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The ‘Penn State Way’ at the core of the Sandusky cover-up

File photo of Emily Wilkens of State College Pennsylvania, holding protest sign Reuters

The Freeh report investigating Penn State’s actions related to former defensive coordinator and child molester Jerry Sandusky is 10 chapters and 162 pages long – not including numerous additional emails, notes, school policy documentation and general appendices. It took eight months to complete, 430 interviews were conducted and 3.5 million documents dating back over a decade were perused.

It took me hours to read through.

And, yes, it’s as damning and heartbreaking as speculated. Most notably, it corroborates that former head coach Joe Paterno, along with key members of Penn State’s athletic and university administration, were aware of a 1998 investigation targeting Sandusky for a shower incident with a young boy he met, like so many other victims, through his charity, the Second Mile. And that no one did anything about it because it was deemed by at least one person as “not criminal.”

“I think the matter has been appropriately investigated and I hope it is now behind us [emphasis added],” former vice president Gary Schultz wrote in a 1998 email to athletic director Tim Curley and former president Graham Spanier.

Paterno had previously denied knowing anything about the 1998 incident to the Washington Post.

But sifting through the pages of horrific accounts of inaction, something less blatant stood out on page 129.

“Certain aspects of the community culture are laudable, such as its collegiality, high standards of educational excellence and research, and respect for the environment. However, there is an over-emphasis on “The Penn State Way” as an approach to decision-making, a resistance to outside perspectives, and an excessive focus on athletics that can, if not recognized, negatively impact the University’s reputation as a progressive institution.” 

There are no exclamation points or large, flashing arrows screaming “Look at me! I’m important!” Yet a single phrase that, by itself rarely raises suspicion, can be associated with being the core reason behind why no one at Penn State said anything when Sandusky came under suspicion in ’98… why a 2001 incident involving Sandusky and Victim 2 was quashed… why the former defensive coordinator was free to use university athletic facilities to abuse even more young boys years later…

It was the Penn State Way.

For the longest time, the Penn State Way was defined as something different to people like you and me. It stood for winning with honor and integrity. It stood for graduating players and keeping your NCAA nose clean. Unfortunately, we now know it also stood for a culture of in-house dealings, exclusivity, and later, lies.

Former PSU vice president of student affairs Vicky Triponey knew about the real Penn State Way, even if it wasn’t in the same light as you and I see it today. Say what you will about Triponey and her hyperbolic “Timeline of Terror“, but she butted heads with Spanier over the culture of Penn State athletics, and now she doesn’t work there anymore.

It was a close fraternity, where things don’t change much. Paterno coached at Penn State for 45 years. Sandusky spent the better part of four decades in Happy Valley as a player and coach. Curley, a 1976 PSU graduate, and Spanier served as athletic director and president, respectively, for over 30 combined years before last November.

And, for that, I understand why there was a cover-up. There is no defense for it in this scandal, but the sentiment is more common than you might want to admit.

Especially when football rules a university and a community.

Consider if this had happened with someone you’d known closely for decades, or perhaps a well-respected boss of yours. The moral high ground in us tells us we would have done the right thing. We would have called authorities and taken the proper measures.

But is that really what each one of us would have done? Or, would you have tried to handle the matter yourself… or perhaps dismissed it altogether out of fear?

Sandusky was a legend at Penn State in his own right. A high-profile, active member of his community who, on the surface, dedicated his life to helping underprivileged young people. A noble cause — why would anyone think twice about his motives?

It was the Penn State Way.

But so was the hush-hush atmosphere within PSU’s athletic department in the late 1990′s. Sandusky wasn’t forced into retirement after the 1999 season because of his first investigation; rather, he was essentially given an ultimatum that resulted in his collaborating with Penn State and the Second Mile because the long-time defensive coordinator knew he would not be the next head coach of the Nittany Lions.

Despite the disturbing accusations against Sandusky, or how concerned university admins and Paterno might have been over the ’98 investigation, they continued to work with and protect the esteemed member of the PSU community.

It was the Penn State way.

The same goes for 2001, when former assistant Mike McQueary witnessed Sandusky in the Lasch building showers with Victim 2, and each subsequent year that Sandusky was allowed to prey on young boys while those with direct knowledge put in their earplugs, hoping naively that Sandusky had changed overnight.

Without a doubt, that kind of behavior merits the most severe punishment the law can dictate. If found guilty of criminal acts related to a cover-up, Curley, Schultz and Spanier can rot in isolated jail cells for the rest of their lives, thinking about how they chose the Penn State Way no one knew about rather than the Penn State Way that was preached to others.

Waiting for their day of reckoning will be frustrating and there’s already a desire for immediate retribution. And you know what? That feeling is completely merited. People want someone, anyone, to pay for these heinous crimes.

Tear down the Paterno statue! Burn Penn State to the ground! Shut it down! Administer the Death Penalty, NCAA!

Those are all easy ways to find immediate relief, but they don’t change what happened and have zero consequence on those directly involved in this scandal.

If Curley, Schultz and Spanier are thrown in jail — and I have little doubt they will be — what is there left to accomplish by, say, the NCAA?

The focus should be, and will be, on cleaning house and starting over. Maybe that means tearing down Paterno’s statue and removing him from the history books. Maybe it requires shutting down the football program for an unspecified period of time. That’s Penn State’s prerogative.

Just know that whatever is done now, or in the immediate future, will be overshadowed by the real solution: changing the definition of the Penn State Way. For good.

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53 Responses to “The ‘Penn State Way’ at the core of the Sandusky cover-up”
  1. dannythebisforbeast says: Jul 12, 2012 6:10 PM

    As a penn state alum. Well stated.

  2. geo4444 says: Jul 12, 2012 6:12 PM

    The following comments are based solely upon the Freeh report (FR), its findings and supporting documentation found within said report.

    The findings by Freeh as they relate to Joseph V. Paterno (JVP) do not just appear inaccurate but constitute gross negligence on the part of said lead investigator and his investigative support team.

    Second paragraph of FINDINGS:

    …and Head Football Coach Joseph V. Paterno – … concealed Sandusky’s activities from the Board of Trustees, the University community and authorities…

    This is one of the most striking attack comments to JVP. And it has no basis on information supplied in the FR. When, if ever, did JVP meet with the Board of Trustee’s (BOT)? I am not aware of any time for JVP to do so. In the course of his work career or during these investigations. JVP did in fact notify the university community and authorities. The head of the campus police. Yes, this is apparently a small print item as per The Clery Act and yes he was wrong to not contact that respective Clery Act person. But as per the report, people were not trained or were grossly untrained on the proper procedures of The Clery Act. This lack of training falls on the university not JVP. Yes, JVP was probably guilty of not having the knowledge the university should have properly implemented.

    The second paragraph of FINDINGS continues with:

    …They exhibited a striking lack of empathy for Sandusky’s victims by failing to inquire as to their safety and well-being, especially by not attempting to determine the identity of the child…

    As per the reported quote that follows, it sounds very responsible and an excellently well-balanced decision by JVP to put the investigation and procedural steps in the hands of the people with the proper expertise (head of police):

    Paterno told a reporter that “I didn’t know exactly how to handle it and I was afraid to do something that might jeopardize what the university procedure was. So I backed away and turned it over to some other people, people I thought would have a little more expertise than I did. It didn’t work out that way.

    Why would or should JVP perform an investigation into something he knew little about and whose skillset was certainly not performing (police) investigations?

    Continue to consider that JVP may have pushed for the opposite results the FR was indicating. The exact emails between Spaniar and Curley have the following quote within it that seems to possibly indicate that Curley didn’t want to go the direction JVP discussed with him. At a minimum, we don’t know what Curley did or did not discuss with JVP. If Curley was trying to minimize the impact of all this, who is to say he told JVP next to nothing? The FP gives no indication on why Freeh drew the conclusions he did on JVP.

    Curley: “After giving it more thought and talking it over with Joe yesterday—I am uncomfortable with what we…” (who is we…Joe & Curley or Spanier & Curley?) “…agreed were the next steps. I am having trouble going to everyone, but the person involved.” (did JVP suggest going to everyone?)

    Now Curley’s communication (information shared) with JVP may have been limited, at best…we don’t know. Freeh does not know either.

    So where is the takeaway that JVP was suggesting burying any of this? Where?

    Undoubtedly, Freeh took some serious liberty with drawing the conclusions he did on Joseph V. Paterno, and it clears up little as far as his involvement. If there is more evidence then supply it, but it is certainly not in the Freeh Report.

  3. jimmy53 says: Jul 12, 2012 6:13 PM

    The Penn State Way= an approach to decision-making, a resistance to outside perspectives, and an excessive focus on athletics that can, if not recognized, negatively impact the University’s reputation as a progressive institution.”

    This is typified by PSU Paterno-philes such as Geo4444 and wiz3421. Where did you go today boys??

  4. jimmy53 says: Jul 12, 2012 6:14 PM

    oh there you are..welcome back!

  5. effjohntaylornorelation says: Jul 12, 2012 6:17 PM

    Fantastic piece, Ben. I put this thought forth again, I believe Paterno indeed comitted suicide by cancer.

  6. geo4444 says: Jul 12, 2012 6:21 PM

    Sorry, Ben, but as it relates to Joe Paterno your accusations of him doing “nothing about it” followed later with throwing people in jail to rot which I can only guess would have included Paterno if he were alive.

    You read the report? Please please please, where does it indicate in the report Paterno did a cover-up? That he nothing?

    Avoid the former head of the FBI, Freeh’s, “findings” as they have no basis on anything supplied within his own report.

    Please, where does it indicate in that report that Paterno did nothing and where does it indicate he was attempting to cover anything up (alternativly I can show you where he did attempt to do stuff about it…and yes within the actual Freeh report).

  7. geo4444 says: Jul 12, 2012 6:24 PM

    jimmy53, I’ll give you this direct response (to which your history dictates you ignore and keep making ignorant comments)…

    I am addressing Joe Paterno. I am certainly not addressing the BOT, Sandusky, Curley, Shultz or Spanier, to name a few.

  8. thraiderskin says: Jul 12, 2012 6:32 PM

    Inaction is as much the coverup as actually shredding files or meeting with individuals to get stories straight. It is clear Paterno knew, he was supposed to do more, he was supposed to act like a coach, a teacher, a father and protect those kids. Instead, his silence did more than inable Sandusky, it condoned what he was doing. I’m not a burn PSU to the ground or death penalty person, but retribution needs to be thorough and furious.

  9. geo1113 says: Jul 12, 2012 6:35 PM

    @geo4444,

    You are a disgrace to name geo. You are defending the indefensible. It isn’t like SMU paying its players. This is about a culture in which horrible things were allowed to fester and be swept under the table. Even if it wasn’t intentional concealment, Paterno et al showed no backbone. Sandusky should have been gone as soon as they found out he showered (and admitted to horse play in the shower) with young boys in 1998. I mean seriously how do you ever look at a man who you know did that. For a man to claim the moral high ground throughout his life, when faced with the biggest test of his life, he failed miserably even if he didn’t do anything on purpose as you think.

    I know someone who was abused as a child. The negative impact on him and his family can still be seen 45 years later. It is sad. Those children who were abused and their families will never be the same.

  10. admirebucs says: Jul 12, 2012 6:36 PM

    geo4444 – Paterno knew about it, and didn’t call the cops……Even if you really believe that he did nothing else wrong, that alone is a very serious criminal offense.

  11. jimmy53 says: Jul 12, 2012 6:36 PM

    Geo4444′s greatest hits:

    - “The absence of Joe Paterno will be heavily felt this coming season, but he and so much of what he stood for will live on for decades and even centuries, if we are so lucky. Joe Paterno and so many like him have advanced, promoted and benefited so much for and to our society.We need more like you, Joe.”
    (this one was my favorite)

    - “So many of you behave as if you just went to a fortune teller. You see and hear what you want to see and hear.” (grab a mirror)

    - “Paterno DID IN FACT go to the police.” (Really, most people/media/reports/journalists seem to disagree with you)

    - “You people that are hanging Joe Paterno are doing so on so little information, so little understanding of the timelines involved” (we have information now don’t we?)

    - “To keep it simple, my defending Joe Paterno is based on what I do and don’t know.” (apparently you didn’t know as much as you thought)

    - I have a damn good knowledge of what factual pieces of evidence or testimony were released.
    (not enough to know that he lied to a grand jury about what he knew in 1998)

    -As a teacher you should be setting the example. God help us with “leaders” such as yourself.
    (Something that should have been read at Paterno’s funeral)

    Last night was for the children, today is for the adults—now sit still Geo4444, be quiet, and let the grown-ups talk.

  12. gorilladunk says: Jul 12, 2012 6:37 PM

    JoePa (circa about 1980)…”I couldn’t quit coaching and leave college football to the likes of Barry Switzer and Jackie Sherrill…”. My, my how the chickens come home to roost. After today, I suppose we all know what “we are Penn State” really menas.

  13. admirebucs says: Jul 12, 2012 6:39 PM

    Curley to Schultz and Spanier had extensive discussions about not only about the incident at the time but about how they found out about other incidents, and curley said in an email subjected Joe Paterno that he had “I have touched base with the coach.”

    He freaking knew…….

  14. admirebucs says: Jul 12, 2012 6:40 PM

    And one more thing…..Paterno offered him a coaching position at the university in 1999…..less than a year after the incident………

  15. admirebucs says: Jul 12, 2012 6:41 PM

    Oh and allowed him access to the showers at the university for an extra two years after he retired in 1999.

  16. davereckon says: Jul 12, 2012 7:01 PM

    Geo4444, its plain to see that you are trying to support a childhood hero, and i can understand that. Up until last year, there was nothing to indicate that those thoughts were mis-guided. But you can’t have it both ways.

    If you put your heros on a pedistal, and proclaim their behaviour as righteous, morally upstanding, or whatever other accolades you see fit, you can’t defend their improper behaviour by saying they did the state required minimum and thats ok. Did Paterno earn his reputation by doing the minimum?

    The problem i have with the whole situation is just that. Paterno entered the homes of athletes around the country to sell them on the VIRTUES of Penn State. He told their parents that his program was different, was virtuous, beyond NCAA violations. He told these parents “i will turn your son into a man. I will turn him into a leader in society. I will teach him the right way, our way”. Don’t believe me, ask a past recruit. Does any of what happened match that sales pitch? Does a leader in society do the minimum?

    Your loyalty is commendable, if not misguided. Don’ t sit and paraphrase a report and look, no pray for inconsistancies. Look at what happened. You ask when did paterno meet with the BOT? I ask you the same question. Because a leader of men DOES meet with the BOT on his campus, and tells them whats happening. A leader of men does not worry about anything other than the children. A leader of men says “the hell with the record, this has to stop”.

    But none of that happened. Instead your hero chose to lie. He told the grand jury that he had no prior knowledge of Sandusky’s behavior, when in fact he did. He claimed that he reported to his superior (and we were supposed to believe he had a superior), and then never discussed it again. Yet he did discuss it again with Curley days later. You fail to mention any of these items in your summary. Not surprising. You’re hurt. You spent a lifetime buying blue and white clothes, going to games, and telling anyone who will listen about the time you passed Paterno in the hall and he nodded. You brag to all your co-workers about how Paterno RULES that campus. You tell all your Notre Dame loving neighbor how they wish they had someone like Paterno that could be the face, and attitude, and presence of the PSU nation. But now you come here expecting us to believe that the man who ran Happy Valley, the man who was above reproach, who was the moral compass of college football, is ok doing the state required minimum as it pertains to reporting crimes against children? Really?

  17. 2greatgoldens says: Jul 12, 2012 7:11 PM

    Geo4444,

    You are perhaps the most delusional person in the entire world, except perhaps for Paterno’s family members. If you personally witnessed JoePa killing another human being unprovoked, you would come up a littany of excuses for your precious hero.

    It is pitiful that you continue to defend someone who put himself and his so-called legacy above other human beings – and children, no less.

  18. delfi2 says: Jul 12, 2012 7:13 PM

    Well said and written Ben!!
    Where it struck a chord with me was when you said “on the surface”. That, to me, says it all.

    “On the friggn surface”!!!

    P.S. Please tell me, somewhere, somehow Kurt Heilen read this and took some notes….please. :)

  19. rickrock6661982 says: Jul 12, 2012 7:19 PM

    The people who are still trying to make excuses for Paterno and Penn State are disturbing

  20. psunick says: Jul 12, 2012 7:19 PM

    The middle of your final paragraph, davereckon, accurately summarizes exactly how I feel right now.

  21. malkinrulez says: Jul 12, 2012 7:21 PM

    Geo4444 also believes the holocaust never happened! Burn in hell joe pa

  22. rickrock6661982 says: Jul 12, 2012 7:35 PM

    I’m waiting on the XXX parody of “This Is Not Penn State”

    Starring Ron Jeremy as Jerry Sandusky and Peter North as Joe Pa

  23. roundup5 says: Jul 12, 2012 7:45 PM

    geo444: You must be on something, and aPSU apologist!

  24. cometkazie says: Jul 12, 2012 7:52 PM

    psunick says:
    Jul 12, 2012 7:19 PM
    The middle of your final paragraph, davereckon, accurately summarizes exactly how I feel right now.
    +=+=+

    +1

  25. stoutfiles says: Jul 12, 2012 7:55 PM

    I feel sorry for anyone that loves their favorite college football team so much that they would defend its coach if it helped a pedophile molest kids.

    Football is just a sport. Paterno knew and did nothing. It’s time to start scraping his name from everything. As for Penn State, after the firings and the lawsuits, there will be a lot of tough years there moving forward.

  26. billobrienschindimple says: Jul 12, 2012 7:58 PM

    I was born and raised in State College. I have been following this case since the news first broke. To say the least I have been distraught by the actions of the people involved in the cover up. I see all of this anger directed at Joe Paterno. The simple fact of the matter is that he is gone and you cannot do anything to punish him for any beads or lack of action that he may have had in this case. What each and everyone of you should do is right to your senator and your congressman. Graham spanier is employed by the department of homeland security. With the fax that have come out there is no way in hell I want him involved in protecting me. I have never liked graham, and I have been in contact with him since he first arrived at penn state. My personal feelings aside I think he has shown that he is incapable of protecting anyone. Get this man out of a cushy government job and into a prison asap.

  27. jimmy53 says: Jul 12, 2012 8:00 PM

    THIS— “I feel sorry for anyone that loves their favorite college football team so much that they would defend its coach if it helped a pedophile molest kids.”

    I think DAVERECKON’s passage is the most accurate and eloquent explanation of what a PSU fan might be going through.

    The only problem is with the idea that this type of loyalty (as displayed above) is commendable. It isn’t, it’s flawed and sad. Loyalty to a football team, a school, or a coach should not be acceptable grounds to blindly fight against the tragic realities of situations such as this. It is this type of blind loyalty that enables future tragedies.

  28. geo4444 says: Jul 12, 2012 8:12 PM

    I thank you for all the (negative) responses. I wish I could say they were thoughtful, but I and so many other people, can see you clearly did not read what I wrote &/or you did not retain it.

    I am not defending person or organization X, Y, or Z. I thought I stated that multiple times. Where do I defend the BOT, or anyone else for that matter? By the way, I am not defending Paterno, just TRYING to show you folks where some of your analysis is unfounded.

    I supply information and evidence. Most recently from within the actual Freeh report. I have asked anyone that disagrees with my analysis to show me otherwise. Seriously you people that are calling me out. Prove me wrong. Show me the results from within the Freeh report that “show Paterno held up or tried to cover up” Sandusky. …just reference the original email.

    I don’t care if 99% of the world disagrees with me, that doesn’t make the 99% correct.

    I am not making any excuses for Paterno, I am asking for proof. Who has it? Freeh hasn’t supplied it. Not yet, anyway.

    Many of you are putting words in my mouth. You do it for your own arguments that you then “argue” down. At least jimmy53 has actual words. Too bad even he can’t seem to recall them until he attempts to make them suit his needs or takes them out of context.

    Some of you reference what Paterno “let happen”. Visit the timeline. TRY TRY TRY to consider what he “let happen” and when. Consider what he was legally allowed to do. Consider what he had a hint of with or without levels of “facts” (true or not at the time…especially in hindsight) available to him.

    It is clear in the report, the Freeh report itself, that Paterno did notify authorities, his superiors, did follow-up multiple times, DID NOT want to puck up an investigation to which he had no skillset.

    A lot of this involves multiple and compound thoughts, interwoven timelines and conjecture. Including Freeh’s assumptions on Paterno.

    Again, please, look into the most complete report we have available at this time and show me where Paterno attempted to stop or hide this from happening. I can clearly show you(within Freeh’s own report) where he notified multiple people including the head of the police and followed up for additional information.

    You people see me NOT BASHING Paterno and you stop reading or digesting what I have written. I am not hiding anything. Put that anger into reading his report and the points I made.

  29. mountaineer50415 says: Jul 12, 2012 8:12 PM

    “It was the Penn St. Way” All I can say is that may we all pray it is not the WAY of any other University, large or small.

  30. geo4444 says: Jul 12, 2012 8:21 PM

    So many of you are angry and infuriated. Of course you are, so am I. This was/is/will be a most disgusting act by Sandusky. There were other guilty parties involved, Paterno included.

    But I am talking about facts. Not groupthink, not public opinion (thank God).

    I am talking about the parts of accusations that are unfounded (as in have no basis on fact or evidence…at this time anyway).

  31. roundup5 says: Jul 12, 2012 8:28 PM

    geo4444: You are obviously the PaternoFamily attorney, desperately
    trying to cloud the Freeh Investigation. If they showed you a
    picture of Joe shooting someone, you would explain it away saying
    that no one actually saw the bullet leave the pistol.

    It won’t work! Now, tell me you are not an attorney, or a law
    school student at PSU, or just a PSU graduate……

  32. jimmy53 says: Jul 12, 2012 8:32 PM

    You don’t respect my words, and you simply are not offering up anything new, so let’s continue to examine your’s.

    Geo4444 says: “I am not defending person or organization X, Y, or Z.”

    Geo4444 also says: “The absence of Joe Paterno will be heavily felt this coming season, but he and so much of what he stood for will live on for decades and even centuries, if we are so lucky. Joe Paterno and so many like him have advanced, promoted and benefited so much for and to our society.We need more like you, Joe.”

  33. jimmy53 says: Jul 12, 2012 8:39 PM

    Let’s try some more:

    Geo4444 says: “I thank you for all the (negative) responses. I wish I could say they were thoughtful, but I and so many other people, can see you clearly did not read what I wrote &/or you did not retain it.”

    Of all the people who have read your comments on this board 127 have disagreed with you, while ONLY 7 have agreed with you (at last count)—where are all of these people who can see your position so clearly???

  34. ronniemack323 says: Jul 12, 2012 8:57 PM

    geo4444

    sighs….where do I begin? Yes, technically, JoePa alerted “authorities” in 2001 when McQueary told him about the shower incident. But in his grand jury testimony, he denied knowing anything prior to that (which was found to be a lie). There were email transcripts in 1998 that shows there was a concerted effort to not let that information get out, which led the way to Sandusky being able to retire with honors and gain emeritus status on campus.

    All of that being said, there were 12 years between 2001 and before JoePa’s death that are NOT accounted for. If he knew what McQueary had witnessed and alerted the proper authorities, why on God’s green earth was that MONSTER allowed to conduct activities involving kids on Penn States campus? Why did Sandusky still have keys to the building? Why were there still ceremonies, and charity functions and everything else still being attended by JoePa after alerting “authorities” in 2001 about the heinous acts perpetuated by Sandusky?

    Either it was a cover-up in the highest order, or JoePa have a severe case of selective amnesia.

    This case and outcome has more to do with the gross negligence of power than it does with anything else. JoePa had the POWER & STATUS to evoke change if he wanted. THESR WERE INNOCENT CHILDREN!!!!

    JoePa (along with the others in charge) wanted no ripples in the river, so they swept it all under the rug at the expense of these innocent VICTIMS.

    The result of these findings are clear, and there should be punitive damages as will as criminal charges. Unfortunately, JoePa’s reputation and legacy was the thing he tried most to preserve, yet his selfishness and lack of contrition has damaged it for ever!

  35. roundup5 says: Jul 12, 2012 9:09 PM

    ronniemack323: Bravo, for a great narrative of the facts!

  36. phillyfan21 says: Jul 12, 2012 9:11 PM

    Geo4444 – You state that you only deal with facts and not public opinion.

    This is where you make a mistake. Right or wrong PSU’s future will be determined by public opinion, as will JoePas legacy.

    I loved PSU! I believed in Joes ways. I believe they were better then other colleges and football programs. As more facts come out I realize it is all a lie. Typical “do as I say, not as I do”

    It is my opinion that Joe knew everything that went on with this case. I believe Sandusky was forced out in 99 because of what happened in the 98 incident. I believe PSU was going to notify child welfare and then changed their mind after talking with Paterno. I believe Paterno convinced administration that it was in the programs best interest to keep it quite. I believe that after all the years building and protecting his football program he would have done almost anything to continue protecting it. I believe nothing important happened on campus with out Joes knowledge and approval. I believe McCrearey was given the WR coaching position over a more quailified Kenny Jackson as a reward for not making more noise about what he saw Sandusky doing.

    This will be played out in the court of public opinion going forward because the millions following this case can not all be selected on the jury.

    I believe overall Paterno was a good man and he did great things for the University… but he put himself and his beloved program before children being raped and molested.

    For me this changes everything about him. Because of the beliefs I stated above, I for one would like to see the statue taken down. His grievous non-actions in this incident do not allow him the honor anymore.

  37. saints97 says: Jul 12, 2012 9:12 PM

    I think we have a Baghdad Bob sighting!

  38. dcroz says: Jul 12, 2012 9:15 PM

    As angering as this situation is, what really burned me was the “response” given by the Board of Trustees this afternoon. The arrogance and phony contrition on display was far beyond chutzpah. They actually sounded like Penn State’s crime was failing to properly promote its fine academic programs, because they were more into trying to turn the moment into a halftime school commercial than displaying shame and guilt for what happened. PSU alumni and fans should push for the immediate resignation of the president and chairperson who made complete asses of themselves today, because I have a feeling as long as those two clueless morons are in charge, nothing is really going to change about the culture that allowed this to happen.

  39. thegamecocker says: Jul 12, 2012 9:35 PM

    @dcroz

    Anyone who was aware of and in a position to bring to the surface what Sandusky did and did nothing about it will pay a steep price for their inaction. Having said this, let’s not bury Penn State University with these scoundrels. I think the entire BOT need to submit their resignations and some high profile, successful Penn State alumni need to step up. They are the ones who need to be on the NEW BOT that run PSU. I know many PSU graduates, fine and successful people, who need to come back and take a leadership role. Every year in my community, there are PSU undergrads collecting money for worthwhile charities like kids with cancer and other horrible diseases. They are out in the freezing cold, rain or shine, doing community service. I have no affiliation with PSU but I see what some of their students do and they are fine citizens trying to make a difference on a grass roots basis. Let’s not bury those students and the University as a whole for the lack of leadership / courage to do the right thing at the top.

  40. rayburns says: Jul 12, 2012 11:48 PM

    I remember when the mantra from the JoePa backers was “we don’t have all the facts yet, when the Freeh Report comes out, then you will all see that JoePa was treated unfairly!”

    Now we have, “Sure the Freeh Report came out, but it had the wrong kind of facts so you shouldn’t use that as a basis to form an opinion on JoePa!”

  41. dannythebisforbeast says: Jul 12, 2012 11:49 PM

    Gamecocker and dcroz I am with you.
    The board (financial backers of the report)
    We’re labeled incompetent by it but feel no need for anyone to step down. It should not be their choice. Everyone needs to go and start anew

    Geo444 I feel your pain and would love to clear paternos name as much as I did not learn a whole lot of new facts

  42. tr5079 says: Jul 13, 2012 12:04 AM

    For anyone defending JoePa ask yourself one question. If that had been Joe’s grandson in the shower with Sandusky, would he have done anything different when it was reported to him what was seen?

  43. Chris Ross says: Jul 13, 2012 1:48 AM

    Not a surprise at all obviously that Joe Paterno and Penn State were big time hiding the scandal. It’s a sad day for college football but not shocking by any means. It’s so hard to really trust these public figures because who they in public can be so much different than who they are in reality. Tiger Woods is one to come to mind. Although, Tiger Woods didn’t do anything illegal. This JoePa thing must be a tough pill to swallow for a lot of people.

    http://chrisross91.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/joe-paterno-trapped-by-legacy/

  44. fcs34 says: Jul 13, 2012 9:19 AM

    Does anyone know where JoePed is buried so I can go go piss on his grave ?

  45. chitownjeff says: Jul 13, 2012 9:25 AM

    My only question is when is Joe Posnanski’s book coming out??

  46. dkhhuey says: Jul 13, 2012 10:14 AM

    @geo – dude, S T F U!!! Joe Paterno is the lowest form of a scum sucking pig there is! He chose to be loyal to a f@#$ing football program instead of stopping a sick pedophile from anally raping and sexually abusing innocent children! He deserves to rot in the deepest, darkest caverns of hell for what he did! Tear down the statue and eradicate this man’s name from the record books!

  47. mountaineer50415 says: Jul 13, 2012 10:22 AM

    I hate sounding stupid, but wasn’t that statue put up after JoePa died? Did we not already know about the scandel? Wasn’t Sandusky on trial? Why on earth did anyone think to put up a statue worth so much money to a man they had fired? I just do not understand how they could want to raise him up to a community that knew he had most likely covered up these horrible sex crimes.
    If you were not sure could you have not waited to make sure? Even now you seem not to know that statue needs to come down. What a crock of crapola. How long is Penn. St. going to walk through the s—t before they take action?
    I find it hard to believe that the actual football players of today knew anything about the Sandusky scandel. However, if you think they did then the football team should be put on santions until the players of the last three years graduate four years from this last year. No one who came in this year covered anything up. No one who was a coach before this came out should still be coaching. No one who could have possibly known and kept quite throughout the school should still have a job. Even the janitor knew. They do need to start over.

  48. SkeletalDrawing says: Jul 13, 2012 10:23 AM

    Good article, except that to me the fact that “the Penn State Way” is inextricably linked to how football is viewed there, meaning culpability (of the moral kind, not the legal kind) needs to be spread much further. All the fans, alums, etc., who decided to so revere the sport and their coach to the point that no one questioned them, that they no longer questioned themselves, all those regular people need to understand that it’s simply not ok to ever return to that naive viewpoint, or they will just be setting up another generation of problems.

    To me that’s why the statue has to come down, and why it’s at least worth considering the death penalty for the program, because it IS a football problem, and it was caused by a an entire population of people that basically made their college athletic system and its leaders into religious figures. Perhaps it would be best if a severe culture shift can be implemented instead of a permanent shutdown (a voluntary couple of years out of football might really help there), but at the least I think the idea should be discussed, to help drive home how serious everyone’s failure was by creating and supporting that sort of culture.

  49. daboyzaredabombdiggity says: Jul 13, 2012 4:22 PM

    Every university in the country should offer every PSU student free, unqualified transfers and the NCAA should work out some mechanism for transferring any and all scholarships/funding/etc…. Each and every PSU student should have an immediate opportunity to get out without financial repercussions.

  50. phillyfan21 says: Jul 13, 2012 5:02 PM

    After much consideration I believe the only accpetable solution is the Death Penalty. I come to this because the Penn State Way needs to end. The University needs to learn how to survive and operate with out the football dollars. This is the only way things will change. Once they learn how to do this, football will not be able to dictate what happens on campus.

    Only once they realize the University can survive and still thrive with out football can the neccessary changes take place.

  51. daboyzaredabombdiggity says: Jul 13, 2012 6:22 PM

    @phillyfan21

    I agree, and the NCAA death should be self-imposed.

  52. agc99 says: Jul 15, 2012 10:17 AM

    Take JoePa’s name off all coaching records at PSU.

  53. latchbeam says: Jul 15, 2012 8:31 PM

    DEATH PENALTY!!!

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