On Sunday the family of Joe Paterno released the findings of an investigation into the investigation that led to the Freeh Report. In the least shocking set of events ever Team Paterno questions everything from start to finish in the Freeh Report including it's conclusions, methodology, investigative abilities, and the Pièce de résistance – the independence of the Freeh Report.
Regardless of your feelings on the Freeh Report's conclusions, surely you can't argue with it's independence? Seriously, the Paterno family report has the audacity to call an investigation commissioned by a board of trustee's that was less than, oh I don't know, all on board with everything in this process "less than independent." But that's just the tip of the iceberg in the insulting nature of this report.
Instead we are told by the Paterno report that it's the true independent report.
Do you really expect us to believe on it's face that a report who's sole goal is to clear the name of Joe Paterno as "independent?"
Yes, I'm aware that the attorney's were allegedly given this directive: "The Paternos gave us a direct mandate to set the record straight and find the truth as to Joe Paterno's conduct, whether positive or negative," Sollers (a Paterno family attorney) said.
I'm sorry, call me crazy but the mound of evidence of the actions of the Paterno family since all of this began tell me their motives aren't the truth – they are about clearing the name of Joe Paterno at any cost and that is all.
Sorry, I'm not naive or stupid and the assertion by Team Paterno that they are motivated by "finding the truth" is insulting at it's face.
What's even more insulting? How about the title of the report itself – "The Rush to Injustice Regarding Joe Paterno."
No seriously, that's the title of this thing. How insulting is that to the victims? Those are the people who suffered a major injustice. The inactions of a few allowed a child sex predator to continue to do so, all the while never raising suspicion that something wasn't right?
Look, did Paterno or other actors have 100% proof that Sandusky was raping boys in the shower – no, they never physically witnessed it. But, they also never bothered to seem to be bothered that a grown adult was taking showers with a young child to begin with. That never raised a red flag and they never took action to at the very least bar him from access to university facilities – instead they gave him emeritus status and ensured he'd always have access.
That flies in the face of common sense, let alone legal obligations.
Beyond all of that, it's interesting to see the standard the investigations conclusions use – mainly a court of law – because those were never the standards the Freeh Report set as what they were using to begin with and anyone that thought that was and is flat out wrong. At no point were they building an investigation built to stand up in a court of law.
Is the Freeh Report 100% dead-on? Hell no, it can't be because it never had the ability to subpoena anyone. Does that mean all of it's conclusions are inaccurate and filled with "rank speculation," either? Not in my mind and not in the minds of most reasonable people who've taken the time to read both reports out there.
Then there's one of the biggest whoppers of this report – this conclusion:
The Freeh report is uniformly biased against Joe Paterno. For the authors of the report, there are no gray areas. They ascribe motives to people they never met or interviewed, and interpret ambiguous documents with a clarity and decisiveness that is impossible to justify
Does it bother anyone else that if Joe Paterno and his family were/are so concerned with the truth of the matter that Paterno declined to speak with investigators in the Special Commission that Freeh directed? If truth and justice were your motives then what did he have to hide? What did Paterno stand to lose from speaking with the commission?
If an injustice was being done to Paterno he had his opportunity to go on the record and defend his name, instead he chose not to. That's no one else's fault but his own, yet according to this report that makes them biased against Paterno.
We could sit here all day and debate who's right and who's wrong, but the one truth in all of this debate is that we'll never know all the answers.
There are questions abound on both sides of all of this and ultimately we may never get all the answers because all the actors in this sick and sad affair aren't around anymore or are facing trial and those answers won't come until that's all said and done.
What's even more disgusting to this writer is the fact that we are here talking about this at all. What purpose does this so-called independent investigation ultimately serve? Those that believe Paterno is a saint and never did anything wrong will side with him and this report and take it as their gospel. Those that believe Paterno had a failing of duty and of the morals he upheld so publicly are going to laugh at this report as an attempted hatchet job of a family that can't let go.
In the end all this does is continue to spit in the face of the folks that were victims of all of this…. you know, the children Jerry Sandusky sexually abused for years and years. Those are the families we should all be worried about. Instead this just reeks of a family not willing to let things go and let those families attempt to heal the wounds created by a monster. If they really cared about those families and those children they'd let a sleeping dog lie, instead they chose to rip the band-aid off a wound all in the name of self-serving motives and that's just sad.