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.

ESPN analyst: Jimbo Fisher called Texas A&M soft, vowed to change the program

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If there was one thing that really seemed to put Kevin Sumlin on the hot seat during his time at Texas A&M, it was the Aggies seemingly annual collapse in the second half of the season and inability to finish games they had the potential to win. That explains some of the reason why the school ponied up to lure Jimbo Fisher from Florida State in a $75 million hire late last year.

While most of the outside focus on Fisher’s move to College Station has been centered on that humongous contract, there’s little question that hiring a national title-winning coach was a coup for the team. That subject was brought up again on the SEC Network’s Paul Finebaum Show Friday evening and ESPN college football analyst Booger McFarland relayed a rather interesting conversation he had with the coach earlier this year in which Fisher said something you typically don’t hear made public. You can head to the 8:18 mark (or there abouts) for the interview.

“I talked to Jimbo in Atlanta. I told Jimbo point-blank — the same thing I told you guys about Texas A&M the last several years — A&M is a soft program,” McFarland said. “Jimbo looked me in the eye and was like, ‘You know what, you’re damn right. We are soft, but I’m going to change that.’”

Something says that Fisher and the Aggies strength coaches are going to use the comments as a bit of a challenge in the weight room and during spring practice over the coming months as they lay the groundwork for the 2018 season. Even the most ardent maroon and white supporters would probably agree with the sentiment that the team went a little soft toward the end of Sumlin’s tenure but it’s not everyday you see a coach call out his new program quite like that.

Maybe it’s something in the water down there in College Station though, judging by some other comments by the school’s athletic director, but one thing is for certain — things are going to be very different at Texas A&M going forward.

Scott Frost wants Nebraska football roster to grow to 150 players or more in 2018

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In the days before you were limited to 85 scholarship players, it was not totally uncommon to see teams stock their rosters full of players and wind up in the triple-digits with close to 200 players on a team. Even after the NCAA mandated a limit of 85 scholarships, roster sizes were still not that much smaller when you factored in walk-ons and others on a squad.

It appears Scott Frost wants to get back to those sort of days in Lincoln and is apparently pushing the school to help him expand the Cornhuskers roster right into the 150 range.

“I’d like to accommodate (Frost’s) desire” to expand the roster, athletic director Bill Moos said this week in an interview with Rivals’ HuskerOnline. “But we do have that issue with Title IX” along with locker room facilities challenges, organized practice schedules, and other daily management nuts and bolts to sort through.

“Nebraska has been known for having a lot of players on the team…a lot of walk-ons. I’d like to get back to that,” Frost had said on Signing Day earlier in the month. “The best thing Coach (Tom) Osborne did was have everybody practice… and part of that is what led to the development of players and helped walk-ons and young players get better faster and get on the field and help the team. I think that’s an asset that Nebraska can have if we’re willing to expand the roster.”

HuskerOnline details some of the compliance and budgetary challenges that going to 150 would entail but it certainly sounds like the school is making the effort to beef the numbers up. The Cornhuskers are well known in college football history for their walk-on program and roughly 10-15 walk-ons per class would apparently help them land right around Frost’s ideal roster size after factoring in the 85 full-scholarship players he would recruit.

Interestingly, going to 150 would allow the program to pass Michigan for the Big Ten’s biggest roster. The Wolverines under Jim Harbaugh are reportedly sitting at around 135 players after the 2017 season while most of the other conference’s schools are mostly around the 120 mark with a few exceptions. Title IX is not surprisingly the biggest obstacle for teams but it seems like some can manage things with no issue.

Frost was hired this offseason to help take Nebraska back to their perch atop college football and it seems like he is certainly attempting to do that in more ways than one when it comes to Big Red.

Purdue hires Utah State’s Mark Tommerdahl as special teams and tight ends coach

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Jeff Brohm is bringing in longtime coaching veteran Mark Tommerdahl to fill out his staff and serve as Purdue’s special teams and tight ends coach.

The Boilermakers announced the move on Saturday afternoon as Tommerdahl heads to West Lafayette after spending just a season at Utah State where he also coached running backs and ran the Aggies’ special teams. While his stay in Logan was brief, Tommerdahl has been all over the country in 34 years as a coach and is highly regarded for his work in the kicking game.

Tommerdahl has plenty of prior Power Five coaching experience and spent four seasons with Sonny Dykes at Cal where he coached three different position groups and served as assistant head coach. Prior to that he also had stops at Louisiana Tech, Texas A&M, Alabama, TCU and several other schools.

The move to bring in Tommerdahl fills the spot on the Boilermakers’ staff that was left when former Houston coach Tony Levine left after one season with the school to pursue opportunities outside of the coaching profession. Brohm’s 10th assistant Kevin Wolthausen was also given special teams responsibilities when he was elevated to a full-time role so it’s possible the team is really beefing up their emphasis on the third phases of the game with the two new coaches splitting duties when it comes to special teams.

Either way, after a surprising 2017 season that ended with a bowl game victory it’s pretty clear that Brohm is not just sitting back when it comes to his coaching staff and is bringing in some veteran names to help the team take the next step in 2018.

Iowa State OC Tom Manning reportedly leaving Ames for Indianapolis Colts staff

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After one of the most successful seasons in recent memory at Iowa State, it appears head coach Matt Campbell will not be able to keep the band together for another run.

Campbell confirmed to The Des Moines Register on Saturday morning that offensive coordinator Tom Manning was leaving Ames and will be taking a job in the NFL. The paper later was able to confirm that the team in question will be the Indianapolis Colts for a spot on Frank Reich’s new staff. ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg says Manning will be the team’s tight ends coach.

“I’m really happy and proud of him,” Campbell told the Register.

Manning has been with Campbell for years and the two actually played (and coached) together at famed D-III power Mount Union in the early 2000’s. Both were on the same staff at Toledo and Manning served as offensive line coach both there and at Iowa State. As offensive coordinator in 2017 he guided the Cyclones to a bit of an offensive renaissance despite relying on backup quarterback Kyle Kempt for most of the season, helping the team produce the third most points per game in school history while ranking in the top five in both total yards and passing.

ISU memorably upset Oklahoma in Norman and capped off an eight-win campaign in the Liberty Bowl with a victory over a ranked Memphis team.

The move leaves two openings on Campbell’s staff for 2018 but the Register notes that graduate assistant Jeff Myers is a possibility for the offensive line job and special teams analyst Joe Houston could be the team’s potential 10th assistant coach.