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College Football 2015: Joe Paterno, Penn State and a Sexual Predator's Victims lost in the Shuffle

courtesy of NYTimes
Recently, as I reflected back on the 2014 NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) season, I couldn’t help but think how the NCAA finally got it right by implementing a playoff system. 

Even though it’s just a 4 team playoff, it was much better than the previous BCS championship system. To the surprise of many, the Ohio State Buckeyes defeated the Oregon Ducks 42-20 in the inaugural 2015 College Football Playoff National Championship game.
 
I was really pleased and excited about future College Football Playoff match-ups until once again, the late Joe Paterno and Penn State became hot trending topics in college football. On January 16, the NCAA reached an out of court agreement with Penn State and restored the schools 112 victories which included Paterno’s 111 taken away during the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal and the Freeh report in 2012. 
 
Jerry Sandusky was a former assistant football coach under Joe Paterno. The Freeh report was used by the NCAA and President Mark Emmert to impose unprecedented sanctions on the Penn State football program. The University was fined $60 million, banned from bowl games for 4 years and had all 112 victories since 1998 vacated. During that time, Penn State accepted the penalties without protest, but the university later decided to challenge the legality of those sanctions. Also, keep in mind that in September 2014 the NCAA eliminated the postseason ban and restored scholarships.
 
The NCAA agreed to the new settlement with the school weeks before a scheduled trial on the legality of the 2012 consent decree it replaced. The new deal also directed the $60 million fine to address child abuse be spent within Pennsylvania and resolved that lawsuit.
 
I agree that the NCAA may have overstepped their boundaries imposing such harsh penalties, but they were caught in the “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” position. If they would’ve sat back and did nothing, they would’ve been equally criticized for not taking the Sandusky scandal seriously.
 
Many were ecstatic about the apparent victory for Penn State over the NCAA, but it appeared that some had clearly forgotten about the victims of Jerry Sandusky. He was convicted in 2012 of sexually assaulting 10 young boys with many being abused on the Penn State campus. He was sentenced to a minimum of 30 years and a maximum of 60 years in prison. In total, the University settled 26 civil settlements with his victims, 1 which included his adopted son Matt Sandusky.
 
I consider this to be pyrrhic victories for both Joe Paterno and Penn State because the damage done to their once pristine reputations negates any sense of accomplishment or achievement over the NCAA.
 
The fact still remains from the Freeh report that Coach Joe Paterno, former Penn State President Graham Spanier and two other administrators, former Senior Vice President for Business and Finance, Gary Schultz and former athletic director Tim Curley were fully aware that Sandusky was being investigated by the university police department for a possible molestation incident in a football facility shower room in 1998. According to the report, they all followed the investigation very closely.
 
After no charges were filed from the alleged sexual abuse incident in 1998, Sandusky was still allowed access to campus and football facilities at Penn State. There were also alleged incidents of sexual abuse in football facility showers in 2000 and 2001. Also according to the Freeh report, all four men repeatedly concealed pertinent facts relating to Sandusky’s sexual child abuse from authorities, the board of trustees, and the public.
 
Spanier, Curley, and Schultz were criminally charged with perjury and failure to report suspected child abuse by Sandusky and are awaiting trials. I imagine if Paterno were still alive he would've eventually been charged as well.
 
Please keep in mind I’m not here to prove the guilt or innocence of any of these men, but it’s apparent that all of them exercised poor judgment by choosing not to expose a sexual predator.

According to the National Center for PTSD, some child sexual abuse survivors may show symptoms of PTSD and other forms of mental illnesses. They may behave in a nervous, upset way. They may act out aspects of the abuse in their play. Also, most survivors experience nightmares. Just think about the years of counseling that awaits the victim's.
 
Joe Paterno’s 409 victories may make him college football's winningest coach, but not even the household cleaning product, 409, is strong enough to erase the pain and mental scars for the victims of Jerry Sandusky’s acts of perversion. Does anyone care about them anymore? I guess the ghost of a legend drowned their voices out.

Either way, it appears once again to be business as usual for some at Penn State. The very thing that got some of their administrators and Paterno into hot water with the NCAA back in 2012.

By the way, I think the Ohio State Buckeyes chances are good to repeat as National Champions this season. Just don't tell anyone I told you! 

Retraction of paragraph 10: Initially I wrote 
There were also alleged incidents of sexual abuse in football facility showers in 2001 and 2002. That was actually in 2000 and 2001.



14 Comments to College Football 2015: Joe Paterno, Penn State and a Sexual Predator's Victims lost in the Shuffle:

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Russell on Friday, August 07, 2015 6:33 AM
Very enjoyable read.
Reply to comment


Mary Ferguson on Monday, August 10, 2015 5:04 PM
Using a discredited Freeh report as a factual basis to assume the guilt of Paterno & Penn State football shows how misinformed you are. You mention nothing about Sandusky's charity that provided him with the alleged victims. You also mention nothing about the state agencies that allowed Sandusky to adopt & be a foster parent even after they were aware of the 1998 incident. You feel football coach is suppose to know that someone is a pedophile when trained professionals did not & by the way Paterno did not grant Sandusky access to campus., Erickson & the BOT did that. I guess you also missed the part where the OAG said Paterno did the right thing & reported it to his bosses also guess you missed where chief prosecutor said there was no evidence that Paterno covered up anything. if you want to help the victims I suggest you look into TSM, CYS & the governor who sat on the case when he was AG.
Reply to comment


Jon on Monday, August 10, 2015 6:08 PM
Wow...there's so much factually wrong here. Obviously didn't spend anytime fact checking which is sad.
Reply to comment


Steve on Monday, August 10, 2015 6:52 PM
"On January 16, the NCAA reached an out of court agreement with Penn State and restored the schools 112 victories which included Paterno’s 111 taken away during the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal and the Freeh report in 2012." This is not correct at all. Penn State didn't ask for the wins back - Penn State and the NCAA were on the same side in the lawsuit against the state of Pennsylvania. The reason they finally settled (among other reasons) is that neither Penn State nor the NCAA wanted their email exchanges to be made public - they'd be damning.
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JK on Monday, August 10, 2015 8:54 PM
The damage to Penn State was inflicted by misinfomred fools such as youself. The evidence has spoken. The so-called Penn State scandal is nothing more than Duke Lacrosse 2.0. Simply put, there is not evidence Penn State as an isntitution did anythign wrong in regards to Sandusky. Furthermore, pretty much all evidence demonstrates they acted in an entirely reasonable and appropriate fashiong given what they were told. You apparently haven't bothered to examiane the current state of inforaitno. If you did, you would know better.
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William on Tuesday, August 11, 2015 1:41 AM
I'm a huge OSU Buckeye's fan and we have made our share of mistakes and owned up to them. Although Penn State did deserve to get wins restored because this was a criminal matter, I don't feel Joe Paterno did enough to prevent the acts of Jerry. He appeared to enable his behavior.
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PC on Tuesday, August 11, 2015 7:09 AM
In an effort to generate clicks, you keep the spotlight on PSU/Paterno instead of the professionals at TSM/DPW/CYS. Instead you wish to blame the dead football coach who did the legal maximum he could with the vague hearsay he received. He's been praised by the Attorney General, and cleared by the lead prosecutor, you ignore all of that. For some reason you even think he would have been charged himself. You rely solely on the discredited Freeh Report, and you ignore that Freeh's reputation is in ruins. Because of people like you, the problems that allowed Sandusky to roam free for years don't get fixed. As some have pointed out, this article is riddled with errors. Every single error pointed out so far in the comments is absolutely correct. I'd like to point out one that others haven't... "with many being abused on the Penn State campus." It's a number from 0-10, and it shows that you've done absolutely no research. If you did, you might be surprised to find out that the number is a lot closer to 0 than 10. That makes logical sense, since I'm sure he didn't want to get caught by committing his crimes in public. What are you going to do to help prevent child abuse? Do some actual research? help put the spotlight where it needs to be? Better get on that train now before Spanier, Curley, and Schultz are found not guilty.
Reply to comment
 
Russell on Tuesday, August 11, 2015 7:55 AM
PC-Dude you sound like a typical brainwashed PSU fan. You wrote a book and still didn't say much.


PC on Tuesday, August 11, 2015 4:07 PM
Ironically Russell, you are the one who didn't say anything. I said plenty, and you obviously can't refute any of it. Go ahead and try. Start of slow, tell us why Frank Fina, the lead prosecutor, was wrong when he said that he found no evidence that Paterno was involved in a coverup. What do you know that he doesn't? http://deadspin.com/prosecutor-from-sandusky-trial-joe-paterno-not-involve-1252192930


Brenda on Tuesday, August 11, 2015 7:46 AM
You Nittany Lions sound like a bunch of spoiled brats.Make sure and boil your baby bottles.
Reply to comment


Chuck on Tuesday, August 11, 2015 12:44 PM
I'M REPOSTING THIS BLOG!!! Being a Terps fan, I am tired of hearing about our new so called rivals Nittany Lions fan base bitch and moan about facts!
Reply to comment
 
pc on Tuesday, August 11, 2015 6:22 PM
It must be so easy to be a comment troll. You apparently don't need to provide any evidence, you just need to say that others are wrong. Notice a trend on this thread. The side of truth writes lengthy posts with facts, the other side just writes what their short opinion, which is either based on what they think they heard on TV, or a simply hatred for a rival football program. So very sad. Now is your chance, refute anything you don't agree with in this post. Start with Frank Fina's comments about Paterno's innocence. http://deadspin.com/prosecutor-from-sandusky-trial-joe-paterno-not-involve-1252192930


chuck on Wednesday, August 12, 2015 11:36 AM
I'm a troll.I will accept that from a brainwashed Nittany Liar! Brainwashed jerk! Terps Rule!


Herman on Wednesday, August 12, 2015 7:53 PM
Although we all may not see eye to eye on this subject, I do appreciate everyone's feedback.
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