Joe Paterno was part of a cover up according to a new report.
Joe Paterno was part of a cover up according to a new report.

Penn State University, legendary coach Joe Paterno and other officials inside of the University's leadership were involved in a cover-up of Jerry Sandusky's child abuse according to the findings of a report from former FBI director Louis Freeh.

In order to avoid the consequences of bad publicity, the most powerful leaders at the university -- Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley -- repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky's child abuse, the report said.

The quote refers to former president Graham Spainer, vice president Gary Schultz, and athletic director Tim Curley as well as Paterno. All four men have been relieved of their duties since the scandal broke.

The Penn State Board of Trustees hired Freeh to investigate the scandal shortly after Sandusky was arrested, and his eight month investigation into the scandal resulted in a 267 page report that is damning to the former coach and administrators.

The report concluded the four men knew exactly what Sandusky had done following a 1998 police probe into his behavior, but that the four men did not take any action to limit Sandusky's access to campus or to children following the investigation.

About a year later, the group did offer Sandusky an ultimatum. He would never be the head coach of Penn State, but he could retire, or stay on as an assistant until Paterno retired according to the report.

Sandusky did retire in 1999, but he did not go away. According to the report, Paterno and university leaders allowed Sandusky to retire, not as a suspected child predator, but as a valued member of the Penn State football legacy, with future 'visibility' at Penn State.

The report also criticizes Paterno for his effect on the campus. In 2000, two janitors at Penn State witnessed Sandusky performing a sex act on a boy on campus. Neither came forward to report it, in their interviews with Freeh, both said they kept silent out of a fear of retribution.

The University would have closed ranks to protect the football program at all costs, the report says. It would have been like going against the President of the United States.

One of the janitors was quoted in the report. I know Paterno has so much power, if he wanted to get rid of someone, I would have been gone, he said.

The constant and damning refrain of the report is that the four men made their decisions based on what they felt would protect the school from unwelcome publicity, with little to no thought given to the legal or moral implications of their decisions.

The Special Investigative Counsel finds that it is more reasonable to conclude that, in order to avoid the consequences of bad publicity, the most powerful leaders of the University-Spanier, Schultz, Paterno, and Curley-repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky's child abuse from the authorities, The University Board of Trustees, the Penn State community, and the public at large, the report said.

The report attempted to show this by examining another case from May 1998, the same time Sandusky was under investigation by local police. In that case, an agent had purchased $400 in clothing for a Penn State player.

Spainer banned the agent from campus for life, saying that the agent had, fooled around with the integrity of the university, and I won't stand for that.

Three weeks later, Spainer received a report from police Chief Thomas Harmon about the results of his department's investigation. Spainer did nothing with that information, despite zealously hounding an agent off campus for a $400 transgression.

The report also highlights the blatant lies of Paterno. In his grand jury testimony he was asked: Other than the incident that Mike McQueary reported to you, do you know in any way, through rumor, direct knowledge or any other fashion, of any other inappropriate sexual conduct by Jerry Sandusky with young boys?

His reply: I do not know of anything else that Jerry Sandusky would be involved in, no. I do not know of it. You did mention-I think you said something about a rumor. It may have been discussed in my presence, something else about somebody. I don't know. I don't remember, and I could not honestly say I heard a rumor.

But several emails between Curley and Spainer discuss keeping Paterno in the loop, and Paterno's specific questions about the investigation.

It remains to be seen what if any effect this will have on the ongoing prosecutions. Sandusky has been convicted on 45 counts and is awaiting sentencing, though he may appeal those convictions.

Schultz and Curley have been charged with perjury and failing to report an alleged sexual assault of a child and are currently awaiting trial.

Penn State could also be the victim of civil suits from some of Sandusky's victims.

Read the rest of the report below yourself:

REPORT_FINAL_071212 (1)