Matt Millen's PSU bias should cost him his ESPN gig

Matt Millen's PSU bias should cost him his ESPN gig

Guest post by Ed Cmar of The Sports Bank and Inside Hockey

Matt Millen, former Penn State University (PSU) and Oakland Raiders star player and former Detroit Lions General Manager (GM) – arguably the worst National Football League (NFL) GM in history – appeared on ESPN’s SportsCenter today to analyze and react to the results of the Louis Freeh report that admonished Penn State for its mishandling of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation case.

Needless to say, Millen’s still-unfailing defense of deceased Penn State coach Joe Paterno caused a great deal of negative reaction, particularly in the social media universe.

Millen did little to dispel any previously-perceived disdain of himself and so many other former PSU football players who encompass the locker room, hooligan and mob mentality associated with defending his former head football coach, even after the Freeh report annihilated the actions of Paterno, former PSU President Graham Spanier, Athletics Director Tim Curley and PSU Vice President Gary Schultz for, among many things, their concealment of known sexual molestations by Sandusky over a period of 14 known years.

 

Here are some of Millen’s “gems” that he spewed on SportsCenter as well as my comments to Millen’s statements regarding Joe Paterno and the cult of culture at PSU:

• On the thought that Paterno could have stopped all of this: “Yes. In (Freeh’s) opinion, that’s what he’s saying. However, look at it the other way. If Joe Paterno comes in and says, ‘I think we should do this’ or ‘You might want to think about doing this’ or ‘Let’s go the other way,’ real leadership says, ‘No. I don’t care what you say, that’s not going to happen.’

Well, Matt assumes that Paterno had no leadership or decision-making capability.  The most powerful person in the history of Penn State, possibly the most influential and powerful man in the state, and what he says wouldn’t be heeded or enacted upon?  Sure Matt, I was born yesterday.

“Because that’s your job as a leader. You override — I don’t care how powerful you are — you override that.”

Matt: please see my above comment – he had the power to stop all of this – rather, he and those four PSU officials chose instead to protect the football program and Paterno’s legacy with, as identified in the Freeh Report, no concern or care for those sexually-abused victims.  Paterno and his minions should have been an adult/a man and put an end to it.  Instead, they were cowards.

• On how will it affect Paterno’s legacy: “I’m not a big legacy guy, per se. I’m a big character guy, and Joe had exhibited great character for years, OK? And this is antithetical to anything he’s ever talked about or espoused.”

Well, maybe he exhibited that great character for the first 31 years as its head football coach but those last 14 years?  Not so much.  To that point, seeing that the Freeh report infers that cases of sexual abuse by Sandusky may have occurred prior to 1998, could those 14 years have been a conservative estimate of the period of time of the crimes?

“So it’s tough to take. But that’s their finding, they back it up with evidence, so you have to start somewhere, you have to start to believe somebody, and I’ll stick with this until we see that it’s not the case.”

So Matt, to follow your logic – is this a prime case of someone who took too many blows to the head? – we should now adopt a new point of law that says (I “suppose”) he’s guilty until proven innocent (i.e. you can find the lamest thread of hope to exonerate your former coach)?

• On how Penn State fans should look at Paterno now: “You can’t discount all the good that he’s done. I think the biggest thing is to get a little perspective here, because he’s still a guy. He’s still a man, he still has flaws, and this was one of them. This decision right here was a major flaw. That’s a bad decision.”

Uh Matt, ‘yes’ you can discount all of the good that he’s done.  Whether fair or unfair, you are remembered – your legacy – by your most heinous and your last act.  What will Bobby Knight always be remembered for?  Knight will be remembered for throwing a chair during an Indiana University basketball game.  What will Woody Hayes always be remembered for?  Hayes will be remembered for slugging Charlie Baumann, the Clemson football player who intercepted a late Ohio State Buckeyes pass in the Gator Bowl.  Is it fair for two legendary coaches, two coaches whose legacy of great acts have all but been forgotten for those embarrassing acts?  But that’s the reality: you are remembered for your most damaging act and especially your last, parting act.

To that point, are you really certain that there weren’t other violations in other areas that wouldn’t have been discovered in such a small town and tight-knit, manic community, one that fully bought into the cult of big-time college athletics greed?

“Stuff that pops in my head right away: Your sin will always find you out. I was taught that as a young kid, it still holds true. That’s the way it goes. And now you pay the price.”

The tragedy is that those abuse victims paid the ultimate price: allowing Sandusky to kill their very souls.

The Penn State University and the other three parties to this concealment will pay the price from a penal and punitive sense, but Paterno will not pay any price.  Well, according to your blind trust of him, he shouldn’t.  After all, as you said, “You can’t discount all the good that he’s done.”

• On the report saying a culture exists at Penn State to protect the football program: “Those things exist in all strong, prominent programs. They have to. … So I don’t think that that’s necessarily significant. The part that’s significant is the poor decision that was made in light of that. That, to me, just spills the apples.”

Matt, hasn’t Penn State always held itself out to be the last bastion of sanctity?  Didn’t Paterno always espouse winning the right way?  Didn’t Paterno once state that his efforts had to be Herculean to counter the “Barry Switzer’s of the world”?

If anything, Millen’s stupidity and blind trust, even after the former FBI Director outlined the sordid details in a 276-page report, should show cause for ESPN to seriously consider relieving him of his duties as a college football analyst.

The network once showed a great deal of courage in firing Rush Limbaugh for his inflammatory and racist comments about Donovan McNabb and African-American Quarterbacks, yet they will probably look the other way regarding Millen’s idiotic remarks.

Millen has failed, time and again, to exhibit any shred of objectivity towards his Alma Mater, even after this report came out.  So, how can you expect him, as an analyst, to objectively cover college football teams, especially those that aren’t Penn State?

ESPN: Please do the right thing – relieve this self-professed, self-righteous blowhard of his duties.

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  • We don't need no stinking Constitution! We have Judge Freh!

    The great irony of the Freeh Report is that one of its most quoted statements was that there were "red flags all over the place" that should have alerted people to Sandusky and were ignored.

    But that applies even more so to the Freeh Report itself except the evidence of the report being incompetetent, dishonest and the product of polititcal hackery is more obvious than any red flags Freeh claims wee apparent with Sandusky. And as expected these red flags are being ignored by the news media who have their own ground to defend, their own myths to perpetuate and then there are those who will swallow almost anything they are told by the media.

    As for ?Freeh himself, the Board of Trustees who has botched every possible decison from the beginning couldnt have made a worse decision in choosing Freeh to do the investigation. As pointed out here the other day, Freeh had the reputation in Washington DC of being a political hack. He was excoriated by former Republican governor Tom Kane as Chairman of the 911 Commission who tore Freeh to shreds for his incompetence as FBI director in his handling of terrorist related intelligence prior to 911. And as recently as April of 2012, appearing before a congressional committee, Freeh was battered by the committee investigating the bankruptcy of MF Global for which Freeh and his group were overseeing, for Freeh's refusal to turn over relevant documents to federal regulators.
    All indications were that the Freeh Report was going to be the product of a political hack. And the report did not disappoint.

    First, the Freeh Report was not an impartial investigation. In fact it wasn't an investigation at all. It was a prosecution and an unscrupulous one, that misrepresented,and distorted evidence where it existed, eliminated anything exculpatory, took facts that clearly meant one thing and distorted them to mean something else and ignored the truth in almost every circumstance and any fact that didnt fit with the premise.

    Freeh's central premise regarding Joe Paterno is that Paterno knew all about Sandusky and his activites as far back as 1998 through what McQuery says he witnessed and covered it up to shield Penn State from bad publicity. Taking a wrecking ball to that premise and his report using a wrecking ball made up of nothing but facts, logic, common sense and the truth, will demolish both Freeh's report and his credibility.

    Before getting into specifics, and recalling the Woody Allen line that when you tell the truth all the time you never have to remember anything, when it comes to Freeh's central premise of Paterno being motivated by a desire to shield Penn State from bad publicity ( preposterous on the face of it), Freeh forgets one important fact: within days of the story breaking back in November, Paterno called a press conference where he was going to tell everything he knew, everything he heard and everything he did regarding the Sandusky incident and was going to take questions from reporters. It was Penn State university officials and the Board of Trustees who forced him to cancel it. So right from the beginning who does the evidence show was trying to shield Penn State from bad publicity? Joe Paterno or the Board of Trustees who paid Freeh $ 6 million for his report?

    The Freeh Report has one central premise regarding Paterno and uses 3 main assertions to try and substantiate that conclusion. And he uses two in Freeh's words "critical" emails that ?Freeh says "proves" it.

    Those two emails which are central to Freeh's report are a 1998 email from Curley to Spanier, the now nfamous "after talking with Joe..." email in 2001 from Curley to Spanier and incredibly, the interview Paterno gave to the Washington Post at the height of the media frenzy surrounding the story in which he claims Paterno statements prove he was trying to shield Penn State from bad publicity ( I dont know what rock Freeh was hiding under but by the time that interview was held the story was the biggest in the country and there was no sheilding Penn State from anything).

    Freeh claims a 1998 email from Curley to Schultz proves that Paterno knew all about Sandusky and his activities contrary to Paterno's grand jury testimony and public statements. He cites one email from May 13, 1998 from Curley to Schultz which says only, " anything new is this department? Coach is anxious to know where it stands".

    There is not one single corroborating email that Freeh offers, which,given the accusation Freeh is making based on this, you would think there would there would be in abundance. Does it raise questions? absolutely. Does the report answer them and provide proof? Absolutely not. To an ethical investigator that email would be a lead NOT proof. Why does Curley refer to Paterno as "Joe" in other emails and "Coach" in this one? How do we know this relates to the Sandusky investigation involving child abuse? Where are the corroborating emails that make this clear when on would think there would be many? Where are Harmon's emails confirming this? And most importantly why does the Freeh report say " the reference to Coach is believed to be Paterno".

    "Believed to be"? A $6 million dollar investigation into what was the biggest story in the country for weeks, and an attack on a man's credibility, grand jury testimony and public statements on one of the two most crucial assertions the Freeh Report makes and it's based on "believed to be"? Why doesn't he know?.Why didn't he find out?

    One other crucial point: the 1998 investigation which included a psychologist interviewing both Sandusky and the children he showered with and said their accounts were the same found that NO ABUSE had taken place. If one wants to argue that Paterno knew of the investigation then one has to accept he knew about the results of the investigation and those results exonerated Sandusky of any wrong doing. In that case there would be nothing for Paterno to do.

    On page 51 of the Freeh report, it says:

    " After Curley's initial updates to Paterno, the available record is not clear as to how the conclusion of the Sandusky investigation was conveyed to Paterno".

    Freeh doesn't know how the results of the investigation was conveyed to Paterno but he insists they were. And notice how he uses the word " :conclusion" of the investigation and not "results" of the investigation, Is this an accident? or is it because the results of the investigation undercut his very premise? Because the results of the investigation that would have been conveyed to Paterno would have been that Sandusky was exonerated of any abuse.

    There is no fact in Freeh's written report that shows that the conclusion of the Sandusky investigation was ever conveyed to Paterno. He just says it. He just wants you to take his word for it. But he has no proof. Which may be why Freeh says, oops, he cant find any evidence of how it was done. If you're going to accuse someone of lying to a grand jury and lying in public statements you better have the goods to prove it. Freeh has, by his own admission, nothing.And he also ignores the fact that if Paterno did know the results, he would have been told there was no abuse by Sandusky.So would Paterno supposedly have had to do with that?

    Now you see why "conclusions" by a witness are inadmissible in a court of law. It is not fact. It is not proof. It isn't even evidence.

    This entire report could be cut to pieces by a 3rd year law student with one glaring example after another where Freeh draws conclusions without facts, makes statements about facts not in evidnece and chooses to ignore anything that is in conflict with his premise.

    There is one more crucial example of Freeh's dishonesty that needs to be exposed and that is the infamous leaked Curley to Spanier email where Curley says, "after talking with Joe and thinking about it more.." where Curley says he is no longer comfortable doing " what we decided in reporting it to everyone".

    Freeh uses this email to assert flat out that this proves Paterno was involved in a cover up ( again contrary to Paterno's public statements and grand jury testimony) and Freeh draws the "conclusion" that this email. It is central to Freeh's "case" and central to every statement Freeh makes in his report about Paterno, every conclusion he draws and wants you to believe. Freeh's dishonesty and lack of ethics and his unscrupulous conduct is no more glaring than in how his report characterizes this email going so far as to change the actual words to conform with a meaning he wants to sell.

    This is how the Freeh Report characterized the email:

    "In critical written correspondence that we uncovered on March 20,of this year, we saw evidence of their proposed plan of action in February of 2001 that included reporting allegations about Sandusky to authorities. After Mr. Curley consulted with Mr. Paterno however,they changed the plan and decided not to make a report to authorities".

    When you have to alter the facts to fit your point, it is not only the earmark of a hack, but someone unethical, unscrupulous and whose credibility has been shattered. Such is the case with Freeh and this email is one more glaring example.

    First, Curley's actual email states. " after talking with Joe and thinking about it more..."
    Freeh changes the wording of the email to fit his conclusion of what he wants you to accept it means by substituting the word " consulted" for "after talking with..". A very different meaning can be taken from " consulting" which has sinister and conspiratorial overtones than "after talking with". He also uses the word "they" in referring to the contents of the email, the "they" being Paterno and Curley when Curley';s email consistantly uses the word "I", not "we" and never once mentions that his decison had anything to do with Paterno. The most logical conclusion from this email alone is that after the intital meeting with Paterno where Paterno told him of McQueary's accusations and it was decided that they would be "reported to everyone", Curley on his own, "after thinking about it more", decided against it and informed Spanier of such.There is not a shred of evidence anywhere that there was a second meeting with Paterno where they both decided to reverse course.

    Let it be said that if the implications Freeh is trying to sell were actually true Joe Paterno would be guilty of a bad mistake, perjury, and certainly failure to report child abuse which is a crime. The problem with Freeh's statement and his conclusion is that it is nowhere to be found in Curley's email.

    Nowhere in Curley's email does he say he consulted with Paterno. That is Freeh's word and he offers not a shred of proof to back it up even though that word in itself convicts Paterno of being part of Curley's decision not to report what McQueary says he witnessed. And Freeh makes the claim without one shred of corroborating evidence to support it.

    Curley constantly uses the word "I" and not "we" in his email to Spanier. Freeh on the other hand,using the same email constantly uses the word " they" as in Paterno and Curley. And again he does it without one shred of evidence to back it up. Only the supposition of what an unscrupulous prosecutor wants you to swallow.

    Not one corroborating piece of evidence, no phone records to indicate a second conversation between Paterno and Curley took place, no office or appointment logs to show Paterno met with Curley a second time. not one witness to a second meeting interviewed or cited. Nothing. Just Freeh deciding to use this email as "proof" of his own unsubstantiated conclusions which also happens to run contrary to every shred of evidence, testimony, grand jury testimony and public statement that does exist.

    And just to put a fine point on it, ESPN Magazine's senior writer, Dan Van Nata did report a few days ago before the release of the report that a source, probably in Freeh's own group, who had seen all the emails told him that this email from Curley to Spanier was in the source's words, "definitely taken out of context" and "chosen to put everyone in the worst possible light".

    While a reasonable person could certainly say the email raises a potential question of was there a second meeting and did in fact Joe Pateno influence Curley's decision not to report it Freeh doesnt answer any of it. Not with facts. Not with proof. Not with anything.And all the facts and proof that does exist say Freeh's assertion is preposterous.

    No evidence is presented that there was a second meeting that undid everything that was decided in the first -- a meeting that supported Paterno's later statements that he told what he knew to Curley and Schultz and was under the impression that the matter was " going to be handled appropriately:.

    Adding to how preposterous Freeh's assertion is, if in the first meeting, they had decided as Curley said, "to report it to everyone", and in a purported second meeting of which there is no record "a change of plan was decided" on, common sense would tell you that it would have been to Curley's advantage to tell Spanier that Paterno was involved in the decision and would have helped sell the idea to Spanier. But Curley doesn't. He says "I" not "we". Yet Freeh wants everyone to believe the evidence shows that Paterno was influential in Curley's decision not to report it.

    The bottom line with this email is that Freeh intentionally distorts and mischaracterizes it. And if you have to distort and misrepresent evidence to make your case, you have no case.

    In the end, the evidence of the Freeh report's dishonesty speaks for itself.
    The two emails cited can certainly raise questions in the minds of reasonable people. And though all the available facts say otherwise about Paterno being involved in any cover up or lying to the grand jury, or knowing what Freeh tries to claim Paterno knew, they would have been worth investigating to find the facts behind the emails and clarify them for the record, instead of using speculation and distortion and unsubstantiated conclusion to make a dishonest case. What these emails would be to an honest investigator would be leads, something to follow up on to find the truth. Freeh tries to turn what might be a lead into something he wants you to buy as proof. And as in the case of the 1998 investigation, he wants you to believe Paterno knew of the investigation but says nothing and draws no conclusions from the fact that the results of the investigation he is alleging Paterno knew about, was that Sandusky was innocent of any wrong doing. Because that would spoil everything.

    ( NOTE: For those who want a point of view posted by someone at the other end of the political spectrum from myself, but who sees much the same things I have, read what a conservative has to say about the Freeh Report here).
    Posted by Marc Rubin at 7:19 AM

  • The great irony of the Freeh Report is that one of its most quoted statements was that there were "red flags all over the place" that should have alerted people to Sandusky and were ignored.

    But that applies even more so to the Freeh Report itself except the evidence of the report being incompetetent, dishonest and the product of polititcal hackery is more obvious than any red flags Freeh claims wee apparent with Sandusky. And as expected these red flags are being ignored by the news media who have their own ground to defend, their own myths to perpetuate and then there are those who will swallow almost anything they are told by the media.

    As for ?Freeh himself, the Board of Trustees who has botched every possible decison from the beginning couldnt have made a worse decision in choosing Freeh to do the investigation. As pointed out here the other day, Freeh had the reputation in Washington DC of being a political hack. He was excoriated by former Republican governor Tom Kane as Chairman of the 911 Commission who tore Freeh to shreds for his incompetence as FBI director in his handling of terrorist related intelligence prior to 911. And as recently as April of 2012, appearing before a congressional committee, Freeh was battered by the committee investigating the bankruptcy of MF Global for which Freeh and his group were overseeing, for Freeh's refusal to turn over relevant documents to federal regulators.
    All indications were that the Freeh Report was going to be the product of a political hack. And the report did not disappoint.

    First, the Freeh Report was not an impartial investigation. In fact it wasn't an investigation at all. It was a prosecution and an unscrupulous one, that misrepresented,and distorted evidence where it existed, eliminated anything exculpatory, took facts that clearly meant one thing and distorted them to mean something else and ignored the truth in almost every circumstance and any fact that didnt fit with the premise.

    Freeh's central premise regarding Joe Paterno is that Paterno knew all about Sandusky and his activites as far back as 1998 through what McQuery says he witnessed and covered it up to shield Penn State from bad publicity. Taking a wrecking ball to that premise and his report using a wrecking ball made up of nothing but facts, logic, common sense and the truth, will demolish both Freeh's report and his credibility.

    Before getting into specifics, and recalling the Woody Allen line that when you tell the truth all the time you never have to remember anything, when it comes to Freeh's central premise of Paterno being motivated by a desire to shield Penn State from bad publicity ( preposterous on the face of it), Freeh forgets one important fact: within days of the story breaking back in November, Paterno called a press conference where he was going to tell everything he knew, everything he heard and everything he did regarding the Sandusky incident and was going to take questions from reporters. It was Penn State university officials and the Board of Trustees who forced him to cancel it. So right from the beginning who does the evidence show was trying to shield Penn State from bad publicity? Joe Paterno or the Board of Trustees who paid Freeh $ 6 million for his report?

    The Freeh Report has one central premise regarding Paterno and uses 3 main assertions to try and substantiate that conclusion. And he uses two in Freeh's words "critical" emails that ?Freeh says "proves" it.

    Those two emails which are central to Freeh's report are a 1998 email from Curley to Spanier, the now nfamous "after talking with Joe..." email in 2001 from Curley to Spanier and incredibly, the interview Paterno gave to the Washington Post at the height of the media frenzy surrounding the story in which he claims Paterno statements prove he was trying to shield Penn State from bad publicity ( I dont know what rock Freeh was hiding under but by the time that interview was held the story was the biggest in the country and there was no sheilding Penn State from anything).

    Freeh claims a 1998 email from Curley to Schultz proves that Paterno knew all about Sandusky and his activities contrary to Paterno's grand jury testimony and public statements. He cites one email from May 13, 1998 from Curley to Schultz which says only, " anything new is this department? Coach is anxious to know where it stands".

    There is not one single corroborating email that Freeh offers, which,given the accusation Freeh is making based on this, you would think there would there would be in abundance. Does it raise questions? absolutely. Does the report answer them and provide proof? Absolutely not. To an ethical investigator that email would be a lead NOT proof. Why does Curley refer to Paterno as "Joe" in other emails and "Coach" in this one? How do we know this relates to the Sandusky investigation involving child abuse? Where are the corroborating emails that make this clear when on would think there would be many? Where are Harmon's emails confirming this? And most importantly why does the Freeh report say " the reference to Coach is believed to be Paterno".

    "Believed to be"? A $6 million dollar investigation into what was the biggest story in the country for weeks, and an attack on a man's credibility, grand jury testimony and public statements on one of the two most crucial assertions the Freeh Report makes and it's based on "believed to be"? Why doesn't he know?.Why didn't he find out?

    One other crucial point: the 1998 investigation which included a psychologist interviewing both Sandusky and the children he showered with and said their accounts were the same found that NO ABUSE had taken place. If one wants to argue that Paterno knew of the investigation then one has to accept he knew about the results of the investigation and those results exonerated Sandusky of any wrong doing. In that case there would be nothing for Paterno to do.

    On page 51 of the Freeh report, it says:

    " After Curley's initial updates to Paterno, the available record is not clear as to how the conclusion of the Sandusky investigation was conveyed to Paterno".

    Freeh doesn't know how the results of the investigation was conveyed to Paterno but he insists they were. And notice how he uses the word " :conclusion" of the investigation and not "results" of the investigation, Is this an accident? or is it because the results of the investigation undercut his very premise? Because the results of the investigation that would have been conveyed to Paterno would have been that Sandusky was exonerated of any abuse.

    There is no fact in Freeh's written report that shows that the conclusion of the Sandusky investigation was ever conveyed to Paterno. He just says it. He just wants you to take his word for it. But he has no proof. Which may be why Freeh says, oops, he cant find any evidence of how it was done. If you're going to accuse someone of lying to a grand jury and lying in public statements you better have the goods to prove it. Freeh has, by his own admission, nothing.And he also ignores the fact that if Paterno did know the results, he would have been told there was no abuse by Sandusky.So would Paterno supposedly have had to do with that?

    Now you see why "conclusions" by a witness are inadmissible in a court of law. It is not fact. It is not proof. It isn't even evidence.

    This entire report could be cut to pieces by a 3rd year law student with one glaring example after another where Freeh draws conclusions without facts, makes statements about facts not in evidnece and chooses to ignore anything that is in conflict with his premise.

    There is one more crucial example of Freeh's dishonesty that needs to be exposed and that is the infamous leaked Curley to Spanier email where Curley says, "after talking with Joe and thinking about it more.." where Curley says he is no longer comfortable doing " what we decided in reporting it to everyone".

    Freeh uses this email to assert flat out that this proves Paterno was involved in a cover up ( again contrary to Paterno's public statements and grand jury testimony) and Freeh draws the "conclusion" that this email. It is central to Freeh's "case" and central to every statement Freeh makes in his report about Paterno, every conclusion he draws and wants you to believe. Freeh's dishonesty and lack of ethics and his unscrupulous conduct is no more glaring than in how his report characterizes this email going so far as to change the actual words to conform with a meaning he wants to sell.

    This is how the Freeh Report characterized the email:

    "In critical written correspondence that we uncovered on March 20,of this year, we saw evidence of their proposed plan of action in February of 2001 that included reporting allegations about Sandusky to authorities. After Mr. Curley consulted with Mr. Paterno however,they changed the plan and decided not to make a report to authorities".

    When you have to alter the facts to fit your point, it is not only the earmark of a hack, but someone unethical, unscrupulous and whose credibility has been shattered. Such is the case with Freeh and this email is one more glaring example.

    First, Curley's actual email states. " after talking with Joe and thinking about it more..."
    Freeh changes the wording of the email to fit his conclusion of what he wants you to accept it means by substituting the word " consulted" for "after talking with..". A very different meaning can be taken from " consulting" which has sinister and conspiratorial overtones than "after talking with". He also uses the word "they" in referring to the contents of the email, the "they" being Paterno and Curley when Curley';s email consistantly uses the word "I", not "we" and never once mentions that his decison had anything to do with Paterno. The most logical conclusion from this email alone is that after the intital meeting with Paterno where Paterno told him of McQueary's accusations and it was decided that they would be "reported to everyone", Curley on his own, "after thinking about it more", decided against it and informed Spanier of such.There is not a shred of evidence anywhere that there was a second meeting with Paterno where they both decided to reverse course.

    Let it be said that if the implications Freeh is trying to sell were actually true Joe Paterno would be guilty of a bad mistake, perjury, and certainly failure to report child abuse which is a crime. The problem with Freeh's statement and his conclusion is that it is nowhere to be found in Curley's email.

    Nowhere in Curley's email does he say he consulted with Paterno. That is Freeh's word and he offers not a shred of proof to back it up even though that word in itself convicts Paterno of being part of Curley's decision not to report what McQueary says he witnessed. And Freeh makes the claim without one shred of corroborating evidence to support it.

    Curley constantly uses the word "I" and not "we" in his email to Spanier. Freeh on the other hand,using the same email constantly uses the word " they" as in Paterno and Curley. And again he does it without one shred of evidence to back it up. Only the supposition of what an unscrupulous prosecutor wants you to swallow.

    Not one corroborating piece of evidence, no phone records to indicate a second conversation between Paterno and Curley took place, no office or appointment logs to show Paterno met with Curley a second time. not one witness to a second meeting interviewed or cited. Nothing. Just Freeh deciding to use this email as "proof" of his own unsubstantiated conclusions which also happens to run contrary to every shred of evidence, testimony, grand jury testimony and public statement that does exist.

    And just to put a fine point on it, ESPN Magazine's senior writer, Dan Van Nata did report a few days ago before the release of the report that a source, probably in Freeh's own group, who had seen all the emails told him that this email from Curley to Spanier was in the source's words, "definitely taken out of context" and "chosen to put everyone in the worst possible light".

    While a reasonable person could certainly say the email raises a potential question of was there a second meeting and did in fact Joe Pateno influence Curley's decision not to report it Freeh doesnt answer any of it. Not with facts. Not with proof. Not with anything.And all the facts and proof that does exist say Freeh's assertion is preposterous.

    No evidence is presented that there was a second meeting that undid everything that was decided in the first -- a meeting that supported Paterno's later statements that he told what he knew to Curley and Schultz and was under the impression that the matter was " going to be handled appropriately:.

    Adding to how preposterous Freeh's assertion is, if in the first meeting, they had decided as Curley said, "to report it to everyone", and in a purported second meeting of which there is no record "a change of plan was decided" on, common sense would tell you that it would have been to Curley's advantage to tell Spanier that Paterno was involved in the decision and would have helped sell the idea to Spanier. But Curley doesn't. He says "I" not "we". Yet Freeh wants everyone to believe the evidence shows that Paterno was influential in Curley's decision not to report it.

    The bottom line with this email is that Freeh intentionally distorts and mischaracterizes it. And if you have to distort and misrepresent evidence to make your case, you have no case.

    In the end, the evidence of the Freeh report's dishonesty speaks for itself.
    The two emails cited can certainly raise questions in the minds of reasonable people. And though all the available facts say otherwise about Paterno being involved in any cover up or lying to the grand jury, or knowing what Freeh tries to claim Paterno knew, they would have been worth investigating to find the facts behind the emails and clarify them for the record, instead of using speculation and distortion and unsubstantiated conclusion to make a dishonest case. What these emails would be to an honest investigator would be leads, something to follow up on to find the truth. Freeh tries to turn what might be a lead into something he wants you to buy as proof. And as in the case of the 1998 investigation, he wants you to believe Paterno knew of the investigation but says nothing and draws no conclusions from the fact that the results of the investigation he is alleging Paterno knew about, was that Sandusky was innocent of any wrong doing. Because that would spoil everything.

    ( NOTE: For those who want a point of view posted by someone at the other end of the political spectrum from myself, but who sees much the same things I have, read what a conservative has to say about the Freeh Report here).
    Posted by Marc Rubin at 7:19 AM

  • I'm just going to call Marty'O Whack'O instead, because that name is much more fitting. Ad-hominem attacks against Freeh? A judge and the director of the FBI. That's all you got?
    .

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    Paul M. Banks

    Fulbright scholar in media studies, MBA, small media business owner, Published author, Founder of The Sports Bank.net, a Fox Sports affiliate Member: Society of Professional Journalists, Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association. Former political writer for Washington Times.com, NBC Chicago.com and numerous business journals Credentialed for: United Nations, Rose Bowl, BCS National Championship, Final Four, Stanley Cup Finals, and NBA Playoffs. Been featured on: Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports Live, The History Channel, CBS and ESPN radio. Does weekly segments for NBC and Fox Sports Radio stations across the nation.

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