Monday, July 16, 2012

…and another thing…

It seems we are not alone in our assessment of Louis Freeh’s report on the Sandusky affair and its fallout for Penn State.  In today’s Philadelphia Inquirer, Joseph N. DiStefano, a journalist for the Inquirer, writes an article noting the fact that there are some folks who are not sold on Freeh’s report. 

In another article last November, DiStefano wrote that that in spite of disclaimers about any prior connection with Penn State, it seems Freeh indeed made an awful lot of money working for a bank [MBNA] that paid Penn State’s Alumni Association $30 million between 1998 and 2006 for their mailing lists and some help with marketing their credit cards to the alumni.  Additional moneys were paid annually for exclusivity rights and to keep Joe Paterno in the MBNA fold as well.  In 2006 Freeh left MBNA just as it was acquired by Bank of America, and Freeh cashed out his stock to the tune of $20 million. 

Freeh’s  position with MBNA was as General Counsel and as such had little to do with the marketing of Credit Cards, but he certainly would have reviewed contracts, and amended or approved them as necessary. 

DiStefano also provides a link to a very good and longtime columnist for the Delaware County Daily Times, Gil Spencer.  Spencer wrote, in an article yesterday titled “FreehReport is full of assumptions”, essentially along the same lines as our previous post.  There are assumptions and assertions in Freeh’s report that are simply not supported by the evidence he presents.  Spencer finds McQueary much more culpable than anyone else for not reporting the ”crime” he witnessed, and for not reporting it to Paterno, and later to Schultz and Curley as a rape, or sexual molestation.  Indeed, McQueary’s father, a medical professional, would have known the law required such a crime to be reported and he did nothing.  He obviously did not counsel his son to go to the police.  One wonders just what young McQueary actually told his dad.  Add that to the fact that Paterno, Curley and Schultz all testified that what McQueary reported was something far less serious than what he was saying to the Grand Jury and to the Sandusky trial jury. 

How could Freeh not see this commonality in what McQueary said then, and the contextual actions and eventual memories of the men to whom he reported it?

The more this gets looked at, the more McQueary’s actions and inactions come under scrutiny and they are not passing that scrutiny.  Yet Freeh uses McQueary extensively to provide the underpinnings of his condemnation of Curley, Schultz, Spanier and Paterno. 

Spencer writes, “The fact is, before this scandal broke, I couldn’t give two serious craps about Penn State or Joe Paterno.  I didn’t follow or care about his football program and I still don’t.  But lynch mobs offend me and so do people who leap to conclusions for the purpose of engaging in character assassination.”

Indeed there has been a rush to judgment, started first by the Trustees last fall, and picked up almost immediately by sportswriters and newscasters around the country.  It seems to be the prevailing sport among them, to see someone who is idolized for all the good he has done in his life and because he is better than they are, they must tear him down, find fault, regardless of its validity, and believe the worst about someone the bulk of the country thought was a good man who had done good things for a lot of people, over a long lifetime.  That is the kind of person they like to go after…with that “lynch mob” mentality.

The Paterno family reported today that it would conduct its own investigation and asked the Freeh investigators to preserve their notes and evidence and make it available. 

Others, like DiStefano and Spenser, are starting to see through the Freeh report.  That is a good thing. 

Please read Spencer’scolumn.  It is quite good.  It is an exemplar of the good writing and good sense that marks Gil Spencer’s reputation. 

He should watch out.  That marks him as a target for the “lynch mob.”


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