Sunday, January 20

Distant Replay: Success With Honor thwarted NCAA, BOT

The PSU BOT's and the NCAA's plan to cripple the Nittany Lion football program failed because they believed Joe Paterno had recruited merely football players

Ray Blehar
January 20, 2019, 9:50 AM EST

On the Friday after the Freeh Report was released to the public, former Penn State University (PSU) President Rodney Erickson and NCAA President Mark Emmert began collaborating to solve alleged cultural issues with the football program that allegedly enabled Jerry Sandusky's serial sexual victimization of children.  By Monday, Erickson had a list of proposed penalties in his hands.    

According to the deposition of former PSU Board of Trustees (BOT) chairman Keith Masser, the former PSU president informed  him on Tuesday or Wednesday that PSU and the NCAA were negotiating from a list of possible sanctions.  Consistent with Masser's deposition, Gene Marsh (who was purportedly representing PSU in the negotiations) also recalled that the list of penalties was delivered to him on Tuesday. 

Those lists did not include a death penalty -- and to Masser's recollection, a death penalty could only come as a result of the NCAA conducting its normal investigation process.  Masser's recollection was confirmed in emails by former NCAA Executive Committee Chair Ed Ray and NCAA General Counsel Donald Remy. 

So why didn't the PSU BOT, who undoubtedly knew that an NCAA investigation would find nothing in the way of violations, opt for a NCAA investigation? 

Sunday, January 13

The NCAA's blind eye to Michigan State

While the NCAA had to fabricate a rule in order to sanction Penn State athletics, you don't have to read very far into the Division I Manual to find rules rules violations at Michigan State

Ray Blehar
January 13, 2019. 9:27 AM EST, Updated 1/14/19 at 4:49 PM EST

In July 2012, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced draconian sanctions against Penn State University (PSU) based on allegations of a "lack of institutional integrity."  The move was unprecedented (and legally questionable) given that  a search of the NCAA Division I manual revealed that no such terminology or rule existed.

Evidence confirms that Emmert and the NCAA fabricated a rule in order to sanction Penn State

NCAA President Mark Emmert and other senior staff members fabricated the terminology in order to punish PSU for the acts of a Pillar of the Community sex offender who went undetected -- by everyone -- for decades.  However, when a similar situation occurred at Michigan State University (MSU) involving gymnastics trainer Larry Nassar, the NCAA turned a blind eye to its own rules to give the East Lansing school a pass.

Friday, December 7

Lou Anna Simon: Two Wrongs Don't Make A Right

Some may say that former MSU President Lou Ann Simon is getting what she deserves for her strident position she took against Penn State officials over the Sandusky scandal, but two wrongs don't make a right.

Ray Blehar
December 7, 2018, 9:06 AM EST, Updated 8:03 PM EST

The lessons of the Jerry Sandusky scandal remain lost and the fallacies of the Freeh Report have come back to haunt former Michigan State University (MSU) President Lou Anna Simon.

Simon, who jumped on the Freeh Report bandwagon in 2012, gave no quarter to Penn State University (PSU) officials who were fooled by a Pillar of the Community serial sex offender.   Six years ago, the former MSU President accused PSU  of "purposeful and premeditated" acts that were "pervasive." 

"People make mistakes, and some of those are purposeful and premeditated, and if you just take the Penn State experience, pretty pervasive. Other times, people just make mistakes, and we have to have a violations structure and framework that tries to sort through that in the labels of what the NCAA does. Right now, it doesn't because 'major' and 'minor' don't make a lot of sense. 

"The purpose is to try to incentivize people doing the right thing, and the right thing is saying something when you see something and doing something after you said something. It's really that simple."

The evidence shows in the Larry Nassar case that it wasn't that simple at MSU either.

Nassar was reported to MSU officials on numerous occasions.  Few said anything or even made a report to their bosses.  Only one complaint by an athlete was investigated and that resulted in no charges or punitive actions against Nassar.   He continued to molest young women on the campus for two more years.

Simon's own stern words about PSU have come back to haunt her as she faces charges for lying to police when she allegedly learned about Nassar's misconduct in 2014.    While there is no legal or factual basis that she could have done anything more to help investigators, she is guilty in the eyes of the public.  Nassar happened on her watch.

But it should never have come to this for Simon.

Friday, November 9

What is Barron hiding? It's called fraud

The A7's comprehensive review of the Freeh Report will expose the fraud perpetrated by the inner circle of the PSU BOT, former FBI Director Louis Freeh, and the NCAA

Ray Blehar
November 9, 2018, 7:10 AM EST

For two prior football home game weekends, former Penn State University (PSU) Board of Trustee (BOT) member Anthony Lubrano ran full page advertisements in the Centre Daily Times (CDT) asking PSU President Eric Barron to make public the findings of an exhaustive review of the Freeh Report that was conducted by seven of the alumni elected trustees (a.k.a., the A7).    

Just to make sure Barron didn’t somehow overlook his first request in the CDT, Lubrano also used a banner plane to get his message out, asking point blank: “Pres. Barron What Are You Hiding? Release the Report.”

What is Barron hiding?

In January 2015, President Barron provided a glimpse into his review of the Freeh Report and it confirmed that the report was not credible.

“I'm not a fan of the report....Freeh steered everything as if he was a prosecutor trying to convince a court to take the case.  Barron added that the report "very clearly paints a picture about every student, every faculty member, every staff member and every alum. And it's absurd. It's unwarranted. So from my viewpoint the Freeh report is not useful to make decisions."

The last line of that passage is likely why we haven’t heard more of Barron’s review of the report.  Barron’s statement that it wasn’t useful to make decisions flies in the face of the Trustees and administrators at the top of the University who threw away hundreds of millions of dollars based on Freeh’s faulty conclusions.

Thursday, October 11

Media Ignorance and Sensationalism on Display in Alleged Sex Abuse Coverage

Note: This column was written shortly after the news broke of the sexual abuse allegations of Ohio State wrestlers, but was never posted to the blog.  Given the latest sexual abuse allegations and the same inept media coverage, is releasing a slightly edited version of its original column.

The media's sensational columns regarding alleged sexual abuse expose its collective ignorance and smack of sensationalism and hypocrisy. 

Ray Blehar
October 11, 2018, 11:21 AM EST

Sensationalized media reports on the investigation into sex abuse allegations at Ohio State mirrored prior reports by NBCNews and the New York Times revealing the ignorance and hypocrisy of the media who covered the Larry Nassar case.

While ESPN, NBC, the NYT and others were on a full out witch hunt to find those at Michigan State University (MSU)  and USA Gymnastics (USAG) who "knew" about Nassar's crimes and "enabled" his behavior, there was not a similar level of gusto in finding out the same at NBC News regarding the alleged serial sexual harassment by Matt Lauer.

Lauer, unlike Sandusky and Nassar, was a seemingly well known harasser at NBC and the breaking news of his misdeeds did not come as a surprise to some of his co-workers.  That stands in stark contrast to Nassar and Sandusky, whose criminal allegations shocked everyone who knew them.

While Nassar's and Sandusky's crimes led to the ouster of high ranking officials at both Universities, Lauer's acts did not result in similar firings at NBC or its news division -- nor was the media out to publicly lynch any of the officials there.

Interesting that when the shoe is on the other foot, the "crimes" are isolated to the criminal...and that applies to others in the entertainment industry as well.

Monday, September 10

Ray Blehar segment on This Week in Pennsylvania, September 9, 2018

Many thanks to anchor/reporter Dennis Owens for keeping attention focused on The Second Mile (TSM).

I will briefly appear in a follow up segment about TSM's former Executive Director, Dr. Jack Raykovitz.

Wednesday, August 8

McQueary & More Evidence of Corbett's Vendetta

Mike McQueary's November 2010 police interview was not in an attempt to find more victims to prosecute Jerry Sandusky.  It was about getting evidence to implicate Graham Spanier.

Ray Blehar
Aug. 8, 2018, 10:26 PM EDT, Updated Aug. 9, 2018, 9:50 AM EDT

Mike McQueary's various versions of the 2001 incident have been examined and re-examined many times over, however, there is one aspect of his story that hasn't received much attention. That overlooked piece of the story critically important to understanding that the Jerry Sandusky investigation was primarily utilized by former Attorney General (AG) /Governor Tom Corbett to carry out a vendetta against former Penn State University (PSU) President Graham Spanier.

To be clear, the investigation and prosecution of Sandusky became "real" only when it became a  prerequisite for taking down Spanier.

Tuesday, July 10

Analysis: Is Ohio State another "UVa" (on steroids)?

The evidence in the Ohio State sex abuse investigation points to the media running with a story that was too good to fact check -- just like Rolling Stone ran with its story of a gang rape on the University of Virginia campus

Ray Blehar
July 10, 2018, 8:53 PM, EDT

Here we go again.

Sex abuse allegations at Ohio State University (OSU) have resulted in a (delayed) media onslaught against Ohio State coaches, and specifically, Congressmen Jim Jordan, who "had to know" about and "turned a blind eye" to abuses allegedly perpetrated by former team doctor Richard H. Strauss.

When it comes to reporting about sexual abuse on college campuses, the media seemingly can't separate fact from fiction.  It generally takes whatever the source gives them at face value and runs with it, ruining the reputations of many innocent people in the process.

While the media has already painted the OSU story as another Penn State and/or another Michigan State situation, there are two very critical and important differences that make the Columbus school unlike its conference brothers.

1. Those who were allegedly sexually abused on the campus were adults.
2.  Not a single one of them made a formal contemporaneous report to anyone.

The latter two facts make this case more akin to the allegations of "Jackie," the alleged victim in the UVa gang rape hoax that was reported by Rolling Stone.

And for OSU, the media's "Jackie" is Mike DiSabato.

Friday, June 29

Court used "tortured reasoning" to uphold Spanier conviction

The Pennsylvania Superior Court bias was revealed when it accepted the OAG's tortured and illogical reasoning to uphold Spanier's EWOC conviction

Ray Blehar

June 29, 2018, 8:58 AM EDT

In a 2-1 decision, the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled to uphold the trial jury's verdict that former Penn State University President, Graham B. Spanier, was guilty of Endangering the Welfare of a Child (EWOC).   

The panel differed on the interpretation of the statute of limitations for the EWOC charge, with Senior Judge Lillian Ransom charging Judges Victor Stabile and Carolyn Nichols with using "tortured reasoning" to conclude Spanier's failure to report up until Jerry Sandusky's arrest was a continuing act.

Spanier plans to appeal the decision.

Tuesday, June 12

No Coincidence, Part 3: The "Luck" of The Second Mile

It wasn't a matter of luck directors and officers of The Second Mile charity managed to escape the Sandusky scandal unscathed.  The evidence shows that protecting the charity was a matter of self-interest for prosecutors, the police, and politicians.

Ray Blehar
June 12, 2018, 8:30 PM EDT

In Part 2 of this series, provided incontrovertible evidence that former Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett's investigators were avoiding The Second Mile (TSM) charity like it was the plague.  That evidence, predominately from the Moulton Report, clearly revealed that investigators didn't approach the charity, referred to by prosecutors as Sandusky's "victim factory," until January 2011.

Corbett played fast and loose with
the facts from the Moulton Report
Regardless, Corbett continued to insist that Sandusky's charity had no influence on the delay in arresting Sandusky.

In late 2017, the former one-term Governor told the Washington Post:

“The Second Mile had no influence on that investigation whatsoever, and there’s no evidence that they did.  But [Penn State alumni] won't accept that, will they?"

Facts are stubborn things and Corbett and the media have played fast and loose with the facts all along, especially those from the Moulton and Freeh Reports.

The truth was that the Moulton Report specifically concluded that there was no "direct evidence that electoral politics influenced any significant or important decision made in the Sandusky investigation."   However, that finding does not address other possible influences regarding TSM nor does it say that politics in general didn't play a role in decisions about the Sandusky investigation.

It also doesn't address rather convincing circumstantial evidence tbat Corbett delayed action on the Sandusky investigation until after he was elected.  Does anyone really believe that the anonymous email tip about Mike McQueary -- sent the day after Corbett was elected -- was just a coincidence?

As the following evidence reveals, self-interest and political interests were a key factor in delaying the Sandusky investigation and avoiding implicating TSM.

What Child Endangerment Really Looks Like

In order to get to the bottom of the Sandusky scandal, you have to get past the nuclear blast that was set off by prosecutors in the form of the November 2011 grand jury presentment's sensationally false version of the 2001 incident.