Hardie v. NCAA: Coach Sues NCAA for Barring Him for Non-Violent ConvictionFebruary 14, 2013
ACC v. Maryland: North Carolina Judge Will Not Dismiss CaseFebruary 20, 2013
The much anticipated report commissioned by the Paterno family has been released. It takes aim at the Freeh Report and claims many of the assertions in the Freeh Report were “factually wrong,” “speculative,” and “fundamentally flawed.” The Paternos employed former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh and a team of investigators to review the Freeh Report in detail. One of the Paternos’ lawyers said “The Freeh report is a profound failure.” Some of the issues addressed and findings made in the report are as follows:
- The allegation is false that Joe Paterno participated in a conspiracy to cover up Sandusky’s actions because of a fear of bad publicity or for any other reason.
- There is no evidence to support the allegation that the football culture at Penn State was somehow to blame for Sandusky’s crimes. Former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh says that including such a claim, with no factual basis to support it, undermines the credibility of the entire report.
- Freeh’s failure to conduct interviews with most of the key witnesses is a glaring deficiency. In the 1998 incident, for example, Freeh’s investigators failed to interview at least 14 of the most important witnesses, including Curley, Schultz, the District Attorney’s office, the Department of Public Welfare and the University’s police department or its outside legal counsel. This pattern was repeated in the 2001 review. Having never talked with these individuals, the Freeh report still claimed to know what they did and why they did it.
- Freeh investigators did not have subpoena power, and no one testified under oath. Worse, witnesses were allowed to speak anonymously, something that would never happen in a legitimate legal proceeding.
- The conspiracy claim made by the Freeh report based on a string of three emails falls apart under scrutiny. Because of a technology switch in 2004, most of the Penn State emails for the time in question are not accessible. Moreover, there are no emails authored by Joe Paterno and none that he received. In fact, the emails referenced by the Freeh report show that Joe Paterno knew few details about Sandusky, that he acted in good faith and that he did what he thought was right based on what he knew at the time.
- The validity and thoroughness of the Freeh report was oversold to the public, leading to the report being accepted in full and without review by The Board of Trustees and the NCAA.
For more information on the Paterno Report, click here.