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.”
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.