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Freeh report generated for Saints may never be published

Louis Freeh Discusses Investigation Into Penn State And Sandusky Case Getty Images

As the NCAA imposes on Penn State an array of penalties that arguably are more punitive and long-lasting than the so-called death penalty, the sanctions trace directly to the report generated by former federal judge and FBI director Louis Freeh.  As a result, some are now wondering whether Penn State wishes it hadn’t hired Freeh to engage in such a comprehensive review of the Jerry Sandusky situation.

In turn, some Saints fans are wondering whether owner Tom Benson may be reconsidering the wisdom of the decision to retain Freeh to conduct a similar review of the allegation that G.M. Mickey Loomis previously had the ability to eavesdrop on opposing coaches.

“Serious allegations have been made about our organization this off-season; we take these allegations very seriously,” team spokesman Greg Bensel told PFT via email on June 8.  “As a result, we have hired the Freeh Group, founded by former director of the FBI and former federal judge Louis Freeh.  Mr. Benson moved quickly to hire them and has spared no expense to get to the bottom of these allegations.  We have given the Freeh Group complete access to our team and all of the individuals who have been associated with this news story.”

It’s believed that, after examining the wiretapping allegations, the Freeh Group will examine the bounty situation.

But Freeh’s involvement doesn’t mean a report eventually will be generated and released for public consumption.  Penn State is a public entity; the Saints aren’t.

Of course, if we never hear another peep from Freeh when it comes to the Saints, some will conclude (perhaps accurately) that he found information that would be unflattering to the organization and/or one or more of its key employees, if released to the media.

Then again, there’s also a chance that Freeh’s report will be embraced by the Saints, since it could entail a conclusion that, for example, a disgruntled former employee embellished at best or fabricated at worst the wiretapping allegations — and possibly that ESPN’s John Barr was overly zealous in trying to dig up dirt about the team in the wake of the bounty scandal.

As to the bounty scandal, Freeh’s report possibly could crystallize and explain the semantics-driven dispute between the NFL and the NFLPA regarding the pay-for-performance system.  By all appearances, there was no specific pay-for-injury system — but there were incentives for applying clean, legal hits in a way that coincidentally caused injury.  A report from Freeh that makes that point and explains the distinction could, given the widespread respect Freeh enjoys, finally spark the much-needed debate as to whether such harsh penalties should apply for giving players a little extra money to do something they’re already paid to do.

In the end, whether the rest of us ever get access to the information generated by Freeh could depend on whether the Saints like — or don’t like — the stuff that Freeh discovers.  If, in the end, the Saints choose to release everything, it’s safe to say that Freeh’s findings will be regarded as credible and trustworthy, given the flamethrower he took to Penn State via an investigation that Penn State paid him to conduct.

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14 Responses to “Freeh report generated for Saints may never be published”
  1. johnnyjagfan says: Jul 23, 2012 10:27 AM

    I wouldn’t publish it. It was produced for the Saints, by the Saints and for the owner of the Saints. If the NFL were investigating and hired Freeh? Different story.

  2. electionconfidential says: Jul 23, 2012 10:33 AM

    What bothers me is that there is an ongoing criminal investigation here. On the surface the wiretapping allegations seem unlikely. I wonder how multiple investigations are being justified financially. Kinda makes me think that SOMETHING happened, but it doesn’t seem to make any sense at all… The info he was picking up should not have been timely enough to make a difference in the game…

    Inquiring minds… ;o)

  3. hooterdawg says: Jul 23, 2012 10:43 AM

    Regarding Freeh:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/penn-state-investigator-louis-freeh-accused-of-heading-a-massive-cover-up-as-director-of-fbi-2012-7

    You have to wonder why PSU or the Saints chose this type of person to conduct any investigation.

  4. medtxpack says: Jul 23, 2012 10:47 AM

    I can understand why the Saints would want control of the report once its complete but it will be see as hypocritical if they dont release it.

  5. thejuddstir says: Jul 23, 2012 10:49 AM

    It’s a no brainer that if Tom Benson paid for the investigation and it reflects negatively on the Saints* that it will never be made public and if it was beneficical to the Saints* we would hear about it in a N.Y. second.

  6. geauxjay says: Jul 23, 2012 10:49 AM

    Well, Goodell collected 50,000 pages of evidence and never shared it with anyone…

  7. geauxjay says: Jul 23, 2012 10:53 AM

    What bothers me is that there is an ongoing criminal investigation here
    ————————-
    Technically, you’re right, but the only reason there’s an investigation is because ESPN reported the accusations in the first place.

    And ESPN has never apologized for sending John Barr to New Orleans for a month not to report on a specific story but to search for whistleblowers who wanted to grind their axes with the teams.

  8. vtopa says: Jul 23, 2012 11:58 AM

    Release the report either way. Regardless of the outcome it will show that the Saints really are the class organization that they have been thought of since Katrina.

  9. randomguy9999 says: Jul 23, 2012 12:23 PM

    some people are going to drag down Freeh for his management of the FBI, whatever… that always happens with appointees…

    reality is he is one of the most experienced law enforcement professionals in history, it showed in the PSU report, and he will go where the evidence takes him.

    if the Saints don’t release the report in hindsight of the PSU report… they are gonna look like the dirtiest team in NFL history…..

  10. mwindle1973 says: Jul 23, 2012 1:26 PM

    @Florio: I was really enjoying this article and how logically it was put together until I read this line: “By all appearances, there was no specific pay-for-injury system — but there were incentives for applying clean, legal hits in a way that coincidentally caused injury.”

    ___________

    Clean, legal hit? Did you hear the Williams audio?…they were instructed to go after the knee out of bounds or any other time Crabtree wasn’t expecting it. I just don’t see the professional advantages of being the enfant terrible of the NFL media.

  11. mvp43 says: Jul 23, 2012 4:15 PM

    I agree that the findings should not be released to the public, but………does the fact that they play all their home games at a state owned facility change that at all?

  12. jpspear says: Jul 23, 2012 5:27 PM

    @mwindle1973: Williams never mentioned the bounty and no even questionable hits were made by the Saints, although San Fran put Thomas out of the game with shot to the head. So if nothing happened as a result of Williams’ tirade, what’s the crime here?

  13. musicman495 says: Jul 23, 2012 11:33 PM

    mwindle1973 says: Jul 23, 2012 1:26 PM

    Clean, legal hit? Did you hear the Williams audio?…they were instructed to go after the knee out of bounds or any other time Crabtree wasn’t expecting it. I just don’t see the professional advantages of being the enfant terrible of the NFL media.
    ———————–
    Too bad no hit actually took place, otherwise you and Roger Goodell would have a helluva case.

  14. dannythebisforbeast says: Jul 24, 2012 1:29 AM

    @randomguy what about multiple accusations of coverups against Freeh including the Waco investigation Is that whatever?

    what about the fact that Louis Freeh and PA gov Tom Corbett are veryclose political allies/friends. Gov Corbett was an attny general investigating Sandusky and a current board member
    Was there ever a chance he would find dirt on that facet of the PSU scandal.

    NO paid him to investigate a positive answer wait and see

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