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Joe Paterno Family Releases Statement Prior to Louis Freeh Report on Penn State

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 11, 2012

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA - NOVEMBER 08: Penn State University head football coach Joe Paterno leaves the team's football building on November 8, 2011 in University Park, Pennsylvania. Amid allegations that former assistant Jerry Sandusky was involved with child sex abuse, Paterno's weekly news conference was canceled about an hour before it was scheduled to occur. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

With Louis Freeh's findings regarding an internal investigation of the Jerry Sandusky child sex scandal at Penn State University set to be released on Thursday, the family of late Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno released a statement in anticipation of what might be published.

The Patriot-News released the full Paterno family statement, which goes on to say that Paterno was neither a saint nor a villain in the Sandusky situation, and while he wished he could have done some things differently, he did the best he could given what was put in front of him.

The family highlighted Paterno's dedication to Penn State and maintained that he only wanted to do what was best for the university. The family also lamented the fact that parts of the Freeh report have been leaked and that they include emails intended to smear the late head coach.

Testimony from witnesses highly critical of Joe has been revealed.  And purported conclusions condemning the culture of the football program have been widely disseminated.  The Board promised a fair, transparent and impartial process.  These developments are a threat to their stated objectives.

It certainly isn't a surprise that Paterno's family is upset about anything negative regarding the legendary coach.

The family would go on to hail Paterno's courageousness for admitting that he made mistakes, label Sandusky as a "master manipulator" and maintain that Paterno made absolutely no efforts to cover up the Sandusky scandal.

It was also made clear that Paterno's family is eagerly awaiting the official release of the Freeh report so it can issue a response. In the statement, the family expressed a desire to meet with the Freeh Group following the report's release, so it will be interesting to see how much pull Paterno's family ultimately has in this matter.

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