Bob Costas to Host Show Reexamining Freeh Report


Bob Costas is taking another look at the Freeh Report.

Nittany Nation blogger Frank Bodani is reporting that, to give the report and its assertions a better evaluation, Costas is going to host a TV program on NBC, “a further examination of this issue in a month or two.”

Said Costas, “I said, ‘As the Freeh Report makes clear, Paterno was, in some sense, complicit’” to Sandusky’s abuse of young boys.

“I didn’t say he was part of a cover-up. I wish I would have said, ‘As the Freeh Report asserts,’ rather than, ‘As the Freeh Report makes clear.’”

Costas first reversed direction on the Freeh report a few weeks ago in an interview with radio host Kevin Slaten of KQQZ in St. Louis, but now is the first evidence we’re seeing of a potential TV program to address the issue. When he first commented on the report last July, Costas had only read summaries of the document, and not the entire 267-page report itself. Previously, he had advocated for the so-called “death penalty” for Penn State football for at least a year. He now thinks that the NCAA sanctions in place are undeservedly steep.

In a way similar to the Paterno report’s questioning of Freeh’s investigation, Costas will take aim at Freeh’s conclusions that, according to him, still raise questions of their validity. Costas acknowledged that the report by Thornburgh, Clemente, and Berlin raised legitimate questions about holes in the Freeh Report.

Though Costas says that, nationally, the public may not care enough to reverse its opinion on the issue, having moved on and forgotten, he adds, “I feel I have some responsibility to follow the story.” No other details about the program have yet been released such as an air date, besides that it will air on NBC “in a month or two.”

Ken Frazier Quote – And He Chaired the Committee that Hired Freeh


“Tens of thousands of former Vioxx users sued Merck after it withdrew the drug, alleging Vioxx had caused them to suffer heart attacks and strokes. Frazier, then the company’s general counsel, declared Merck had done nothing wrong and refused to settle. “We’ll fight every case,” he declared, and hired top-flight law firms in several East Coast cities, in the South, in Chicago, and Los Angeles, as well as a prominent New York firm to coordinate the overall strategy.”

Letter from Dick Thornburg – Set the Record Straight


Statement by former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh
March 15, 2013

When we released our review of the Freeh report we were very careful not to question the motives or challenge the integrity of Mr. Freeh, his investigators or members of the Penn State Board of Trustees. Overheated rhetoric and personal attacks do nothing to advance the objective we all share of finding the truth in the Sandusky scandal.

That some members of the Board of Trustees want to reject our report out of hand, without the benefit of a review or discussion is unfortunate. We believe the better course would be for the Board to have a public review of both reports. I personally would welcome a chance to discuss these issues with the Board.

We also believe that all of the files and records related to Mr. Freeh’s investigation should be released to the public. This will make it easier for everyone to judge the accuracy and thoroughness of his work. The flaws of the Freeh report cannot be dismissed or overlooked. They are significant and numerous and must be addressed. This case will not be resolved until the record is set straight.

Excerpts from Clemente Report–A Must Read


Excerpt from Clemente Section of Paterno Report:

I have no interest in or connection with Penn State football, I had no personal or professional interaction with Joe Paterno, and I have not followed his career in any way or seen any game that he coached.  I do not follow college or professional football. Though I am being paid for my time to research and write this report, I have maintained independence while conducting my review of the Freeh investigation and supplementing it with my own investigation.

After reading the Freeh report in its entirety, I now know that  the Freeh investigation made a number of errors, including its failure to properly consider the behavioral dynamics of the offender, the victims, and witnesses within the context of acquaintance child sexual victimization.

Investigating this type of crime is markedly counter-intuitive and investigators and the public need to have a deep understanding of these behavioral dynamics before they can understand and properly interpret the information and behavior presented in this case. It is precisely because this information is not within the general knowledge of the average person/juror, that local, state, and federal courts admit the testimony of expert witnesses, like myself, to explain to jurors the complicated behavioral dynamics of “preferential child sex offenders,” “nice-guy” acquaintance offenders, “grooming,” and “compliant victimization.” In fact, the SIC report does not once mention “preferential child sex offenders,” “nice-guy” acquaintance offenders, or “compliant victimization,” and uses the term “grooming” only once without applying this critical behavioral reality to their analysis. By not factoring in thesedynamics, the Freeh report got it wrong.

While I authored this report at the behest of the representatives of the Paterno family, it is not just about Joe Paterno. This report is about finding the truth and educating the public about acquaintance child sexual victimization in the real world. This report does not take the focus away from the victims; it restores that focus. As an expert in this field, and as a former victim, I can attest that one of the worst things professionals, the media, and the public can do in the aftermath of the discovery of nice-guy offenders, like Sandusky, is to perpetuate the myth that his victims must have been frightened, threatened, or physically forced into sexual behavior with him.This practice, though well-meaning, hurts those children who became compliant intheir victimizationbecause this type of offender actually takes the opposite approach and treatsthem well, is kind to them, pays attention to them, shows them affection, makes them feel special, and/or gives them gifts.   Another hurtful practice is talking about how horrendous,horrific, or life-changing these crimes were to the victims. The more we amplify what happened  to the victims with emotional rhetoric, the more they and other victims in the general public feel  damaged by what they have endured. They feel a sense of futility about ever being whole again.  They feel the obstacles to leading happy and healthy lives are insurmountable. And most  unfortunately, as a result of both of these practices, they and other victims are less likely to come forward.

The sad truth is that as you read this analysis, there are thousands of   acquaintance  offenders similar to Sandusky sexually victimizing children in communities across this country.  These “nice-guy” offenders are getting away with it because they appear to be good people who  genuinely care about children. These “nice-guy” offenders escape detection even by those who  are vigilant because they are on the look out for evil predators, not pillars of the community.  Unless everyone in the public takes on the responsibility to educate themselves about the  dynamics of acquaintance child sexual victimization, “nice-guy” offenders will continue  victimizing children undetected and undeterred. For that reason, paying attention to the details of  this analysis, sharing its contents with everyone you know, engaging in an age-appropriate open  dialogue with children, however difficult, and investigating those who exhibit red flag warning  signs, will go a long way towards eliminating this type of offending behavior.

Sandusky is a textbook preferential child sex offender, as well as being a textbook example of a “nice-guy” offender. However, I would put him in the top one percent of effective groomers in this country. This is based on the fact thathe was so bold in his high-profile “altruistic” public persona, he founded a youth serving organization, and he was caught in the act — though cleared at the time — of what turned out to be grooming and sexually assaulting children in the showers in 1998, yet he still did the samething in the same place again in 2001.  Sandusky was able to deceive his way out of it. He built his reputation both professionally and interpersonally over many years of hard work and sacrifice. Drive, determination, selflessness, and altruism were his calling cards. He motivated others to give millions to needy children at The Second Mile. Sandusky was lauded and celebrated for his work. He effectively groomed most of the people who came in contact with him, including child care experts, psychologists, professionals, celebrities, athletes, coaches, friends, and family. And most notably, he was approved numerous times over thirty years as both a foster parent and an adoptive parent by child care professionals.

The victims love the offender for the things he has done for them. On the other hand, they hate the offender for the things he has done to them. That’s why the boy in the shower in 2001 kept silent even though McQueary witnessed him being groomed and assaulted by Sandusky. That’s why the nine other victims who testified, or were testified about in Sandusky’s trial, never made an immediate outcry. Even when investigators first came to some of these boys and asked them direct questions, most of them remained silent or denied anything sexual occurred. They claimed that they had not been victimized, when in fact they had.  Eventually, most of them made partial or incremental disclosures, and then over time gave a full account of their victimization. It’s called the “conspiracy of silence” that surrounds child sexual victimization. It is the opposite of an “active agreement to conceal.”

The combination of nice-guy acquaintance offending, coupled with the “conspiracy of silence” by victims and “compliant victimization,” is why Paterno did not know that Sandusky was really a child molester. It is why the entire State College community did not know. One astute mother, however, saw a behavioral change in her son and recognized it as a possible sign of victimization and reported Sandusky in 1998. She might have initially bought into Sandusky’s grooming, giving him access to her child hoping the relationship would help her son have a better life. But the behavioral changes her son exhibited after spending an evening with Sandusky triggered her intuition and she fought for her son’s protection. She is a hero. Unfortunately, the system failed her, and her son. We all want to search for the culprit who caused the system to fail. In my professional opinion, the culprit is ignorance of “nice-guy”offending.

One psychologist, trained in the art of deciphering offender behavior, Alycia Chambers,evaluated the boy, saw and recognized all the red flags presented by Sandusky’s behavior, but her report apparently did not receive the attention it deserved. Centre County Children and Youth Services (CYS) referred the case to counselor John Seasock, 20 who, without reading Chamber’s report, evaluated the boy for one hour and then wrote a report concluding nothing improper took place.That is why no one at Penn State did anything to sanction Sandusky. The UniversityPolice Department, the Department of Public Welfare (DPW), and the District Attorney all closed their cases based in large part on Seasock’s report. For those who worked closely with Sandusky and knew about the 1998 incident, the closing of this investigation as unfounded was confirmation of Sandusky’s outstanding reputation and their belief that he was a devoted advocate for children.

Though a trained child sex crimes investigator should have known to keep a close watch on Sandusky from that point forward, civilians generally revert back to the thousands of positive interactions they have had with him and validate the belief in their own minds that they knew Sandusky couldn’t have been a “monster predator.” If he had been, they tell themselves, they would have known. They would have been able to tell the difference between that kind of evil person and the affable Sandusky they knew, whom they viewed as a dedicated husband and father, who fostered and adopted dozens of children, an altruist, who founded a children’s charity, and a professional, who worked for decades as assistant football coach of one of the most successful college teams in the country.

Because of the private and one-on-one nature of the vast majority of child sex crimes, adult offenders know that in most circumstances, if the child makes an allegation against them, they have a higher likelihood of being believed than a troubled youth. And, as the inaction by McQueary and the janitor exhibit, even if adults witness this behavior, they are reticent to get involved or make a detailed report because it is just too difficult to comprehend or believe or talk about what they witnessed. As I will develop in much greater detail below, these complicated dynamics, which so few people understand (and most find completely counter-intuitive) explain why McQueary behaved as he did. They explain why he did not rescue the boy in 2001, and instead, left the scene as quickly as possible. They explain why McQueary had such difficulty recounting what he saw to his father and Dr. Dranov, and even more difficulty speaking about it to Paterno. McQueary likely was relieved when Curley and Schultz did not ask him detailed questions about what he had witnessed. At the time, he was not certain of what he saw because it was so abjectly counter to what he knew about Sandusky and how he expected a child victim to behave. They also explain why McQueary gave Paterno such a watered down and, ultimately, unhelpful version of events.

These complicated dynamics explain why Paterno did not conclude that Sandusky was a child molester, and why Paterno did what he did and nothing more. Paterno did not witness a child being sexually assaulted. Paterno did not have the opportunity that McQueary had to rescue that child while he was being sexually assaulted. Paterno did not have the opportunity to catch Sandusky in the act and restrain him while calling the police. As I’ll discuss in more detail below, Paterno only heard the sketchiest version of what happened from a confused, embarrassed, and reticent McQueary. Paterno could not read McQueary’s mind. He did not know what McQueary actually witnessed, but sensing that McQueary was having so much trouble talking about it and wanting to minimize his distress, Paterno told McQueary that he did not have to speak the details to Paterno, that he did the right thing coming to Paterno, and that Paterno would find the right people for McQueary to report it. Paterno was not an investigator. Paterno had no authority over Sandusky, who had retired two years earlier. Paterno ran into Sandusky infrequently and did not socialize with him. Paterno did his best to address the situation by informing the people at the university who were in a position to deal with Sandusky, and, in fact, who had dealt with Sandusky’s retirement and continued to deal with Sandusky about administrative details.

As it relates to Paterno, there is very little to be said about the 1998 incident.  As far as Paterno knew, if he knew anything, it was fully investigated and Sandusky was fully cleared. Had Paterno or anyone else taken any action against Sandusky, as far as they knew, they would be exposing themselves and the university to a lawsuit from Sandusky. Nonetheless, I will discuss the 1998 incident in some detail for two reasons. First, if Paterno did know about the 1998 incident and the fact that Sandusky was investigated and cleared, this likely would have affected Paterno’s understanding of the 2001 incident. Upon hearing the report from McQueary, Paterno could have reasonably believed that Sandusky was simply horsing around with the boy — just like he was determined to have been doing in 1998 — despite the fact that McQueary perceived it as “over the line.”

The allegations of sexual misconduct were fully investigated by the University Police and Public Safety (“University Police Department” or “UPD”), DPW, CYS, and the District Attorney’s Office. The “victim” and Sandusky were repeatedly interviewed at the time and it was determined that Sandusky had no sexual intent and did not commit any crimes. The investigators had evenidentified another boy who recounted virtually the same story as the first boy and they still did not find sexual or criminal intent.Thus, even if the 1998 accusations had been communicated to Paterno, there would simply have been no way for Paterno to know that Sandusky was actually sexually attracted to boys and that he had been sexually victimizing a number of them in secrecy for years. Following the closing of this investigation, UPD Detective Schreffler instructed Sandusky not to shower again with any child.This explicit advice coming from the law enforcement body responsible for policing Penn State — and not simply the head coach —should have put Sandusky on notice that his actions were being scrutinized and dissuaded him from showering with any more boys at Penn State or anywhere else. UPD apparently did nothing else with respect to Sandusky beyond issuing this “advice the members of this approximately 50-man police department were bettertrained in the area of sex crimes and investigations than Paterno. Certainly UPD had the ultimate responsibility to police and secure all facilities on Penn State’s campus. And certainly, UPD had the ultimate responsibility to protect all persons, including children who were guests on campus. Paterno is blamed by the SIC for not instituting his own prevention program, when the very police agency that was charged with conducting, and actually conducted, the 1998 investigation, did absolutely nothing to investigate Sandusky further, to prevent him from bringing children into the showers, or to inform university staff and students about the allegations against Sandusky. That’s because Sandusky was cleared.

Paterno didn’t know about or have access to the 98-page report that the UPD had compiled on the 1998 incident. Paterno didn’t have a team of detectives who presumably were trained to recognize sex offender behavior. Paterno’s profession had nothing at all to do with children, or sex offenders, or investigations, or recognizing the red flags of child sexual victimization. It is incorrect to assert that Paterno, even as head coach and football icon, was in abetter position to keep an investigative eye on Sandusky and prevent him from offending on campus than was the UPD.

The UPD, DPW, CYS, and the DA’s office also should be accused of “callous and shocking” “total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims,”or the accusations against Paterno related to the 1998 incident are biased and wrong.

The entire case against Paterno regarding the 2001 Sandusky shower incident hinges on the words of Mike McQueary. Paterno was not an eyewitness. His only basis of knowledge about what Sandusky did in the shower with a boy in February 2001 was the words McQueary chose to tell Paterno at that time. Clearly, those were not the detailed and explicit words McQueary used a decade later when talking to investigators and during his testimony.  What is most critical in analyzing Paterno’s subsequent behavior is what McQueary actually communicated to Paterno during that five to ten minute conversation on the morning of Saturday, February 10, 2001. There are no contemporaneous recordings, notes, or confirmatory emails from this meeting, and the documentation that was made closest in time to the actual events was a statement made by McQueary to attorney general investigators, Trooper Rossman and Agent Sassano, almost a decade later on November 22, 2010. Because of the lapse of time between the actual conversation and the documentation thereof, the probability that particular details of this conversation are reliably recalled from memory is very low.

When a layman, like Paterno, hears ambiguous information about an incident that might involve male on male child sexual victimization and “considers” but rejects the possibility of it actually being true, it does not mean that it is an act of deliberate or willful denial or an attempt to conceal. This is especially true when the accused “offender” does not act like a heinous criminal and the alleged “victims” don’t act like he did anything wrong to them at all. What is actually going on with the untrained layman is a common and fundamental misunderstanding of offender and victim behavior and honest disbelief.

We know the following: McQueary walked into the coaches’ locker room between 9:30 and 10:00 on a Friday night. After McQueary passed through the first of two privacy doors to the locker room, he heard the showers running. He then heard what he has variously described as “two or three” “slapping noises,”36 “smackingsounds,”and “rhythmic slapping sounds”38 over the course of a second or two. In McQueary’s words, he “immediately became alerted and kind of — I don’t know — embarrassed that I was walking in on something that I didn’t want to see or walk in on.” At that moment McQueary “thought maybe one of the other people had someone with him in the showers.”McQueary got to his locker and glanced over his right shoulder and, using the reflection of a mirror, looked into the shower.  His first glance lasted one to two seconds. In McQueary’s words, “I immediately turned back to my locker, trying to digest what I just saw and making sure I saw what I just saw. . . . I thought maybe I wasn’t seeing what I was seeing.” McQueary then stepped to the side and looked directly into the shower.According to his testimony, McQueary saw Sandusky in the shower with a young boy. Taking into account all of McQueary’s testimony, that’s all the detail he has given about what he actually saw as opposed to what he thought was happening or what he thought he heard, or what he told Paterno. McQueary also testified to what he did not see or hear. He did not see the front of Sandusky or the boy until the two of them were standing three to five feet apart and were facing him. He did not see any genitalia, erection, or insertion. He did not see any fondling. He did not see any sex act. He did not hear any “protests or any verbiage.” McQueary says he was “extremely alarmed, extremely flustered, extremely shocked, all of those things.”He went back to his locker and “tried to think . . . I accentuate the word ‘try.’”McQueary explained, “this is a Penn State football building . . . you don’t register that. .. . I’m used to pressure situations, and I can tell you that’s — that’s more than my brain could handle at that time.” McQueary was so overwhelmed that he described what he had seen as “ridiculous” as opposed to criminal.

Some believe that he wanted to save the name of Penn State football and so he decided to forget what he saw and walk away rather than to act to save the boy or restrain Sandusky. However, if this were true, he would not have attempted to tell five other people about what he saw and he would not have been so upset while he was trying to do so.  In my experience the reasonable conclusion is that he was so overwhelmed by what he saw that he was paralyzed with confusion and disbelief. He did not understand how a man he knew and respected could possibly be doing something like that to a boy. He could not understand why the boy was not screaming out in pain or protest, or fighting to free himself. He could not understand why, when faced with a potential rescuer (McQueary), the boy did not even ask for help. He could not understand how Sandusky could just stare at him with a blank expression only seconds after he was apparently sexually assaulting a boy. And he did not understand how any of this could have happened in his own football locker room. Quite simply, in McQueary’s mind, it did not compute.

McQueary was forced to reconcile three things in his mind that he did not know how to reconcile: (1) when he heard the slapping sounds, he expected to see “normal” sexual activity, but what he saw was shocking, (2) he had always known Sandusky as a nice guy, professional, altruistic person, but now he was confronted with the sight of Sandusky apparently sexually assaulting a boy, and (3) the young boy was not fighting, screaming, or attempting to get away — all the things he would expect the victim of a sexual assault to do. At the time, and in the subsequent days, McQueary could not reconcile these things. He knew nothing about preferential sex offenders, grooming, “nice-guy” acquaintance offenders,and compliant victimization. Consequently, he did not rescue the boy. He ran away. He did not go to the campus police, he went to his office and called his dad. McQueary lived on his own, but he did not go home. He went straight to his parents’ house. While McQueary’s actions are confusing to many, in my experience they are typical of someone who is completely baffled and confused by what he saw and consequently he did not have the confidence to report it in detail.

McQueary has consistently testified that he did not tell Paterno any graphic details, so it is highly probable that McQueary did not tell Paterno anything that would have led Paterno to believe that Sandusky was sexually assaulting the boy in the shower.

The following day, McQueary went to Paterno’s house. According to McQueary, he told Paterno that he “saw Jerry with a young boy in the shower and that it was way over the line,”“[t]he rough positioning I would have described but not in very much detail,”“I told him what I had seen, again, on the surface.”However, McQueary has been clear that he did not use the terms “anal,” “intercourse,” sodomy,” or “rape.”McQueary explains he did not give these details “out of respect and just not getting into detail with someone like Coach Paterno,”“in my mind I don’t go to Coach Paterno and go into great detail of sexual acts. I would have never done that with him ever.” In fact, the reason McQueary didn’t want to use sexual terms with Paterno was the very reason why he needed to. Paterno was known as a prude who was uncomfortable talking about sex. Implying a sex act was not enough to undermine Paterno’s years of interactions with Sandusky and Sandusky’s image as a pillar of the community. McQueary needed to be direct, explicit, and comprehensive in his description. If McQueary had simply said to Paterno, “I saw Sandusky having sex with a boy,” then at least Paterno would have known what McQueary meant. Paterno may still have had trouble believing McQueary, but he would at least have been aware of what McQueary was saying.

Sexual behavior is typically very private; criminal sexual behavior is extremely private.McQueary was understandably embarrassed by what he witnessed, and he acted like someone who had never had to talk about this difficult topic before in his life. It apparently was particularly difficult for McQueary to talk to an elder and iconic figure whom he looked up to about the details of sexual activity.

In response, Paterno, trying to spare McQueary from any further distress, told McQueary that he didn’t have to tell Paterno anything else, that McQueary did the right thing bringing it to Paterno, and that it was Paterno’s job to get McQueary together with the right people for McQueary to report it.

What we do know from Paterno’s recounting of events and his later shock and surprise when he finally read McQueary’s statements in the presentment the week of November 7, 2011,was that Paterno did not have any idea that McQueary was trying to tell him that Sandusky was sodomizing the boy or even sexually assaulting the boy. When asked by an investigator if McQueary said there was a sexual act, Paterno responded, “He never said that.” When Paterno finally read the presentment, he asked his son what the word “sodomy” meant. After his son explained it to him, Paterno asked, “Can a man even do that to a boy?” Nonetheless, as Paterno explained, if he had been told that Sandusky was raping a boy, or having sex with a boy in the shower, he “would have gone to the police right then and there, no questions asked.”

It is more reasonable to conclude that these five men did notunderstand the true nature of Sandusky’s actions because McQueary did not convey what he thought he had conveyed to them. That’s because McQueary relied on implication, and deliberately did not use explicit or graphic terms in describing what he thought he witnessed in the shower.

Of those five men, the one who was most prepared for such a situation arguably would be Dr. Dranov. As a medical doctor, he is a mandated reporter, and he acted like one. He asked all the right questions aimed at determining whether McQueary had seen any specific sexual acts.  McQueary repeatedly said no and got more upset when Dr. Dranov attempted to get more details  out of him. Dr. Dranov then advised McQueary to tell Coach Paterno and did nothing more. Dr.Dranov did not tell McQueary to call the police, he did not call the police himself, and he did not call the Department of Public Welfare. This behavior is consistent with Dr. Dranov deducing at the time that what McQueary had actually witnessed was non-sexual in nature.

Penn State Football: It’s About That Culture Thing


by Carolyn Todd

Why did Louis Freeh determine that Penn State had a so-called “football culture”?

In his report, Freeh states the following key finding:

“In the Fall of 2000, a University janitor observed Sandusky sexually assault a young boy in the East Area Locker Building and advised co-workers of what he saw. Also that evening, another janitor saw two pairs of feet in the same shower, and then saw Sandusky and a young boy leaving the locker room holding hands. Fearing that they would be fired for what they saw, neither janitor reported the incidents to university officials, law enforcement, or child protective agencies.”

Later in his report, Freeh describes an interview with one of the janitors involved: “Janitor B explained to the Special Investigative Counsel that reporting the incident ‘would have been like going against the President of the United States in my eyes.’ ‘I know Paterno has so much power, if he wanted to get rid of someone, I would have been gone.’ He explained, ‘football runs this University,’ and said the University would have closed ranks to protect the football program at all costs.”

And so according to Freeh, even though a more senior janitor discussed with these two janitors how to report what they saw, the two janitors involved decided that because they were fearful of losing their jobs, they would not report a tremendously awful crime. Or at least that’s what they told Freeh twelve years after it happened.

They blamed Paterno’s power for their failure to do what was the right thing to do at the time – to call the police.

I don’t necessarily want to judge them. I can understand the fear of losing a job, whether that fear is founded or not. But it’s a true shame that they did not report the crime when it occurred in 2000.

Sandusky might have been behind bars a lot sooner given what appears to be the clearest eye witness account of Sandusky performing a sexual act on a victim. A lot of victims might have been spared over the past decade.

And as the Paterno family report published last week has pointed out, just because a janitor assumed that Joe Paterno MIGHT fire him for reporting a crime doesn’t make it true that he WOULD have or even COULD have.

There is no evidence that Paterno would have dismissed these janitors and not taken them seriously. There is also no evidence that Paterno would have fired these janitors.

AND significantly enough there is no evidence that Paterno had the authority to fire these janitors even if he desired to, which in my opinion is not something he would have done.

Remember, in the year 2000 Sandusky didn’t report to Paterno or have anything to do with his program. And it has been well documented that Paterno wasn’t close to Sandusky or consider him a friend.

In addition there is ample evidence that when Mike McQueary reported something in 2001 that was far more ambiguous than what one of the janitors reportedly saw – he told his dad and a medical doctor that night and the jury during the Sandusky trial that he did NOT see a rape – Mike was neither fired or told by Paterno to keep it quiet.

Paterno made sure that Mike met with Tim Curley and Gary Schultz to report to them what he saw. Mike was kept on as graduate assistant coach and then later on he was promoted to assistant coach.

So why was Freeh so sympathetic to these janitors for not calling the police and so willing to blame the “football culture” for their inaction?

I probably never will understand that part of the history of the Sandusky scandal. It’s hard for me to fathom how anyone can be blamed for somehow ignoring a crime that was never reported. But that is in essence what the Freeh report does. It blames Paterno and the football culture.

Joe Paterno had a lot of influence, for sure, at Penn State. But was he powerful enough to decide EVERYTHING at the university? No, he wasn’t. That is a myth perpetrated by people who have a limited view or don’t understand how academia works.

Dr. Vicki Triponey, the former VP of Student Affairs, was another one of Freeh’s interviewees and it appears that her assertions also had influence on Freeh’s conclusions about a football culture. She is well-known for her complaints that she couldn’t wrest control away from Joe Paterno on whether or not his players could continue to play while facing disciplinary proceedings. Her complaints have been well-publicized in the media. She felt that it should be up to Judicial Affairs, not coaches, to determine player involvement in practice or games. Joe Paterno objected to that.

But what was NOT so well publicized in most media, although reported in a Centre Daily Times article written by Anne Danahy, is that an independent Faculty-Senate committee at the university interviewed 40 people about Triponey’s concerns and about her proposal for Judicial Affairs to determine whether or not an athlete should continue to play on a team if faced with disciplinary proceedings. This Faculty-Senate committee, NOT Joe Paterno, made the final recommendation to the university president as to how student discipline of both athletes and non-athletes should be handled.

Essentially this academic committee confirmed the notion that coaches should be allowed to determine whether or not a player should continue to play, not Judicial Affairs. They determined that for non-athlete extra-curricular activities it was left to the leader of those activities (e.g. advisor) to determine whether or not a non-athlete facing discipline should continue to participate. The committee felt that athletes should not be treated any differently than non-athletes.

The Freeh report’s opinion that there is some sort of a “football culture” that needs to be rectified at Penn State seems to be one of the reasons that the NCAA has come down especially hard on Penn State in assessing the harsh sanctions that it has.

Never mind that what happened at Penn State was criminal activity by a former coach, that none of the current players ever worked with. Never mind that it had nothing to do with creating competitive advantage on the playing field, which is supposedly what the NCAA is supposed to be investigating.

Mark Emmert, mimicking Freeh, publicly stated that Penn State’s “football culture” needs to change as a justification for his announcement of harsh NCAA sanctions. And what was even worse, he seemed to imply that academic integrity at Penn State had been compromised.

What was it about a 91% graduation rate of football student athletes at Penn State that Emmert didn’t like?

Perhaps the problem was that the people Freeh interviewed at Penn State ADMIRED the academic culture that was built within the football program?

And perhaps Freeh’s teams confused admiration for Joe’s commitment to academics and fundraising for an attitude of “Joe can do no wrong” or “Joe has too much power”?

Let us not forget, Emmert chose to accept the Freeh report and announce the worse NCAA sanctions ever against a university rather than launch his own investigation.

So Emmert doesn’t even know who Freeh interviewed in his investigation.

Trust me when I say, Penn State faculty and staff are smarter than to think Joe Paterno could have done no wrong. We respected Joe Paterno’s abilities as a head coach, his philanthropic efforts on behalf of Penn State, and his determination to make sure his players graduated.

But we also knew that he was quite human. He wasn’t perfect. We also knew that Joe had boundaries he respected. He had a lot of influence, but he didn’t always choose to use it.

Evidence of that fact is that neither Joe Paterno nor anyone else from the football office has ever interfered with a faculty decision related to the academics of a football player.

There has been no pressure to pass any athlete. None. Ever. By any coach of any athletic program at Penn State.

As an instructor at Penn State I’ve had my share of student athletes in the classroom – football and otherwise – and all I can say is that every scholarship athlete I have had in my classes is very closely monitored, three times per semester! To make sure they attend classes, to make sure they are participating, to make sure they are passing. It works, and Penn State has been admired over the decades for it working so well.

And speaking of football culture, what about the fact that football student athletes are involved in all sorts of other initiatives, such as “Lift for Life”, where this year alone they raised over $100,000 to combat kidney cancer?

And where this year Offensive Lineman Eric Shrive was named “Rare Disease Champion of the Year” by Uplifting Athletes and the Maxwell Club for his personal efforts in raising over $69,000 of that amount to fight this disease. Congratulations, Eric, on that honor!

No, Freeh and Emmert got it wrong. If you want to know what Penn State’s culture is truly about, consider this past weekend’s efforts in the dead cold of February.

710 student dancers on their feet for 46 hours. More than 15,000 students on their feet in the stands supporting those dancers. Countless Penn State student clubs and organizations spending weeks and months on end canning on street corners to raise money to combat pediatric cancer.

Countless folks – students, families, community members – standing in line for hours outside of the Bryce Jordan Center trying to get into the arena to lend their support to the dancers, and turned away because the largest inside venue on campus isn’t big enough to accommodate all who want to participate.

Numerous committees are organized throughout the year to support this event and make sure the dancers are well taken care for, and that the Thon children themselves – children who suffer tremendously from treatments related to their cancers – are having a great time.

That’s right. The children themselves who benefit from Thon interact directly with the students at Penn State, through the Four Diamonds Fund, which is the major beneficiary of the Thon fundraising effort.

Just about every student club participating in Thon has one or two of these children assigned to them. That makes the fundraising to cure cancer personal. Very personal. And given that these children sometimes don’t survive, it is agonizingly emotional in the final hours when during the Thon family hour the triumphs over cancer are celebrated, but then also the names and photos of the Thon children who passed away are flashed on the screen.

I teach at Penn State. I’m a huge football fan, as you know. But, when I think of culture at Penn State, I don’t think of football first.

I think of Thon. Thon is what pervades the atmosphere among students at Penn State, and it is what differentiates Penn State from any other major university in the world. Thon pervades all year round.

Football at Penn State is exciting, fun, a major passion each fall for seven home weekends each year. But isn’t that true at every FBS school? Isn’t it true at Alabama? Wisconsin? Michigan? Ohio State? You name it. Football is big in the fall at all of my top five favorite college football venues. I beg you to contend that Penn State football is more important than football at any other of these schools.

But while football is primarily a fall activity, the Penn State Dance Marathon drives Penn State students 52 weeks per year. The student clubs, fraternities, and sororities all organize into teams to can on weekends on street corners in communities throughout the northeast and even across the country.

Thon itself has what seem to be a zillion different committees, whether they be rules and regulations, morale, security, entertainment, communications, and of course there is a huge competitive thrust among the numerous student clubs to raise enough money to be eligible to sponsor one or more dancers to represent them, and to be recognized as a top 5 contributing student club among various designated categories of clubs when the grand amount is announced.

And so on a weekend in February, a miraculous event occurs, the culmination of a year’s worth of effort. A bunch of students hold a 46 hour dance party at the Bryce Jordan Center. No alcohol, by the way, is allowed within the BJC, and anyone who is visibly drunk is turned away.

The Thon kids have a ball. The dancers learn what it is like to suffer…and to survive.

Football culture? Football players are involved as well in supporting Thon. In fact, all the athletes at Penn State put on a show for the dancers on Saturday night. The athletic teams spend hours developing, practicing, and then competing for the best dance routine, and it’s a highlight of the weekend…you can view it here. It’s a great laugh, especially the men’s hockey team and this year’s winner, the men’s swim team.

In the end, in my opinion, the Penn State student culture is defined by Penn State students striving to make an impact on the world. The students contribute tremendously to the families whose kids are suffering from cancer, and to researching a cure for pediatric cancer. This year, they raised over $12 million. Since the beginning, over $101 million. For the kids.

And you know what? On Monday morning, the Thon mission will start all over again. New leadership for Thon will be named, a transition plan to impart all the lessons from this year’s successes and failures will occur, and committees will be formed to start the effort all over again for next year.

The janitors were wrong. Louis Freeh was wrong. So was Mark Emmert. Football doesn’t run everything at Penn State.

If you want to know what the culture at Penn State is about, especially in terms of student life, look no further than Thon.

Congratulations, Penn State students! For The Kids!!! $12.3 million plus. Every year I look at what Penn State students accomplish, and I’m absolutely amazed. As we all should be.

The world’s largest student-run philanthropy. That’s what defines Penn State culture, much more than football does. And I suspect it always will.

But it’s also what’s incredibly disturbing about the Sandusky crimes. Penn State’s culture is defined by the acronymn “FTK”. For The Kids.

Sandusky violated first of all his victims, but also the entire Penn State University, through his heinous criminal actions. He struck at the core of Penn State’s cultural beliefs which have always been about supporting children through Thon. He also struck at the core of the community’s support of The Second Mile, the charity he founded, which has also been all about supporting children.

That is what is so hard to accept. That this monster in our midst could go after the very kids that the culture of this school and this community could work so hard to support.

As for a football culture? For any Penn Stater, they know better.

Penn State Board of Trustees Caught in Massive Lie


By Douglas Robb, from Facebook Posting

Actually, there is evidence that the unidentified “trustee” referred to in the report in regards to the board’s knowledge BEFORE Sandusky‘s arrest, references a story in the Harrisburg Patriot-News on March 16, 2011, in which news of the PA AG’s Sandusky grand jury investigation and Spanier, Curley, Schultz’s and Paterno’s testimony is revealed. It is on the basis of that article that the unidentified “trustee” asks for more information and is rebuked or stalled by Spanier.
If Freeh‘s report reveals anything, it shows Spaniers massive malfeasance in his failure to address the issue of notification of the board of the very serious legal implications both criminal and civil that Sandusky’s indictment would eventually create for Penn State. Indeed, had Spanier acted promptly and properly in advising the board about Sandusky in the spring of 2011, the BOT would not have been caught so flat-footed by the media firestorm that ensued after Sandusky’s arrest on Nov. 5th, 2011.
Be that as it may, it is clear the BOT has been caught in a massive lie about what they knew and when they knew it as regards their previous knowledge of Sandusky. I find it inconceivable that this unnamed “trustee” just went away satisfied by Spanier’s dubious explanation thinking that he had credible information. I believe that unidentified “trustee” may have been a key member of the BOT and it’s executive committee. If anyone on the executive committee had knowledge of Sandusky’s investigation prior to Nov. 5th, 2011, then the BOT are guilty of fraud and complete dereliction of their governing duties.
I believe the BOT intent, from the very beginning, was a fait accompli to not only remove Joe Paterno, but to so damage his reputation that he would ultimately be cast as the fall guy or scapegoat in this entire affair. As soon as the board knew Sandusky was indicted, then they clearly knew Spanier had at least completely deceived them about Sandusky and the crisis nature his indictment would place upon Penn State. But if you watch the YouTube video of the press conference at which Surma outlined the firings of Paterno and Spanier, they clearly made more of Paterno’s firing and their reasons for it, and Joe’s “supposed failure of leadership,” etc.
There is hardly ANY mention of Spanier’s firing aside from the fact that Surma mentions it in passing. The fact that the board retained Spanier as a tenured faculty member is beyond the pale. Knowing full well that Spanier’s failure to notify the board of Sandusky’s pending indictment and the massive criminal and civil liabilities it would create for ALL of Penn State, as well as the attending media fires-storm and public opinion nightmare it created was clearly grounds to terminate Spanier completely for cause. The fact that they treated Spanier with kid-gloves while throwing Paterno to the wolves is proof positive of the BOT complicity and knowledge of the scandal.
The report also tries to cast Paterno as the villain because of his supposed “massive power” as in the explanation of the janitor’s incident and their reluctance to report what they witnessed about Sandusky, or the ridiculous leap-of-faith of the Curley e-mail in which the confused syntax of Curley’s reply after talking to Joe is confused at best. But which the media-and Freeh-cite as “proof positive” Paterno engineered-and insisted-on the so called “humane” strategy in dealing with Sandusky. This explanation is tantamount to grown adults using the excuse that “Joe made me do it” when they knew full well the ramifications and responsibilities of their inability to step forward and report to the proper authorities their knowledge of a crime.
What bothers me most is that Freeh’s report relies on anecdotal evidence taken by Freeh’s “investigators” during their so-called “interviews.” This is an absurd investigative practice on the face of it, and is completely missed by the media in their typical “rush-to-judgment” at wanting to “catch” Joe Paterno. Unlike a court of law, these “interviews” were taken not as legal depositions with potential perjury or other criminal implications for giving false, misleading, or inaccurate testimony. They were basically conversations with the so-called 450 “witnesses” in Freeh’s Report. A highly dubious method of fact finding at best. You can, and might, say anything if you knew that you weren’t under oath in a court of law.
Any one who has spent even 5 minutes looking over the legacy of Freeh’s controversial and questionable investigations while he was the director at the FBI can see that Freeh’s investigative history is hardly impeccable. Quite the contrary. And since the leak of the e-mails from his PSU investigation by parties Freeh claims are “completely outside his organization and unknown to him” is a compelling explanation-for him. But it hardly puts to rest the possibility that Freeh’s investigation was somehow compromised.
“The 1998 investigation of Sandusky was conducted in a professional and complete manner, devoid of any undue influence by “Old Main?” Maybe, but so what? Talk about “a leap!” PS Campus Police Investigator Ronald Schreffler personally over-heard Sandusky’s tacit confession to the allegations of child sexual molestation leveled by the mother of one of the victims in her home! When he learned that Centre Co. DA Ray Gricar had failed to indict Sandusky in 1999, his EXACT words were that he was flabbergasted! He absolutely believed, based on the evidence amassed during the investigation, that Gricar had prima facie evidence of Sandusky’s guilt and would indict Sanduksy without fail. And yet, that didn’t happen.
And a few months after Tom Corbett was elected PA AG in 2004, Ray Gricar disappeared! Without a trace! And though his body was never found, and the bizarre circumstances behind Gricar’s disappearance and the attendant evidentiary oddities accompanying that disappearance are well documented, he was subsequently declared legally dead several years ago. If anything, the background and circumstances of the 1998 Sandusky investigation is one of the more murky, troubling and questionable chain of events in the whole Sandusky debacle.
What is most troubling in this whole, sordid and sorry mess is this: After 2001, regardless of who knew what when, Curley, Spanier, Schultz, Paterno, McQueary, and several others in the PSU admin. absolutely KNEW that Sandusky was a problem. How Sandusky was able to maintain access to PSU after that well-documented incident is a very troubling question that I believe ALL parties are obligated to answer. It can be argued that Gricar’s failure to indict Sandusky in 1999 may have convinced all parties that there was no credible evidence against Sandusky. And here, clearly the janitors who witnessed that assault, failed to report their direct knowledge of a felony crime being committed.
Regardless of their perception of Joe’s “power” as a football coach, in the end, grown, responsible adults who know the difference between right and wrong cannot hide behind their “perceived fear” of someone else’s power over them in the eyes of the law. They clearly failed to act-and are responsible for and definitely put other young boys in jeopardy due to their failure to report. I believe if they had done so, Gricar would have had 2 eyewitnesses of Sandusky committing felony child sexual assault-and a slam-dunk prosecution. Ask yourself how that would have changed the paradigm of the consequences which we ALL now face?

What Tom Paine has to Say about Freeh Report


Believed to be”? A $6 million dollar investigation into what was the biggest story in the country for weeks, and an attack on a man’s credibility, grand jury testimony and public statements is based on “believed to be”? Why doesn’t he know. Why didn’t he find out. Why wasn’t he able to say in a report that uses this email to accuse Paterno of lying about what he knew back in 1998 and, by extension, lying to the grand jury, without confirming it? Is it possible since Sandusky was still a coach at Penn State that the reference is to him and that Curley was keeping him abreast of the investigation? Am I saying that is the case? No. Am I saying its possible? Yes. And with no other corroboration by Freeh, just this vague email, that asks “anything new in this department” ask yourself if any jury in the country would convict a man of anything based solely on this.

Notice the rank dishonesty of this. The words “after Curley’s initial updates..” Updates is plural. Where are they? Where is the evidence, not Freeh’s biased and dishonest conclusion, but proof, there were initial updates? How many? Where are they? All he talks about in the report is the one vague May 13 email.

He also states in that one sentence, ” the available record is not clear as to how the conclusion of the Sandusky investigation was conveyed to Paterno”. But where is Freehs proof that it was conveyed at all?

But not constrained by a court or a judge or the rules of evidence, Freeh unethically and like a prosecutor trying to make a case, he says what he wants facts or not.

There is no fact in Freeh’s written reportthat shows that the conclusion of the Sandusky investigation was ever conveyed to Paterno. He just says it. He just wants you to take his word for it. But he has no proof. Which may be why Freeh says, darn, he cant find any evidence of how it was done.

And Dan Vannata at ESPN magazine did report a few days ago that a source, probably in Freeh’s own group who had seen all the emails told him that this email from Curley was “definitely taken out of context” and chosen to put everyone in the worst possible light. Any honest person without an agenda has to ask why did Freeh use the words ” consulted with” when the email said “after talking with”? Why did Freeh say “they” when the email said “I”? Where is the proof that this wasnt  referencing the initial meeting Paterno had with Curley where he relayed what McQueary said he saw and where they agreed to report it to “everyone” and that subsequently Curley, on his own changed his mind?

Nowhere in Curley’s email does he say he consulted with Paterno. That is Freeh’s word and he offers not a shred of proof to back it up even though it in itself convicts Paterno of being implicated in Curley’s decision not to report it without one shred of corroborating evidence to support it.
 In truth, the implication in Curley’s email is the opposite because Curley constantly uses the word “I” and not “we” in his email to Spanier. Freeh on the other hand,using the same email constantly uses the word ” they” as in Paterno and Curley. And again he does it without one shred of evidence to back it up. Only the supposition he wants you to swallow.
The two emails cited can certainly raise questions in the minds of reasonable people. And though all the available facts, to use Freeh’s term, say otherwise about Paterno being involved in any cover up or lying to the grand jury, or knowing what Freeh tries to claim Paterno knew, they would have been worth investigating to find the facts behind the emails and clarify them for the record, instead of using speculation and distortion to make a dishonest case.

They would have been worth investigating. If there had been an ethical and honest investigator doing the job.

 

 

Freeh’s report is a disservice to the people of Pennsylvania


excerpted from Yardbird.com 

The most troubling question of all remains: Are state officials, and not children, protected in Pennsylvania?

Former FBI Director Louis Freeh‘s report on child abuse at Penn State deliberately conceals the inactions and misbehaviors of state and local law enforcement officials — including Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett — in the same long-running scandal.

The report tas such is a disservice to the people of Pennsylvania.

It serves as a not-too-clever political whitewash and diversion for prominent Pennsylvania politicians, including Corbett, implicated in the same misdeeds.

Freeh’s report makes clear its limited scope in its title: “Report of the Special Investigative Counsel Regarding the Actions of The Pennsylvania State University Related to the Child Sexual Abuse Committed by Gerald A. Sandusky.”

No mention is made in the title, nor in the report itself, of the years of inaction in this case involving the Pennsylvania Attorney General‘s Office and the office of the Centre County District Attorney.

“Our most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims,” Freeh said of his deliberately limited report. “The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized.”

What Freeh does not mention is that the most powerful men in Pennsylvania politics also took no steps to help those kids.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett for more than three years — from at least 2008 to 2011 — did little or nothing to protect Sandusky’s young victims.

Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira got the Sandusky case in 2007. Madeira also did nothing to bring charges for a year until he referred the case in 2008 to Corbett.

The ignored case sat in Corbett’s office until 2011, while Corbett ran for governor, and while he took political contributions from (and later enabled) Sandusky’s Second Mile Charity.

We should mention that Centre County DA Ray Gricar as well refused to prosecute Sandusky in 1998. When DA Gricar vanished mysteriously in 2005, AG Tom Corbett strangely also refused to launch a serious investigation into that troubling development.

Corbett moreoever is a high-ranking and trusted member of the Penn State Board of Trustees. It’s inexcusable that he was excluded from Freeh’s supposedly thorough investigation.

By hermetically sealing the perimeters of his investigation at the doors of Penn State, and refusing to ask the hard questions involving Gov. Corbett and other public officials beyond the gates of Old Main, former Director Freeh, himself a longtime political appointee, has raised more questions than he answers.

Why did Tom Corbett do nothing for three years? Why is Coach Paterno held to a different or higher standard than Governor Corbett?

The most troubling question of all remains: Are state officials, and not children, protected in Pennsylvania?

A MESSAGE FROM THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES


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 abusecrimes 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 http://thefreehreportonpsu.com/ 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.

Results of Freeh Investigation July 12, 9 am EDT


Judge Freeh has just announced he will release the findings of his investigation online at 9 a.m. EDT on Thursday, July 12 on www.TheFreehReportonPSU.com.
We look forward to seeing the report on Thursday and reviewing Judge Freeh’s recommendations. The University will provide a response in Scranton on Thursday at a time and location to be announced