Updated: Freeh report investigating PSU’s actions in Sandusky case released

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Following multiple email leaks and lots of anticipation, the internal investigation into the role of Penn State’s administrators in the Jerry Sandusky case has finally been made public.

The Freeh report concludes an initiative that began in November of last year in the weeks following the first report of the Sandusky scandal and was headed by former FBI director Louis Freeh. 

Here is the LINK to the entire the Freeh report and here’s a LINK to the opening statements (Note: if one or both the sites are down, it’s because of high traffic. Check back later). We’ll have more updates coming both in this post and throughout the day.

  • Investigators conducted over 430 interviews and reviewed over 3.5 million documents in the process.
  • The report claims the most important documents in the investigation came between 1998 and 2001 and were identified as emails sent among president Graham Spanier, VP Gary Schultz and athletic director Tim Curley. Not coincidentally, all three declined interviews on advice of their counsel. Additionally, the Attorney General asked that former assistant coach Mike McQueary not be interviewed.
  • The findings corroborate the Grand Jury indictment of Sandusky. There was no “attempt to investigate, to identify Victim 2, or to protect that child or any others from similar conduct” except for instances of re-occurrence. Spanier, Schultz, Curley and Joe Paterno “concealed Sandusky’s activities from the Board of Trustees, the university community and authorities.”
  • Those four also knew of the 1998 investigation of Sandusky and did nothing. In 1999, when Sandusky retired, he was allowed to “continue to work with young people through Penn State.”
    • On May 3, Sandusky assaults Victim 6 in the Lasch Building shower. Between May 4 and May 30, Curley, Spanier and Schultz are made awareof subsequent investigation. “Behavior — at best inappropriate @ worst sexual improprieties… Is this opening Pandora’s Box?… Other children?” 
    • Curley then says he “touches base” with Paterno. He emails Schultz, Spanier: “Anything new in this department? Coach is anxious to know where it stands.” 
    • There is a BOT meeting on May 15. Spanier does not notify the board of the ongoing investigation of Sandusky. 
    • After officers meet with Sandusky in June of 1998 — charges were not brought from Victim 6 allegations — Schultz emails Curley and Spanier that he thinks “the matter has been appropriately investigated.” 
    • Sandusky notifies Curley in 1998 that he is considering retirement. Paterno “gives him the option to continue to coach as long as he was the [head] coach.” Sandusky then assaults Victim 4 during the 1999 Alamo Bowl. 
  • From the Victim 2 incident of 2001, in which McQueary walked in on Sandusky and a young boy in the showers:
    • After hearing of the incident from Paterno, Curley, Spanier and Schultz were prepared to execute an action plan that included informing the board chairman of Sandusky’s charity, The Second Mile, and child welfare services. That plan changes after Curley speaks with Paterno. This occurs between Feb. 27-28, 2001.
    • March 16, 2001: BOT meeting. Spanier, again, does not inform the board of the Sandusky incident.
    • August, 2001: Sandusky assaults Victim 5 in the showers of the Lasch building after being told not to bring children into athletic facilities.
  • From 2011 in the months leading up to the release of the Grand Jury indictment of Sandusky:
    • Spanier informs the BOT of the investigation in May, but downplays it. In response, the board asks limited questions. The subject is not brought up again by either side until the Grand Jury testimonies are released.
  • Pages 39-54 document the 1998 investigation of Sandusky. Page 47 begins the involvement of university officials.
    • Schultz already knew of the incident before a May 4 meeting on it, though it is unclear how he obtained the information. In confidential notes from the meeting, Schultz writes the acts were “not criminal.” It’s unclear if Schultz derived that conclusion himself or not. Once the matter was considered closed, no further action was taken by any officials. Curley briefed Paterno on the situation, but it’s unclear as to how the details were relayed.
  • The incident in 2000 where a janitor saw Sandusky assaulting a boy in the shower (page 65):
    • Two janitor saw Sandusky in the showers of the Lasch building doing something one said “he would never forget.” The two consulted a third janitor and the topic of bringing authorities into the matter was discussed. However, the first janitor (Janitor A) said “no, they’ll get rid of all of us.” The second janitor (Janitor B) concurred to investigators. “Paterno… had so much power. If he wanted to get rid of someone, I would have been gone,” they said.
    • Pages 68-79 review the actions by Penn State officials following the McQueary allegation. Curley is called an errand boy” for Paterno and “loyal to a fault.”
  • Pages 89-96 review Penn State’s reaction to criminal charges brought against Sandusky, Schultz and Curley. PSU communication member says some on the staff were “sheep” for Spanier, who pushed for “unconditional support” of Curley. However, confidence in Spanier’s ability to lead comes under fire in the following weeks; the board states the choice to fire him was easy, while firing Paterno was not.
    • On October 29, 2011 in a game vs. Illinois, Sandusky was seen in Nittany Lion Club. It was in that year that, for the first time, Sandusky’s name was taken off the school’s annual invitation list for season football games.
  • Page 97 reviews the findings on PSU’s Board of Trustees, who failed to inquire reasonably into Sandusky allegations in 1998 and 2001.
  • Page 110 claims that PSU officials and Paterno violated the law by not reporting the 2001 incident of abuse between Sandusky and Victim 2. Beginning on 112, the Clery Act, which PSU officials should have followed, is explained in detail.
  • Page 120 of the report reviews the university’s policy on child protection. Recommendations for change are made on page 127.
    • An interesting note: there is, according the report, an “over-emphasis on the ‘Penn State way'” as an approach to decision-making.
  • Documents and emails are made available just after halfway down the report.

Texas JUCO reported landing spot for former four-star Auburn DT

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A little over a month after leaving The Plains, Antwuan Jackson has reportedly settled on a new college football home.

Citing multiple sources familiar with the situation, 247Sports.com is reporting that Jackson has signed with Blinn Community College in Texas.  The defensive tackle will play for the JUCO this season, with his eyes set on a return to the FBS level, perhaps as early as December.

On his Twitter account earlier Monday, Jackson hinted at an unspecified development regarding his football future.

In mid-May, Jackson announced his decision to transfer from Auburn. AU blocked him from transferring to a handful of schools he had requested, including Ohio State. It’s believed the Buckeyes have emerged as the favorites to land the lineman when he jumps back to the FBS level.

Jackson was a four-star member of AU’s 2016 recruiting class, rated as the No. 7 defensive tackle in the country; the No. 5 player at any position in the state of Georgia; and the No. 49 player overall on 247Sports.com‘s composite board.  Only three players in the Tigers’ class that year were rated higher.

As a true freshman last season, Jackson took a redshirt.

Nova, Auburn’s live eagle mascot, grounded for 2017 season

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Auburn will be forced to go to a backup when it comes to its famed pregame mascot flights.

The university announced Monday that’s live eagle mascot, War Eagle VII, has ben grounded for the entire 2017 season.  The university stated that its College of Veterinary Medicine faculty diagnosed the 18-year-old golden eagle with cardiomyopathy, a chronic disease of the heart.

The diagnosis was made following what was described as a routine checkup.

Below are the comments of the veterinarians in charge of the care of an eagle who has been a part of gamedays on The Plains since 2004.

Nova has been diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, indicated by an enlarged left ventricle, decreased systolic function and supraventricular premature complexes (arrhythmia),” said Dr. Seth Oster, an avian veterinarian at the raptor center and the college’s Wilford and Kate Bailey Small Animal Teaching Hospital.

“These areas of constriction can increase the systolic pressure of the heart so that Nova’s heart has to pump harder to move blood around his body,” said Oster. “This type of problem could have multiple causes, the most common of which in birds is atherosclerosis.”

“Vessels that are constricted, like those that are seen in Nova’s scan, can have dangerous complications when put under increased stress from exercise,” said Dr. Seung-Woo Jung, an assistant professor of cardiology in the Department of Clinical Sciences at the College of Veterinary Medicine. “This includes aneurysm or clot formation that could lead to vascular rupture, stroke, aortic thromboembolism or heart attack.

The release added that due to “the risk of severe medical complications, veterinary medical staff decided that Nova should not be placed in situations that cause his heart to work harder than usual, including flying in the stadium before each game.”

With War Eagle VII sidelined, pregame duties will fall to Spirit.

Spirit is the only bald eagle that has ever flown in Jordan-Hare Stadium. Her first game flight was in 2002, and she is recognizable by her bright white head and tail feathers. In 1995, Spirit was discovered as an injured fledgling in Florida. She came to Auburn in 1998 and joined the educational collection at the Southeastern Raptor Center. Her damaged beak makes her non-releasable.

Report: Baylor set to release information on sexual assault reports

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Apparently, transparency is no longer such a four-letter word in Waco.  Somewhat.

Citing a brief filed in court Friday by attorneys representing Baylor, the Waco Tribune is reporting that “[g]eneral information behind every alleged sexual assault reported to Baylor University since 2003 will soon be released by the school.” The university is currently in the process of putting together spreadsheets that will shed light on the incidents over the last decade and a half.

Per the Tribune, below are the parameters of the information that will be included in the spreadsheets.

  • Date of alleged assault
  • Date alleged assault was reported to Baylor employee
  • Whether alleged victim was Baylor student
  • Gender of alleged victim
  • Gender of alleged assailant
  • Whether Baylor knew the identity of alleged victim
  • Whether Baylor knew the identity of alleged assailant
  • Whether alleged victim asked Baylor to keep the alleged assailant’s identity confidential
  • Location of alleged assault
  • How Baylor learned of alleged assault
  • Specific offices or type of Baylor personnel who were made aware of alleged assault
  • Disposition of complaint

Information that appears will be noticeably absent?  Whether or not the assailants were Bears football players at the time..

In mid-May of this year, BU was served notice that it is being sued by a former BU volleyball player, only identified as “Jane Doe,” who claims that she was gang-raped by as many as eight then-Bears football players in 2012.  That was at least the seventh Federal Title IX lawsuit filed in connection to the sexual assault scandal that rocked the university and cost several high-profile officials their jobs, including head football coach Art Briles, nearly a year ago.

That latest filing came a little over two months after the Texas Rangers confirmed that it had commenced a preliminary investigation centered on how the university, the football program and campus police handled allegations of sexual assault made against student-athletes, most notably members of the football team.  The confirmation of that probe came a little over a month after details in one of the handful of federal lawsuits the university is facing emerged, with that suit alleging 31 Bears football players had committed 52 acts of rape over a period of four years beginning in 2011; in late March, BU sought to have that suit dismissed.

Outside of the federal lawsuits and Department of Education Title IX investigation, two former Bears football players have been convicted of sexual assault that were committed while they were members of the football team.  Several other players were accused of committing either sexual assault or violence — or both — while playing for Briles.

None of Briles’ assistants were dismissed along with the head coach as a result of the scandal even as an independent review into the football program’s handling of sexual assault accusations showed that “members of the Baylor coaching staff chose not to report incidents of sexual violence involving football players, [instead] meeting directly with those filing complaints of sexual abuse and handling their own investigations outside of university policy to discredit the complainants, thus denying them the right to a fair investigation by the university.”

In early February of this year, the Big 12 announced that it will withhold 25 percent of future revenue payments to BU, only releasing the monies “pending the outcome of third-party verification review of required changes to Baylor’s athletics procedures and to institutional governance of its intercollegiate athletics programs, among other matters.”

In the same brief filed late last week, the university again confirmed that it is the subject of “an ongoing, pending investigation” by the NCAA.

Florida makes signings of ex-Notre Dame QB Malik Zaire, former Clemson OL Jake Fruhmorgen official

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Two Power Five transfer players are officially Florida Gators.

Monday, the Gators confirmed that offensive lineman Jake Fruhmorgen and quarterback Malik Zaire have enrolled in classes at the university.  Zaire was given his unconditional release from Notre Dame in late November and, after awaiting the SEC’s tweaking of its graduate transfer policy, confirmed his move to UF earlier this month, while Fruhmorgen left Clemson in mid-January before two months later revealing that Gainesville would serve as his next college football home.

As Zaire is coming to the Gators as a grad transfer, he’ll be eligible to play immediately in 2017 and is looked upon as a potential, or even likely starter under center.  Fruhmorgen will have to sit out the 2017 season, but will then have two years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2018.

Zaire started three games during his time with the Fighting Irish — the first in the Music City Bowl win over LSU following the 2014 season then the first two games of the 2015 season before an ankle injury sidelined him for the remainder of the year.  He played in eight games last season as the backup to DeShone Kizer.

Fruhmorgen didn’t play another game last season after suffering a shoulder injury in late October. While the injury kept him out of a couple of games, he missed the latter quarter of the regular season, as well as the postseason, dealing with unspecified personal issues that kept him away from the team.

Prior to all of that, the true sophomore had started the first eight games of the 2016 season at right tackle.

A four-star 2015 signee, Fruhmorgen was rated by 247Sports.com as the No. 8 offensive tackle in the country and the No. 20 player at any position in the state of Florida. As a true freshman, the 6-5, 290-pound lineman played in 11 games, starting one of those contests.