The Paterno family has dropped its lawsuit against the NCAA, a lawsuit that NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy excoriated in a statement.
“The Paterno family characterized this case as a ‘search for the truth,’” Remy said. “Its decision today, after years of investigation and discovery, to abandon its lawsuit rather than subject those facts to courtroom examination is telling. We believe that the powerful record developed during discovery overwhelmingly confirmed what the NCAA has believed all along: the NCAA acted reasonably in adopting the conclusions of an eight-month investigation by Louis Freeh.”
Sue Paterno has issued a statement of her own on behalf of the family and her late husband, naturally, disagreeing with Remy’s conclusions about Freeh’s conclusions. Read the full statement below, courtesy of Onward State.
For more than half a century Joe and I were honored to represent Penn State. We always knew this place was special and we were determined to help it grow into the world-class institution it is today.
In the fallout from the Sandusky tragedy and the subsequent mishandling of the investigation by the Board and Louis Freeh, I was determined to do everything in my power to defend the honor of Penn State and set the record straight on Joe. Although the fight has been long and difficult, enormous progress has been made. The unprecedented sanctions imposed on the university were reversed. The wins, which were unjustly stripped from the players, were reinstated. And even Mr. Freeh has stated under oath that his many alleged “findings” were, in fact, merely his opinions.
Out of the ashes of that widely discredited report, I sought to help other communities become safer – to help them to see that which we missed and to help prevent future similar tragedies. That is why I commissioned Jim Clemente to draft a report on how predators in every community operate. It is my continued hope that people will read his report and educate themselves on the signs. Every day, all over the country, we are reminded of the need. As Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon noted recently, “”it is virtually impossible to stop a determined sexual predator and pedophile,” a reality faced by every community and one whose tragic effects are felt daily. That is why Joe felt learning from this tragedy was so important that the last thing he wrote in his own hand was that – God willing – there would be a silver lining of greater awareness to this societal problem.
Joe was a man of integrity who didn’t fear the truth, but rather embraced it. And this is why he urged the administration to slow down and conduct an objective, independent and thorough investigation. I think almost everyone agrees this is what should have happened, and, as Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale’s independent report recently noted, did not happen. Through the last five years, and over three years of litigation, we learned what such a careful investigation would have found: that Joe never interfered in any investigation; that he properly reported the one account brought to him; that there was no conspiracy or any attempt at a cover up; and that Joe followed university and NCAA procedure to the letter. Joe has never been accused of any crime and all testimony supports that he followed the law and policy at all times.
It has been a tremendous personal strain to undertake an effort that never should have been needed in the first place. During these difficult times, I’ve been inspired by the unwavering support of the students and alumni of Penn State. With their devotion and energy I’m confident the university’s future will be brighter than ever.
Our goal has always been to uncover and make transparent the full truth. We have done all we can in this litigation to achieve that end and the furtherance of it beyond this point will not yield anything new, which is why I have decided to end my litigation with the NCAA.
I love Penn State. My family and I don’t confuse the misguided actions of a few with the intent of the university as a whole. I am grateful for the extraordinary support my family and I have received from our friends in State College and throughout the Penn State community. This great university has been, and will continue to be, very important to me.
With former Penn State executives Graham Spanier, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz sentenced by the Pennsylvania courts and the Paterno-NCAA lawsuit now officially a thing of the past, it seems now, six years later, the dust is finally settling around the Jerry Sandusky-Penn State scandal.
It’s about time.