“The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized.”
That sentence comes from the report released Thursday by former FBI director Louis Freeh and his associates, who were hired by PSU to investigate the lapses in leadership related to former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky’s abuse of children.
Among other things, the report revealed that former head football coach Joe Paterno knew more than he admitted publicly. Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports joined Bill Littlefield on Only A Game to discuss the fallout from the latest revelations.“It was the proof of what we suspected, in that Paterno, [former PSU president] Graham Spanier, [former Vice President] Gary Schultz and [former athletic director] Tim Curley…all knew about the 1998 police investigation into Jerry Sandusky abusing a boy in a Penn State shower,” Wetzel said.
“Two and a half years later, a graduate assistant shows up at Paterno’s door and says, ‘I just saw Jerry Sandusky abusing a boy in a Penn State shower.’ Your reaction would be, ‘My Lord, he’s doing it again,’ not ‘Wait? What? I don’t understand what’s going on.’”
Wetzel gave Penn State credit for hiring Freeh in the wake of Sandusky’s indictment in 2011 and granting full access to conduct an independent investigation. Freeh’s team reviewed approximately three million documents and interviewed more than 400 people.
“This report will prove incredibly damning during civil litigation,” Wetzel said. “It’s an admission of liability.”
Many have called for Paterno’s statue outside Beaver Stadium to come down, and Wetzel said he thought that and other removals of Paterno’s presence will probably happen. “It’s difficult in State College, because he was undoubtedly the most prominent resident of State College,” Wetzel said. “All over campus, he’s everywhere. What do you do with that?”
In the end, Wetzel sees the school officials’ disregard for Sandusky’s victims as the most troubling image of the Freeh Report.
“Nobody cared. There’s no indication they ever cared or thought about the victims at any point.”