The former administrators have vehemently denied the allegations. So, too, has Paterno's family, though a detailed counter-offensive began in earnest this weekend.
The family's findings said that Paterno never asked or told anyone not to investigate or report an allegation made against Sandusky 12 years ago, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2001.
Paterno also never asked or told anyone not to discuss or hide information reported by graduate assistant Mike McQueary about the 2001 allegation, the critique said, and followed university protocol in reporting information to superiors and left it to them to "to investigate and report as appropriate."
Thornburgh said he found the report at points to be inaccurate, speculative and fundamentally flawed about the role – if any – played by Paterno.
Appearing on ESPN's "Outside the Lines" program Sunday, Paterno family attorney Wick Sollers said it was too early to talk about legal action, though they were "evaluating all the legal options at this stage of the game."
Paterno's widow, Sue Paterno wrote in a letter Friday to former players that she sought a "full record of what happened."
The treatment of Paterno – fired over a late-night telephone call – as well as the handling of the Freeh report and the resulting NCAA sanctions by university leadership remain sensitive topics with some unhappy groups of alumni, ex-players, and community residents.
Penn State said Sunday that Freeh was brought in to conduct an independent investigation of the school's response to the allegations, and not actions of entities unrelated to Penn State. Freeh offered 119 recommendations to strengthen governance and compliance, the majority of which have been implemented, the school said.