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Freeh Report Exposes Penn State Staff

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Remember back in the fall, when Joe Paterno was removed as the head football coach at Penn State and a huge portion of the university and surrounding community started a full on riot? Remember how they flipped over a news van and told reporters that nobody did more for that community than Joe Paterno?

After the release of an investigative report by Louis Freeh on the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse case, I’d hope those rioters are thinking back to that night in disgust after finding out the reprehensible things that their hero did.

According to the report Paterno, despite claiming to have only heard about “horsing around” in the shower on one occasion from assistant coach Mike McQueary, not only knew about what Sandusky was doing, but was aware of the 1998 investigation surrounding Sandusky AND discouraged Penn State officials from reporting what they knew to law enforcement for fear of “bad publicity.”

Bad publicity? You’re worried about bad publicity, yet you willingly hid child abuse for FOURTEEN YEARS at the very least. Well, Joe, you’ve got your bad publicity, with 14 years worth of interest.

Of course, this is not just a problem caused by Joe Paterno. Athletic Director Tim Curley, former vice president Gary Schultz, and former president Graham Spanier are all just as culpable for their lack of action and to say that they won’t pay dearly in court would be a flat out lie. But Joe Paterno ran that university and ran that town. If he wanted to, he could have stopped this. And he chose not to.

The two questions that have emerged from the report are “What becomes of JoePa’s legacy?” and “What should the NCAA do about all of this?”

As for Paterno’s legacy, it is going to be this: one of the greatest football minds in the history of the sport, but a reprehensible human being who allowed human beings who could not defend themselves to be abused by a man he enabled, and did so for over a decade. So much for avoiding that bad publicity.

In terms of action taken by the NCAA, many people are thinking that an SMU-style “death penalty” would be just punishment for what happened at State College. I don’t think that’s enough. SMU was allowed to return.

The actions at Penn State were more reprehensible than any actions that the NCAA has punished before. This wasn’t taking money, cars, or clothes from someone. This is the most heinous crime a person can commit, and it was allowed to happen for 14 years. Nittany Lions football should be permanently erased from the college football landscape.

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