Sue Paterno Defends Late Husband in Letter to Penn State Players
Sue Paterno, widow of legendary football coach Joe Paterno, called her late husband "moral, disciplined and demanding man" in a letter sent to hundreds of former Penn State football players.
Sue Paterno made the move to defend her husband's character and integrity which were tarnished by the Freeh report in connection with the sexual abuse against former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.
The report accused Paterno and three former university executives of concealing "critical facts" relating to Sandusky's child abuse. Sandusky was later found guilty and now serving his sentence.
Due in large part to Freeh's findings, the NCAA handed Penn State a four-year bowl ban and substantial scholarship limitations while instituting a $60 million fine.
In addition, the NCAA vacated 111 of Paterno's victories. Prior to the ruling, Paterno held the record for the most career wins by a coach on the major-college level.
In her letter, Paterno said she was disappointed by the Freeh report's "attack" on her husband.
"When the Freeh report was released last July, I was as shocked as anyone by the findings and by Mr. Freeh's extraordinary attack on Joe's character and integrity. I did not recognize the man Mr. Freeh described," she said.
"I am here to tell you as definitively and forcefully as I know how that Mr. Freeh could not have been more wrong in his assessment of Joe," she added.
Sue Paterno also announced that a report responding to Freeh's findings, commissioned by the family, will be released Sunday.
She said the report, which was led by her lawyer, Wick Sollers, "unreservedly and forcefully confirm(s) my beliefs about Joe's conduct."
"In addition, they present a passionate and persuasive critique of the Freeh report as a total disservice to the victims of Sandusky and the cause of preventing child sex offenses," she said.
She hopes her letter and the release of the family's commissioned report Sunday, will serve as a rebuttal to Freeh's findings and the NCAA's subsequent actions against the university.
"This cannot happen," Paterno said. "The Freeh report failed and if it is not challenged and corrected, nothing worthwhile will have come from these tragic events."
Family Of Joe Paterno To Release Response To Freeh Report
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