Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Paternos Getting Out Front of Freeh Report

In anticipation of the Freeh report being released tomorrow by Penn State, the family of Joe Paterno has released a statement. Here it is:
Over the last nine months Joe Paterno has been praised by some in near saintly terms and criticized by others as a villain. He was neither.
As the people who worked closely with Joe know, he was tough, aggressive, opinionated and demanding. He was also highly principled, uncompromisingly ethical, dedicated to his job at Penn State and committed to excellence.
When the Sandusky case exploded last fall, Joe's first instincts were to tell everything he knew. He assumed the University would want to hear from him, but he was never given the chance to present his case.
He planned to hold a press conference, but University officials ordered him to cancel it. And then the various investigations started and the legal process took over. On top of everything else, Joe was diagnosed with lung cancer. Two months later he was gone. The end result is his story has never fully been told.

As this situation unfolded, Joe cautioned everyone not to jump to conclusions. He believed that a rush to judgment and a disregard for due process would ultimately result in conclusions that would not stand the test of time. To be clear, he did not fear the truth, he sought it. As much as anyone he wanted to know exactly what Jerry Sandusky had done and he wanted to understand how it happened.
The hiring of the Freeh Group is the single most important action the Board of Trustees has taken. Joe supported this decision with the hope that it would result in a thorough, balanced and thoughtful assessment of the Sandusky tragedy. Unfortunately, recent events have raised questions about the fairness and confidentiality of the investigative process.
Over the last several weeks there has been a virtual torrent of leaks about the Freeh Group's work. To be clear, we do not know the source, or sources, of the leaks. What cannot be disputed, however, is that select emails intended to smear Joe Paterno and other former Penn State officials have been released. 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.
When these leaks first started we appealed to the Freeh Group, the Board and the Attorney General to condemn the leaks and caution the public that it would be wrong to reach any conclusions from selectively released materials. We then asked that all emails and other documents be released so a full picture of their research could be understood.
As purported conclusions started leaking out, we followed up with the Freeh Group to ask for the right to respond. Since Joe Paterno never had an opportunity to present his case, we believe we should have a reasonable time to review their findings and offer information that could help complete the picture. We were told we could offer responses to the publicly reported allegations, but the Freeh Group declined to confirm that these allegations are in the final report. It is our firm belief that the report would be stronger and more credible if we were simply given a chance to review the findings concerning Joe Paterno in order to present the case he was never allowed to make.
Since the outcome of this process appears set in stone, we have no choice but to wait for the report and respond as best we can. Given that the report is estimated to be between 100-150 pages it will understandably take us some time to study it and prepare a comprehensive response.
In advance of the release of the report, there are a few facts we want on the record:
- We would still welcome a chance to meet with the Freeh Group to review the findings and offer a response. We do not seek or expect the right to edit the report; but we believe our voice should be reflected in its conclusions.
- To this point, Joe Paterno is the only person who publicly acknowledged that with the benefit of hindsight he wished he had done more. This was an honest and courageous admission that a true leader must assume a measure of responsibility when something goes wrong on his watch.
- The sad and frightening fact is Jerry Sandusky was a master deceiver. He fooled players, coaches, law enforcement officials, child service professionals, Penn State Board members, University leaders, neighbors, donors, staff and supporters of Second Mile and his family.
- With respect to the email from Tim Curley which stated, "After giving it more thought, and talking it over with Joe yesterday , I am uncomfortable with what we agreed were the next steps," the media spin that this is proof of some sort of cover up is completely false. When the facts come out, it will be clear that Joe Paterno never gave Tim Curley any instructions to protect Sandusky or limit any investigation of his actions.
- Joe Paterno did not cover up for Jerry Sandusky. Joe Paterno did not know that Jerry Sandusky was a pedophile. Joe Paterno did not act in any way to prevent a proper investigation of Jerry Sandusky. To claim otherwise is a distortion of the truth.
If he were with us today, we are certain Joe Paterno would say that he wished he had done any number of things differently. We also believe he would make it clear that he was not an investigator, law enforcement officer, child services professional or a member of the Board of Trustees. Joe would accept his responsibility, but he would expect others to step forward as well.

11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must agree with you Spencer, i believe that the report was very one-sided basically putting the majority of the blame on the four most powerful administrator. Its convenient to say that the Board is to blame, only because the four didn't give them the respect to bring the issue to them. The board never liked the popularity of Paterno and this was their way of trying to increase doubt about the type of man Paterno was, while the Board got a slap on the wrist. Corbett along with all the other Governor's who have sat on the Board and the rest of the Board did not enforce policy and procedure, therefore they are just as accountable as the so-called four most powerful. As a PSU alumni and family member of a former player; I am very disturbed by the deceit of this report and the Board of Trustee.

July 12, 2012 at 12:43 PM 
Blogger Bob Bohne said...

Anon - I could be wrong, but I don't believe Spencer voiced an opinion here. This is the opinion of the Paterno family.

July 12, 2012 at 2:37 PM 
Blogger Bob Bohne said...

For over 13 years Paterno knew. Sorry Anon. There are no excuses. NO excuses. Paterno and others went out of their way to help Sandusky. Paterno's family claims that Paterno didn't know Sandusky was a predator. Thats just total BS. It was clear from the start. Defenders of Paterno are idiots.

July 12, 2012 at 5:23 PM 
Blogger Peace said...

Really Bob, why must you resort to name calling. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. The kids who were affected are the main issue here. My point that I was trying to make is that there are more people in my opinion even at the state level who are not being called out.

July 13, 2012 at 12:42 AM 
Blogger Bob Bohne said...

Peace - I didn't see a previous post. Where were you trying to make a point? The point I'm making is that right after Sandusky was accused of child molestation, and Paterno's name started coming up, people jumped to Paternos defense, going as far as holding vigils on his front lawn. It was clear from the start that Paterno knew more than he was letting on. Coming to Paterno's defense was idiotic. I could care less if you disagree with that.

July 13, 2012 at 6:08 AM 
Blogger Dannytheman said...

Opinion is one thing, Peace. Facts are facts. The upper echelon of Penn State that included Joe Paterno decided that the institutions greatness is more important than a child's rights who was raped, mentally and physically abused.

I know we have a strong Penn State Alum following, but hopefully they will see what was done and strip down the walls.

Sandusky was/is a monster predator and they empowered him. Up until last year, he still had an office on a Penn State Campus. They know in 1998, and yet he remained empowered? All Joe Pa did was get him off his football program back then, he know he was still out there preying on the youth.

Shameful.

July 13, 2012 at 7:38 AM 
Blogger Bob Bohne said...

"If he were alive today, Joe Paterno — the coach who stood for so long for character and integrity both on and off the football field — could be looking at charges such as child endangerment, perjury and conspiracy."

July 14, 2012 at 9:33 AM 
Blogger Dannytheman said...

Perjury and conspire I can see, Bob.
Child endangerment is a stretch.

Paterno got Sandusky out of the football program that he ran immediately. What settlement the executives came to after that, he may or may not have been involved with.

I think hindsight is a wonderful thing. To allow a predator of Sandusky's caliber to continue to knowingly run a youth charity?

I hope that Penn State is ruined and has to go under.

July 14, 2012 at 10:33 AM 
Blogger Bob Bohne said...

Danny - This isn't my opinion. This is from an article on page 10 of todays Times. Headline reads "Legal experts: Paterno could have faced charges"

July 14, 2012 at 10:51 AM 
Blogger Dannytheman said...

I know what the reports and experts are saying, but child endangerment is a stretch. Remember the experts that said how the Supreme Court would rule on Obomacare?
I hope jake is doing OK with all this bad news. The Blue Sky Penn Staters really have to be doing some soul searching on this one. I hope they vote to blow the entire thing up.

July 15, 2012 at 10:32 AM 
Blogger Bob Bohne said...

Sorry Danny. I think the experts are right on this one. It it were one of your kids and Paterno looked the other way, kept his mouth shut and convinced others not to go to the authorities, would child endangerment still be a stretch? As for Jake,guy's like Jake are part of the problem not the answer. He was defending both McQueary and Paterno. Clueless from the start. But then what else is new.

July 15, 2012 at 11:14 AM 

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