Joe Paterno's family is trying to get the last word in on the tarnished legacy of the legendary Penn State coach, releasing this morning a report of their own that blasts the findings of the Freeh Report. Calling Louis Freeh's conclusion that Paterno concealed Jerry Sandusky's sex abuse of children "fundamentally flawed" and "a rush to injustice," the report appeared on Paterno.com and was billed as an exhaustive response that broke more than a year of silence. The team reviewing Freeh's work included former US Attorney General and Pennsylvania Gov. Dick Thornburgh, an FBI profiler, and others. Freeh has responded, saying he respects the family's right "to shape the legacy of Joe Paterno," but maintains that Paterno should have done more.
“The Freeh Report is a profound failure,” says one of the authors. “It isn't a little wrong on the minor issues. It is totally wrong on the most critical issues. That the Board and the NCAA relied on this report, without appropriate review or analysis, is a miscarriage of justice.” Sue Paterno launched the family's counteroffensive on Friday with a letter to former players, and has recorded an interview with Katie Couric. Among the Paternos' contentions, as per the AP:
- Paterno never asked or told anyone not to investigate an allegation against Sandusky on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2001.
- He never asked or told administrators not to report the 2001 allegation.
- And he never asked or told anyone not to discuss or hide information reported by Mike McQueary about the 2001 allegation.
- Further, "Paterno reported the information to his superior(s) pursuant to his understanding of university protocol and relied upon them to investigate and report as appropriate," the report says.