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Paterno Family Calls Penn State Investigation ‘Total Failure’

Joe Paterno Statue
Patrick Smith, Getty Images

An investigation commissioned by the family of late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno called the university-sanctioned study of the alleged cover up by Paterno and university administrators of child sex abuse charges against former PSU assistant Jerry Sandusky ‘inaccurate’ and ‘unfounded’ in a media release on Sunday. The university study, conducted by former FBI director Louis Freeh last year, determined that Paterno conspired to help conceal the allegations against Sandusky.

The Paterno family hired former Pennsylvania governor and U.S. attorney general Dick Thornburgh, family attorney Wick Sollers and former FBI child-abuse prosecutor Jim Clemente to sort through Freeh’s findings. They found that Freeh’s work was “incomplete” a “total failure” and relied too heavily on a 2001 grand jury testimony in which Paterno admitted to knowledge of an abuse allegation against Sandusky, instead of finding “alternative, more plausible, conclusions” to determine the coach’s actions

Freeh called the family’s investigation self-serving and stood by his study’s findings.

Paterno, who died in January 2012, was fired in 2011 when the university determined that he had not done enough to aid the investigation of Sandusky.

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