Friday, February 8, 2013

Is a Storm Coming?

I'm not talking about snow in Boston.

Rumors started early in the week about an interview of Sue Paterno by Katie Couric to air on February 11th.  Then there were tweets about an upcoming segment of OTL on ESPN to be aired on Sunday.

And today, a letter by Sue to former Letterman was posted.
The crimes committed by Jerry Sandusky are heartbreaking. As a mother of 5 and grandmother of 17, it is incomprehensible to me that anyone could intentionally harm a child. I think of the victims daily and I pray that God will heal their wounds and comfort their souls.

When the Freeh report was released last July, I was as shocked as anyone by the findings and by Mr. Freeh's extraordinary attack on Joe's character and integrity. I did not recognize the man Mr. Freeh described. I am here to tell you as definitively and forcefully as I know how that Mr. Freeh could not have been more wrong in his assessment of Joe. I knew Joe Paterno as well as one human being can know another. Joe was exactly the moral, disciplined and demanding man you knew him to be. Over the years I watched as he struggled with countless personal and professional challenges. Never - not once - did I see him compromise his principles or twist the truth to avoid bad publicity or protect his reputation. Joe was tough, sometimes difficult, always opinionated and extremely demanding. He was also scrupulously honest, rigidly moral and absolutely unafraid of the consequences of doing the right thing.

After the Freeh report was released I knew immediately that the situation demanded further review. Unfortunately, the Board's response was to panic again. They embraced the report without reviewing it. They never met with Mr. Freeh or his investigators. They asked no questions and challenged no assertions. Although they never officially voted to accept the report, they endorsed its findings and allowed the NCAA to impose unprecedented sanctions. To claim that this ill-considered and rash process served the victims and the university is a grave error. Only the truth serves the victims. Only the truth can help prevent this sort of crime from occurring again.

Although it was not something I ever imagined doing, I directed my lawyer, Wick Sollers, of the King and Spalding firm in Washington DC, to undertake a review of the Freeh report and Joe's actions. I told him to engage the best, most respected experts, to take whatever time he needed and to go wherever the facts led. Sunday morning at 9am we are releasing the full Report by Wick and his team of experts. The report and additional information will be available at  
Second, there has been endless speculation about what my family and I ultimately want to achieve. Is it the return of the statue? The restoration of Joe's wins? His name on the football stadium? On this point I also want to be clear. Joe Paterno's legacy wasn't a statue, a winning record or public adulation. He was grateful for the many accolades he received but he never believed they defined his life. His legacy is his family and you his players. How you live your life speaks louder than any report. The great fathers, husbands and citizens you have become fulfill the dreams Joe had. All that we want - and what I believe we owe the victims, Joe Paterno and everyone who cares about Penn State - is the full record of what happened. On this point, I know the advice Joe would give. Don't give up. Don't be afraid. Do the right thing. And make sure your actions serve the greater good. This is the path I will continue to follow.

AMEN!  You go Sue!  I wonder how Wick's report compares cost-wise to the Freeh Fiasco.

I have said all along that the man we all knew--Joe Paterno--and the man portrayed by Freeh and the media were not congruous.  Of course, the same could be said for Jerry Sandusky--but at least Jerry had his day in court and was given due process.  Joe Paterno never had that luxury.

Governor Corbett has also filed a suit, which the NCAA has already filed a motion to dismiss.  Let's face it.  The NCAA cannot allow this go to court.  Penn State broke no NCAA rules.  The NCAA did not follow their regular procedure for investigation.  And while a Consent Decree was signed, this is not a usual or customary practice that the NCAA uses, and it may have been signed under duress--i.e. a threat of greater penalties.  NCAA lawyers will be hard pressed to explain all these irregularities in procedure.

And while it may take months to years to complete, it will be really interesting to see what happens if Schultz, Curley and Spanier are acquitted.  Think about that.  What if they did follow Pennsylvania law in reporting Sandusky to The Second Mile?  If they are acquitted, how in the hell can the NCAA justify any penalty whatsoever?  So you penalize a school that broke no laws and no rules?

And to top off all of this, Congressman Dent of Lehigh Valley is promising Congressional Hearings into the NCAA's decision regarding Penn State.
Dent, in a telephone interview Friday, said he had read summaries of the review commissioned by the late head football coach's family. The review is set to be published Sunday morning.

"To blame the culture of Penn State for Sandusky's crimes is a horrible mistake," Dent said Friday, characterizing the findings of one of the experts commissioned by the Paterno family. "To blame the culture of Penn State or even the football program … is not supported by the facts."

Dent said the review cements his conclusion that Penn State has been "horribly mistreated" by the NCAA. After the college sports governing body hit Penn State with a $60 million fine and stripped the one-time Big10 powerhouse of football scholarships last summer, Dent called on NCAA president Mark Emmert to keep the money in Pennsylvania and restore opportunities for student athletes.

"The entire Penn State culture was punished based on this report," Dent said, adding that he will call for congressional hearings on the NCAA's decision.

Dent said the Paterno family's review comprises reports by four experts, including a former U.S. attorney general whom Dent would not identify. "The former attorney general says the Freeh report is seriously flawed, very flawed," Dent said.
Some have speculated that the unidentified US AG is former Governor Dick Thornburg.

And I thought the off season was going to be boring!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh, Mark Emmert, you're going down and "the fall" will be LONG, "the landing" HARD and the damage to you and the NCAA EXTENSIVE and hopefully FATAL!!