STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — NBC plans to air excerpts of jailhouse interviews with
former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky next week that were given to a
documentary filmmaker working on a defense of Joe Paterno. (actually working on finding the truth–no matter where it leads).
The network said in the segment, to be broadcast Monday on the “Today” show, the convicted sex offender will give his account of the encounters that landed him in prison and discuss his former boss, who was accused in a university-funded
investigation of covering up allegations against Sandusky in a bid to preserve
the football program’s reputation. (actually, it was a “report” devoid of facts that was commissioned by a special task force to protect members of the special task force–not the University. The University footed the bill.)
John Ziegler said Friday he interviewed Sandusky over the phone several times and in person at Greene State Prison, and that they exchanged letters. Ziegler confirmed to the AP he would share taped excerpts on the program but declined to disclose what they revealed.
editor note: John Ziegler is not trying to defend Jerry Sandusky, he is trying to shed more light on truths of what happened and who might have known. His website is full of facts and information, and it is hoped that tomorrow will shed more light on more truth. (not defend Sandusky)!!
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.
Written and Researched by Eileen Morgan, PSU ’90
A. AG had to use the 1998 investigation to fit their narrative that the Penn State (PSU) officials had covered up for Jerry Sandusky’s child molestation for over a decade and this narrative allowed the AG to cover up the failures of PA state agencies in the 1998 investigation.
Here’s my theory.
Joe Paterno, iconic head football coach of Penn State, known worldwide for his no-nonsense approach to life and football, beloved by players, students, and fans alike, enabled his assistant coach to have freedom to molest innocent children in the PSU football facilities in order to protect his precious Penn State football program.
This sensationalized story focused on Joe Paterno and his alleged failure. It doesn’t focus on the true criminal. This was what the media took and ran with. Sure, they mentioned Sandusky’s name, but that was not their focus. This is exactly what the AG/Freeh wanted. And here we are today.
The real story should have read: Second Mile founder, Jerry Sandusky, manipulated and deceived thousands of parents, players, coaches, fans, police detectives, child welfare employees, and even his wife for at least 14 years while he systematically used his Second Mile Foundation to prey on innocent boys and sexually molest them.
The true story would have been shocking and heartbreaking enough. But the true story has a problem for the AG.
The investigation into Aaron Fisher’s (Victim 1) allegations began in 2008. At some point in late ’09 to early ’10, the investigator (and the AG, who was Tom Corbett at the time) became aware of the 2001 incident involving Mike McQueary walking in on Sandusky and a boy showering in a PSU football locker room. The investigator/AG also became aware of the 1998 investigation that involved the university Park Police Dept, the State College Borough Police, the Dept. of Public Welfare (DPW), Centre County Child and Youth Services (CYS), and the District Attorney (DA).
Upon reviewing the police file of the 1998 investigation, the AG/investigator became aware that the PA state agencies, namely, DPW and CYS, had botched the 1998 case against Sandusky. These agencies had concrete evidence, including a report from licensed psychologist Dr. Chambers, who determined Sandusky exhibited ‘grooming behaviors’ and was a ‘likely pedophile.’ However, rather than use Chambers’ report, the DPW enlisted CYS to obtain a report from John Seasock, an unlicensed counselor. Seasock determined Sandusky did not exhibit the behavior of a pedophile but that of a ‘football coach.’ And with that report, the investigation was successfully derailed. Was it incompetence on the part of the DPW and CYS or a cover up to protect Sandusky and The Second Mile? (For details, please see my Critical Analysis of The Freeh Report and Ray Blehar’s Detailed Analysis of 1998, coming soon.)
The problem is this: The 1998 investigation undoubtedly shows that the DPW and CYS were clearly negligent in their investigation and had enough evidence to charge Sandusky or at least further investigate by talking to more children from the Second Mile which likely would have led to charging Sandusky and taking him off the streets.
What is AG Corbett to do? It is now 2010 and he is trying to put a case together to charge Sandusky with child sexual abuse but does he want to implicate his own state agencies and expose their careless and reckless work that would have put Sandusky away over a decade ago? Does he want to jeopardize his state and make them liable for their failures?
Enter Penn State officials. The 2001 case was a perfect cover for the botched 1998 investigation. If AG Corbett could manipulate the facts of the 2001 incident and entangle them with the 1998 investigation, he would be able to kill two birds with one stone. He would be able to camouflage the mistakes of 1998 while at the same time direct the blame for Sandusky’s crimes onto Joe Paterno, Tim Curley, Gary Schultz, and Graham Spanier. In addition, Sandusky was still coaching in 1998. In 2001, he had retired. Therefore, tying the 1998 investigation to Penn State would provide a stronger case that PSU officials were involved in a cover up since Sandusky was a coach at that time.
That is why the 1998 investigation was the crucial starting point of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. If the AG only went back to 2001 to pin Sandusky’s crimes on the PSU officials, Corbett/Linda Kelly (new Attorney General 2011) would encounter several problems.
First, the AG’s office would have had to disclose the 1998 investigation. (They couldn’t pretend it didn’t exist because then they would look incompetent. It would have eventually been discovered.) If they disclosed the 1998 investigation and left it at that, anyone briefly reviewing it would have seen their incompetency or cover-up and the AG would have had to admit the PA state agencies failed and thus, would have been castigated by the media and citizens around the state and across the nation for allowing Sandusky to be free to molest children for an additional 14 years.
Second, to use
only the 2001 incident to shift the blame for Sandusky’s crimes onto the PSU officials, would not have been convincing. (Keep in mind, the heat would have been on DPW and CYS anyway.) Reviewing the 2001 incident testimonies, it is clear that Mike McQueary did not see a crime. He did not see Sandusky molesting a child in the shower in 2001. He was shocked to see Sandusky with a boy alone in the shower at 9 o’clock at night. It didn’t seem right. (It wasn’t.) It made him uncomfortable. (It should have.) But it was not criminal.
How do we know?
In 2010, McQueary testified what he witnessed was extremely sexual and over the line. That is a description of a crime, therefore why did McQueary hesitate to call the police? And if he did see that type of act, shouldn’t he have stepped in, stopped the abuse, and protected the child. Mike McQueary is 6’4″ and over 200 pounds. He would have no problem “handling” the 56 year old Sandusky. So, what stopped him?
It was the fact that he didn’t see anything that required his intervention.
That is the only reasonable explanation for his hesitancy to call the police. I’m sure he considered calling the police, but what would he have told them? There was no crime, so would he be falsely accusing someone of child molesting? Falsely accusing a beloved coach? He’s in a jam. So he tells his father and Dr. Dranov, who tell him to tell Paterno, who tells Curley and Schultz, who tells Spanier. They collectively tell Sandusky’s employer, CEO of The Second Mile, Jack Raykovitz, who is responsible for the child. That doesn’t appear to be a cover-up. None of the men that McQueary told tried to conceal any part of his story. They relayed it on to the person(s) they felt would best be able to handle the non-criminal activity that McQueary witnessed.
Third, taking the 2001 incident alone to direct blame for Sandusky’s crimes onto PSU officials, (already weak, as proven above,) would not have established a pattern. One very vague incident, that seemed to have been handled properly at the time, given the facts, could possibly have been forgiven by the citizens of the world. In addition, Sandusky was no longer a PSU employee in 2001, so this would have made it a Second Mile problem. The focus would have been on Sandusky’s foundation, not PSU.
No, without pinning 1998 on PSU officials, the state of Pennsylvania was in for a beating. So, to establish a pattern of covering up Sandusky’s crimes was a necessity. The AG establishing a pattern by PSU officials, starting back in 1998, would undoubtedly start a media firestorm and turn the attention to Joe Paterno and the other school officials while diverting attention away from the botched 1998 investigation. By 2010, the AG’s office needed a plan to cover up for the failed 1998 investigation and shift the blame onto PSU officials.
Enter the Grand Jury Presentment. Mike McQueary’s account appeared to have been embellished (to assure conviction of Sandusky) and perhaps to manipulate the 2001 incident as handled by Paterno, Curley, Schultz and Spanier. The presentment claimed that McQueary saw Sandusky anal raping a child and that he told Paterno, Curley and Schultz what he saw. But they did not go to the police. The media firestorm ensued. The blame for another man’s crimes rested squarely on Paterno, Curley, Schultz and Spanier. But how could the AG get around the 1998 investigation that was clearly improperly handled by the state and allowed Sandusky to be free for another 14 years? How could they pin 1998 on PSU?
Enter Louis Freeh. In November, 2011, Freeh was hired by the Penn State Board of Trustees ‘to conduct a full, fair and completely independent investigation….’ Well, by this time Corbett, who was the Attorney General when the investigation into Sandusky began, is now PA Governor and sits on the PSU Board of Trustees. At his press conference
1 in reaction to the Freeh Report, the Governor stated he identified Freeh and encouraged the BOT to hire Freeh to do this ‘independent’ investigation. It is not hard to believe that Corbett/Kelly could have made Freeh aware of their desires and that Corbett/Kelly’s narrative should be reflected in the final version of the Freeh Report. After all, the Board is paying him $6.5 million. He should give them what they ask for.
Enter The Freeh Report. If you read it, you know Freeh’s scathing conclusions were baseless. But those conclusions did the job. The media firestorm ensued (again). All the attention was yet again on the perceived ‘failings’ of Paterno, Curley, Schultz and Spanier, and not on the actual failings of DPW and CYS. Thus, the PSU officials are accused of knowing Sandusky was a pedophile since 1998 (which has never been proven) and did nothing to stop him. This ‘failure’, along with the ‘unreported’ 2001 incident, establishes a pattern of covering up for Sandusky.
That is why the AG/Freeh had to begin with the 1998 investigation: to cover up the state’s egregious errors.
Here’s another way to look at it. Imagine this: there was never a 2001 incident. Do you think the AG and Freeh would have had any grounds to accuse Paterno, Curley, Schultz and Spanier of a cover up in 1998? Absolutely not. And the truth about the 1998 investigation would have emerged and those the DPW and CYS would have come under fire. (Which is what should be happening now.)
Now imagine this: the 1998 investigation never happened. Do you think the AG and Freeh could have successfully pulled off accusing Paterno, Curley, Schultz and Spanier of covering up Sandusky’s abuse in 2001? As mentioned before, this incident, taken alone, does not show any intent to cover up McQueary’s account. Sure, in hindsight, it seems obvious what should have been done, but that’s not reality. This account, standing on its own, provides no proof of a cover up and shows no pattern. Sandusky was no longer with Penn State so the Second Mile would have been the focus. The reason the media and general public bought into the false narrative from the start was because the AG and Freeh were able to tie in the 1998 account and pin that on PSU, which gave much more credence that the PSU officials must have covered up 2001 too.
*As a side note, there are several analyses of the Freeh Report (as listed above and others), that patently refute Freeh’s conclusions. As time goes on, more evidence surfaces. I would like to add another tidbit of information that clearly demonstrates Freeh’s disingenuous tactics.
If you recall, Graham Spanier denies knowing or remembering any investigation regarding Sandusky showering with a boy in 1998. The evidence that Freeh uses to ‘prove’ that Spanier knew of 1998 were two vague emails that Spanier was cc’d on. The first was Exhibit 2A of the Freeh Report, which states: “Will do. Since we talked tonight I’ve learned that the Public Welfare people will interview the individual Thursday.” There was no mention of an investigation or that a university employee was in trouble. In fact it doesn’t even mention a name. The second email sent June 9, 1998, again only copied (cc’d) to Spanier, is shown in Exhibit 2E of the Freeh report. This email mentions Jerry’s name and that the investigation was over. Even so, Spanier claims he had no knowledge of these emails. What’s interesting to know is that Spanier was on an international trip to the UK from June 8, 1998 to June 19, 1998. This was before the days of blackberrys and internet cafes. Spanier had no access to email while away. When he returned he would have had over one thousand emails waiting for him in his inbox. It is very likely that an email with no urgency and one that he was only copied on would have not caught his attention or made a lasting impression. HOWEVER, what’s even more interesting, and this has been confirmed, is that Spanier had a calendar book and was meticulous about keeping dates and times of meetings, lunches, business trips, etc. The AG and Freeh had copies of Spanier’s calendar and knew that Spanier was away when that email was sent to him. They knew it was likely he would not have seen it or remembered it among the hundreds of emails awaiting his return. That’s one little piece of evidence Freeh failed to disclose. What other pieces of evidence have they failed to disclose because it doesn’t fit their narrative that the PSU officials are guilty of a cover up?
By John Zieger, www.FramingPaterno.com
Franco asked Emmert how he could find Joe Paterno “guilty” for covering up the 1998 and 2001 instances when Jerry Sandusky himself had been found “not guilty” for the same episodes (in 1998 an investigation brought no charges and Sandusky was acquitted at trial for the Mike McQueary ”rape” allegation). Emmert’s ensuing response, or, more accurately, non-response, spoke volumes about the credibility of the NCAA sanctions.
Emmert made some extraordinary statements.
He greatly diminished his own role in the sanctions (which he physically signed). He seemed to indicate that thought that the Freeh Report had somehow “read” 3.5 million documents and that Freeh had far more “authority” than he really did (Freeh didn’t even speak to any of the five people closest to the case). He even seemed to be under the delusion that Franco Harris, who famously played for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970s, may have been on the 1998 Penn State team which was the first to, illogically, have its wins stripped.
If “no one” at Penn State was found “guilty,” then why was the school punished so severely? If Paterno was not specifically referenced, or didn’t have his record taken away, why does page 5 in the “punitive” section of the NCAA consent decree, clearly state, “the career record of Coach Joe Paterno will reflect the vacated records”? The president of NCAA, who literally signed off on the worst sanctions in college football history against Penn State, didn’t even have a firm grasp on the basic facts of the case. Of all the many indignities that Joe Paterno has suffered in the year since his last birthday on earth, in some ways nothing has been worse than being convicted by people who didn’t even give him basic due process or the simple respect to have all the facts (or, in Emmert’s case, even have the courage to admit he had indeed been found “guilty”)?
By Anne Danahy — email@example.com
In a motion filed Monday, Penn State argues that the university “would be severely prejudiced” if the suit were allowed to move forward while the criminal proceedings against former athletic director Tim Curley and retired senior vice president Gary Schultz are still going on. Penn State’s motion notes that the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas has put several civil suits against Penn State on hold for that reason.
Curley and Schultz are facing charges of perjury for testimony they gave to the grand jury investigating Jerry Sandusky and failure to report child abuse. They are scheduled to stand trial in January in Dauphin County Court
• Failure to disclose the fact that FSS’ client was the Board of Trustees, not the university, and, as such, FSS had a duty to act in the best interests of the board of trustees relative to the investigation and preparation of the Report;
• Failure to disclose that FSS sub-contracted a substantial portion of the investigation to the law firm of Pepper Hamilton, LLP, and to disclose the relationship between Pepper Hamilton and individual members of the board of trustees and their employers, including but not limited to Merck & Co., employer of Penn State Trustee Kenneth Frazier, Chairman of the Special Investigations Task Force;
• Failure to report the relationship between FSS and Pepper Hamilton, including August 2012 announcement that FSS had been acquired by Pepper Hamilton;
• Failure to consider inherent conflict of interest involving members of the board of trustees and Special Investigations Task Force in light of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare’s investigation of the 1998 Incident;
• Failure to report on written threat by the brother of an influential member of university board of trustees to publicly disgrace Joe Paterno as evidence of bias;
• Failure to follow basic investigative and reporting procedures for an internal investigation;
• Failure to interview nearly every critical witness to the 1998 and 2001 incidents before rendering the report;
• Failure to properly address the facts and circumstances associated with the investigation of the 1998 incident by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, the Centre County Children and Youth Services, the State College Borough Police Department, and the Centre County District Attorney;
• Misstatement of facts and complete lack of evidence in support of conclusion that Dr. Graham Spanier and Messrs. Tim Curley, Paterno, and Gary Schultz concealed 1998 and 2001 Incidents;
• Failure to acknowledge that the university’s investigation of the 1998 incident with multiple child welfare and law enforcement authorities, while Sandusky was still employed by the university, weighed heavily against a conclusion that these individuals intentionally concealed the 2001 incident from authorities, when Sandusky was not employed by the University;
• Improper reliance of unauthenticated, incomplete, and out of context emails from 1998 and 2001;
• Misstatements of facts and unsupported conclusions regarding the knowledge of Paterno relative to the 1998 Incident;
• Failure to acknowledge that, within days of the 2001 incident, at least 13 individuals, many of whom were outside the university, had knowledge, in whole or in part, of the incident that Mike McQueary reported;
• Failure to acknowledge that there was not a single witness interviewed who stated that there was an intent to conceal the 2001 incident by anyone at the university;
• Failure to acknowledge that there was not a single document that indicated an intent to conceal the 2001 Incident by anyone at the University
• Failure to acknowledge that the decision by Curley to report the 2001 incident to The Second Mile was wholly inconsistent with the idea of an intentional concealment, as alleged in the report;
• Failure to consider the role of The Second Mile and failure of The Second Mile to act upon report of 2001 incident;
• Failure to address information, including testimony of Dr. Jonathan Dranov, which casts serious doubt on the credibility of Mike McQueary in connection with the 2001 incident;
• Failure to consider that McQueary’s statements to his father and Dranov, immediately after the incident, were likely to have greater reliability than statements made over 10 years later;
• Failure to acknowledge the fact that all email records of the university prior to 2004 were unavailable as the result of a computer system change;
• Failure to consult a psychologist or other medical professional for assistance in seeking to interpret the acts of various individuals in response to allegations of improper actions by Sandusky;
• Failure to acknowledge that FSS made personal findings and credibility determinations of witnesses who FSS did not even interview; and
• Failure to identify who waived the attorney-client privilege and authorized Freeh to conduct a nationwide press conference announcing the ‘findings’ of the Report before presenting those findings to the university.
“Paterno,” Joe Posnanski‘s biography of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, will be released on Tuesday.
The book, which was started well before charges were filed against Jerry Sandusky in November, talks at length about a relationship between the two men that was contentious from the very beginning.
Posnanski calls Paterno and Sandusky “polar opposites.” As Sandusky’s Penn State career neared its end, members of Paterno’s family described what they called the coach’s “Why I Hate Jerry Sandusky Memo.”
Sandusky’s retirement after the 1999 season was also discussed in great length, and the book draws the same conclusion as former FBI director Louis Freeh‘s investigation: It appeared to have nothing to do with a 1998 incident involving Sandusky and a young boy in a Penn State shower.
Regarding a 2002 incident in which then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary witnessed Sandusky in a Penn State shower with a boy, Paterno told Posnanski a similar story to what he told a grand jury.
“Did you consider calling the police?” Posnanski asked.
“To be honest with you, I didn’t,” Paterno responded. “This isn’t my field. I didn’t know what to do. I had not seen anything. Jerry didn’t work for me anymore. I didn’t have anything to do with him. I tried to look through the Penn State guidelines to see what I was supposed to do. It said that I was supposed to call Tim [Curley]. So I did.”
Among some of the other excerpts of note:
On people saying he protected Sandusky over children
“How could they think that?” he asked, and no one had the heart to answer. “They really think that if I knew someone was hurting kids, I wouldn’t stop it?”
They looked at him.
“Don’t they know me? Don’t they know what my life has been about?”
On Jerry Sandusky
In 1993, Paterno wrote what the family would sometimes call the “Why I Hate Jerry Sandusky Memo.” In it Paterno complained that Sandusky had stopped recruiting, seemed constantly distracted, had lost his energy for coaching, and was more interested in his charity, The Second Mile. “He would gripe about Jerry all the time,” one family member said.
On son Jay Paterno
Did he hope that someday Jay would replace him as coach? It’s hard to imagine a father not thinking along those lines, but Joe insisted that wasn’t in his mind. “Are you kidding me?” he scoffed. “You think I would want Jay to have to deal with that?”… “Jay’s a good coach, a darned good coach. And I think a lot of people refuse to see that because his name is Paterno.”
On the Paterno statue
Paterno disliked the statue. Not because of the craftsmanship or the dimensions or anything like that. The statue and the stone wall behind it and the words carved into the stone, it all felt like a celebration of self, a mausoleum. But even these were not the reasons for Paterno’s distaste. The reason was a single finger, the index finger, the statue of Joe Paterno raised to the heavens. We’re No. 1.
On The Second Mile
Paterno would say again and again that he did not see anything perverse in Sandusky’s dealings with children. His problem with The Second Mile was much simpler: the kids annoyed the hell out of him. … He did not want kids around when there was work to do.
On a 1998 investigation
There is reason to believe that, whatever Paterno was told, it did not make much of an impact on him. The coaches’ meeting that leads this section was held on May 26, 1998 — precisely at the time Sandusky was being investigated – and his detailed and pointed notes make no mention of the investigation. Also, by the late 1990s, he had explored numerous options for removing Sandusky from his coaching staff. … If Paterno did know the details of the 1998 investigation, he might have used it as a way to get rid of Sandusky. He did not.
On Sandusky’s retirement in 1999
[Paterno] told Sandusky he would not be the next head coach at Penn State. Sandusky mentioned the early retirement package, and Paterno suggested it might be a good time for him to take it. Both men later said that the 1998 incident was never discussed.
On Sandusky’s retirement package, which included access to Penn State facilities
When I told Paterno that people would find it hard to believe the could not have influenced Sandusky’s retirement package, he said, “People like to give me too much power. That’s Tim’s department. I told Tim how I felt. He worked out the deal as he saw fit.”
On conclusions of the Freeh report
The general media takeaway from this email chain [discussing how Penn State officials should handle McQueary's testimony] was that Paterno had convinced Curley to back off reporting Sandusky and to handle this in-house. Others familiar with the emails believed instead that Paterno had demanded they confront Sandusky.
Click on Nittany Lion to Read What She Had To Say!!!
Get a load of her article on cnn opinion, and then let her know what you think–and she is a PSU graduate. I realize that everyone from Penn State doesn’t agree that their sanctions are too harsh, but really, this was beyond the pale!
Arguing that the NCAA overstepped its bounds and has no right to butt into this criminal case is ridiculous. That is the same type of legal-loophole thinking that Joe Paterno, Mike McQueary and other top officials who knew about Sandusky‘s behavior used when they “followed the letter of the law” and reported to their superiors that Sandusky may have done “something” to a boy in the shower that awful night in 1998. They reported this suspected rape to their bosses and then went home.