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Paterno family ‘accepts criticism’ of Joe’s actions

Joe Paterno, Susan Paterno AP

In the past several days, the Paterno family has released statement after statement in preparation for the likely Freeh report hammer that was going to come down on Joe Paterno and the Penn State administration.

Today, and in reaction to the release of the investigation, they offered one more:

We are in the process of reviewing the Freeh report and will need some time before we can comment in depth on its findings and conclusions. From the moment this crisis broke, Joe Paterno supported a comprehensive, fair investigation. He always believed, as we do, that the full truth should be uncovered.

From what we have been able to assess at this time, it appears that after reviewing 3 million documents and conducting more than 400 interviews, the underlying facts as summarized in the report are almost entirely consistent with what we understood them to be. The 1998 incident was reported to law enforcement and investigated. Joe Paterno reported what he was told about the 2001 incident to Penn State authorities and he believed it would be fully investigated. The investigation also confirmed that Sandusky’s retirement in 1999 was unrelated to these events.

One great risk in this situation is a replaying of events from the last 15 years or so in a way that makes it look obvious what everyone must have known and should have done. The idea that any sane, responsible adult would knowingly cover up for a child predator is impossible to accept. The far more realistic conclusion is that many people didn’t fully understand what was happening and underestimated or misinterpreted events. Sandusky was a great deceiver. He fooled everyone – law enforcement, his family, coaches, players, neighbors, University officials, and everyone at Second Mile.

Joe Paterno wasn’t perfect. He made mistakes and he regretted them. He is still the only leader to step forward and say that with the benefit of hindsight he wished he had done more. To think, however, that he would have protected Jerry Sandusky to avoid bad publicity is simply not realistic. If Joe Paterno had understood what Sandusky was, a fear of bad publicity would not have factored into his actions.

We appreciate the effort that was put into this investigation. The issue we have with some of the conclusions is that they represent a judgment on motives and intentions and we think this is impossible. We have said from the beginning that Joe Paterno did not know Jerry Sandusky was a child predator. Moreover, Joe Paterno never interfered with any investigation. He immediately and accurately reported the incident he was told about in 2001.

It can be argued that Joe Paterno should have gone further. He should have pushed his superiors to see that they were doing their jobs. We accept this criticism. At the same time, Joe Paterno and everyone else knew that Sandusky had been repeatedly investigated by authorities who approved his multiple adoptions and foster children. Joe Paterno mistakenly believed that investigators, law enforcement officials, University leaders and others would properly and fully investigate any issue and proceed as the facts dictated.

This didn’t happen and everyone shares the responsibility.

You can read more reactions from around college football about the Freeh reportĀ HERE.

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31 Responses to “Paterno family ‘accepts criticism’ of Joe’s actions”
  1. 700levelvet says: Jul 12, 2012 11:38 AM

    Calling Dr.Spin……..Dr.Spin Doctor

  2. kupski says: Jul 12, 2012 11:40 AM

    ” Active Conspiracy to hide” is what the report states


  3. mhalt99 says: Jul 12, 2012 11:42 AM

    Our dad Joe Paterno was an open book:

    He never hid any secrets from anyone,
    He never abused his power,
    He never pretended that Penn State was a cleaner program than others around the country,
    He never hid player transgressions,
    He never lied or misdirected,
    He never……………..

    Message to Joe’s family and supporters….I don’t think you really knew jack about JoePa.

  4. delfi2 says: Jul 12, 2012 11:43 AM


    HE HAS MET HIS MAKER AND JUDGEMENT HAS BEEN MADE. I hope you never R.I.P. Joepa…. sad but true.

    I mean, come ‘on. Can you imagine being one of the victims? How messed up and how difficult it will be for them to go on with their lives?


  5. esotericriff says: Jul 12, 2012 11:55 AM

    His family is as disingenuous as JoePa was before he was fired. (“The BOT shouldn’t waste any time on little old me.”) It boggles the mind.
    He didn’t “cover up for a child predator,” he covered up for the football program and his own reputation.

  6. deadeye says: Jul 12, 2012 12:05 PM

    I suppose the Paterno family is trying to rally the JoePa worshippers. Surely some of them are still blind enough to proclaim JoePa’s virtuous innocence from the rooftops.

  7. delfi2 says: Jul 12, 2012 12:08 PM


    and also, maybe these blind people can start another pep rally outside of casa paterno…..sounds like a great idea.


  8. galvezben says: Jul 12, 2012 12:32 PM

    Did the Paterno family even read the report? And why do they insist on releasing statement after statement? Joe was completely aware of EVERYTHING as far back as 2001. I hope the statue of JoePa doesn’t last thru the weekend. Everything JoePa did positive for PSU is a distant memory. This is his legacy. Sorry. Facts speak volumes.

  9. 1historian says: Jul 12, 2012 12:37 PM

    Q: Could Joe Pa NOT have known what Sandusky was doing?

    A: No.

  10. nesuperfan says: Jul 12, 2012 12:55 PM

    When I read that headline, I am expecting to see some contriteness, but then you read it, and it is nothing but excuses for paragraphs, with one line saying that they “We accept this criticism”.

    What BS. They should be politicians.

  11. gmsingh says: Jul 12, 2012 1:32 PM

    How long will it take for people to realize that neither football nor the Catholic church is more important than the welfare of children?

  12. blueinok says: Jul 12, 2012 1:35 PM

    I am so saddened at the outcome of this investigation. When trying to protect the reputation of Penn State and the football program, Coach Paterno and the the others did the most harm. When the allegations first came to light – if they had been dealt with immediately, and properly, Penn State could have been hailed as a leader in child protection. I now fear that the university will be forever tarnished and may never recover. Who will want to attend what will now be known as Pedophile U or Pervert State.

  13. yehvicto says: Jul 12, 2012 1:36 PM

    that’s the most backhanded comment/response to the Freeh report ever, such an insult to survivors everywhere.

    If this family had accepted it, they would’ve left it at that instead of adding additional backhanded comments.

    Completely ignorant, naive, ridiculous and saddening.

  14. florida727 says: Jul 12, 2012 1:45 PM

    The family is still in denial. They try to explain it away as people not understanding what was happening. They try to justify the actions of their dad by generalizing, “The idea that any sane, responsible adult would knowingly cover up for a child predator is impossible to accept.”. Hey folks, ACCEPT IT. It wasn’t “any sane, responsible adult”. It was at least FOUR adults (you can certainly question the sane & responsible part). And your dad was one of them!

    A talk between Curley and Paterno DIRECTLY affected an investigation moving forward. What more proof needs to be brought forward before the Paterno family admits and acknowledges that their dad enabled this predator to continue with his actions?

  15. maxxrobb says: Jul 12, 2012 1:48 PM

    if there is a hell……..?? have a seat JoePa your gonna be here awhile…oh your d-coordinator will be here shortly.

  16. thetruth323 says: Jul 12, 2012 1:53 PM

    After spending the last 45 minutes or so reading the Freeh report and then reading this nonsense put forth by his family I want to puke! JP heard only what he wanted to hear and was complicit in the cover up and failure of the entire senior leadership at PSU. Through his failure to take action that any right minded individual would have taken, innocent children continued to be raped and humiliated by a monster. Quit trying to spin this, it is sickening.

  17. deathmonkey41 says: Jul 12, 2012 1:57 PM

    Come on people- don’t demonize this great man. In highsight, this all looks bad, but how many of you would have been able to tell something sinister was going on with only limited information at your disposal? Just because a grown man is naked and “horsing around” in the showers with young boys, who also happen to be naked, doesn’t mean that anything of an inappropriate nature was going on…oh wait, yes, it does. Please, forgive me- carry on with your demonizing, good people.

  18. normtide says: Jul 12, 2012 3:14 PM

    Joe was the most powerful man at psu, he should have made sure it ended. Sexual abuse of a child is not something you tell the AD and then forget. At the very least, follow up. Now his family seems to be just as much scum a all those involved. Those were children, don’t they see that?

  19. pooflingingmonkey says: Jul 12, 2012 3:18 PM

    Penn State should tear down Paterno’s statue. Who wants to be reminded of the biggest scandal in Pennsylvania sports history?

  20. stoutfiles says: Jul 12, 2012 3:27 PM

    The stupid part of his statement is he declares everything in the report to be an opinion, but his opinion that Joepa was innocent is stated as fact.

    I can’t wait till the Paterno family is sued and they lose everything.

  21. drewsylvania says: Jul 12, 2012 3:33 PM

    But what does Matt Millen think?

  22. onbucky96 says: Jul 12, 2012 4:27 PM

    Let me tranlate: Yes Joe knew. Yes Joe should have done more. No, you can’t have Joe’s money.

  23. thraiderskin says: Jul 12, 2012 4:30 PM

    That response is so insanely disappointing… How do you write that, knowing what you know? Its ok, Joepa might be deceased, but his money isn’t and I’m sure plenty of lawyers know it.

  24. phillyphromphairmont says: Jul 12, 2012 4:32 PM

    The Paterno family is desperately trying to save a legacy that took 50 years to build and just 7 months to tear down. However, they have a greater responsibility today to express their deep sadness for those children that became victims of this trajedy that their father permitted to happen because he chose 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.

  25. theawesomersfranchise says: Jul 12, 2012 5:09 PM

    “Accepts criticism”


    “Knows he is guilty and is thankful he is not in prison too”

  26. theawesomersfranchise says: Jul 12, 2012 5:12 PM

    Joe Pa was so powerful at PSU he literally could have taken a shotgun and blew Jerry’s head off the moment he heard of it and he would have been hailed an even larger hero.

    He would have been given a medal and gotten off the hook. Instead he’s what he is, filth

  27. rickrock6661982 says: Jul 12, 2012 5:32 PM

    Much like O.J., Joe Paterno stuck with his lie

    Even after death..

  28. joewilliesshnoz says: Jul 12, 2012 5:40 PM

    It’s one thing to not know, it’s another to not want to know !

  29. totallydisgusted says: Jul 12, 2012 7:57 PM

    Joe Pa’s family needs to shut up and eat humble pie. The best thing they could do is Apologize for the part he played in the Rape of young boys. Then they need to hide and divide all his assets because his estate is gonna get pounded by lawsuits.

  30. tweeter75 says: Jul 12, 2012 8:50 PM

    This family is a clueless and detached from reality as Joe Paterno was.

    “Accepts Criticism”? Your patriarch was found to have been an active and willing participant in a cover-up of the biggest and most disgusting scandal in sports history.

    This was an investigation led by the former director of the FBI. This isn’t criticism, this is a criminal cover-up and conspiracy to hide the truth about children being raped.

    And Joe Paterno new about it the last 15 years of his disgusting career.

  31. jacksprat57 says: Jul 15, 2012 4:39 PM

    stoutfiles: it ain’t gonna happen. paterno had no duty under law that he failed in. he committed no tort. your righteous indignation has no force in law, in mobs, it does, of course. mobs are always self-righteous. as were the “good people” of salem, massachusetts. as were those who burned joan d’arc at the stake.

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