Thursday, March 23

Trial: Curley Blows Up Key Freeh Finding

Tim Curley's testimony that he and he alone altered a prior reporting plan blows apart Freeh's conclusion that Sandusky would have been reported if not for Paterno's intervention


Ray Blehar

Former Penn State Athletic Director Timothy Curley testified yesterday that legendary former coach Joe Paterno did not advise him to change anything about a plan that he and Gary Schultz developed in response to the 2001 report of Sandusky showering with a boy.

Curley's testimony refutes former FBI Director Louis Freeh's "reasonable conclusion" that Paterno changed the plan. 

Freeh's conclusion was based on an unauthenticated email in which Curley purported wrote:

"After giving it more thought and talking it over with Joe yesterday -- I am uncomfortable with what we had agreed were the next steps."

Freeh leaped to the conclusion that Paterno was responsible for convincing Curley to not report Sandusky to authorities.  In a nationwide press conference Freeh stated:

"Based on the evidence, the only known, intervening factor between the decision made on February 25, 2001 by Messrs. Spanier, Curley and Schulz to report the incident to the Department of Public Welfare, and then agreeing not to do so on February 27th, was Mr. Paterno’s February 26th conversation with Mr. Curley."

Curley's testimony adds to the evidence of that the Freeh Report was incomplete and inaccurate. 

The Freeh Report formed the basis for harsh penalties levied against the Penn State University football program including a fine, probation, reduction of scholarships, and the vacating of all wins from 1998 to 2011.  

Former University President Rodney Erickson solely decided to remove Joe Paterno's statue outside Beaver Stadium in response to Freeh's report.

Undoubtedly, Curley's testimony provides additional leverage for the plaintiffs in the Paterno v. NCAA case.


  1. Ray, correct me if I'm wrong, but when I read Curley's Feb. 26th email that you have quoted here in part, "After giving it more thought and talking it over with Joe yesterday, I am uncomfortable with what we agreed were the next steps", I see the exact opposite of Freeh's faulty conclusion that Joe wanted to protect Sandusky by not going to the authorities. The key to the correct meaning of Curley's words are in his follow-up statement: "I am having trouble with going to everyone but the person involved". This statement, immediately following Curley's first statement of "I am uncomfortable with what we agreed were the next steps", would indicate quite coherently, that Joe had insisted that Curley go to the authorities about Sandusky. Instead of Curley's preferred "humane" approach of only discussing Sandusky's behavior with Sandusky himself, Joe was insisting that the authorities be notified. Curley was expressing his own reluctance to do what Paterno declared was the right thing to do by contacting the authorities. Also, Curley's plural use of the word, "step", as in "steps" indicates Paterno wanted to contact at least two different sets of child welfare authorities and not just a single direct approach to Sandusky himself. The single step approach to Sandusky is what Curley was admitting he wanted to do. Thus, his recent plea deal, and admission of "wishing he had done more".

    So how can "Lucid" Louis Freeh interpret Curley's own coherently written words to mean the exact opposite of what they obviously mean? The MSM and the disgraceful Old Guard BoT owe the Paternos a huge apology to set the record straight.

    And the corrupt BoT members paid Louis Freeh how much to put his dyslexic alzheimer's-like conclusions on display to the whole world?

    1. Truthseeker,
      Thanks for your comments.

      Just like you, others immediately pointed out that Curley's use of the "I" absolutely meant it was "HIS" decision and his decision alone.

      If I am not mistaken, testimony by Schultz yesterday confirmed that Paterno was on board with a plan to go to DPW if Sandusky wasn't cooperative.

      I won't get into details, but even though these guys pled and correctly stated a report was not made to DPW, that doesn't rule out a legal report to CYS within the 48 hour window by PSU.

  2. Ray - From what I read, Curley testified he didn't remember what specifically Paterno and he discussed in 2001.

    The defense asked both Curley and Schultz if they knowingly endangered children and both said no. How can the judge accept a guilty plea when they deny the crime of child endangerment? Regrets, in hindsight, that they should have done more is not a crime.

    I think not putting on a defense was not wise.

    1. Tim,
      Correct. Read Cipriano's piece (if you already haven't)

      However, Tim was consistent with his grand jury testimony that the change to the plan -- to go to Sandusky first, then to Second Mile -- was his.

      Also, he never took reporting to DPW off the table. It was an option in the original plan and it remained that way.

      I agree that Snedden, at a minimum, should have testified. He may have clarified things that Schultz said.

    2. I read Cipriano's piece. It's more detailed than the MSM.

      Perhaps Curley's lack of recall was due to his lung cancer treatments. Chemobrain is a well known side effect of chemotherapy.

      All the prosecution's emphasis on the 1998 investigation and your mention of Erickson got me to thinking. If Spanier was out of the country during the 1998 investigation, who was Acting President? Might it have been Provost Erickson?

  3. 1) I think it is fair to assume that the decision on whether or not to involve DPW was not made until after Tim met with both Sandusky and JR. It was consistently mentioned as a condition of Jerry's future behavior. That's highly unlikely.

    2) Tim's email said he was uncomfortable "....with what we agreed..." That "we" included C/S/S. It did not include JVP.

    3) Involving DPW was treated as an optional step from the very beginning. Schultz wrote "-unless he “confesses” to having a problem, TMC will indicate we need to have DPW review the matter as an independent agency concerned with child welfare" Not only did he write that note the same day he and Curley met with Joe and called Courtney, but the only way it makes any sense at all is if you substitute 'boundary issues' for "problem". Otherwise, you'd have Schultz suggesting they should call DPW if Jerry denies abusing a child, but not calling DPW if he admits to it. That's simply ridiculous!

  4. Spanier's attorney came up with the most incompetent defense I have ever witnessed, matched only by the out of control and unprofessional tirade of Ditka. We have a three ring circus here. I guess crazy in an insane world is as good as sane.

  5. I agree Ditka was playing to the press using wild accusations, innuendo and sensationalism rather than actual evidence.

    It's hard to tell from media reports how effective the cross-examination defense was. I would have liked to see the defense call their own witnesses.

    I don't know if the jury will be impressed by the defense saying they didn't need to call witnesses because the prosecution didn't prove their case.

    The verdict will tell the effectiveness of the defense. After the first day of deliberations, we don't know the score. Hopefully, it's a lone holdout for conviction that is holding up the acquittal.

  6. Does anyone understand why high profile defendants accused of wrongdoing by the state of Pennsylvania are not calling any witnesses in their defense? Kathleen Kane's lawyer did the same, and look where it got her----nowhere.

    Is it possible the defense teams are protecting potential witnesses from physical harm or retaliation from the PA criminal government? When the state wants "witnesses" in their favor they grant them immunity so they may freely lie for them. Remember Judge Demchick-Alloy granting immunity to Kane's ex-lover so he could fabricate for the state? I wonder if that's a trick the Honorable Dumchick learned while studying in Israel?

    1. Truthseeker,
      Thanks for your comments.

      I am very concerned that between the Sandusky trial and the Spanier trial we've not had the opportunity to hear testimony from DPW Agent Jerry Lauro and CYS's John Miller. While Amendola put Schreffler on the stand to show that 1998 was a nothingburger, why not the other two guys?

      These two (Miller & Lauro) should have been the top two witnesses on Spanier's witness list to show that the PA government's experts in child abuse knew far more than anyone at PSU did about what Sandusky was doing with kids and said there was nothing wrong.

      There were immunity deals in this case as well. Belcher got one and so did Baldwin. Apparently, Harmon did not.

  7. This case was different than in Kane's case in that Curley and Schultz were more like defense witnesses. Curley and Schultz stuck by their story that McQueary never told them it was a sexual assault, and they never informed Spanier of a sexual assault.

    With an impartial jury, there should have been a quick acquittal but with the massive pretrial publicity, they likely don't have an impartial jury. They may be headed to a mistrial.

    I think it was a mistake for the defense not to call witnesses and hammer home their points about the child endangerment law. The reporting has been rather sparse on details so I don't know if they covered everything. They should have brought up that Sandusky was not a PSU employee after 1999, and Spanier did not supervise emeritus faculty. The jury had a question on definition of supervisor. Maybe the defense didn't address that issue enough.