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Freeh Report: Summary of Key Points Raised by Former FBI Director

by on July 12, 2012 11:10 AM

The Freeh Special Investigations Task Force released on Thursday covered 267 pages and is a summary of the investigation into the circumstances of Penn State's in the child abuse committed by Jerry Sandusky.

Here are a few salient points raised by and attributed to the Freeh report:

THE LEADERSHIP

• “Four of the most powerful people at The Pennsylvania State University – President Graham B. Spanier, Senior Vice President-Finance Gary C. Schultz, Athletic Director Timothy M. Curley and Head Football Coach Joseph V. Paterno – failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade. They displayed a strong lack of empathy for Sandusky’s victims ...”

• “Spanier failed in his duties … The Board (of Trustees) also failed in its duties to oversee the President and senior University officials in 1998 and 2001 …,” but the Board did not have knowledge of the 1998 and 2001 events.

• “… the Board’s subsequent removal of Paterno as head coach was poorly handled, as were the Board’s communications with the public.”

• Penn State had a lack of understanding and compliance of the Clery Act – the reporting of crimes on campus – regarding the reporting of Sandusky’s actions.

• Former assistant football coach Mike McQueary, former University Director of Public Safety Thomas Harmon, former Centre County assistant district attorney Karen Arnold, former Second Mile head Jack Raykovitz and Jerry Sandusky were not interviewed by the task force.

THE 1998 INCIDENT

• Paterno was aware of the 1998 incident involving Sandusky in a Lasch Building shower with a young boy. In an email from Curley to Schultz and Spanier at 5:24 p.m. captioned “Joe Paterno,” Curley reported, “I have touched base with the coach. Keep us posted. Thanks.” Spanier said he did not recall this email, and Paterno’s family has publicly denied that Paterno had knowledge of the 1998 incident.

• Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley did not even speak to Sandusky about his contact with a young boy on May 3, 1998, in Lasch Building.

• Schultz’s notes about the 1998 Sandusky incident: “Behavior – at best inappropriate @ worst sexual improprieties” and “At min – Poor judgment. He also notes: “Is this the opening of pandora’s box?” and “Other children?”

• Despite their knowledge of criminal investigations of Sandusky, Spanier, Schultz, Curley and Paterno “took no action to limit Sandusky’s access to Penn State facilities or took any measures to protect children on their campuses.”

• Curley communicated with Second Mile executive director Jack Raykovitz about the 1998 incident and asked Raykovitz to tell Sandusky to not bring any Second Mile boys to campus.

SANDUSKY’S RETIREMENT

• Sandusky’s retirement was not tied to that discovery of him and a young boy in that shower in 1998.

• Investigators discovered notes that “appear to be in Paterno's handwriting” related to Sandusky's retirement from Penn State in 1999. “We know this isn't easy for you and it isn't easy for us or Penn State," the notes say. “If there were no 2nd Mile then I believe you belief [sic] that you probably could be the next Penn State FB Coach. But you wanted the best of two worlds and I probably should have sat down with you six or seven years ago and said look Jerry if you want to be the Head Coach at Penn State, give up your association with the 2nd Mile and concentrate on nothing but your family and Penn State.”

• Despite telling Sandusky he would never be head coach at Penn State, Paterno did “give him the option to continue to coach as long as he (Paterno) was the coach,” a Curley email said.

• Sandusky’s retirement package was much-discussed and unusual in that he was given emeritus status, an occurrence that caused consternation for Rod Erickson, at the time the university’s provost (chief academic officer) and currently president.

• Sandusky received a near-unprecedented payout of $168,000 at retirement. He was hired back on an “emergency” basis for the 1999 season, at his former salary plus a 6 percent cost-of-living increase.

• After the 1998 season, Curley offered Sandusky a position as assistant athletic director, but Sandusky declined. There were some preliminary discussions – supported by Paterno -- about establishing a football program at Altoona under Sandusky’s direction, but a high-ranking Penn State official said raising funds for such a venture would not work. Sandusky pressed “to continue to work with young people through Penn State.”

THE 2001 INCIDENT

• In February 2001, a meeting was held with Curley, Schultz and Spanier to talk about the 2001 incident involving Sandusky and a boy, and they also “reviewed the history of the 1998 incident.”

• Curley met with Raykovitz of the Second Mile on March 19, 2001, and “shared the information we had with him.” The Second Mile leadership concluded the matter was a “non-incident” and took no further action.

• The report confirmed the February 2001 sequence of events that were leaked in the past 10 days, where the above three administrators devised a three-step reporting plan of action, but later recanted after Curley indicated he spoke with Paterno.

2011

• In April 2011, a trustee emailed Spanier, seeking more information about the grand jury investigation. Spanier responded that “Grand Jury matters are by law secret…” and said he would check with university counsel Cynthia Baldwin. In April 13, Spanier appeared before the grand jury, and on April 17 Spanier, Baldwin and then-board chair Steve Garban met.

• On Oct. 27-8, 2011, Baldwin received information on the upcoming grand jury indictment. Baldwin, Spanier, Garban and staff drafted a press statement that expressed “unconditional support” for Schultz and Curley.

• On Oct. 29, 2011 Sandusky attended a Penn State home football game and “sits in the Nittany Lion Club in Beaver Stadium.”

• On Nov. 4, 2011, former Penn State counsel Wendall Courtney emailed Schultz a newspaper story about the Sandusky charges. Schultz replies: “I was never aware that ‘Penn State police investigated inappropriate touching in a shower’ in 1998.”

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Mike Poorman has covered Penn State football since 1979. He is a senior lecturer in Penn State's College of Communications and teaches a pair of classes in the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism: “Sports Writing” and “Introduction to the Sports Industry.” He created and taught for several years the Center’s course on “Joe Paterno, Communications and The Media.” Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/PSUPoorman. His views and opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Penn State University.
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