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:


Michigan Arrogance

July 12th, 2012 at 10:35 AM ^

what makes this report different than any of the testimony in the Sandusky trial? And, what makes the info in the report actionable by the NCAA or B10?


Unfortunately, all I read in this is a very concise summary of what we already know. Admittedly, it pulls no punches, but I'm not sure there is any more substance. The unfortunate part being, that no more penalties will come for the university or the football program.

Leaders And Best

July 12th, 2012 at 10:44 AM ^

PSU leaders and Paterno were all aware of the 1998 investigation.  Paterno followed the '98 investigation closely. All of them lied about not knowing about it to the Grand Jury including Paterno.  When McQueary reported the 2001 incident, they already knew and suspected Sandusky but still did nothing. There was still a question about whether they knew about the 1998 investigation.

Mr Miggle

July 12th, 2012 at 12:22 PM ^

Self-sanctions would be very appropriate here. I'm sure the NCAA and B1G agree. So far PSU has done absolutely nothing. I don't think it will end that way, PSU was waiting for this report. Giving the NCAA, (and the B1G), the choice of overstepping their authority or allowing PSU to go completely unpunished would be a very big gamble.  We're seeing the NCAA trying to nudge PSU away from taking it.

Ed Shuttlesworth

July 12th, 2012 at 10:37 AM ^

The Sandusky trial didn't have anything to do with Paterno and Penn State's reaction to hearing that Sandusky was a child molester.

Please Penn State, show some character and suspend your football program on your own accord.   


July 12th, 2012 at 11:05 AM ^

US Board of Education is the current lead on investigations and punishment.  By the time they get done, there might not be anything for the NCAA to sanction.  

There is basically a waiting list to investigate Penn State right now.  Federal government is first in line, the NCAA and B1G/CiC are fighting it out for second place.  

Also check Page 67, note Y of the Freeh Report.  The report suggests McQueary was hired in 2004 as payback for keeping his mouth shut about the shower incident.  Giving out jobs on your coaching staff in exchange for help with a criminal coverup is definitely something the NCAA can nail you for since it involves misuse of Athletic Department funds and hiring policies.  


July 12th, 2012 at 11:23 AM ^

I think you're mistaken.

Note Y appears to say exactly the opposite... It says the investigation "found no information to suggest that McQueary's selection for that job was related to witnessing Sandusky assault a boy" and that three interviewees indicated he was "very well qualified for the position."


I agree on the rest though. Penn State's accredidation might be in danger here.


July 12th, 2012 at 11:36 AM ^

There is exactly 0% chance that anything happens to their accreditaion. The government is not going to demolish a school of 50k students because it will do so much damage to the higher education in Pennsylvania and the surrounding area. They'll see it for what it was - the failure of a few people.

Now, if the Board of Trustees and members of the academic side of things were implicated in the coverup, maybe something would happen. But besides Spanier, none of the figures involved in the coverup had anything to do with the academic side of things at Penn State.


July 12th, 2012 at 12:11 PM ^

that the accredititation is in danger, but I think it very, very unlikely that it will be lost. It's more likely that the threat will be used to leverage changes in the institutional structures. The important thing is to make sure that concern for the reputation of the football program never again overrides all moral and ethical and educational requirements. Just how far the accrediting bodies will feel they need to force a de-emphasis of athletics or the football program is an open question: it could be anything from sweeping personnel changes to a U. of Chicago-style gutting of the entire department (that's not likely either, but it's the most extreme possibility I can imagine).

The only way they actually lose their accreditation is if they think it's a bluff, and call it. They won't.


July 12th, 2012 at 12:47 PM ^

How much PSU will be left? Civil lawsuits are just getting started. I don't know what their endowment is... but this is the highest level of authority at a public university - the president and 2 VPs (and the football coach). Football aside, you have a huge scandal and cover up by public employees, 4 of which were probably close to the top earning positions in the state. This is a big deal, and while I doubt they'll lose their status as a university, to think huge penalties aren't coming from MANY bodies of oversight is naive.


July 12th, 2012 at 10:59 AM ^

And an active coverup and lying about one's involvement are quite different. Appreciate your response MA. Surprised the report did not cover other cases where Paterno might have controlled University responses to football players indiscretions/crimes. Have always been suspicious that Paterno was so powerful at PSU that he manipulated and controlled response and punishments for players to the benefit of his program. Hence the issues with their compliance person Traponey(sp?) a few years ago that PSU fans dismissed as a disgruntled ex-employee.


July 12th, 2012 at 10:43 AM ^

I grew up in PA and always thought PSU was a weird cult that would go to great lengths to protect their football program.  All I can say though is:

God damn.  

I have no issues with the research arm of PSU, but I never want to interact with their athletic department again.  Get Missouri on the phone, off to fund their leaving of the SEC and kick PSU's ass out the door.  

Brown Bear

July 12th, 2012 at 10:59 AM ^

The ncaa dropped the death penalty on smu for paying players. They came down very hard on Baylor basketball for the murder cover up which was basically only the coach covering up.
I do not know how they do not come down as hard on penn state as they did smu. SMU was only paying players and got the death penalty. This instance is an entire program from head coach to the president covering it up for 15 years to protect their golden goose football program. How that is not worse than paying players is beyond my imagination.


July 12th, 2012 at 12:19 PM ^

"Murder cover up" isn't really a good phrase for what happened there. Bliss wasn't covering up the murder; he was trying to cover up the fact that he'd been slipping money to the victim (and others, no doubt) in gross violation of NCAA regs, a fact that was about to come to light in the course of the murder investigation. As best as I can understand his motives, he was asking players and coaches to tell the authorities that the victim was a drug dealer to try to create a plausible story for the source of the cash that didn't involve his own wallet.

On the one hand that's not nearly so heinous as what happened at PSU because it didn't involve facilitation of continuing crimes; on the other hand it more precisely fell within the NCAA's bailiwick because it involved improper benefits.


July 13th, 2012 at 12:51 AM ^

...but I think what he's saying is that interfering with the investigation of the murder of one of your players, and while you're at it trying to ruin the posthumous reputation of the victim, just to cover your own sorry ass in an NCAA regulatory violation is worse than covering up a murder.

I don't know that I agree, but what Bliss did is it's own peculiar form of contemptible.

(And just to keep the facts straight though it's off topic and irrelevant, I don't know that there was anything indirect about Bliss's payments.)

O Fo Sho

July 12th, 2012 at 11:01 AM ^

my initial thoughts on this entire case.  I honestly hold PSU and Joe Paterno more reponsible for everything that happened than Sandusky.  First, Sandusky is a sick man who deserves to spend the rest of his life rotting in a prison.  I can't even relate to what he did, he was a messed up individual.  I can however relate to Paterno and everyone else at PSU.  I don't care who I knew was raping little boys, I would be completely apauled and would immediately have them taken down.  As we all would, correct???  Not only did they try to sweep this under the rug, they allowed him to continue on working with little kids, giving him access to their facilities and knowing what he was doing.

It's disgusting, PSU does deserve to be HAMMERED by the NCAA.  This has nothing to do with football, yes, but it is a TOTAL lack of institutional control.  There has never been such an obvious more destructive case of institutional controll in the history of sports. 

Feat of Clay

July 12th, 2012 at 11:41 AM ^

I have some sympathy--SOME--for lower-level people who failed to be tenacious about pursuing their concerns when their first reports were ignored or covered up.  I get why a janitor could be scared.  I assume said janitor doesn't sleep well at night, but I get why someone at his level wouldn't push, keep pushing, call the press, etc.  The world can be very hard on whistleblowers.

But some of these people are in very powerful positions.  They have the clout to do what needed to be done, to make people listen, to endure and rise above the fallout when disbelievers started their shenanigans (as they always do and inevitably would have).  Joe Paterno being Exhibit A. 


July 12th, 2012 at 12:55 PM ^

Unfortunately, you can't change the behaviour of the future Sanduskys of the world.

You can change the behaviour of the future Shultzs, Paterno's, and Spanier's by prosecuting them, changing transpareny laws and sanctioning the university. That way the next Sandusky is arrested in 1999 and not 2012.

UofM Die Hard …

July 12th, 2012 at 11:05 AM ^

disturbing, tough to read.  Sorry for the current athletes, hopefully they can transfer and not sit out a year, but the NCAA must crush this program to oblivion, death penalty times 10...just awful


July 12th, 2012 at 11:32 AM ^

B1G should fire Penn State.

I can't think of any other appropriate response.  Sure, none of the "Old Main" are left at PSU now, and it would be like punishing all the current students, alumni, players, etc., for the past acts of a few.  But there have to be the most grave consequences for the most evil acts.  When the very upper echelons of an academic institutions have become so perversely warped because of one sport, the message has to be sent to every institution in the country -- for profit or not -- that this sort of thing cannot be tolerated, and that any institution is bound to the decisions and acts of its past leaders.  And the B1G needs to make that statement.

Everyone at PSU is going to survive, it's not like students can't get a degree, etc.  But whatever PSU stood for in the past, it now stands as a bastion of something the Nazis and Soviets did -- decision-making to continue allowing evil to occur, merely to keep alive the false appearance of an ethical regime.  And let's be clear, the Old Main was, indeed, a regime.

Lawsuits, no championship game in football, yada yada.  The repurcussions are immense and dizzying and probably, if I thought about it, prohibitive.  But I really will not be satisfied until the Big Ten does the right thing and says, PSU, get the f#$% out of our conference.

(And maybe make that call to ND and beg and plead and offer them a carveout or something... hell even Rutgers would suffice...)


July 12th, 2012 at 12:18 PM ^

 Sure, none of the "Old Main" are left at PSU now, and it would be like punishing all the current students, alumni, players, etc., for the past acts of a few.  But there have to be the most grave consequences for the most evil acts.

I disagree.  Well, not with the idea of grave consequences.  But putting these two sentences together sounds like "I don't care who gets punished for this, someone has got to go down for it."  When you say "there have to be the most grave consequences" it definitely sounds like it doesn't matter who suffers them.

As for me, I have to say I'm satisfied with what has happened so far.  Sandusky will spend the rest of his life in prison, Paterno has lost the thing most important to him (his legacy), Spanier will spend the rest of his life in disgraced retirement, and Curley and Schultz are facing the appropriate** level of charges.  I want consequences, I don't want them to be borne of overreaching righteousness.

**Probably.  I don't know what the possible punishments are, though I'm sure they involve jail time.


July 12th, 2012 at 12:08 PM ^

True, true.  Which also ought to lead to another question: how much could the Second Mile leadership have done to disassociate itself with Sandusky?  I didn't agree with the Freeh report's assertion that blocking Sandusky from the facilities back in 1998 would've prevented future assaults; he still had access to the kids through Second Mile and some of the assaults did take place at his house.

Everyone Murders

July 12th, 2012 at 12:07 PM ^

In its entirety (don't shoot the messenger, folks!):


Today with the report released by Judge Louis Freeh, the Penn State Board of Trustees delivered on the commitment we made last November when we engaged Judge Freeh to conduct an independent investigation into the University's actions regarding former Penn State employee, Jerry Sandusky, and the handling of allegations of the child abuse crimes of which he has since been found guilty.


Judge Freeh and his team conducted a rigorous, eight-month investigation into all aspects of the University's actions to determine where breakdowns occurred and what changes should be made for the future. We like many others have eagerly anticipated Judge Freeh's Report of the findings of his investigation.

His report has just been released at and we currently are reviewing his findings and recommendations. We expect a comprehensive analysis of our policies, procedures and controls related to identifying and reporting crimes and misconduct, including failures or gaps that may have allowed alleged misconduct to go undetected or unreported. We will provide our initial response later today.

We want to ensure we are giving the report careful scrutiny and consideration before making any announcements or recommendations. We are convening an internal team comprising the Board of Trustees, University administration and our legal counsel to begin analyzing the report and digesting Judge Freeh's findings.

As we anticipate the review and approval process will take some time, our initial response and immediate next steps will be presented at 3:30 at the Dayton/Taylor Conference Room at the Hilton Scranton & Conference Center.

These top-line reactions will provide an overview of our process for developing and implementing a plan once we have studied the report and have a better understanding of what it means and how we can implement findings to strengthen Penn State's role as a leading academic institution and ensure that what occurred will never be allowed to happen again.