Okay, I’m sold. I stayed with Joe Paterno as long as I could. I gave dinner, and other guests, indigestion with my efforts to stick with JoePa until all the facts were in. I wanted to believe Paterno’s poor family who thought they were living in God’s house.
I wanted to believe in a man who was a successful football coach for almost as long as I’ve been alive. I wanted to save the former players from wondering if all that good advice came from a monster. I wanted the Freeh report to exonerate Paterno. It did the opposite.
While I’m writing this I am watching a TV image of Penn State workers remove Paterno’s statue. I can now believe it. Paterno knew about the child molestings and did little, or nothing, about it. He put his football program above the lives of children. It wasn’t a matter of telling someone and thinking he had done his job. He told people NOT to tell. Turns out he was a bad guy.
Former FBI director Louis Freeh interviewed more than 400 people and sifted through 3 million documents. “The facts are the facts,” Freeh said. “He was an integral part of the act to conceal. He could have stopped the sexual abuses if he wished.”
That pretty well wraps up the consensus of the unbiased investigation. Rather than dwell on the awful past what should Penn State and the NCAA do now?
Some are calling for their heads. The only problem is that the heads that are left belong to innocents and it is not right. I was against the heavy sanctions against USC for the same reason. All the bad guys left. The USC infractions were many years prior. It made no sense.
The players at Penn State are innocent. The new athletic director and new administration are just not guilty of anything. But a lot of people, like USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan want the program shut down. “At least for a year, perhaps longer, right now!” she said. She wants everyone at Penn State to “stop thinking about the game and start thinking about the awful things that happened at the school because of it.”
Then she mocked the name of the football community called “Happy Valley.” Then she mocked the “squeaky clean” image Penn State had.
She wants the NCAA to shut P.S. down. Let the players transfer or maintain eligibility if the football program is reinstated. This just isn’t fair to the many people at State that had nothing to do with this.
Frankly I’m tired of some who blame everyone for the actions of a few. I read today that the kid in Colorado exhibited prior signs he was a nut job. Did his parents suspect something? Is society at fault for charging him tuition at the University of Colorado? Bologna.
But I’m now ready to fry Paterno along with his cohorts. Covering up something this bad is unjustified. The actual culprit is, and will be, behind bars for the rest of his life. I would like to pick some other things be done to him while he’s there.
But no longer will there be a JoePa in my life. He let these kids down. Way down. He let family and others down but it’s nothing compared to what he did, and didn’t do for many kids. I’m disgusted.
So my dinner, lunch and other friends, I’m sorry for “almost” defending him. I was just waiting until the facts were in. You know, innocent until proven guilty. Okay, it’s proved. But let’s not sacrifice more innocent kids at Penn State.
This week the Olympics started. I’ll delve into that next week now that I have Paterno off my mind. I still can’t understand why they dropped baseball and softball from the list. They said they were American sports. Hey, equestrian isn’t an English thing? Oh well. Next week we’ll talk about all of this. Have questions or information regarding the Olympics? E-mail me.
Contact Don Alexander at Journaldon@aol.com.