Analysis Reveals Freeh Report Wrongfully Condemns Paterno
by Edward Monk
I have been waiting for someone to say the obvious, but no one has. So here it is. The condemnatory conclusions that the Louis Freeh Report stated about the conduct of Head Coach Joe Paterno of Penn State University are not supported by the facts recited in Freeh's Report. Nor are those conclusions supported by the written findings of the Centre County Grand Jury in its Presentment of November, 2011. I have heard and read many media accounts of the 267 page Freeh Report, but remarkably little effort has been given to a thoughtful analysis and consideration of it.
Freeh's law firm was retained as Special Investigative Counsel (SIC) by the Penn State trustees, who had fired Paterno, to conduct a wide-ranging study around the extensive and horrific crimes committed against boys by former PSU assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. As described by Freeh, former head of the FBI, in his press conference of July 12, the SIC consisted of former law enforcement lawyers and officials. I believe information cited in the Report arguably justifies the conclusion that two or three of the university administrators above Paterno failed to act with proper regard for the welfare of Sandusky's 2001 victim and for potential future victims. However, the Report unjustifiably conflates Paterno's behavior with that of his employers and adopts untenable conclusions regarding him.
Consider the SIC's three basic criticisms of Paterno: