Bob Costas mediates pro-Paterno discussion and Freeh Report debate

Bob Costas tactfully played devil’s advocate during Wednesday’s late-night segment re-examining the Freeh Report and discussing the new Joe Paterno family lawsuit. 
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On his hour-long “Costas Tonight” segment on the NBC Sports Network, he began by pointing out how he was not promoting an “advocacy position” of the pro-Paterno camp. He ended the show saying how the question and answer format may have differed — been more of a point-and-counterpoint feel — had Louis Freeh and NCAA president Mark Emmert accepted invitations to join. 
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Nevertheless, “There are credible people .¤.¤. who have issues with the Freeh Report, and at the very least they deserve to be heard,” Costas said. “Most sports fans know what the Freeh report is, but I’d guess less than one percent of them actually read (it).”

Supporters of Joe Paterno spoke out on Bob Costas' show that will re-air tonight at 7.

Supporters of Joe Paterno spoke out on Bob Costas’ show that will re-air tonight at 7.


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Though most all of the discussion was familiar to many Paterno followers and Penn State football diehards, the biggest news was the unveiling of yet another lawsuit against the NCAA. This one is on behalf of Paterno’s family, members of the Penn State board of trustees, faculty and former players and coaches.

And the main point of contention throughout centered around last summer’s Freeh Report, the university-commissioned study in reaction to the Jerry Sandusky scandal that became the basis for harsh NCAA sanctions against the school and the football program. 
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Paterno family lawyer Wick Sollers corrected Costas near the show’s end, saying that the board of trustees never held a formal vote to accept Freeh’s findings. Rather, he said, that the consent decree was signed and the report was accepted because of the NCAA’s “behind-the-scenes threats of the death penalty” for the football program. 
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This edition of “Costas Tonight” will re-air today at 7 p.m. 

Though Freeh was described in the lawsuit as a “co-conspirator” in the report and sanctions against Penn State, “We don’t know what his motivations were, we just know he got it wrong,” Sollers said. 
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Just before “Costas Tonight” began at 11:40 p.m., details of the 40-page lawsuit were released at www.paterno.com. The suit is expected to be filed in Centre County Common Pleas Court today. 
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On the Paterno web site, it is asserted that the NCAA, Emmert and former executive committee chairman Edward Ray “acted in clear and direct violation of the organization’s own rules based on a flawed report by former FBI director Louis Freeh.” 
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“This case is further proof that the NCAA has lost all sense of its mission. If there was ever a situation that demanded meticulous review and a careful adherence to NCAA rules and guidelines, this was it. Instead, the NCAA placed a premium on speed over accuracy and precipitous action over due process,” Sollers said in the release. 
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The suit brings six counts against the NCAA, Emmert and Ray, including breach of contract, civil conspiracy, defamation and commercial disparagement. The purpose of the litigation is to overturn the NCAA sanctions against Penn State, as well as seeking “compensatory and punitive damages from the NCAA for its improper conduct and breach of contract, as well as reimbursement for legal costs.” 
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All net proceeds from any monetary recovery will be donated to charity, according to Paterno supporters. 
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Those involved in the suit include university board of trustee members Ryan McCombie, Anthony Lubrano, Al Clemens, Peter Khoury and Adam Taliaferro. Former football coaches Bill Kenney and Jay Paterno also are named in the suit, as are several former players. 
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Players included are Anthony Adams, Gerald Cadogan, Shamar Finney, Justin Kurpeikis, Richard Gardner, Josh Gaines, Patrick Mauti, Anwar Phillips and Michael Robinson. 
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This legal action follows Gov. Tom Corbett’s antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA and the suit filed by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jake Corman to ensure that the NCAA’s $60 million fine against the university is distributed in-state. 
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The university, however, is not directly involved in any of these suits. 
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In Wednesday night’s show, Costas was joined by Sollers, Paterno spokesman Dan McGinn and former attorney general and Pennsylvania governor Dick Thornburgh. 
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The suit’s goal is to “redress the NCAA’s 100 percent adoption of the Freeh Report and imposition of a binding consent decree against Penn State University, Sollers said. 
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Moving forward, Paterno supporters said they expect a “tooth and nail” fight from the NCAA to prevent the public from learning alleged details of the relationship between the NCAA and the Freeh group, “and other behind-the-scenes moves to cram down this consent decree.” 
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During the show, Costas questioned his guests on the possibility of Paterno participating in a cover-up of Sandusky’s actions to avoid negative publicity — a stance he believes is still held by many. 
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Costas then suggested that the cover-up notion may not make much sense, considering the facts. 
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“What does not make sense is that Joe Paterno would in any way risk his reputation to protect Jerry Sandusky,” a man he didn’t even get along with, Sollers said. 
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When speaking of Paterno, McGinn said the Freeh Report was released with “no filter. They put it out immediately. It blew up. It was like taking a blow torch to a dry set of woods. 
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“The Paterno family never said to me to clear our names. They never said just fight for the legacy, Joe Paterno,” McGinn said. “I was with him as he was dying and he said, ‘Just get the truth. I have confidence. Make sure the truth comes out.’” 
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Last summer, Costas was critical of Paterno’s role in the matter after reading a summary of the report, which had just been released. 
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But by early April, Costas said, “There is a narrative that people think has been tidied up by the Freeh Report, that it becomes, ‘cased closed.’ Even if certain aspects of that narrative are true or plausible, there are legitimate questions that can be raised.” 
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“What the Freeh Report amounts to is the indictment of the people involved,” and while some, such as former athletic director Tim Curley, will receive a court date, Paterno never will.” 
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Earlier this year, a group of experts hired by the Paterno family, and led by Thornburgh, released the Paterno Report, which challenged Freeh’s work. 
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In the Costas show, Thornburgh said the Freeh Report is “deeply flawed, and it is, in many respects, incomplete, inaccurate. In our review, we found that relied much more on speculation and conjecture than on facts that were developed through the investigation.” 

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4 Responses to Bob Costas mediates pro-Paterno discussion and Freeh Report debate

  1. dufus says:

    Just the facts maam, just the facts. It’s about time.

  2. Jim Singer says:

    Governor Corbett has a double standard related to his federal complaint against the NCAA
    Government officials repeatedly used ploys, to pressure me, to sign a punitive consent decree (similar the law suit that Governor Corbett and Paterno family filed against the NCAA), in order to cover up violations by PA government to hide child abuse.

    Attorney General Corbett did not respond to a letter from a US Senator, to investigate cover up of child abuse by government.

    Louis Freeh’s own staff, Patricia Bescript told me on 8-8-12,-that she would have someone from the FBI contact me, but no one contacted me.

    State Police Captain Monaco quashed the police report by Lt. Hoover, by not forwarding the report (which confirmed “. . . violations (by state officials) of the Pennsylvania Crimes code . . . exist”) for further investigation. Furthermore, Monaco insisted the matter could be closed based on a Consent Decree, signed by Singer, when no such decree existed. Police Commissioner Evanko claimed, that I “. . . failed to comply . . . “with an agreement, that I never signed.

    Many are outraged at the Penn State scandal, and assume, if officials reported abuse to Child Services (CPS), children would have been protected. I did report severe child abuse to Child Protective Service (CPS) as required by law. State Police summary noted that a case was never opened to investigate the child abuser or protect the child. As a result, the child indicated in writing, that she would have been “dead,” if not for me. The confidential identity of the abused child and mandated reporter were released by CYS, who deliberately solicited false complaints to help the abuser, instead of protecting the child.

    The abuse that I reported, is still being covered up in spite of the coverage of abuse in Cleveland, Steubenville, Ohio, Penn State, Kids for Cash and Clergy scandals

    1)-I reported child abuse to protect a child, as required
    2) But, CYS never opened a case to investigate the child abuser or protect the child (child indicated in writing, that she would have been “dead,” if not for me)
    3) CPS deliberately released confidential identity of the abused child and mandated reporter and solicited false complaints to help the abuser, instead of protecting the child.
    4) State Police summary confirmed:”. . . violations (by government officials) of the Crimes code. . exist.”
    5) Letters from Office of Attorney General & State Police contrary to state’s own evidence.
    6) The statute of limitations is currently open based on fraudulent concealment of criminal violations and also new continuing violations by law enforcement. Documentation is available.

    Staff from a Legislative Committee indicated they are utterly convinced, I was specifically maliciously targeted, as a result of my mandated report of suspected child abuse and government is about to put more people in that position (to be targeted, as a result of the Penn State scandal) (Congress-S.1877, HR 5884, at least 107 bills in state legislatures.[i] [ii]

    media noted: Interviews with children’s hero Doctor Jim Singer who risk everything to report solid case of child abuse to his superiors and the courts only to be destroyed by the Pennsylvania child protective services agents and their superiors the same parties in the Jerry Sandusky Penn State cover-up . this American hero risk everything to save our children only to betrayed by the Government insiders in the US Justice Department, the FBI, Health and Human Services. State Government Agents, Pennsylvania state Atty. Gen all covering up criminal activities by their own employees. Just like they did in the Penn State matter but Jim Singer will get syndicate and his license restored this is part one of a five part series on CPS FRAUDS STATE COVER UP keep the money tree flowing State Agencies.

    Was it corruption, incompetence, or both that ruined this man’s life?
    Same agencies involved in Sandusky abuse cases stripped doctor of license for reporting abuse
    PA psychologist says he reported child molestation, lost license case still awaits answers as Penn State scandal rocks state
    http://dailycaller.com/2012/07/30/former-pennsylvania-psychologist-says-he-reported-child-molestation-lost-license/

    What if your friend or relative were a victim of abuse? What if every time law enforcement arrested or prosecuted a criminal, they were subjected to severe retaliation, as I and others have been? What good are your laws if they are violated by the same officials, who are obligated to uphold them?

    Lt. Hoover, while an active member of the Pennsylvania State Police, now retired, reviewed the matter and wrote:”. . . violations (by government officials) of the Pennsylvania Crimes code. . exist.”
    Letters from Office of PA Attorney General & State Police contrary to state’s own evidence.

    I was informed that there was misuse of state and federal money in my case, to undermine child protection. Experts estimate $500,000,000.00 in federal money was misused nationally.

    The statute of limitations is currently open, based on fraudulent concealment by law enforcement and new continuing violations.

    The government is sending a tragic message to children and those who must protect them.

    Thank you,

    Jim Singer

    • Frank Bodani says:

      All politics, Jim, of course. Corbett on firing Joe Paterno: “Remember the boy in the shower.” Corbett on NCAA sanctions last summer: Fine by me. Now, he’s suing the NCAA?

  3. Rebecca Knowles says:

    Jim Singer, are you following and contributing to the efforts of the notpsu folks? And John Ziegler? They are making real progress towards the truths in all this. And they share your angst that kids in PA are still not being protected from victimization.

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