STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) – An internal investigation into whether football coach Joe Paterno and other Penn State officials helped cover up reports that Jerry Sandusky was molesting children in the school’s locker rooms will be released Thursday, officials said Tuesday.
The report, commissioned by school trustees following the former assistant football coach’s arrest last year, is expected to reveal how the university treated Sandusky after fielding complaints about his encounters with young boys in 1998 and 2001. It is also expected to cast additional light on how Paterno exerted control over the football program while Sandusky worked under him and after Sandusky retired from coaching.
Not only could the report shape how Paterno is remembered, but it also could affect an ongoing NCAA probe into the school’s conduct and criminal cases against two Penn State administrators.
The report is being issued by former FBI director Louis Freeh, who was hired by the university to find out what school officials, including Paterno, knew about the child molester in their midst. It will be published online at 9 a.m. Thursday. Investigators will hold a news conference at 10 a.m. in Philadelphia to discuss the findings and recommendations in the report.
The announcement came the same day that ex-Penn State president Graham Spanier’s lawyers said he told Freeh’s investigators last week that he was never informed that Sandusky was spotted molesting a boy in a school shower. The lawyers were rebutting reports that indicate Spanier could have tried to cover up the abuse that ultimately led to Paterno’s firing.
Both Spanier and the Hall of Fame coach were ousted by school trustees a few days after Sandusky was arrested in November. Sandusky is awaiting sentencing after being convicted last month on 45 criminal counts.