Joe Paterno Knew About Jerry Sandusky In 1998, Penn State Freeh Report Alleges

You can go here to read the item commonly known as the Freeh Report in a moment or two, as it's set to be ready for public consumption. Deadspin also has documents believed to be preparation notes from the 10 a.m. ET press conference, which includes the line, "Yes, we believe it does," in response to the question, "Does the evidence support the termination of Coach Paterno?"

Additionally, Freeh released remarks on the occasion of the report's conclusion, detailing its process and highlighting some of the major findings, including Paterno's alleged awareness of the 1998 investigation into Jerry Sandusky's alleged sex abuse:

Working exceptionally hard in a very short amount of time for an investigation of this magnitude, my team conducted over 430 interviews of various individuals that included current and former University employees from various departments across the University, as well as current and past Trustees, former coaches, athletes and others in the community. We also analyzed over 3.5 million emails and other documents. The evidence found by our investigators included critical, contemporaneous correspondence from the times of these events. Our investigative team made independent discovery of critical 1998 and 2001 emails - the most important evidence in this investigation. We also confirmed, through our separate forensic review, that the correct year of the Sandusky sexual assault witnessed by Michael McQueary was 2001, and not 2002 as set forth in the original Grand Jury presentment ...

Some individuals declined to be interviewed. For example, on the advice of counsel, both Mr. Curley and Mr. Schultz declined to be interviewed. Also, the Pennsylvania Attorney General requested that we not interview certain potential witnesses. We honored those requests. Mr. Paterno passed away before we had the opportunity to speak with him, although we did speak with some of his representatives. We believe that he was willing to speak with us and would have done so, but for his serious, deteriorating health. We were able to review and evaluate his grand jury testimony, his public statements, and notes and papers from his files that were provided to us by his attorney ...

The evidence shows that these four men also knew about a 1998 criminal investigation of Sandusky relating to suspected sexual misconduct with a young boy in a Penn State football locker room shower. Again, they showed no concern about that victim. The evidence shows that Mr. Paterno was made aware of the 1998 investigation of Sandusky, followed it closely, but failed to take any action, even though Sandusky had been a key member of his coaching staff for almost 30 years, and had an office just steps away from Mr. Paterno's. At the very least, Mr. Paterno could have alerted the entire football staff, in order to prevent Sandusky from bringing another child into the Lasch Building. Messrs. Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley also failed to alert the Board of Trustees about the 1998 investigation or take any further action against Mr. Sandusky. None of them even spoke to Sandusky about his conduct. In short, nothing was done and Sandusky was allowed to continue with impunity.

The report, the result of an independent group led by former FBI chief Louis Freeh investigating and reviewing the circumstances at Penn State around Jerry Sandusky's decade-plus of abuse, has been in the works for months, and has been anticipated by media members and fans alike. One group less happy with the report's release? Joe Paterno's family, which released a statement expressing its displeasure with the endeavor.

For more on Nittany Lions football, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries, plus Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire, SB Nation Pittsburgh and SB Nation Philly.

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