Sue Paterno Breaks Her Silence, Defends Late Husband Joe

02/08/2013 at 03:00 PM EST

Sue Paterno: Joe Paterno's Widow Speaks Out on Sandusky Scandal
Sue and Joe Paterno in 2010
Nabil K. Mark/Centre Daily Times/MCT/Getty
Nearly one year after Joe Paterno's death amid scandal, his widow is speaking out.

The football coach – whose heralded 61-year career at PSU ended amid speculation that he did not do enough to prevent former employee Jerry Sandusky from sexually abusing young boys – was "scrupulously honest, rigidly moral and absolutely unafraid of the consequences of doing the right thing," his widow, Sue, says in a letter sent to former Penn State football players Friday.

On Sunday morning, Sue Paterno will release the results of an investigation she ordered into her husband's conduct during the period when Sandusky was bringing his young victims to the university campus, and later when a witness to one of Sandusky's crimes came to the Paternos' home to report some of what he had seen.

She did not give the results of the report in her letter to the players, instead urging them to go to paterno.com on Sunday to read it themselves. The investigation, carried out by experts hired by her lawyers, was a response to a report commissioned by Penn State's board of directors and conducted by former FBI Director Louis Freeh last July. The report alleged that Paterno and other top school officials had shown "shocking disregard for child victims" and tried to cover up the scandal.



"I did not recognize the man Mr. Freeh described," she wrote. "I am here to tell you as definitively and forcefully as I know how that Mr. Freeh could not have been more off base in his assessment of Joe."

"I knew Joe Paterno as well as one human being can know another. Joe was exactly the moral, disciplined and demanding man you knew him to be."

In an exclusive at-home interview with PEOPLE, Sue, 73, goes on to say that "Joe lived his values every day, on and off the field, and he instilled those values in his players. Honesty was paramount."

In October, Sandusky, 69, was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison on 45 counts of child sexual abuse.

For Sue Paterno's complete interview, pick up next week's PEOPLE, on newsstands next Friday

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