Former FBI Director Louis Freeh has released the report on his investigation of the Penn State-Jerry Sandusky scandal and what it says is not good.
Last November, based upon what I knew then, I said “…I don’t see that Joe Paterno should be criticized for not doing more than he did…Paterno can’t be blamed for not realizing the A.D. didn’t follow through as he was required to do.”
I now see clearly that was a very naïve position to take and, after thinking about it, should have realized then that it was naïve.
According to Freeh, school officials, including Paterno, were aware that they had a predatory pedophile in the program as early as 1998 and yet “…in order to avoid the consequences of bad publicity, the most powerful leaders at Penn State University — Messrs Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley — repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky’s child abuse.”
This is not acceptable behavior. This happens when men lose track of their priorities and forget what is important. This cannot be allowed to happen again.
The NCAA has the authority to enforce what is known as the “Death Penalty” on a school’s sports program. The “Death Penalty” suspends a program for some period of time. It has only been applied five times and primarily for repeated recruiting infractions. Those are nothing compared to this. This is the most disgraceful episode in the history of sports.
The Penn State football program should be suspended for at least a year if not more and Paterno’s name should be expunged from all honors and memorials. His statues should be taken down and his records nullified. As much as possible, the man’s name should be erased from the sport he has disgraced.
Yes I understand that other people who are completely innocent will suffer as well but that’s something that, unfortunately, can’t be avoided. Whatever suffering they’ll have to endure will be nothing compared to what Sandusky’s victims had to endure, many of which could have been protected from harm if the Penn State officials had done the decent thing as soon as they became aware of the problem.
Now you’ll excuse me but I really need to go take a shower. I feel dirty from just writing about this.