Posted February 11, 2013

Phil Knight: The Freeh report findings are ‘unjustified and unsubstantiated’

Uncategorized
Phil Knight spoke out Monday morning against the Freeh report and re-aligning his support with the Paterno camp. (Craig Mitchelldyer/Getty Images)

Phil Knight spoke out Monday morning against the Freeh report, re-aligning his support with the Paterno camp. (Craig Mitchelldyer/Getty Images)

Nike co-founder Phil Knight is reversing his opinion on the Freeh report findings and Joe Paterno. Knight said in a statement Monday morning that after reviewing the findings by the law firm hired by the Paterno family.

“With the release of the report by the King and Spalding law firm, including analysis by former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh and former FBI profiler James Clemente, it is clear that the findings of the Freeh Report were unjustified and unsubstantiated,” said Knight in a statement Monday. “When this tragic story first unfolded Joe cautioned all of us to slow down and carefully gather the facts before jumping to conclusions. We owed it to the victims, he said, to get to the truth. It was counsel we all should have followed.”

Back in July, Knight responded to the Freeh report by saying Joe Paterno “made missteps” that disappointed him:

“According to the investigation, it appears Joe made missteps that led to heartbreaking consequences,” Knight said. “I missed that Joe missed it, and I’m extremely saddened on this day.”

However, on Monday morning Knight admitted he made those comments without reading the Freeh report in its entirety. The King and Spalding law firm and former attorney general Dick Thornburgh cited the Freeh report as a “failure,” filled with errors, disputed allegations, personal opinions, unsubstantiated theories and bias.

Since reading the Freeh report and the findings from the law firm, Knight has retracted his original judgment against Paterno. Knight concluded his statement by putting the Paterno side of the scandal into perspective.

And while some may still debate the who, what, when, where, why of this sad case, the clear villain, as Jim Clemente notes, is Jerry Sandusky himself.


16 comments
Kristian
Kristian

Why does anyone care what he has to say?  He runs a shoe company but he's not an athlete or an attorney.  He's entitled to an opinion but not sure why it's any more news worthy than the guy who posted right below me.I'm not really sure how to bring this into the discussion but I think the Nike sweatshops are also worth a mention.

joeshine730
joeshine730

Joe was 85 senile dried out and ignorant. glad he is gone

Steve Phillips
Steve Phillips

I am glad there are those like Knight speaking out regardless of how much money they have knowing that it is human nature to jump to conclusions and mete out consequences of public opinion without having all of the facts. Fact is Joe Paterno, who was rock solid, throughout his life was publicly tried and convicted based on a report that has major flaws. Furthermore let us not forget Jerry Sandusky is the real villain here yet an entire university and student body, student/athletes, and academic staff are paying consequences for which they have had nothing to do with!

AllisGrace
AllisGrace

I find it quite annoying that Phil Knight even thinks he merits having a voice in this story, and I agree with JWeller3's post, if Knight was not wealthy no one would give him 5 minutes much less 15 minutes of time in this story. His flip flopping makes you wonder if he is sticking his finger in the air to see what direction the wind is blowing so he can be on the "right" side of the issue.  Knight, go away please, your voice is disgusting!

Hokieduck1
Hokieduck1

I think those of you who make such cut and dried judgments (either way) in this mess have never read anything other than media reports.  If you bothered to read the actual emails and documentation from this tragedy, you would find that the 1998 report was badly... and I mean badly... mishandled by both the police and the prosecution who did not issue a charge.  The investigating officer and a human services investigator hid in the home of a kid who had been abused by Sandusky and listened to him basically admit the abuse to the V's mother.  They did not come out from hiding.   They did not interrogate him right then and there when he was at his weakest.  They did absolutely nothing and the prosecutors who reviewed it did nothing either.  That was 3 years before the incident in the showers which Joe was told about and which Joe immediately passed on to his superiors. 

 

In looking back at it, of course Joe regretted that he did not do more.  Who wouldn't?  But having read the record, I cast most blame on those cops and prosecutors.  Secondly on McCurdy (?) who should have gone into that shower and beaten Sandusky to a bloody pulp before dialing 911.  And then on the AD and Vice President of PSU who did not report it.  And then we get to Joe, who regardless of the fact that he told his superiors, he should have told the police.  PSU was trying to oust him at the time for having too much power and running his own ship, but this was a ship that should have been run.... straight into the police regardless of the AD and VP not taking action.

 

BTW I am a former child sex crimes prosecutor (13 years) for a major metropolitan area.

jweller3
jweller3

I guess Phil thinks his money should make people give a s#&t about what he thinks.    NO...

Lemzilla
Lemzilla

JoePa covered for Sandusky. Sandusky raped little boys. Get over it, Paterno fans. Joe did a bad and wrong thing. He was a good football coach that made a terrible mistake but his coaching doesn't make up for the boy raping he looked away from. Not at all.

l.czolgosz66
l.czolgosz66

Phil Knight looks like a cross between Al Davis and someone that hangs out in bathrooms in bus stations.

JackWilliams
JackWilliams

 @Hokieduck1

 I think you should have taken the time to get McQueary's name correct. He is a central figure in this whole scandal. If you were a former prosecutor, then you should be aware of the significance of Joe not witnessing anything. All he heard was heresay from McQueary about 'horseplay' between Sandusky and a child. Do you really think that a 76 year old coach should have reported hearsay to the police, or was it more proper to report hearsay to his superiors for further investigation ( as he did). As a practical matter , you don't turn someone into the cops unless you have evidence of their guilt. They won't even fill out a criminal complaint without evidence - it is harrassment against another citizen. Joe had no evidence. It was McQueary who was the witness that should have gone to the police. Even if he had, his eventual testimony stated that he never ' saw' anything. What he heard was so inconclusive that the trial jury acquitted Sandusky of the two counts related to the shower horseplay.I agree that the real injustice occurred back in 1998 when the proper criminal justice authorities had the evidence against Sandusky and did nothing with it.

l.czolgosz66
l.czolgosz66

 @Lemzilla I honestly think Joe deluded himself into not seeing what was going on. Not a rationalization or excuse, but maybe an explanation. I do not believe that Joe Pa ever knowingly covered anything up.

jweller3
jweller3

 @JackWilliams  @Hokieduck1

 Jack...take your head out of the sand...there was no hearsay by McQueary...he SAW Sandusky molest a child.  He told Joe and Joe SHOULD HAVE FIRED AND BANNED SANDUSKY ON THE SPOT.  He shielded his friend rather than do the right thing.

Lemzilla
Lemzilla

 @l.czolgosz66 hard to cut that both ways. Either he was a genius football coach who paid attention to details or he was a senile bumpkin who'd never heard of man-rape. I believe he held Penn State above the fray, "to big to fail" so to speak, and that was his biggest mistake.

JackWilliams
JackWilliams

 @jweller3  

 You don't score any points by being ignorant. Read the grand jury testimony, and the Freeh and Paterno reports before you comment on matters that you clearly don't know about. The problem withthe internet is ppl can spout their personal BS without any knowledge at all.