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:



July 12th, 2012 at 12:41 PM ^

I don't recall PA having a "failure to report" law (like many public education institutions) that would make these all crimes. PSU also is one of the only public universities without a public disclosure law. Changing these laws and doing whatever they can to hold Spanier, Schultz, Curly, and the previous Board accountable (including jail time) will go a lot farther than NCAA penalties.


July 12th, 2012 at 12:43 PM ^

I just spent a bit of time over on BlackShoesDiary to see how the locals were handling today and it truly is facinating.  One...seriously ONE guy is saying that JoePa may not have been the saintly figure they made him out to be and he's getting hammered.  Here are the takeaways from their open thread Part I:

1. This is all media driven

2. If people would just bother to read the WHOLE report and not rely on the media they'd see things arent that bad

3. Joe did what he could, just as he claimed

4. Sandusky was basically a lone wolf operating outside the knowledge of others except maybe Shultz. But not sure yet.

Ths cult will not die easy.




July 12th, 2012 at 12:50 PM ^

It may very well take that community and that "cult", if you will, years to process this, if indeed they choose to do so. Eventually, they might go through their own version of "Vergangenheitsbewaeltigung", but the reaction will be delayed certainly.

As for the second point, reading the report actually enlightens folks to the fact that it was actually worse than many thought, so if this is their definition of "not that bad", I am not sure I want to know what the folks posting on BlackShoeDiaries would term as "bad".

Ed Shuttlesworth

July 12th, 2012 at 12:58 PM ^

I checked out BSD, too -- not an iota of shame amongst the cultists.

Here's what their beloved program and their sanctified former coach directly enabled:

“Our most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims,” said Louis J. Freeh, the former federal judge and director of the F.B.I. who oversaw the investigation. “The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized.”



July 12th, 2012 at 12:58 PM ^

To me, the most salient fact about why this could not happen in A2 is because at the time football was building its rep UM was already an (inter)national university. PSU in the 60s was essentially a glorified commuter school with essentially no reputation. Now one could argue its academic rise was along a distinct, parallel track to football, but I frankly don't buy it. Football and (more importanntly) the supposed ethos that guided it as defined by the (single) person that was JoePa was always within the first three sentences of any promotional materials for the school at large. 

In a way, the difference is like the difference between many european countries and the US; they have distinct individuals (Joan of Arc, WIlliam Tell, etc) who form the foundation for their national identity while in the US it could be argued that it is defined by the decision of one person (Washington) to not be bigger than the whole. Washington left at the right moment, thus ensuring that the constitution was bigger than the man. I feel that UM is like this (even with Bo) and that Paterno, tragically, did not leave PSU that way.


July 12th, 2012 at 1:09 PM ^

Your first paragraph is dead on, in that Paterno acted as a huge benefactor and fundraiser for Penn State's academics . He donated, I think $4 million to the library, which is named after his family, he endowed a chair of English literature, and his fundraising certainly brought in exponentially more money for other departments. This is going to be bigger than just tearing down a statue. 

Mr Miggle

July 12th, 2012 at 2:45 PM ^

You make some excellent points. However, I don't think PSU was ever a commuter school, given it's remote location. It was growing rapidly shortly before Paterno took over. I do think much of it's growth paralleled Paterno's career. For example, the medical school opened in 1967. It's construction and funding preceded his reign.


July 12th, 2012 at 12:59 PM ^

Was say "no" to the Michigan job.  Maybe a bit tongue in cheek, but damn, all this could be happening here right now.  Is there a different environment between Ann Arbor and Happy Valley?  Maybe.   Maybe. 

But to have your leadership fail you so badly at a University, I'm not sure how you recover as a school. You can implode a football program, but how do you wash the stain from a whole community?  The people who had the power to stop it not only let victims be further abused, and let new victims start being abused, they've spread their harm to countless thousands who did nothing wrong, but will forever be tarnished by their actions and lack of actions.  This may be the first time ever that cancer was a good thing, because Paterno got off easy; and hopefully everyone still around pays for what they did.

snarling wolverine

July 12th, 2012 at 2:01 PM ^

Sandusky played at PSU in the mid-60s, before JoePa became the head coach, so he might have wanted to stay there all along.  

Regardless, I've got to believe that U-M officials would have had the good sense to step in and put a stop to his criminal activity - if not in 1998 then certainly in 2001.  If JoePa had come here, he'd have walked into an established, respected university.  PSU, OTOH, was a commuter school.  As much as we love football, we're not as dependent on it as PSU has been.  I don't think we would allow the head football coach to competely run the school, like Paterno did.


July 12th, 2012 at 2:43 PM ^

But how old are you?  It hasn't seemed that way under Hoke, or Rich, or Lloyd, or (obviously) Mo...but I wonder if when Bo was around what he could have pushed through if he had wanted. It's been awhile since we've had anyone of Paterno's level of treatment. I mean, we'll be approaching 25 years soon. Now Bo never let it get to the point where he was bigger than the program. He retired before he had to, when he knew it was right for the program, his health, and had his staff in place. He didn't want to become Bear Bryant. But if he had continued, he was ahead of Paterno in wins.  He could have been Paterno if he had wanted to. Would Michigan have been any better at stopping him? I would hope.


July 12th, 2012 at 3:21 PM ^

Ironically enough, Bo resigned from his post as AD because he was annoyed at the way the Big Ten university presidents held talks with Penn State about joining the conference without consulting the ADs back in 1990. On the other side of the aisle, it was Paterno, not PSU's president, who spearheaded PSU's discussions with the Big Ten. Bo didn't have anywhere near the same status at Michigan that Paterno had at Penn State


July 12th, 2012 at 4:02 PM ^

And it may have been a factor, but it was hardly the reason he resigned. Not wanting to be over Moeller's shoulder, and really only taking the job just so he could appoint his successor (rather than hang around to make sure everyone had jobs) were stronger reasons. He wasn't doing much ADing anyway...most of the work was done by the guy who took over. He was the figurehead and got to make big calls. But the fact alone that the coach could become AD while he was still coaching says a lot.

Look at what happened after he left.  You had a President who was pushed out by the Regents because he didn't consult with them about firing a coach because the President wanted to rush him into a resignation before Bo got back from out of the country, when Bo was saying for no one to sign or do anything till he got back.  Bo knew he had power. He just used it better than Paterno did. 

And that was my original point.  An article from last year, on the difference-

Brown Bear

July 12th, 2012 at 1:04 PM ^

Nike is removing Joe Paternos name from their Child Care building on their campus.
I seem to remember Phil Knight at Paternos wake speaking so highly of him and making an ass of himself so why the change of heart Phil?

Ed Shuttlesworth

July 12th, 2012 at 1:09 PM ^

Nike corrupted Penn State.   It's a bit of a parlor game, but if all this happens in, say, 1973, without the huge money and phony accolades Nike and ESPN shower on college football and its most recognizable figures, I doubt a college president and Joe Paterno lose theiir way so hideously.



July 12th, 2012 at 1:14 PM ^

God please don't ever let this happen at UofM. If it does give men and women the courage to do what is right.

Along with every other athletic program in the country.

It just bothers me that people who cover up rape because they are worried about bad publicity for a University and it's football program.


July 12th, 2012 at 1:49 PM ^

what will or should be done to them from the outside, how can Penn State field a football team in good conscience this fall? I see nothing but shame from them taking the field six weeks from now, and they should seriously look into suspending the season until more institutional changes are made.

I'm also glad they're currently off the schedule. Seeing a program like Penn State's come to Michigan Stadium under these circumstances would be disconcerting, to say the least.


July 12th, 2012 at 2:07 PM ^

that you're agreeing with this next statement, but if (intentional use of if) Penn State continues competing in the conference in football, they will be better off coming back in 2013 or 2014 saying, "look at these drastic steps we took". Now, what do they hope to accomplish with football in 2012? Bringing pride to the school? That's beyond comprehension at this point.


July 12th, 2012 at 2:30 PM ^

I'm not sure how much I agree with wiping out the season this year. Canceling this year's football season would seem to mostly punish the students and athletes that had zero to do with the tragedies that occurred.

I ablsolutely agree that drastic changes need to be made with the university infrastructure I'm just not sure how canceling football 6 weeks from the season would help. Now if Paterno were still around the program it would be a different story.


July 12th, 2012 at 2:38 PM ^

Penn State football right now represents something inconsistent with the ideals of college athletics. If they were to say "we're going to review everything in the football program, top to bottom, make changes to ensure we have the most transparent environment in football, and field a team when we can be secure in that knowledge" then reintroduce the team under those circumstances, they would have taken big steps regain the qualities expected out of a Big Ten institution.

Now, I see no way their team can bring honor, glory, whatever to their school. It looks like a money grab to play 2012 out like nothing (or something far more minor) happened.


July 12th, 2012 at 3:23 PM ^

Taking one year off will do nothing to change that impression. This will take a good number of years to even come close to that whether there is a football program or not. The quotes about honor or whatever are meaningless advertising at any school becaues when it comes down to it college football is absolutely a money grab.

I absolutely think they should do the things you have outlined but I'm not sure the current students or players should be deprived of the opportunity to feel a little good about themselves because they're going to be getting a lot of scrutiny on them either way. What would be very good is for the current team and staff to speak about the tragedy this season and begin the attempts to restore their image. If they came out and said that Paterno was not the man they were lead to believe and the program does need to make big changes, don't you think that would have a big impact?


July 12th, 2012 at 4:33 PM ^

On the contrary dcmaizeandblue, it will begin to change the impression that the University puts sports and it's reputation above all else. Sure, none of the student athletes and few coaches had anything to do with the Paterno tenure but that does not matter. PSU's reputation will be tarnished for quite some time.

I think if the University wants to mend its imagine then it should

1) Abandon the football program for 1-2 seasons. This will allow some time to pass and the beginning of a healing process to take place.

2) Petition the NCAA to allow all student atheletes the ability to transfer to another university and play immediately.

3) Start a fund that will benefit all victims and plead with the alumni to donate.

These are a few ideas that will help. I don't see how playing one game next season will help the school move on.

The rest of the school's athletic programs should remain untouched.

Finally, I believe it would be best if the University officials would take these actions. This would demonstrate that they want to lead in changing the culture at Penn State.


July 12th, 2012 at 6:24 PM ^

The fact that they didn't have anything to do with it does matter. The season is 6 weeks away how could they possibly cancel it at this point? I have no problem with those actions AFTER this season. What player is going to be able to find a new team and play in 6 weeks? They could announce that following this season they're suspending the program and that would give the players plenty of time to find new schools and decide what to do.

I'm sorry I want the people responsible punished. Canceling one or two football seasons does little to nothing in my eyes. Public acknowledgement by the program of these tragedies and number 3 on your list would do way more.


July 12th, 2012 at 11:02 PM ^

The fact that they didn't have anything to do with it does matter.

Do you feel this way about the many, many athletes over the years who've been forced to watch their program go on probation, etc. for things they didn't do? Innocent players get screwed in these things . . . that's life.

The reason you sanction PSU here is to serve as a deterrent to other programs.  Since it seems that people often can't be trusted to do the right thing on their own, make the punishment for doing the wrong thing so hideous that they have no choice.

snarling wolverine

July 12th, 2012 at 1:56 PM ^

Give them the death penalty and the players free release.  They can pick up the pieces in 2014.  Until then, I don't want to see this school and its pathetically misguided priorities competing in college football, and certainly not under the the Big Ten banner.  


July 12th, 2012 at 2:33 PM ^

Suppose the NCAA brings down the death penalty on PSU.

Would the Big Ten still be able to have a championship game, with only 11 teams?




July 12th, 2012 at 2:55 PM ^

Suppose PSU is suspended for 3 years.

How do you interpret

NCAA bylaw (c):

(c) Twelve-Member Conference Championship Game.  [FBS/FCS]   A conference championship game between division champions of a member conference of 12 or more institutions that is divided into two divisions (of six or more institutions each), each of which conducts round-robin, regular-season competition among the members of that division;

As long as the team was only suspended, the conference would still have 12 or more institutions. There is no requirement that all 12 teams compete, only that each division conducts a round-robin.

I realize I'm reaching here, but I can't imagine them cancelling the championship game. I also can't see the NCAA not coming down hard on PSU.

In the past, we could have just relied on The Game to be the championship game, but OSU isn't eligible this year....


July 12th, 2012 at 3:09 PM ^

Thank goodness Michigan does not play Penn State this year.  Michigan should refuse to ever play in Beaver Stadium again.  Its not a home to football anymore--its a home to child rapists and apologists, and should be burnt to the ground.  That is the only way Penn State could ever recover.  And anyone with a kind word for Paterno now is a fool.  Could there be anything more disgusting than turning your back on the sexual exploitation of a little kid?

Sons of Louis Elbel

July 12th, 2012 at 6:42 PM ^

I usually think that Millen is merely stupid - every time he talks, it's easy to understand how the Lions went 0-16 - but today you can add disgusting and delusional to the list. Yeah, it's all Spannier's fault...

Wolverine Devotee

July 12th, 2012 at 11:12 PM ^

I wish all five of those vile pieces of shit, were hung on national tv.

I wouldn't have one spec of guilt urinating on any of their graves. I hope they are buddies, because they're gonna rot in hell forever.

Steve in PA

July 12th, 2012 at 11:21 PM ^

Seriously, burn it the fuck down!  That's all I can think of at this point.

I thought about the B10 banning the football program for 2 years, but without football what does PSU contribute?  Basketball, Baseball?  Oh, yeah.  Women's Volleyball.

I said it before when this started to break and it's even more appropriate now...How many young boys were sacrificed so that Joe could be the alltime winningest coach?  At the least, the NCAA should strip every win back to the known beginning of the coverup.

What further infuriates me is that if the monster had kept his sodomy habit confined to Centre County we still wouldn't know about it.  When he jumped to Clinton County his protectors couldn't help him any longer and it went to the grand jury.

Burn it down!

I got into a heated discussion with 2 apologists tonight at my son's gf's soccer game.  They started the "Joe did all these wonderful things, blah blah blah".  I told them to read the Freeh report and then tell me that Joe wasn't involved with Jerry buggering little kids.

After I told them what the emails said, they had nothing more to say.

Burn it down!

(Sorry about the language if you're offended)