NANTICOKE, February 10, 2013 – – State Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon/Monroe) today released the following statement concerning the new report on the Jerry Sandusky scandal commissioned by the Paterno family.

“Yet again, the late Joe Paterno and his widow, Sue, are teaching us lessons on how to deal with life’s challenges by imploring us to seek the full truth in the Jerry Sandusky scandal because only the truth can serve Sandusky’s victims and prevent such heinous crimes from occurring again.”

“The concerns raised by former Attorney General of the United States and former Pennsylvania Governor Dick Thornburgh substantively and dramatically pull apart the weak threads of the Freeh report’s core conclusion that Joe Paterno acted within a group of leaders at Penn State to conceal Sandusky’s actions to avoid bad publicity.”

“Governor Thornburgh’s analysis busts the door wide open on the fundamentally flawed investigation embodied in the Freeh report that relied on anonymous testimony, limited data, and virtually no personal interviews of the central individuals involved as the basis of its broad, speculative conclusions.”

“It appears the Penn State Board of Trustees, in commissioning the Freeh report, simply wanted to close the narrative on the Sandusky scandal by accepting the report without question and allowing it to be used as the foundation for the devastating NCAA sanctions. The rush to close the narrative has not pushed us closer to the truth and it has not served to advance efforts to help the victims of Jerry Sandusky and the prevention of child sexual abuse.”

“I am convinced that the leadership of the Board of Trustees, at the time the Sandusky scandal broke, failed in its primary role of stewardship and should have sought an outside investigation of the University governance issues by the special committee of General Assembly – which was clearly independent of the board and possessed full subpoena power to compel accurate testimony for the record.”

“I continue to work with colleagues, Democrats and Republicans, who are concerned about the governance procedures at Penn State and our other state related universities. I am encouraged that Sen. Smucker will soon undertake State Government committee hearings on these issues, and I plan to offer him my full support in coming to a thoughtful remedy that enhances the operational governance structures at our universities.”

“It is my fervent hope that the Paterno report spurs further dialogue on how child sex abuse is dealt with in our society, and that, as Sue Paterno noted, an ‘actionable set of lessons’ can be taken from this terrible tragedy and our children can be better protected in the future.”

“A final, obvious, conclusion from the Paterno report is that the NCAA acted recklessly by imposing crushing sanctions upon Penn State without conducting its own investigation; instead, the incomplete and inaccurate conclusions from the Freeh report became the solitary basis for its unprecedented actions.”

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