"The Freeh report is a profound failure," Paterno family attorney Wick Sollers told the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pa. "It isn't a little wrong on the minor issues. It is totally wrong on the most critical issues. That the board and the NCAA relied on this report, without appropriate review or analysis, is a miscarriage of justice."
Speaking out for the first time since her husband's death, Sue Paterno released a letter, addressed to "Dear Lettermen," in which she defends her late husband's actions, saying he was "exactly the moral, disciplined and demanding man you knew him to be."
The results long-awaited independent investigation commissioned by Paterno's family were released Sunday and slammed the methodology of an earlier investigation led by former FBI director Louis Freeh.
At times line by line, the report Sue Paterno commissioned rebutted Freeh's accounting of events and individuals' actions leading to years of child molestation by former Paterno assistant Jerry Sandusky.
The Paterno report concluded Freeh's team erred by failing to interview key witnesses and allowing other witnesses to discuss the matter anonymously. It also said there was no evidence Paterno knowingly turned a blind eye to allegations assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was molesting children.
Specifically, the Paterno family report says Joe Paterno was never part of a conspiracy to cover up Sandusky's actions, the Philadelphia Inquirer said. It exonerates the entire football program from blame for Sandusky's actions, saying it was his actions alone that are to blame.
Former FBI profiler Jim Clemente, one of the authors retained by the Paterno family, said Sandusky alone was responsible for the crimes. "Sandusky got away with what he did because he's a skillful manipulator," in the "top 1 percent" of predators who groom children for abuse, he said.
Sandusky was sentenced to what is essentially life in prison after being convicted of the crimes.
The Paterno report said Freeh's report tarnished Paterno and led to harsh NCAA sanctions against the Penn State football program despite being "speculative and fundamentally flawed."
Freeh defended his report.
"I stand by our conclusion that four of the most powerful people at Penn State failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade," he said.