Lifestyle & Belief

Joe Paterno family issues investigation details, blasts Freeh report


Penn State football coach Joe Paterno leaves his office on November 8, 2011 in University Park, Pennsylvania. Amid allegations that former assistant Jerry Sandusky was involved with child sex abuse, Paterno's weekly news conference was canceled about an hour before it was scheduled to occur.


Rob Carr

Joe Paterno’s family said today that Penn State’s investigation into the Jerry Sandusky scandal was “doomed from the beginning,” calling it “speculative and fundamentally flawed.”

The family issued details from its own inquiry today online, takes shots at former FBI director Louis Freeh’s report done for Penn State's Board of Governors.

In it, they said their investigation proves Paterno did nothing to hide the sexual abuse perpetrated by his former assistant on the Penn State football team.

“The Freeh report is a profound failure,” Washington attorney Wick Sollers said in a news release. “It isn’t a little wrong on the minor issues. It is totally wrong on the most critical issues. That the board and the NCAA relied on this report, without appropriate review or analysis, is a miscarriage of justice.”

Along with Wick, the family hired former attorney general Dick Thornburgh, FBI profiler Jim Clemente and the director of The Johns Hopkins Sexual Behaviors Consultation Unit, Dr. Fred Berlin.

They maintain Paterno did nothing to cover up Sandusky's abuse of 10 boys over 15 years while an assistant coach with the Nittany Lions.

The report also says Freeh didn’t interview key witnesses, referenced phantom emails and allowed sources to give anonymous evidence.

Sandusky is serving 30 to 60 years in prison for the crimes while Paterno died early last year.

More from GlobalPost: Joe Paterno speaks about Sandusky scandal

Penn State’s former president Graham Spanier, athletic director Tim Curley and security official Gary Schultz faces a litany of charges from child endangerment and perjury to criminal conspiracy and obstruction.

Prosecutors allege they – along with Paterno – tried to hide the abuse to protect the football program, Reuters reported.

Freeh said the new report, while flashy, doesn’t change anything.

“I respect the right of the Paterno family to hire private lawyers and former government officials to conduct public media campaigns in an effort to shape the legacy of Joe Paterno,” Freeh said, according to Reuters.

The NCAA used the Freeh report to levy some of the toughest penalties against a school.

US college sports governing body also said it has no intentions of changing its decision based on Paterno family findings.

NCAA officials “stand by our previous statements on this matter and do not have anything further to share at this time,” a statement said, ESPN reported.

More from GlobalPost: Al Pacino to play Joe Paterno in new movie