February 10th, 2013
12:42 PM ET

Paterno family: Freeh report 'factually wrong'

The family of the late Joe Paterno released a report Sunday morning that absolved the coaching great of blame in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal and said a prior review commissioned by Penn State University was "factually wrong, speculative and fundamentally flawed. "

Former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh put together the new report, the Paterno family said in a written statement.

"The experts determined that the conclusions of the (university) report are based on raw speculation and unsupported opinion - not facts and evidence," Thornburgh said, according to the statement.

The statement said Paterno never attempted to hide any information or impede any investigation into Sandusky's activities while using Penn State facilities.

After Sandusky was arrested in November 2011, the university funded a review of the scandal (pdf) led by former FBI Director Louis Freeh.

Freeh's 267-page review was released in July 2012 and blamed Paterno, former university President Graham Spanier, suspended Athletic Director Tim Curley and ex-Vice President Gary Schultz for allegedly taking part in a cover-up to avoid bad publicity.

The scandal led to Spanier's ouster and shocked the nation after Freeh's team concluded that the school's top administrators had "empowered" Sandusky, the former defensive coordinator for the football team, to continue his abuse.

Sandusky, who ran a charity for disadvantaged children while in retirement, was convicted last June on 45 counts of child sex abuse. In October, the 68-year-old former coach was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison.

Paterno died in January 2012.

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Filed under: College football • Crime • Jerry Sandusky • Joe Paterno • Penn State • Pennsylvania • Sports
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Daedalus

    Nobody other than rabid fans of Penn are buying this... Joe Pedo's name is mud.

    February 10, 2013 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Joel

      No pun intended!

      February 10, 2013 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • md22mdrx

      Joe's name IS mud ... but it's not based on factual evidence ... only wild speculation and bias. It's sad really. I hope the new report will clear some things up when I read it.

      February 10, 2013 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  2. hobojo

    It's too bad

    February 10, 2013 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  3. NoJoker

    No one would buy this report. Joe Paterno is Sandusky's enabler and thus he is as guilty as Sandusky.

    February 10, 2013 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Marie

      Sorry, but I'll take the report of a former US Attorney General over a failed FBI investigator any day.

      February 10, 2013 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  4. CEG

    Wow, the Paterno clan is hell-bent on continuing to torture the victims. Have a small bit of decency and compassion, and shut up. Joe knew and did as little as possible. Done and guilty. Get over yourselves.

    February 10, 2013 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • md22mdrx

      Get over YOURself. Joe was the victim of a media witch hunt. The Freeh Report was biased garbage and had little to do with actual facts. Go back and read it.

      The people who bash Paterno all have one thing in common .... They didn't read the Freeh Report.

      February 10, 2013 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  5. Big Bob

    He didn't impede the investigation? He knew children were getting molested and did the absolute minimum.

    February 10, 2013 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  6. vance

    joe pa always referred to his football players as his kids. he also prided himself on being a father figure to his football players. he failed in the biggest way he possibly could have. by not personally taking sandusky to the police himself and protecting the kids who needed to be protected the most. he can rot in hades along with sandusky

    February 10, 2013 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  7. Lake_Surfer

    Mr. Thornburgh is from Pennsylvania and was also a former Govenor of that state. I guess I'd call an old family friend too if I were deperate to distance my family from a ruined legacy.

    February 10, 2013 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Lake_Surfer

      and desperate

      February 10, 2013 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  8. Maryann

    The way the board of directors used the media to make a circus out of this was horrific. The Paterno family did a lot of good. Joe was not the bad guy. Sandusky was, but you hardly heard Sandusky's name mentioned. It was always Paterno. I am glad the family is defending him. Why wasn't the President of the University targeted. That is what he got the big bucks for.

    February 10, 2013 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jeff

    50+ years at the University, and the man is considered mud for not following up on a crime commited by someone else when he didn't know at the time if it was true or not. I think it's wrong how they treated him and I'm not from Penn State.

    February 10, 2013 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • md22mdrx

      And based on a biased and flawed report by this guy Freeh. Media blew it up and the people made u their minds .... and none of them actually read the report.

      February 10, 2013 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  10. LBGa

    In part of the statement it says that Joe and Sandusky werent friends and didnt socialize. Wonder why? Because Joe knew just what a POS Sandusky was. HE KNEW. period.

    February 10, 2013 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • md22mdrx

      I'm glad you can read minds and not base your opinions on wild speculation before opening your piehole.

      February 10, 2013 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  11. Marie

    Freeh and Emmert better line their pockets and update their CV's. They're going down!! In the middle of reading the full report, but Freeh and NCAA haven't a leg to stand on.

    February 10, 2013 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • hozo1

      like this was an unbiased report from a family friend and lifetime Pennsylvanian .. stop thinking of the Paternos and think about the kids

      February 10, 2013 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Alice

      Stop talking about the children. Yeah, that's pretty much the Paterno family motto isn't it?

      February 10, 2013 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  12. Al

    Joe Paterno could of put a stop to the torture of children, he did not. He got was he deserved.

    February 10, 2013 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  13. fayray11

    if there is some sort of justice after death, Joe must be squealing like the pig he is.

    February 10, 2013 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • md22mdrx

      I hope someone says the same about you one day.

      You haven't even read the report, have you?

      Do so before speaking of "justice".

      February 10, 2013 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  14. Luther51

    Who would you tend to believe: an FBI man (Freeh) or a lawyer (Thornburgh)?


    Thornburgh, a lawyer paid by the Paterno family for good news, is certainly going to deliver "good news," whether true or not.

    February 10, 2013 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  15. tony

    I wish I could afford to call upon an ex-govenor for legal support. But my DNA isn't biased towards shouting at boys throwing balls and sacking each other

    February 10, 2013 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
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