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Freeh investigation concludes Joe Paterno knew about 1998 shower incident, was instrumental in Jerry Sandusky cover-up

The Freeh investigation commissioned by Penn State released its findings on Thursday morning and confirmed the public’s worst fears: Joe Paterno and other Penn State leaders knew in 1998 that Jerry Sandusky was a child sex abuser, and they let him continue his behavior because they wanted to protect the football program’s image.

The first sentence in the “Findings” section of the Freeh report (download PDF here) states the disturbing truth: “The most saddening finding by the Special Investigative Counsel is the total and consistent disregard by the most senior leaders at Penn State for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims.”

The report concludes that some of Penn State’s most powerful men — including Joe Paterno — knew that Jerry Sandusky was investigated in 1998 for showering with a boy. Their response in 1998, and in 2001 after Mike McQueary told them he saw Sandusky anal raping a young boy, was essentially that Sandusky could continue to do what he wants so long as it weren’t on Penn State property. The report also finds the Penn State Board of Trustees at fault for not holding the highest university administrators accountable and for not investigating matters when they learned Sandusky was being investigated by a grand jury in 2011.

Below is some of the most damning info from the press release:

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Roddy White defends Joe Paterno, Penn State with incredibly ignorant tweets

For those of you who didn’t already think someone needs to ban Roddy White from Twitter, this should officially seal the deal. On Thursday, Freeh’s firm produced a 267-page report from their eight-month investigation into the Penn State scandal. The investigation revealed that Joe Paterno and other Penn State officials covered up child abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky in order to protect the image of the football program.

Freeh said in a news conference that Paterno “was an integral part of this active decision to conceal” and deserved to be fired. White apparently disagrees and decided to send this incredibly insensitive string of tweets to share his thoughts with the public.

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Penn State emails written in code to avoid detection, use of Jerry Sandusky’s name

The emails exchanged by Penn State administrators that were uncovered by CNN have made it painfully obvious that President Graham Spanier, Vice President Gary Schultz, and athletic director Tim Curley were consciously covering up Jerry Sandusky’s sexual abuse.

We’ve already summarized what was discussed in the alleged emails between the administrators: they considered contacting The Second Mile charity and authorities about the shower incident but ultimately decided not to (in Curley’s case, the decision was made after consulting with Joe Paterno).

One aspect of the emails that needs to be emphasized is that the men never referred to Jerry Sandusky by name. Instead, they used code words and called him “the subject” or “the person.”

Their refusal to call him by name indicates they knew they were engaging in wrongdoing. They probably used the code words so it would be more difficult to trace the cover-up. As Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports pointed out over the weekend, those email exchanges would not come up if a media outlet or person requested all Penn State communication/emails that included “Sandusky.”

I’m not sure what defense they could have at this point, but just using code names to avoid mentioning Sandusky is a strong indication they knew exactly what they were doing.

Just like we suspected, Penn State covered up Jerry Sandusky’s sexual abuse in order to protect the reputation of the school and football program. I also believe that Joe Paterno and some of the others were covering up Sandusky’s pedophilia since 1998. There is becoming less and less doubt that these men prioritized football, money, and their reputations over the welfare of children, which is utterly despicable.

Joe Paterno’s Legacy Marked by Accomplishments and Scandal

Joe Paterno’s death on Sunday added yet another tumultuous twist to a story that has already seen a roller coaster’s share of turns. Following the passing of one of the most iconic figures in the history of college sports, it now remains to be seen how the coach’s legacy will be written.

Legions of Penn State fans, Paterno supporters, and former players will undoubtedly remember his transcendent contributions to college football. They will describe the mark he left on a multitude of athletes that he coached and the impact he had on State College, Pennsylvania, a bustling college town of 40,000-plus people that love their football and idolized their longtime football coach. For most of the sports world and society writ large, Paterno will forever be remembered as the record-setting coach whose career was undone with one large stroke of ignominy.

Simply put, the bespectacled Paterno was larger-than-life. He was JoePa to all who knew him. Generations grew up around Penn State football and a coach whose career in State College as an assistant and head coach spanned over 60 years. Sure, he was JoePa. He could very well have been Joe-PA, since at times his stock ran so high he would rival William Penn as the most representative figure in the history of the state. His accomplishments on the field were deserving of such hyperbole.

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Jerry Sandusky Chimes in About Joe Paterno’s Death (With Exclamation Point!)

Former Penn State defensive coordinator and alleged child rapist Jerry Sandusky issued a statement on the death of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno. The exclamation point in the opening line accentuates his strange personality and how out of touch he is.

“This is a sad day! Our family, Dottie and I would like to convey our deepest sympathy to Sue and her family. Nobody did more for the academic reputation of Penn State than Joe Paterno. He maintained a high standard in a very difficult profession. Joe preached toughness, hard work and clean competition. Most importantly, he had the courage to practice what he preached. Nobody will be able to take away the memories we all shared of a great man, his family, and all the wonderful people who were a part of his life.”

Given what Sandusky is likely to go on trial for, he probably should not be talking about legacies and memories. He’s not exactly the best voice to comment on Joe Paterno’s life.

Westboro Baptist Church to Protest Joe Paterno Funeral

The Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, notorious for its anti-gay and funeral picketing, plans to picket Joe Paterno’s funeral.

Margie Phelps (pictured), the wife of church leader Fred Phelps, sent several tweets Sunday making her stance on Paterno quite clear:

Keep in mind this is the same woman who calls President Barack Obama the “Antichrist” and the same group that picketed the funeral of Michael Jackson and Steve Jobs. Some states have enacted laws preventing protests at funerals, but the Supreme Court ruled that they have the right to protest at funerals.

Joe Paterno Reportedly Near Death

Joe Paterno’s health is in serious condition and one news outlet says he is near death.

“Over the last few days Joe Paterno has experienced further health complications,” spokesman Dan McGinn said in a brief statement Saturday to The Associated Press. “His doctors have now characterized his status as serious.

“His family will have no comment on the situation and asks that their privacy be respected during this difficult time,” McGinn said.

Michael Sisak of The Citizens’ Voice in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. reported Saturday evening that family members were summoned to the hospital by Sue Paterno. JoePa apparently wanted to see everyone to say goodbye. Sisak also said Paterno was near death.

Paterno was fired as head football coach at Penn State in November and a lung cancer diagnosis was revealed shortly thereafter. The 85-year-old was undergoing radiation and chemotherapy treatments. Sports by Brooks reported in December that Paterno’s health was “in rapid decline,” and it looks like that report was accurate.