The New Yorker has published a Q&A with ousted Penn State president Graham Spanier. Spanier’s perceived actions—or lack thereof—were outlined in the Freeh Report that blasted Joe Paterno and other Penn State officials for their roles in concealing the conduct of Jerry Sandusky. For the first time since the scandal broke, Spanier sets out to accurately recount his actions and communication as the crimes and investigations unfolded. He describes, in depth, his relationship with Joe Paterno, his relationship with Jerry Sandusky, his knowledge of the 1998 incident, his knowledge of the 2001 shower incident, his firing, the riots, and every other vital moment in the scandal.
The piece was published Wednesday afternoon, not long after Spanier’s lawyers held a press conference in Philadelphia to contest the Freeh Report. Paula Reed Ward at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette compiled the attorney’s claims against the Freeh Report.
• That the report is neither as thorough nor as complete as Mr. Freeh said because at least four of the key people involved in the situation either refused or could not be interviewed.
• That the report took on a prosecutorial bent instead of being the “independent” work that was commissioned.
• That the report leaves out significant pieces of information — such as the fact that nearly all of the emails exchanged among university administrators before 2004 were wiped out in a technology changeover and that testimony from the Sandusky trial runs counter to the Freeh conclusions.
• That the report ignores the fact that law enforcement concluded there was no sexual abuse by Mr. Sandusky based on allegations raised against him in 1998 and no charges were filed.
• That the report “cherry picked” statements to support investigators’ claims instead of presenting a witness’ full interview and context.
• And that, even though Mr. Freeh said his team interviewed 430 people and reviewed 3.5 million documents, only a small fraction of that is depicted in the report.