Joe Paterno's Family Releases Statement on Penn State Sanctions
One of the notable sanctions, which took 111 wins away from Paterno and the Nittany Lions, took the storied coach from No. 1 on the Division I coaches all-time wins list to No. 5, further tarnishing his legacy.
His family doesn't agree with the decision (via CBS Philadelphia):
The release of the Freeh report has triggered an avalanche of vitriol, condemnation and posthumous punishment on Joe Paterno. The NCAA has now become the latest party to accept the report as the final word on the Sandusky scandal. The sanctions announced by the NCAA today defame the legacy and contributions of a great coach and educator without any input from our family or those who knew him best.
The crimes committed by Jerry Sandusky are irreparable, and as evidenced by the beginning of the statement (which you can find in the link above), Paterno's family members wouldn't argue against that fact.
They are, however, concerned that the wrong people are being punished in this situation, or even worse, the NCAA failed to do enough research before laying down the law.
Or, as the family puts it, there was a lack of "due process."
Joe Paterno was never interviewed by the University or the Freeh Group. His counsel has not been able to interview key witnesses as they are represented by counsel related to ongoing litigation. We have had no access to the records reviewed by the Freeh group. The NCAA never contacted our family or our legal counsel. And the fact that several parties have pending trials that could produce evidence and testimony relevant to this matter has been totally discounted.
The Paterno family certainly makes some interesting points, but the Freeh Report was an incredibly extensive account, and Louis Freeh, who was hired by Penn State to investigate, is a respected judge and former FBI director.
The NCAA using that report as a basis for its decision might not be as "panicked," "unthoughtful" or "unfair" as the Paterno family thinks.
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