The Mirror will have updates throughout the day on the Freeh report that was commissioned to investigate the Jerry Sandusky scandal. The report can be read at TheFreehReportOnPSU.com.
Louis Freeh's news conference has ended. Many of the questions centered around Joe Paterno, and there were others about the football culture at the university.
Freeh was asked if Joe Paterno was powerful enough to make sure Sandusky would be investigated.
"Many, many witnesses we spoke to described Mr. Paterno as one of the most powerful leaders on the campus," Freeh said. "He ran his football building, he clearly ran the Lasch Building. I think it's a very strong and reasonable inference that he could have done so if he wished."
Freeh later was asked if there were more people, other than Spanier, Curley, Schultz and Paterno, who helped conceal information about Sandusky.
"No," he replied.
Louis Freeh had this to say about Joe Paterno:
"We have a great deal of respect for Mr. Paterno, and condolences for his family on the loss. It's a person with a terrific legacy, a great legacy, who brought huge value to, not just the university but the program. He, as someone once said, made perhaps the worst mistake of his life. But we're not singling him out. We're putting him in a category of four other people who we would say are the major leaders of Penn State. But he also was a major leader of Penn State."
Freeh then went on to add, "There's a whole bunch of evidence here, and we're saying the reasonable conclusion from that evidence is he was an integral part of this active decision to conceal. I regret that, based on the damage it does, obviously, to his legacy because he is no longer here. I wish we had had the opportunity to speak to him. I wish we had had the ability to show him those emails. We found those emails, as you know, after he was deceased."
Freeh was asked if Paterno perjured himself when he testified before the grand jury that he did not know about the 1998 shower incident involving Sandusky. [EDITOR'S NOTE: PATERNO WAS NOT SPECIFICALLY ASKED BY THE GRAND JURY IF HE KNEW ABOUT THE 1998 INCIDENT, but rather if he had heard "of any other inappropriate sexual conduct by Jerry Sandusky with young boys"].
Paterno's response to the grand jury was:
"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."
Answering the question about whether Paterno perjured himself, Freeh said, "I'm not going to comment on whether he perjured himself or not," Freeh said. "What I will say is, as you'll see in our report, there's several emails -- contemporaneous emails -- in 1998 which we found by the way which show that he's clearly following the case. He's clearly following the 1998 investigation. The coach wants to be advised. What's going on. So the notion that there was no attention paid at the time is completely contradicted by the evidence."
Louis Freeh, asked why Penn State officials concealed their knowledge about Sandusky incidents, replied, "The motivation to avoid the consequences of bad publicity."
Asked in a follow-up question if it was to protect the football program, Freeh said, "I think that's an inference that you can draw. But I think bad publicity affects a panorama of different events, including the brand of Penn State, including the university, including the reputation of coaches, including the ability to do fundraising. It's got huge implications."
On the Penn State culture, the Freeh report states:
"There is an over-emphasis on "The Penn State Way" as an approach to decision-making, a resistance to seeking outside perspectives, and an excessive focus on athletics that can, if not recognized, negatively impact the University's reputation as a progressive institution."
Louis Freeh, during his press conference, spoke about Paterno's knowledge of the 1998 shower incident concerning Sandusky and did not act on it.
"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," Freeh said.
Penn State Altoona football aspect:
The Freeh report does discuss the 1998 possibility of starting a football program at Penn State Altoona and having Sandusky be the head coach. Some hand-written notes from Paterno suggested Sandusky make "FB at Altoona Happen" until the "window closes."
The report went on to state that if Sandusky couldn't make it happen in that window, he could retire with a full pension.
A limited feasibility study was done about the possibility, at Graham Spanier's request. The administrator responsible for that found that the financial support needed for such a program "could not be raised."
The Freeh report comes down hard on Penn State officials. This is one key element:
"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."
One big piece of information from the Freeh report is that it confirms that Joe Paterno knew about the 1998 shower incident involving Jerry Sandusky. Paterno denied having knowledge of that.
Some excerpts from the Freeh report:
* "In critical written correspondence that we uncovered on March 20th of this year, we see evidence of their proposed plan of action in February 2001 that included allegations about Sandusky to the authorities. After Mr. Curley consulted with Mr. Paterno, however, they changed the plan and decided not to make a report to the authorities."
* "The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized."
* "Spanier, Schultz, Paterno, Curley never demonstrated, through actions or words, any concern for the safety and well-being of Sandusky's victims until after Sandusky's arrest."
The report is expected to focus heavily on Joe Paterno and the culture of the football program at Penn State.
Joe Paterno's son, Jay, was on the "Today" show this morning on NBC and answered several questions about the report, which had not yet been released at that point.
"We've never been afraid of the truth, so let's have the truth come out and go from there," Jay Paterno said when asked if his family will have an open mind about the report.
When asked if his father and the football program had too much power at the university, Jay Paterno said, "Any suggestion about the culture of football at Penn State, you have to really look at the facts of this situation. We graduated our student-athletes in football at a higher rate than the students in general. There was a commitment to academic and athletic excellence, in that order.
"Joe Paterno was willing to bench players that were eligible to send a message to his players. The idea that there was some kind of power situation at Penn State, Joe Paterno was the first person to say to us, 'Hey, look, we are part of the university, we're a football program, this is an academic institution,' and Joe believed that very fervently."
When asked if the Freeh report will be the definitive story about Penn State's handling of the scandal, Jay Paterno said, "We'll have to see" and referenced that legal matters involving former athletic director Tim Curley and PSU official Gary Schultz are still pending.