Today's most anticipated news event has arrived: The 9am ET release of the so-called Freeh Report, Penn State's internal investigation into the Jerry Sandusky sex-abuse scandal based on more than 3.5 million emails and documents and 430 interviews. Highlights of the report, whose compilation was helmed by former FBI director Louis Freeh, per the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today:
- The quote initially getting the most attention: "The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized. Messrs. Spanier, Schultz, Paterno, and Curley never demonstrated, through actions or words, any concern for the safety and well-being of Sandusky’s victims until after Sandusky’s arrest."
- Joe Paterno gets called out in a big way, with the report claiming that "at the very least, Mr. Paterno could have alerted the entire football staff, in order to prevent Sandusky from bringing another child into the Lasch Building."
- The 267-page report, compiled over eight months at the request of university trustees, also points to "critical" emails from 2001 that were earlier reported by CNN about a proposed plan to report Sandusky to police after learning about the shower incident. "After Mr. Curley consulted with Mr. Paterno, however, they changed the plan and decided not to make a report to the Authorities,'' says the report, creating "a dangerous situation for other young boys."
- And a very dangerous situation for one boy in particular: "They exposed this child to additional harm by alerting Sandusky, who was the only one who knew the child's identity, about what (Mike) McQueary saw in the shower on the night of February 9, 2001.
- But the damning evidence goes back to earlier years. The report says Spanier, Schultz, Paterno, and Curley were well aware of a 1998 investigation into Sandusky. No criminal charges were filed, but the four decided not to clue in trustees.
- Freeh's conclusion? The four "repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky's child abuse from the authorities, the Board of Trustees, Penn State community, and the public at large ... in order to avoid the consequences of bad publicity."