July 11, 2012

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.”

Will this report commissioned by the BOT be unbiased? Or, will this report try to blame it all on a dead guy?

Nonetheless, the state, Feds and NCAA are all conducting their own independent investigations.

And to you Nitter fans and JoePa apologists, I don’t think Freeh will jeopardize his own integrity by slanting his findings and giving the BOT a free pass. Moreover, the media is NOT out to disparage the legacy of JoePa.

Let the facts (historical, inferred or ultimate) speak for themselves. Let the TRUTH come out.

Comment by TX Panther 07.11.12 @ 5:18 pm

Louis Freeh went head-to-head with Clinton when Bill tried to have the Monica debacle squashed. Louie Freeh isn’t going to lie, cheat or ingratiate himself for PSU’s benefit.
I have always loathed PSU simply for their arrogance – Why is the sky blue and white? And even now, they rationalize, compartmentalize, project, sublimate, etc etc.
Amazing, truly amazing.

I repeat:

“All arrogance will reap a harvest rich with tears.”

Comment by Gas 07.11.12 @ 5:53 pm

I just want to temper everyone’s expectations a bit here. We all (myself included, and I think most of the media) are expecting this report to be devastating. It almost certainly will be to Spanier. But just to prepare people for the possibility that it doesn’t do what we expect, let me remind you all of a recent Supreme Court ruling. I am not, I repeat NOT trying to open a political discussion. I am simply illustrating the point. A couple of weeks ago when the Affordable Care Act ruling was expected from the Supreme Court, EVERYONE on both sides of the political aisle thought it was getting turned over, especially because of so-called leaks and insider information that suggested such. And when the ruling was released, it shocked everyone.

Again, I only bring this up to prepare everyone that the report might not say the things we expect it to say. We keep getting leaks and there is such an expectation of this being so devastating. But it could just pin it all on Spanier and Sandusky and basically exonerate JoePa, at least to a high degree.

Comment by kanyon40 07.11.12 @ 6:13 pm

Having observed an investigation at a company I worked for, it is my opinion that outside investigators do not downplay what they find. Quite the contrary. I would be surprised if the findings aren’t dramatic.

Comment by 66Goat 07.11.12 @ 6:14 pm

THANKS FOR THE SHORT COURSE ON LEGAL HERMENEUTICS; NICE JOB. Of course, I don’t understand what this has to do with PITT Panther football recruiting, but that’s just me…

Comment by Joseph Barr 07.11.12 @ 6:41 pm

Seriously Reed, do I actually have to think about these things while I gleefully pore over a document detailing the damning of of an institution thought to be so enduring, but turning out to be anything but?


(By the way, Turkey Hill Tin Roof Sundae ice cream is the best dessert in the universe. This is an unpaid political announcement.)

Comment by steve1 07.11.12 @ 6:54 pm


College football fans across the country, particularly those in PA, are interested in the report for a number of reasons. This blog covers more than football recruiting. I appreciated the clarifications made in the post.

Comment by Brian 07.11.12 @ 7:41 pm

I’m with ya joseph but I’ve come to understand the majority of readers think this is an appropriate blog issue due to high interest in the issue and proximity of bother schools , so I have learned to respect that.

Comment by Timmeh 07.11.12 @ 8:11 pm


Comment by Timmeh 07.11.12 @ 8:12 pm

The letter to the editor from the grave was a doozie. So we are to believe this masterpiece has been floating around the fraternity of players, past and present, and somebody just decided to leak it the day before Joe experiences his second burial. Puleeese! And, by the way. Who says Joe wrote it. All we know for sure is somebody claims Joe wrote it. For my money, his old lady and kid lawyer concocted the epistle and deliberately leaked it the day before the Freeh report to try to soften the blow. Like I have said many times, this thing is not going to go away. Can you imagine Oliver Stone right about now. This is a a blockbuster movie waiting to be produced. Think about sports a scandals (Pete Rose, the Black Sox, Rosie Ruiz, Tonya Harding, etc): They never, ever go away. The grand experiment will be remembered for what it didn’t do versus what it may have done. Bring on King Louie. I can’t wait.

Comment by wally 07.11.12 @ 8:20 pm

So many PR leeches involved here, wally. PA Tax payer generosity will keep them sucking blood until the next crisis comes around.

Comment by steve1 07.11.12 @ 8:55 pm

PR Crisis management sez you emphasize 3 positives. In Joe’s case:

1) Penn State is a good school, football notwithstanding
2) Football players graduate from this good school
3) It is because of me, and me alone, that football players graduate from this good school

Comment by steve1 07.11.12 @ 9:56 pm

One thing that I believe is this. Wherever Paterno is now, there aren’t any secrets.
His letter was, as were many things in his life,a veiled attempt to glorify his actions. Of course, he did many wonderful things. He also did many average things and many bad things. He was a human being. He was not a saint, a god or deity. BUT, he was empowered in 2001 by the AD and President seeking his counsel on what to do and the result of no action on Penn State’s part was a decision he clearly accepted and continued to accept for another 10 years.

When McQuery reported to Paterno, PSU was on the heels of a 5-7 season. They lost to Toledo, they lost to Pitt. Paterno was on the ropes at age 75 and “his program” had suffered from criminal acts from players without any consequences.
If this had been reported then, Paterno would likely have been canned.
But it wasn’t made public and afterward, it was Paterno who had Curly and Spanier by the short hairs.
Two years later when Niles and Frazier showed up at Joe’s doorstep to fire him, Paterno would not answer the door!
Who then was really running the asylum?
Paterno was a genius at leveraging power, but he was then old and no longer invincible.
Everyone knew then, including Paterno, that he could not live without football and to him, football meant power.
Cancer, that wicked disease that took my Father from me and my son, was merely the tool of mortality. If Joe would have been fired in 2001, some other malady would have hastened his passing. Paterno was afraid of dying and he was old enough to smell death.
So, on the ropes in 2001, he was able to handle the matter in a “humane” fashion and at least 2 spineless losers became
Joe’s pawns.
Joe did then what Joe always did…he acted only in his best interests.
But this time, “success with honor” was merely a “brand”. It bore no true resemblance to the truth.
He can’t fool anyone anymore except for fools. Doubt he has that option now.

Comment by SFPitt 07.11.12 @ 10:08 pm

Joe Barr – your little dog bit me on the ankle when I was delivering the Post Gazette morning papers back in the day when you were mayor. I haven’t forgotten the scared little man who opened the door and asked us “Please don’t sue me” when all my Dad wanted to do was make sure your dog had rabies shots.

BTW, nice try when you tried to get my Dad to take $100 to “forget this ever happened”. I’ll never forget the look my father gave you right before he cracked up. You are a class act.

(true story).

As to the topic. Since when is this a “PITT recruiting blog”? Apparently over the last few days we have had commenters try to pigeon hole this blog in ways I don’t believe Chas envisioned.

But this is a timely and important topic when discussing college football in general and PA football in particular. If you notice neither Chas nor myself have been taking undue pot shots at PSU or the principals involved. We are writing on a subject that is perhaps the biggest sports story in 100 years and trying to show a different side of it that might not be found elsewhere.

May I point you to the fact that between my PSU recruiting article of July 8th and this last article there were six (6) other articles written encompassing a wide range of sports related issues.

That is six articles in three days. So – if one article doesn’t fit your idea of what should be posted on here you still have an abundance of other interesting things to read.

May I also forewarn you that there will be more articles on this starting at around 9:01 tomorrow morning? I wouldn’t want you to log on at coffee break and be surprised that the Blather is commenting on issues that are happening in PITT’s backyard.

I’m being sarcastic here obviously but this truly is an issue that PITT fans are following very closely and so will be a topic of conversation on here. It may not be to your tastes but it is to many others.

Comment by Reed 07.11.12 @ 10:15 pm

Great Joe Barr story Reed.

SF Pitt, great summary. And also factor in that Paterno hired McQueary over better qualified candidates a few years later.

Over the years McQueary became Paterno’s sideline whipping boy (pardon the allusion). Over the years it was comical to watch little Joe jump all over big Mike on the sidelines.

Now it’s no so funny.

Comment by steve1 07.11.12 @ 10:30 pm

I shall read it with a skeptical view. Freeh was paid by PSU. He is a Judge that writes opinions and regulations. Regulations and opinions always allow wiggle room and room for interpretation which spawns more litigation.

Don’t believe all that you read, good or bad. Everyone has a motivation for writing and interpretation. As the reader, you need to be able to decipher between absolute truth and inference as written above. Unfortunately much will be inference which will send the NCAA away and allow the nitters to continue denying.

Comment by dhuffdaddy 07.11.12 @ 11:21 pm


Reed, you really let loose on Barr; that could be one of your best posts/comments..ever

Hilarious if its really true.

Comment by yup 07.11.12 @ 11:52 pm

The affordable care act analogy is apt. Read the report yourself if you have the time, if not at least wait until the evening to read summaries. The media bumrush to get this story out first is bound to make errors and overstate things, though perhaps not as bad as CNN and Fox bungling the supreme court ruling.

Comment by Kyle 07.12.12 @ 4:52 am

Help support your Nitter friends today by standing on suicide watch. Their coach who they worshiped as a God will be exposed as a fraud and their world will come crashing down. Today, the rest of the nation will know the facts albeit from one investigation. There are many more from other sources to follow, but this is the first so it will be most impactful and quite frankly shocking. Cook still says he would have no problem sending his daugher to Pedo State. These crimes and subsequent coverups are part of the university culture which is heavilly influenced by the football program and philosophy of one man. Does anyone really think that culture is any different today? I can still smell the stench of arrogance all the way down here.

Comment by TX Panther 07.12.12 @ 6:03 am

Writing about what’s coming in the Freeh report beforehand and writing about the actual report after it’s released are fine.

But posting a primer regarding how to read and interpret it seems pretty far afield to me…….

Comment by hugh green 07.12.12 @ 7:44 am

Pretty far afield from what? This is a Pitt blog, and folks are interested in the report. Why not blog on how to read it? Don’t like it? Then don’t read it.

Comment by velvil 07.12.12 @ 8:13 am

That Barr story is true, I was about 11 at the time and had the Barrs on my morning paper route. He never tipped me either.

Hugh – I believe that, as stated above, there is going to be a huge rush to latch onto any tidbits that supports opposing opinions on this issue and those bits and pieces are going to be trumpeted loud and long today and in the future.

Supposedly this report is 200+ pages long and from what I have read is actually independent and critical of PSU and Paterno.

Because we are PITT fans with strong opinions on this I also think that we should read the report in its entirety and somewhat objectively if we are going to be discussing it, which we invariably will in many forums over the next weeks, months and years.

When I read this referenced post it struck me as a good reminder about the need to look at this report as critically and fairly as we can as outside observers so I thought I’d share it.

From my perusal of the public’s comments in response to articles, message boards, blogs on this subject I see that a lot of fans are mistaken about what this investigation really is. It is convened for fact finding, conclusion opinions and recommendations. It isn’t a legal document, won’t result in any immediate arrests and didn’t have subpoena power to compel individual’s compliance.

Thus this report’s conclusions aren’t etched in stone the way say a Grand Jury report is but we know some will take it that way. This article was a gentle reminder of those facts.

But to be honest I think that I’ll read this and agree with most of it if the conclusions are supported well.

Comment by Reed 07.12.12 @ 8:19 am

FWIW, I am not offended by the articles posted here. If I am not interested in any article, I simply don’t put much thought into it.

I must admit, though, that I am offended by the fact that the Yankees are televised nationally (ESPN, MLB, TBS, Fox) at least 4 times a week.

Comment by wbb 07.12.12 @ 8:34 am

Sounds like the investigators didn’t hold back. I was a little worried about some bias here but I think the last thing anyone at Penn State wants now is to be exposed trying to cover up a cover up. Below is a very powerful statement:

“The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized,” investigator Louis Freeh said in remarks prepared for a 10 a.m. news conference obtained by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

He said former president Graham Spanier, vice president Gary Schultz, late head football coach Joe Paterno and former 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,” he said.

Comment by Coach Ditka 07.12.12 @ 9:14 am

Just read some post at BWI and not shocked but amazed and disgusted that many are posting this report is a sham and is garbage etc. Unbelievable

Comment by giveitarest 07.12.12 @ 9:20 am

Reed: nice job here. Thank you! 🙂

Comment by MariettaMike 07.12.12 @ 9:42 am

@wbb. Agreed. I say this with all due respect and in a friendly tone to those that don’t like some articles that aren’t totally to do with Pitt football or basketball.

This is a Pitt blog, and anything even remotely related to Pitt goes. Again, with a friendliest of friendly tone, not being mean spirited or mean tongued at all, don’t read the blogs you don’t like. Pretty simple stuff really.

Actually, if there weren’t some articles on Ped State or Expansionocalype, there would probably be weeks of no articles. It’s mid-July, not a lot of news on football or hoops. Dead time.

Unless we want Chas and Reed to start following the gridders and hoopsters around summer school, to see what they’re having for breakfast. Did Steven Adams just get a slurpee at 7/11?? Did Ray Graham’s aunt just drop off a batch of cookies for him to share with his apartment mates??

We are really lucky to have this blog, and be able to talk about some things not on the field or court.

Check out some other schools blogs, they go dead for weeks at a time, sometimes a month with no new articles.

Nope, Chas nor Reed paid me for any of this. I really do keep up on quite a few other teams blogs, we have a real gem here with the amount of writing, research and opinnion these guys do.

Enjoy it.

Comment by Dan 07.12.12 @ 10:09 am

@wbb, allthough, and I will probably get bombed more for this than any other opinion I have given out over the years.

Love the Yankees. Sorry, my Dad worked in NYC in the 70’s and early 80’s. Would leave on Mon a.m., come home on Fri eve.

Many a times he took me with him, and, I shall hide my head now, took me to Yankee Stadium hundreds of times when I did visit.

So, Yanks are a second team for me.

Before anyone gets the stones out, Pirates-Yankees world series, Buccos 110%!!!!!

I do understand peoples disdain for them. My love is tied to memories.

Comment by Dan 07.12.12 @ 10:14 am

Death Penalty NOW!!!

Comment by Marco 07.12.12 @ 1:45 pm

Dan – appreciate that and your point about following teams around and digging for stories?

That would never happen on my end. I don’t get paid one penny for this – wait!.. Chas bought me a beer two years ago – so I wouldn’t write one word.

Comment by Reed 07.12.12 @ 4:57 pm

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