Why Phil Knight changed his opinion on Joe Paterno
Phil Knight, cofounder of Nike, changed his opinion after hearing the Paterno family's rebuttal to the claims that Coach Joe Paterno knowingly allowed Jerry Sandusky's sexual abuse of children to continue.
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He referred to a key point in the July report in which he said the administrators drew up a plan that called for reporting Sandusky to state public welfare officials in 2001. Curley later write in an email that he changed his mind "after giving it more thought and talking it over with Joe," according to Freeh's findings.Skip to next paragraph
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Said Freeh on Sunday: "These men exhibited a striking lack of empathy for Sandusky's victims by failing to inquire as to their safety and well-being, especially by not even attempting to determine the identity of the child" in the 2001 allegation.
The Paterno family report said Freeh chose not to present alternative and "more plausible" conclusions about Paterno's actions. Their attorney, Wick Sollers, responded Sunday that Freeh didn't take the time to read the family's critique, or address accusations of procedural shortcomings.
Sollers said he met with Freeh's team and pledged full cooperation. Joe Paterno's cancer diagnosis prevented he coach from being interviewed, but son and former assistant coach Jay Paterno spoke with Freeh's group.
"A failure to consider the facts carefully is exactly the problem our expert analysis highlights," Sollers said. "Everyone, including Mr. Freeh, should take the time to study this report."
Besides Thornburgh, Sollers also brought in former FBI profiler and special agent Jim Clemente, described as a child molestation and behavioral expert; and Dr. Fred Berlin, a psychologist from Johns Hopkins Hospital whose profile lists him as the founder of the institution's Sexual Disorders Clinic. The analysis included information from lawyers for the former school administrators.
Freeh's report ignored decades of research and behavioral analysis over how to understand and investigate child victimization cases, the critique said, and expert analysis showed Sandusky "fooled qualified child welfare professionals and law enforcement, as well as laymen inexperienced and untrained in child sexual victimization like Joe Paterno."
According to the family review, Paterno's last written words before his death focused on Sandusky's victims.
"Good side of scandal - it has brought about more enlightenment of a situation (sexual abuse of young people) in the country," the Paterno family report said.
The NCAA improperly relied on the report and never identified a rules infraction based on Sandusky's crime, let alone NCAA jurisdiction over ensuring competitive balance, the family analysis said. An NCAA spokeswoman said the organization stood by its previous statements and declined comment Sunday.
A four-year bowl ban and steep scholarship cuts were included among the sanctions, while 111 wins between 1998 and 2011 under Paterno were vacated. It meant Paterno no longer holds the record for most wins by a major college coach.
AP Radio correspondent Martin Di Caro in Washington contributed to this report.
Family report: http://paterno.com/
Freeh comment: http://www.freehgroup.com/news/29
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