Right Field

The Ugly Truth about Joe Paterno

via The Daily Beast:

Paterno is lucky to have died last January at the age of 85.

Otherwise, based on new information from a CNN story by Susan Candiotti, he would be facing possible indictment for perjury. Along with former Penn State University president Graham Spanier. Along with two high-ranking former Penn State officials who have already been indicted by the Pennsylvania attorney general on charges of lying to a state grand jury in the case of predatory animal Jerry Sandusky.

When told originally in February of 2001 that Sandusky had been seen with a child in a shower stall in the Penn State football locker room, Paterno, the ultimate Iron Man of Penn State, suddenly became weak in the knees, a scared and mousy bureaucrat. He subsequently told the grand jury that he passed the information up the line to his supposed superior, athletic director Tim Curley, and let the investigation take its course.

It never made sense.


It is totally unfair to say that Penn State officials did nothing. They did tell Sandusky he could no longer bring “guests” on campus. There was no way of enforcing it of course, and the humaneness with Sandusky was so effective that he continued to sexually abuse children for another six years.

You can thank Curley for that. You can thank Schultz for that. You can thank Spanier for that. But most of all you can thank Paterno. He was the God of Happy Valley. People scurried and scrambled when he spoke, so you can bet it was he who was the primary driver behind the decision not to report Sandusky to authorities. It was he who on the basis of his own words in his grand jury testimony, gave the false impression that he had placed the matter in the hands of athletic director Curley and then walked away.

It is an ugly thing to trample on the dead. Just as ugly as using the cloak of his death to perpetuate the image of a man who we now know beyond all doubt never existed. He wasn’t the moral center. He wasn’t the avuncular JoePa. He wasn’t the man who simply didn’t do enough when confronted with a sickening allegation.

Add the word “liar” to his legacy.




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