Is There No PSU Fan Who Gets It?

Submitted by UMgradMSUdad on July 24th, 2012 at 6:26 AM


Is there no Penn State fan who truly gets it?

I’ve been browsing fan websites for weeks, looking for a sign that Penn State fans understand why there is such enduring controversy surrounding their football program and school.  I can’t say that I’ve seen evidence that even a single fan really gets it.  The current president of the university seems to understand, but the most vocal PSU fans and alumni want to ride him out of town on a rail. The PSU fans seem to respond to the lunatic fringe of the blogosphere with answers to questions that no sane person is asking.

For example, PSU fans acknowledge that pedophilia is horrible and should never occur, but then act as though that somehow shows that they “get it.”

PSU fans list all the positive attributes of Penn State, its football players, its graduates, etc., etc.  Yes, we sane “outsiders” all understand that there is more good than bad in Penn State and there is plenty to be proud of.  Again, that’s never been in question, except to the lunatic fringe.

It is the next point, though, that begins to get at the crux of the problem. PSU fans point out the half truth that this sort of thing happens everywhere. Yes, child sex abuse is far more prevalent than most people realize, and most of us probably do know someone who has been abused and very well may know an abuser without realizing it.  These truths, though, ignore the difference, the reason Penn State is singled out and stands alone among US universities (as far as we know): at no other institution were there repeated allegations of child sex abuse that rose to the very top of the university where the response was to cover up, protect the pedophile, thereby allowing him to continue abusing children for over a decade.

Now, many PSU fans do acknowledge this last point, but almost none without spinning it in such a way to convince themselves it was just an isolated incident with just a few bad apples (I don’t know how many times I’ve heard it was just one monster and two, perhaps three others) and they are now out of the university, so the problem has been resolved.  That third individual, which many PSU fans still refuse to acknowledge, played a role in this is a if not the central figure in the cover up.  Joe Paterno, for all the teaching and preaching (and leading by example) he did about honor, integrity, doing things “the right way,” failed miserably on the biggest test to ever come his way.  There is no getting around this.  But these are the points I’m waiting for a Penn State fan to acknowledge, and it is some semblance of refusal to acknowledge these or similar points that leads to many saying Penn State fans still don’t get it:

1)      There was a cult of personality surrounding Joe Paterno.  This is not unique to PSU, so I’m not quite sure why there is such resistance to acknowledging this point.  The only difference might be that Joe Pa’s longevity and success led to a level of reverence perhaps never achieved at another university.


2)      Joe Paterno was the most powerful individual at Penn State for decades.


3)      While he might not be culpable legally under Pennsylvania law, morally and ethically Paterno failed the child abuse victims and the community by not doing more to stop Jerry Sandusky.


4)      When the most powerful person on campus, the athletic director, and the president of the university all cover up and enable a child rapist to continue his abuse for decades, and others in far lower positions in the university are afraid to come forward with complaints there is a question that must be asked and answered: who or what enabled the enablers?



July 24th, 2012 at 6:42 AM ^

BSD is the worst. They were all so confident nothing would happen to their precious football team. Now that it has they are lashing out at anyone they can (media, Pres Erickson, etc). They can't come to grips that their idol was behind all of this. He built the program and he brought it down in the end.


July 24th, 2012 at 2:02 PM ^

their Roundtable post, and they had some good points: the 1998 incident was reported to the local police, and the DA did not pursue the case. Other campus police organizations (Notre Dame) failed to report a rape case to local police. etc.

However the point they continue to miss is the highest level of Penn State leadership reviewed the 1998 case, and -- even though it was turned over to police and not pursued -- they elected to give this guy a retirement package, and allow him continued access to PSU facilities, and when he was caught again, they covered it up rather than reported it.

By the way, the campus police aspect of both the PSU and the ND cases need more focus. Cases like this need to be turned over to real police and DAs as soon as they are reported. Clearly there is a conflict of interest otherwise.


July 24th, 2012 at 7:22 AM ^

Most powerful person in the institution covered up the crime, allowed it to continue to protect the institution, his record, his salary. Nuff said.


July 24th, 2012 at 7:23 AM ^

I spoke with two PSU alumni yesterday who are just glad that they (the institution and alumni) can begin to move forward.  They are quite relieved that the football stuff (which they consider a side show to the university at large) can be allowed to fade into the background.  Yes some do get it.  They keep it to themselves because football was never a part of their self-esteem and they don't feel  the need to defend it.

Blue Durham

July 24th, 2012 at 7:32 AM ^

of posters who wanted the administration to fight all of this. Yeah, great idea, drag it out and put yourself in the position of defending complete inaction in the presence of a serial pedophile. All while hoping that the salacious details aren't continually discussed in the press and that additional victims don't come forward. Sounds like a plan.

I also read on BSD that even without the above considerations, the president (who did not consult with the Board of Trustees on this due to the pressing time factor) was faced with going along with this or have a 4 year death penalty imposed on the program. He had no choice.


July 24th, 2012 at 10:19 AM ^

Regarding your digging comment, I have to agree.  Curley, Spanier, and Schultz talked over email about reporting Sandusky.  Then Paterno takes Curley aside and suddenly Curley is saying "Let's not report anything".  To me that seems to imply Paterno told Curley "Don't do anything that gets law enforcement digging around on campus, they'll find more."  Sandusky didn't suddenly wake up a child rapist one day in 1998 and he had access to campus facilities long before then.

I think that is why the NCAA reserved the right for additional punishment after the Clery Act investigation and the FBI's investigation.  There is this feeling that the FBI might find more.  

Personally I hope that the current PSU admin accepted the sanctions because they realized the football program deserved them and they remain cooperative with the FBI.  


July 24th, 2012 at 5:40 PM ^

The jury is still out on UNC, but at this point it appears like they are going to get away with much more than they should have because the NCAA's investigation is done.  I haven't been keeping up with that investigation because I've been travelling and my usual source for everything UNC related is local (RTP) talk radio. 

I know they vacated the records of two players last week, but since I was in the urinal at the DBAC, I didn't dig too much deeper.  Did they vacate those wins as well?  Obviously, they have to be self-reporting this stuff.  The point is, if justice has already been meted, does the NCAA go back and dole out more?

Blue Durham

July 24th, 2012 at 7:45 AM ^

many of the Penn State fans are still in the process of disillusionment. As with many of us with our program, they have been emotionally vested in Penn State and many of the things that they have taken for granted for a very long time are now destroyed. Paterno, the grand experiment, and the very university have been seriously tarnished.

Over time, when the effects of the sanctions are felt (not just the football program but entire athletic program due to the loss of revenues) and the performance of the sports teams really suffers, the fans that the OP is referring to will begin to fall in line with the rest of us. In time.

I also thoroughly expect that the amount of money that Paterno donated to the university to fund the library that bears his name will be returned to his estate (it will end up in the hands of the victims, anyway) and his name removed from the library.


July 24th, 2012 at 8:30 AM ^

There are many PSU fans and alums that get it and are disgusted and hurt.  One friend of mine that played LAX at PSU told me he has had a hard time sleeping over the past few weeks.  He gets it.  There is a vocal minority that you will find on the internet.  For every one dumbass that does not get it, there are at least 100 if not 1000 that do get it.

Tulip Time

July 24th, 2012 at 8:45 AM ^

Asking that question is like a PSU fan asking, "Are there any Michigan fans not obsessed with pictures of kittens?" The answer is yes, you just won't find them in any of the places you're looking.


July 24th, 2012 at 8:47 AM ^

Your first three points regarding Paterno rather remind me of Weber's discussions on "charismatic authority", and it is something that I believe Joe Paterno established in a way throughout his tenure at Penn State, and as you bring up, to a point where there was inordinate reverence and obedience given to him.

The energy and excitement he brought to that program more or less right away by establishing their modern relevance in college football essentially put Penn State on the map beyond central Pennsylvania, in my understanding, so it seems then that it would follow that Paterno and the football program and the university would eventually become a sort or trinity in the minds of those who root for the Nittany Lions.

The winning even legitimized his "authority", and if you want to talk about the other component of Weber's concept, you could even argue that his authority was routinized within the decision-making process of the school. In other words, he influenced decisions that he indeed had no business influencing, right down to the selection of his own superiors and, well...the lack of action regarding Jerry Sandusky.

So, indeed, "cult of personality" is exactly what it was. It's a classic modern example, I think.

Now, the personality is dead and his legacy is oblitterated both in perception and officially now in the record books. Paterno's influence co-opted established procedures and processes, and with this influence physically gone and emotionally receding, the challenge for Penn State is literally "untangling the knot" that was Joe Paterno in virtually every day-to-day operation.

Why don't they get it? Those that don't now (some do) will eventually, but perhaps not for a long time. I know we've talked about this before, but Penn State will go through a version of "vergangenheitsbewaeltigung" sooner or later. Right now, it's a school and a fanbase not fully ready to admit that its hero could be so tragically flawed, in my opinion. Case in point - "It's just a statue", one student said on Sunday as Paterno's statue was being taken away, seemingly unready to deal with what it now represents to his school.


July 24th, 2012 at 8:57 AM ^

No.  There are no PSU fan's who "get it" as far as I can tell.  They seem to be singularly focused on blaming others, continuing the deification of JoePa precious legacy and screaming that only one side of the arguement was heard.

I used to have a lot of respect for PSU fans as I thought they were fairly intelligent, balanced indivudals who, despite their annoying "we are- Penn State" chant, were fairly pleasant to sit by during games.  Not any more.  Those feelings have been wiped off the books for me as cleanly as Joe's last 111 wins were yesterday.

And as for the arguement that there are lots and lots of them out there who do "get it" but we just dont know where to look can somebody point out to me exactly where they are hiding?  They arent on blogs.....they arent on TV....they arent on radio......I'm running out of places to search for them.




July 24th, 2012 at 9:30 AM ^

...get it. They're hanging on by their fingertips to the illusion that was the JoePa myth, his "Grand Experiment" and PSU football program exceptionalism. Ultimately these events occurred because the balance of power at PSU was so out of whack with what should be the correct model of program governance. And because they believed in their own exceptionalism, no one in the chain of command from the Board of Trustees to the Governor and state legislature to the Pennsylvania citizenry cared that the model had been turned on its head.


July 24th, 2012 at 9:57 AM ^

Why does the cover-up have anything to do with the balance of power? Had they dropped the hammer when it first happened the NCAA never would have gotten involved, Sandusky would already be in year 15 (or so) of his jail sentence and Joe Pa would still have his legacy. In no way, shape or form would turning in an assistant ruin Joe Pa or PSU - that's what it's all so confusing to me.  There was no reason to cover it up in the first place, in fact if they had reported it as soon as it happened Joe Pa would have been commended for his quick action so I just don't understand why anyone was even concerned about reporting it.


July 24th, 2012 at 10:28 AM ^

...the balance of power (Paterno) determined that Sandusky's activities should be covered up and the people who should have been able to overrule such a decision (his ostensible supervisors the AD and President) were powerless to do so.

You say there was no reason to cover it up and that's reasonable. But clearly JoePa thought there was a reason to perpetrate a cover up - because he did so. Why? Choose your theory (didn't think Sandusky really did these things, didn't think what Sandusky did was wrong, knew what Sandusky did and disapproved but thought it should be handled internally to avoid bringing shame and punishment to Sandusky and scrutiny to his program, etc.) -- it doesn't really matter why he did what he did, only that he did it.


July 24th, 2012 at 10:35 AM ^

Yeah, I've struggled to figure that out, myself, and think that the only logical solution is that they cared about Sandusky. In addition to the concern about the program that mgoshoe points to above, I think they also were reluctant to pursue actions they felt would destroy Sandusky's life. Sandusky was someone that, while apparently not a personal friend of Paterno's and Curley's, they did interact with on a daily basis for years and years. It had to be difficult, even when confronted with eye witness evidence, to believe that this guy they've known for decades was a aggressive pedophile. I think proof of this can be seen in the emails that mention pursuing the "humane" thing in regards to Sandusky and "getting him help." 

Of course, this had two effects. One, it meant that they had to cover up their own knowledge of the evidence against Sandusky. Two, and far worse, they turned a blind eye to the actions of the guy they knew, in effect allowing him to attack more and more kids, kids who remained nameless and faceless to Spanier, Curley, Paterno, (and McQueary and the janitors). That, for me, is at the core of the evil of the cover up, the total lack of concern for finding out who the kids were and for their future safety.


July 24th, 2012 at 9:50 AM ^

IMHO, that makes the sane ones bad in their own right.  They need to play an active role in trying to purge or reeducate the crazies.  PSU never self imposed sanctions or anything like that.  Instead the sane ones shut up and let the inmates run the aslyum.  Now they reap what they sow.  


July 24th, 2012 at 12:08 PM ^

First of all, attempting to convince people on the internet who are clearly irrational that they are wrong is pointless. Secondly, what is said in the comments section of a college sports blog is completely and utterly unimportant and if a disillusioned fan does not wish to participate in a comments section, there is no moral imperative for them to do so.

The only people who have a responsibility for policing these internet communities are the people that run them.


July 24th, 2012 at 11:45 AM ^

With message board talk dominated by dead-enders who want to run their new administration out on a rail, I suspect a lot of reasonable PSU fans are keeping quiet because they don't want to get into a flame war.

The same sort of thing used to happen on a much smaller scale on the UM Rivals board whenever the team lost. The board would always be dominated by people ranting and raving that Carr was an idiot, the team's performance was unacceptable, etc. There was no point in trying to respond to them, because they had no perspective and wouldn't listen to reason. Usually by the Monday after a loss the board would be readable again. I suspect the same thing might happen on PSU boards in time, although it will likely take a lot longer than two days.


July 24th, 2012 at 9:48 AM ^

They seem hard to find.  Growing in in Central PA it took me awhile to grasp why my parents disliked PSU football culture.  They really liked Paterno, my parents really liked Bo, it seemed comparable.  It took awhile to really grasp the difference.  Bo presented himself more as a man through which the power of Michigan flowed.  The Team, the concept of a Michigan Man, and certain values where what gave the program success.  Bo seemed to see himself more as just a set of talented hands that weilded the tools/power Michigan gave him.  Paterno presented him as the source of power for PSU and the the sole thing that kept PSU running.  That's why they clung to him as a figurehead headcoach after he was clearly long past his crime.  It's why they desperately cling to his legacy, trying to draw power from the dead.  

PSU fans remain children who fundamentally look to Paterno to tell how them how to act.  They appear to have a massive blank spot in terms of critical thinking relative to football.  They also fail to realize their own power in someways, that their fanbase and donor base is capable of keeping PSU football relevant without ever mentioning the name Paterno again.  If we had to, tomorrow we could purge Bo from Michigan history.  It would be unpleasant but if we needed to perform that purge due to the moral requirements of being Michigan Men it could be done.  PSU has never grasped they can do the same thing because they can't seperate Paterno, the person, from the morals of the program.  As such their program reflects the morals of Paterno, a man who covered up child rape.

All said and done I'm heading over to the MDen for my lunch break to buy a new Michigan flag.  Some assholes decided the knock my parent's flagpole over last night, they still live in central PA, since they didn't like the fact the B1G voted to punish PSU.  So they knock the pole over and set the flag on fire in the driveway.  Because that is how a cult reacts to the rest of the world saying "Your leader enabled child rape".  



July 24th, 2012 at 9:52 AM ^

Just like if you found our your Grandpa, someone that you've admired your entire life, enabled a child rapist.  If you have that much compassion for a person it's going to take time to come to terms when your entire view of them has been completely destroyed. Inevitably you'll hold on to the positives as much as you can while you slowly change your reality to what it is.  I really don't understand what's so hard to understand about the PSU fan - most of you guys seem to think that everyone in world should instantly be able to say "wow, what a douche, please kill our program for a decade or more and take all our money" when the truth of the matter is the only people who can easily say that don't have the kind of admiration and respect for JoePa that those fans had. 


They are currently in denial, that's 100% normal, please just give the human psyche some time to adjust to their new reality...


Now by mid-september if they are still going completely ape-shit about it then you'll have my support for calling them a bunch of ignorant blowhards or whatever you want to call them.


July 24th, 2012 at 9:58 AM ^

"It takes time....."

I'm sorry but the denial process didnt begin yesterday.  It began in 1998 when JoePa looked the other way and forced his friend into retirement instead of prison.  It continued in 2001 when McQuery went to Joe and no one else and the incident was conveniently forgotten about other than to tell Sandusky to rape his victims elsewhere.  And it was still ongoing last year when Sandusky was arrested and the totalallity of his crimes were exposed for the first time.

Time?  They've had 13 years or so.  Time's up.


July 24th, 2012 at 10:05 AM ^

You can't say they've had 13 years when no one outside of a handful of people knew squat before, what, a year ago?


Again, how long would it take for you to banish and hate your grandpa (let's assume you have a great relationship with him and have admired him your entire life) if you found out he did was JoePa did?  It's easy to say "I'd never talk to him again" until you're faced with it. There's a reason Psychology is a profession that requires a PhD to really understand it - the mind takes time to adjust to stuff like this and the more you condem PSU fans as being ignorant blow hards and being completely retarded the longer they will hold on to their beliefs.  Berating people for their beliefs (when they are wrong) never works - you have to engage in meaningful conversation with them and be realistic about the situation.  Honestly I'm disappointed at how quickly 99% of the people on this board are quick to judge and hate rather than support and help.


They'll get over it, they'll realize the mistakes and they'll "get it" but not yet and that's 100% normal (no matter how outrageous you think that is it's the truth).



July 24th, 2012 at 1:39 PM ^

Where we differ is in how we view & speak of Grandpa I guess.  I'm not looking for PSU fans to "banish and hate" Grandpa as much as I am looking for them to stop blindly supportng him and attacking those that would expose him for the person he really is/was.

There is a middle ground and as far as i can see PSU supporters as a group havent found it yet.  Using your analogy I would think I would be sad, confused, upset over the news that my Grandpa wasnt who I thought he was but I'm pretty sure I wouldnt run around screaming at everyone who had evidence otherwise.

EDIT: You wont find anybody who "gets it" in today's Yahoo article on the campus reaction


July 24th, 2012 at 10:20 AM ^

One of the stupider thing about this is that for the past few years the PA sports radio has been "Is Paterno too old?  Does he need to retire?  It is time?".  Half the fanbase thought it was time for the University to make Paterno step down to some kind of honorary post.  Then this happens, he's fired for cause, and it's lock step marching in support of him.  Some of these people were calling in to sports radio to demand he step down back in 2010.  


July 24th, 2012 at 10:26 AM ^

Speaking of people who don't get it, Spanier is now talking about how he was abused a child and is a victim too.  His excuse is that he didn't know about it and it was never reported to him.  The only thing worse than not acting on child abuse is being the President who presides over a school where people don't feel the need to report child rape to the police.  Even Spanier fails to grasp it isn't that we think he was in some room burning documents on the child rape, people dislike him because he failed to create a culture of compliance.



July 27th, 2012 at 11:35 AM ^

Presidents at Universities, like CEO's at companies, are paid to be responsible.  Only two choices, either Spanier knew something was going on, in which case he should be fired and abused for obvious reasons, or he did not know what was going on, in which case he is guilty of incompetence because it is his JOB to know what is going on at the University and to find out and root out this type of behavior amongst his employees that work for him.

Might not be his fault, if he knew nothing, but it sure is his responsibility.  That is what he is and was paid for....


Same for JoePa, as head football coach, he is responsible to know his staff and know that Sandusky was a repeat offending pedophile and to build a culture and climate where those in his staff and organization would know to come out and tell him the truth and put an end to such things.


July 24th, 2012 at 10:33 AM ^

Err...What is your argument actually? Are you arguing in favor of the punishments or just complaining about PSU fans and their love of JoePa?

If you are arguing that PSU fans should think less of JoePa, fine. The man made a huge error and, in your opinion, that clearly destroys any other good he did his whole life. To each his own on that one.

If you argue in favor of those punishments, none of your points are relevant in my opinion.  Nothing in your points gives any support to why the NCAA, a sports regulating body, could levy those types of punishments on activities that had nothing to do with actual athletes, nor gave any sort of competitive advantage to one team or another. As far as I am concerned, this is outside of any purview of the NCAA. If PSU wants to self-impose these punishments, fine, but the NCAA has nothing to do with this. The criminal justice system will appropriately punish those involved. The University will be appropriately punished financially with huge civil lawsuites for the activities of their administrators. The football team did nothing wrong and yet the football team is severely punished.


July 24th, 2012 at 11:28 AM ^

The Penn State Athletic Department was punished for Curley and Paterno's role in the coverup.  As based on the Freeh Report, which the PSU BOT accepted.  Thus the Athletic Department was punished by the governing body of college sports for their attempt to protect their cash flow, by attempting to coverup a child rape scandal in 1998.  That punishment manifested itself in the form of the football program facing sanctions.  Every possible step has been taken to make it easy for the players to move freely (interconference transfers, not counting against the cap, can leave the program but remain on academic scholarship, etc).  The cash flow of the program, the thing that caused PSU to coverup child rape to protect the program, has been nuked and that is just punishment.  

You can say that the NCAA had no right, that this wasn't fair, but every other member of the B1G voted to support the punishments and the NCAA governing council gave their President the ability to personally nuke you.  So clearly they have the ability and the public mandate to support the punishment.  The NCAA nuked based on Lack of Institutional Control and the other universities supported them on this.    

Regarding the criminal charges, don't worry.  They're coming.  The FBI and DoE move slower, normally 2-3 years for Clery related penalties.  Of course Curley and Schultz will likely have their prejury cases wrap up before then and hopefully the state manages to get Spanier on prejury as well.  Maybe even Harmon will find himself in hot water.

Punishment at its fundamental level is society expending resources to deal with something.  We're all paying part of the FBI's costs regarding their investigation into PSU, just as we all foot part of the tax bill when someone goes to jail.  I don't blame the cops for increasing my tax burden though, I blame the gangs of Detroit for increasing it.  Anyone who suffers due to the punishment of the PSU Athletic Department needs to go blame those who failed to tell McQueary to go to a police station and fill out a report.  They're the reason PSU just become a bottomfeeder.  As for PSU being a bottomfeeder, if that is what it takes to make Athletic Directors understand they need to do things like report child rape, then so be it.  Some players having to transfer and Happy Valley's commercial district shrinking in size (Oh lord they might have to move to Harrisburg, Hershey, or Lancaster and have their store there, the horror!) is an acceptable price to pay for ensuring every other AD in the country is now afraid to coverup serious crimes like child rape.  Curley volunteered PSU to be warning to others the moment he sent that "Lets not tell anyone" email.  


July 24th, 2012 at 11:32 AM ^

You are right and yet soooooo wrong.  Yes the NCAA stuff was unprecedented in  the types of infractions punished.  However, the cover up of Sandusky's actions represents the largest example of LOIC that we may ever see.

Whether the cover up was Paterno's doing or done primarily by others to protect him and the program; the Program/JoePa's legacy was considered above the victims and the law.  In this context the NCAA is well within their rights. 

The continued vehemence spewed at whomever the PSU fan base deems to blame for the penalties proves that football is way to prominent in the thinking of many associated with the University.  4 years of penance is what the NCAA feels it will take change this culture.

Yes it sucks what is coming for PSU football.  I can't imagine going though it at Michigan and tell myself that "it couldn't happen here" (of which I am a combination of hope and confidence). 

I hope PSU football survives this great "challenge" and comes out the other side stronger and more grounded. 


On a lighter note, don't forget that OSU is your bowl game for the next 4 years.  BEAT OHIO!!!


July 24th, 2012 at 1:02 PM ^

Yup, your argument is still unconvincing as to why the NCAA should be involved.

LOIC? From what I have read, PSU had complete institutional control, from the football coach up to the president of the University, they were all complicit in a cover up. Maybe loss of institutional morals or institutional criminal activity but not LOIC and the first two are not something the NCAA is involved in.

As for any argument of legacy or prestige or being above the victims, those sentiments are nice and good and all, but not exactly pillars of a legal argument and my argument essentially boils down to "the NCAA has no legal authority to enact these punishments." Nothing I have heard in any of these threads is persuasive enough to convince me that the NCAA has the right to do this. I believe that if PSU fought it, that they would win in the legal courts. However, I believe they chose to take the punishment and not fight it, so they would not lose in the court of public opinion.

Blue Durham

July 24th, 2012 at 5:21 PM ^

Most importantly, your argument that the institutional safeguards were in place, and thus there was not Lack of Institutional Control (LOIC), but that there was a lack of institutional morals or institutional criminality.

OK, the so-called death penalty is off the table, horay!  No loss of a season or two of four of football.  But under this scenerio, not only is EXPULSION from the association known as the NCAA warrented (realize that this would be for  ALL ATHLETICS), but essentially compulsory. 

And that would truly be the death penalty, not the trival loss of a couple of seasons of football.


Roy G. Biv

July 24th, 2012 at 1:59 PM ^

You may be right, but to play Devil's Advocate I could just as easily surmise Paterno would have been even further glorified had PSU turned Sandusky in immediately. He could have been the great leader who rooted out, dismissed and prosecuted (not personally, of course) the monster in PSU'S midst. Considering his beyond reproach status in the late 90s and still in possession of all his faculties, such a result is not far-fetched. That is what makes me fear that at least Paterno knew this was going on much earlier in Sandusky's career.


July 24th, 2012 at 2:35 PM ^

If the PSU brass had done the right thing in 1998, cut all ties with Sandusky, and had its police conduct an aggressive investigation resulting in charges then Paterno would have gotten some credit. However, if they had not comthey had theythey thee up with enough evidence to charge Sandusky with a crime then PSU's actions may have prevented some of the later assaults but it would not have been a big story.

By 2001 that was no longer possible. If they had turned Sandusky in, it would have come out that they had let him use the facilities even after they had been warned. PSU's image would have taken a major hit and they might have faced lesser (relative to 2012) NCAA sanctions, and Paterno might have retired or been pressured to retire.

Picktown GoBlue

July 24th, 2012 at 1:27 PM ^

the NCAA's right to take these actions this strikes at their very core, their very beginnings:

The NCAA was founded in 1906 to protect young people from the dangerous and exploitive athletics practices of the time.

The rugged nature of early-day football, typified by mass formations and gang tackling, resulted in numerous injuries and deaths and prompted many college and universities to discontinue the sport. In many places, college football was run by student groups that often hired players and allowed them to compete as non-students. Common sentiment among the public was that college football should be reformed or abolished.

One hundred and six years later, this is still about making folks understand that those in charge of athletics need to be about protecting the young people.

Blue Durham

July 24th, 2012 at 5:03 PM ^

its OK for an ex-coordinator (with full, unfettered access to the facilities and program, which provided him the status and prestige that actually enabled his pedophilia) to abuse young people, as long as it is the right young people. Not the late teen/early twenty young people, but pre-teen boys?

That's really your position, to allow them to hide behind this trivial technicality, if it really exists at all? You have to be f#@king kidding me.


July 24th, 2012 at 10:37 AM ^

The lunatic fringe of any fanbase is going to have the loudest voice on the internet. Plenty of their fans get it. Their football program that they've devoted a lot of time, energy and money in has just had its reputation destroyed and now has little chance of success for at least a decade. Penn State deserved it, but I'd still take it easy on their fans and alumni.