Scathing report shows Joe Paterno did more than look away during Sandusky coverup

Posted: 07/12/2012 in college football, Sports Disgrace
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The independent report investigating how Penn State handled the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal was revealed Thursday and one of the main caveats comes as no surprise to me.

The 267-page report released by the Freeh Group determined that former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno knew of the first incident back in 1998 in which Penn State first received an allegation that Sandusky – then the defensive coordinator – had molested a boy in the locker room showers.

Back in November, when the Sandusky scandal exploded on the scene, there was no doubt in my mind that Paterno knew of the 1998 incident and I expressed it on these pages. Paterno was more powerful than anybody in the state of Pennsylvania and his less than authoritative actions when learning from assistant coach Mike McQueary about the 2001 rape of a boy in the same Penn State facility showers was a huge tipoff to me.

I spent 13 years covering college sports and have seen administrators far, far less powerful than Paterno do all they can to cover up things nowhere close to being as damning as child molestation allegations. Administrators put huge amounts of effort to keep very minor things quiet and out of the public eye so I was willing to bet every penny I own that every ounce of energy was spent by Penn State officials to make sure the Sandusky allegations never made its way into public discourse back then.

And you can see the major reason why they were wary of reporting Sandusky’s actions to authorities just by what has happened over the past eight months – a firestorm that has brought incredible shame to a once-proud university. And this outcry is occurring 12 and 13 years after Sandusky “retired” from the football coaching staff.

Paterno’s legacy has been ruined and so are the careers of former university president Graham Spanier, vice president Gary Schultz and athletic director Tim Curley. The latter three may eventually spend time in the state penitentiary.

When they squashed the 1998 incident, the no-longer fearsome foursome rolled the dice that Sandusky would never molest another boy and they were counting on the whole incident going away. When it happened again three years later, of course they didn’t report it to authorities. And the report fingers Paterno as the main person in influencing the decision not to alert child welfare services.

Particularly scary is this nugget from the Freeh report: “Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley never demonstrated, through actions or words, any concern for the safety and well-being of Sandusky’s victims until after Sandusky’s arrest.”

As we now know, these four officials certainly were interested in treating their buddy Sandusky in a “humane” fashion, which is quite laughable when you consider Sandusky’s inhumane treatment of disadvantaged boys.

These four clowns were basically enablers to Sandusky in his career as a molester, as Sandusky continued to have access to the facilities and used his association with the program to help lure his victims.

The scathing report headed by former FBI director Louis Freeh says the four officials displayed “shocking disregard” for Sandusky’s victims. You can now see why Penn State was eager to settle with the victims upon Sandusky being found guilty on 45 counts on June 22. This report equals “Payday Jackpot” for the victims and their civil suits.

One thing I found sad Thursday was hearing Paterno’s son, Jay, insisting that Joe Paterno would tell the truth if he were alive today. One major problem: the Freeh report proves Paterno lied in his grand jury testimony.

Jay Paterno also says we should consider the Sandusky scandal as just “one chapter in a very, very big life.” Yikes, I guess Jay is unaware that more than 99 percent of the people in the history of mankind have never had a chapter even half this ugly as part of their time on earth.

That’s like only considering O.J. Simpson’s life as a football player and ignoring the double-murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman in 1994.

Joe Paterno passed away in January and was becoming keenly aware that his legacy was crumbling. Eventually, Penn State will have no choice but to take down the on-campus statue of Paterno.

But you have to like the remark that was being passed around on social media sites on Thursday: Move the statue to show Paterno looking away.

Because that’s what the coach did when circumstances called for a man of his stature to do much, much more.

  1. Chris Ross says:

    Good post. 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. Also, you think you could check out my blog cuz I really wanna hear what you have to say

  2. kujhawk says:

    Nice post! Started following you after reading it. I look forward to reading some more of your stuff. I wrote about Paterno as well and I would love to know what you have to say about it. Check out my blog

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