In the aftermath of the Freeh Report, a few people weighed in on the report to support its findings. Here's a sample:
“We thank Judge Freeh for his diligence in uncovering the facts over the past eight months and issuing such a comprehensive and thorough report,”
-- Penn State Trustee, Kenneth Frazier, July 13, 2012
“Over the past several weeks, high-profile criticisms of the Freeh Report, which examined the Penn State administration's failed response to a report of inappropriate sexual behavior by former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, generated more heat than light. Nearly identical missives from a handful of renegade PSU trustees, the family of ex-coach Joe Paterno, and a handful of former Penn State football players all slammed the Freeh Report as biased and filled with factual errors--but were unable to identify even one specific way in which the report was biased, or point out even one factual error that made the critics' case.”
-- KC Johnson, Minding the Campus, September 5, 2012
“The Freeh group was given carte blanche to look anywhere and everywhere inside the university….. I could have sent my entire team in there for five years and couldn't have gotten anywhere near that level of detailed understanding of what went on there…. So, to suggest that we could somehow conduct, and by the way, spend another two years debating and discussing what happened at Penn State didn't make sense to anybody involved, when the probability of finding anything in addition to the Freeh Report was zero.”
-- NCAA President, Mark Emmert, December 12, 2012
I took these comments as a challenge and easily identified 20 errors and omissions in the report. It was hard to keep the list to twenty, understanding that the media has a short attention span, so I picked the ones that had the most impact on Freeh's press conference statements.
The Freeh Report:
1. Omitted Federal and state laws regarding the confidentiality of child abuse reports.
2. Incorrectly found that Paterno, Curley, and Spanier knew the details of the 1998 investigation (none of the e-mails used as evidence contain any details about the investigation).
3. Incorrectly found that Spanier failed in his duties by not informing the Board of Trustees about 1998 (based on the Standing Orders of the BOT, the e-mail evidence, Spanier’s travel schedule, and his statement – Exhibit 2J - he did not know of the investigation).
4. Incorrectly found that Paterno, Curley, Spanier, and Schultz were kept informed of the 1998 investigation of Sandusky (e-mail evidence shows they were not kept informed).
5. Incorrectly found that Paterno and Curley provided Sandusky with access to facilities for conducting programs for youth (access was granted by PSU’s Outreach Office).
6. Constructed an incomplete timeline of Sandusky’s crimes.
7. Did not investigate the claims by Gary Schultz and Wendell Courtney regarding contacting Centre County Children and Youth Services (CYS) about the 2001 incident.
8. Did not address the changing testimony and non-specific information reported by Mike McQueary regarding the 2001 shower incident.
9. Omitted the testimony of Dr. Jonathon Dranov regarding the 2001 incident.
10. Incorrectly characterized e-mails as “cryptic” and “unique” to the 2001 shower incident.
11. Incorrectly concluded that Schultz, Spanier, and Curley had agreed to report the incident to DPW, but Paterno changed the plan.
12. Incorrectly concluded that PSU failed to report Sandusky in 2001 to avoid the consequences of bad publicity.
13. Did not investigate the potential conflict of interest issue between DPW and The Second Mile that was mentioned by police chief Thomas Harmon during the 1998 investigation.
14. Incorrectly stated Paterno, Curley, and McQueary should have reported the 2001 incident to comply with the Clery Act.
15. Incorrectly found that Paterno did not report the 2001 incident immediately because he didn’t want to interrupt anyone’s weekend (Paterno informed PSU officials on the weekend. In addition, Paterno’s schedule reveals that his out of town travel delayed his report by a day).
16. Incorrectly recounted the trial testimony regarding the Fall 2000/Victim 8 incident.
17. Did not critically analyze testimony in the Fall 2000/Victim 8 incident.
18. Incorrectly stated that Victim 6 was assaulted (Sandusky was acquitted of that charge).
19. Incorrectly stated that Victim 7 was assaulted (Sandusky was not charged with assault).
20. Incorrectly stated that Victim 5 was assaulted (Sandusky was acquitted of that charge).
Unfortunately, the press and the public took Freeh's press conference findings as the definitive facts about the Sandusky Scandal and the fault for this was squarely on the Penn State Board of Trustees for failing to carry out their fiduciary responsibility -- which was to look out for the best interests of the University.
Giving Freeh permission to publish this report and to make public statements about the report's contents, prior to a review, were egregious errors and the members of the Special Investigations Task Force of the BOT should be forced to immediately resign for the damage inflicted by their poor decisions.
The members of the Special Investigations Task Force are: Kenneth C.Frazier, Ronald J. Tomalis, H. Jesse Arnelle, Mark H. Dambly, Keith W. Eckel, and Karen B. Peetz.