The Freeh investigation into the events surrounding Jerry Sandusky’s child sexual abuse concluded that Joe Paterno knew about the 1998 shower incident and that he was instrumental in administering a cover-up of Sandusky’s crimes. The commission’s most incriminating evidence against Joe Paterno comes from information found in two emails.
A 1998 email from Tim Curley to Gary Schultz said Paterno was “anxious to know” where the investigation stood. A 2001 email from Curley to Schultz said Curley no longer wanted to confront Sandusky about the shower incident McQueary witnessed after “talking it over with Joe (Paterno).”
That hard evidence has been lost on Paterno’s sons Scott and Joe.
“I honestly believe that it [sic] a situation where people who thought they were doing the right thing made mistakes,” Scott Paterno told The Patriot-News. “I know my father did not know Jerry was a pedophile and did not suspect he was a pedophile. Everything I saw in the Freeh commission report supports that. He reported what he saw in 2001, and the 1998 case was investigated.”
Scott omits the information from the email that says Curley decided not to address Sandusky’s 2001 anal rape of a child after “talking it over with Joe.”
Meanwhile, Jay Paterno, a former Penn State coach, came off looking even worse during an interview on SportsCenter. He did his best to poke holes in the Freeh report but instead came off looking like a liar and man in denial.
“This is not a legal document in any way,” Jay Paterno said. “This has a much lower bar and burden of proof. It’s really an opinion. There are no new facts in here, just some new interpretations of things.”
Apparently Jay doesn’t consider inside emails to be facts, unless he believes they were fabricated by the commission. But that wasn’t all he offered.
“I think the idea that there was a culture of concealment … you look at the 1998 incident,” said Paterno, “There was a report incident handed to the county D.A. … a state psychiatrist was involved. An outside law enforcement agency came to their conclusions independent of the university, so obviously that was not concealed.
“Mike McQueary came to Joe Paterno and he turned it over to his superiors as he’s required to do by the Cleary act. So I think the idea that there was some big concealment is an unfair characterization.”
Asked to respond to the charge from the commission that Paterno showed callous disregard for the victims, Jay offered up the following:
“I think we have to keep in context one thing. When you judge peoples’ actions in a historical event it is always human nature to judge those events based on the information that we have now in 2012. In 2001 when this was brought to Joe’s attention, Jerry Sandusky had never been charged with a crime. In no way shape or form did anybody believe that he was a child predator.
“It’s easy to say that there was callous indifference, but anybody that knows Joe Paterno knows that there is no way shape or form Joe Paterno would’ve put anybody in harm’s way for another win, or for his legacy, or for bad publicity. One thing that Joe always told us is ‘Don’t worry about bad publicity. Those things don’t really matter in life. Do what is right.’ Joe has been the only leader in this entire situation to say that with the benefit of hindsight he wished he would have done more. Obviously Joe has felt like he wished he would have known more so he could have done more.”
Jay was put on the spot about the email that said Joe Paterno was following the 1998 investigation closely. His response was embarrassing.
“The idea that he followed it closely is a gap that was filled in by this commission. It’s an opinion that they have. Joe is mentioned in one sentence in two different emails. We don’t even know the topic of that conversation between Tim Curley and Joe Paterno, so we don’t know how closely he was following it. I think for people to immediately accept that conclusion based on one sentence in two different emails is something that needs to be investigated further.”
We’ll share that email one more time and let you decide if it proves anything: