Penn State and former FBI director Louis Freeh released his investigation into the Jerry Sandusky scandal this morning, and the results are not good. But they are not terribly surprising, either.
Basically, the top Penn State suits knew about Sandusky's behavior and chose to do nothing about it. It was a coverup. The report, and Freeh's ensuing press conference, all but calls out former Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno for putting the needs of the program, and himself, ahead of anything else.
This should really throw a serious wrench into writer Joe Posnaski's plan to write the comprehensive JoePa bio, that figures to be an absolute bomb, stinker if he doesn't include this portion of the story arc.
Freeh said Paterno could have essentially stopped the whole thing. We knew this because head coaches of a successful Division I football and men's basketball program are often the most powerful men in their respective communities. They get away with anything.
If Joe Pa sounds like just another big time Division I football coach it's because he was. As it turns out Joe Paterno really wasn't that much different than Pete Carroll, Ron Meyer, Jim Calhoun or any other coaches who ran afoul of the NCAA.
That's not true. JoePa was worse. The irony is that this self righteous, we-do-the-right-thing head coach who condemned the many short comings of other programs in the end may have been the worst of them all.
Most powerful Division I head football and men's basketball coaches are usually busted for looking the other way when a booster gives the star wide receiver a $1,000-a-day job to do nothing. Or playing the star running back who was caught smoking weed. It's the sliding scale of big-time college football, only JoePa and the Nittany Lions never tolerated such deliberate flaws.
The Penn State/Sandusky coverup was the ultimate head-in-the-sand act where the people who knew just didn't acknowledge it, meaning nothing happened.
Paterno did so much good for so many young men who played in his program in the many decades he was at Penn State. Nothing can take away what he did for those people, and so many others.
And nothing can take away what Joe Paterno chose not to do for Sandusky's victims.
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