Penn State’s Shame

Shame is the only way to describe it. Having read the 23 page indictment of former PSU Assistant Coach Jerry Sandusky, I can honestly say it’s a horror show. Now, the reputation of a once venerated coach and top-flight university is in tatters. Joe Paterno had to be let go. I was having some slightly mixed emotions about it until I read the entire legal document this morning. It shows a systematic and repeated effort to whitewash whatever Jerry Sandusky may have done over the years. Judging from the content, it was much more extensive and more widely know than anyone would ever admit.

Joe Paterno

There remain a few out there who think Paterno was let go prematurely, or before anything has been legally resolved. Maybe, but in the indictment there is a clear picture of a coach who is disconnected at best–and in denial at worst. Bottom line–he had to go–now. That’s a sad thing too, because Paterno has done a lot for PSU besides coach football. He and his wife are still the single largest donors to the campus library and his donations of time and dollars elsewhere are legendary.

There are details in the documents too graphic to even repeat here, but there are at least two instances of Sandusky’s conduct being reported to PSU officials BESIDES Paterno, and nothing being done. In fact, PSU Campus Police filed a long report on one occasion with nothing happening. Clearly this was a case of denial and abuse that reached epic dimensions.

I’ve never been a fan of Penn State. Growing up in Ohio, I was always a Buckeye fan, and living in West Virginia for many years, helped turn me away from ever cheering for the Nittany Lions. But, I always had the utmost respect for Paterno, and the university. They ran a clean program, and won anyway. Not something often accomplished in major college sports. Now, that respect has turned to disgust for me and most other casual observers.

I love College Football. Without a doubt it is my favorite sport. But I am sickened and disgusted by this mess.