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Inquiry: Penn State officials concealed Sandusky sex abuse

  • FILE - In this June 18, 2012 file photo, former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky leaves the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa. Former FBI director Louis Freeh, who led a Penn State-funded investigation into the university's handling of molestation allegations against Sandusky, is scheduled to release his highly anticipated report Thursday, July 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

PHILADELPHIA— Joe Paterno and other top Penn State officials buried child sexual abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky more than a decade ago to avoid bad publicity, according to a scathing report Thursday that exposed a powerful "culture of reverence" for the football program and portrayed the Hall of Fame coach as more deeply involved in the scandal than previously thought.

The alleged cover-up by Paterno, then-university President Graham Spanier and two other Penn State administrators allowed Sandusky to prey on other boys for years, said the report by former FBI Director Louis Freeh, who was hired by the university's trustees to investigate.

He called the officials' behavior "callous and shocking."

"Our most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky's child victims by the most senior leaders at Penn State," Freeh said at a news conference in Philadelphia upon the release of the 267-page report. "The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized."

The findings of the $6.5 million, eight-month investigation into one of the biggest scandals in the history of college sports could further stain Paterno's reputation. The revered coach who emphasized integrity both on and off the field and ran what was considered one of the cleanest programs in sports died of lung cancer in January at age 85, months after he was summarily fired by the trustees.


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