The Freeh Report on The Pennsylvania State University July 12, 2012
The much anticipated Freeh Report on the Jerry Sandusky, Joe Paterno, Penn State Football, Penn State University et al scandal will have been published in its entirety here ( 6:AM PDT) by the time most of you read this.
A lot of people are going to analyze this thing to death. While it won’t have the gravitas of an official law enforcement investigation, it will provide a jumping off point for much of the depressing civil litigation that is sure to follow.
Not Much In The Way of Legal Teeth
In spite of Louis Freeh’s resume as a federal judge and director of the FBI, he has little legal authority in this privately funded investigation. He is hired and paid by the Penn State Board of Trustees to conduct interviews, make findings about the who what where when and why things happened in the PSU football scandal.
The real nasty stuff is yet to come in the way of the US Justice Department, a tsunami’s worth of civil lawsuits, the NCAA and not least of all, the TV networks who pay PSU millions each year for the broadcast rights.
Follow The Money
Like they say, when a big money scandal is about to hit (and a $72 million annual football revenue stream is big money) follow the money.
It is in the Trustees interest to minimize their legal exposure in preparation for the avalanche of lawsuits that will be coming their way for weeks and months, if not years. The trustees, a collection of monied alumni primarily, acted swiftly in November to distance themselves from the primary participants, to this point anyway, in the scandal including Graham Spanier, former president, Tim Curley, Athletic Director, Gary Schultz, VP of Administration, Joe Paterno, Head Football Coach and other football assistants, despite student riots and other childish and boorish behavior from PSU students and alumni, including the ridiculous Franco Harris.
In so doing, they hoped to mitigate to a certain degree their liability by pointing out they acted with due diligence and in the University’s best interest by terminating their affiliation with the above-mentioned individuals soon after the Grand Jury handed down indictments and warrants. This is the thought that was advanced by Sports By Brooks some days ago, and it makes sense if you follow the logic of it.
This seems to be very little, too late. The Board of Trustees appear to have deliberately looked the other way as the culture of corruption under Paterno’s mafioso-like leadership of his football program ran amok in Centre County for years. Add in Paterno’s puppeteering of the administration for decades, and one can see that the corruption is as deep as it is widespread.
In November we cited a history of abuses and criminal activity that goes back to at least 1978 under Joe Paterno’s football program. Everything from murder and rape to home invasion, drug dealing, assaults, burglary, and countless other criminal activities. They were documented and detailed in Sports Illustrated and ESPN Outside The Lines. Everything we surmised is coming to light. Time To Stop Believing
From Mischief And Mayhem
We wrote at the time: ” The Penn State football team, its fans, its sycophants, Nebraska’s fans, and a TV audience witnessed (or participated) in a mockery of the “Grand Experiment” with prayers, and candle-light vigils, and more prayers, and more vapid, unctuous play-acting for the cameras before today’s game, in which the old-guard was still coaching on the sidelines with thousands of fans trying to claim the moral high-ground and portray Paterno as a victim, and not a perpetrator.
Try some empathy on for the victims and their families. How can you not look on in astonishment and rage and great sadness to see the fruits of Paterno’s ill founded labors treated as noble conquering heroes, or as victims instead of amoral enablers? Especially considering what is now known. That this football program has not been suspended, and continues to ply its trade weekly on National Television is an affront to human decency.
So What Next?
The fallout from the Freeh report. Mostly silence from the Paternophiles and those addicted to PSU football. There are already subpoenas being issued by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office, not to mention Eric Holder’s Department of Justice who desperately need a win in court. There will be depositions in the two criminal investigations and dozens of civil lawsuits. It has the potential to run on for years.
And if that weren’t enough, the NCAA is waiting in the wings, ready to launch its own investigation; not based on criminal activity, but on two compliance issues, the honesty and ethcis code of conduct and the “institutional control” requirements covered by NCAA Sanctioning rules.
Financial Worst Case
As we mentioned earlier; follow the money. ABC/ESPN CBS NBC pay millions of dollars for the broadcast rights to college football games, so they can peddle beer, trucks, pizza and other useless schlock to their audiences on Saturdays in the Fall. You can rest assured that once the morbid curiosity passes, PSU football will become a national disgrace. And I don’t know well that is going to settle with advertisers over time. Like they say, money talks, bullshit walks. If the networks determine that televising Penn State football is bad for business, and they pull the plug, PSU football as everybody knows it will be dead, and the decision will be taken out of their hands.
Suggestion Follow The Painful Lead of University of San Francisco in 1982 and Self-Destruct.
In 1982, following the sexual assault charges of Quintin Dailey on a nursing student, the president of the college, Rev John LoSchiavo decided to can the troubled program voluntarily. It cost them millions of dollars over the ensuing years. The school was steeped in embarrassment (being in the geographical center of San Francisco did not help matters either) and donations suffered. As a private university, this was no small matter. All of this was anticipated but this is what Father LoSchiavo said at the time:
“The Board of Trustees of the University of San Francisco decided yesterday that the men’s intercollegiate Division I basketball program at USF should and will be discontinued. Anyone who is familiar with this institution and its proud history will understand what a painful decision this is. In all the circumstances, however, the Board had no other responsible choice. ….. The price the university has had to pay for those problems has been much greater than the heavy financial price. There is no way of measuring the damage that has been done to the university’s most priceless assets, its integrity and its reputation.”
In 1998, ironically the same year that Jerry Sandusky was first confronted with his sexual assault activities, the USF Dons returned to the NCAA Tournament after many years. As was written at the time, they made it back the right way.
The tumor has to be excised. It can be done humanely or it can be forcefully and savagely removed. The decision is up to the Pennsylvania State University Board of Trustees.