Penn State Scandal: Former School President Denies Coverup Allegation

Former Penn State president Graham Spanier, named in the Freeh Report as one of "four of the most powerful people at Pennsylvania State University" who "failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade." According to the report, Spanier was fully aware of allegations against Sandusky in both 1998 and 2001, but collaborated with other school leaders including Joe Paterno in keeping the whole thing quiet, and reportedly didn't even confront Sandusky.

A statement from Spanier's lawyers, released Thursday afternoon:

"As a former Federal Judge and a former United States Attorney, we appreciate and respect the investigative efforts of the Freeh Group and the comprehensive report they have today provided the Board of Trustees of Penn State University.

Unfortunately, Judge Freeh's conclusion, repeated often during his press conference this morning, that Dr. Spanier was engaged in a course of "active concealment," is simply not supported by the facts or by the report itself.

Not only did Dr. Spanier never conceal anything from law enforcement authorities, but prior to 2011 he was never contacted by law enforcement officials, or any other officials, about any criminal activities now attributed to Sandusky. And as he told Judge Freeh himself last Friday and has steadfastly maintained, at no time in his 16 years as President of Penn State was Dr. Spanier told of any incident involving Jerry Sandusky that described child abuse, sexual misconduct, or criminality of any nature.

While we disagree with certain of Judge Freeh's conclusions, Dr. Spanier joins with others in hoping that the University will never have to endure such a traumatic chapter again. This has been a painful episode in the history of a great university, and the thoughts and prayers of Dr. Spanier, and all of us, continue to be with the victims and their families."

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