Skip to content

Report: Paterno family set to counter Freeh report

Joe Paterno, Susan Paterno AP

Ahead of the airing of Sue Paterno‘s interview with Katie Couric Monday, the family of Joe Paterno will issue a response to a Penn State-commissioned report that ultimately resulted in historic sanctions being slapped on the football program.

Citing a source close to the case, the Centre Daily Times writes that “[t]he family of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno will release a report countering the Freeh Report, which claimed Paterno covered up allegations of child sex abuse against former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.”  The family’s report, which is expected to be upwards of 180 pages — the Freeh report was in the neighborhood of 150 pages — will be released and discussed on ESPN’s Outside the Lines program at 9 ET Sunday morning.

Announced in July of last year, the family’s report was compiled by a “prominent national team of experts,” the paper notes.

While the details of what will actually be contained in what’s being called an “extremely comprehensive” report are not known, it’s expected to center on the tactics utilized by the Freeh group, which “conducted over 430 interviews and reviewed over 3.5 million documents” during a probe that began in November of 2011.  Coach Paterno was not one of those interviewed.  Neither was Mike McQueary, the then-grad assistant who witnessed Sandusky raping a young boy in a shower located in the football program’s on-campus building in 2001.  How school officials, including Paterno, handled that incident was a central theme in the Freeh report.

The independent investigation into the Sandusky child-sex scandal, headed by former FBI director Louis Freeh, has come under tremendous fire since its release in July of 2012, six months following Paterno’s death and eight months after Sandusky’s indictment on dozens of charges that led to the legendary coach’s dismissal.  The most damning accusation in the Freeh report alleged that Paterno, along with other top-level university officials, “concealed Sandusky’s activities from the Board of Trustees, the university community and authorities.”

The Paterno family has long maintained their patriarch’s innocence, even as Paterno acknowledged publicly that the Sandusky scandal was “one of the great sorrows of my life… I wish I had done more.”

On the basis of the Freeh report, the NCAA levied significant sanctions against the university last year, including a $60 million fine, stripping dozens of scholarship from the football program as well as a four-year bowl ban.  A federal antitrust lawsuit, headed by governor Tom Corbett, has been filed seeking to have the sanctions reversed, while the NCAA is looking to have the case dismissed.

UPDATED 1:51 p.m. ET: Sue Paterno has penned a letter and sent it to the Penn State lettermen who played under her husband, which can be read in its entirety HERE.  A very big thanks to former Nittany Lions quarterback Michael Robinson (@RealMikeRob) for giving us a heads up to the letter.

Permalink 47 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Big Ten Conference, Penn State Nittany Lions, Rumor Mill, Top Posts
47 Responses to “Report: Paterno family set to counter Freeh report”
  1. samash1212 says: Feb 8, 2013 1:08 PM

    Enough about Paterno, I will take the word of the former FBI director and Judge over some hired Paterno hacks any day. The Paterno’s continue to embarass themselves and the governor of PA is an absolute fool for trying to sue to lift sanctions. Again PSU proves that football is a greater priority than protecting children from being raped on campus by a monster that they knew.

  2. spreadthecheese says: Feb 8, 2013 1:13 PM

    I can understand that the Paterno family wants to dispute the report to protect the legacy of Joe, but all this does is bring up the incident again and further the damage.

    Sometimes it’s just best to know when you’ve been checkmated and move on, as hard as it may be.

  3. bigd88 says: Feb 8, 2013 1:27 PM

    samash1212 says:
    Feb 8, 2013 1:08 PM
    Enough about Paterno, I will take the word of the former FBI director and Judge over some hired Paterno hacks any day. The Paterno’s continue to embarass themselves and the governor of PA is an absolute fool for trying to sue to lift sanctions. Again PSU proves that football is a greater priority than protecting children from being raped on campus by a monster that they knew.


    This post is a real shame on so many different levels. To start, I have no idea who knew what at what time, who said what, and what was done. I can say that since no trials have occurred (aside from Sandusky who thankfully is locked up forever).
    I’m not gonna get into Paterno or Corbett or anyone else. But for you to unquestionably make Louis Freeh some sort of truthful, independent, and credible party in this whole tragedy is ridiculous.
    “Hacks” hired by the Paterno family as opposed to Louis Freeh? I think former President Bush would disagree with you about Wick Sollers and his firm being “hacks.” They are arguably one of the top legal teams in the entire country.
    It’s also clear you know absolutely nothing about Louis Freeh’s past. He was arguably the worst FBI director in the Bureau’s history and his tenure was littered with corruption, cover-ups, and overall ineptness that led to many American lives being lost.
    It’s misinformed, yet strongly opinionated people like you that have caused this country to be in such a mess. Is Joe Paterno a saint? Villain? Innocent or guilty in this tragedy? I don’t know. I have no idea. But I do know that after actually reading the Freeh report (the whole thing, and not just his opinion summary), it was inconclusive at best and that I should refrain from rushing to the irresponsible judgment of claiming someone to be an accomplice to pedophilia for a man he didn’t even like, for the sake of “positive publicity.” Sorry, it takes a little more patience and factual substance for me to condemn someone of such evil.

  4. illcomm says: Feb 8, 2013 1:29 PM

    they don’t want to protect his legacy as much as they want to cover for lawsuits. paterno gave the house and assets to his wife when he found out the investigation was proceeding. paterno and his legacy are worth dirt!

  5. samash1212 says: Feb 8, 2013 1:32 PM

    Bigd88….You are laughable!!! Keep defending Sandusky and PSU…you look like the scum of the earth.

  6. tommy57 says: Feb 8, 2013 1:35 PM


    “The Paterno’s continue to embarass themselves and the Governor of PA is an absolute fool…” yet you also somehow equate these actions to “PSU proves that football is a greater priority than protecting children from being raped…”

    I’m at a loss to understand your logic in linking actions of the Paterno’s or the Governor directly to PSU officials today. You probably should spend some time thinking-through your positions on these types of issues less you embarass yourself.

  7. bigd88 says: Feb 8, 2013 1:35 PM

    samash1212 says:
    Feb 8, 2013 1:32 PM
    Bigd88….You are laughable!!! Keep defending Sandusky and PSU…you look like the scum of the earth.


    Ah, I get it now. I’m dealing with a 10th grader who has no school today because of the Nor’easter.
    Carry on.

  8. samash1212 says: Feb 8, 2013 1:38 PM

    So the Paternos and the Governor have no ties to PSU officials???

    The Gov is on the board of trustees and was the last voice heard before the BOT fired Paterno….yeah he has no ties. Then why was his press conference on PSU property when he filed the lawsuit.

    Paternos also have no ties to PSU either. Go paint another halo around St. Joe

  9. cometkazie says: Feb 8, 2013 1:40 PM

    Here we go . . . .

  10. uziele says: Feb 8, 2013 1:41 PM


    Or he gave his house and assets to his wife when he found out he was on the wrong side of 80 with lung cancer… either or.

  11. eidolon21 says: Feb 8, 2013 1:42 PM

    we all know the media is never wrong on their reporting of sensationalized stories TIC
    Why dont the naysayers wait to see what the report says. As mentioned above a very credible group of experts are involved. The Freeh report is extremely flawed and inconclusive at best. I understand that when somone is innocent they seek the truth and justice. If I were wrongly accused and judged by the media and people who hate without reason I would never let it go. This is not a defense of Sandusky who should burn in hell but a plea to consider people who have been destroyed in the Media’s rush to judgement.

  12. smokingto says: Feb 8, 2013 1:51 PM

    I’ve read some of Freeh’s investagative reporting on past issues, and a very large portion of what he reports is based more on opinion than fact. In fact his reports where thrown out of one case because it was all pretty much his opinion. Pretty much like your comments. Ignorance is no excuse for irresponsible judgment!! May he rest in Peace

  13. onceuponatimeinsports says: Feb 8, 2013 1:53 PM

    In other news…..The American Nazi party is set to release their own report on the Holocaust conducted by a team of handpicked experts. Early reports believe it will exonerate Adolph Hitler and will focus on the Nuremberg trials and how unfairly they were conducted…..

  14. eidolon21 says: Feb 8, 2013 2:24 PM

    @ once

    I see a lot of bitter irrational hatred in your response That makes me feel good to know how miserable you are.

  15. illcomm says: Feb 8, 2013 2:26 PM

    he gave the house away before he found out about his lung cancer. happened the week before the formal investigation was announced

  16. thetooloftools says: Feb 8, 2013 2:34 PM

    I’m not going to believe anything about Paterno until I hear what Tim Curly, Gary Shultz, and Graham Spanier have to say under oath. The Paterno family has been defending him but while he was alive, and had a GQ writer in his home, Joe Paterno himself NEVER made ANY effort to clear his name saying “it will all come out” and then he took what he knew to the grave. It was common knowledge in State College that Joe Paterno would do anything to protect HIS football program including getting people fired and having police bring football players breaking the law to his house.
    Joe wasn’t nearly as squeaky clean as he was made out to be and deserved what he got.

  17. md22mdrx says: Feb 8, 2013 2:53 PM

    Did you people actually read the Freeh report? If you did, you’d notice JoePa is hardly mentioned and the Freeh is biased in his report. Out of all the books written by Sandusky, why is only “Touched: The Jerry Sandusky Story” mentioned by title? Biased biased biased.

  18. Deb says: Feb 8, 2013 2:54 PM

    The institutional corruption in leaving Sandusky free to abuse children at will has been clearly demonstrated, so the sanctions against Penn State should stand. I felt Paterno’s role was demonstrated as well, but it’s probably pointless to comment further now until we see exactly who conducted this new investigation and what they’ve uncovered.

  19. DelawarePhilliesFan says: Feb 8, 2013 3:12 PM

    Thank God an impartial source is weighing in

  20. jimbo75025 says: Feb 8, 2013 3:26 PM

    Was Petrino a saint? Nope.

    However. a “compehensive” report which conducts countless interviews, but none with some of the key people in the case? That is like prosecuting someone for assault without questioning the victim.

    Face it, there was some truth in the Freeh report, just as there will be some truth in the Petrino report. The ultimate truth probably lies somewhere in between.

  21. tyler4richardson says: Feb 8, 2013 3:36 PM

    Any word on where Ray Gricar is at? I’ve said it before and I will say it again, this reeks like the Franklin Scandal. Huge government cover up. The Freeh report is full of assumptions instead of facts. Paterno might not be innocent, but he is also a scapegoat. If you believe anything Louis Freeh says, then you need to pull up your google search engine and spend a day unearthing the truth about the guy. The guy was a cover up machine while working for the FBI. It’s too bad he didn’t care about the kids he killed during the WACO siege like he did Sandusky’s victims. Google his name next to Kenneth Trentadue or Richard Jewell and tell me that sounds like a guy who releases honest and trustworthy reports. He is living proof of why you can’t always trust people in power.

  22. eidolon21 says: Feb 8, 2013 3:50 PM

    @ Deb,
    thumbs ups on having an open mind

    by the way Go Steelers

  23. florida727 says: Feb 8, 2013 3:52 PM

    I know one person who should be pissed off that this is coming out when it is: Katie Couric.

    I bet she’s been touting this thing all week long in promos, and now no one (except her most ardent “fans”) will even watch. It’ll be plastered all over the Internet to the point where those who still care about this case will read it before Couric says “Hi” into her microphone on Monday. Nice “exclusive”, Katie :)

  24. djstat says: Feb 8, 2013 3:53 PM

    The Paterno family needs to go away

  25. jimmy53 says: Feb 8, 2013 4:03 PM

    Let the man rest in peace. He screwed up—HUGELY! However, he’s dead now, and his family’s attempt to “restore his name” actually does more harm than good.

  26. mogogo1 says: Feb 8, 2013 4:04 PM

    Sometimes you just need to walk away. Constantly bringing up the scandal only further harms the memory of JoePa and no investigation is ever going to fully clear him even if it can refute parts of the Freeh report.

    Here’s the BEST CASE scenario essentially admitted to by JoePa: A grad assistant comes to him to report Sandusky raping a young boy in the showers. JoePa passes the info up the ladder and never asks about it again. Years later, Sandusky still had offices in the athletic department and his charity still had close ties to PSU, all of which would have went away in an instant if JoePa had ever said “I want this to stop.” And the grad assistant went on to become a full member of the coaching staff, showing JoePa didn’t decide the kid was a liar. JoePa said he wished he’d done more…it’s hard to see how he could have done much less.

  27. drjoemck says: Feb 8, 2013 4:26 PM

    Dude! Seriously? Michael Robinson was the starting QUARTERBACK at Penn State for multiple years. C’mon; it’s not that hard.

  28. tommy57 says: Feb 8, 2013 4:29 PM

    I’m not sure I agree with Deb’s characterization of “institutional corruption.” Did the public writ large lose confidence in PSU as a result of the circumstances? Yes. Did these circumstances result from the actions (or inactions) of a large number of PSU employees? No. The corruption was limited by and large to four individuals out of many thousands. Yes, it was corruption, but limited to a small (albeit influential) officials.

    While I appreciate human nature can sometimes lead us to ‘use a broad brush’ when assigning blame, we can only arrive at the truth and therefore accurately assign responsibility for wrong doing through an unbiased examination of the facts.

    Was protecting the football program from scandal and the resulting economic impact a concern for these four individuals? Yes, I think so, given what I know now, but they should have the opportunity to tell their side of the story before we take them out with a drone strike.
    But let’s not kid ourselves that the potential for duplication of these circumstances isn’t present at all major colleges and universities. We only need review the intensity of National Signing Day and the ever increasing size of NCAA media contracts to realize that college football is big business with big money. We can individually comfort ourselves with reassurances that PSU-like circumstances (or even worse) just couldn’t happen at ‘our’ schools, but the amount of money involved is a bacterium that can infect even the cleanest schools.

    And, although we collectively decry the infection the bacteria produced at PSU, if we’re honest, we must also admit that we, the fans, are part of the support network that keeps this bacteria growing.

    Welcome to cognitive dissonance!

  29. Deb says: Feb 8, 2013 4:53 PM

    @tommy57 …

    Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t in any way tar the Penn State faculty, students, alumni, or coaches and players past or present. To me, the phrase “institutional corruption” refers precisely to what you’ve singled out … “influential officials.” Those are the people put in charge of the insitution. When they go bad, you have institutional corruption. Not to get political, but that’s what you had during the Nixon Administration. Their behavior wasn’t a reflection on the many honest federal employees, elected officials, or the American people. But when a handful of high-ranking officials are dirty, you do have institutional corruption. And if left unchecked, it will destroy everything.

  30. cooch70 says: Feb 8, 2013 5:08 PM

    will you please quote Paterno correctly. “IN HINDSIGHT, I wish I had done more”. in hindsight everything is clearer and after 18 months of reporting on this, you should qoute him correctly. Everyone one of the media that jumped all over Paterno and PSU, will no doubt never admit how wrong they were in this. Sandusky fooled hundreds, there was no cover up people.

  31. paulhargis53 says: Feb 8, 2013 5:50 PM

    Give it up people. The Paterno and PSU worshippers are NEVER going to admit that their school and hero were wrong.

    That senile old pos was covering up his freind, plain and simple. Calling the freeh report bs is comical.

    How you people can look yourselves in the mirror is beyond me. How about if Sandusky got a hold of your kid and Joe PAthetic looked the other way or “in hindsight should have done more”. How would you feel then?

  32. donnellym says: Feb 8, 2013 6:27 PM

    I can’t see the family being able to say or present anything that can counter Spanier’s “After talking with Joe…” email. All they can say with Paterno dead is “it doesn’t tell the whole story”, or “it’s out of context”. With him dead, no one can provide any context for it that isn’t already apparent.

  33. effjohntaylornorelation says: Feb 8, 2013 7:14 PM

    I was lost when she chimed in. @her… Lock it up

  34. ravenseattheirownpoop says: Feb 8, 2013 7:37 PM

    Let it go Paterno’s. Your dad was a piece of s##%

  35. amosalanzostagg says: Feb 8, 2013 8:57 PM

    illcomm wrote on : Feb 8, 2013 1:29 PM

    they don’t want to protect his legacy as much as they want to cover for lawsuits. paterno gave the house and assets to his wife when he found out the investigation was proceeding. paterno and his legacy are worth dirt!

    Illcomm pure ignorance and conjecture on your part. Now some actual facts, The Paternos had extensive estate planning done on both parties to take advantage of estate wealth transfer upon the death of the first spouse. This is done over an extended period of time and requires a MINIMUM of an annual review. You do not accumulate family assets over 40 plus years and do not plan for a surviving spouse and the reality of MAJOR estate and tax implications for a spouse and heirs.

    To besmirch a dead man is one thing, to misrepresent and spread outright lies are another. Why not have some actual facts before you post?

  36. amosalanzostagg says: Feb 8, 2013 9:11 PM

    The upcoming felony trials will tell the tale of Penn State. If what they say is true about boxes of emails that the Sr Administrators with Penn State, it is not going to paint Spanier, Schultz, and Curly in a flattering manner.

    PSU supporter will not like what I say, but JoePa was the face of PSU for over 46 years. Being the face and an icon carries great responsibilities. Did JoePA do that, we’ll never know, he’s dead.

    I do know that JoePa was tried, convicted and in a sense, executed for the sins of his superiors in the court of public opinion. His reputation is forever tarnished.

    The “lack of institutional control” exhibited by the Sr University Administrators with is what got PSU the NCAA sanctions and penalties. The upcoming felony trials will only open up the healing scabs on the wounds that the Administrators did to themselves,
    PSU, it’s sports programs, it’s faculty, it’s alumni, and it’s students, present and future.

    The Paternos have a right to try to clear the name of their husband, dad and granddad, but the sad fact is that this will be his legacy.

  37. hatesycophants says: Feb 8, 2013 9:54 PM

    I am stunned to learn there are people still defending Paterno. Sandusky raped children. His friend, the most influential person in the state, knew about it and did not alert authorities immediately upon confirming it. What the hell else is there to say?

  38. dawglb says: Feb 9, 2013 12:05 AM

    I wish the Paterno family invested this much time and effort in helping those children, BACK at THE TIME they became aware of those horrible crimes.

  39. draconian1111 says: Feb 9, 2013 3:03 AM

    Can we just give it a rest?
    Paterno cared about winning at all costs – period.

    It’ really very simple – as soon as he heard about it – it’s a POLICE matter – and he didn’t make sure that it was reported to the police – therefore, he is a scumbag. Period. No possible way to defend it – ever. Get over your sainted Paterno – he, in the end, was an all world A*hole that only cared about kids once they turned 18 or so.
    Child rape is not ANYTHING to take lightly or be worried about more evidence – you REPORT it immediately and let the AUTHORITIES do their job – anything less is BS.
    I hope Paterno is burning in hell.

  40. omniusprime says: Feb 9, 2013 8:42 AM

    The Paterno’s are the scum of humanity, just a bunch of pedophile protecting perverts who want to escape proper justice. That old skank Paterno woman needs to just shut up and let it go, her husband was a criminal who allowed so many innocent children to be molested by his pervert pal Sandusky.

    That pedophile pervert protector Corbett shows us true republican family values. Instead of being governor he should be in prison for not prosecuting Sandusky when he had the chance. Now he wants to exonerate Pedophile State from all wrongdoing, again true republican values of protecting criminals.

    Get Lost Paterno Perverts!!!

  41. tommy57 says: Feb 9, 2013 8:47 AM

    Wow – Mike put on a few pounds since his college days. I guess it happens to some of us.

  42. phillyfanmatt says: Feb 9, 2013 12:46 PM

    Here is a question I have asked and no one has ever answered. If it was your family member i.e. your father, grandfather, husband etc in Joe Paterno’s shoes. And your family member did everything Joe was accused of doing or not doing in this case. And you felt that your family member was wrongly accused. (Now here is the question). Would you fight for them too? If you answered yes you would fight for your father, grandfather or who ever and you still call the Paterno family scum or what not, then you are a hypocrite. I have asked this question several times on this sight and no one has ever answered me. Why is that? Are people afraid to be labeled a pedophile protector? Lets all face it, Joe’s family is not doing anything different then a lot of other families would do or already for their loved ones. The difference here is the Paterno family has money and they are high profile. So I challenge any of you to answer the question I asked a few lines ago. I am curious what people think.

  43. dkhhuey says: Feb 9, 2013 12:48 PM

    Joe Paterno knew and he lied, covered it up, and looked the other way as Jerry Sandusky anally raped innocent and vunerable young kids! F#$& Joe Paterno! His family needs to shut up and go away!

  44. amosalanzostagg says: Feb 9, 2013 1:22 PM


    I faced the exact same situation that JoePa did.

    I turned in a immediate family member to the local authorities after a young extended family member( a 12 year old) came to me.

    Did it cause a family up roar? Hell yes!

    Did it divide the family? Initially, yes. As the actual facts came out, time and reality healed the schisms
    created by the offending party.

    Did it cause me and my family grief and embarrassment in both my private and very public life? Yep, I had to go into rooms with the whispers and discussions behind my back. In certain cases, it cost me business and some financial distress. The passage of time, the actual facts, and the end results have softened the impact and the outcome.

    Sadly, it did not end well. The offending party was found guilty after other people came forward, lost
    everything, career, wife, family and ultimately, their life.

    Would I do it all over again?… In a New York second.

  45. redpillmindstate says: Feb 9, 2013 1:42 PM

    No matter what the family does Joe Paterno has been tried in the court of public opinion… He knew and didn’t do what most rationale human beings in that situation would’ve done because he was compromised by a love of PSU and deeper one for his own legacy … let it die PSU nation stop trying to defend him he’s nothing but a man who did his best with football and what it afforded him and touched many lives for the better but all men are flawed its just that some mistakes can become greater than the sum total of your being.. no its not fair but its absolutely human

  46. tommy57 says: Feb 9, 2013 2:17 PM

    An earlier post indicated that PA residence were in denial regarding the Paterno legacy. Below link is an example of the questions being asked – with answers expected from the Couric interview.

  47. phillyfanmatt says: Feb 9, 2013 2:23 PM

    Amos I am very sorry that you and your family had to go through that situation. And if I were ever in your shoes I would do the exact same thing you did. I only asked the question because I feel a lot of people in this world only spew out what they think others want to hear. While I do feel that the man Joe Paterno is not innocent by any means I do not begrudge his family from fighting for his name if they feel he is wrongly accused as I believe most people would do for their family members if they also felt that way.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!