Freeh Report on PSU - open thread

Submitted by Leaders And Best on July 12th, 2012 at 8:55 AM

Freeh Report release this morning at 9am on the PSU Sandusky scandal.

Freeh Report text:

Freeh Press Release on Report (summary of findings):

Live coverage of press conference at 10am (one of these links should work):

Deadspin obtained drafts of Freeh preparation for Q & A at today's press conference:


Leaders And Best

July 12th, 2012 at 9:11 AM ^

The findings of the report are damning.

"The evidence shows that these four men also knew about a 1998 criminal
investigation of Sandusky relating to suspected sexual misconduct with a young boy in
a Penn State football locker room shower. Again, they showed no concern about that
victim. The evidence shows that Mr. Paterno was made aware of the 1998 investigation
of Sandusky, followed it closely, but failed to take any action, even though Sandusky
had been a key member of his coaching staff for almost 30 years, and had an office just
steps away from Mr. Paterno’s. At the very least, Mr. Paterno could have alerted the
entire football staff, in order to prevent Sandusky from bringing another child into the
Lasch Building. Messrs. Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley also failed to alert the
Board of Trustees about the 1998 investigation or take any further action against Mr.
Sandusky. None of them even spoke to Sandusky about his conduct. In short, nothing
was done and Sandusky was allowed to continue with impunity."


July 12th, 2012 at 3:36 PM ^

need to be punished.  Big Ten should kick them out, US Dept of Ed should consider pulling the accreditation.  This is a HUGE issue.  Happy Valley was used as a one-man sex club with under-aged children.  We still do not know if more adult men were involved in this.  Did Sandusky pimp out these little boys to alums, Trustees, Faculty?  We may never know the truth.

If it was handled properly in 1998 then they get a slap on the wrist.  But now we know of the cover-up, maybe the electric chair is in order.  Havent we learned anything?  The cover up is ALWAYS worse than the actual event.  What we have is organized, sex trafficking at a state funded university.

I propose we let the victims form the punishment panel.  May God give the victims peace and comfort.


July 12th, 2012 at 9:50 AM ^

I felt sick to my stomach reading his. How this wasn't brought to the public when a mother files a report to the police that a grown man showered with her boy.  This could have ended back 16 years ago had people just opened thier eyes.


July 12th, 2012 at 2:44 PM ^

I liked JoPa when Penn State joined the Big Ten.  But with each passing year, I started wondering.  What man, financially comfortable 50x over, with impeccable legacy, doesn't eventually step aside into his 60's or 70s to allow loyal staff a chance at HC?  Bo stepped aside for Gary Moeller when he believed the time was right.  A class move, rewarding a long time, loyal assistant.  But the way Paterno zealously refused to give up the reins, obviously thinking of no one but himself, led me to begin despising the man as the  years passed.  It told me JoPa was all about JoPa.

In that light, is this report any wonder?  Hardly.  JoPa was all about JoPa. 

Tear that statue down, remove the name from buildings and streets, and if PSU wishes, they can quietly appreciate his work leading their football team by reflecting on record books and watching old videos.  Anything more will stand as a reflection of the crimes that were committed here, where football, and the legacy of an egocentric old man were more important than innocent children.


July 12th, 2012 at 1:36 PM ^

Take the statue down.  Take his name off the library and anywhere else it is.  If PSU wants to show it's remorseful, the name "Paterno" should be nowhere to be found this fall.  If they want to celebrate this man after what we know now, they deserve everything they might get from the NCAA/Big Ten.

One Inch Woody…

July 12th, 2012 at 9:19 AM ^

After reading the press release summary of the report, I believe that it has been conducted in a fair manner and one major important thing stands out to me: they never made the jump of saying that Penn State covered this up for football

They may have covered it up for Joe Pa, who, while he does represent football at Penn State, only is a coach. I find it so gut-wrenchingly disturbing that so many people say that because Joe Pa committed a crime, that the Penn State football program should be "dealt with by the NCAA". This is horrific because it is putting Joe Pa on the very pedestal that he should be torn down from. He is a man, and a man is not football, and that is the lesson to learn from everyone who trusted him. Not to mention, the NCAA will offer no retribution for the victims, and is a useless side diversion of something that should be handled by justice and by God. Not some stupid organization that handles the rules of a game that children play.

While they may have covered it up for Paterno, there is actually a greater reason why the board of trustees, the presidents, the vice presidents, etc. didn't do more to act, and that is because Penn State was a "prestigious university". Anybody who thinks that our great university, the University of Michigan, is free from admonishment is naive and needs to open their eyes. In the fall of 2011, there was a scandal involving numerous faculty at the Medical School regarding an individual that had been storing child pornography on a University computer. Nobody did anything about it until some nurse found a flash drive of his and saw the pictures on it. What, you really think that nobody did anything for the sake of protecting football at the University of Michigan? No, it's for its prestige and reputation, which is similar here. The Sandusky scandal has enough weight to bring down the whole institution. All Universities cover up the suicides that occur on their campuses, the more violent crimes, and often, faculty that break the law are dealt with in-house, even though THAT is the thing which can lead to this situation with Sandusky. And I don't believe any of those suicides, cover-ups of violent crime, and in-house breaches of ethical conduct have anything to do with football, or require the wrath of some silly organization that enforces rules for a game.


July 12th, 2012 at 9:23 AM ^

The difference is a nurse found those pictures belonging to someone not associated with the football team, while Sandusky was part of the football team. Big difference. Michigans prestige would have taken a hit as a university but PSU was gonna take a hit with football first, deeply and upfront, followed by the university in general.

One Inch Woody…

July 12th, 2012 at 9:29 AM ^

You're definitely right that a nurse has nothing to do with football.

But you're wrong in thinking that the first thought that goes through someone's mind when they hear of a child molester running free in the athletic department is "I guess I won't be sending my son to play football there anymore". It probably is more like "How could the university allow someone like this to go free? I am not sending my son to this university anymore." Like I said - football is just a game, and it's kind of sad that people are losing perspective on the issue. Acts that are this heinous have nothing to do with a game - they have to do with people.


July 12th, 2012 at 9:39 AM ^

It has nothing to do with the game but has everything to do with the PSU football program.  That this was covered up is a symptom of placing the football program above all else.  That's a problem.

If you've even driven through PSU you know that football is king.  There is nothing within 2 hours of that campus - everything revolves around Penn State and really Penn State football.  That's a culture that needs to change. 

I'm pretty comfortable in saying that in Ann Arbor, the football program does not take precedence over the University and the morals it stands for.  Penn State now has to show that it is the same way in Happy Valley - that's why the canned Paterno so quickly.

French West Indian

July 12th, 2012 at 10:28 AM ^

they covered it up to protect the football program.  But it goes even farther than that because it also protects the image of the entire community.  The place isn't called "Happy Valley" for no reason.

Even if Sanducky had nothing to do with football and was just a run-of-the-mill type child abuser, the community would have stil probably had a difficult time coming to grips with it. The fact that he was a part of the sacred football team just ratchets up the head asplode level for the community.

Leaders And Best

July 12th, 2012 at 9:33 AM ^

The nurse finding the pictures is what triggered the investigation. No one knew about the guy prior to that discovery. The nurse reported it immediately. The Michigan Heath System investigation stalled because one lawyer thought felt it should not have been reported due to lack of evidence, but it ended up getting reported because of the university doctors who felt it had to be. PSU leaders knew about the 1998 investigation, had a second incident in 2001, and still did nothing. These situations are not even comparable. There is huge difference between child pornography on a flash drive and allowing a pedophile to roam free for over 10 years.

One Inch Woody…

July 12th, 2012 at 9:34 AM ^

No, they did. The female resident reported it to her superior. Her superior notified his superior, and then they went about their business for six months while absolutely nothing was happening and this guy with the child pornography was allowed to run free. After six months of nobody doing anything despite knowing about it, the guy was fired and Coleman hired an independent firm to investigate what had gone wrong. Indeed, even in this instance, the scandal involved people from all levels of the chain of command that did nothing. Why didn't the female resident report the crime to the police? How come her supervisor didn't? Especially something as despicable and horrifying as child pornography.  

Leaders And Best

July 12th, 2012 at 9:44 AM ^

"this guy with the child pornography was allowed to run free" - seriously? Are you really trying to compare this to the Sandusky situation?

The investigation stalled for six months because of one lawyer and the university ended up reporting individual after others pushed for it. This happened because people at the university did something. If no one did anything, it would not have been reported. Michigan's problem was why didn't action happen sooner. Penn State's problem is why no action happened at all with an even more serious crime. Dude, your argument is completely flawed.

One Inch Woody…

July 12th, 2012 at 1:10 PM ^

Yeah I'm not comparing it to the Sandusky situation. Rather, I'm saying that people at the bottom of the chain (like McQueary) undertook similar actions, but the delay in going through the chain of command (and with all of the firings) is disturbingly similar and it goes back to an idea that is REMOVED from football and that is the idea of protecting the reputation of an institution. 


July 12th, 2012 at 9:33 AM ^

While they may have covered it up for Paterno, there is actually a greater reason why the board of trustees, the presidents, the vice presidents, etc. didn't do more to act, and that is because Penn State was a "prestigious university". Anybody who thinks that our great university, the University of Michigan, is free from admonishment is naive and needs to open their eyes. In the fall of 2011, there was a scandal involving numerous faculty at the Medical School regarding an individual that had been storing child pornography on a University computer. Nobody did anything about it until some nurse found a flash drive of his and saw the pictures on it.

You have got to be kidding me.  These scenarios are so vastly different it sickens me to see them compared.  Penn State's football coaches and athletic department allowed a molester of children to go on about his business for the sake of the football program.  I don't care if the program is punished athletically, but if you think that the reason behind the cover up was anything other that "we need to protect PSU football" then you're oblivious.

If this happened at Michigan, I don't know what I'd do.  I'd probably want to see the football program put on hiatus at a minimum.  My alma mater and what it stands for is much, much, much more important than my alma mater's football team.  It seems at Penn State, that wasn't the case for these individuals.

One Inch Woody…

July 12th, 2012 at 9:39 AM ^

I know where you're coming from, trust me. The first thing you think of is that all Penn State is there for is football. That Spanier, Curley, whomever.. all they care about is football. Because that's what life is to people like you - football.

But football is just a game. A pointless game. Something which is far more important that Penn State football is the institution itself - of Penn State university. And the reputation of the school is far more important than the reputation of any football program. I'm not denying that the athletic department is at fault - but I believe that the rationale for their cover up had more to do with Paterno and the University, and not "Penn State football". And yet again - you're elevating "football" to a pedestal higher than what it should be, just as your purport the people that failed to report did. How ironic.


July 12th, 2012 at 9:53 AM ^

I think you need to read again.  Let me be a little more clear - the Michigan football program means jack shit nothing compared to the University of Michigan.

If this happened at UM, I would want the program completely axed.  If we ever get to a point where protecting Michigan football allows us to excuse a child molester, then I don't want the University to have a football team.  (Yes I realize that would mean the demise of an entire athletic department.  Whatever.  We can go the route of the Ivy Leaguers).

I don't know how that's putting football on a pedastal.  At Penn State football is life - they put it on a pedastal.  They protected it at the cost of young children.  I'm saying that is clearly wrong and that football is just a team sport that pales in comparison to the University at large.

Now, do I think that the PSU program should be axed: no.  I think PSU needs to do some serious in-house work in making sure people know that PSU football != PSU.

To say that these guys were only protecting Sandusky, I say "why?"  They were protecting Sandusky because he's an old friend?  Because he's a goold ole boy?  Or because if he goes down, the program takes serious hits and by extension Joe Pa and others go down and the program suffers.  They could have fired him ASAP, and it would have hurt the program, but not themselves.  Instead, they tried to cover it up, for what can only be the sake of the program.

French West Indian

July 12th, 2012 at 10:35 AM ^

If this type of scandal was at Michigan I would fully support closing down the football program. It's a fun game but it's just not worth sacrificing values to maintain a false image of prestige.

In fact, even without a scandal, I can't help but wonder if the football program should be scaled back in Ann Arbor.  But I suppose it helps a lot of other non-football athletes so it's probably still worth having.

French West Indian

July 12th, 2012 at 5:47 PM ^

...would be that football at big schools like Michigan casts a disproportionately large shadow on the image of the University and the community.  Football is not what defines the University but to many "fans" or outsiders, if you mention U of M football would be their only reference point.

Compare that other schools with the Ivy League being an excellent example.  Everybody (average joes & educated elites alike) thinks of Harvard or Yale as great schools.  Michigan could potentially have a similar reputation if we scaled back the football program to be on par with the non-scholarship level of the Ivies.  Obviously, this isn't likely to happen because the football team is a money generating behemoth that helps fund other lesser sports.

But the risk is that as long as we have something as big and sacred as football, that corruption could enter and it could provide a nasty scandal.  Maybe not a sex abuse case like PSU, but who knows what could emerge with even the slightest lapse in judgement of a few key people.

One Inch Woody…

July 12th, 2012 at 1:29 PM ^

Thank you, this is a very rational post, and I do appreciate you taking the time to better understand what I'm saying and giving me a chance to understand what you are saying.

I think the difference between what you're saying and what I'm saying is that you're saying that they didn't report the crimes and tried to cover it up to protect Penn State football whereas I am saying that they did not report the crimes and tried to cover it up in order to protect Penn State and Paterno. I'm not jumping to any other conclusions than what was given in the report. The report says nothing about the rationale of the officials' neglect stemming from FOOTBALL but rather for reputation of the institution and for their personal reputation. The janitor that failed to report the crimes was doing so not in fear of hurting the football program's image, but in fear of the retribution that would come from an action that would result in the firing of a famous coach, Paterno.

What you're saying is a huge leap of faith. The notion that the cover up was implemented in order to protect the sport of football at Penn State, when the report fails to mention that at all. It is vastly more likely that their intention of covering up the problem was to protect Penn State itself, the reputation of Joe, and the repuation of the president and board of trustees. Without a reputation, the whole school collapses. I don't think that getting rid of football really hurts the university that much. If you look at the University of Chicago, for example, their elimination of D1 football back in the early 20th century hasn't really affected their academic reputation that much. Rather, if it had come out that Penn State officials had neglected to even just PREVENT a child predator from coming onto campus, then the whole university would tank as its academic reputation would die. 

But what disturbs me is how synonymous the notion of protecting Paterno and the notion of protecting Penn State football is... that shows that the culture of Penn State that we all say must change actually is within ourselves too! We need to stop taking Paterno and talking about him as a larger-than-life figure. He's just  a human. 

As for why they would protect Sandusky - yes, he was like a brother to them. But as he goes down, not the football program (that would always be strong regardless of the coach), but the WHOLE UNIVERSITY would go down.. something which would be irreversible.

Feat of Clay

July 12th, 2012 at 11:21 AM ^

But let's get our facts straight.

It wasn't a nurse, it was a fellow resident.

Were the pictures stored on a University computer?  I thought they were on the jump drive, and they were discovered when the resident looked on it for some identifying info so she could return it to its rightful owner

The "coverup" at U-M was not far-reaching.  It was the fault of one hospital-affiliated legal official who decided to not pursue it once it was brought to his or her attention.  That person is no longer with the U, and the U has publcly acknowledged that it was handled wrongly.  It has supposedly changed procedures so one person can't become the logjam/stopping point when allegations are made.

Your point stands though: the U, like many of its peers, has its own dark moments and times when it has mishandled things.   Sometimes you have to wonder whether people actually learn from these events.  


July 12th, 2012 at 1:32 PM ^


i think your last sentence is the reason why punishment is so necessary.  people unfortunately do have the instinct to cover up and protect themselves, and while i think obviously sandusky and the child porn incident at u of m were orders of magnitude apart, the motivation is the same and that is what is so disturbing.  the resident had the right instinct - something was wrong and she reported it as best she knew how. mcqueary knew something was wrong and reported it also (the argument over whether it was sufficient isn't my point here).  what is so very wrong is that the people above them, the people in authority, chose to keep it quiet, ultimately out of the same motivation - protecting something, whether it is football or the larger institution, i don't think it matters. i believe in u of m's case, the system structure was conducive to cover up- dps ultimately reporting to hospital administration allowed one lawyer to be able to choose to keep it quiet. paterno, chose to keep it quiet because their structure allowed it as well. punishment is the only thing we know will motivate institutions to change their policies so that no one can choose to be quiet. in fact, i thought the u of m stuff ultimately came out because one of the dps officers saw the scandal coming out of psu in november and came forward because nothing had been done about the u of m case (and the resident was pursuing it as well at the same time through the medical school, if i remember correctly). the point is that, as much as we'd like to believe we can rely on people to make the right choice, it can take something so horrible to be a motivation for institutions to examine themselves to make sure the same thing doesn't happen in their institution. and that is why punishment is necessary. to say that the consequences of cover up are worse than the consequences of being transparent. and it needs to be harsh and it won't be fair because it will almost certainly affect people who never were involved in the first place. but that's the price we pay to set an example as a society that we will not stand for people in authority using their positions to protect themselves and what is important to them, rather than doing the right thing.

One Inch Woody…

July 12th, 2012 at 1:42 PM ^

I definitely agree with you, this is what I am trying to say. However, I don't really believe in blind punishment over stricter enforcement and structure changes. If enforcement continues to be lax and the structure is conducive to failure, then these infractions will occur over and over again. But blind punishment will not necessarily change what happens in the future.


July 12th, 2012 at 1:59 PM ^

yeah, i agree with you, and i'm not calling for psu to be burned to the ground. it isn't that i have some specific punishment in mind, i just don't think it's necessarily sufficient to say, well, everyone involved is gone and we changed some policies. that may be sufficient for the culture to change at psu (an absolute requirement, and i'm not too convinced it's happened). but there has to be something about it that motivates everyone in a similar position to say, how can we prevent this from happening here? and maybe the long, drawn out process that started in november and is sure to continue for years is going to be enough for other schools to put in preemptive policies, but i'm not convinced it's enough. again, i don't feel like i have the right answer, i just want whatever is necessary for a future university employee/administrator to go straight to the police when they come across something wrong.

One Inch Woody…

July 12th, 2012 at 1:39 PM ^

Yes, sorry, I pulled out the anecdote before checking up on the story, and so there were some details that I missed. It was on a flash drive yes, but the fact of the matter was that people even in this case followed the chain of command and didn't pursue the case outside the chain of command.

Penn State has done somewhat the right things so far by firing literally everybody involved, appointing an independent investigator, and establishing a compliance committee. 

The point I was trying to (admittedly erroneously) make was that all universities have their dark moments and the instictive reaction of people at the bottom of the chain is just to pass it up and do their immediate responsibility. That's the bureaucratic structure, and there will always be problems.


July 12th, 2012 at 9:28 AM ^

Here's the comment that disturbed me the most:

"Further, they exposed this child to additional harm by alerting Sandusky, who was the only one who knew the child’s identity, about what McQueary saw in the shower on the night of February 9, 2001."

It is not beyond the realm of possibilities that the reason Victim #2 has never been located is because Sandusky, scared over the possibility that the 1998 incident would now come to light, made sure the boy would never be able to speak out against him.  The only person who knows who the boy in the shower was is Sandusky and Sandusky was freaking TOLD by these bastards they knew about the situation but weren't going to report him.


July 12th, 2012 at 9:34 AM ^

The lack of care/concern/whatever that these men had for the children. The example you list. It wasn't "what happened to the boy" but "we've gotta tell Jerry."

And things like how the "humane" thing to do is to NOT report it. Be humane to Jerry.


Humane would be finding and protecting the children, not helping the serial child rapist stay free.


July 12th, 2012 at 10:29 AM ^

"Although concern to treat the child abuser humanely was expressly stated, no such sentiments were ever expressed by them for Sandusky’s victims." - from the report

I honestly do not know how this football program could really ever be trusted with the welfare of anyone ever again, which brings into question how they could even really have a football program. With the consent of senior management at the school, not just within the department, a known child molestor was treated with delicacy, and not a single thought was given to what this person was doing to lives and families.

Also, here's Lack Of Institutional Control in a nutshell:

" The Board did not independently ask for more information or assess the underreporting by Spanier about the Sandusky investigation after May 2011and thereby failed to oversee properly his executive management of the worst crisis in Penn State’s history

The Board Of Trustees is supposed to essentially act as a check for senior management, but instead essentially approved everything that was done with no investigation or question as to why things were being handled as they had been. Combine this with no regular reporting procedures, as the report mentions, and I think there is more than enough for some sanctions on those grounds alone.


July 12th, 2012 at 10:56 AM ^

Especially when you see this:

"This is best reflected by the janitors’ decision not to report Sandusky’s horrific 2000 sexual assault of a young boy in the Lasch Building shower. The janitors were afraid of being fired for reporting a powerful football coach." - from the report, regarding the "culture of concealment"

When no one feels empowered to make an independent decision and do the right thing, when one person - or a few people - even are perceived to be so powerful that no one feels like they may be openly questioned, the whole university pretty much needs to start over, or indeed, never start again. There is something tragic and disgusting in just about every sentence of the report and summary.



July 12th, 2012 at 9:30 AM ^

Wow. Joe Pa really was the catalyst for the cover up. I sort of feel bad for his family - especially Jay who's been their family representative for this whole thing.


July 12th, 2012 at 10:02 AM ^

I don't feel bad for his family. I feel bad for the victims' families, especially Victim 2, who never came forward. JoePa, and his family lived, and continue to live, a life of lies for the sake of his image. The family still can't admit that he was not only a mortal man, but one who made grave mistakes that caused others a lot of damage. I have no respect for that kind of deifying. 


July 12th, 2012 at 11:53 AM ^

Not only do I not feel bad for the family, but the statements they continue to put out make me think they're criminal, as well. Saying that this report is untrue, and then saying that "no sane person would turn the other cheek to child molestation." Are they now insinuating that JoePa was insane? How long can all these people deny these horrific proven facts? And to what lengths will they go to to protect the legacy? Go away, Paterno family. If you're going to continue the denial, please just go away.