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Freeh Report Findings Could Be 'Very Tough' on Paterno, ESPN's Outside the Lines Says

by on July 06, 2012 10:10 PM

The long-awaited independent investigation conducted by former FBI Director Louis Freeh is "going to be very tough on (Joe) Paterno," Penn State's late football coach, ESPN's Outside the Lines reported Friday night.

Multiple unnamed sources told OTL the Freeh report could be released as early as next week.

According to the ESPN account, the report is expected to shed new light on administrators' handling of the Sandusky allegations, and also raise questions about Paterno's leadership of Penn State's football program.

"Much of the focus will be on the culture of the football program, with findings that go back more than a decade," an unnamed Penn State official who was briefed on the inquiry told OTL.

"It's going to be very tough on Joe."

The Freeh Group interviewed more than 400 people, including Penn State administrators, faculty members, trustees and former coaches, players and staff from Penn State's football team during the eight-month investigation. 

A number of emails Freeh uncovered have been leaked in recent weeks to NBC and CNN and confirmed by ESPN raise new questions about Paterno's handling of the allegation about an incident involving Sandusky and a young boy in the Penn State locker room showers in February 2001.

A source who has reviewed all the early 2001 email told OTL the few that have been leaked "are definitely out of context. We think the one that was released was the worst one for everybody."

The Freeh Group originally had intended to allow Penn State's trustees to review a draft copy of its report before releasing it to the public.

After the Faculty Council and others at Penn State criticized that plan last winter, the Freeh Group decided to release its final report, without review or prior input by the trustees, directly to the board and the public at the same time, OTL reported.

"They did not want people to think the board had influenced the process," a source told ESPN.

Penn State's Board of Trustees will meet for their regularly scheduled July conference on Thursday and Friday at the Penn State Worthington-Scranton campus.

Sandusky, 68, was convicted on 45 of 48 counts that he abused 10 boys over a 15-year period on June 22. 

Related coverage:

Laura Nichols is a news reporter and @LC_Nichols on Twitter.
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