Paterno Family Releases Independent Review of Freeh Report

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistFebruary 10, 2013

On Sunday morning, Joe Paterno's family publicly released the report it commissioned in response to the Freeh report, titled "The Rush To Injustice Regarding Joe Paterno."


UPDATE: Sunday, Feb. 10, at 10:20 a.m. ET by Timothy Rapp

Louis J. Freeh released a statement on Sunday morning in response to "The Rush To Injustice Regarding Joe Paterno." You can read the full statement at ESPN

Here is an excerpt:

(T)he self-serving report the Paterno family has issued today does not change the facts established in the Freeh Report or alter the conclusions reached in the Freeh Report. Joe Paterno's own testimony under oath before the grand jury that investigated this horrific case is of critical importance. ...

I stand by our conclusion that four of the most powerful people at Penn State failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade.

---End of update---


The Paterno family's statement read (via ESPN):

A report commissioned by Joe Paterno's family calls the July 2012 Freeh report that was accepted by Penn State trustees before unprecedented sanctions were levied by the NCAA against the school's football program a "total failure" that is "full of fallacies, unsupported personal opinions, false allegations and biased assertions."

You can read the full report commissioned by the Paterno family here.

Per ESPN, the report was conducted by the following individuals:

The law firm hired former U.S. attorney general Richard Thornburgh, former FBI supervisory special agent and former state prosecutor James Clemente, and Dr. Fred Berlin, a treating physician, psychiatrist, psychologist and expert in sexual disorders and pedophilia at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and School of Medicine. 

To paraphrase, the meat of those findings suggests that Paterno never withheld information about Jerry Sandusky or the 2001 incident witnessed by coach Mike McQueary, or that he acted in a manner intended to avoid negative publicity.

The findings also suggest that the Freeh report "ignored decades of expert research and analysis of the appropriate way to understand and investigate a child sexual victimization case" and underestimated the manipulative power of Sandusky over those in the community.

The findings suggest the Freeh report had many limitations that were simply ignored by the public. Further, they state that Freeh's report lacked key documents and testimony by the major players in this scandal and was biased against Paterno in the first place.

It's possible that the Paterno family might use this information in a future lawsuit against the NCAA. That wouldn't be the first lawsuit in this case; Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett filed a federal lawsuit against the NCAA last month.

Certainly, there will be questions as to whether this report is biased in favor of Paterno. This was a report commissioned by the former coach's family, after all, though the individuals who conducted the report noted on Sunday morning's Outside the Lines on ESPN that they did so as neutral and fair investigators. 


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