STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — With a Friday deadline looming, Penn State has asked for more time to respond to an NCAA inquiry over the university's handling of accusations of child sex abuse against former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.
Penn State general counsel Cynthia Baldwin said in a letter to NCAA president Mark Emmert released Thursday that answers to the NCAA's questions about the Sandusky case might come from other, separate probes already in progress. Among them is a university trustees investigation spearheaded by former FBI director Louis Freeh.
Baldwin spoke to Emmert and other NCAA staff by phone Nov. 23 about the concurrent inquiries, according to the letter dated Dec. 12.
"The university understands that the NCAA will continue to monitor these investigations and will have access to the report" from Freeh and the trustees, Baldwin said.
"At that time, the NCAA will determine if further response from the university is necessary," she wrote before requesting more time.
Both the NCAA and Penn State have signaled in recent weeks the school may not make the Friday deadline to provide complete answers to questions posed by the college sports governing body.
The Big Ten announced last week it would also conduct its own review and reserved the right to hand down sanctions pending its findings. The 12-member league also planned an immediate review of institutional control of athletics at its schools.
The Department of Education also is looking into Penn State, along with the separate criminal case by the state attorney general's office.
Sandusky has pleaded not guilty and waived his preliminary hearing Tuesday on charges he molested 10 boys. He has requested a jury trial.
The Sandusky scandal led to the departures last month of Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno and school president Graham Spanier, amid mounting pressure on trustees and criticism that school officials should have done more to prevent the alleged abuse.
University trustee Kenneth Frazier said this week at a business forum hosted by The Wall Street Journal in New York that he hoped Freeh's team would have findings by the end of the academic year. Penn State's spring semester ends in mid-May.
Spanier's replacement, Rodney Erickson, has pledged the university's full cooperation with the NCAA and other inquiries.