The Penn State Scandal
Based on the Freeh Report issued today it is clear that Joe Paterno had knowledge of Jerry Sandusky’s misbehavior going back to 1998, something he had denied in the past. While most believed that he did know about it, seeing it in black and white is tough to accept and the worst news for those JoePa supporters who wanted so hard to be able the place all the blame on others.
The fact of the matter is the 267 page report clearly shows that college football’s winningest coach not only should have done more but had an obligation to step in and protect children from a sick pedophile. ..Sadly to say he did not.
Joe Paterno is dead and whether today’s findings also kill his legacy will be left to time and others. However the focus should now go on the three senior administrators who in my opinion are even more guilty and liable for a cover-up that lasted for some 13 years.
Former President Graham Spanier, retired Senior Vice President Gary Schultz and Athletic Director Tim Curley were seemingly involved in all aspects to keep Sandusky’s actions quiet. Whether it was only to protect the image of Penn State or they had other motives is something we don’t know because the three have not spoken. Schultz and Curley have already been charged with perjury for lying to a grand jury about what they knew while Spanier has not had any criminal action taken against him…at least not yet. As the leader of the university he more than anyone else had the responsibility to step forward and do the right thing and we clearly know he did not.
This is obviously an emotional issue and there will be fallout from today’s report with many calling for the football program to receive the “death penalty” while also demanding that the statue of Paterno outside Beaver Stadium be taken down immediately.
I feel strongly that the NCAA should not get involved as this is much more of a criminal matter than a football one. No players, past or present had anything to do with this and what Penn State will suffer is far greater than any penalty. As the parent of a 2008 graduate and current junior I can tell you right or wrong Penn State will be known for this scandal more than anything in years to come. It’s not something that will ever be erased and for decades when the school is mentioned it will be the first thing that comes to your mind. That’s a hard thing to live with but the action of Sandusky and four others will forever impact hundreds of thousands of past, present and future students/faculty/staff and fans.
For me the worst part about the Freeh report is it’s clear that those with power were more concerned about how they treated a sick pedophile than helpless victims. That’s one that nobody can ever explain.