PHILADELPHIA – Judge Louis Freeh said today after the release of his investigative report that “catastrophic failures” were made by former Penn State employees related to their handling of Jerry Sandusky's child abuse.
One of those employees is former head coach Joe Paterno. In the Freeh Report, it was revealed that Paterno knew about the 1998 incident involving former defensive coordinator Sandusky and the person called “Victim 6.”
Still, Paterno has his supporters.
After Freeh's press conference in the Westin Philadelphia Hotel, Larry Leise, a member of Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship, said he thinks the Board of Trustees should be removed immediately.
“This is a sham,” Leise said of the report after saying the Freeh Group should have interviewed the Paterno family and former coaches to prove that the scandal was not a football issue. “This is basically trying to say, 'we're going to attack the football program and Joe Paterno, who's conveniently dead.'”
In his comments, Freeh said Penn State's most powerful leaders, namely former President Graham Spanier, former Athletic Director Tim Curley, former Vice President for Finance and Business Gary Schultz and Paterno, were attempting to avoid “bad publicity” and showed total disregard for the victims of Sandusky.
Another member of Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship, former Penn State tight end and punter Brian Masella, also spoke out in defense of Paterno after the press conference.
“Absolutely,” Masella said when asked if he supports Paterno. “In fact, one of my comrades, [former player Franco Harris] couldn't be here today, and we've been traveling through board meetings that they've been having, trying to get the truth out.”
Masella also complained about the lack of involvement of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, a former attorney general and current board member, in the Freeh Report.