Freeh Report: Paterno Knew of 1998 Investigation
From the first week of November through the third week of January, Joe Paterno denied knowledge of the 1998 investigation involving Jerry Sandusky and eventual Victim 6. Those statements now appear to be false, given the findings of Louis Freeh’s report released this morning.
The report includes a timeline of events dating back to 1969 with regard to the activities carried out by Jerry Sandusky and the response of Penn State administrators. There is a segment of the timeline in early May of 1998 where then athletic director Tim Curley informed Gary Schultz and Graham Spanier that he “touched base with” Paterno about the incident. Curley then followed up with Schultz a few days later in an email message asking; “Anything new in this department? Coach is anxious to know where it stands.”
In both his report and today’s press conference, Freeh was critical of Paterno as well as the other three university leaders with a statement saying:
“Four of the most powerful people at the Pennsylvania State University- President Graham B. Spanier, Senior Vice-President-Finance and Business 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. These men concealed Sandusky’s activities from the Board of Trustees, the University community and authorities. They exhibited a striking lack of empathy for Sandusky’s victims by failing to inquire as to their safety and well-being, especially by not attempting to determine the identify of the child who Sandusky assaulted in the Lasch Building in 2001.”
The end of that excerpt, which can be found on page 14 of the report, switches gears to 2001. Freeh then noted that while the Board of Trustees’ late night November 9th firing of Joe Paterno was handled poorly, the firing itself was justified.
This morning, the Paterno family released a statement in response to the findings of the Freeh report. The statement did not address Paterno’s awareness of the 1998 investigation.
Check back throughout the day for continued Onward State updates.