Joe Paterno's family plans its own investigation | College football
Joe Paterno's family vowed to conduct its own investigation of the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal, rejecting the findings of a special investigator who concluded the late football coach and other top Penn State administrators concealed Sandusky's abuse to shield the university from bad publicity.
Joe Paterno's family Monday vowed to conduct its own investigation of the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal, rejecting the findings of a special investigator who concluded the late football coach and other top Penn State administrators concealed Sandusky's abuse to shield the university from bad publicity.
"Our interest has been and remains the uncovering of the truth," the family said in a statement.
The family characterized the 267-page report by former FBI Director Louis Freeh, who was hired by the university's board of trustees, as "yet another shocking turn of events in this crisis" and said Paterno, who died in January at age 85, did not knowingly protect a pedophile.
"We are dismayed by, and vehemently disagree with, some of the conclusions and assertions and the process by which they were developed," the statement said. "Mr. Freeh presented his opinions and interpretations as if they were absolute facts."
Former defensive coordinator Sandusky awaits sentencing after being convicted last month of 45 counts of sex abuse of 10 victims over a 15-year span beginning in the 1990s. Sandusky, 68, has maintained his innocence.
Freeh, citing emails and handwritten notes, concluded Paterno intervened to stop a plan by three top Penn State officials to report a 2001 allegation against Sandusky to child-welfare authorities. The report also cited two emails that showed Paterno knew about a 1998 allegation against Sandusky.
Freeh said Paterno and the other three officials, including ousted Penn State President Graham Spanier, exhibited "callous and shocking" disregard for child victims.
Spanier's attorneys repeated their criticism of the Freeh report Monday, saying it contained numerous inaccuracies and reached conclusions unsupported by the data.
"Mr. Freeh unfairly offered up Dr. Spanier and others to those insisting upon a finding of culpability at the highest level of the university," attorneys Elizabeth Ainslie and Peter Vaira said in a statement.
The Paterno family's statement noted the coach reported the 2001 allegation from graduate assistant Mike McQueary, who told Paterno he saw Sandusky sexually assaulting a boy in the football-team showers, to his superiors.
"It can certainly be asserted that Joe Paterno could have done more. He acknowledged this himself last fall," the family's statement said. "But to claim that he knowingly, intentionally protected a pedophile is false."
• Three men have told police they were sexually abused in the 1970s or 1980s by Sandusky, sources told The Patriot-News of Harrisburg, Pa.
Sandusky was convicted of abuse that took place in the 1990s or later.
The grand jury that investigated Sandusky is still meeting and could be hearing from more potential victims, The Patriot-News reported.
• The Penn State student group that manages the area outside Beaver Stadium where students camp out for prime football tickets has changed the name of the makeshift campground from "Paternoville" to "Nittanyville."
The also-renamed Nittanyville Coordination Committee said student officers decided the name change would "return the focus to the overall team and the thousands of students who support it."