Thursday, August 16

Analysis: Coach is NOT believed to be Paterno

PA child abuse reporting laws require that child abuse incidents be kept confidential.  Evidence throughout Appendix 2 and scenario analyses conclude “coach” was/is Sandusky.

By Ray Blehar

In my last post, I concluded, based on the evidence, that Joe Paterno, Graham Spanier, Tim Curley, and Gary Schultz were not provided with frequent updates on the 1998 investigation.  In this post, I will demonstrate that the Freeh Report’s assumption that “Coach is believed to be Paterno” (page 49) is incorrect  (excerpt follows).

Legal and Logical Scenario Analyses

Scenario 1 (Schultz informs Curley of a child sexual abuse allegation vs. Sandusky):  Louis Freeh’s assumption is that “coach” is a reference to Paterno and that Paterno, Spanier, and Curley know the details of the investigation.   Let’s examine the legality and logic of the argument.  
  • On May 5th, the day after the complaint was filed Shultz informed Spanier and Curley. Curley then informed Paterno. 
  • On May 13th, Curley states that “Coach (Paterno?) is anxious to know where it stands.”
  • On Jun 9th, Schultz informs Curley that “They met with Jerry on Monday and concluded that there was no criminal behavior…he was emotional and expressed concern….the matter has been appropriately investigated and  is now behind us.”  (he is reference to Sandusky)
  • Curley does not respond back to inform Schultz he will update the “coach.”
Legal problem with this scenario
·         Under 055 Pa. Code § 3490.154, information about child abuse is confidential any may only be shared with the administrator (Schultz), law enforcement, and the county agency.  Therefore, Schultz would not inform Spanier, Curley, or Paterno about the details of the case.
Logic problems with this scenario
·         There is no closure with Paterno (Freeh admits he doesn’t know how Paterno was informed of the end of the investigation.

Alternative Scenario (Curley informs Sandusky on an investigation):  This was a confidential investigation of a crime against a minor.  Harmon’s e-mail (Exhibit 2D) about the close of the investigation is titled “Confidential.”  Upon receiving this e-mail, Schultz does not forward it to Curley or Spanier.  Instead, he authors a separate e-mail (Exhibit 2E) and provides a less complete version of the closure of the investigation.  Exhibit 2E omits the details Sandusky admitted to showering with other children in the past.
The more logical and legal scenario is that:
  • On May 5th the day after the complaint was filed, Curley informed the coach (Sandusky) he was the subject of an investigation but does not know the specifics of the investigation.
  •  On May 13th, Curley was checking progress on behalf of the coach (Sandusky) who is anxious to know the outcome.
  • From May 13th to May 31st, there was no change in the status of the investigation
  • On June 1st, Jerry Lauro and Detective Schreffler interviewed Sandusky and informed him he would not be charged with a crime.  At this point, the “coach” knows the outcome of the investigation.
  • On June 9th, Schultz found an e-mail dated June 1 (from Tom Harmon) in his inbox and informed Curley and Spanier that the investigation was closed and that the police had told Jerry that he would not be charged.  
  • Curley did not follow-up to close the loop with the “coach” – the coach got it first hand.
Legal problems:  None
Logic problems:  None

Conclusion:  Based on the logic and legality of these scenarios, the “coach” was Jerry Sandusky, not Joe Paterno.

Circumstantial Evidence Case

Re: Jerry
The first piece of evidence indicating that the Freeh Report’s assumption may not be reasonable is the subject of the e-mail(s) – Re: Jerry (Exhibits 2B, 2C, and 2E).    Jerry Sandusky was indeed a coach at the time these e-mails were sent. Therefore, it is also reasonable to believe that coach could be a reference to Sandusky, not Paterno.  

“Re: Jerry” – not “Re: Jerry Sandusky.”
The second set of evidence are all of  Curley and Schultz’s references to Sandusky throughout Appendices 2 and 3 of the Freeh Report.   Schultz and/or Curley refer to Sandusky as “Jerry” nineteen (19) times.  The only time Sandusky’s full name is used by Curley is in the retirement offer (Exhibit 3B)   In Exhibits 5B, 5C, and 5D, Schultz uses the initials “JS” to refer to Sandusky.  Neither Curley or Schultz use Sandusky’s full name in routine correspondence.

Re:  Joe Paterno
The underlying basis for Freeh’s statement that “coach” is Paterno in the previously mentioned exhibits is made possible by the existence of Exhibit 2A, Subject: Joe Paterno.  So, let’s discuss that exhibit.

The two parties exchanging e-mail are Tim Curley and Gary Schultz.  We do not know who the originator is in this chain, however it is either Tim or Gary.  So, next we’ll review how each man refers to Joe Paterno.

Tim Curley:  Joe Paterno is “Joe”

Ask any of his former players how they addressed Joe Paterno.  He was always Joe.  Tim Curley called him Joe too, back when he played.  And that’s why I also believe that Tim Curley’s reference to “coach” is indeed a reference to Jerry Sandusky. 

Here are Curley’s own words from Exhibits 2F, 5G, 3A, 3B, 3C, and 3G.

In these e-mails, Curley never refers to Joe Paterno as “the coach.” Joe Paterno is always referred to as “Joe,” as this is how Curley addressed Joe from the time he was a walk-on player up until Joe's passing. 

Gary Schultz:  Joe Paterno is “JVP”
Examining the correspondence of Gary Schultz at Exhibits 2H, 3E, and 5C, it is clear that Gary consistently refers to Joe Paterno as “JVP.” 

Gary Schultz never uses anything other than JVP in reference to Joe Paterno.

Conclusion:  The circumstantial evidence provides the basis to reasonably conclude that neither Tim Curley or Gary Schultz would refer to Joe Paterno as “coach.”  

Bottom Line:  It is highly likely that Exhibit 2A is either an altered e-mail or has been completely manufactured by Freeh’s group.   Penn State University should retrieve the  relevant file from the server to check it for authenticity.


  1. I asked this question yesterday: the email from Curley says that he would "plan to tell him that they are aware of the first situation."

    Is there evidence that PSU discussed the first investigation with Sandusky? Because the line above implies that Sandusky is unaware that they know about it. This would also seem to disprove that "coach is anxious" is Sandusky if they need to "tell him that they are aware of the first situation."

    1. Good point. My guess being 3 years later it was meant more as a reminder that they knew. Due to the overwhelming evidence that coach is Sandusky, which most Penn Staters knew he was referred to as anyway. And joe as joe or Paterno or JoePa later on.

    2. Jay,
      From the evidence, we know that in 2001 Schultz reviewed the 1998 case and discussed it with Curley. Sandusky would not be aware that Curley knew of the nature of the first incident, since a child abuse report is confidential. In 2001, Curley discussed the 1998 incident with Sandusky.

      Again, there is no need for Sandusky to know what the investigation is about for him to be "anxious." If your boss came to you and said the cops were investigating you, but the boss couldn't tell you what the investigation was about, would you be anxious?

      I think you would.

  2. What about the fact Schultz says "since we talked **tonight**" when the timestamp on his email is 2:06pm?

  3. More evidence for your argument about the identity of "The Coach"...

    I read this article today in the NY Daily News. It quotes the latest abuse victim saying "he remembers meeting the man everyone referred to as “The Coach,” Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky..."

  4. I think Ganim had a statement that the mother of Victim 6 said that when she was told the case was being closed, the Joe knew. Not sure the veracity of that claim.

    But the bigger picture with 1998 was there ANY legal way that Joe or Time would or could know about the details? If this was confidential, then they SHOULDN'T know ANY details. Is this correct?

    Once the case was closed, then was confidentiality removed? At what point legally, could/should they know about the allegations?

  5. Jay,
    The article you reference is about two mothers lashing out at PSU officials right after the grand jury presentment was released. After reading it, Ganim mistitled the article. Just the mother of Victim 6 lashed out at PSU -- saying Spanier had to know about the 1998 incident. Not a word said about Paterno.

    Legally, Schultz and the police would not share details of this investigation. Note that Harmon's e-mail to Schultz is labeled Confidential (and not because there was a cover-up going on). They were not sharing details with Curley (as I noted in my last post and the previous post - Schultz filtered the information).

    I don't have an answer to the last question. If this was a DPW or CYS investigation, the file would have been destroyed after 1 year.

    I've asked lawyers to look further into the child abuse reporting laws. The PA statutes aren't set up to handle every situation. This one was unusual because Sandusky was a volunteer at a charity (a statute covers that situation) and the abuse happened at a school(different statute handles that).

    The PSU police did the right thing (using the school statute) and immediately contacted the DA. Freeh mischaracterized why this happened.

    There is no evidence that I've seen that shows CYS complied with the 24 and/or 72 hour notification to the subject (Sandusky). Not that they didn't do it, but that evidence has probably been destroyed per the rules on record retention. Someone from CYS would have to confirm a letter or contact was made with Sandusky regarding the 1998 incident.

  6. Why isn't Schultz' reply on 5/14 included in the timeline?

    Exhibit 2B (Schultz to Curley):

    "Tim, I understand that a DPW person was here last week; don't know if they talked with Jerry. They decided to have a child psychologist talk to the boys sometime over the next week. We won't know anything before then".

    If "Coach" was Jerry and not Joe, wouldn't Jerry have known if he had been interviewed by DPW?

    1. GOOD GRIEF - when are people going to wake up and understand this. Curley calls JOE JOE - not coach. Your interpretation of Schultz's answer has noting to do with anything.
      Writing "coach is anxious to know" or "I don't know if they talked to Jerry" has noting to do with anything.


      We know these are the only possibilities
      1) That an 85 year old man either did not recall knowing that there was some kind of inquiry that cleared JS of any wrongdoing thirteen years in the past at the Grand Jury
      2) That he truthfully answered the question posed in the Grand Jury did you know of '"any other inappropriate sexual conduct by Jerry Sandusky with young boys?"" to which he said NO
      3) Since Sandusky was cleared of any inappropriate sexual conduct in 1998 an answer YES would have served Joe well because it would mean he was aware that Sandusky showering with a boy and giving him a bear hug was not deemed to be criminal by CYS DPW 2 police departments or the District Attorney.

      Why does anyone have a PROBLEM with that?
      1) How in the world does it appear that Joe knew? please list evidence to that conclusion.
      2) What earthy difference does it make since Sandusky's shower bear hugs were deemed NOT CRIMINAL OR SEXUAL.
      see how Freeh's Fiction works? "These four men also knew about a 1998 criminal investigation of Sandusky relating to suspected sexual misconduct" What these men would have known is that the conclusions made by DPW the DA and Police was NO CRIMINAL or SEXUAL MISCONDUCT.

      We view this based on the facts in evidence and the facts show that Joe - a more than decent and honorable man - did not know of the 1998 investigation
      1) MOSTLY because if he knew he would simply say YES - I knew there was a thorough investigation that concluded Jerry's showers and bear hugs were neither criminal or sexual AND
      2) FURTHER the only "evidence" Freeh could drag up from 3.5 million electronic documents and 400 interviews was two emails from Curley that mention "coach" without a single one saying "I INFORMED JOE PATERNO THAT JS WAS INVESTIGATED AND CLEARED WITH NO CHARGES"

    2. cwerph,
      Schultz's update to Curley provides Gary's knowledge of the case. Sandusky was supposed to be interviewed on May 7th - but that didn't happen until June 1st.

      So, in this case, Curley would be telling Sandusky (who has not been interviewed) that DPW plans to interview him sometime. And that DPW is having a psychologist interview the boys.

      It's reasonable to conclude that even though Schultz's e-mail is dated May 14 and Harmon's is May 13, that Schultz had not read Harmon's e-mail before he responded to Curley. This is happens a few times with Schultz - a busy executive who is swamped with e-mail and working through it by priority, not by date.

  7. You allege that:

    "Under 055 Pa. Code § 3490.154, information about child abuse is confidential any may only be shared with the administrator (Schultz), law enforcement, and the county agency. Therefore, Schultz would not inform Spanier, Curley, or Paterno about the details of the case."

    Below is 055 Pa. Code 3490.154, which seems to me DOES NOT APPLY. Please explain.

    3490.154. Release of information by a school employe including an administrator.
    (a) Information in a student abuse report is confidential and may only be released by a school employe who made a report of suspected student abuse to:

    (1) The administrator.

    (2) A law enforcement official in the course of investigating the allegation of suspected student abuse.

    (b) This section applies to an administrator when the administrator made the report of suspected student abuse.

    1. Unfortunately in all the victims cases here, none of them were students of PSU. They were guests brought on by a faculty member. The campus police and Schultz should have been the only ones privvy to the CONFIDENTIAL information. Eventually Spanier needed to be brought into the loop because he is the President and needs to be aware of what is happening on the campus and with his staff/faculty in the 1998 investigation. Curley only needed to know that there was an investigation pending and would be informed of its outcome.

      For the 2001 incident, Sandusky was retired. Curley was informed by Paterno that there was an incident, because Curley is his supervisor. Schultz knows because he is the head of campus police. Spanier only needs to know that there was an incident on campus and the proper authorities have been notified and it's being handled. Second Mile absolutely dropped the ball on this one. (Along with the janitor back in 2000 that didn't report Sandusky then)

      I'm not saying I agree with the protocol, but that's the way it's handled in an academic environment. In this case, you have the added layer that it's post-secondary and the environment is primarily adults. They don't deal in minor children for the most part.

      Laws are being rewritten so everyone has due diligence for children.

    2. Unknown,
      The PA statutes cover the most probable situations for discovering child abuse -- discovery of abuse in a school situation, discovery of abuse in a family situation (e.g., discovered by a doctor or medical professional), and abuse discovered in a volunteer youth organization. This case straddles the school situation and the volunteer situation. In all cases, the report of abuse is confidential. Schultz (administrator) and Harmon/Schreffler (law enforcement) would be privy to the details.

      PSU police did exactly as the law requires in the school situation (even though the victim was not a student) by informing the DA's office when they were notified of abuse. Their other alternative was to put the onus of reporting on CYS, using the volunteer scenario. In short, the PSU police chose the more forthright and pro-active approach.

      Why Knot is correct. They are revising the statutes to make the reporting responsiblities more clear.

  8. Based on the material presented I would venture to say the University and the Paterno family certainly have cause to take their case to federal court to sue both Freeh and the NCAA for slander and defamation of character and likewise sue certain BOT members (inner circle)for their negligence and lack of responsibility for not reviewing the Freeh report before allowing him to go on TV nationwide to spew his garbage. Was this his attempt to gain national recognition for his past failure at the expense of PennState?

    Let's be honest, there are certainly enough of PennState haters out there especially in the media who jumped all over the report, salivating and yet none even read the report. It didn't matter to them.

    I recall during a Massachusetts trial the famous Gerry Spence, great prosecuting and defense attorney stated "If the prosecution and defense would be more interested in justice than winning a lot of innocent individuals would have been speared.

    Then I think of the number of AG out there who are more interested in winning at any cost, as they aspire of higher office such as a governor.

    Linda Kelly, does the shoe fit?

    The reputation of a great University and t's head football coach & educator was slandered and defamed.

    Justice needs to restore them to their greatness.

    Good work Ray and others.


  9. Logically it does not follow that Coach is Jerry. However, if you insist, it really doesn't matter (except it looks really fishy that it was omitted from the analysis).

    Regardless, unless the emails were forged or altered, it appears that they did know about the '98 investigation:

    Curley wrote: "After giving it more thought and talking it over with Joe yesterday, I am uncomfortable with what we agreed are the next steps. I am having trouble with going to everyone, but the person involved. I think I would be more comfortable meeting with the person and tell him about the information we received.

    ***I would plan to tell him we are aware of the first situation.***

    I would indicate we feel there is a problem and we want to assist the individual to get professional help."

    It would take a pretty liberal reading not to think that "we" included Curley, Schultz and Paterno given the context.

  10. cwerph,
    Please explain the logic behind "coach" being Paterno. If the intent was to keep Paterno updated, why aren't there any other e-mails with the subject Joe Paterno? Why doesn't Curley affirm that he'll update the coach when the investigation closes?

    Second, no one here denies that Curley, Schultz, and/or Paterno were aware of the 1998 investigation. The argument is that no one aside from Schultz (and the police) knew it was a child sexual abuse investigation. There is no evidence to support that Curley or Paterno were ever told the details of the investigation. Joe Paterno could not be charged with perjury, as Freeh and the press have said, because he was asked if he knew of prior child sexual abuse allegations against Sandusky. The answer is definitively "no." There was no finding of child sexual abuse in 1998.

    If all three of the men read the 1998 police file in 2001, after the McQueary allegation, they would have come to the same conclusion. The police and DPW concluded that no child sexual abuse occurred.

    You can't use 2012 hindsight to prove what people knew or thought in 2001.

  11. cwerph,
    In an earlier post, I showed the chronological order of the e-mails and their contents. Schultz definitely filtered the information he passed onto Curley. The filtered information is in red type in the e-mails from Harmon to Schultz.

    Take a look.

  12. I have already explained my logic. You disagree. I get that. If I misunderstood your point, I apologize. The main argument of JVP apologists is that he really didn't know about the 1998 investigation. If you acknowledge he did know, I don't have any beef other than the fact that it appears that this information was left out and at least casts doubt on your conclusion.

  13. If you're referring to the earlier argument that Curley would not be updating Sandusky about his DPW interview, then you've missed the boat.

    Sandusky was supposed to be interviewed on May 7th - but he wasn't. Therefore, he's anxious to know about when it's going to happen. On the 14th, Schultz is not sure whether or not the interview happened and that's what he tells Curley. At that point, the interview hadn't happened and didn't happen for another 17 days.

    Why does that not make sense? Sure, if Sandusky was interviewed, he would not need an update on that...but he wasn't....he was hanging out there in limbo until DPW got around to talking to him.

    None of my posts ever said Joe didn't know about 1998. My posts said 1) he didn't know the details and 2) he wasn't given frequent updates or follow the investigation closely.

    I didn't leave anything out.

  14. Spanier has clarified, not directly, but when speaking about that specific email thread, that "Coach" is Sandusky.