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November 06, 2015

Sue Paterno publishes letter for 4th anniversary of husband's firing

Widow of late Joe Paterno reiterates alleged errors by NCAA, Louis Freeh

Nearly four years after the firing of illustrious Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, Sue Paterno maintains that the NCAA, Louis Freeh and the university's Board of Trustees committed damaging errors during the child sexual abuse investigation of Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant coach.

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Paterno, who became a widower after her husband's death in 2012, published a letter Thursday addressing Penn State lettermen and affirming her intention to set the record straight about the investigation.

I write to you now to let you know that we have not given up on setting the record straight – and we never will. Four years of secrecy are enough. The victims, their families, each of you and everyone who cares about Penn State deserve the truth.
The sad history of this case is that the Board of Trustees took a terrible tragedy and made it worse. Their complete reliance on the deeply flawed Freeh report and their total capitulation to the NCAA were terrible mistakes that needlessly and recklessly tarnished the reputation of this great university.

Paterno is referring in part to criticism of the 2012 investigation report produced by former FBI director Louis Freeh, who found that Paterno and university brass repatedly failed to escalate the serious allegations against Sandusky.

Paterno was fired on November 9, 2011, the same day he announced he would retire at the end of his 46th season. As part of a 2012 consent decree between the university and the NCAA, Paterno had 112 victories vacated from his record, dropping him from the top spot in wins among Division 1 college football history. The wins were restored earlier this year as part of settlement in a lawsuit against the NCAA.

Sue Paterno declined to get into specific details due to current litigation, but wrote that despite the troubling years during and since the scandal, her love for Penn State continues to grow each day.

Read the full letter here.