Penn State’s late head football coach, Joe Paterno was formerly well-known for his great integrity. Now a new report attacks the integrity of the formerly beloved Penn State head coach, suggesting Paterno had some prior knowledge to the 1998 Jerry Sandusky child-abuse investigation.
Paterno testified last year to being unaware of the allegations against Sandusky. A report released on Thursday, by former Director Louis Freeh, states Paterno was not only aware of the investigation, but he followed the case closely. According to USA Today, 400 interviews and 3 million documents were used over a near eight-month investigation.
In the report, Freeh found that Paterno was among five Penn State officials who covered up the information to avoid bad publicity. Freeh said Paterno could have stopped the sexual abuse “if he wished.”
“The facts are facts…He was an integral part of the act to conceal,” said Freeh.
Contradicting to Paterno’s initial stance claiming to be unaware of the investigation, Freeh’s report finds evidence strongly suggesting the former coach was a vital importance in making the decision to not alert authorities.
The newly released report has made a huge impact that has marred Paterno’s reputation. Nike’s chairman, Phil Knight decided to change the name of the Joe Paterno Child Development Center at its Oregon headquarters.
Paterno’s family issued a statement against the report:
“It can be argued that Joe Paterno should have gone further…He should have pushed his superiors to see that they were doing their jobs. We accept this criticism. At the same time, Joe Paterno and everyone else knew that Sandusky had been repeatedly investigated by authorities who approved his multiple adoptions and foster children. Joe Paterno mistakenly believed that investigators, law enforcement officials, university leaders, and others would properly and fully investigate any issue and proceed as the facts dictated.”
The report portrays Paterno as an active participant to “conceal critical facts” and preserve the university’s reputation, by doing so the report says Paterno and the other Penn State Officials displayed “a striking lack of empathy” for Sandusky’s victims.