Just a reminder of today’s schedule.
At 9:00 AM the Freeh Report will be released to the public. A PDF version of the report in its entirety will be available at www.TheFreehReportonPSU.com. (NOTE: Predictably, the servers are overloaded, so it might take several tries to get through. While you are waiting, ESPN is reporting that the “long-awaited internal investigation into the Jerry Sandusky [child sexual abuse scandal] says senior leaders disregarded the safety and welfare of his victims.” The report is 267 pages long, so don’t plan on reading it during your morning crapper break, unless you’re as old as this Turkey!)
UPDATE: I’ve posted the report here.
Meanwhile, PSU posted this statement:
Statement from University leadership and 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 abuse crimes 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 267-page report has just been released at http://www.TheFreehReportonPSU.com/ and we are currently 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 p.m. 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.
At 10:00 AM there will be a press conference in Philadelphia.
I’ll be tied up for part of the morning, but if you happen to read the report and want to comment, please feel free to add comments to this post. I’ll be back later in the day with my take on the Freeh Report after reading it.
Let us hope that the results of this investigation give us some closure, and that they answer more questions than they leave!
Well, I guess I’m not surprised. The report basically regurgitates most of the information that has been floating around for the past few months. I guess the big news is the 1998 incident, which is still being considered the point at which something could have been done. I was a bit surprised to see comments from Tom Harmon (University Park Police) and a statement from PADPW Child and Youth Services that said they had talked to Sandusky and felt no crime had been committed-perhaps why Gricar decided not to prosecute.
It is apparent that Paterno knew something of this 1998 investigation and whether he felt based on the information he had at hand that no crime was committed or by the time of his testimony last year had forgotten, it sure appears he was aware that something had happened contrary to his earlier statements. H e is not around to defend/explain his actions, but this was to me the most damning piece of information in the report.
I for one am glad this is out. If Paterno, Curley, Schultz and Spanier are implicated so be it. Let the courts decide in the case of the three survivors and if it means the Paterno statue needs to come down and his legacy will be forever tarnished, well again so be it.
I think the issues regarding the lack of Clery Act compliance may have the biggest immediate impact on PS although I would bet this may be more common than not across other colleges and universities.
So the next step is up to the BoT and the administration to get the recommendations implemented as quickly as possible and begin to move on from this. This will never go away, but perhaps at least now things can start to move forward.
The Nittany Turkey says
Joe, your comments echo many of my thoughts, which I have not yet had a chance to completely collect, as I haven’t yet finished reading the detailed findings.
The 1998 revelations were telling, indeed. Paterno advised the administrators to keep him up to date with details as the case progressed. When Gricar’s office declined to prosecute, Joe apparently decided that it was over and should be forgotten. That’s benign neglect at best.
It is interesting that the assistant prosecutor at the time, a woman whose name I don’t recall, declined to be interviewed by Freeh.
As for the statue, I am not bothered one way or the other if it goes or stays. Joe did a lot of good for the university, and the statue is in the context of a football stadium, not atop Old Main. On the other hand, the cover up is at least partially attributable to him, and humane emotion for the victims was notably absent in him — they were never mentioned in any of the correspondence. Thus, I’m probably leaning toward removal of the statue for that reason.
That colleges and universities elsewhere typically are non-compliant with the Clery Act is not valid mitigation. However, I’ll add my own non-mitigation by stating that as a former university whistle blower myself, I know that these cover ups go on at other institutions as well. Most of the time the cover ups succeed. In this case, a legend was involved, children were compromised, and a gritty reporter named Sara Ganim would eventually win the Pulitzer Prize for digging up the dirt. There was no way it was going to stay under the rug.
Every organization will have its bad eggs from time to time, and when they become powerful and entrenched, they can screw the organization monumentally, as in this case.
Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
My thinking is that the BoT should announce tomorrow that Spanier’s services are terminated (he’s still a tenured faculty member), and I’d like to see the resignation of a few trustees who sat back and did nothing even after Spanier stonewalled one of their colleagues on the Sandusky issue.