Panel: Paterno, officials staged 14-year coverupPenn State investigation reaction

Penn State students gather around a television in the student HUB on Penn State University's main campus to listen to the news conference held by former FBI director Louis Freeh after the release of his report on the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal in State College, Pa., Thursday, July 12, 2012. Freeh said the most "saddening and sobering" finding from his group's report is Penn State senior leaders' "total disregard" for the safety and welfare of the ex-coach's child victims. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Reactions to Freeh Report released Thursday that found Joe Paterno and other top Penn State officials hushed up child sex abuse allegation against Jerry Sandusky more than a decade ago for fear of bad publicity:

“The idea that any sane, responsible adult would knowingly cover up for a child predator is impossible to accept. The far more realistic conclusion is that many people didn’t fully understand what was happening and underestimated or misinterpreted events. Sandusky was a great deceiver. He fooled everyone — law enforcement, his family, coaches, players, neighbors, university officials, and everyone at Second Mile.”

— Paterno family statement.

“There are monsters among us, people who will hurt children for their own sexual gratification. Every university, school, business and individual has an obligation to follow up and report such cases.”

— Gov. Tom Corbett, who was attorney general when the investigation was begun by state prosecutors.

“(Paterno’s) 61 years of excellent service to the university is now marred.”

— Karen Peetz, chairwoman of the university’s board of trustees.

“It really confirms everybody’s worst fears about what was going on there. The fact that this is such a complete indictment of the university leadership 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.”’

— Scott Berkowitz, president of the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.

“I think that we should be careful that we don’t paint the entire football program over a long period of time with a single brush. ... These things happen in schools, in churches, in youth camps ... all over.”

— Penn State President Rodney Erickson, who called the scandal the “most painful chapter” in school history.

“He built this town. All of his victories, he’ll be remembered by everyone in town for a long time, but there will be that hesitation.”

— Christian Beveridge, a masonry worker who grew up near Penn State on Paterno’s legacy.

“The knowledge of Paterno in 1998 — the fact that Sandusky was known to be a grave risk to children for 14 years and nothing was done to stop him — that is a crying shame. And it’s something that will be a stain on Penn State for a long time to come.”

— Tom Kline, lawyer for a boy known as Victim 5 who was assaulted by Sandusky in a team shower in 2001

Associated Press.