National response to the Freeh Report findings

(AP) Joe Paterno and other top Penn State officials buried child sexual abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky more than a decade ago to avoid bad publicity, according to a scathing report Thursday that exposed a powerful “culture of reverence” for the football program and portrayed the Hall of Fame coach as more deeply involved in the scandal than previously thought.

The alleged cover-up by Paterno, then-university President Graham Spanier and two other Penn State administrators allowed Sandusky to prey on other boys for years, said the report by former FBI Director Louis Freeh, who was hired by the university’s trustees to investigate. Read full AP story.

Other AP stories on the Freeh Report:

National media personalities had their thoughts on the findings, too. See them below:

20 Comments

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David H. on 7/12/2012 @ 5:43pm EST Said:

The Freeh report ha sso many flaws, i’s looking for the media to scoop up the same BS it did when Sandusky scandal came to light . Joe Paterno may have needed to do more, but he is not guilty of a cover up based on the shallow Freeh report based on assumed email content. The references to Paterno in the emails did not say his name and could have been a reference to Sandusky himself or another on coaching staff. Freeh did not interview McQueary,curley,Spanier, or Schulz. Pretty lame.

aroznowski on 7/12/2012 @ 6:44pm EST Said:

“Joe Paterno wasn’t perfect. He made mistakes and he regretted them. He is still the only leader to step forward and say that with the benefit of hindsight he wished he had done more. To think, however, that he would have protected Jerry Sandusky to avoid bad publicity is simply not realistic. If Joe Paterno had understood what Sandusky was, a fear of bad publicity would not have factored into his actions” (http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/8159863/the-family-joe-paterno-issues-statement-response-freeh-report). As a proud Big Ten fan, I buy that and what Jay Paterno had to say in his interview with Tom Rinaldi (http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=8161329). Joe Paterno was human and made mistakes but was still a great man. He is the greatest head coach and one of the greatest people in the history of college football. That should never be forgotten. I am sick and tired of this story. At this point, Jerry Sandusky’s sentencing (Hopefully he is sentenced to over four hundred years in prison.), the trials of Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, the restoration of Joe Paterno’s name to the Big Ten championship trophy, and the protection of Joe Paterno’s statue outside of Beaver Stadium should be the main priorities now.

paul hackett on 7/12/2012 @ 7:34pm EST Said:

Freeh should be shot, was well as Penn State’s Board of Trustees. A subordinate (Paterno) can go to his immediate supervisor with a problem, but American business does not permit a subordinate to go any higher or face dismissal. Joe did that. It’s just a shame that the Board of Directors are still around (but isn’t that just like American management; they do no wrong, just hang the subordinate. Penn State will never realize what they had for a football coach. It’s amazing that none of his players have talked down about Mr Paterno. The State (unfortunately more management) doesn’t dismiss Freeh’s report and dismiss the current Board of Trustees.

Cary on 7/12/2012 @ 8:04pm EST Said:

Are you guys from a different planet? How can you possibly defend any of these people? Maybe you should be more concerned with the victims than someone’s legacy!!

Chris on 7/13/2012 @ 7:42am EST Said:

Joe Paterno need not “understand what Sandusky was” to recognize the impropriety of a grown man showering with children, for there is no situation where a grown man should be naked with a child. If Joe Paterno didn’t understand this, he must have been an imbecile, or worst, complicit.

Dave on 7/13/2012 @ 8:06am EST Said:

How is Joe Pa ever considered a “subordinate”? He was clearly the most powerful figure on campus, and maybe the whole area. Don’t try and downplay Joe Pa’s involvement. Also, a former FBI director does an 8 month investigation interviewing over 300 people and millions of documents and emails and you claim the Freeh Report is flawed? You Joe Pa defenders make me sick.

pfitz2 on 7/13/2012 @ 9:13am EST Said:

“A subordinate (Paterno) can go to his immediate supervisor with a problem, but American business does not permit a subordinate to go any higher or face dismissal”

Joe was not a subordinate nor was anyone higher than him at PSU. To think otherwise shows a lack of knowledge of how things were run in HV.

Joe on 7/13/2012 @ 9:22am EST Said:

It is amazing how deep you guys can stick your head in the sand! Obviously you don’t have children.

Kay on 7/13/2012 @ 9:50am EST Said:

A subordinate (Paterno) can go to his immediate supervisor with a problem, but American business does not permit a subordinate to go any higher or face dismissal.

Um…seriously? You really think Joe Paterno didn’t go any higher than his immediate supervisor because he feared dismissal. That’s delusional.

I’m with Cary, I don’t understand the defense here. Paterno knew enough that he should have showed some kind of concern or empathy for the victims and he didn’t. This doesn’t mean he never did one good thing in his life, it doesn’t mean he was evil to the core. It means he expressed astonishingly bad judgment at best and put his football program above all at worst. And either way, I do look at him differently now.

BHop on 7/13/2012 @ 10:38am EST Said:

Some of these replies make me want to throw up in my mouth. I can’t believe ppl who can defend child rape and this blatant cover up. I loved Joe as a coach, but this is sick and no one can defend this. If you have children, then you know where I’m coming from.

aroznowski on 7/13/2012 @ 5:26pm EST Said:

I am not defending Jerry Sandusky and child abuse. I would never do that. I have a very high moral standard. I am happy that the victims received their justice that was long overdue, and I hope that they can have successful lives. However, people need to stop portraying Joe Paterno as some monstrous villain for a mistake that he made. He was human! Jerry Sandusky is the criminal in this case, and I hope that he is punished to the fullest extent of the law and sentenced to over four hundred years in prison. All of these dummies that are pushing for Joe Paterno’s statue to come down, for Joe and Sue Paterno’s names to come off of the library that they endowed, and for Penn State to shut down its football program and receive the “death penalty” need to quit beating a dead horse and shut up. All of the good that Joe Paterno did in his life outweighs the bad. He impacted thousands upon thousands of people in a positive way. Just ask people like Matt Millen, Todd Blackledge, Jay Paterno, and Tom Bradley. He did not impact anywhere near as many people in a negative way. I can see the entire picture unlike all of the Joe Pa haters that constantly bash him with no end. Joe Paterno did not commit a crime. Jerry Sandusky did. Outside of Jerry Sandusky, Gary Schultz is the one that is most to blame since he had the legal power as head of a police department that Graham Spanier, Tim Curley, and Joe Paterno did not have. The current president, athletic director, football coaches, and football players should not punished for something that they had no part of. I am a proud Big Ten fan. When the Big Ten added Nebraska a year ago, the conference gained so many things. Among those things were two six-team divisions and a conference championship game for football. If Penn State’s football program were to be suspended or dropped, all of those gains would be lost. That is not fair to anybody in the conference.

Dave on 7/13/2012 @ 6:22pm EST Said:

The statement that Paterno did not commit a crime is just flat out false. He aided in the concealment of a pedophile for 14 years. Yes, the Paterno’s did great things for years. But this one egregious mistake is not only morally reprehensible, but criminal! Every time you see the name Paterno, the first thought will be that he oversaw a culture of blatant disregard for anything but HIS program, HIS legacy and HIS ego. Once again, Paterno engaged in criminal activity in violation of the Cleary Act, as evidenced by the 8 month investigation paid for by PSU. Paterno lied to a grand jury! How is this not criminal?

Dave on 7/13/2012 @ 6:40pm EST Said:

Restoration of Paterno’s name to the B1G trophy? Protection of the statue? These are your main priorities? You are a perfect example of the blind Paterno defender. Your morals are disgusting. You speak of loving the B1G yet you would allow this huge stain to remain on campus for visiting fans to target for vandalism and redicule? Delusional is the word that describes you.

aroznowski on 7/13/2012 @ 9:19pm EST Said:

You just don’t see the entire picture; that’s quite obvious since you are the blind one. My morals are outstanding, and I am not the one that is delusional. If Joe Paterno’s life was a novel, this scandal would only be a chapter. That’s essentially one of the points that Jay Paterno made in his interview, which apparently you have yet to see. Paterno still deserves recognition for the numerous other chapters of his life. Penn State should not get rid of the statue. If the statue ends up being vandalized in its present location, Penn State should just move it into the lobby of the library that is named in Joe Paterno’s honor where there are or can be security cameras, employees during open hours, and time when it is closed and locked. This is the problem with society. Whenever someone gets caught up in a bad situation and makes a mistake, the public forgets about all of the good that the person did and beats the person to death for that mistake. As time goes on, the public will start to see the entire picture. It is quite clear that you are merely living in the moment and are simply evaluating a microscopic sliver of time. Jerry Sandusky is the criminal that I have absolutely no sympathy and remorse for and that I want sentenced to the fullest extent of the law. He is the predatory pedophile and the monster that ruined the lives of many innocent human beings. As for Joe Paterno, he went through life without ever being charged with a crime. Thus he was not a criminal. I am not absolving him from his mistake. He bears a little bit of the responsibility without a doubt. However, it is what is, and it is time to move on remembering all of the good things that Joe Paterno did and the positive impact that he has made on so many people. I encourage you to move on too.

Dave on 7/13/2012 @ 11:10pm EST Said:

As a Buckeye fan the past year and a half has been tough. I loved Tress but after the facts came out I realized he coddled star players, and might have paid them for all we know, I knew after a week of ESPN bashing that Tress needed to step down. Now that the PSU scandal unfolded, I cannot for the life of me understand how anyone can defend Jo Pa… his transgressions have dwarfed what Tress did. Paterno defenders are blinded by the emulation of a false hero. The basic FACTS are that: Paterno, the unquestioned leader of the University for over 40 years willingly allowed a predator roam campus for 14 years after substantial clues informed him of a pedophile in their midst. The defense of PSU and their revered coach is expected, but negligence of reporting child abuse at a major institution is a crime. Plain and simple, Joe Paterno is a criminal who allowed these atrocities to continue. I wasn’t blindly binder to Tress, NC and all, so wake up “Joepologists “

Dave on 7/14/2012 @ 12:13pm EST Said:

Of course you want me to move on, because the valid arguments I have regarding the criminal actions of Paterno make you mad. Read my post again. Read about the Cleary Act. Stop protecting the man who protected a rapist. It makes you look ignorant. Do your morals include defending a man who allowed a serial rapist on campus for 14 years? If so you sir are a worthless human being. Take your Paterno blinders off. Plain and simple it is against the law to have knowledge of criminal activity at an institution and refuse to report the crimes. It’s called being an accessory. You reference Jay Paterno? Ha everyone knows he made an a** of himself trying to defend his fathers actions. I’m done trying to educate you. You obviously are beyond convincing.

aroznowski on 7/14/2012 @ 8:20pm EST Said:

Apparently, you just have yet to realize that I am defending the person and not the mistakes and lack of action. I have acknowledged that mistakes were made. I am not blind to that at all, and I am no longer arguing that Joe Paterno did not do anything wrong since the Freeh Report made clear the fact that Joe Pa did wrong unlike the initial grand jury report. I am basically making the point that Joe Paterno does not need to be crucified by the media and the public for this. What he did was wrong, but one mistake in a person’s life should not make the rest of his or her life irrelevant and not worth celebrating and respecting. That’s the positive, forgiving, and ethical approach that much of the public is too afraid to take. Jerry Sandusky is the predatory pedophile and monster that has not admitted to any criminal wrongdoing. Joe Paterno did not commit or witness the heinous acts and has admitted publicly that he wished he had done more. That’s why Joe Pa deserves forgiveness while the “Sandy Man” to this day does not. Only time will improve the public’s perception of Joe Paterno. Thankfully there is at least one positive sign that the public is moving in the direction of forgiveness and healing. 67% of 191,264 people believe that at least 50% of Joe Paterno’s legacy is positive, according to a national survey conducted by ESPN. As for Jay Paterno, his views are important in presenting the story from all sides and all angles. That’s what news agencies aim to do. He definitely exposed some holes in the Freeh Report. How the investigators counter his claims and how significant those holes actually are will be determined some time in the future.

aroznowski on 7/15/2012 @ 12:53am EST Said:

Why do you have such a problem with the middle line that I am taking? I am not exonerating Joe Paterno and declaring him to be innocent of all wrongdoing. I am not crucifying Joe Paterno and hating on him like a sizable portion of the emotionally-charged and reasonably-lacking public. I am taking one of the most reasonable and ethically sound approaches to this entire situation.

Dave on 7/15/2012 @ 2:29pm EST Said:

It’s pretty tough media world we live in, and unfortunately a transgression as bad as this does have the potential to define his legacy. It might be unfair to you, but what he did was unfair to the kids. Just flat out unacceptable and really disgusting if you ask me. Turning a blind eye to a child molester? Interpret the facts as you may, but most of the outside observers agree with me.

aroznowski on 7/15/2012 @ 5:29pm EST Said:

That’s fine. My argument has not been that Joe Paterno was innocent, an argument that your evidence completely refutes, but rather that he was human, made a terrible mistake, and should not be judged on just one mistake. I don’t know of anybody that would be content if their life and legacy was determined by only the worst thing that he or she ever did and not by the countless other actions, good or bad, that the person also did during his or her lifetime. The people that have been beating Joe Paterno and his reputation like a piñata with all of this hate are, in a sense, committing their own “sins” to try to deal with Joe Paterno’s “sins”. It seems rather hypocritical if you ask me. Joe Paterno made a serious mistake, but he also did more good than you, me, and most everyone else in the world have. In the end, it just disappoints me to see all of the damage that Jerry Sandusky has caused. If it weren’t for that monster, the poor, innocent victims of child abuse would not be permanently scarred as they are, the “Big Four” at Penn State, Mike McQueary, the janitor, etc. would not have been placed in such uncomfortable circumstances having to make uncomfortable decisions, and the image of the university and the aforementioned people would not have been stained. This scandal has also been a major black eye not only on Penn State but on the Big Ten Conference and NCAA that I love and all of sports in general. I guess that we will just have to agree to disagree.