PHILADELPHIA, July 12 (UPI) -- Senior leaders at Penn State University failed for years to act to protect children victimized by former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, an investigation found.
"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," former FBI Director Louis Freeh, said Thursday of the independent report. "The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized."
A jury in Bellefonte, Pa., convicted Sandusky last month of 45 counts of sexual abuse, including rape and sodomy.
Freeh's investigation, which began seven months ago, included more than 430 interviews of current and former Penn State employees from various departments, as well as current and past board of trustee members, former coaches, athletes and others. Investigators also analyzed more than 3.5 million e-mails and other documents.
Freeh said university leaders at the time -- President Graham Spanier, Vice President Gary Schultz, head football Coach Joe Paterno and Athletic Director Tim Curley -- "never demonstrated, through actions or words, any concern for the safety and well-being of Sandusky's victims until after Sandusky's arrest."
When a former graduate assistant reported seeing Sandusky with a young boy in shower in February 2001, instead of protecting the child, "it is more reasonable to conclude that, in order to avoid the consequences of bad publicity, the most powerful leaders at Penn State University ... repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky's child abuse from the authorities, the board of trustees, Penn State community, and the public at large," Freeh said.
"Although concern to treat the child abuser humanely was expressly stated, no such sentiments were ever expressed by them for Sandusky's victims," the former FBI director said.
Freeh said evidence indicated Paterno, who was fired over the matter and died months later, was made aware of a 1998 investigation of Sandusky, followed it, but failed to take any action.
"At the very least, Mr. Paterno could have alerted the entire football staff," he said, adding that Paterno, Schultz, Curley and Spanier "even spoke to Sandusky about his conduct. In short, nothing was done and Sandusky was allowed to continue with impunity."
Baseball's second half opens Friday
NEW YORK, July 12 (UPI) -- The second half of the 2012 baseball season begins Friday with the New York Yankees having the best record and Pittsburgh out front in the surprise category.
Following a lengthy All-Star break, during which the National League blanked the American League in the annual gathering of the sport's top players, pennant races will begin in earnest.
The Yankees have opened the largest division lead of all with their 52-33 record, owning a seven-game advantage over Baltimore in the AL East.
The Chicago White Sox are out front by three games over Cleveland in the AL Central and two-time defending league champion Texas has a four-game cushion in the AL West over the Los Angeles Angels.
Washington, with its strong pitching staff, has built a 49-34 record in the NL East and leads Atlanta by four games while the Los Angeles Dodgers lead San Francisco by 1/2 game in the NL West.
It is in the NL Central, however, where the biggest shock has occurred. Pittsburgh has not had a winning season in two decades, but the Pirates are 11 games above .500 heading into the second half and are in front of Cincinnati by a game.
Detroit will take baseball's longest active winning streak into Friday's action, having won five in a row.
The Yankees will host the Angels in one of Friday's top attractions while Pittsburgh will be at Milwaukee.
Pittsburgh has been led by Andrew McCutchen, whose .362 batting average tops the majors. His 18 home runs are six behind Milwaukee's Ryan Braun for the league lead and his 60 RBI trail league leader Carlos Beltran of St. Louis by five.
Josh Hamilton of Texas is tied with Toronto's Jose Bautista for most homers in the majors with 27 and Hamilton's 75 RBI leads all of baseball. The American League batting leader, however, is the Angels' Mike Trout. He will carry a .341 average into Friday's game with the Yankees.
R.A. Dickey of the New York Mets is the winningest pitcher in the sport with 12 victories. The Angels' Jered Weaver is No. 1 in ERA at 1.96 and Jim Johnson of Baltimore leads all closers with 26 saves.
Kite leads U.S. Senior Open
ORION, Mich., July 12 (UPI) -- Tom Kite, 20 years after his victory at the U.S. Open, took a one-shot lead Thursday after the opening round of the U.S. Senior Open.
Kite shot a tournament-record 28 on the front nine of the Indianwood Golf & Country Club course en route to a 5-under 65.
At age 62, he would be the oldest winner of this tournament, and he would also become the eighth player to capture both the regular Open title as well as the Senior Open crown. He had the lead at last week's Champions Tour stop on the Monterey Peninsula heading into the final round, but faded into a tie for 10th.
He was one shot in front of Lance Ten Broeck and Bernhard Langer while those two shots behind included Jeff Sluman, Fred Funk, Mikael Hogberg, Tom Pernice and Corey Pavin.
Pavin left the course having apparently shot a 65 that would have tied him for the lead, but tournament officials assessed him a two-shot penalty because his ball moved as he prepared to hit it during play at the fifth hole.
Defending champion Olin Browne had a 69 and was tied for 15th.
Kite eagled the par-4 fourth hole while putting together his record-setting 28.
"It was a lot of fun. You don't get rounds like that very often, especially in major championships," Kite said. "The hole just seemed large and I was hitting some nice shots and obviously getting some nice breaks."
His round was marred, however, by a double-bogey at the par-3 17th.
Kite has the best record at the Masters among the players who have never won that tournament. He has finished second at the Masters to Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros and Tiger Woods.
Bartoli rallies past college student
STANFORD, Calif., July 12 (UPI) -- Marion Bartoli, ranked 10th in the world, survived an early rush from a Stanford junior Thursday to reach the quarterfinals of the Bank of the West Classic.
Mallory Burdette, runner-up in this year's NCAA singles championship and playing in her first WTA event, stormed to a 5-2 lead against Bartoli in the opening set.
Burdette, however, did not win another game as Bartoli rallied for a 7-5, 6-0 victory.
Bartoli reached the finals of this tournament last year before losing to Serena Williams and those two are on track to meet in the title match again this week.
In other second-round matches Thursday, Sorana Cirstea ousted Saisai Zheng 6-3, 6-3 and Urszula Radwanska was a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 winner over Marina Erakovic.
Williams, coming off her Wimbledon championship, will take on Chanelle Scheepers in Friday's main quarterfinal attraction while Bartoli, the second seed, will meet Yanina Wickmayer.