Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee lost every victory he contributed to at Penn State.
But he doesn’t mind. He has his memories.
“There’s obviously the memories that you have,” he said Tuesday in Dallas, where he made a promotional appearance at Dick’s Sporting Goods at the Shops at Park Lane. “As a teammate and a former player, you realize what you did as a team, what you accomplished, and the memories will always be there. So that’s not what bothers me.”
Lee said what bothers him is the scope of the scandal that led to the vacating of those victories. Former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted last month of 45 counts of sexual abuse of children, including on campus.
A report commissioned by the school and prepared by former FBI chief Louis Freeh blamed school officials for inaction in the face of evidence that Sandusky was abusing children.
“The facts show that they didn’t report Sandusky and what happened, and because of that, more kids got hurt,” Lee said. “That’s what the facts show. Obviously, it should have been reported right away. There should have been procedures in place – this is what we do, investigation, and go from there, and more kids wouldn’t have been hurt. Actually, I think the Freeh report was a good thing because it showed where Penn State can go, how it can improve, so something so horrible will never happen again.”
Former coach Joe Paterno was among the four top officials criticized most severely in the report. The school this week removed a statue of the late coach, saying it had become too divisive a symbol of the scandal.
“It’s a statue. It doesn’t matter to me if they keep it up or take it down,” Lee said. “That’s not what I feel the issue is. What I feel the issue is, is making sure the healing process for these victims is taken care of. If taking the statue down helps with the healing process, then so be it. If the sanctions are going to help with the healing process, then that needs to be done.”
-- Carlos Mendez