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Paterno family launches push to challenge Freeh report

| Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, 3:05 p.m.
This Feb. 6, 2013 photo released by ABC shows Sue Paterno, widow of legendary football coach Joe Paterno, right, with Katie Couric for an exclusive interview for the 'Katie' show in New York. Paterno is fighting back against the accusations against her husband that followed the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Her campaign started with a letter sent Friday to former Penn State players. She wrote that the family's exhaustive response to former FBI director Louis Freeh's report for the university on the Sandusky child sex abuse case will officially be released to the public at 9 a.m. Sunday on paterno.com. The interview with Couric will air on Monday, Feb. 11. AP photo

Joe Paterno's family is moving to formally challenge the university-commissioned Freeh report's conclusion that the late head football coach joined top Penn State officials in concealing sexual abuse allegations against former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

Paterno's family was harshly critical of the Freeh report. On Friday, his widow, Sue, penned a letter to Paterno's former players advising them that her attorney will release the results of his review of the report at 9 a.m. Sunday at Paterno.com.

Sue Paterno is scheduled to appear in a televised interview with ABC's Katie Couric on Monday.

Sandusky is serving a 30- to 60-year prison sentence on his conviction last summer for abusing 10 boys in and near Penn State facilities. Joe Paterno was fired days after his former assistant's arrest in November 2011. He died of complications of lung cancer two months later.

Former university President Graham Spanier and former top Penn State administrators Gary Schultz and Tim Curley await prosecution on charges that they covered up allegations against Sandusky and lied to a grand jury.

Citing emails among the three that referenced conversations with “Coach” and “Joe,” the Freeh report concluded that Paterno also covered up for Sandusky.

In her letter, an outraged Sue Paterno said she instructed her lawyer Wick Sollers to conduct a full review of the Freeh report shortly after its release in July.

“I told him to engage the best, most respected experts, to take whatever time he needed and to go wherever the facts led,” she wrote. She said the resulting report presents “a passionate and persuasive critique of the Freeh report as a total disservice to the victims of Sandusky and the cause of preventing child sex offenses.”

Neither Sollers nor Paterno family spokesman Dan McGinn responded to requests for comment.

Penn State spokesman David LaTorre issued a statement saying only that Sue Paterno is a valued member of the university community “and continues to be an inspiration to many Penn Staters.”

Debra Erdley is a staff writerfor Trib Total Media.

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