Attorneys for Spanier and Sandusky did not immediately respond to CNN's requests for comment.
The review casts a shadow over the school's storied football program and over the career of Paterno, who was widely beloved for bringing Penn State football to national prominence.
Scott Paterno, son of the former head football coach, told CNN contributor Sara Ganim, reporting for The Patriot-News, that "we wish (Joe Paterno had) been more aggressive in following up."
"But clearly he thought it had been handled," he said, referring to the 2001 report of Sandusky's abuse of a minor.
"There wasn't anything more Joe Paterno could have done because it was an unsubstantiated allegation," the younger Paterno said. "I know my father did not know Jerry was a pedophile and did not suspect he was a pedophile."
Another Paterno son, Jay, told CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront" that sworn testimony ate- the Schultz and Curley trials will provide information that will help give the whole picture.
Jay Paterno also said people should realize there is much more information available on Sandusky's acts today than there was in 2001.
Freeh's team discovered accusations of Sandusky's abuse well over a decade ago, which school officials were allegedly aware of.
Even before the 1998 investigation, "Several staff members and football coaches regularly observed Sandusky showering with young boys," and none of those interviewed ever notified their superiors, the report found.
A year later, in 1999, Paterno, Spanier, Schultz and Curley decided to allow Sandusky to retire, "not as a suspected child predator, but as a valued member of the Penn State football legacy," the report says. That allowed him to continue to work with children at the university, "essentially granting him license to bring boys to campus facilities for 'grooming' as targets for his assaults."
He retained unlimited access to university facilities until November 2011, the report says. The school also approved a one-time lump sum payment of $168,000 to Sandusky in 1999. Top university officials said they had never known Penn State "to provide this type of payment to a retiring employee."
The desire to avoid bad publicity was part of administrators' rationale in the cover-up, investigators said Thursday.
"No one, no one, is above scrutiny," said Frazier when the review began in November 2011.
In June, eight young men testified, often in disturbingly graphic detail, of how Sandusky forced them to engage in sexual acts in various places, including hotel rooms, the basement of his home and in the Penn State coaches' locker room.
In court documents, prosecutors say they have e-mails from university officials -- which CNN obtained exclusively -- that allegedly contradict grand jury testimony of Curley and Schultz. The Freeh review discovered the documents and turned them over to state prosecutors as part of ongoing investigations, according to both the university and prosecutors.
One of the e-mails suggests Paterno had a previously undisclosed conversation with Curley about the shower room incident from 2001.
Freeh's team of investigators said evidence shows Paterno was also made aware of a criminal investigation of Sandusky relating to suspected sexual misconduct with a boy years earlier.
But Paterno "failed to take any action," the report found.
"At the very least, Mr. Paterno could have alerted the entire football staff, in order to prevent Sandusky from bringing another child into the Lasch Building," where the incident took place.
Paterno and the others also failed to alert the board of trustees, Freeh said.