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. tony

    Professional "sports" is an oxymoron.

    February 10, 2013 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  2. Joe Blow

    Seriously? Lets look at the facts, hmm?

    JoePa was told a long-time assistant coach was doin the dirty with CHILDREN in his practice facility.

    JoePa told his supervisor, then walked away.

    He could have taken immediate action. He could have aggressively followed up, forcing action.

    He did not.

    Legality and what was in his contract aside, only a selfish, inhumane, heartless basta would do what JoePa did.

    Oh ... Sandusky and the upper administration were worse, but that hardly shines JoePa's turd, does it?

    February 10, 2013 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • md22mdrx

      He told his supervisor, who was the head of campus police. So, in fact, he DID do EXACTLY as he should and it's up to the campus police to do their job. All Paterno had was hearsay. He didn't have any actual evidence that wasn't hearsay. In the Freeh Report itself, it's mentioned that Sandusky was cleared of wrongdoing and a psychologist told him that he didn't have the mentality to do such a thing. For all Paterno knew, Sandusky was innocent. Everybody here is obsessed with the severity of the crime and want heads to roll .... but very few people are basing their opinions on actual facts. Take your emotions out of it. Act like a judge in a courtroom.

      February 10, 2013 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  3. truth in journalism

    If some family paid me millions to research one of their family members I think I would also find only what they wanted to hear. Kind of a no brainer.

    February 10, 2013 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Hmm and if a University paid me millions to "research" then I would more than likely find fault with the people that the University and already fired...Hmm no brainer as well...

      February 10, 2013 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • want2believe

      You mean kind of the same way the PSU hired Freeh? And they conveniently placed all blame on those individuals already guilty in the court of public opinion? The Freeh report definitely had some condemning evidence in it but much of it was speculative. It'll be interesting to see what this report includes.

      February 10, 2013 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  4. Oscar Pitchfork

    So the family of a dead, pedophile facilitator comes back, AGAIN, with a "report" that clears him? Why the hell is trash like this even newsworthy?

    February 10, 2013 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      Remember that when someone accuses you.

      February 10, 2013 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  5. bear

    Is this an AG that ignored all facts. rumor has it he is doing the same thing for Lance Armstrong,Ray Lewis and Curt Schilling.

    February 10, 2013 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  6. ex-Penn Stater

    I grew up in State College and knew some of Joe's kids – a very nice family, good people. But I think they need to let this matter drop. Nothing they can do will remove the stain on Joe's legacy, certainly not a commissioned 'investigation.' Such a sad event on so many levels.

    February 10, 2013 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  7. jaimie

    He was judged properly. So stop the whining, pick up the pieces and carry on. There is more "new" in life than the "old" past.

    February 10, 2013 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  8. jim66

    Joe Paterno was the ultimate authority at Penn State ..nothing went on at PS that Paterno didnt know about ..everyone at Penn State answered to Paterno .... Paterno Knew and did nothing about Sandusky ... That makes him just as vile and immoral as Sandusky ... I understand the Paterno Family wants to have their Husband/ Father remembered in a favorable light and will spend a considerable amount of money to spin the Freeh report to their likeing but all the spin will not make Paterno less Guilty

    February 10, 2013 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  9. retiree

    If Coach Paterno was not covering up for Sandusky, then the Paterno family should share Joe's obsession of clearing changing his financial holdings so his son and wife. It appears that he knew what was going to come down and knew that lawsuits against him would arise. It appears that his sudden desire to alter his financial situation was designed to make sure that his assets would be protected.

    This is hardly a sign of someone who was SHOCKED to learn about Sandusky's behavior.

    Even IF one combines elements of both the Freeh and Paterno reports, one cannot escape the fact that Penn State had a problem with Sandusky and that Penn State did NOTHING to shed light on or solve the problem.

    February 10, 2013 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  10. Pi Boson

    Thornburgh is one of the last people on earth that would see imagination as reality. Joe Paterno is culpable just like the rest of the 'good ol boys' at PSU. One can appreciate the Paterno family's wishes and wants, but damn reality gets in the way. Joe Paterno's legacy will be as an enabler for child abuse. He will join the catholic church in this recognition.

    February 10, 2013 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  11. elvis316

    he just let that pedo run around his facility after he knew about it for ten years. Nice report family, hope it helps you sleep better–Joe did just barely less than the bare minimum of what a worthy human being would have. He wouldn't let it interrupt his 'legacy'. What's a few more molested kids when compared to keeping the status quo in happy valley. Up yours Paterno family, crawl back to your mansions built on pedo sweat.

    February 10, 2013 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  12. James Virginia

    We stand by the Paterno Family, in clearing Joe's name. The truth will come out. RIP Joe, thanks for the memories.

    February 10, 2013 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  13. stripedcow

    The Paterno family is simply trying to protect their assets against the wave of litigation that's probably in the works. Joe Paterno died in disgrace, and nothing will ever change that.

    February 10, 2013 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  14. NOVA 703

    The Governor of PA had a vendetta going against Paterno because he was photographed with Corbett's political opponent. Corbett was in bed with Sandusky's charity but did his best to hide that fact. The University tried to cover for itself by shifting the blame to Paterno. An honorable man was smeared by truly guilty parties to cover their own sorry posteriors.

    February 10, 2013 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  15. jnpa

    There is a very interesting article in "Tom in Paine" blogspot dot comdated Jul 21, 2012 by Marc Ruben which really blasts the Freeh report. After reading it, I have serious doubt that the Freeh report is creditable.

    February 10, 2013 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
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