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Trustee Ryan McCombie: Paterno Report Should 'Give us Pause to Closing the Book and Moving On'

by on February 13, 2013 9:45 AM

A third member of Penn State's Board of Trustees has come out and urged people to take a closer look at the report commissioned by the family of former football coach Joe Paterno.

Ryan McCombie posted a statement on his Facebook page Tuesday night saying the Paterno report should "give us pause to closing the book and 'moving on' from this terrible tragedy."

The report, released Sunday, is a rebuttal to the highly criticized Freeh Report, commissioned by Penn State, which accused Paterno and three former university officials of concealing allegations of sexual abuse against Jerry Sandusky for years.

The Paterno family went on the attack Sunday and Monday, making many media rounds in its well-timed foray into the court of public opinion with the hope of encouraging people to reexamine the Freeh report and its conclusions.

If nothing else, the family has strongly urged everyone to read a report by former FBI profiler Jim Clemente, who describes in detail how pedophiles become masters of grooming and victimization and offers tips on prevention and raising awareness.

"The Sandusky scandal is one of the most important child sex abuse cases in history," wrote McCombie, who said he was not speaking on behalf of the Board of Trustees. "The only good that can come from this tragedy would be that justice is served and a greater understanding of how these crimes are perpetrated, in order to prevent them in the future.

"Mr. Clemente exposes our many prejudicial and inaccurate ideas of pedophilia and where blame/discovery should lie. He convinced me that we must understand this crime to prevent it and we don't! I also believe that, once again, we need to "take a breath"; read the entire Paterno report and digest it. Only then can we begin an open, thoughtful and useful conversation about what happened in Happy Valley and how to prevent it from happening anywhere again."

Adam Taliaferro and Al Clemens, two other trustees, have spoken out about the Paterno report. Taliaferro, who, like McCombie did not sit on the board in November 2011 when the university dismissed Paterno as coach, echoed McCombie in saying the Paterno report deserved a close look.

Clemens called for the entire board to reexamine the Freeh report.

Nate Mink covers Penn State football and news for He's on Twitter as @MinkNate.
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