Paterno family launches review of Freeh findings

The SportsXchange

The family of Joe Paterno plans to assemble a panel of legal experts to perform a detailed review of the findings presented last week in the Freeh report.

Wick Sollers, a lawyer for the Paterno family, released a statement Monday relaying their desire for "further review" of findings from former FBI director Louis Freeh's seven-month investigation into what he found to be a widespread cover-up of Jerry Sandusky's criminal child sexual abuse at Penn State.

"We are dismayed by, and vehemently disagree with, some of the conclusions and assertions and the process by which they were developed by the Freeh Group," the statement read. "Mr. Freeh presented his opinions and interpretations as if they were absolute facts. We believe numerous issues in the report, and his commentary, bear further review."

Sollers said the family wants to remind the public, some of which has weighed whether Paterno's name and a statue honoring the late coach outside of Penn State's football stadium should be removed, to know "additional critical information" will be brought to light in pending legal cases and investigations.

The family review plans to stretch beyond purported facts of Freeh's review and response but will include the presentation of information last Thursday in Philadelphia.

Sollers said the family requested preservation of all records and materials gathered or used in analysis during the investigation.

Freeh announced Thursday at a press conference which followed the release of his team's 267-page report that Paterno, former president Graham Spanier, former vice president Gary Schultz and Tim Curley, who was Penn State's athletic director, covered up knowledge and information that Sandusky sexually abused young boys.

Paterno's family and Spanier have said since Thursday that there are inaccuracies in Freeh's report. Sollers said Monday the conclusion that Paterno hatched a cover-up or knowingly hid what he knew of the investigation into Sandusky's behavior in 1998 is another example of not connecting facts.

"The 1998 incident was fully and independent investigated by law enforcement officials," Sollers said. "The Freeh report confirms this. It is also a matter of record that Joe Paterno promptly and fully reported the 2001 incident to his superiors. It can certainly be asserted that Joe Paterno could have done more. He acknowledged this himself last fall. But to claim that he knowingly, intentionally protected a pedophile is false."
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