- Anthony Weiner on his current sexting habits: ‘None of your business’
- Producers eye Capitol Hill for latest reality TV hit
- No selfie awareness: Obama, Biden mug for Instagram as Ukraine implodes
- Putin to Snowden: We don’t collect droves of data on everyone like the U.S.
- Clemson football’s new opponent: Atheists upset with player prayer, Bible study
- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s re-election launch party will be ‘history in the making,’ brother says
- Louisiana group hits back at Sen. Mary Landrieu campaign ad with ‘Actress Mary’ spot
- Brain surgery victim struggles with Obamacare: ‘It’s scary’
- Pro-Russian forces storm Ukrainian national guard base; 3 killed
- Joe Biden’s first Instagram pic mocked as shill for sunglass ad
Nike co-founder blasts Freeh report
BEAVERTON, ORE. (AP) - Nike co-founder Phil Knight has issued a statement blasting the Freeh report’s characterization of Penn State coach Joe Paterno in the child sex abuse scandal involving assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.
Following the release last year of former FBI director Louis Freeh’s report, Knight issued a statement saying he was saddened that Paterno apparently made missteps that led to “heartbreaking consequences.”
But Knight now says that he may have jumped to conclusions, after a new critique that was commissioned by the Paterno family and carried out by experts that included Dick Thornburgh, a former U.S. attorney general and governor of Pennsylvania.
In a statement released Monday, Knight called the findings of the Freeh report unjustified and unsubstantiated. He also criticized the NCAA’s subsequent sanctions on Penn State’s football program as unwarranted.
“When this tragic story first unfolded Joe cautioned all of us to slow down and carefully gather the facts before jumping to conclusions,” Knight said in the statement. “We owed it to the victims, he said, to get to the truth. It was counsel we all should have followed.”
Sandusky, 69, is serving a 30- to 60-year prison term for the sexual abuse of 10 boys over a period of 15 years, including attacks on children inside Penn State athletics facilities.
Paterno died in January 2012 at age 85. Knight spoke at Paterno’s memorial service, but after the Freeh report was released he took the name off the Joe Paterno Child Development Center at Nike headquarters in Beaverton.
The Freeh report concluded that Paterno and other university officials covered up allegations against Sandusky to spare the university bad publicity. But the family’s review said the cover-up claims were inaccurate, were unfounded and equated to a “rush to injustice.”
Freeh defended his report.
“I stand by our conclusion that four of the most powerful people at Penn State failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade,” he said in a statement issued Sunday through a spokesman.
The NCAA took unprecedented action in the wake of the Freeh report by quickly levying strict sanctions on Penn State’s football team, including a four-year bowl ban, strict scholarship cuts and a $60 million fine on the university. College sports’ governing body also vacated 111 wins under Paterno, erasing what had been his major college record of 409 career victories.
Knight took issue with the sanctions in his statement, which was first obtained by ESPN.com.
By John R. Bolton
Reality calls for attaching Gaza to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- Removal of military gear limits options for U.S., NATO in Ukraine
- IRS emails reveal discussion with Justice about suing nonprofits for election activities
- Rand and Ron Paul ride to the rescue for Bundy in Nevada standoff with feds
- NAPOLITANO: Hope for the dead and freedom for the living
- CURL: The state of the Union worse than you thought
- PETA officials collide with deer
- CNN op-ed claims right-wingers 'more deadly than jihadists'
- BOLTON: A 'three-state solution' for Middle East peace
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
Celebrity deaths in 2014