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freeh report

The Freeh Report Is Out, and It’s Ugly

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 12: Federal Judge Louis B. Freeh speaks with the media during a news conference July 12, 2012 at the Westin Hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Freeh released his report of the investigation into the facts and circumstances of the actions of The Pennsylvania State University surrounding the child abuse committed by a former employee, Gerald A. Sandusky.  (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images) Louis Freeh at today's press conference.

After a prolonged investigation into the circumstances surrounding the crimes of recently convicted Jerry Sandusky, the firm of former FBI director Louis Freeh released a 268-page report today on the involvement and culpability of other Penn State officials. It's not pleasant. The Freeh Report, which you can read yourself, concluded that legendary head coach Joe Paterno, university president Graham Spanier, athletic director Tim Curley, and vice-president Gary Schultz "repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky's child abuse," based on, among other things, direct records of their correspondence. Complaints about Sandusky's behavior dated all the way back to 1998, yet none of his colleagues stepped in and, in fact, actively withheld information and made decisions that enabled Sandusky to pursue victims.

What happens next isn't clear yet. Certain public figures are already making asses of themselves in defense of Paterno and company, but there's no question that the report casts an even greater pall on Paterno's legacy at Penn State. There may also be additional charges and sanctions on the Penn State football program and the university as a whole following the report, though it will take some time for further punishment (and who's responsible for issuing said punishment) to be determined.

The upshot, unfortunately, is that Sandusky's gravest crimes could have been prevented, and that those in a position to do so willfully neglected that duty. Somehow, the whole thing was worse than it originally seemed.

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Photo: William Thomas Cain/Getty Images