STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- The statement issued by the family of Joe Paterno in response to the famed coach's statue being removed from outside the Penn State football stadium:

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Tearing down the statue of Joe Paterno does not serve the victims of Jerry Sandusky's horrible crimes or help heal the Penn State Community. We believe the only way to help the victims is to uncover the full truth. The Freeh report, though it has been accepted by the media as the definitive conclusion on the Sandusky scandal, is the equivalent of an indictment – a charging document written by a prosecutor – and an incomplete and unofficial one at that.

To those who truly want to know the truth about Sandusky, it should matter that Joe Paterno has never had a hearing; that his legal counsel has never been able to interview key witnesses, all of whom are represented by lawyers and therefore unavailable; that there has never been an opportunity to review critical evidence which has not been made public; that selective evidence and the opinion of Mr Freeh is treated as the equivalent of a fair trial. Despite this obviously flawed and one-sided presentation, the University believes it must acquiesce and accept that Joe Paterno has been given a fair and complete hearing. We think the better course would have been for the University to take a strong stand in support of due process so that the complete truth can be uncovered.

It is not the University's responsibility to defend or protect Joe Paterno. But they at least should have acknowledged that important legal cases are still pending and that the record on Joe Paterno, the Board and other key players is far from complete.

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Source: Paterno family

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  • Workers handle the statue of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno before removing the statue Sunday, July 22, 2012, in State College, Pa. The famed statue of Paterno was taken down from outside the Penn State football stadium Sunday, eliminating a key piece of the iconography surrounding the once-sainted football coach accused of burying child sex abuse allegations against a retired assistant. (AP Photo/John Beale)

  • State College and Penn State University police form a line in front of Beaver Stadium moments after the statue of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno was removed Sunday, July 22, 2012, in State College, Pa. The famed statue of Paterno was taken down from outside the Penn State football stadium Sunday, eliminating a key piece of the iconography surrounding the once-sainted football coach accused of burying child sex abuse allegations against a retired assistant. (AP Photo/John Beale)

  • FILE - The statue of former Penn State University head football coach Joe Paterno stands outside Beaver Stadium in State College, Pa., in this July 13, 2012 file photo. Police and construction workers have barricaded both sides of street and the sidewalks near the Joe Paterno statue at Penn State University Sunday July 22, 2012. A chain-link fence has been erected around the perimeter surrounding the statue.(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

  • FILE - A statue of former Penn State University head football coach Joe Paterno stands outside Beaver Stadium on in this July 12, 2012 file photo. Police and construction workers have barricaded both sides of street and the sidewalks near the Joe Paterno statue at Penn State University. A chain-link fence has been erected around the perimeter surrounding the statue. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

  • Signs of support are displayed at the base of the statue of Joe Paterno located outside Beaver Stadium in State College, Pa., Friday, July 20, 2012. Paterno's statue stands outside the stadium even as his reputation has swiftly fallen following a scathing special investigative report that found he helped cover up child sex abuse allegations against former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. (AP Photo/John Beale)

  • Jenni Kahler

    Jenni Kahler, right, holds her daughter, Emma, 4, as they have a photo taken with the statue of Joe Paterno located outside Beaver Stadium in State College, Pa., Friday July 20, 2012. Paterno's statue stands outside the stadium even as his reputation has swiftly fallen following a scathing special investigative report that found he helped cover up child sex abuse allegations against former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. (AP Photo/John Beale)

  • Fans wait to have a photo taken with the statue of Joe Paterno located outside Beaver Stadium in State College, Pa., Friday July 20, 2012. Paterno's statue stands outside the stadium even as his reputation has swiftly fallen following a scathing special investigative report that found he helped cover up child sex abuse allegations against former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. (AP Photo/John Beale)

  • Kim Ranck touches the arm on the Joe Paterno statue as she walks away in tears Wednesday, July 18, 2012. Ranck, a 2006 Penn State University graduate and current Penn State employee, was out of town when the controversy surrounding the statue broke and came to visit before something happened to it. The Joe Paterno statue, on the Penn State campus, in State College, Pa., has become a highly debated topic since the release of the Louis Freeh report. (AP Photo/Centre Daily Times, Nabil K. Mark) MANDATORY CREDIT

  • A plane flying the Penn State University campus in State College, pulls a banner reading "Take the statue down or we will" on Tuesday, July 17, 2012. The Paterno statue outside Beaver Stadium has been a point of much contention. Critics have called for the statue to be taken down after the Freeh report concluded that Paterno was aware of a 1998 allegations against Sandusky _ in contrast to his grand jury testimony and an interview given after his firing _ and that he was involved in the decision to not report a 2001 incident to the authorities even after his superiors had decided to. (AP Photo/Centre Daily Times, Nabil K. Mark) MAGS OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT

  • Signs and flowers lie at the foot of a statue of former Penn State University head football coach Joe Paterno outside Beaver Stadium in State College, Pa., Friday, July 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

  • Megan Toth

    Megan Toth of State College, Pa., climbs on a statue of former Penn State University head football coach Joe Paterno outside Beaver Stadium in State College, Pa., Friday, July 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

  • A young boy places a yellow rose at the foot of a statue of former Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno outside Beaver Stadium in State College, Pa., Thursday, July 12, 2012. After an eight-month inquiry, former FBI director Louis Freeh's firm produced a 267-page report that concluded that Paterno and other top Penn State officials hushed up child sex abuse allegations against former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky for more than a decade for fear of bad publicity, allowing Sandusky to prey on other youngsters. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

  • Gina DiJohnson

    Gina DiJohnson, who will graduate from Penn State University in three weeks, poses for a picture with a statue of former Penn State Football coach Joe Paterno outside Beaver Stadium on the Penn State campus Wednesday, July 11, 2012. The Freeh Report on the Jerry Sandusky child sex scandal at Penn State will be released Thursday morning. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)