DR. DREWReport Condemns Penn State
; Miramonte Abuse Scandal
Aired July 12, 2012 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST: Here we go.
The Freeh report is out and the findings are shocking. Did Penn State officials care more about the school`s image than about kids Jerry Sandusky molested? And why didn`t they do more?
I`m diving into the report and talking to current and former students about this alleged culture of silence.
PINSKY: Tonight, Penn State`s leaders failed to protect children and empowered Jerry Sandusky to attract even more victims. That according to an internal review released earlier today.
Have a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LOUIS FREEH, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: 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. The evidence shows that Mr. Paterno was made aware of the 1998 investigation of Sandusky, followed it closely but failed to take any action.
The most powerful leaders at Penn State University, Mr. Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley, repeatedly concealed facts relating to Sandusky`s child abuse from the authorities, the board of trustees, the Penn State community and the public at large.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Very powerful Penn State officials failed to protect children who had been sexually abused by Jerry Sandusky. They appeared to be putting the interest of the school above those of the kids.
Freeh believes Paterno could have done more to help children who were ultimately harmed.
Now, could the famed football coach have taken action that might have prevented at least some of this abuse?
Joining me, former Penn State football player Lee Rubin and author of "Win: Simple Insights to Help You Win the Game of Life", and Penn State alumnus and attorney, Brian Claypool.
Brian, what is your reaction to the report?
BRIAN CLAYPOOL, ATTORNEY: Well, the report is horrifying. It not only shows that the top officials at Penn State knew about Sandusky committing this child abuse but they intentionally concealed this information from law enforcement, from the Department of Child Welfare and also from the board of trustees and the entire community.
In my opinion, they were facilitating and empowering Sandusky to continue to prey upon kids at Penn State.
PINSKY: Do you think they didn`t understand they had an obligation to report it or they intentionally obfuscated that responsibility?
CLAYPOOL: No, they knew. They knew. They are mandated reporters in the state of Pennsylvania.
PINSKY: I know that. But they`re behaving as though they don`t understand. Paterno behaves like somebody who is in denial, (INAUDIBLE) Sandusky. And the guys behave like people that didn`t understand their reporting obligation.
CLAYPOOL: It`s about this, Dr. Drew. It`s about this right here. It`s about the money. It`s money. And money -- money distorts reality. It`s a big machine at Penn State.
I went to Penn State. The football team generates revenue for that community.
PINSKY: Lee, do you agree with what Brian is saying here?
LEE RUBIN, FORMER PENN STATE FOOTBALL PLAYER: You know, there`s -- let me first say that our thoughts and prayers continue to go out with the victims in this case because with every event, every time this case comes up, they have to relieve this experience -- and I do want to make that statement to start.
You know, a report has come out and there has been a lot of information that has come out and I have stated this earlier. I really want to take the time to read it, digest it and understand the entire report. And I think we ought to give those indicted in the report an opportunity to respond. I just think it`s a fair thing to do that.
PINSKY: All right. Let`s look at some of the internal e-mails that have been released in the report.
Here is something between former Vice President Gary Schultz and former athletic director Tim Curley. It`s about the 1998 investigation into Sandusky`s abuse of a boy. This is the famous locker room incident or the shower incident, I guess.
Curley wrote, quote, "Anything new in this department? Coach is anxious to know where it stands." Paterno seems to be having some interest in this. Investigators say, of course, that the coach refers Paterno there.
He told a grand jury, Paterno did, that he didn`t know anything about the incident, though, and here, there`s evidence that he didn`t know anything until 2001. But here is evidence that he knew about it and was concerned about it.
CLAYPOOL: Right. There clearly is now an inconsistency that`s been developed through these e-mails. It looks like Joe Paterno may have committed perjury before the grand jury because there`s now evidence that he was aware of the 1998 incident.
PINSKY: Lee, I want to back up this is just sad that we have to have these conversation. It`s sad for people -- it`s sad for alumni. It`s sad for the people that may have been in denial. It`s sad for people that may not have understood their reporting obligation.
PINSKY: It`s not sad but reprehensible people did know what their reporting obligation was and ignored it, that`s unbelievable. But, you know, it is just something that -- let`s agree on this, Lee, that the school had the testimony merit to step up and open themselves to investigation from the former FBI director. I mean, they were really willing to go to the mat now.
RUBIN: I agree.
PINSKY: -- it might be too little, too late though, Lee.
RUBIN: Sure. No, I think it`s important that we are getting to the truth and that`s really all that I stated before. It would be unwise of me or anyone else to defend individuals who are guilty. That`s just unwise.
And I`m not here to necessarily defend any one of their actions because if you`re guilty, as with Jerry Sandusky, you should pay the price for your guilt and for your wrongdoing.
The tough part, as a former player, is -- especially as it relates to coach pattern know, everything that I`m reading is completely inconsistent with what I knew about him and his actions on a daily, consistent basis. That`s the tension, that`s the difficulty for us, not that I`m defending it, but it`s just hard to understand -- to read one thing but to have experienced something else.
PINSKY: I get it. Let me take a quick call from some of our viewers here.
Linda in Mississippi, you wanted to ring in here? Linda?
LINDA, CALLER FROM MISSISSIPPI: Yes. Yes, I do.
I want to know, what is the obligation of a fiance to inform his future wife that there is sexual abuse going on in his family, that there is a molester lurking in his family that may affect their future children?
PINSKY: So, Brian, what is that obligation? Do you know that offhand? I`m not sure is there a reporting obligation of an individual in a family to other people? This happened to you, Linda?
PINSKY: This is happening right now? You`re thinking about marrying someone?
LINDA: No, it did happen and it had tragic consequences for one of my children.
PINSKY: Oh, my God. I am so sorry. That, to me, is more about pathology than reporting obligation. When families keep secrets for -- and keep somebody`s secret safe so as not to hurt them, they will hurt other people.
PINSKY: Are there actual obligation?
CLAYPOOL: Right. It`s more of a moral obligation in this context. I think overall, though, everybody has a duty -- if you suspect there is child abuse going on, you have an obligation to communicate that people that may be affected by it.
PINSKY: Linda, I`m so glad you called in with this but I`m so sorry it happened to you. My hope is by you bringing this up, this becomes sort of a warning shot to other people out there to be willing to talk about this problem.
Nothing else comes out of this case, perhaps they will have done a service to people out there who are keeping this quiet in their own families, or people who suffered as children or adults who haven`t spoken up about this. They should feel empowered to do so.
I think that -- if we take nothing else away from this, that would be a good thing.
Got to take a break. Next up, the Paterno family responds to more of these allegations and we`ll have more of your calls as well.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KENNETH C. FRAZIER, CHAIR, SPECIAL INVESTIGATION TASK FORCE: We, the Penn State board of trustees, failed in our obligation to provide proper oversight of the university`s operations. To be absolutely clear again, we are accountable for what`s happened here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Another question though is could Joe Paterno have done more to prevent Jerry Sandusky from sexually abusing more kids?
Earlier today, his son, Jay Paterno, appeared on ESPN, defending his father`s reputation. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY PATERNO, SON OF JOE PATERNO: In 2001, when this was brought to Joe`s attention, Jerry Sandusky had never been charged with a crime. In no way, shape or form did anybody believe that he was a child predator.
So, again, it`s easy to say that there was callous -- that it was callous indifference, but anybody that knows Joe Paterno and knows what he has done with his life knows that there is no way, shape or form Joe Paterno would have put anybody in harm`s way for another win or for his legacy or bad publicity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Or maybe for money. It`s what Brian Claypool was alleging.
The Freeh report accuses four of Penn State`s most powerful in the institution of protecting each other instead of the kids. They are the late Joe Paterno, Penn State`s head football coach for 45 years; former president Graham Spanier, forced out of office in November but still a tenured faculty member, not charged; former Penn State senior vice president, Gary Schultz, the man who oversaw university police, he is charged with failing to report abuse, and perjury in addition; and finally, Penn State athletic director Tim Curley on suspension right now, charged with failing to report abuse and perjury.
Curley and Schultz have pleaded not guilty.
Joining me, former O.J. Simpson prosecutor and author of "Guilt By Degrees", Marcia Clark, and via Skype, Penn State student Catherine Janisko.
First, I want to start with Marcia.
You had a very strong emotional reaction to this report?
MARCIA CLARK, PROSECUTOR: I was so delighted to see it come out. I was really very hopeful when I heard that Louis Freeh was conducting the investigation, that he would not shy away from telling the truth about who was responsible, who knew what, when and should have acted.
And he didn`t. He didn`t. He went right for it. He said there is no question -- in fact, he even further than he needed to and said they violated the Clery Act, which is an act that requires them to report and collect data and information on any allegations of child abuse. He said they violated that act, which is going to be something very helpful to get an indictment on those who have not yet been charged.
PINSKY: Let`s explain that act, the same thing that obliges, say clinicians to report child abuse or it`s something different?
CLARK: It`s similar. It`s similar, same idea.
PINSKY: So, institutions around the country, schools, high schools, grammar schools, universities, they all have that obligation to report even the hint, right?
CLARK: Right. Right.
PINSKY: Whom do they call?
CLARK: They should be calling police. They have to report to police. They have to report to their superiors at school.
PINSKY: And social services, right?
CLARK: And social service.
PINSKY: So, they have three reporting obligations. Why doesn`t every person in an institution like that know that? That`s my question.
CLARK: Well, I`m not saying --
PINSKY: I don`t think they know it. I don`t think they know it.
CLARK: I`m not sure. These guys --
PINSKY: Those guys maybe.
CLARK: That`s what I mean.
PINSKY: Those guys maybe, or they may have thought about it as they were going through this experience certainly.
I want to go out to you, Catherine. How are the student body, or you, yourself even, responding to this report?
CATHERINE JANISKO, PENN STATE STUDENT: It`s unbelievable. I mean, actually you to me, it is not shocking whatsoever. I was waiting for this moment to come. I said from the very beginning, it`s not a matter of if, it`s a matter of when, because regardless of who goes down, even if it is Joe Paterno, they are all going to go down, every single person involved.
And to know that these four gentlemen acted like little children running away from this moment, that they could have captured these children and saved this torment that they are going through for the rest of their lives, it`s really, really sad and very upsetting.
PINSKY: Now, Catherine, we are sort of having a conversation here in the room about whether or not this was sort of a premeditated attempt to hide because of money and other priorities? Is it denial? Is it a lack of understanding their obligation, or some combination of these things?
What do you guys think as students?
JANISKO: I don`t -- I have spoken to students and I don`t think it`s a lack of understanding their position and how they have to handle these situations, because you should be smarter than that. I mean, there`s no excuse for that.
Maybe it is a cover-up for money. I can`t add any speculation to that. I don`t know about that for sure.
But there`s -- the moral of the story is there`s absolutely no excuse for what these gentlemen did.
PINSKY: Let`s quickly take some calls.
Darlene in Pennsylvania -- Darlene, you wanted to ring in here, too?
DARLENE, CALLER FROM PENNSYLVANIA: Yes, I`m an alumni at Penn State and just devastated by everything that`s happened over the past month. And I just -- I guess for me to, like, understand any of this, I want something constructive to come out of all of this, you know? I didn`t get through all the Freeh report because I`m sitting here with my box of tissues.
DARLENE: So you know, I think that the true heroes here are the kids who testified. I think they were constructed about they made a difference and hopefully, they have made easier for other kids who are in that situation to speak out and, you know, understand that people will believe them.
Penn Staters will believe those kids.
PINSKY: Darlene, I think again, our call verse been so right on today. That I think is to look at the potential for this to elevate the conversation.
Do you think it will, Marcia?
CLARK: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. I have never been more hopeful a new day is coming. This is a huge development, that this jury was following convict and boy, they did a great job with this conviction. We`ll talk about the appeal at some point. I`ll tell you how their verdict really made their verdict bulletproof.
PINSKY: So, it made it difficult for Sandusky to have an appeal?
CLARK: Good luck with that one. I don`t think he is going anywhere with that.
But it really, I think, is a new day in terms of holding the people in charge responsible and going after the people who are in these positions of power, not shielding them anymore or pretending that they didn`t know. It`s really a wonderful development and I think it`s going to have huge repercussions across le board for everyone in a position of power who should be acting to take care of these children.
PINSKY: Let`s try another call real quick.
Kathy, also Pennsylvania -- Kathy.
KATHY, CALLER FROM PENNSYLVANIA: Hi, Dr. Drew.
KATHY: What do you think about the thought that maybe some of these universities, specifically Penn State, actually had a protocol to sweep it under the carpet?
PINSKY: Marcia, it`s a good question. I can`t -- if they do, it`s got to be in the Freeh report.
CLARK: Yes, I don`t know that they had a specific formal protocol. What I think they had was a culture of understanding that they are going to protect their own and -- CYA, basically -- because the football program is extremely lucrative. That`s lot of money that comes in. We are talking millions and millions and millions of dollars come into the school as a result of it.
So, nobody wants to jeopardize their program that brings the money in, that funds their own -- that feathers their own nest. So I think it is kind of an understanding that they are going to keep things as quiet as they possibly can and that`s what they did.
PINSKY: OK. We`re going to take a quick break here. There`s a lot of discussion online about whether the statue of Joe Paterno should come down. That`s pretty intense.
More of your calls, after the break.
PINSKY: Welcome back.
Many people are react together Penn State report. Here now is a Twitter.
This is from @TedStryker. Stryker says, "Penn State protected a child molester, a coach and an institution, and worried about bad publicity, they cared zero percent about the victims. Sickening."
Catherine Janisko, the statue of Joe Paterno -- are people actually calling for that statue to come down?
JANISKO: I`ve heard that. But there are a lot of people who want it to stay up. There are students who think that it would be a tragedy to tear it down because he was such a legend at Penn State.
And, you know, I feel for his family. I have empathy. Death is never an easy thing.
But that gives no justice to the things that Joe Paterno did. I don`t know what they are going to do with the statue. I know people say that -- some people say it is staying up would just make everything worse, because it`s just a false icon now.
PINSKY: What is the mood on campus generally now that this report is out? Do people just want to get through this and move on or are people feeling -- some other feeling out there?
JANISKO: I think people want to move on because in this case, this is clearly and strictly about the victims and people think that students don`t realize that, but they really do students want the best for these victims and the sad thing is that they are never going to be justified, ever, because they have to live with this forever -- for the rest of their lives.
PINSKY: Catherine, I got to tell you, that`s why I`m so pleased with this story. It`s awful. It`s horrible. The Freeh report is shocking to read.
But to elevate this conversation, Marcia, and talking about victims and talking about child abuse. Listen, I started talking about child abuse, sexual abuse of children in the early `90s. And for 15 years, people would say to me, oh, it`s always been there. We are just talking about it now.
No, it`s an epidemic in our country and it`s high time we really talked about it as that kind of a problem.
CLARK: I really agree. I have to say: it`s so wonderful to hear from someone like Catherine. And I have tell you when the trial was going on, people were tweeting to me and writing to me, Facebooking me about we don`t think this jury is ever going to convict him, they will protect their own, sweep it under the rug again.
PINSKY: But no.
CLARK: You know what? I stood up for them.
CLARK: I said I don`t believe you. I think this jury is going to do the right thing and I was so happy to be vindicated. It just says so much good about the people of Pennsylvania, that they said, you know, we are not going to stand up for this, we are not those people. Very stand up, very cool.
Wonderful for you, Catherine. It just says everything good about where we are at today and the generation in college today. So proud of you.
PINSKY: Quick call before we go to break. C.E. in Kentucky -- C.E.
C.E., CALLER FROM KENTUCKY: I have been here long before this Penn State thing broke up, I have been hearing about universities spouting their crime statistics, making the campus look safer than it is. And that whole system needs stop.
But, you know, when this first came out, they were -- Penn State`s reaction was he couldn`t use the shower facilities anymore. To me, that was no different as saying don`t molest them here on our campus. Molest them at home.
PINSKY: Yes. C.E., you`re raising an issue that I`m concerned with, is that the college campus and places where we spend our kids and spend tens of thousands a year need to be on record. They`re going to be held to the same clinical and moral standard as the rest of us.
This is not some sort of ivory tower where they are not up to some -- they have their own standards. It`s a community standard where all are going to hold that standard.
Catherine, thank you. Marcia, thank you, of course.