Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Fall of the Freeh Report

Here is the conclusion to the stunning report that refutes the conclusions drawn by Louis Freeh in his report last year. 


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Joe Paterno died on January 22, 2012, concerned for the victims in this tragedy, determined that the full truth should be revealed, and hopeful that these awful events could raise consciousness of child abuse detection more broadly and prevent its recurrence.  Joe Paterno also died before the few emails on which the Freeh Group based its speculative opinions could be discussed with him. In the most significant ways, the Freeh report does little to advance the truth as to Joe Paterno, and leaves questions that may never be answered with Joe Paterno’s death.

The evidence that does exist reflects a very different reality regarding Joe Paterno than the fiction invented by the Freeh report.  It shows a man who never concealed, controlled, or knew of any details of sexual abuse in the 1998 investigation that cleared Sandusky; a man who reported promptly what he learned to his superior(s) in 2001; a man who told the truth to the best of his recollection when asked questions in 2011 about his memory of events a decade earlier; and a man who took responsibility for his actions publicly and privately and, with the benefit of hindsight, wished he had done more when learning the extent of Jerry Sandusky’s deceptions in 2011.

Joe Paterno never mentioned the impact of this scandal on his “legacy,” a term that has been overwrought and elevated to great prominence by others.  Instead, he described these events as one of the great sorrows of his life, that as a father of 5 children with 17 grandchildren he was saddened and sickened to learn of these details, and that even at the end of his life he hoped he could still be helpful.  None of these sentiments is consistent with the negative implication of cowardice and conspiracy ascribed to Joe Paterno in the Freeh report.

Joe Paterno’s actions in this matter, and the balance of his life, repeatedly demonstrate that he tried his best to do the right thing with honor and integrity.  Some may vilify the loyalty to the “Penn State way” as part of the cause of this tragedy, but that misimpression based on the flawed Freeh report cannot change the immutable fact that Joe Paterno and Penn State have stood for what is right and good in our society, even if part of that commitment means acknowledging and learning from mistakes and emerging stronger because of them.

Our deepest concern and sympathies remain with the victims of this tragedy, and the Paterno family is committed to supporting significant steps, and making more contributions financially and emotionally, to increase child sexual victimization awareness, detection, and education in this country.”

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To download a complete copy of this report click here:

CRITIQUE OF THE FREEH REPORT: THE RUSH TO INJUSTICE REGARDING JOE PATERNO

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