Louis Freeh spoke to reporters this morning. His full statement and report can be read here. What he and his report outline are immeasurable failures by Joe Paterno, Tim Curley, Gary Schultz and Graham Spanier to act on information they were given, in both 1998 and 2001, about the actions of Jerry Sandusky.
Though Paterno denied knowing about a 1998 investigation, the report clearly demonstrates that he was aware Sandusky was investigated for showering with a boy.
Freeh notes that Paterno’s office was right next to Sandusky’s and insinuates that it is implausible to assume that Paterno didn’t know what was going on. Freeh repeatedly calls out Paterno and other officials for not acting to protect children, saying they created a dangerous situation for unsuspecting young boys.
“At the very least, Mr. Paterno could have alerted the entire football staff,” Freeh said.
“All four individuals, including Mr. Paterno, made a decision to actively conceal events.”
Yesterday, in a column released by Paterno’s family, the coach wrote this “wasn’t a football scandal.” But Freeh finds otherwise. He takes aim the culture at Penn State, specifically as it relates to the football program. The most glaring example of football’s dominance at the university, he says, was an incident in which janitors witnessed Sandusky raping a boy in the shower. They never reported it because they “were afraid of being fired for reporting a powerful football coach.”
“That’s the tone on the bottom. They witnessed what I think is probably the most horrific rape. that’s described. What do they do? They panic. The janitor who observed this said it is the worst thing he ever saw. He’s a Korean War vet. [The Janitor said: "I’ve never seen anything like that. Makes me sick.”] He spoke to another janitor– they were alarmed and shocked. But what did they do? They said we can’t report this because we’ll get fired.”
“They knew who Sandusky was. One of the janitors watched him as a famous defense coordinator growing up. They were afraid to take on the football program. They said the university would circle around it. It was like taking on the President of the United States.”
“If that was the culture on the bottom, God help the culture on the top.”
Asked about the permissions given to Sandusky by Paterno, Curley, Schultz and Spanier following the 1998 and 2001 events, Freeh ticked off countless examples: frequently in Lasch Building working out, at bowl games, many colleagues saw him showering with young boys, showing up at camps supports by Penn State, showing up with young boys, staying in their dorms, and more red flags than you can count.
After the jump are many passages pertaining to Paterno and his failures to act.
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 identity of the child who Sandusky assaulted in the Lasch Building in 2001. Further, they exposed this child to additional harm by alerting Sandusky, who was the only one who knew the child’s identity, of what McQueary saw in the shower on the night of February 9, 2001.
Taking into account the available witness statements and evidence, the Special Investigative Counsel finds that it is more reasonable to conclude that, in order to avoid the consequences of bad publicity, the most powerful leaders at the University – Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley – repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky’s child abuse from the authorities, the University’s Board of Trustees, the Penn State community, and the public at large.
Despite their knowledge of the criminal investigation of Sandusky, Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley took no action to limit Sandusky’s access to Penn State facilities or took any measures to protect children on their campuses.
As the central facility for Penn State football, the Lasch Building contained a number of exercise machines as well as dressing rooms, showers and Sandusky’s office, which for many years was the office closest to Paterno’s.
[I[In 1998]after Curley’s initial updates to Paterno, the available record is not clear as to how the conclusion of the Sandusky investigation was conveyed to Paterno. Witnesses consistently told the Special Investigative Counsel that Paterno was in control of the football facilities and knew “everything that was going on.” As Head Coach, he had the authority to establish permissible uses of his football facilities. 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. 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 personnel actions concerning this incident in any official University file.
A note allegedly written by Joe Paterno, relating to a conversation with Sandusky about retiring:
We know this isn’t easy for you and it isn’t easy for us or Penn State. Part of the reason it isn’t easy is because I allowed and at times tried to help you with your developing the 2nd Mile. If there were no 2nd Mile then I believe you belief [s[sic]hat you probably could be the next Penn State FB Coach. But you wanted the best of two worlds and I probably should have sat down with you six or seven years ago and said look Jerry if you want to be the Head Coach at Penn State, give up your association with the 2nd Mile and concentrate on nothing but your family and Penn State. Don’t worry about the 2nd Mile – you don’t have the luxury of doing both. One will always demand a decision of preference. You are too deeply involved in both.
An article posted on the University’s website on July 1, 1999 announced Sandusky’s retirement. In this article, Curley stated that Sandusky is “the founder of Second Mile … [a[and]ill continue to offer his services on a volunteer basis to the athletic department’s Lifeskills and Outreach programs.” In the same announcement, Paterno praised Sandusky for his contributions to the University’s football program and stated that Sandusky was “… a person of great character and integrity.” In a memorandum dated August 23, 1999 from Second Mile Chairman Robert Poole to the Second Mile Board, Poole wrote that beginning in January 2000, Sandusky would become a paid consultant for the organization and earn $57,000 per year plus travel expenses.
Janitor B explained to the Special Investigative Counsel that reporting the incident “would have been like going against the President of the United States in my eyes.” “I know Paterno has so much power, if he wanted to get rid of someone, I would have been gone.” He explained “football runs this University,” and said the University would have closed ranks to protect the football program at all costs.
The “other organization” mentioned by Schultz appears to be a reference to the Department of Public Welfare. Again, at no time did Spanier, Schultz, Paterno or Curley try to identify the child in the shower or whether the child had suffered harm. By advising Sandusky, rather than the authorities, that they knew about the February 9, 2001 assault, they exposed this victim to additional harm because only Sandusky knew the child victim’s identity at the time.
Paterno gave the following explanation to a reporter for the Washington Post as to why he did not more aggressively pursue the information that McQueary provided. “I didn’t know exactly how to handle it and I was afraid to do something that might jeopardize what the University procedure was. So I backed away and turned it over to some other people, people I thought would have a little more expertise than I did. It didn’t work out that way.” Paterno added, “In hindsight, I wish I had done more” and regretted that he had not.
Several people told the Special Investigative Counsel that Curley is a State College native with a long family history at Penn State, including his father and brothers who worked at Penn State. A senior Penn State official referred to Curley as Paterno’s “errand boy.” Athletic Department staff said Paterno’s words carried a lot of weight with Curley, who would run big decisions by Paterno. Others interviewed described Curley as “loyal to a fault” to University management and the chain of command, someone who followed instructions regardless of the consequences, and someone who avoided confrontation.
At the preliminary hearing, Curley agreed that there was no “practical way to enforce [S[Sandusky]ot bringing children onto the campus” after he was warned not to do so. There is no indication that Spanier, Schultz, Paterno, or Curley had discussions about any other enforceable actions that could have been taken to safeguard children. Spanier told the Special Investigative Counsel that he did not do anything to prohibit Sandusky from using Penn State facilities, nor did he instruct anyone else to do so.
Paterno, Curley and McQueary were obligated to report the 2001 Sandusky incident to the University Police Department for inclusion in Clery Act statistics and for determining whether a timely warning should be issued to the University community. No record exists of such a report. While Schultz and Spanier were arguably not Campus Security Authorities under the Clery Act, given the leadership positions they held within the University, they should have ensured that the University was compliant with the Clery Act with regard to this incident.
Based on the facts uncovered by the Special Investigative Counsel, Paterno, Curley and McQueary were obligated as CSAs to report this incident to the University Police Department for inclusion in Clery Act statistics and for determining whether a timely warning should be issued to the University community. The Special Investigative Counsel found no indication that Paterno, Curley and McQueary met their responsibilities as CSAs by reporting, or ensuring that someone reported, this incident to the University Police Department. As a result, no timely warning could have been issued to the University community and the incident was not included in the University’s Clery Crime statistics for 2001.
McQueary, Paterno and Curley did report the incident to Schultz who, as SVP‐ FB, was ultimately in charge of the University Police Department. However, Schultz was not a law enforcement officer and was not the person designated to receive Clery Crime reports or to collect Clery Crime statistics for the University. Arguably, as the most senior leaders of the University, Schultz and Spanier should have ensured compliance with the Clery Act regarding this incident. There is no record that Spanier or Schultz reported, or designated someone to report, the incident to the University Police Department, which should have caused the incident to be included in the University’s Clery Crime statistics and may have triggered the issuance of a timely warning to the University community.
Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley were aware of the allegations against Sandusky in 1998 and 2001. Nonetheless, they put children in danger by permitting Sandusky to participate in these activities and by providing continued support to Second Mile activities.
Despite Spanier’s, Schultz’s, Paterno’s and Curley’s knowledge of criminal investigations of Sandusky regarding child abuse as early as 1998, they failed to control Sandusky’s access to the University’s facilities and campuses.
"The evidence shows that these four men also knew about a 1998 criminal investigation of Sandusky relating to suspected sexual misconduct with a young boy in a Penn State football locker room shower. Again, they showed no concern about that victim. The evidence shows that Mr. Paterno was made aware of the 1998 investigation of Sandusky, followed it closely, but failed to take any action, even though Sandusky had been a key member of his coaching staff for almost 30 years, and had an office just steps away from Mr. Paterno’s. 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. Messrs. Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley also failed to alert the Board of Trustees about the 1998 investigation or take any further action against Mr. Sandusky. None of them even spoke to Sandusky about his conduct. In short, nothing was done and Sandusky was allowed to continue with impunity."
Paterno also testified in January 2011 before the Grand Jury. Paterno was asked, “Other than the [2ncident that Mike McQueary reported to you, do you know in any way, through rumor, direct knowledge or any other fashion, of any other inappropriate sexual conduct by Jerry Sandusky with young boys?” Paterno responded, “I do not know of anything else that Jerry would be involved in of that nature, no. I do not know of it. You did mention — I think you said something about a rumor. It may have been discussed in my presence, something else about somebody. I don’t know. I don’t remember, and I could not honestly say I heard a rumor.” The Special Investigative Counsel requested an interview with Paterno in December 2011. Through his counsel, Paterno expressed interest in participating but died before he could be interviewed. Paterno’s family has publicly denied that Paterno had knowledge of the 1998 incident.