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Paterno family: Joe ‘did not cover up for Jerry Sandusky’

Joe Paterno, Thomas Derrick AP

Anticipating regarding the Freeh report on Penn State’s “actions” related to child sexual abuse at the hands of Jerry Sandusky hit a new level yesterday when it was announced that the investigation would be released in its entirety on Thursday.

The report, according to Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports, will put all PSU admins involved under a more direct and blinding light, not just former coach Joe Paterno.

No one and nothing escapes responsibility” a source told Wetzel.

Just as the investigation, led by former FBI chief Louis Freeh, is set to be released, the Paterno family has once again issued a statement — and a rather lengthy one at that — regarding the report. Here is that statement in its entirety below:

”Over the last nine months Joe Paterno has been praised by some in near saintly terms and criticized by others as a villain. He was neither.

“As the people who worked closely with Joe know, he was tough, aggressive, opinionated and demanding. He was also highly principled, uncompromisingly ethical, dedicated to his job at Penn State and committed to excellence.

“When the Sandusky case exploded last fall, Joe’s first instincts were to tell everything he knew. He assumed the University would want to hear from him, but he was never given the chance to present his case.

“He planned to hold a press conference, but University officials ordered him to cancel it. And then the various investigations started and the legal process took over. On top of everything else, Joe was diagnosed with lung cancer. Two months later he was gone. The end result is his story has never fully been told.

“As this situation unfolded, Joe cautioned everyone not to jump to conclusions. He believed that a rush to judgment and a disregard for due process would ultimately result in conclusions that would not stand the test of time. To be clear, he did not fear the truth, he sought it. As much as anyone he wanted to know exactly what Jerry Sandusky had done and he wanted to understand how it happened.

“The hiring of the Freeh Group is the single most important action the Board of Trustees has taken. Joe supported this decision with the hope that it would result in a thorough, balanced and thoughtful assessment of the Sandusky tragedy. Unfortunately, recent events have raised questions about the fairness and confidentiality of the investigative process.

“Over the last several weeks there has been a virtual torrent of leaks about the Freeh Group’s work. To be clear, we do not know the source, or sources, of the leaks. What cannot be disputed, however, is that select emails intended to smear Joe Paterno and other former Penn State officials have been released. Testimony from witnesses highly critical of Joe has been revealed. And purported conclusions condemning the culture of the football program have been widely disseminated. The Board promised a fair, transparent and impartial process. These developments are a threat to their stated objectives.

“When these leaks first started we appealed to the Freeh Group, the Board and the Attorney General to condemn the leaks and caution the public that it would be wrong to reach any conclusions from selectively released materials. We then asked that all emails and other documents be released so a full picture of their research could be understood.

“As purported conclusions started leaking out, we followed up with the Freeh Group to ask for the right to respond. Since Joe Paterno never had an opportunity to present his case, we believe we should have a reasonable time to review their findings and offer information that could help complete the picture. We were told we could offer responses to the publicly reported allegations, but the Freeh Group declined to confirm that these allegations are in the final report. It is our firm belief that the report would be stronger and more credible if we were simply given a chance to review the findings concerning Joe Paterno in order to present the case he was never allowed to make.

“Since the outcome of this process appears set in stone, we have no choice but to wait for the report and respond as best we can. Given that the report is estimated to be between 100-150 pages it will understandably take us some time to study it and prepare a comprehensive response.

In advance of the release of the report, there are a few facts we want on the record:

We would still welcome a chance to meet with the Freeh Group to review the findings and offer a response. We do not seek or expect the right to edit the report; but we believe our voice should be reflected in its conclusions.

To this point, Joe Paterno is the only person who publicly acknowledged that with the benefit of hindsight he wished he had done more. This was an honest and courageous admission that a true leader must assume a measure of responsibility when something goes wrong on his watch.

The sad and frightening fact is Jerry Sandusky was a master deceiver. He fooled players, coaches, law enforcement officials, child service professionals, Penn State Board members, University leaders, neighbors, donors, staff and supporters of Second Mile and his family.

With respect to the email from Tim Curley which stated, “After giving it more thought, and talking it over with Joe yesterday – I am uncomfortable with what we agreed were the next steps,” the media spin that this is proof of some sort of cover up is completely false. When the facts come out, it will be clear that Joe Paterno never gave Tim Curley any instructions to protect Sandusky or limit any investigation of his actions.

Joe Paterno did not cover up for Jerry Sandusky. Joe Paterno did not know that Jerry Sandusky was a pedophile. Joe Paterno did not act in any way to prevent a proper investigation of Jerry Sandusky. To claim otherwise is a distortion of the truth.

“If he were with us today, we are certain Joe Paterno would say that he wished he had done any number of things differently. We also believe he would make it clear that he was not an investigator, law enforcement officer, child services professional or a member of the Board of Trustees. Joe would accept his responsibility, but he would expect others to step forward as well.”

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47 Responses to “Paterno family: Joe ‘did not cover up for Jerry Sandusky’”
  1. dhlions says: Jul 11, 2012 10:17 AM

    100% chance of a shit storm below this post.

  2. rayburns says: Jul 11, 2012 10:21 AM

    Rule of Thumb: When you’re already in a hole, stop digging!

  3. tuckfexas says: Jul 11, 2012 10:23 AM

    These people need to just STFU

  4. righton989 says: Jul 11, 2012 10:29 AM

    JVP knew that Jerry Showers was abusing boys on PSU campaus for more than a decade and kept silent. Nothing was going to jeopardize his football win total or his higly profitable business relationship with Second Mile. The disgrace is on his family who continue to spin it otherwise. RIH JVP

  5. sabatimus says: Jul 11, 2012 10:39 AM

    In other news, the Pope also said the world was flat.

  6. cometkazie says: Jul 11, 2012 10:44 AM

    I don’t think it’s rush to judgement to say that JoePa had involvement in the coverup. It’s just a matter of how much.

    The way he ran the school is another issue.

  7. stoutfiles says: Jul 11, 2012 10:58 AM

    Their opinion isn’t biased at all, no siree!

  8. geo1113 says: Jul 11, 2012 11:01 AM

    The family uses this admission that Joe said he should have done more as an excuse. Of course, Joe and a few others should have done more. What the family fails to realize is that is exactly why there is an investigation.

  9. stoutfiles says: Jul 11, 2012 11:03 AM

    “Joe Paterno did not act in any way to prevent a proper investigation of Jerry Sandusky”

    Unless the emails that came out were edited in some way, Sandusky was going to be reported to the police, then they talked to Joe, and then he wasn’t reported based on Joe’s wishes. He may not have known everything but he’s the one that made the decision.

  10. mhalt99 says: Jul 11, 2012 11:03 AM

    We Just Want Our Life Back 😦

    sounds like the family is taking one from the ole BP playbook

  11. effjohntaylornorelation says: Jul 11, 2012 11:11 AM

    Umm, okay?

    Paterno family is in denial.

  12. rsmeans says: Jul 11, 2012 11:20 AM

    The more the Paterno family talks the more guilty it appears Joe Paterno was. Both he and his family are a disgrace to college football.

  13. phillyphever says: Jul 11, 2012 11:32 AM

    Just shut up already Paternos. Joe knew about this all along and with so many others should done and reported this to the police. Face it, the Paterno name is forever scared in PSU for Joe’s failures to do something more to protect young boys lives from being scared for life by a monster.

  14. jonanthans says: Jul 11, 2012 11:36 AM

    When you are guilty and you know it, theres 3 things you can do:

    1- Admit the obvious evidence is true, accept the consequences and begin to try to get some kind of closure;

    2 – Plead the 5th Amendment and let people believe what they want;


    3 – Constantly open your mouth to try to convince people that the concrete proof they are looking at is not real, not realizing that in doing so you only add to the number of people who realize you truly are guilty.

    Someone may want to tell the Paternos that Options #1 and #2 are available for them to consider using..

  15. tlmoon2112 says: Jul 11, 2012 11:41 AM

    I’m not a PSU fan but Im a college football fan…I am a lover of the game. To see this institution of college football shredded just kills me. I just wish JoePa was here to defend himself and tell everyone the truth, good or bad/right or wrong and let the chips fall where they may.

  16. jonanthans says: Jul 11, 2012 11:48 AM

    Think about it for a minute:

    Why would JoePa cover up this horrendous crime commited by another person, instead choosing to keep everything quiet and no investigations performed? Why allow it to go on, and other innocent kids get molested, and not say anything? How could he look at his own grandchildren and not think about what he would do if someone did those horriffic things to them?

    Perhaps the reasons are because JoePa maybe had a secret to hide as well. He tolerated Sanduskys actions because he UNDERSTOOD what he was going through. He has never come out and bashed Sandusky, only feigned ignorance and tried to defend him. Could be that Sandusky has info on some of JoePa’s little quirks as well. Being an educated man, there is nothing that explains how JoePa could deny what was going on, unless he had something to lose were he to publicly turn on Jerry Sandusky. Play the “old senile man” card, and try to distance yourself while not incurring the wrath of Sandusky spilling the beans..

    Sandusky has something on JoePa, and the Paterno family knows it….

  17. psublueandwhite says: Jul 11, 2012 11:50 AM

    Why should the Paterno’s shut up? No one else has and they know less than squat about what ACTUALLY happened.

    I commend them for defending his legacy and not simply letting it go. The media circus surrounding this situation is disgusting and the people jumping to conclusions are frankly a bunch of idiots – yes, most of you.

    Of course now you’ll say I condone child rape, etc, etc. BS! It has NOTHING to do with the crimes which are atrocities against these kids and families. To pin this all on one man without knowing much of anything of what actually took place, it almost as terrible as the crimes committed.

    It’s laughable that you all are so high and mighty sitting at your computers, typing away that you, YOU would have done things differently? Who the hell are YOU? No one can be placed in that position and know what they would do.

    So many people are saying without a doubt he knew what was going on. Really? Did he? How do you know? You’re drawing unfair conclusions based on incomplete and spotty evidence.

    Let this report come out before making any judgements. Up until now there has no COMPLETE information about anything other than Sandusky’s crimes themselves.

  18. lovinthatsomanyhateonnd says: Jul 11, 2012 11:52 AM

    …and let the joe bashing begin..even though there is no evidence he covered a thing up. He was a college football coach, not a school administrator, not a police officer, not an AG. Those had the opportunity to share the info years before, yet didnt. Partly why i find the Governors responses reprehensible is because he was complicit in the further abuses by ignoring the fact that sandusky had admitted in a call to a victims mother what he had it coincidence the following year joe told him he would never be his replacement? Maybe, but probably not. Joe probably realized he cant go smearing someones name without concrete proof, otherwise he can get sued (something most of you forget). He did the next best thing, got rid of him. It was the Board, NOT JOE, who gave Sandusky further access to the school. It was the Board, NOT JOE, who had sandusky in their suite at a football game just a week before the charges came out. The governor, also a former AG who knew about the allegations for years, did nothing..the Board, did nothing. To put this all on joe pa is absolutely ignorant, stupid, and rash. Im not absolving him of responsibility, but he was hardly the only one to blame and further, hardly the person to carry the most responsibility for inaction.

  19. maxxrobb says: Jul 11, 2012 12:04 PM

    If only Sandusky would have had deviant need to rape withered old senile men in the showers, maybe Paterno would have reacted differently. He left this earth a tainted old coward…

  20. jonanthans says: Jul 11, 2012 12:07 PM

    Joe Paterno WAS Penn State. He wielded more power than ANY COACH IN THE NATION over their own program.

    Do you actually think had he held a meeting and exposed this crap that the Board would have fired him? Seriously, think about that for a second. Papa Joe, coming to the rescue and exposing a sick, twisted man that was sexually molesting children at the Penn State Campus. He would have been a HERO, he would have been even more UNTOUCHABLE than he was before! He is frickin JOE PATERNO!

    The argument that the Board made him stay quiet about children getting molested under his watch DOES NOT FLY. Joe Paterno WAS Penn State. Had he WANTED to expose it, NO ONE COULD HAVE STOPPED HIM!!

    Argument over.

  21. geo1113 says: Jul 11, 2012 12:14 PM

    psublueandwhite asks:

    Why should the Paterno’s shut up?

    It is simple. Because they gain nothing by opening their mouths.

  22. lovinthatsomanyhateonnd says: Jul 11, 2012 12:16 PM

    hey, moron..ever heard of liable? yeah…get a clue about the law first genius. Either way, the Board was FULLY aware of the allegations yet that didnt deter them from giving him full access to the school after he wasnt a coach anymore, and even had him in their suite just a week before the charges came out! Are you honestly going to sit there and tell me they had more of a responsibility to do something than joe, and yet while they did nothing its all joes fault?! You are delusional at best.

  23. jonanthans says: Jul 11, 2012 12:19 PM

    No one is saying the Board is not responsible for these actions too.

    But guess what? The Board does not keep OPENING THEIR MOUTH DENYING THE ENTIRE THING, unlike the PATERNO FAMILY.

  24. psublueandwhite says: Jul 11, 2012 12:24 PM


    It’s not about gaining anything. This is a man who did so much good, for so long. Forget about how he was revered by people. Take his actions over the course of his entire life into consideration. The fact that others are trying to devalue everything he did is just not acceptable to the family (and MANY others) when they know while he was not perfect in handling this situation, he is clearly not the villain others make him out to be. THAT is why they are saying something.

  25. maxxrobb says: Jul 11, 2012 12:26 PM

    If you are a supporter of penn state you will find irrational justification to stand by paterno, blatantly disregarding the fact that he could have done more. If you are not a penn state supporter you will see the truth for what it is, he (along with others) looked the other way while sandusky had his way for years.

  26. metalhead65 says: Jul 11, 2012 12:28 PM

    so what they are saying is the guy who ran the program with a iron fist and answered to no one suddenly becomes a team player and shuts up when the administration tells him not to say a word when news of the scandal breaks? we are to believe that when he first heard about this from a volunteer coach and former player he told his bosses and then because they never got back to him he never asked any more questions about it? that he was comfortable with seeing this guy everyday for the next 10 years without questioning him? I would like to ask McCreary if getting a job as an assistant coach was worth keeping quiet about what he saw for the next 10 years. how he could go to work everyday knowing that sandusky still had a office on campus and was still around kids at his charity. how could he see him there and not say a word to anybody else? so while it is sad to see your dad’s name dragged thru the mud over this it is his own fault for not doing anything about it in the first place, and not telling what he knew when it all became public. to bad he died before he told his side of the sory but it is his own fault.

  27. saints97 says: Jul 11, 2012 12:32 PM

    I wonder if the Oswald family requested a chance to meet with the Warren Commission to review the findings and offer a response. I am sure they believed their voice should have been reflected in the Warren Report’s conclusions.

    These people cannot be serious.

  28. stoutfiles says: Jul 11, 2012 12:38 PM


    It would have hurt Second Mile, recruiting, donations, etc. People would have second guessed how molesting went on under his watch without him knowing and would have called for his resignation. He also would have had to look into why his friend was labeled a child molester and didn’t feel comfortable doing that.

    Basically it only would’ve created problems for Joe. He would not be labeled a hero at all, just an old guy who isn’t aware of the things going on around him.

  29. geo1113 says: Jul 11, 2012 12:43 PM


    Their statement is a pre-emptive strike which was put out so they could gain something, i.e. to discredit the report before it comes out.

  30. effjohntaylornorelation says: Jul 11, 2012 12:54 PM


    Is this Jay Paterno? I am a fan of the Nittany Lions and I certainly feel like Joe Pa derailed any responsible decisions being made. Who were those four men to debate AND discuss if and how law enforcement would be contacted.


  31. psublueandwhite says: Jul 11, 2012 12:54 PM


    Why don’t we wait the 24 hours to determine that.

    Again, my gripe is with those who have been judge, jury and executioner with no real facts.

    Everyone has been using the “if there is smoke, there is fire” reasoning and the “if this is the case, then usually that is the case”. Nothing that would ever hold up in a real court, but in the court of public opinion it’s so routinely good enough it becomes fact.

    Look through this thread and seriously search for any facts. “JoePa HAD to know…” not “JoePa knew BECAUSE…”

    Rampant speculation and guessing.

    Even your reasoning of why they issued their statement is simply a mere guess.

  32. psublueandwhite says: Jul 11, 2012 12:57 PM

    geo1113 ,

    No this is not Jay Paterno nor am I a member or the Paterno family or even a friend for that matter. In fact, I am not even a PSU student or alum.

    I am a supporter of Penn State, have been there many times, my brother is an alum and I simply know what a lot of people in State College know about Paterno that outsiders simply do not know. Everyone knows about him as a football coach, but he was and is so much more than that.

  33. saints97 says: Jul 11, 2012 1:40 PM

    He was definitely more than that, Psub&w.

    I think we can all agree that he was more than a football coach.

    He was an enabler of child abuse. He was the driving force behind at least one major cover up. He was a prime example of God complex. He was a man more concerned with his football team and image than he was with the welfare of helpless children.

    I could go on and on.

  34. cubano76 says: Jul 11, 2012 1:44 PM

    @ maxxrobb,

    Post of the day! Well done.

  35. geo1113 says: Jul 11, 2012 1:54 PM

    psublueandwhite (or should I say Jay…until you said that I never even gave it a thought that you might be a Paterno…you planted that seed),

    In reponse to my post that said the statement was an attempt to discredit the report, you said: “Even your reasoning of why they issued their statement is simply a mere guess.”

    This is from the Paterno’s statement: “Unfortunately, recent events have raised questions about the fairness and confidentiality of the investigative process.”

    Questioning the fairness of the investigation is an attempt to discredit the report. The reason it is a preemptive strike is that when the report comes out, they can say see I told you it wasn’t fair. If they think it was fair, they can say please understand what we are going through here. It allows them to have it any way the want once the report is out. They should have followed your advice and waited the extra day or two for the report to come out. They felt they needed to get out in front of the report because they assume it will be unfavorable which, by definition, is a preemptive strike.

  36. maxxrobb says: Jul 11, 2012 2:12 PM

    For all of you who still refuse to believe paterno played a major role in this penn state nightmare by doing little to nothing to stop sandusky. Would you still feel the same if it were your son that was sodomized in the showers?

  37. tackledummy1505 says: Jul 11, 2012 2:26 PM

    Joe Pa, greatest coach of all time. Too bad we put the responsibilities of a great grandfather to make decisions on sick bastards like Jerry. My 95 year old grandfather has his daily routine every day. Other than that don’t expect much from him. Yet we judge a man like he’s 50 lol

  38. cometkazie says: Jul 11, 2012 4:05 PM

    jonanthans says:
    Jul 11, 2012 11:48 AM
    Think about it for a minute:

    Sandusky has something on JoePa, and the Paterno family knows it….

    Hence they are on the offense.

  39. ghengy says: Jul 11, 2012 5:33 PM

    Here’s what I know.

    I know that all you idiots calling for Paterno’s head dont know jack about this case, starting with Sandusky’s dismissal in 99 and the subsequent cover up by the police and the DA, who btw went missing in 2005 (see murdered). You havent read the Grand Jury report, you dont know what McQueary told Paterno, or what the school officials agreed to do when JoePa reported the shower incident up the chain of command. Basically, you dont know anything.

    All you keyboard hanging judges make me sick. Personally, I’ll wait for the details, but as corrupt as Louis Freeh is I really dont expect the TRUTH! More likely somebody will be scapegoated and the real truth will never be known.

  40. phillyfanmatt says: Jul 11, 2012 8:29 PM

    The one funny thing I have read is that joe and Jerry were friends. It is well known that they were not that close. And Jerry called it quits after joe told him that Jerry would not be taking over the football program in 1999. Don’t you think that if joe was as evil as one or two of you suggested and jerry had something on joe. Jerry would have ” let that slip” at that time to discredit joe then.

  41. ghengy says: Jul 11, 2012 9:12 PM

    @ phillyfan

    Sandusky did not “call it quits”, he was fired/retired and the investigation against him was conveniently buried by PSU, the cops, and the DA. And Paterno was never known to speak to him again after his retirement dinner, and he didnt have much to say there before leaving abruptly in disgust.

    No, they were not close. And you’re right, this nonsense about Sandusky blackmailing Paterno is as ridiculous as the conspiracy theories about 17 Saudi hijackers.

  42. dkhhuey says: Jul 12, 2012 10:26 AM

    Tear down the statue and strike every single game from Joe Paterno’s record since 1998. This man no longer deserves to be know as a great football coach – he needs to be remembered as somebody who went out of his way to cover up the actions of a pedophile for more than a decade just to protect his precious football team.

    To those who still defend this vile criminal – you need to stop!!! He let a child molester anally rape and abuse innocent children! To defend this POS is disgusting!

  43. phillyphromphairmont says: Jul 12, 2012 6:04 PM

    The Paterno family did not do any service to their father’s legacy today. Had they wanted to partially save what is left of a severely tarnished life, they would have expressed profound sadness for those children that became victims of this trajedy that their father permitted to happen. They could have put out a message that their father’s life deserves to be looed at in its entirety and ask for forgiveness as a direct result of their father’s callous decision to choose the university and his program over the innocent, vulnerable and unprotected.

    The mention by his family that the 1998 incident was reported, is true but not by PSU or Joe Paterno. It is however clear from the Freeh investigation, that Paterno and the others (Curley, Spanier, and Schultz) were made aware of that report. That should have made the decision to go to the police an absolute moral requirement in 2001 when McQuery came forward to Paterno and his disciples/bosses.

    I do wish that Paterno can rest in peace, but that rest should be interrupted with the disturbing sound of the tears from those victims of whose lives he placed so little value.



  44. SkeletalDrawing says: Jul 13, 2012 11:15 AM

    I honestly feel for Paterno’s family – it’s hard enough for anyone to come to grips with a family member or close friend being accursed of something awful, and it can only be more difficult when your family member has been a living legend for decades.

    But in reality his family and (less excusably) Paterno’s fans that can’t accept the findings are making a huge mistake – they are trying to shoe-horn all the participants into fake cardboard cutouts of good and evil like we see in the movies.

    When you aren’t the person pulling the trigger (or molesting, or breaking and entering) but instead doing the right thing requires you to take a public stand that puts yourself and everything you care about on the line, the difference between doing right and wrong is much more about being honest with yourself, rather than rationalizing a reason to avoid the difficulty and embarrassment of coming forward. Surely Paterno would never have wished those crimes to happen to anyone, but he also wasn’t honest with himself about how many red flags he was seeing, and allowed himself to believe that if something was “really” going on that others would have already spoke up.

    In the end the problem isn’t that Jerry Sandusky was a “master deceiver”, it’s that Joe Paterno was a master of deceiving himself. And that self deception allowed a serial child molester to operate under his nose for over a decade.

  45. dkhhuey says: Jul 14, 2012 7:28 PM

    Wow – the definition of reality in State College is truly different from the rest of the world. The arrogance and shear denial in this statement is just jaw dropping!

    “As purported conclusions started leaking out, we followed up with the Freeh Group to ask for the right to respond.”

    The right to respond?!?!? No, that right went out the window when Joe and company decided to enable Sandusky to rape and molest children in the name of protecting their legacies.

    “Since Joe Paterno never had an opportunity to present his case, we believe we should have a reasonable time to review their findings and offer information that could help complete the picture.”

    This one is just mind numbing – Joe Paterno HAD the opportunity to present his case and he f@#$ing failed and failed miserably. We have the complete picture!!! Joe Paterno FAILED miserably as a human being! By shutting his mouth, paying for McQuery’s silence with a coaching job, and looking the other way for 14 years, Joe Paterno allowed and supported Jerry Sandusky anally raping and sexually abusing innocent children.

    “To this point, Joe Paterno is the only person who publicly acknowledged that with the benefit of hindsight he wished he had done more. This was an honest and courageous admission that a true leader must assume a measure of responsibility when something goes wrong on his watch.”

    I’m still at a loss for words on this one! HONEST AND COURAGEOUS?!?!?!? Are you f@#$ing kidding me?!?!? Please – just stop! I don’t care how you want to live in denial of the truth but please, nobody outside of State College will ever see Joe Paterno for anything other than what he is – a person who put his legacy and his football program ahead of everything else. He enabled a pedophile to perform gross acts of perversion on children, he bullied everybody that opposed anything he said or wanted to do, and was only concerned about what benefited Joe Paterno. He may have been able to win football games but as a human being – he was a complete failure!

  46. agc99 says: Jul 15, 2012 10:26 AM

    If Joe were alive he should be in jail with his buddy Sandusky. How could he continually ignore what this guy was doing? You have to defend children who can’t defend themselves. He’s just as guilty.

  47. nightman13 says: Jul 17, 2012 1:32 PM

    Well now that there’s tons of evidence that he did, we can put this one to bed.

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