Big Ten at Ten 7.12.2012: And Here Comes the Freeh Report

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA - FILE: University President Graham Spanier of the Penn State Nittany Lions watches warmups before the game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Beaver Stadium on October 27, 2007 in University Park, Pennsylvania. Joe Paterno and Penn State university president Graham Spanier stepped down today amid allegations that former assistant Jerry Sandusky was involved with child sex abuse. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

The Big 10 at 10 is Off Tackle Empire's daily dose of B1G news delivered to you at approximately 10:00AM CT. But it's not just a linkdump. Each author will also provide a brief editorial on a "hot topic" for the day. Want to see more news from a blog or website that isn't listed? Hit the comments.

The big news today is not just central to the Big Ten and it is not just another story looking to denigrate Penn State. No, today is the day that Louis Freeh, former FBI Director, finally released his report on the actions. You can find a copy of the Freeh report here. While I have not had time to go through the findings with a fine-toothed comb (considering this just came out and it's over 200 pages), here are some of the more popular quotes from the findings:

The most saddening findings by the Special Investigative Counsel is the total and consistent disregard by the most senior leaders at Penn State for the safety and welfare of Sandusky's child victims...

Four of the most powerful people at The Pennsylvania State University -- President Graham B. Spanier, Senior Vice President-Finance and Business Gary C. Schultz, Athletic Director Timothy M. Curley and Head Football Coach Joseph V. Paterno -- failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade.

Freeh does go on to discuss how the BoT, along with pretty much everyone in the university, failed in their oversight of President Spanier as well as everyone's failure to protect children. Needless to say, there will be a lot of conversation on the topic in the next few days. While this is a next step in finding closure and restitution for the victims, as well as for Penn State, this will probably only make things worse before it makes things better. Just be weary of CNN, Fox, Local Newspaper Journalist etc. who try to pass off the idea that they understand this whole thing already. Lots of information to digest and we'll get to that as we can.

As for us, there will be much more editorializing on the mess of affairs at Penn State in the coming days and weeks, and I know that our staff at Off Tackle Empire will do our best to provide good information and room for discussion as it comes out. One of the most difficult parts of this has been the fact that children were harmed under the oversight of people who they thought they could trust. While this is not the first time it has happened, and it will sadly not be the last, most of us thought that Spanier, Curley, and Paterno believed in something greater. I still remember that day last fall when these findings were coming to the surface and although we were not sure of the scope or magnitude of affairs, something about it felt terribly wrong. It's hard to fathom what happened to get us to that point.

Nine months later, this is where we find ourselves. We have discussed ad nauseum about this issue here, on other sites, and probably even in our non-internet lives. Generally speaking, we all agree that this is something greater than football. In a letter sent to former and current Penn State players, written by the late Joe Paterno before his death, the coach said these words:

Let me say that again so I am not misunderstood: regardless of anyone's opinion of my actions or the actions of the handful of administration officials in this matter, the fact is nothing alleged is an indictment of football or evidence that the spectacular collections of accomplishments by dedicated student athletes should be in anyway tarnished.

While the defensive nature of this seems a bit misplaced and the timing of sending the letter seems even more apropos, the heart of the statement seems to be the problem as well. I agree that this is not an indictment on football specifically in that this is not just about a game. This is about what happens when men who are powerful fail to do what is asked of them. Also, while we can never look down at the accomplishments of Penn State philanthropically, scientifically, athletically, and the like, we are now forced to reckon with how something so atrocious could happen. Let me be very clear. Jerry Sandusky is a child rapist who should be bearing the brunt of this regardless of him being a coach, and he will spend every day of his life on earth in jail, reminded of his awful actions. Still, any person who was accomplice to by turning a blind eye knowingly should be prosecuted to the furthest extent of the law as well, again outside of football because this is real life and football is a nice distraction.

Commissioner Delany released a statement this morning on the Freeh report and the Big Ten's response to Penn State:

"The unprecedented nature of these circumstances requires a prudent, thoughtful and patient review. Until the record is complete and has been thoroughly reviewed by our Presidents and Chancellors, we do not anticipate commenting further."

Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer hopes that the report answers questions for all of us:
The report is awaited with both hope and skepticism - hope that Freeh's group will answer some of the nagging questions surrounding Sandusky's crime spree and skepticism that an investigation commissioned and paid for by Penn State can be truly independent.
There are plenty more reactions coming out by the second, and most of them will say similar things to my quick summation. As they come up, we'll give our insights and as we have time, we will weigh in on the documents, including the alleged E-mails by Penn State administrators to Joe Paterno.

Alright, now that we've gotten that stuff out of the way, let's get on to some B1G news.

Team Links:

Conference Links:
  • Ross at BHGP breaks down the latest iteration of Call Me, Maybe... I am curious. How many people actually like this song without a trace of irony? I think it's terrible, but I learned I am definitely in the minority.
  • Dienhart's Part III of the Best Big Ten Games of 2012
  • The Big Ten released the lineups for Big Ten media days. All you need is $100 and you can meet all of these guys! Sadly, no Taylor Martinez...
  • Mandel talks the Kings of College Football. The B1G is definitely still royalty.

Random Links:

The comments section cracks me up most of the time. It's what you get with the anonymity of the Web. Do I really care what LivesWithHisMother thinks about my receding hairline or supposed biases toward one team or another? Not really. I enjoy dealing with the intelligent Big Ten fans out there -- of which there are many -- and try to limit my interactions with everyone else.
Right on Adam. Right on...



B1G Mascots "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae (via TheRealSparty)

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