There were plans by at least one third-party group to review the Freeh report last week even before its Thursday release, but you had to know this was coming sooner or later.
Per Outside the Lines, the family of former coach Joe Paterno announced in a statement Monday through its lawyer, Wick Sollers, that a “comprehensive review” of the investigation’s findings would be conducted.
“We are dismayed by, and vehemently disagree with, some of the conclusions and assertions and the process by which they were developed by the Freeh Group,” Sollers said. “Mr. Freeh presented his opinions and interpretations as if they were absolute facts. We believe numerous issues in the report, and his commentary, bear further review.”
The statement can be found in its entirety HERE.
The report was 267 pages long, and contained over 430 interviews with current and former Penn State employees. Among other findings, the report concludes that Paterno, along with other high-ranking Penn State officials, knew of a 1998 investigation of former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky related to child sex-abuse (although no charges were ever brought in the case and it was believed by one child psychologist that Sandusky was “grooming” the victim for abuse).
Paterno had previously stated, most notably to the Washington Post, that he was unaware of the ’98 investigation.
The general conclusion of the Freeh report is that Paterno, former president Graham Spanier, former VP Gary Schultz and athletic director Tim Curley, willingly disregarded proper measures of dealing with allegations of child sex-abuse. Spanier has already refuted accusations that he concealed Sandusky’s allegations from authorities through a statement from his attorneys.
Through multiple statements released over the last week, the Paterno family did about all it could to preserve the legacy the former coach spent decades building. Now they’re trying one more measure by challenging the findings, which OTL reports may take months — at least — to do. The family added it plans “to go beyond the report and identify additional information that should be analyzed” and asks that the investigation preserve all its records.
“The process of reviewing the report and other relevant information is going to be a complicated and time consuming exercise. It took the The Freeh Group roughly seven months to conduct more than 400 interviews and review three million documents. We do not expect or intend to duplicate this effort but we are going to be as thorough as reasonably possible. In the meantime, our attorneys have asked that we not make any further comment on this matter until they are ready to provide an update on their progress,” Sollers said.
But, hey, at least we finally get an impartial look into the Freeh investigation, right?