Freeh Report Slams Joe Paterno, Other Penn State Officials, On Sandusky Scandal

The cover-up at Penn State was, if anything, worse than we thought,.

Former FBI Director Louis Freeh’s report on how Penn State University handled the sexual abuse allegations made against former Assistant Coach Jerry Sandusky has been released and it is absolutely scathing in its evaluation of the failure of Joe Paterno and other to act properly in response to the charges: 

The most senior officials at Penn State University failed for more than a decade to take any steps to protect the children victimized by Jerry Sandusky, the longtime lieutenant to head football coach Joe Paterno, according to an independent investigation of the sexual abuse scandal that rocked the university last fall.

“Our most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims,” said Louis J. Freeh, the former federal judge and director of the F.B.I. who oversaw the investigation. “The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized.”

Freeh’s investigation — which took seven months and involved more than 400 interviews and the review of more than 3.5 million documents — accuses Paterno, the university’s former president and others of deliberately hiding facts about Sandusky’s sexually predatory behavior over the years.

“The facts are the facts,” Freeh said of Paterno. “He was an integral part of the act to conceal.”

One new and central finding of the Freeh investigation is that Paterno, who died in January, knew as far back as 1998 that there were concerns Sandusky might be behaving inappropriately with children. It was then that the campus police investigated a claim by a mother that her son had been molested by Sandusky in a shower at Penn State.

Paterno, through his family, insisted after Sandusky’s arrest that he never knew anything about the 1998 case. But Freeh’s report asserts that Paterno not only knew of the investigation, but followed it closely. Local prosecutors ultimately decided not to charge Sandusky, and Paterno did nothing.

Paterno failed to take any action, the investigation found, “even though Sandusky had been a key member of his coaching staff for almost 30 years and had an office just steps away from Mr. Paterno’s.”

The investigation also presented evidence that in the wake of the 1998 case, top university officials contemplated the possibility that Sandusky could be a serial pedophile. A second boy, according to notes taken by a university vice president, Gary Schultz, described actions similar to what had happened to the first boy, including Sandusky hugging him from behind in the shower. Schultz wrote in his notes: “Is this opening of Pandora’s box? Other children?”

“In order to avoid the consequences of bad publicity,” the most powerful leaders of Penn State University, Freeh’s group said, “repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky’s child abuse from the authorities, the board of trustees, the Penn State community and the public at large.”

The investigation’s findings doubtless will have significant ramifications — for Paterno’s legacy, for the university’s legal liability as it seeks to compensate Sandusky’s victims, and perhaps for the wider world of major college athletics.

The revelation that Paterno had knowledge of the 1998 incident and did nothing about it is only likely to add to the tarnish that his legacy has received since this story broke in November, but its the 2001 incident, when Mike McQuerry reported seeing Sandusky performing a sexual act on a child in the showers at the university is probably where Paterno is most damaged:

For Paterno, one of the most damning implications of the Freeh investigation involves the university’s handling of a 2001 report of Sandusky sexually attacking a 10-year-old boy in the football building’s shower.

A graduate assistant had witnessed the assault, and reported in person to Paterno the next day. Paterno said he would figure out how to handle the alarming report, and inform his superiors. The Freeh investigation suggests that the university’s senior administrators were prepared to formally report Sandusky to state authorities, but that Paterno persuaded them to do otherwise.

After the university’s president, Graham B. Spanier, and athletic director, Tim Curley, decided to report Sandusky, the investigation asserted, “the only “known, intervening factor” was a conversation between Curley and Paterno.

It was then decided the “humane” thing to do would be to speak to Sandusky and warn him not to bring children on campus any longer.

“No such sentiments,” the investigation said of Paterno, Spanier, Schultz and Curley, “were ever expressed by them for Sandusky’s victims.”

The report does provide one piece of previously unknown news about the 2001 incident that potentially expands the roster of defendants in any future civil action. In March of that year, Athletic Director Tim Curley went to the Second Mile Foundation, Sandusky’s charity, and “shared the information we had” with them. How detailed he might have gotten in that conversation about what Sandusky was accused of doing is unknown, but Freeh’s report indicates that the organization essentially decided that the matter was a “non-incident” and took no further action. Considering that Sandusky continued to abuse boys involved in Second Mile for years afterwards, their failure to act exposes the people in charge at the time, and the organization, to civil liability from all of the post-2001 victims at the very least. They may also be potentially liable for the same failure to report child abuse charges that Curley now faces.

What the report makes clear is that Paterno, and the other officials at Penn State, acted in a manner that was designed more to protect the football program and the reputation of Paterno, and to treat Sandusky “humanely,” than it was to look out for the children. More importantly, its clear that a child predator was allowed to freely roam the halls of the Penn State athletic department, to use his access to the football program to groom his victims, and to use university facilities to abuse his victims. Indeed, the power of the football program was so great that it prevented people only tangentially related to it from coming forward to report what they saw, as this excerpt highlighted by Ta-Nehisi Coates makes clear:

According to the testimony of witnesses in Gerald A. Sandusky’s (“Sandusky”) trial in Centre County in June 2012,237 in the Fall of 2000, a temporary University janitor (“Janitor A”) observed a man, later identified to him as Sandusky, in the Assistant Coaches’ locker room showers of the Lasch Building with a young boy in the Fall of 2000.
Sandusky had the boy pinned against the wall and was performing oral sex on him. The janitor immediately told one of his fellow janitors (“Janitor B”) what he had witnessed, stating that he had “fought in the [Korean] War…seen people with their guts blowed out, arms dismembered… . I just witnessed something in there I’ll never forget.”

On that same night, Janitor B observed two pairs of feet in this same shower at the Lasch Building but could not see the upper bodies of the two persons. He waited for the two to finish their shower, and later saw Jerry Sandusky and a young boy, around the age of 12, exit the locker room holding hands. Janitor B frequently saw Sandusky in the Lasch Building after hours, usually accompanied by one or more young boys.

Janitor B closely followed Penn State football, and knew Sandusky from watching football games. A senior janitorial employee (“Janitor C”) on duty that night spoke with the staff, who had gathered with Janitor A to calm him down. Janitor C advised Janitor A how he could report what he saw, if he wanted to do so. Janitor B said he would stand by Janitor A if he reported the incident to the police, but Janitor A said, “no, they’ll get rid of all of us.”

Janitor B explained to the Special Investigative Counsel that reporting the incident “would have been like going against the President of the United States in my eyes…I know Paterno has so much power, if he wanted to get rid of someone, I would have been gone.” He explained “football runs this University,” and said the University would have closed ranks to protect the football program at all costs.

This was the culture that four decades of JoePa had created in Happy Valley, and indeed in large segments of Pennsylvania. The fact that it allowed a child rapist to get away with heinous crimes for years should be reason alone for us to think twice about making such God-like heroes out of any man, but most especially about a sports program in an institution that is supposed to be devoted to higher learning.

The big question, of course, is what happens next. This report will be dynamite for those pursuing civil claims against Penn State and the individual parties involved, including Paterno’s estate, and it may even lead to additional criminal charges against people who failed to report what they saw over the course of years. As for Penn State football, the NCAA said this morning that they are reviewing the report and it may still be some time before we see what their sanctions might be. At this point, though, the death penalty seems to be the only appropriate punishment for what happened here. Penn State football became a legend but as we’ve seen it was built on clay and it let horrific crimes go unpunished for years. How anyone can cheer at Beaver Stadium after this is beyond me.

Here’s the report in full for those interested:

Freeh Report on Penn State Sex Abuse Scandal

FILED UNDER: Crime, Law and the Courts, Sports
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Modulo Myself says:

    I grew up crazy about Penn State football and graduated from there in 1998. My feeling is eliminate the entire program. Let Beaver Stadium sit empty for five years just to remind everybody what happened.

    This won’t happen, I don’t think.

  2. mattb says:

    Well clearly this report proves that Eric F was right — this was all about concealing these acts in order to protect the program from an outcry that they were anti-homosexual because…

    Wait…

    No…

    It pretty much demonstrates exactly what we thought:

    That Penn State as a whole was trying to protect it’s image and this very lucrative program from exactly the sort of scandal that this news created.

    Yet, on the flip side, last year was the best year ever for Fundraising at Penn State.

  3. DRS says:

    And all so that two groups of young men wearing same colored shirts could run around a field carrying an oblong ball. Amazing. I agree with Modulo – shut it down until the worship stops and it’s just an athletic game again.

  4. CB says:

    the death penalty coming to penn state. wow. id say its impossible to imagine (especially since my family has deep ties to PSU), but in this case, it looks like the only just option. unbelievably disgusting conduct.

  5. Weird says:

    How about the timing of the investigation and Paterno’s death? It seems very convenient that he died before he could go to jail…

  6. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Even the likes of Tyco, Healthsouth, Enron and Worldcom were far less corrupted by the almighty dollar when compared to Penn State.

  7. @Weird:

    How about the timing of the investigation and Paterno’s death? It seems very convenient that he died before he could go to jail…

    Not really. There’d been stores on an almost monthly basis for the last two years about Paterno going to the hospital for various things (even before this started I remember thinking he seemed to be getting the flu an awful lot lately). In hindsight it’s clear the “flu” stories were a cover for him going to get treatments for the cancer that eventually killed him.

    While dwarfed by the Sandusky scandal, it’s a sad coda that he basically knew he was dying and withheld that information from everyone else so that a proper transition could be planned for.

  8. mike says:

    so much for that legacy Joe Pa – oh wait, you left behind a legacy just not a good one.

  9. al-Ameda says:

    A terrible story. It shows you that this was not an incident, or a series of incidents – it was a plan, borne of PSU’s failure to act responsibly once disclosure of the first incident became known to PSU’s senior management.

    Just a suggestion here, but Penn State University needs to start over and make a break with Joe Paterno – take down the statue. A lot of people graduated from PSU, and to them PSU represents more than this horrific scandal.

    You just don’t need that triumphalist statue of Paterno on the university grounds to remind everyone of the fact that PSU staff sold out their university to protect the cash cow that was their football program. A university must stand for more than the television contracts that fund their intercollegiate athletic programs.

  10. EMRVentures says:

    Reading comments on this on sites of all political persuasions today, it seems like appearances of the “he was just the coach, and did what he supposed to do” line of defense have become notably fewer and farther between.

  11. @mattb:

    Yet, on the flip side, last year was the best year ever for Fundraising at Penn State.

    If you dig into the details on that, “fundraising” includes the new seating fees that started last year, so it’s not that people were actually donating more, it’s just that season ticket prices when up between 2 and 10 times the previous price.

  12. If I were emperor of Penn State, I’d tear down Paterno’s statue, rename the library, shut down the football program for five years, and then come back with the original pink and black school colors and Coaly the Mule as the mascot.

  13. A Place of Appearances

    by Dr. George H. Elder

    I read the FBI report, but was not surprised about the mendacious behavior of Penn State staff and officials concerning the Sandusky affair. I went to Penn State during the 1990s, and got my doctoral degree in Speech Communication there. Even back in the mid-1990s I was made aware of all sorts of malfeasance on the part of people associated with various sports programs. For example, there was the case of a D-back who got some of his teammates together to trash a few kids that he felt had offended him. In that case, an executive of Joe’s intervened and contacted the victims, and suddenly the whole issue seemed to disappear. The incidents of assaults and vandalism were many, and almost to a one—nothing was done.

    In my estimation, that entire football program should be shut down for a few years. Let the world know that some things will not be tolerated for the sake of preserving a reputation that is underlain with a fetid foundation. That the PSU Board of Trustees did not demand this step is a clear indication of their lack of outrage or desire to clean up this mess. For heaven’s sake, that program is guilty of some egregious outrages, and the Louis Freeh report touches on just a few of them. There can be no other conclusion than that we cannot look toward the Trustees or PSU Administration for moral leadership. Yes, all concerned confess their culpability, and set out to appoint committees to investigate the problems. This fine and dandy, but the Trustees’ and Administration’s reactions toward this debacle during the time it happened points out the need for an outside fiduciary body to oversee what goes on at PSU.

    And let us not think that the PSU football program is alone in countenancing things that are abhorrent because the rot runs deep at Penn State. I know of rapes, sexual harassment, and other events that paint a very ugly picture for how justice operates on that campus. For example, I know of a professor who got angry at a grad student because she defied him. He quit her committee, but the real problem happened when the student’s Department Heads told her other committee members that she was being terminated for missing a deadline. They thus resigned, leaving the student helpless. In truth, the powers that be knew she had been rescheduled a retake of her comps, and thus they lied to her advisors to expedite the student’s dismissal. In effect, Penn State officials destroyed a woman’s future for the sake of a petty minded professor who was on a power trip—a man who is still teaching.

    I also know of an international student who came rather late to Penn State. Her advisor handed her over to the tender care of one of his male graduate students, who set her up in his apartment. He became her master, so to speak. The student was repeatedly raped, made pregnant, and had a botched abortion that ruined her for life. Was anything done? No, she suffers to this day, blaming herself for a wonton act of abuse that was foisted upon her by a senior professor who should have known better. Tell me, where is the outrage about that, or do the tears of this torture victim matter much as those of Sandusky’s?

    I could go on and on with examples, but the point is that the rot at Penn State must be rooted out. “We are… Penn State,” is a mindless mantra that cannot cover the multitude of unreported academic malfeasance and criminal acts that goes on there. Nor can we look toward Penn State to police itself, for what I see are numerous wounded souls that will never have even an iota of justice. When I advised the PSU administration about the woman who was destroyed by her advisor, the representative who replied opted to turn a blind eye. I just heard that he is going to head a committee that is investigating the problems at PSU. This assignment would be tragic if it wasn’t so emblematic of the administrative culture amongst these folks.

    Those young men that were Sandusky’s prey will get some recompense for their misery, but they will be forever plagued by terrible memories and self-doubts. They were stuck in Joe’s and the administration’s blind spot, so to speak, but this is in NO way an unusual thing at Penn state. Will the student who was dismissed because she dared to stand up to a professor get justice, a man who was known to have called a graduate student a “stupid asshole”? Will the woman who was raped and ruined get justice? Perhaps it’s too late for them, and thus they endure terribly sad lives that may never know any justice at all.

    There are hundreds of examples like this, some far worse than those mentioned. They have reached a level wherein a mechanism has to be put in place that allows victims to be treated justly at Penn State. And don’t look toward the ombudsmen, Trustees, or administrators of that place to do justice. Hell, they have amply demonstrated they cannot handle that job. So here is a game plan.

    The Governor should appoint a nine person committee that has no affiliation with Penn State or any of its staff to serve as a Board of Justice. It can hear cases that are brought before it, assuming the cases have enough merit to warrant investigation. If the board finds the cases worthy of legal and/or school investigation, they can demand that actions be taken. The point is, there needs to be an outside supervisory committee to take on these tasks. Indeed, Penn State officials have PROVEN in absolute terms that they cannot in any way provide justice for the greater community or the students who go there.

    As for that football program, it should have been given the death sentence from the get go. The NCAA could have done it, but that organization is run by cowards and back-slappers. The Board of Trustees could have done it, but they lack the courage to rock the Big 10 boat and all those fans that would rather riot than do what is right. So it falls to the person who is reading these words to act, because if you don’t, who the hell will? If you have a problem, you fix it.

  14. DRS says:

    Wait a minute, Paterno really does have a statue on campus? I thought that was sarcasm. It’s really there? That’s beyond pathetic. Yes, it should definitely come down.

  15. @DRS:

    Wait a minute, Paterno really does have a statue on campus?

    Yup. In fact it was erected in November 2001, just months after Paterno, Curley, Spanier, and Schultz had conspired to cover up the Sandusky rape: http://www.psu.edu/ur/extra/2001/paterno/index.html

    For extra irony, the wall behind it reads “They ask me what I’d like written about me when I’m gone. I hope they write I made Penn State a better place, not just that I was a good football coach.”

    Yes, it should definitely come down.

    Perhaps as a compromise, it should just be put on a turntable, so that it can be turned to look the other way.

  16. George Elder says:

    I posted the wrong file, and it was an early rendition of what follows, which contains the correct draft.

    I read the FBI report, but was not surprised about the mendacious behavior of Penn State staff and officials concerning the Sandusky affair. I went to Penn State during the 1990s, and got my doctoral degree in Speech Communication there. Even back in the mid-1990s I was made aware of all sorts of malfeasance on the part of people associated with various sports programs. For example, there was the case of a D-back who got some of his teammates together to trash a few kids that he felt had offended him. In that case, an executive of Joe’s intervened and contacted the victims, and suddenly the whole issue seemed to disappear. The incidents of assaults and vandalism were many, and almost to a one—nothing was done.

    In my estimation, that entire football program should be shut down for a few years. Let the world know that some things will not be tolerated for the sake of preserving a reputation that is underlain with a fetid foundation. That the PSU Board of Trustees did not demand this step is a clear indication of their lack of outrage or desire to clean up this mess. For heaven’s sake, that program is guilty of some egregious outrages, and the Louis Freeh report touches on just a few of them. There can be no other conclusion than that we cannot look toward the Trustees or PSU Administration for moral leadership. Yes, all concerned confess their culpability, and set out to appoint committees to investigate the problems. This fine and dandy, but the Trustees’ and Administration’s reactions toward this debacle during the time it happened points out the need for an outside fiduciary body to oversee what goes on at PSU.

    And let us not think that the PSU football program is alone in countenancing things that are abhorrent because the rot runs deep at Penn State. I know of rapes, sexual harassment, and other events that paint a very ugly picture for how justice operates on that campus. For example, I know of a professor who got angry at a grad student because she defied him. He quit her committee, but the real problem happened when a departmental official told her other professors that her committee was being dissolved because she missed a deadline. They thus resigned, leaving the student helpless. In truth, the powers that be knew the deadline issue was false, and thus they misled her committee and expedited the student’s dismissal. In effect, Penn State officials destroyed a woman’s future for the sake of a petty minded professor who was on a power trip.

    I also know of an international student who came rather late to Penn State. Her advisor handed her over to the tender care of one of his male graduate students, who set her up in his apartment. He became her master, so to speak. The student was repeatedly raped, made pregnant, and had a botched abortion that ruined her for life. Was anything done? No, she suffers to this day, blaming herself for a wonton act of abuse that was foisted upon her by a senior professor who should have followed university policy in this matter. Tell me, where is the outrage about that, or do the tears of this torture victim matter much as those of Sandusky’s?

    I could go on and on with examples, but the point is that the rot at Penn State must be rooted out. “We are… Penn State,” is a mindless mantra that cannot cover the multitude of unreported academic malfeasance and criminal acts that goes on there. Nor can we look toward Penn State to police itself, for what I see are numerous wounded souls that will never have even an iota of justice. When I advised the PSU administration about the woman who was destroyed by her advisor, the representative who replied opted to turn a blind eye. I just heard that he is going to head a committee that is investigating the problems at PSU. This assignment would be tragic if it wasn’t so emblematic of the administrative culture amongst these folks.

    Those young men that were Sandusky’s prey will get some recompense for their misery, but they will be forever plagued by terrible memories and self-doubts. They were stuck in Joe’s and the administration’s blind spot, so to speak, but this is in NO way an unusual thing at Penn state. Will the student who was dismissed because she dared to stand up to a professor get justice, a man who was known to have called a graduate student a “fucking idiot”? Will the woman who was raped and ruined get justice? Perhaps it’s too late for them, and thus they endure terribly sad lives that may never know any justice at all.

    There are hundreds of examples like this, some far worse than those mentioned. They have reached a level wherein a mechanism has to be put in place that allows victims to be treated justly at Penn State. And don’t look toward the ombudsmen, Trustees, or administrators of that place to do justice. Hell, they have amply demonstrated they cannot handle that job. So here is a game plan.

    The Governor should appoint a nine person committee that has no affiliation with Penn State or any of its staff to serve as a Board of Justice. It can hear cases that are brought before it, assuming the cases have enough merit to warrant investigation. If the board finds the cases worthy of legal and/or school investigation, they can demand that actions be taken. The point is, there needs to be an outside supervisory committee to take on these tasks. Indeed, Penn State officials have PROVEN in absolute terms that they cannot in any way provide justice for the greater community or the students who go there.

    As for that football program, it should have been given the death sentence from the get go. The NCAA could have done it, but that organization is run by cowards and back-slappers. The Board of Trustees could have done it, but they lack the courage to rock the Big 10 boat and all those fans that would rather riot than do what is right. So it falls to the person who is reading these words to act, because if you don’t, who the hell will? If you have a problem, you fix it.

  17. Speaking of the Paterno statue:

    http://thequad.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/12/at-paterno-statue-support-and-shock/

    Part of the problem here is that the same social cancer that’s been affecting our politics is now spreading to other parts of society, and it’s on display in the willful denial you see in a big chunk of the Penn State alumni. All that matters is loyalty to the tribe. So it doesn’t matter how much evidence of Paterno’s malfeasance is presented, he’s their guy and it’s their duty to stick up for him no matter what.

  18. superdestroyer says:

    Penn State has to let the world know that it is more than a football factory and the only way to do that is to kill the football program and only bring it back if the university can establish the procedures and authority to keep the sports program from running wild.

  19. mattb says:

    Ok, mark Friday, July 13th, 2012 as the day I agree with @superdestroyer.

    And for those who would argue that suspending the football program would punish the current players, existing student, and alumni who had nothing to do with this crime, I say “yes it would.”

    If it makes those “innocents” feel better, they can consider themselves also victims of Sandusky (and the infrastructure that supported him). Of course, the scars from not having a football program run far less deep than the scars from systematic sexual abuse. So forgive me if I’m a bit more concerned about what happens to Sandusky’s actual victims.

  20. DRS says:

    They can think of themselves as being saved from being sucked into a cult. It’s traumatic now, but better in the long run. There’s something seriously screwed up about being that emotionally invested in a sports activity.

  21. mattb says:

    @DRS:

    There’s something seriously screwed up about being that emotionally invested in a sports activity.

    The thing is, it isn’t just “a sports activity.” And it wasn’t just an emotional investment.

    As outsiders, its easy to make the mistake of looking at it as such. But that’s underselling, for lack of a better word, the “total social fact” that is big college sports.

    Like it or not, football touched and was intertwined in every aspect of that campus and community. And beyond the sports or communal aspect of it, it was a HUGE money maker for the campus (though to reduce this to simply being about money is a mistake as well).

  22. @mattb:

    Besides, if you want to feel bad for collateral damage, I’d be more worried about the non-athletic students. If Penn State is found to have violated the Clery Act, they could be rendered inelligible to receive federal student aid:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/ncaaf-dr-saturday/department-education-could-bigger-threat-penn-state-ncaa-203019718–ncaaf.html

    The students their on athletic scholarships are getting free rides and a valuable enough to get transferred to other schools on favorable terms. But what of the thousands of juniors who are tens of thousands of dollars in debt who, just before receiving their degree, have to essentially start over at another school because most of their credits are now worthless?

  23. Racehorse says:

    Just how far did all of this go? Does Director Freeh’s report mark the end of the investigation? Was there a larger organization involved in this? How about that district attorney who went missing a few years ago? Is that being looked into more? I am not sure about taking actions that would hurt the students, staff, and athletes who had nothing to do with this.

  24. Racehorse says:

    We must make sure that the game of football itself is not getting the blame here. It is true that many people really get obsessed with the whole football thing. But this obsession brings about corruption in many other organizations: government, business, even religious organizations. It isn’t the athletics of football: it is greed, money, and power. Without checks, balances, transparency, and accountability this sort of thing will happen again.
    One other comment: this thing of erecting statues everywhere is getting out of hand. For one thing, a statue should not ever be put up for someone who is still living. There should be a long period of time before this occurs. I can only think of certain kinds of people who are deserving of statues: past presidents (Mt. Rushmore the greatest example), generals, soldiers (Iwo Jima as example), some animals (race horses and Balto), and Walt Disney. You can’t just go around putting up statues everywhere.

  25. Al says:

    Penn State still gets state appropriations. If I were a taxpayer in Pennsylvania I’d want them pulled. Let the whole school die.

  26. casimir says:

    @Modulo Myself: i honestly can’t understand how the football program is liable. the university- yes, potentially for hundreds of millions of dollars. i know people think such an opinion is putting humans above sports, but as i said, the team itself was not involved in the scandal. you can’t punish a program anytime it’s coach commits a crime.

  27. casimir says:

    @Al: please.

  28. casimir says:

    @Weird: who knows, maybe he took a cyanide capusle like himmler. he’s lucky to have died because he deserved prison.

  29. Dr. George H. Elder says:

    It is the football culture at PSU that is the problem! For heaven’s sake, you must be able to see this. Look what was done by the administration and coaches to protect the program! Lives were tossed aside and a pervert was allowed to roam far and wide for over 10 years, all for the sake of the program. Now that culture needs to be changed, and to be changed now! It isn’t a matter of punishment. It is a matter of preventing anything like this from happening again at PSU. A few years probation might do the trick. Call it a time for reflection, and when the program is rebuilt, let it be founded upon principles that will prevent criminals from running wild. That seems the very least we can do!

    Dr. George H. Elder/PSU alumni

    @casimir:

  30. mattb says:

    @casimir: Bull… @Dr. George H. Elder has it correct. Especially since the argument can be made that all of the decisions to cover-up on all levels were intended to protect the program.

    And by protecting the program it mean to (1) keep the head coach in place, (2) keep quality players coming to the school, and (3) keep the program (and school) well funded.

    So — simply keeping this only at the perspective of the program — in those respect, the program had an unfair competitive advantage during recent years. If news of this had come out earlier, most likely they would have lost their coach, they would have lost some of their top players (either because of the stigma associate with the program or because the players would not be under Paterno), and they most likely would have lost some of their funding weakening the program.

    There are myriad reasons why the Penn State program should be SMU’d that have to deal with the human tragedy and corruption associated with this scandal (see the above comment). But even if this was simply restricted to football, it’s easy to see why the program deserves to be (and most likely will be) sanctioned on some level.

    The only question that remains is how stiff the penalty will be. Is Penn State destined to be the next SMU or will they get off easy?

  31. @casimir:

    you can’t punish a program anytime it’s coach commits a crime.

    Pretty much NCAA sanction ends up punishing players who were actually involved in the actual wrong doing. Almost none of the players at USC now were around during the Reggie Bush era, yet they’re still the ones being punished by being banned from bowl games. If we follow your rules, the NCAA could never sanction anyone for anything.

  32. @Stormy Dragon:

    Who were not actually involved, even.

  33. john says:

    joe paterno statue should come down if he covered up as it looks like that was the case from the report.

  34. Al says:

    @casimir: Please, what? Most major colleges that have even a moderately successful football program are very quick to throw every other program under the bus to keep it going. Students practically rioted when Paterno was fired in spite of the fact that it was clear even then that he was at the very least negligent. It wasn’t until after people started asking if Penn State students were really OK with covering up child rape that vigils for the victims were cynically organized.

    If Penn State is still funded by Pennsylvania after its leadership (and not just from athletics) covered this up what does that say about the standards that state holds its institutions to?

  35. Dr. George H. Elder says:

    The problem is the narcotizing effect the football culture has on Penn State students. The mantra, “We are… Penn State,” becomes a tool that asks us to turn of our critical minds and join in the essential oneness that can be gleaned if we but cheer and follow. And thus never is heard a discouraging word in Happy Valley. I never drank the ideological Cool Aid, despite it being foisted upon students early on. Luckily, a New Hampshire upbringing more or less assures that a good proportion of Granite Staters will be forever skeptical of nearly anything that smacks of a party line. But 90% of the students at Penn State eventually do drink the Cool Aid, even those from Denmark, Taiwan, and a host of other countries. They join in the cheers, troop off to the games, and become lost in the screaming oneness.

    Those students who rioted at Penn State when Joe got canned are emblematic of the groupthink mentality that goes on there, not that student rioting is all that rare at PSU. A large scale riot erupts about every third year or so at Penn State, which might be expected in an environment wherein vested power thrives off negligence and only pays lip-service to the law. Nor is it just the football program that is immune from the moral dictates we construct to help guide us from mauling and violating one another. Academic malfeasance as it relates to the abuse of professorial power is seldom challenged by the administrators, and what mechanisms that do exist are designed only to put a patina of smiling balm over some wanton incidents. With regards to rapes and violence, those are common facts of life at PSU, and hardly get our notice in the school paper. It is all too normal there, as is the case in many environments wherein there are many youths and weak law enforcement.

    The point is, some here are still saying the PROGRAM shouldn’t be punished for the perfidy of a few administrators and coaches. They fail to see that the group think mentality at Penn State is a pernicious thing that affects thousands of people. It demands that we ignore the bad, smile broadly, and not speak ill of some behaviors that should be intolerable. Sandusky is the tip of a festering iceberg, and Penn State needs a period of reflection wherein the true ugliness of what was allowed to happen hits him. I hope and pray that the PROGRAM is suspended for a few years, but I doubt it will happen. There are no adults there, people who prioritize doing right over doing what is popular. It is such a hollow way to think and act, yet 100,000 screaming fans cannot be denied their fix. No, I cannot be a PSU fan, but the chorus of catcalls and boos that will be heard as the team travels to away games will be matched by the cheers of the home crowd chanting “We are… Penn State.” It is such a sad thing.