NEWS BLOG: Freeh slams Joe Paterno – with ‘regret’

BY MARY ANNA TOWLER

The report detailing the behavior of officials in the Penn State child-abuse scandal is as welcome as it is shocking. And in releasing his report yesterday, former FBI Director Louis Freeh didn’t mince words.

He was obviously furious about what he had learned.

That’s a refreshing contrast to the reaction of Penn State sports officials, president, police chief, and others who learned about but preferred to let Jerry Sandusky’s sexual abuse of children continue rather than have Penn’s sports program tarnished.

It’s tarnished now. But that’s small stuff compared to the damage done to the children who got within Sandusky’s reach.

Among other horrors, Freeh’s report concluded that Penn State’s revered former coach, Joe Paterno, knew of the concerns about Sandusky and persuaded university officials not to report him to the proper authorities – that Paterno was, in Freeh’s words, “an integral part of this active decision to conceal.”

And yet as stunning as the Freeh report’s revelations are, they’re only slightly more disturbing than another of Freeh’s comments. The New York Times quotes Freeh as expressing “regret” that the evidence he had uncovered would tarnish Paterno’s “legacy.”

“We have a great deal of respect for Mr. Paterno,” Freeh said.

Really?

The abused Penn State boys have soaked up all the regret I have available.

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