It Really Is Just About Football

Penn State Football remains the tail which wags the dog at the University.  The dominance of the football culture was the downfall of the institution and nothing much has changed $26 million later.  Joe Paterno is dead but his ghost lives on and it haunts a once great university.  Alumni and PSU insiders have never “gotten” that the nation is disgusted with the “football first” culture and how it led to the sexual molestation of boys in campus football facilities by a former coach.  It still doesn’t grasped how the cover up by top officials has resulted in a massive loss of support and confidence in Penn State.  It’s all still about football.

We saw it twice this past week.  First when coach Bill O’Brien essentially extorted a $1.3 million bonus to not coach the Philadelphia Eagles.  He denied that a wealthy alumnus (who owns a professional sports franchise) gave him the money as a gift but perception is reality and the perception here is that he grabbed a wad of cash to do what he was hired to do.

Granted I developed a deep respect for the new head coach when he held together and built upon a difficult situation.  The football team was in dire need of a change and he brought the right stuff.  Until he sold out last week.  He lost whatever respect he had earned in one fell swoop.

Then Tom Corbett sued the NCAA over those football sanctions citing losses of revenues from university related sportswear and trinkets.  That was his basis for establishing flimsy legal standing to bring the lawsuit in federal court.  The state would lose business produced by the Penn State football program.  So it’s all about football again.  What happened to the victims?  Does anyone at Penn State care about them?  Isn’t it time alumni focused on the kids and not the players?  So should the Governor.  Penn State will never put this scandal behind it until it puts football in perspective.

Corbett Tries Stealing Penn State Narrative

Gov. Tom Corbett announced yesterday he, as Governor, is suing the NCAA for its sanctions against the Penn State football program and the University.  With questionable and shaky legal standing, the suit alleges antitrust violations in the manner in which the collegiate athletic association chose to impose draconian sanctions against a program which it acknowledged did no wrong, broke no NCAA rules.

Legal experts question the Governor’s legal standing to file such a lawsuit.  Current Attorney General Linda Kelly abdicated her job and delegated to the Governor’s Office the authority to file this suit.  Why didn’t the state Attorney General just file it?  Politics.  Gov. Gasbag, watching steadily dreary poll numbers largely driven by his ill advised involvement in firing legendary coach Joe Paterno, desperately needs to reverse course, he has to initiate a cut back tot he open field before his re-election is doomed to the locker room.  

Incoming AG Kathleen Kane ran on a platform of investigating Corbett’s role in the three year investigation of Jerry Sandusky and wants to discover if he dragged his feet allowing a serial child molester to remain on the street because he didn’t want unfortunate political blowback while running for Governor.  Corbett then led the Board of Trustees decision to fire JoePa making him one of the evil tyrants in the story to Penn State football fans.  There are a few of them in the Commonwealth and the Guv stands no chance of re-election unless he does some serious damage control.  This lawsuit is driven completely by politics and not by law.  It is likely to be dismissed before November 2014 making him look even more desperate  I predict a sack for loss or worse, a blocked kick for an opposition touchdown.

Sandusky Doing Hard Time, Spanier Charged

Jerry Sandusky is now doing hard time at the state prison in Greene County in southwestern Pennsylvania.  He was evaluated at the institution in Camp Hill where all new prisoners are sent initially.  His sentence is 30-60 years.

Meanwhile former University President Graham Spanier was charged today with perjury, obstruction and failure to report child abuse.  Those charges come from the Freeh investigation which uncovered emails which show he and others covered up the Sandusky crimes for 14 years.  I did a brief interview with Spanier about on February 4, 2011 when President Obama was on campus.  He rudely cut off the interview.  It has been more than a few times lately as people do internet searches for the guy.  I wonder if he’s as smug today?

News Flash! Marcellus Shale Coalition Takes on Pennsylvania Charities

By Stephen Herzenberg, Third and State

Thanks to Citizens United, we are all the beneficiaries of unlimited corporate money in our elections – witness the onslaught of TV ads interrupting our ballgames and the fall lineup of TV shows.

In a new twist, the very groups that agitated to spend unlimited funds to promote their point of view are now critical of others who challenge them. What brings this to mind is an Associated Press story this morning that the Marcellus Shale Coalition is not happy about the funding priorities of the Heinz Endowments and William Penn Foundation.

Citizens groups and nonprofits around the nation are asking questions about environmental and health impacts of natural gas hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and Pennsylvania charities are funding much of the debate.

Foundations from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh have provided more than $19 million for gas-drilling-related grants since 2009, according to an Associated Press review of charity data. The money has paid for scientific studies, films, radio programs, websites and even trout fishing groups that monitor water quality.

That’s led to expressions of gratitude from those who say state and federal governments aren’t doing enough on the issue but also protests from some in the gas-drilling industry, who claim there’s bias in the campaigns…

But the Marcellus Shale Coalition, a leading industry group, criticized what it sees as a “record of bankrolling organizations and institutions opposed to the safe development of job-creating American natural gas.”

(Full disclosure: the Keystone Research Center receives funding from the William Penn Foundation and Heinz Endowments.)

What the groups, and their funders, are critical of is the unsafe development of natural gas. Since Pennsylvania’s official Marcellus policy is drill baby drill, somebody has to do the due diligence, so thank your local charity.

A related story provides heartening news that public debate can smoke out research that is simply advancing the perspective of the group that paid for the study.

A natural-gas driller’s group has canceled a Pennsylvania State University study of hydraulic fracturing after some faculty members balked at the project that had drawn criticism for being slanted toward industry.

The Marcellus Shale Coalition, which paid more than $146,000 for three previous studies, ended this year’s report after work had started, said Kathryn Klaber, coalition president.

The earlier studies were co-written by former Penn State professor Tim Considine, an economist now at the University of Wyoming who has produced research on economic and energy issues under contract to trade associations. The first study, in 2009, initially failed to disclose its industry funding and was used by lawmakers to kill a state tax on gas drillers. It was characterized as advocacy for producers by groups such as the nonprofit Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center in Harrisburg…

The Marcellus Shale Coalition, a Pittsburgh-based drillers group, paid Penn State for the three economic-impact studies beginning in 2009, according to John Hanold, senior associate director of Penn State’s Office of Sponsored Programs…

Subsequent studies by other researchers have found that gas drilling created fewer than half the jobs projected by Considine in 2009.

The public needs reliable data to understand what drilling does and what it doesn’t do – information that the industry just won’t provide. Rational, independent studies funded by an unbiased government or private foundations, are in this post-Citizens United environment the antidote to unlimited, year-round campaign commercials, like the ones offered by our friends in the gas industry.

Sandusky Sentenced

Former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky was sentenced to 30-60 years in prison this morning.  On an overcast day in Centre County hundreds of media people gathered to listen to a man deep in denial.  Last evening he issued this statement:

I’m responding to the worst loss of my life. First I looked at myself. Over and over, I asked why? Why didn’t we have a fair opportunity to prepare for trial? Why have so many people suffered as a result of false allegations? What’s the purpose? Maybe it will help others. Some vulnerable children who could be abused might not be as a result of all the publicity. That would be nice, but I’m not sure about it. I would cherish the opportunity to become a candle for others as they have been a light for me.

They can take away my life, they can make me out as a monster, they can treat me as a monster, but they can’t take away my heart. In my heart, I know I did not do these alleged, disgusting acts. My wife has been my only sex partner and that was after marriage. Our love continues.

A young man who is dramatic and a veteran accuser and always sought attention started everything. He was joined by a well-orchestrated effort of the media, investigators, the system, Penn State, psychologists, civil attorneys and other accusers. They won. I’ve wondered what they really won. Attention, financial gain, prestige will all be temporary.

Before you blame me, as others have, look at everything and everybody. Look at the preparation for the trial and the trial. Compare it to others. Think about what happened, why and who made it happen. Evaluate the accusers and their families. Realize they didn’t come out of isolation. The accusers were products of many more people and experiences than me. Look at their confidants and their honesty. Think about how easy it was for them to turn on me given the information, attention, and potential perks. I never labeled or put down them or their families. I tried and I cared, then asked for the same. Please realize all came to the Second Mile because of issues. Some of those may remain.

We will continue to fight. We didn’t lose to proven facts, evidence, accurate locations, and times. Anything can be said. We lost to speculation and stories that were influenced by people who wanted to convict me. We must fight unfairness, inconsistency, and dishonesty. People need to be portrayed for who they really are. We’ve not been complainers. When we couldn’t have kids we adopted. When we didn’t have time to prepare for trial we still gave it our best. We will fight for another chance. We have given many second chances and now will ask for one.

It will take more than our effort. Justice will have to be more than just a word. Fairness be more than just a dream. It will take others. Somebody apolitical with the courage to listen, to think about the unfairness, to have the guts to stand up and take the road less traveled. I ask for the strength to handle everything and the willingness to surrender only to God regardless of the outcome.

This man molested at least eight boys, some as young as 11.  He did so repeatedly and there were witnesses to some of the transgressions.  How he can stand and claim none of it happened makes me think he suffers from a serious mental illness.  This is more than a river in Egypt.  Most convicted criminals show remorse at sentencing, not Sandusky.  He destroyed (with help) an entire University’s reputation and ruined a respected football program.  According to him it was all set up by a large conspiracy of disgruntled, troubled youth who couldn’t figure out their own lives.  Those who caught him in the act apparently were hallucinating.

I almost feel sorry for Jerry Sandusky and his deep state of denial.  Almost.  Wait, I don’t feel anything but contempt for the man.  He got what he deserved.

Meanwhile Penn State football lives on under dynamic new coach Bill O’Brien.  I’m not sure I’ve ever been prouder of this team than Saturday when they rallied for 22 unanswered points against an undefeated Northwestern team.  Fifteen rats left the ship but with outstanding coaching and motivation provided by all of the bad press those who chose to stay are showing  amettle seldom seen in sports.  Their success in the midst of scandal and sanctions should be a ray of light for all young men wishing to be part of something bigger than themselves.  Coach O’Brien is showing how the game had passed by JoePa and how badly change was needed in Happy Valley.  If I’m a star high school football player I’d want to play for this man and this team regardless of NCAA sanctions.

Tom Corbett still has to answer for his role in all of this.  Mike McQueary is suing Penn State for loss of reputation and a new report says the boy he saw being raped was molested again following that incident.  That justifies the firing of Joe Paterno and the other University administrators who covered up the offense.  The State House is now paralyzed over a resoultion calling for an investigation of Corbett’s investigation.  Too many questions remain over why it took him three years to indict Sandusky and whether he stalled it for political purposes.  Pennsylvanians and Jerry’s victims deserve to know the truth.


Baffled, Befuddled, and Bamboozled Penn State Trustees and NCAA are Sinking


When we last left the baffled and befuddled Penn State trustees, they were trying to figure out what happened in the Great NCAA Sanctimonious Sanction.

           What happened is that the NCAA bamboozled university president Dr. Rodney Erickson. The NCAA-having spent most of its history figuring out ways to make college athletics even more prominent on college campuses-suddenly found religion, created new rules, didn’t conduct an investigation, and shredded anything resembling due process. Using the Freeh Report as its newly-found Bible, NCAA president Mark Emmert piously declared he wanted Penn State to “rebuild its athletic culture,” and preached the lesson that the NCAA hoped “to make sure that the cautionary tale of athletics overwhelming core values of the institution and losing sight of why we are really participating in these activities can occur.”

           It was a neat little speech, probably written by PR people. But it couldn’t be Penn State he was referring to. Penn State athletes go to classes and graduate; its football team is often at or near the top of graduation rates for Division I football programs. The university itself, even with a well-recognized party culture, is well-known for numerous academic programs that are among the best in the country.

           Nevertheless, Emmert somberly told Erickson that the NCAA was seriously considering the death penalty for Penn State. Death, in NCAA terms, means a suspension of the sport for at least one season. The only time the NCAA had issued the death penalty was in 1987 against Southern Methodist University for blatant and repeated recruiting violations. Death to the Nittany Lions football program would significant harm the university and private business, and affect far more than the football team, not one of them having been involved in what is now known as the Penn State Sandusky Scandal.

           But, said Emmert, have we got a deal for you. If you sign on the dotted line, we won’t kill football at Penn State, we’ll just fine you $60 million, ban you from bowl games for four years, reduce the number of scholarships, vacate the 111 wins from 1998 to 2011, require you to follow everything the Freeh Report recommended, hire an athletics monitor, comply with everything we tell you, and place you on probation for five years.

           Now, every career criminal and little ole lady who accidentally shoplifts knows the police and DA aren’t serious in their first presentment of charges. They overcharge, trying to scare the defendant into a plea bargain. Plea bargains allow DAs to claim high conviction rates, while not having to get all messy with such things as jury selection and presenting evidence. So, the defendant and the DA negotiate, and a few charges are thrown out, and the defendant agrees to a lesser offense-perhaps instead of felony burglary, it becomes a misdemeanor, complete with a small fine and probation-and everyone is happy.

           Dr. Erickson, with Pigskin Proud drops of perspiration flowing freely, was so relieved his university wasn’t getting the electric chair, he agreed to whatever it was that the haughty NCAA demanded, and signed the consent decree that Penn State would never ever appeal the decision.

            Back in State College, the trustees, as is their history, were clueless and furious.

For years, they thought their only functions were to approve whatever the university president told them needed approving, raise tuition and fees, and get their friends good seats at football games. Now they faced a greater problem.

           They had previously proven they were inept in how they handled the scandal. They had previously violated state law by their secret meetings and failure to extend any semblance of due process to Coach Joe Paterno and president Graham Spanier. Then to hide their meltdown, they commissioned Louis Freeh, former FBI director, to conduct what they claimed was an independent investigation, for which the insurance company paid about $6.5 million.

           True to what the Trustees wanted, Freeh miraculously decided that the Trustees needed to reassert their power, and that the people to blame, in addition to the convicted child molester, were the former president who resigned,  a now-retired senior vice-president, a former athletic director, and the dead guy, also known as Joe Paterno. Problem solved.

            However, there are still a few problems. The first problem is that the Freeh investigation is just that-a private investigation that was not subject to even the basic rules of due process, the right of individuals to subpoena witnesses and to challenge their accusers under oath.

              The second problem is that Jerry Sandusky, convicted of an assortment of felonies, was not employed by the university or was a football coach at the time the crimes were committed. The first suspected felony in 1998 was not prosecuted by police or the DA. The second suspected felony, seen by a graduate assistant in 2002, was reported to Paterno who properly reported it to the persons in charge of athletics and the university police, as was university procedure. However, the university, apparently, chose not to report it to police or the DA. Sandusky had retired from Penn State in 1999, and had no connection to the football team.

The third problem is that Paterno and Spanier, who faced media hysteria and took the brunt of the Trustee condemnation, were never charged with having done anything illegal, nor did they ever face their accusers in court.

           Enter Ryan McCombie, a Penn State alumnus who was elected to the Board in July as a reform candidate promising to get the Board and the university to be more accountable to the people and to protect the rights of accused. McCombie isn’t some wimp in the disguise of a corporate executive. He’s a retired commanding officer of Navy Seal Team Two, and not someone to be messed with.

           One month after his election, McCombie unleashed his first shot, and it wasn’t over the bow. In a letter to the NCAA, McCombie, acknowledged the suffering of Jerry Sandusky’s victims. However, he also said that the NCAA objectives that led to the sanctions “should not be achieved by ignoring or trampling upon the fundamental rights of others. The desire for speed and decisiveness cannot justify violating the due process rights of other involved individuals or the University as a whole.”

           He charged that Erickson didn’t have the authority to enter into the agreement with the NCAA. He noted that the lack of an NCAA investigation violated NCAA established procedures, and were “excessive and unreasonable.” But his most powerful torpedo hit dead center. The conclusions and recommendations of the Freeh report, which the NCAA used to justify its moral outrage, was “based on assumptions, conjecture and misplaced characterizations that are contrary to available facts and evidence,” said McCombie.

            The Board of Trustees, in response, decided to hold a meeting Sunday night. Chair Karen Peetz, in a memo to trustees, obtained by the AP, says the Board will vote on a resolution accepting NCAA sanctions, because “it is now time to put this matter to rest and to move on.”

           The final problem is that the NCAA and most of the Penn State Trustees are still paddling in choppy seas and don’t know they have been sunk.

           [Walter Brasch is a former newspaper and magazine reporter and editor and university professor. He is the author of 17 books, the most recent of which is the critically-acclaimed novel, Before the First Snow, which looks at the American counter-culture and political corruption.]


News & Notes July 27, 2012

It was a fairly busy week.  Tomorrow I’m taking a break and going tubing down the Delaware.  It’ll be different floating down a stretch I’ve paddled in my kayaks.  Sunday some family arrives for a week so blogging next week may be spotty.

Mitt Romney showed his foreign policy chops by flying to London and insulting our best allies.  Then he met with the head of MI6, such a secret spy outfit no one who works there acknowledges its existence.  Mitt promptly announced his meeting.  Oops.  If these are his diplomatic skills heaven help us if he gets into the White House.

Speaking of Mitt here’s a funny take on his twisted out of context ads:

Victim 2 has finally surfaced in the Sandusky scandal.  He was the boy Mike McQueary saw being raped in the showers of the Lasch Football Building.  Joe Paterno quashed any reporting of the incident to authorities.  He says he was molested again following that incident.  This is extremely bad because it means four senior University officials, including the high minded coach, allowed a child to be molested because they chose to do nothing.  Don’t put me on that jury.

The EPA says Dimock’s water is now safe and they are discontinuing water deliveries.

Anyone still denying climate change is worse than a fool.  Here’s my opinion:  anyone who denied the science shouldn’t get ANY government help or relief as a result of global warming.  This includes the farmers losing their crops, people losing their houses to wildfires, etc.  These funds should go towards helping everyone else afford food as prices begin to skyrocket due to drought and famine.  Those responsible for nothing being done about this major issue should pay a steep price for their stupidity.  If you voted Republican in the last twenty years you’re eligible for that distinction.  We knew this crisis was coming and did nothing.

It appears Gov. Gasbag signed the VoterID law without first knowing what it said.  He can’t recite the legal ID’s required for voting.  Could it be he can’t even read?  That would require a minimum level of intelligence after all.

In the “tell me something I didn’t know” department the former head of the Florida GOP says the Party engaged in voter suppression efforts against Blacks.  We saw what they did in 2000.  VoterID is simply new election rigging.

When Florida passed its Stand Your Ground Law I warned about going to the Sunshine State because your life could be in danger there.  More evidence after the Trayvon Martin case:  a salesman was shot and killed going door to door by yet another gun nut.  Thank you, everyone who voted Republican.

Another gun nut in Texas (is that sentence redundant?) shot himself and children when his gun went off.  It’s a good thing he missed his nuts, otherwise he’d be facing brain surgery.

Congressional Republicans stuck an item into the transportation bill hurriedly passed at the end of June which will cost 2,000 maritime jobs.  It’s bad enough Republicans aren’t creating jobs but please stop destroying the ones we still have!

Romney keeps repeating his lie that the President told businessmen “they didn’t build that.”  The “that” meant the government infrastructure which enables their success, not their businesses.  Yes, grammar and context matter if you’re intelligent enough to know English.  Why doesn’t the GOP presidential candidate understand clear English?  Is he stupid?  He even then used a businessman in an attack ad who has gotten millions from the government.  He did the same thing here in PA this week when he used a business owner who has gotten government contracts.  oops.

Paterno Statue Removed

The statue of Joe Paterno outside Beaver Stadium was removed this morning.  University President Rodney Erickson made the decision and released this statement:

Since we learned of the Grand Jury presentment and the charges against Jerry Sandusky and University officials last November, members of the Penn State community and the public have been made much more acutely aware of the tragedy of child sexual abuse. Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to those victims of Mr. Sandusky and all other victims of child abuse. I assure you that Penn State will take a national leadership role in the detection and prevention of child maltreatment in the months and years ahead.

With the release of Judge Freeh’s Report of the Special Investigative Counsel, we as a community have had to confront a failure of leadership at many levels. The statue of Joe Paterno outside Beaver Stadium has become a lightning rod of controversy and national debate, including the role of big time sports in university life. The Freeh Report has given us a great deal to reflect upon and to consider, including Coach Paterno’s legacy.

Throughout Penn State, the two most visible memorials to Coach Paterno are the statue at Beaver Stadium and the Paterno Library. The future of these two landmarks has been the topic of heated debate and many messages have been received in various University offices, including my own. We have heard from numerous segments of the Penn State community and others, many of whom have differing opinions. These are particularly important decisions when considering things that memorialize such a revered figure.

I now believe that, contrary to its original intention, Coach Paterno’s statue has become a source of division and an obstacle to healing in our University and beyond. For that reason, I have decided that it is in the best interest of our university and public safety to remove the statue and store it in a secure location. I believe that, were it to remain, the statue will be a recurring wound to the multitude of individuals across the nation and beyond who have been the victims of child abuse.

On the other hand, the Paterno Library symbolizes the substantial and lasting contributions to the academic life and educational excellence that the Paterno family has made to Penn State University. The library remains a tribute to Joe and Sue Paterno’s commitment to Penn State’s student body and academic success, and it highlights the positive impacts Coach Paterno had on the University. Thus I feel strongly that the library’s name should remain unchanged.

Coach Paterno’s positive impact over the years and everything he did for this University predate his statue. At the same time it is true that our institution’s excellence cannot be attributed to any one person or to athletics. Rather, Penn State is defined by our actions and accomplishments as a learning community. Penn State has long been an outstanding academic institution and we will continue to be.

The world will be watching how Penn State addresses its challenges in the days ahead. While some may take issue with the decisions I have made, I trust that everyone associated with our University will respond in a civil and respectful manner.

I fully realize that my decision will not be popular in some Penn State circles, but I am certain it is the right and principled decision. I believe we have chosen a course that both recognizes the many contributions that Joe Paterno made to the academic life of our University, while taking seriously the conclusions of the Freeh Report and the national issue of child sexual abuse. Today, as every day, our hearts go out to the victims.

It was the correct decision.  As long as it stood it was an “in your face” reminder tot he Sandusky victims.  Imagine being one of those men and knowing that every day people were worshiping one of the men responsible for covering up 14 years of child molestation?  It was a lightning rod and, as such, had to come down.

Washington Post Calls Paterno A Liar

Jerry Sandusky took Joe Paterno down with him.  Shortly before his death the head coach did an interview with The Washington Post. Today that publication came out and labeled him a liar:

Joe Paterno was a liar, there’s no doubt about that now. He was also a cover-up artist.

No reporter likes being lied to and every political candidate out there knows a cardinal sin is to lie to the press.  The reason is because once you piss off the press you’re toast.  There’s a saying:  never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel.  JoePa lied to The Post and they’re exacting their revenge on his legacy by exposing him as a liar.

Paterno said in the interview that he never knew about the 1998 incident in which Sandusky was caught showering inappropriately with a boy in Paterno’s football building.  The Freeh Report uncovered emails showing he did know about it.

Through all of this today I recalled former Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer’s comments after Sandusky was arrested.  He said coach’s know everything that happens in their programs and their locker rooms.  It’s a small fraternity on a campus and a close one.  The Report says Joe had total control over his facilities and knew everything that happened there.  It reinforced Switzer’s comments.

So we learned today that Joe Paterno wasn’t a saint.  This is shocking news to many Penn Staters.  Of course Paterno put himself on that pedestal.  He profited personally from the adoration in the form of endorsements.  He basked in the worship from his fans.  It fed his ego.  Heck, he was just another human being with flaws.  Fortunately for him lung cancer got him before the Freeh Commission exposed his lies.  The Post hasn’t forgotten he lied to them on his deathbed.

People are supposed to come clean on their deathbeds so I’m disappointed JoePa, a devout Catholic, never confessed and repented.  He denied it all to the end.  His family, in a statement today, continued in its deep denial and needs to realize it’s time to end the cover up.

None of us are saints and Joe Paterno wasn’t one either.

The Freeh Report

I’m writing this analysis as I read the full, 267 page Freeh Report.  First of all their inability to interview Tim Curley, Gary Schultz (on advice of their attorneys) or Joe Paterno (he, unfortunately, died) is disappointing.  I’d like to have have known more about exactly what JoePa knew and when.

The Report is extremely damning, showing a total lack of concern for Sandusky’s victims and a willingness to allow him to do additional damage to children’s lives.  Penn State will never recover from the fallout from this investigation.

They did conduct 430 interviews and review 3.5 million documents and emails.  That’s a huge number.

In addition to slamming Spanier, Paterno, Curley and Schultz it faults the Board of Trustees for failing to protect the University.  The Report says the BOT failed to ask proper questions of Spanier or to dig into the matter properly.  The Board was basically a rubber stamp for the University President and had false faith in his ability to deal with the problem.  This was the same Spanier who neglected to report a sexual assault as required by federal law.

Freeh concludes that Penn State, in order to avoid bad publicity, “repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky’s child abuse from the authorities, the University’s Board of Trustees, the Penn State community, and the public at large.”  Of course once that publicity hit the fan it was monstrous because of their earlier failures.  Once more, the cover-up becomes part of the crime.

The lessons of WaterGate never die:  covering up a crime can be worse than the crime itself.  In this case nothing is worse than the crimes against these children but the fact the top people at Penn State, including Joe Paterno, knew what was happening on campus and in the Lasch Football Building and chose to do nothing about it, is a very damning cover up and justifies their firings.

The football program had never had training in the Clery Act and most had never heard of the federal law mandating reporting of sexual abuse and attacks.  The Report faults “a culture of reverence for the football program that is ingrained at al levels of the campus community.”

No one wanted to sink the football program so kids were left at risk.

Joe Paterno was informed (substantiated by emails) of the first Sandusky incident of May, 1998.  This means he lied when he said he was ignorant of it when he told Sandusky in 1999 he would not be his successor and the defensive coach retired.  The belief that this had nothing to do with that decision is naive.  In fact evidence shows the University and Sandusky began his removal from the coaching staff directly after the investigation on Victim #6 was closed.

In spite of all this he was re-hired for the 1999 season and he then took victim #4 to the Alamo Bowl and assaulted him in a hotel.

The following year a janitor caught Sandusky in the shower with victim #8.  He was afraid to report it for fear they’d all be fired “to protect the football program.”  Just the fact someone thought this is as damning as it gets for the culture of football at Penn State.

I’m not going to single out Penn State for this culture.  I bet it exists at every major football school.  There’s too much at stake in terms of money, prestige and the influence of the NFL.

As a result of their inaction more boys were molested by Sandusky, some on campus.  They were fully willing to sacrifice the lives of boys to protect Joe Paterno’s successful football program.

One of the findings is that several staff people saw Sandusky showering with young boys in the Lasch Football Building.  None of them reported anything to anyone.

Another finding is that no one even spoke to the now convicted child molester after the 1998 incident.  None of them took any action to restrict his access to the building.

Penn State should consider suspending the football program in light of this Report’s findings.