ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap on D&C: ‘The evidence is all there in black and white’ against Joe Paterno
|07.13.12 at 10:11 am ET|
ESPN reporter Jeremy Schaap , who has covered the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal at Penn State, appeared on Dennis & Callahan on Friday to discuss Thursday’s release of the Freeh Report and its consequences for the legacy of Joe Paterno. To listen to the interview, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Schaap said that former FBI director Louis Freeh’s report has all the evidence to prove that Paterno knew about the crimes Sandusky was committing and did nothing to stop it.
“The evidence is all there in black and white,” Schaap said. “It is all in the appendices, these e-mails, and they are damning. And while I wouldn’t say [the investigation] was private because there weren’t a lot of people who really gave it serious thought who believed that Joe Paterno did not know about it in the 1998 investigation, until yesterday we didn’t have any evidence. Now there is evidence that proves that he was lying about the fact that he didn’t know anything about allegations against Sandusky, [Mike] McQueary came to him in 2001, lied to a grand jury, spokespeople lied, his family lied, he lied — this is not an incidental piece of information.”
Now that this evidence has been released, there likely will be more criminal prosecutions against former university president Graham Spanier, vice president Gary Schultz and athletic director Tim Curley. However, what does this report mean for Penn State as a university?
“It’s not as if Penn State is going away,” Schaap said. “This is a terrible blow, obviously, for the university. We can only hope that it does the right thing going forward. Instead of hiring highly aggressive attorneys to defend it against civil claims in terms of some kind of a humane resolution of those claims from the victims. That it doesn’t act as it has acted in the past, which was to do everything it could above all else to protect the institution at the expense of the victims.”Schaap also discussed the recent comments of his colleague, ESPN analyst (and former Penn State linebacker) Matt Millen, and Paterno’s son, Jay Paterno, defending Joe in the investigation. While Schaap did not agree with Millen and Paterno, he recognized the sensitivity of the situation for the two.
“Jay Paterno, obviously, is sticking by his guns. He continues to defend his father,” Schaap said. “And while Matt Millen is not obviously a biological son, he might as well have been his adopted son. I think that those bonds are very very hard to break. It’s very hard, especially publicly, to criticize someone of whom you were so close … I’m not saying that [Millen] is right, I’m only saying it’s the same mindset as Jay Paterno. That regardless of the evidence that is presented, you could go on and on and on, and I don’t think that you could get them to necessarily say that Joe Paterno helped perpetuate crimes against the most vulnerable among us.”
The Freeh Report is not necessarily the end of the Sandusky investigation, as Freeh was unable to solve the entire case, according to Schaap.
“With everything that Louis Freeh did, there are still a lot of questions, particularly in my mind, about the district attorney’s decision in 1998 not to press charges against Jerry Sandusky,” Schaap said. “If he had done so, and even if he had failed in court, if he failed to get the conviction of Sandusky back then, we know that at least 10 boys would not have been raped and molested.”
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