Louis Freeh’s highly anticipated report regarding Penn State’s role in enabling and protecting Jerry Sandusky was released on Thursday morning. Unsurprisingly, it paints an ugly picture of school officials being involved in corruption, secrecy and deceit.
According to Freeh’s findings, Joe Paterno, Graham Spanier, Gary Schultz and Tim Curley all -- in one way or another -- "concealed critical facts" about Sandusky’s ongoing molestation of young boys as well as "failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade."
The 267-page document is a byproduct of eight months of research and investigation, featuring over 400 interviews with former or current school employees. Freeh was hired by Penn State’s board of trustees to get to the bottom of a scandal that has haunted their school since last year.
"In order to avoid the consequences of bad publicity, the most powerful leaders at the university -- Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley -- repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky's child abuse," the report stated.
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Back in 1999, when rumors of Sandusky’s affinity for young boys first began making the rounds, Penn State officials apparently permitted him to leave his post as the football program’s assistant coach "not as a suspected child predator, but as a valued member of the Penn State football legacy, with future `visibility' at Penn State'," all so as to maintain the program’s pristine image.
Understandably, this latest development is causing many to reconsider their previous opinions of Paterno. The former head coach -- who died at age 85 earlier this year -- was a revered figure in the community for decades. However, many are now (rightfully) wondering what his ultimate legacy will be in light of these revelations.
Bob Williams, an NCAA V.P., released this statement regarding Freeh’s report a little while ago:
"Like everyone else, we are reviewing the final report for the first time today. As President Emmert wrote in his November 17th letter to Penn State President Rodney Erickson and reiterated this week, the university has four key questions, concerning compliance with institutional control and ethics policies, to which it now needs to respond. Penn State's response to the letter will inform our next steps, including whether or not to take further action. We expect Penn State's continued cooperation in our examination of these issues."
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