With the release, yesterday, of the "CRITIQUE OF THE REPORT OF THE SPECIAL INVESTIGATIVE COUNSEL," ("SIC," otherwise known as the Freeh Report) by the lawyers representing former Penn State President, Graham Spanier, the tide has begun to turn against Mr. Freeh's erroneous and irresponsible allegation that Mr. Spanier, Gary Schultz, Tim Curley and Joe Paterno -- "repeatedly concealed" evidence of child molestation by former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.
Mr. Spanier also did his part to turn the tide yesterday--both in an interview that appeared in the New Yorker and in interviews by ABC News and Nightline. In the New Yorker, Spanier asserts: "The Freeh report is wrong, it's unfair, it is deeply flawed." During his Nightline interview, Spanier asserted: "Never in my time as President of Penn State did I ever, ever once, receive a report from anyone that suggested that Jerry Sandusky was involved in child abuse, in sexual abuse, in any criminal act."
As the lawyers representing Spanier write, in their "Critique" of the Freeh Report: "Dr. Spanier was copied on only two emails relating to the 1998 incident: one did not name Sandusky or any other individual; and the other, titled "Jerry,' reported that an investigation had concluded that there was no criminal behavior and so the matter had been closed."
Regarding the February 2001 allegation of child molestation in a Penn State shower, witnessed by Mike McQueary, Spanier told the New Yorker that it was reported to him as horseplay or horsing around. Referring to Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, Spanier noted: "Now they either used the word "horsing around' or "horseplay,'" Spanier told ABC News that he had visions of water being tossed about or the snapping of towels. That's certainly not child molestation.
(Note: If the 1998 investigation resulted in a conclusion that "no sexual molestation occurred," and the 2001 incident in the shower was the only other incident that Spanier, Schultz, Curley and Paterno knew about, then it is impossible to allege, as Mr. Freeh nevertheless does, that the Penn State officials "repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky's child abuse"" Mr. Freeh's assertion is so extremely illogical as to merit suspicion of being a deliberate lie.)
Even the Philadelphia Inquirer, which has consistently written as if the overheated breaking news about the Sandusky scandal was the truth about the sandal, ran a front-page news story today that, at least, provided some of the non-prosecutorial side of the evidence. By doing so, it may have advanced the search for truth, even if it undermined eleven months of incompetent and biased Inquirer reporting.
Although I've already demonstrated here that Joe Paterno could not possibly have been part of a cover-up at the time cited by Mr. Freeh in his accusation of a cover-up; John Ziegler has crafted a hilarious animation that shows just how absurd Freeh's accusation is. (See bottom of http://walter-c-uhler.com/?p=590 )