Louis  Freeh, Ken Frazier

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.

Alabama quarterback Blake Barnett officially withdraws from school

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 05:  Blake Barnett #6 of the Alabama Crimson Tide throws before the Advocare Classic against the Wisconsin Badgers at AT&T Stadium on September 5, 2015 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Despite the wishes of Alabama head coach Nick Saban, the Crimson Tide depth chart officially became a little thinner on Thursday.

After nearly a day of speculation, Alabama announced that quarterback Blake Barnett is no longer a part of the Crimson Tide football team.

“We received word this afternoon that Blake Barnett has officially withdrawn from school and is no longer with our program,” Saban said in a statement. “The quarterback position is a very unique position where only one player can play. We are very disappointed any time a player leaves the program who feels he can compete for a starting position elsewhere, rather than here at Alabama. We wish Blake the very best of luck in the future.”

Barnett started the opener against USC and has thrown for 219 yards and two touchdowns on the year. However the redshirt freshman lost the starting job to true freshman Jalen Hurts and has only played sparingly in the first month of the season.

Saban recently said he wanted Barnett to remain with the program but it seems pretty obvious that playing time would be limited as the team’s backup signal-caller and a transfer would be forthcoming. Now it appears the only question is where to for the former five-star recruit, who is a Southern California native and was recruited by nearly everybody coming out of high school.

Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez wants changes to Big Ten scheduling

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 1:  Acting head coach Barry Alvarez of the Wisconsin Badgers looks on from the bench before the start of the Outback Bowl against the Auburn Tigers on January 1, 2015 during  at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
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Wisconsin has been one of the pleasant surprises to begin the 2016 season but a lot of folks are not counting on the Badgers to remain in the top 10 of the polls after one of the most brutal schedules in the month of October you can find.

Having already played (and beat) defending conference champion Michigan State last week, Wisconsin travels to No. 4 Michigan, has a bye week, then hosts No. 2 Ohio State. They’re not done after that though, traveling to Iowa and then hosting No. 15 Nebraska in a stretch that should determine the West division champion before the month is up.

Longtime head coach and current athletic director Barry Alvarez is well aware of what awaits his team and is no fan of such an unbalanced schedule.

“I remember when that schedule came out (in 2013) and I thought, ‘How the hell did you kick out something looking like that?” Alvarez told CBSSports.com. “I think you could take a look at the general strength of some programs and split them up. Michigan, Ohio State and Michigan State have been good for a long time. Penn State Nittany Lions normally is in that group. Just make sure someone doesn’t get all three year in a year. That’s hard to do. That’s something the ADs are going to have to talk about some day.”

The Big Ten recently moved to a nine game conference slate which means an additional crossover game between divisions. Wisconsin has been the beneficiary of some weaker schedules in the past (Rutgers/Maryland in 2014/15) but seem to be the poster child this year for drawing all of the major powers from the East division.

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany cautioned against reading too much into the Badgers’ schedule in 2016 and wants to see how the current format works out — but didn’t rule out any future changes.

“If I was an AD, I would probably be saying the same thing (as Alvarez),” Delany said. “If I was a football coach, I know I would.”

The conference has released the league schedule through 2019 but you can bet the next set of Big Ten games will likely break up some of the more historically successful programs a little more when it comes to division crossover games. Until then though, ‘On Wisconsin’ will have to be more than the school motto in October for Alvarez and his Badgers.

Pick problems lead Bowling Green to make a change at QB

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 3:  James Knapke #3 of the Bowling Green Falcons is sacked by Nick Bosa #97 of the Ohio State Buckeyes during the fourth quarter on September 3, 2016 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeated Bowling Green 77-10. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
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In 118 pass attempts this season, James Knapke has tossed nine interceptions, the most of any FBS quarterback through Week 4.  Entering Week 5, Bowling Green isn’t planning on allowing the senior quarterback to add to that total.

In a brief statement Thursday morning, BGSU head coach Mike Jinks announced that redshirt freshman James Morgan will start at quarterback Saturday against Eastern Michigan.  Morgan replaced Knapke in the loss to Memphis last week after the starter tossed three interceptions.

Morgan himself hasn’t been averse to turnovers, however, as he has thrown three in 46 attempts.

After Matt Johnson went down with a season-ending injury in the 2014 opener, Knapke took over as the starter and threw for 3,173 yards, 15 and 12 interceptions.  A healthy Johnson (shut it, 12-year-olds) reclaimed his job in 2015, but Knapke took over again in 2016 as Johnson’s eligibility expired.

Not only are Knapke’s interceptions the most in the country, but his pass efficiency rating of 88.4 is the worst of the 121 FBS quarterbacks listed on the NCAA.com stats page.

Wisconsin loses kicker Rafael Gaglianone to season-ending surgery

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 03:  Rafael Gaglianone #27 of the Wisconsin Badgers makes a field goal during the first half against the LSU Tigers at Lambeau Field on September 3, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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As far as kickers go, this is a rather significant development.

Last week, Wisconsin’s Rafael Gaglianone did not make the trip to East Lansing for the Michigan State game because of a back issue.  Not only will the placekicker miss this Saturday’s game against No. 4 Michigan, he will be sidelined for the remainder of the 2016 season after undergoing back surgery.

According to the school, Gaglianone’s condition improved Sunday but subsequently worsened.  It was then decided that the junior would undergo the medical procedure.

A similar back injury, the school said, led Gaglianone to miss spring practice last year.

“You’re disappointed for Rafael because of all the work he’s put in and how well he was playing,” head coach Paul Chryst said in a statement. “From a football perspective, I’ve appreciated the way the other guys in that unit have responded this week.”

This season, Gaglianone has connected on seven of eight field goal attempts and all 10 extra points.  Included in that total was what turned out to be the game-winning field goal in the opener against LSU at Lambeau Field.

Including this season, Gaglianone, who will be eligible for a medical hardship waiver, has been good on 44-57 field goals in his career and all but two of his 111 point afters.

With Gaglianone sidelined, the Badgers will turn to Andrew Endicott.  The senior, who hadn’t previously attempted a field goal or extra point at the collegiate level, made 1-1 of the former and 3-4 of the latter in replacing Gaglianone against MSU.