge of the discussions said the move is a precursor to a federal lawsuit asking a  judge to invalidate the sanctions, because trustees expect the NCAA to reject the appeal.

ESPN The Magazine: On death’s door

ESPN The Magazine’s Don Van Natta brings you inside the secret negotiations that brought Penn State football to the brink of extinction. Story

PDF: PSU trustees’ letter of appeal

The appeal, sent to the NCAA from attorneys hired by Ryan J. McCombie, a retired Navy SEAL who joined the 32-member board in June, also challenges the NCAA on the following fronts:

• The NCAA did not give Penn State trustees and the university due process when it did not follow its usual investigation and enforcement procedures.

• The consent decree is fundamentally unfair because it relies on the Freeh report, which “contains findings and conclusions not that are contrary to the evidence presented …”

• The sanctions are “excessive and unreasonable” because they inflict “permanent damage to an entire generation of student-athletes and coaches who were innocent of any wrongdoing during their time on campus …”

Erickson signed the consent decree late last month with the NCAA after consulting with board chairwoman Karen Peetz and university counsel, but he did not bring the decree to the full board for review or a vote.

The package of sanctions included a $60 million fine, a four-year bowl ban, scholarship losses and the vacating of wins from 1998 through 2011.

McCombie hired Boston attorneys Paul Kelly and Gregg Clifton of Jackson Lewis to file the appeal and wrote a letter to trustees Monday afternoon asking them to join him in his effort. Three trustees nearly immediately joined him. Kelly declined to comment, and McCombie did not return a message seeking comment.

McCombie, one of three new trustees elected by alumni to the board, was one of the most outspoken trustees at a July 25 board session about Erickson not consulting a majority of trustees before signing the consent decree, trustees said.

After that three-hour session in State College, the board issued a statement saying it was standing by Erickson’s decision to sign the consent decree. ESPN The Magazine reported last week the university was facing a four-year death penalty if Erickson had not signed the decree, and that the NCAA had warned Penn State that if there were a leak about proposed sanctions to the media, the discussions would end and the death penalty would be all but certain.

In his letter to trustees Monday, McCombie wrote: “It is my belief that this matter did require board approval and that we should engage in a full, and complete, review. In the end, we all benefit from having this matter handled correctly and with full regard for due process — only then can we be truly confident in the result and the actions we take as a board.

“Furthermore, only after we have given all involved the opportunity to be heard can we move forward together as one university.”

Penn State spokesman David La Torre declined comment. NCAA spokesman Bob Williams said the Penn State sanctions are not subject to appeal.

Last week, attorneys for the family of former coach Joe Paterno requested the NCAA hold an “open hearing” before its Infractions Appeals Committee of the package of sanctions accepted by Penn State. The NCAA quickly rejected their request.

“The Penn State sanctions are not subject to appeal,” Williams said last week.

McCombie closed his letter by writing: “I know my actions will be poorly received by some on this board and in the community at large. To that end it would be easier to remain silent and allow these unfair actions to remain unchallenged. I cannot do this.”

Much of the McCombie appeal takes aim at the Freeh report, an investigation commissioned by the board of trustees last November after the Sandusky sex-abuse charges became known. The board hired former FBI director Louis B. Freeh for $6.5 million to investigate the university’s role in the sex abuse scandal.

Freeh’s report contains damning allegations against university employees and trustees, concluding that the board did not perform its oversight duties. The NCAA relied on the Freeh report to determine what sanctions should be handed down to Penn State