STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (February 10, 2013)—The family of late Penn State coach Joe Paterno released a detailed response Sunday to a critical report on the handling of child abuse allegations against former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.
The critical report by former FBI Director Louis Freeh released in July accused Joe Paterno and three university officials of covering up allegations against Sandusky.
Less than two weeks later, the NCAA levied unprecedented sanctions on the program.
The new report commissioned by Paterno’s family challenges Freeh’s conclusion that the late Penn State coach conspired to conceal child sex abuse allegations against Sandusky.
An executive summary of the critique released Sunday said the "observations" of Paterno by Freeh in July were unfounded.
The team reviewing Freeh's work included former U.S. Attorney General and Pennsylvania Governor Dick Thornburgh, who called the report fundamentally flawed and incomplete, resulting in a "rush to injustice."
“The Freeh report is a profound failure,” Washington Attorney Wick Sollers said.
“It isn't a little wrong on the minor issues. It is totally wrong on the most critical issues. That the Board and the NCAA relied on this report, without appropriate review or analysis, is a miscarriage of justice.”
Paterno’s widow, Sue, said in a letter Friday to former Penn State players that her late husband was a "moral, disciplined" man who never twisted the truth to avoid bad publicity.
Penn State said the school's investigation into the child abuse scandal was intended to fix shortcomings in governance and compliance to make sure failures don't happen again.
The university released a statement Sunday after Paterno's family unveiled a response to Freeh's findings.
The school said it was "understandable and appreciated that people will draw their own conclusions and opinions from the facts uncovered in the Freeh report."
Freeh made 119 recommendations to strengthen policies.
Most of them have been implemented, according to Penn State, and the process should be completed by year's end.