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Mississippi Lawyer Blog

Freeh Report will lead to lawsuits against Penn State

paterno.jpgThe recently released "Freeh Report" will no doubt lead to numerous lawsuits against Penn State and current and former administrators of the disgraced university. The report was compiled by Louis Freeh, the former FBI director, and noted that

The most saddening finding by the Special Investigative Counsel is the total and consistent disregard by the most senior leaders at Penn State for the safety and welfare of Sandusky's child victims," the Freeh Commission report, released Thursday morning, reads. "The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized.

Former coach and icon Joe Paternon was one of those "powerful men":

The evidence shows that Mr. Paterno was made aware of the 1998 investigation of Sandusky, followed it closely, but failed to take any action, even though Sandusky had been a key member of his coaching staff for almost 30 years, and had an office just steps away from Mr. Paterno's.

As a kid growing up in West Virginia, I both admired and despised Joe Paterno and Penn State. Year after year Penn State demolished West Virginia University in football but they did it with class. Penn State players wore plain uniforms with no logos on the helmet and boring black shoes. They were the antithesis of the 80's football flamboyance found at the University of Miami and Florida State. Yet they played smash mouth football and remained a top program for 40 years. All while being led by Paterno.

Paterno was a humble and loyal man from all I've read. He lived in the same house for 40 years. Was married to the same lady for 50 years. He coached at Penn State for over 40 years. In the end, his loyalty to Jerry Sandusky, his long time defensive coordinator, tarnished his legacy.

I have no doubt that Sandusky's many victims will be filing lawsuits against Penn State and rightfully so. Sandsusky used Penn State to prey on young children and "powerful men" at Penn State did nothing to stop him. I predict millions of dolalrs will be paid out to these victims. However, this money will not come close to compensating the victims for the abuse Sandusky put them through. The money cannot replace what Sandusky took from them. And Joe Paterno's legacy will forever more be linked to Sandusky's atrocities.

Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.

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