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Louis Freeh Report: Joe Paterno's Legacy May Be Destroyed

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Joe Paterno's legacy and may be forever destroyed following the findings of Louis Freeh's report. Freeh is a former FBI Director who was hired by the trustees to look into the scandal and spoke about the findings at a press conference this week.

Lous Freeh's findings prove to be extremely damning and they implicate all of the former major officials at Penn State. Freeh cites that PSU officials "his critical facts" and looked the other way while Sandusky continued to committ these horrific crimes. Everyone from former president Graham Spanier, former VP Tim Curley, former athletic director Tim Curley, and Joe Paterno are implicated in a massive coverup related to Jerry Sandusky's child sexual abuses.

According to Freeh, everyone implicated failed to do anything about the horrific crimes. And, they basically allowed it to continue while sweeping it under the rug. "Our most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky's child victims by the most senior leaders at Penn State," said Louis Freeh.

Paterno's family has come out and disputed the the conclusions, stating that Joe Paterno is the only one who came out and admitted he could have done more. The family went on to say in their statement, "We have said from the beginning that Joe Paterno did not know Jerry Sandusky was a child predator. Moreover, Joe Paterno never interfered with any investigation."

I'm not sure that his acknowledgement of this fact is enough. Paterno admitted that he could have and should have done more, but he failed to do so. And, this utlimately resulted in the destruction of several children's lives.

In the end, Joe PA cared more about the image of Penn State and looked the other way when children were clearly being sexually assaulted. That's the saddest thing of all. This is a man who was arguably more reverered in this area than late Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas.

Lost in all of this is the role of the Penn State board of trustees. I find it reprehensible that they stand on the sidelines and absolve themselves of any blame in all of this. It's hard to believe that they were in the dark while these crimes took place.

Added to that, Governor Tom Corbett sat on this case for over two years and allowed the investigatiion to play out while an alleged child predator remained at large. Many people surmise that Corbett allowed things to play out so it wouldn't interefere with his campaign for Governor. This is hardly a situation that can be pinned on Joe Paterno and he alone.

Will Joe Paterno be remembered for his career which spanned sixty one years or the scandal which ended it? If Joe Paterno's statue is removed at Penn State, then it's all but certain his legacy will be destroyed.

Contact Dennis Bakay at dbakay@philly2philly.com

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