Paterno Family: Freeh Report a "total failure"

By Chris Lauderback on February 10, 2013 at 9:17a

The Paterno report came to 10 conclusions based on its investigation. A sampling:

•  Paterno, "based on a review of all available evidence, including discussions with attorneys representing Curley, Schultz and Spanier made no attempt to hide any information, hinder or impede any investigation or limit the number of people who were informed of" one the key incidents in the Sandusky scandal. In that 2001 incident, then-assistant coach Mike McQueary witnessed the assault of a boy in the shower by Sandusky and told Paterno about it the next day.

•  "Sandusky was an exceptionally effective manipulator and deceiver & One of the most respected child sexual victimization experts in the world has concluded that Joe Paterno, like many others, did not recognize Jerry Sandusky as a child molester after the 2001 incident."

From family attorney Wick Sollers:

"Mr. Freeh irresponsibly blamed Joe Paterno in this scandal, and violated the most basic notions of due process by offering a flawed, one-sided viewpoint without affording any meaningful opportunity for Joe Paterno, his representatives, or any neutral third party to sanity check Mr. Freeh's opinions before he announced them as proven at a national press conference," Sollers writes in the report. "Mr. Freeh generated a rapid domino effect of negative coverage that permanently, immediately and unfairly tainted perceptions of Joe Paterno by the media, the Penn State community, the NCAA and the public."


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1stYrBuckIClub's picture

I fail to see what the Paterno family believes this will accomplish. What's done is done. 

kr66osu's picture

Every time I think we're done hearing about f***ing Penn State someone has to bring it back up
I don't understand what they think this will accomplish, and having just watched OTL the people that support this are just as biased as they accuse Freeh of being

Riggins's picture

Alright Paterno family...  Your continued efforts to untarnish JoePa's name from the stink of not reporting a decade of child abuse have finally got me to come around. 
Come on.  I'm here for you.

Dinklage FTW.  But seriously Paterno family.  I'm sure it sucks having to live with the fact that JoePa messed up on an epic scale, but please, I speak for everyone... Shut up.

Alhan's picture

Is that Nick Frost in the reflection?
Your post sums it up for me.

"Nom nom nom" - Brady Hoke

D. Anthony's picture

The Paterno's are playing the role of the Vatican.

D. Anthony

BuckeyeBoyer85's picture

What a shocker. The main problem I have with this is the continued lack of regard for the victims and their families. Keeping the tragic story in the media limelight does nothing for PSU, the Paternos and most importantly the young men who were abused. 

Wayne Woodrow Hayes

J.Mo's picture

So Sue Paterno wants me to believe that the real victim in this Sandusky scandal is Joe Paterno. Who the eff cares about the children because her husband is the victim and he looked the other way while Jerry Sandusky was sodomizing little boys. Success with honor, NEVER AT PENN STATE!

bucknut24's picture

It's funny how they hired the guy in the first place and continue to try to discredit him.  Don't harbor a sexual predator.

Gametime's picture

^ See, these reactions are what the family is fighting against. I'm not one who's easily swayed by the court of public opinion. For them, this isn't about the victims - I'm sure they acknowledge the fact tha Sandusky is sleeze & what he did was completely & unequivocally wrong. 
With that said, JoePa was a living legend, & would've gone down revered in college football history as such when he finally stepped away from the game. He did a lot of good for exponentially more people over the course of six decades which is essentially dissolved because of how much he allegedly knew, didn't know, or how he was involved in this scandal.
He literally lived & died Penn State - so from his familiies perspective, I think it's fair to want to clear his name, especially IF the Freeh report was bias & in error. If he was my dad, or my brother, or my grandpa I would try to do the same, with no disrespect to the overall situation.
I think his name deserves just as much a fair chance to be cleared as does Sandusky to be put in a hole in a cell.

Between goals and achievement is discipline and consistency. That fire you have inside to do whatever you love is placed there by God. Now go claim it. ~ Denzel Washington

AndyVance's picture

While we can all agree that what happened in Happy Valley is abhorrent, I don't think it is inconceivable to understand that the Paternos feel victimized in their own way, and you make that point well. Everything that has been reported about JoePa before the Sandusky debacle suggests that he was a good man who cared about his students and the University.
Did he have way too much power at Penn State? Yes, that seems pretty clear. Was he an evil SOB who willfully covered up child molestation for the "good of the program?" I'm not sure the facts bear that out, though we'll ultimately never know what he was truly thinking or feeling.
The other angle of this that gets ignored is that, by the time he found out about these incidents in '01, he was 75 years old - critics said for years that he was past his prime and too old to be running a major college football program - those same critics seem to discount that he may not have had his crap together enough to take any more action than he did... In other words you can't paint him as an evil mastermind in one breath and as a doddering old fool the next.
I'm not sure which is correct - as I pointed out in one of my first blogs here, I was conflicted about the Paterno "legacy" after reading a very compelling piece by the former Paterno Chaired Professor at Penn State on why he resigned that endowed faculty seat. I'm still conflicted a bit, but I understand why Sue Paterno and family want to do as much to "clear Joe's name" as they possibly can.

BamBamBuck's picture

While no one can blame the Paterno family of wanting to clear Joe's name I cannot understand how anyone could spend as much time with Sandusky and not be even a little suspicious of the accusations. This is one of the worst possible crimes to commit on another person, let alone a defensless child, and I would ask anyone the define the logic that would exonerate Joe from being even a "little" suspicious of Sandusky, and age is not acceptable. Joe was maybe not at the top of his game but he was enough of a fully functioning adult with the mental faculties such that the PSU leadership respected enough to loop into the "official" PSU reaction to the  Sandusky situation.


AndyVance's picture

I don't disagree on any of those points, BamBam. I don't have the fervent hate for Paterno that many do, but I can't fault those that do for their feelings on the issue. At the same time, I can't fault Sue for feeling like Joe's getting a raw deal - many folks act and believe as though he were as much of an evil SOB as Sandusky, and I have a hard time equating the two on that level.

BamBamBuck's picture

I have no hate for Paterno, I simply lost any respect for him. Absolutely agree that Sue has that right and maybe even duty, to attempt to clear Joe's name, just don't expect non-PSU fans to buy into it. Now if you want to talk "hate" (such a strong word to use) I gladly aim that towards the PSU fan base that so enjoyed the Tressel debacle. :-)


Gametime's picture

I agree. 

Especially after skimming through some of the Paterno report, and especially after seeing the ties Freeh had to Second Mile, what the independent experts hired to weigh in on this report had to say about Freeh's seemingly glaring lack of procedure, along with all the points you mentioned, some of which they brought up, is definitely changing -- no solidifying my view of the situation.
I HAVE to mention that most people only feel like the feel about JoePa BECAUSE of the media, it's not really planted in the basis of the fact. It's the same way people feel about Woody Hayes, Jim Tressel, or even athletes like Terrell Owens, despite all the personal good they've done, society, especially now with Twitter, Facebook, etc, makes the court of public opinion much more damning than anything factual that may come out.

It would take a full scale media retraction to place the blame on a set of individuals - not what would seem to be, the senile old Joe they tried to brand him as prior to these events coming out. Besides he compassion in me hates that he died the way he did - being completely detached & vilified by something he gave his life to, especially if it's not completely justified...

Between goals and achievement is discipline and consistency. That fire you have inside to do whatever you love is placed there by God. Now go claim it. ~ Denzel Washington

northcampus's picture

Such a delusional family.  For 60 years, Paterno preached that his life's work was about 'the kids' and their betterment.  For the last year, the Paterno family has validated that it's always been about Joe this 'rebuttal' only solidifies the focus solely being about Joe.  
Paterno may have helped a few players along the way, but he sure did hurt a lot more people who didn't possess the football talent needed to benefit his own objectives.

JLBNYC's picture
I think the Paterno family fails to see how others, outside of Happy Valley, view Paterno and his tainted legacy.  Delusional indeed.

Grant Edgell's picture

The report should have simply said, "But but but!" and called it a good job. Worthless, one-sided attempt to clear the name of one person against a damning report that engulfed the failures of an entire program of people.

Brutus's picture

Here's what I don't get.  Many, including the authors of this report, claim that Freeh was biased against Paterno.  They point to the fact that Freeh was hired by the BoT, which fired Paterno, therefore, from the outset, Freeh was looking to blame Paterno for this.  But why would the BoT want an investigation which found that Paterno and the three other guys were most responsible?  These four people all answer to the BoT, so by blaming them, you are by extension blaming the BoT.  Wouldn't they instead want an investigation which resulted in one of the main premises of this investigation, which is that Sandusky was an exceptionally skilled manipulator and deceiver?  The Freeh report made all of Penn State look bad, not just Paterno.  I never thought the Freeh report painted Paterno as the scapegoat.  That's just one of the big takeaways because Paterno is such an iconic figure.  To me, the Freeh report points to a widespread instutional failure, of which the BoT is just as culpable, but Paterno is the central figure just because he's the biggest name.  Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see why the Freeh report would be biased.  It attacked the four most central figures, yes, but it was an indictment on the entire PSU community. 

Buckeyeneer's picture

Anyone who thinks a report paid for by the Paternos and performed by a friend of JoePa is going to paint a fair and unbiased picture raise your hand. . . . . . no one? Wait, I see a bunch of people wearing blue and white with there hands raised. Anyone else? . . . . No one?
In all my reviews about this new report I saw nothing about victims only an obvious attempt to clear Joe of blame. No minds have been changed here. Everone will still believe what they already did.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

Dr. House's picture

Ahhh just as I thought this would say. This offers nothing new and will not help at all. If this report offered serious counter claims. Ie mike mcqueary couldn't have seen Sandusky in the shower because he was in north carolina on vacation here are photo time stamped and here are five different receipts from the trip. This report is nothing more than a biased attempt to clear joes name and get his wins back because that's all the paternos care about. It's sad really I think the paternos think with out the wins people will forget about joe, I won't here's why he covered up one of the biggest college scandals ever and he shit his pants on the sidelines plus he ran his program like a mafia. 
After reading a Psu fan site. I have completely given up on them. Seriously one argument they had was that since this one has TWO experts on child abuse/sexual abuse this "totally unbiased" holds more weight. I sigh and hope that the next generation of Psu fans don't live completely in ignorance. frankly now after reading some of the comments there I truly feel they don't deserve a coach like BOB. Sorry for the rant and the soap boxiness to this but a lot of Psu fans still haven't understood the gravity of what the hell happened in happy valley and joe got fired and really why they nearly got the whole football program ban hammered. 

LouGroza's picture

Paterno made sure that negative news stayed in house, as he did not want its effect to get outside of Happy Valley. This was documented on several occasions with team members arrests and such over the years. He controlled everything there. Including the lack of responsible reaction to Sandusky to a very large degree. This latest denial is a giant slap in the face to those child victims as the Paternos try to feel better about things for themselves. I'm sure Joe was a great man around the house and in public functions. His family has no idea what went on in his office at PSU or what kind of man it took to "handle" things.

RBuck's picture

I can hear Sue Paterno to Thornburgh: "...and remember who's paying you."
This report is so biased it's laughable.

Long live the southend.

doodah_man's picture

Since 1978, I have been trying to tell people of the good that Woody Hayes did in his life. Best of luck with Joe. The good was interred with his bones...

Jim "DooDah" Day

"If I were giving a young man advice as to how he might succeed in life, I would say to him, pick out a good father and mother, and begin life in Ohio.” --Wilbur Wright, 1910

gbdawg's picture

Agree, his report says it all.

Tim's picture

Manti Teo can claim to be ignorant and naive because no one really got hurt from it (yeah I still think he knew but whatever).  Paterno's inability/refusal to do anything resulted in child rape.  The Paternos need to stop talking, bringing more attention to themselves is not going to help them.

BSTP DeCon's picture

Success without honor isn't worth striving for, right? I'm sick of the same people constantly defending Joe and not giving any sort of sympathy for the abused children and their families. Please just shut up Paterno family. Thank you and good day.

Bucksfan's picture

I can't help but imagine the Paterno family constantly doing this behind the scenes.

Ramzy Nasrallah's picture

Read & reviewed the whole thing here.

Riggins's picture

You've condensed into a paragraph the entirety of what needs to be said about this hellscape of a story.  Well done.

Penn State facilities were sanctuary for Jerry Sandusky to commit child rape. He was given free access to them for over a decade after his retirement. He was in a Penn State box at a football game the weekend before he was arrested in 2011. He worked out in Penn State facilities for years after the allegations began to pile up. This is a tragedy that was without peer that had plenty of enablement beyond the rapist himself.

Kalamazoo Steve's picture

Not going to waste my time reading this report. Do they also deny he sharted? Sorry to be juvenile, but that is my favorite Joe memory.

DetroitBuckeye's picture

I might just hate Penn State more than Michigan, just a disgusting university.

GoBucks713's picture

Watch out everyone, M1EK may come out of the woodwork.

-The Aristocrats!