I attended today's press conference given by former FBI director Louis Freeh, who was well guarded by the Philadelphia Police, to discuss his scathing report on Penn State's actions in the Sandusky scandal. After the arrest of Sandusky for child molestation, the Penn State Board of Trustees hired and paid millions of dollars to Freeh to prepare an "independent" report on the scandal.
He said near the beginning, “The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized."
He placed the blame for not reporting Sandusky's penchant for young boys to the authorities on only four men- the late football coach Joe Paterno, former Penn State University President Graham Spanier, former Athletic Director Tim Curley, and a university vice president Gary Schulz- out of a university community that numbers into the hundreds of thousands.
This is comparable to blaming the Nazi death camps only on Hitler and Goebbels. While they were the leaders, the complicity of many Germans contributed to the death of millions of Jews, gypsies, and homosexuals.
Of course, these men are the most culpable, but the conspiracy of silence and dereliction of duty in the child molestation scandal goes much further than that. When I interviewed a former Penn State athlete, he told me that Sandusky’s child molestation was an open secret among the tightknit athletic community. He blamed the military, chain of command for no one reporting it to the authorities or alerting the press.
Freeh does lightly admonish the PSU Board of Trustees for failure of oversight and reasonable inquiry. Freeh mentioned that PSU had not taken steps to implement the Clery Act, which was enacted in 1990, until Sandusky was indicted in 2011. The act requires universities to report crime statistics in or near campuses. None of the trustees, who should have known about the widely publicized federal law for 21 years, ever asked about Penn State’s compliance with the law.
When asked at the press conference if he would advise the board to resign in light of his investigation, Freeh disingenuously dodged the question.
“They are my clients,” he answered.
In a way, Freeh answered the question. If he thought that they should remain, he would have said so in his characteristically blunt way. Instead he declined to give them that protection. It is unlikely that any of the trustees will do the right thing and resign.
One reporter bested summed up the mood after the press conference. He said, “I am glad that I went to Temple.”