This morning the Freeh Report came out and confirmed what most of us already knew. Penn State officials didn’t do enough when dealing with the allegations of wrong doing by Jerry Sandusky.
I didn’t read the entire report because it is terribly long, but I did focus on the major allegations and how Joe Paterno, president Graham Spanier, athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz allegedly covered up the events. The evidence is pretty clear on most counts and paints a pretty ugly picture of what was going on at College Station. I agree fully that there was a lack of appropriate decision making and an effort to protect the institution over everything else, but I question who specifically is responsible for the alleged cover up.
I read in the Freeh Report that Joe Paterno was well aware of the 1998 allegations against Sandusky that he was kept very much in the loop during that investigation. I’m not going to say that isn’t true, but it is inferred that he knew everything when it could only be proven that he knew something based on the evidence.
When the allegation of 2001 was made there were 2 pieces of evidence that led Freeh to infer that Paterno was directly involved in changing the direction that Curely, Schultz and Spanier were going to go in dealing with Sandusky. It was implied in the findings that Paterno convinced the university’s governing body to not report the allegations to the authorities. It was inferred due to an email that mentioned that Curley had talked to Paterno about the situation. The email doesn’t say that Joe had another idea or that Joe would rather we do this. It states that Curley has a new plan and he came to this new plan after talking with Paterno.
I know that Paterno handled the situation in 2001 properly. I know that if he were alive today he would continually admit that there was more could have and should have done. I don’t think he would agree that he was involved in a cover up considering the 1998 allegations went to the authorities and no charges were filed, or after he took the allegations of 2001 to his superiors. I don’t believe that the conclusions in these areas were reasonable deductions based on what I read.
The Freeh report was very damning however for Curley, Schultz, and Spanier. It detailed their emails to each other about how to handle each of the situations. The report also painted the Board of Trustees as innocent by standers in this whole ordeal. According to the report they were not aware of any of these allegations until the Grand Jury subpoenas were handed out. The boards response to the report’s findings was great for them and for the school. Even though it was clear none of them had any idea as to what had been going on for the last 14 years, they accepted responsibility for that reason. It was their job to know and they failed in that fact.
I believe the Freeh Report when it comes to the facts that it sites and the overall conclusion that it draws. I don’t agree with some of the conclusions that involve Paterno simply because they seem like stretches. Now if there is specific evidence that surfaces about Joe’s cover up involvement then I will be more than willing to listen and weigh it accordingly. Until then I don’t see the point of reports like this concluding that Paterno is the protector of a monster.