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Penn State scandal: Joe Paterno vs. Louis Freeh

Penn State football coach Joe Paterno defended the program's integrity in a letter saying that Jerry Sandusky's sexual abuse of boys was not a "football scandal." Ex-FBI chief Louis Freeh releases his findings into Penn State's role in the case today.

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Penn State coach Joe Paterno, now deceased, wrote a letter defending the integrity of the unversity's football program. Former FBI director Louis Freeh led a Penn State-funded investigation into the university's handling of molestation allegations against former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

(AP Photo/Jim Prisching, File)

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The results of Penn State's internal investigation into the Jerry Sandusky scandal are due to be released in the form of a report that could answer many of the troubling questions swirling around one of the darkest scandals in sports history.

A team led by former federal judge and FBI director Louis Freeh interviewed hundreds of people to learn how the university responded to warning signs that its once revered former defensive coordinator — a man who helped Hall of Fame football coach Joe Paterno win two national titles while touting "success with honor" — was a serial child molester.

Sandusky was convicted on 45 criminal counts last month at a trial that included gut-wrenching testimony from eight young men who said he abused them as boys.

IN PICTURES: Fallout from the Penn State scandal

By contrast, the Freeh report, scheduled for online release at 9 a.m. Thursday, will focus on Penn State and what it did — or didn't do — to protect children. It remains unclear how top university officials handled reports dating back at least 14 years that Sandusky was behaving inappropriately with boys he met through his charity, bringing them on campus and forcing them into sex acts.

The report also could add to what is known about the role of Paterno, who died from lung cancer in January at age 85, two months after being fired as coach following Sandusky's arrest.

Paterno's son, Jay, told NBC's "Today" his family was awaiting the report's release and hoped it would be the thorough investigation his father wanted.

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