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The Freeh Report, Joe Paterno and NCAA Sanctions

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Of course, evidence in the 2012 Freeh Report demonstrates that Schultz was wrong to believe that the matter was "appropriately investigated." In fact, it was botched. But neither Schultz, nor the other three officials knew that.

What Schultz and the other three officials did know (assuming somebody told Paterno how the investigation ended) was that investigation of Sandusky resulted in a conclusion by experts that his behavior in the shower was not criminal behavior. Like it or not, that conclusion must have loomed large in the thinking of Spanier, Schultz, Curley and (presumably) Paterno. Consequently, they had no reason to suspect that Sandusky was a pedophile -- especially given what they knew about his past.

Yet, much of what follows in the next few pages of the Freeh Report is unceasing, unwarranted criticism of the four Penn State officials for their failure to take steps that would have prevented a suspected pedophile from assaulting boys between June 1998 and February 2001.

Consider:

1) The report criticizes Penn State officials for failing to discuss the incident with Sandusky. Now, just imagine yourself a situation where news of an investigation of a subordinate employee, who's a friend, comes to your attention. When you subsequently learn he's been cleared, do you feel any organizational obligation to discuss his seemingly non-existent problem with him? Of course not!

2) Similarly, were Penn State officials obligated to suggest counseling to Sandusky, as the report suggests? Of course not! Not if you doubted his guilt -- because of his great reputation -- in the first place.

3) The Freeh Report asserts: "Nothing in the record indicates that Curley or Schultz discussed whether Paterno should restrict or terminate Sandusky's uses of the facilities or that Paterno conveyed any such expectations to Sandusky." But, if you're Paterno, just when, how and why do you tell a friend who's just been cleared of all allegations against him -- allegations you probably doubted in the first place -- that he can't have free access to the facilities. Get real!

Some alleged failures noted in the Freeh Report appear to be legitimate and reasonable. But, when it concludes:
4) "Nothing in the record indicates that Spanier, Schultz, Paterno or Curley spoke directly with Sandusky about the allegation, monitored his activities, contacted the Office of Human Resources for guidance, or took, or documented, any personal actions concerning this incident in any official University file," my only response is to say: "So what?"

In the eyes of Spanier, Schultz, Curley and Paterno, this was the first time Sandusky had been accused of anything -- and he was cleared! Why take any of these steps?

5) Perhaps the most laughable of all the complaints about how Penn State officials failed to deal properly with Sandusky is the complaint that Spanier failed to declare Sandusky "persona non grata." With this complaint, the Freeh Report loses much of its already shaky credibility. Declaring a recently cleared man "persona non grata" is nothing short of insane!

By now it should be obvious that the authors of the Freeh Report have committed an egregious methodological error and far too many Americans -- like lemmings -- have followed along. It is quite wrong, if not dishonest, to use evidence or information only available to you in 2012 as the basis for criticizing the steps Penn State officials failed to take in 1998 -- especially considering that they had virtually none of this evidence or information.

Want to know how dishonest the Freeh Report really appears to be? Simply compare the conclusion reached by the two experts working the 1998 Sandusky case with one of the conclusions reached by the authors of the report:

1) The two experts working the case concluded: "no sexual assault occurred."

2) The Freeh Report condemns "[a] decision by Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley to allow Sandusky to retire in 1999, not as a suspected child predator, but as a valued member of the Penn State football legacy, with future "visibility' at Penn State and ways "to continue to work with young people through Penn State,' essentially granting him license to bring boys on campus facilities for "grooming' as targets for his assaults. Sandusky retained unlimited access to the University facilities until November 2011." [p. 17]

Isn't it obvious that it's patently dishonest to claim, that by allowing Sandusky to retire honorably a mere year after two experts concluded "no sexual assault occurred," the officials at Penn State were "essentially granting him license to bring boys on campus facilities for "grooming' as targets for his assaults."

Do the authors of the report really believe that the Penn State officials actually knew that back then -- when even the experts said "no sexual assault occurred?" If they do, then this 1998 portion of their report is best described as shamefully inflammatory and unreliable.

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Walter C. Uhler is an independent scholar and freelance writer whose work has been published in numerous publications, including The Nation, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the Journal of Military History, the Moscow Times and the San (more...)
 
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After having read, and re-read, your article a num... by Robert P. Philipps on Saturday, Jul 28, 2012 at 5:31:40 PM
I've read your comment a few times and believe I u... by Walter Uhler on Saturday, Jul 28, 2012 at 8:46:01 PM
Your piece doesn't state how the police detective ... by Robert P. Philipps on Sunday, Jul 29, 2012 at 12:02:10 AM
Dr. Alycia Chambers, a psychologist who evaluated ... by Barry Bozeman on Sunday, Jul 29, 2012 at 6:13:04 AM
To Walter, from Mike SimonsHow ya doing? Not so ... by Mike Simons on Sunday, Jul 29, 2012 at 11:14:54 AM
I wrote about 1998 in light of the Freeh Report's ... by Walter Uhler on Sunday, Jul 29, 2012 at 1:07:45 PM
everywhere he can regardless of the content of the... by Barry Bozeman on Sunday, Jul 29, 2012 at 2:38:26 PM
To one Barry Bozeman Walter is a big boy and can t... by Mike Simons on Sunday, Jul 29, 2012 at 4:44:58 PM
Oh My!!! Your reach exceeds your grasp Mr. Si... by Barry Bozeman on Sunday, Jul 29, 2012 at 4:59:00 PM
Barry, I cop to it! Yeah, I did it! I sprung... by Mike Simons on Sunday, Jul 29, 2012 at 7:06:04 PM
This is an open forum, you can't forbid anything.&... by Walter Uhler on Sunday, Jul 29, 2012 at 6:09:23 PM
Walter, Walter, WALTER!Lighten up.  See my re... by Mike Simons on Sunday, Jul 29, 2012 at 7:08:59 PM
I appreciate the article and it's attention to fac... by sbaker on Sunday, Jul 29, 2012 at 3:34:32 PM
I agree the Freeh Report is a faulty, biased, mis... by Mike Simons on Sunday, Jul 29, 2012 at 4:43:08 PM
the rest is completely off base. A presentmen... by Barry Bozeman on Sunday, Jul 29, 2012 at 5:05:01 PM
Careful BB,  Mr Uhler quite clearly feels the... by Mike Simons on Sunday, Jul 29, 2012 at 7:35:28 PM
BS Crazy is continuing to type out these long repe... by Barry Bozeman on Monday, Jul 30, 2012 at 4:53:33 AM
Another weak sister bites the dust with one very ... by Mike Simons on Monday, Jul 30, 2012 at 8:52:34 AM
sad to say they wasted 6.5 million on the Fact Fre... by Barry Bozeman on Sunday, Jul 29, 2012 at 5:08:04 PM
Dear Mr. Revisionist There you go again! Fir... by Mike Simons on Sunday, Jul 29, 2012 at 4:25:46 PM
More of the same off topic rambling. ... by Barry Bozeman on Sunday, Jul 29, 2012 at 5:05:49 PM
BB, Walter demands you stick to the topic by unsti... by Mike Simons on Sunday, Jul 29, 2012 at 7:41:24 PM
Mikey:  Please get back on you meds and stop ... by Walter Uhler on Sunday, Jul 29, 2012 at 7:48:10 PM
IT'S QUITE WRONG (AND PERHAPS DISHONEST) OF YOU TO... by Walter Uhler on Sunday, Jul 29, 2012 at 6:26:14 PM
Gee Walter, I have always thought of you as a Lim... by Mike Simons on Sunday, Jul 29, 2012 at 8:35:28 PM
Mikey:  You really do need to get back on you... by Walter Uhler on Sunday, Jul 29, 2012 at 9:40:48 PM
Yo Walter! Your doing it again!  Acting l... by Mike Simons on Monday, Jul 30, 2012 at 2:05:59 AM
McQueary's own testimony says no insertion or pene... by Keith Ward on Tuesday, Jul 31, 2012 at 10:11:09 AM
Yo Kieth! McQueary never said he saw a rape nor an... by Mike Simons on Tuesday, Jul 31, 2012 at 10:34:21 AM
Wow, to pay $6.5 million for the tool that beats y... by sbaker on Monday, Jul 30, 2012 at 7:03:31 AM
To Sbaker Thak you for your continued interest... by Mike Simons on Monday, Jul 30, 2012 at 1:03:32 PM
From a phone call with John Ziegler today -  ... by Barry Bozeman on Tuesday, Jul 31, 2012 at 8:36:17 AM
BB I'm stunned! This incredible revelation su... by Mike Simons on Tuesday, Jul 31, 2012 at 10:11:12 AM
BB,One more big thing!In rereading your post, I ju... by Mike Simons on Tuesday, Jul 31, 2012 at 10:17:59 AM
Walter My Friendly Adversary My bad! I did it... by Mike Simons on Thursday, Aug 2, 2012 at 11:10:21 AM