Fellow Blather Fans- I came across this post on the PITT Rivals board and wanted to share it with you to read before the Freeh report is made public tomorrow at 9:00 am as Chas has written about in his previous article. It was done by a poster named “Akaba” and hits the mark as far as these investigative reports go. I give him a ton of credit and my thanks for taking the time to write this.
It is entitled How to read the Freeh Report — a guide to interpreting its fact findings
“Before starting I want to make clear that I have absolutely no idea of the form or content of the Freeh Report. Nonetheless, I would like to respectfully offer a possible way to read it and to interpret it.
When investigative reports are done the investigators are looking for facts, and looking to reach conclusions. My guess is that the Freeh Report will be no different.
Stylistically, reports can be in a narrative form or can be in a listing form. What do I mean? Well, a narrative form is like a book. A long story, organized of course, but still reading like a novel. In contrast a listing will identify, in sequential number order (1, 2, 3, 4, etc), the fact findings of the investigators.
I would hope, but do not know, that the Freeh Report is done by listing (1,2,3, 4). This is because it is easy to read. It is also easy to focus on specific fact findings. This also makes it easy for those who want to challenge only part of a report, perhaps just a very narrow part of the report, to identify the particular facts as found by the Freeh Group which they are at issue.
Next, as you read the Freeh Report it is useful to think of the findings of fact of the Freeh Group as falling into one of three (3) categories: historical facts; inferred facts; and ultimate facts. I will explain.
Historical facts are those which depict undisputed events in time. Examples: Joe Paterno started as coach at PSU on ___ date. Jerry Sandusky started as coach at PSU on ____ date. Jerry Sandusky retired as a football coach from PSU on ___ date. Tim Curly became athletic director at PSU at ___ date. Graham Spannier became President of PSU on ____ date. Mike McQueary witnessed Jerry Sandusky in a shower in the PSU football facilities on ___ date. Mike McQueary had a meeting with Joe Paterno about what he saw on __ date.
Inferred facts are those facts which follow from logic and experience, and which are a natural result of other events. This is sometimes referred to as “circumstantial evidence”. Examples: in the recently released excerpts of e-mails published by CNN it was reported that in 2001 / 2002 Sandusly / McQuery incident PSU AD Curly changed the apparent initial game plan to report Sandusky to Child and Youth Services and to Second Mile after a conversation that he had with “Joe”. It is an inferred fact that “Joe” was former PSU football coach Joe Paterno. This is because the e-mail does NOT give the last name for “Joe”, yet apparently it was common knowledge that Paterno was often referred to as “Joe”.
In contrast, and as yet a further distinction, it can NOT be inferred, at least it is my view, as to exactly WHAT Paterno said to Curly, as not enough detail was provided in the e-mail to make a fair inference as to content; although I guess an inference can be made as to direction — do not report it — because the incident was never reported, and apparently PSU never even attempted to identify the young lad.
Another inferred fact from the recently released excerpts of e-mails published by CNN was that PSU administrators were aware of the 1998 incident involving Sandusky. This is because Curly writes that they can confront Sandusky about the “first incident”. But was that “first incident” 1998? I think most people would conclude that it was 1998, but it is an inferrred fact because the year of the “first incident” was not given.
Ultimate facts are those which reach to the heart of the issue at hand. Example: in the Sandusky trial the testimony of some of the Victiims, if believed, that Sandusky performed oral sex on them, or required them to perform oral sex on him, as those “facts” go to the heart of the various criminal charges which he faced. In the context of the Freeh Report the “ultimate issue” which many hope is reached as to whether or not PSU administrators (Curly, Spannier, Schultz, and Paterno, or any one or more of them) engaged in any type of a “cover-up” to not disclose to the public the events with Sandusky and young boys in the PSU football shower facilities.
Conclusions are the summary result reached by consideration of the collective group of fact findings. Example: the Freeh Group could conclude that despite all of the speculation in the media and elsewhere, there is not sufficient evidence (not sufficient fact findings) to establish that former PSU Coach Joe Paterno engaged in any cover-up as to any matter involving Sandusky (or the Freeh Group could reach the opposite conclusion). This same conclusion, the cover-up, could, and probably will, be made as to the other powers that be at the highest levels of the PSU administration — such as AD Curly, head of campus secuirty Schultz, and pres Spannier. Other conclusions that will probably be reached are the issue as to whether or not the athletic department, and PSU’s former football coach Paterno, exerted too much power and control over other areas of the University.
Recommendations are suggestions by the Freeh Group as to future actions and future procedures which PSU should consider implementing to prevent a repeat in the future of the negative conclusions it reached, if any (such as, by way of a possible example only, that the athletic department, or a head football coach, had too much influence and control over other areas of University policy).
In writing the above I do NOT want to be so presumptous as to suggest that the above is the definitive guide to interpretting the Freeh Report, because it certainly is NOT intended to be that. HOWEVER, I did write it so that when someone reads the Freeh Report they are at least sensitive to factual findings which the Freeh Group made in the context that some of the fact findings will be historical in nature, some of the fact findings will be inferential in nature, and some of the fact findings will reach ultimate issues, and that conclusions made are based on the collective fact findings, and that recommendations made are then based on the conclusions.”