Washington, DC (Sports Network) - The family of the late Joe Paterno released
its results in a review of the findings in former FBI director Louis Freeh's
investigation into the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case.
Calling it "A Rush to Injustice," the conclusions of experts hired by the
family of the legendary Penn State football coach said the Freeh Report,
commissioned by Penn State University, is factually wrong, speculative and
The Paterno family's expert team featured former Pennsylvania governor and
U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh, former top FBI profiler Jim Clemente,
prominent Washington attorney Wick Sollers and the director of The Johns
Hopkins Sexual Behaviors Consultation Unit, Dr. Fred Berlin. Each of the four
men composed separate reviews of the Freeh Report over the past six months.
According to the group's review, it was determined that the Freeh Report "does
not meet the basic requirements of a thorough, objective and fair
Sandusky was found guilty last June on 45 counts charging him with sexual
abuse of 10 boys over a 15-year period. He was sentenced to 30-60 years in
prison last October.
The scandal, which broke in November 2011 with Sandusky's arrest, brought down
the Penn State football program, tarnished the legacy of Paterno and scarred
the entire university.
After the Freeh Report was released last July, the NCAA followed with severe
sanctions against the university's football program. The penalties included a
four-year postseason ban, five years of probation and vacation of all wins
dating to 1998.
Paterno was fired a few weeks after Sandusky's arrest amid accusations he
didn't do enough to stop the abuse. The college football legend died last
January of lung cancer and never really had a chance to tell his side of the
In the Freeh Report, Paterno was among many Penn State officials accused of
concealing "critical facts relating to Sandusky's child abuse from the
authorities, the board of trustees, Penn State community, and the public at
Paterno, before he died, said he was unsure how to handle such things and
turned over what he knew to others within the Penn State athletic department.
Athletic director Tim Curley, senior vice president Gary Schultz and school
president Graham Spanier were also prominent figures in the Freeh Report's
The Paterno family investigators concluded that the late coach did not attempt
to hide any information or hinder or impede any investigation related to the
crimes or conduct of Sandusky.
Among other findings, the experts determined that the conclusions of the Freeh
Report are "based on raw speculation and unsupported opinion -- not facts and
In fact, Sollers said, "It isn't a little wrong on the minor issues. It is
totally wrong on the most critical issues. That the (Penn State) Board and the
NCAA relied on this report, without appropriate review or analysis, is a
miscarriage of justice."
The report said Freeh failed to conduct interviews with most key witnesses and
those that did speak did so anonymously and not under oath, which would never
happen in a legal proceeding.
Thornburgh said the Freeh Report's factual findings are limited and
incomplete, and that its observations as to Joe Paterno are unreliable and
Dr. Berlin concluded that Paterno would not have participated in a cover-up
just, as the Freeh Report had stated, 'to avoid the consequences of bad
According to Clemente, Freeh's investigation was doomed from the start because
it began with the wrong assumptions.
Paterno's widow, Sue Paterno, issued a letter to former Penn State players on
Friday, saying the family's goal was not specifically to restore the coach's
legacy, but most importantly to gain a full record of what happened.
The Sports Network