The report could influence investigations under way at the NCAA and at the U.S. Education Department, which is examining whether the university violated the Clery Act, a federal law that requires reporting of certain crimes on campus. The Freeh report said Penn State apparently failed to comply with the law. Neither the Education Department nor the NCAA would comment directly on the report.
George Enteen, a retired professor of Russian history, called the Freeh report a "terrible mark" on the character of Paterno, a man he otherwise respected as someone who raised a lot money for Penn State and elevated the school's reputation and academic quality.
"The worst suspicions were borne out," Enteen said. Paterno, he added, "was the key figure. If he had said, 'Report it,' they would have." But he said: "It doesn't negate all the good things he did."
Christian Beveridge, a masonry worker who grew up near Penn State, said the findings will damage Paterno's legacy.
"He built this town," Beveridge said. "All of his victories, he'll be remembered by everyone in town for a long time, but there will be that hesitation."
Scott Berkowitz, president of the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, said the hard-hitting report "is opening people's eyes to the potential liability that schools face if they don't address this correctly."
"Heads of every college and university in the country have got to be taking note of this, and calling board meetings today and saying, 'We need to make sure that we change the way we're doing things,'" he said.
Armas reported from Scranton and Scolforo from Harrisburg. Associated Press writers Michael Rubinkam, Mark Scolforo in Harrisburg, Marc Levy in State College and Maryclaire Dale and Randy Pennell in Philadelphia contributed to this report.
"Our most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky's child victims by the most senior leaders at Penn State."
Former FBI Director Louis Freeh
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