Tuesday, July 10, 2012

American scapegoat: Joe Paterno

All signs point to Joe Paterno being the official scapegoat in Penn State's scandal of the century. Why?

According to ESPN and its array of informants privy to sensitive materials and leaking inside information, the Freeh Report - the culmination of an 8-month investigation into Penn State in the wake of the Sandusky scandal, which is due out Thursday at 9:00 a.m. - will be harshly critical of the Penn State football culture and the Nittany Lions longtime former head coach.

(Link: http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/8136890/penn-state-abuse-report-expected-very-tough-joe-paterno-according-sources)

Which means the national media, the Board of Trustees and the investigative body hired by the BOT all will be in agreement:

Joe Paterno, six feet under, will take the fall.


Big-time college football is incompatible with higher education. It's existence at the major conference schools, and a few others, is a Faustian bargain made long ago by most.

The incompatibility has become more pronounced as the decades have ticked by and the sport has become immensely popular.

We love college football and our school's football team and weekends with 100,000 other alums who feel the same way, but at the major football schools (such as PSU) the football program is like an island amidst the university, to paraphrase University of Virginia professor Michael Smith.

An island, like, say, Australia. Major college football is a massive, multi-million dollar revenue generating-and-expending behemoth that seems incongruent with the mission of universities, but is very congruent with the NFL, arguably the most powerful sports league in the world and for which college football serves as a free farm system.

College football is awesome, but it is a flawed model. Many players would not otherwise be admitted to the school were it not for football, meaning some are underprepared for the academic rigors, which can create a rift between football and other components of the school. Also, the NFL should have a real, developmental minor league of its own, like Major League Baseball does, and not rely solely on major colleges to supply its players.

Then, those 18-year-olds superstars who just want to be apprentice NFL players and start making money would have somewhere to go after high school - the NFL minor leagues - and not be force-fed into college. And those 18-year-olds who want to get a traditional college degree and also play college football could do so, albeit as part of a college football system that wouldn't quite be at the same level it is today. College football would still very much exist, but as a watered-down version - more like college baseball. It would lose some of its appeal, but in at least one way it would be better: You would know that more players give a crap about the school.

There needs to be an alternative for top high school football prospects who either aren't cut out for academia or have no interest in it, or want to try a potentially faster track to the NFL. It will never happen though, not anytime soon. This deeply flawed system is even more deeply entrenched due to - of course! - money.

The government might have to print more $$$ soon to cover the TV contract for the new college football 4-team playoff system. Thousands of small businesses in college towns rely on revenue from the big home football weekends each fall. And the exorbitant cost of creating an actual, comprehensive minor league football system would use up some of the vast reserves of money the NFL needs to cover its litigation costs over the wave of brain injury lawsuits.


The major college football culture discussed above - the giant moon alongside Planet University - apparently will be assailed in the Freeh Report, as apparently will the head of that football culture at PSU, Paterno.

In many ways such criticisms are warranted. College football is too big, too commercial, too much of an NFL feeder system and separate deity. Somewhere along the way major college football became really popular, and the universities that play it want to tap into the revenue stream flowing from that popularity, as well as keep the alums happy.

In order to get a piece of that college football cash pie - the Big Ten gave each of its schools upwards of $20 million apiece in shared revenue this year from the Big Ten Network - you've got to keep up with the Joneses. Thus, PSU and the rest of the Big Ten, and the SEC, Pac-12, Big 12 and some other schools, all have football programs that are big islands amidst the university.

And like the Hotel California, you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave. Even if you find your football program losing money, lots of it, as many schools do (not PSU - it has been one of the most profitable), the tens of thousands of alums who use football to stay connected to their university and each other would never allow it to be diminished. Plus, what would you do with your 90,000 seat stadium with the multi-million dollar luxury boxes and gonzo scoreboard? And there's the advertising benefit of having the school's football team on TV all the time.

As flawed as this system is, and as misguided as the concept of big-time college football has become, it's impossible to believe the PSU football culture is fundamentally different from any other big-time college football programs in any ways that would have made it more susceptible, or more enabling, or more protective, of someone like Jerry Sandusky.

Organizations all over, big and small and everywhere in between, including families and sports teams, have had child sex abuse monsters like Sandusky roaming through them, for years on end. It's the nature of the child sex abuser: they get away with it, somehow, and sometimes for a shockingly long time.

People have a hard time grasping that because we inherently loathe child sex abuse perhaps more than anything else, but it's true.

The Boston Red Sox had a child sex abuser in their midst for decades, a clubhouse manager named Donald Fitzpatrick who left a Sandusky-esque trail of victims. Were the Red Sox a fundamentally different organization, more welcoming in some way(s) to such behavior, than, say, the Pirates or Phillies or Cubs? Almost certainly not. It's highly improbable that Fitzpatrick's abuse would have been thwarted, or never occurred, had he first been hired by another baseball organization and stayed with them forever. The thing with sickos is, they find a way.

That doesn't mean we shouldn't be abjectly appalled Sandusky occurred at Penn State, or that we should leave stones unturned in our quest to know everything about what happened, why and how it happened, and how we can do better to prevent it from happening again. Doing so is critical, essential.

It just means, be careful when the Freeh Report comes out. Review the information and make your own conclusions - or don't make conclusions where you don't see any. Don't let ESPN or CNN do the thinking for you, or anyone else trying to twist the facts to suit their conclusions, such as all those cashing in on the cottage industry of blaming Joe Paterno for Jerry Sandusky's crimes.


"The media have been vicious to Paterno, and it seems to be getting worse. When this report is delivered no doubt they'll strip out bits and pieces, ignore overall context, and simply print the most outrageous headline possible. 

"Paterno is dead, the university needs to protect itself, and just about everyone else remains on the defensive. His legacy doesn't have a chance, at least for the next 20-30 years."

That quote is from an email from a person with no connection to Penn State, the media or this situation. Tragically, it make sense.

The media have run amok with this issue. Besides all the blind leaps of illogic made by writers about the recently leaked emails (see "Shameful Distortion: The misguided media assault on Joe Paterno" from July 5 in this blog), some well-known national news anchors are saying outrageously untrue and misleading things with impunity, such as the following, which were uttered the night of the Sandusky verdict:

  • When Mike McQueary told Paterno what he saw Sandusky doing, "it went no further." (Shepard Smith, FoxNews)
  • "Joe Paterno obviously was in on covering this up." (Piers Morgan, CNN)

If they can say such things - the first an indisputable fact error/lie, and the second an opinion presented as self-evident fact - then what chance is there for Paterno to be treated fairly, and for the Freeh Report to be evaluated objectively? The objectivity of the Freeh Report itself already is in question considering all of the leaks and sources.

While many attack Fox and CNN for their perceived political biases, they nonetheless are internationally known, extremely powerful, reasonably credible sources of news. What happens when they continue to be so flagrantly wrong and deceitful?

Joe Paterno loses, and society loses.


A college buddy used to call it planting the seed.

Before a night of drinking, he would talk to his cohorts about some foolish thing just as they embarked on inebriation. For example, one time he talked about jumping off the roof of the apartment into the pool.

As everyone was drinking, he'd mention it again. And once everyone was all boozed up, he'd bring it up again.

He had been planted the seed earlier, watered and fertilized it with copious amounts beer, and now he was finishing the job.

Pretty soon, some moron was launching himself off the roof like Russell Hammond, a.k.a. the Golden God, in Almost Famous.

The point being, if something is suggested over and over, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Or perceived truth.

If the media keeps saying Joe Paterno is at fault and keeps saying the Freeh Report is going to be "very tough" on him and keeps exaggerating what the leaked emails say, repeatedly, well then, that becomes the only outcome people know.  


Tim Curley's attorneys must be astounded.

The leaked email from former PSU athletic director Curley, one of the several leaked emails from 2001 reported recently by CNN and (mis)interpreted by seemingly everyone else, surely reached his attorneys. In it, Curley proposes not contacting authorities about Sandusky.

But wait. The national media, fixated on a Godfather-esque caricature of Paterno who controlled everything at Penn State with a whisper or a gesture, blames Paterno for the content of Curley's email.

In the email, Curley at one point says "after giving it more thought and talking it over with Joe." He doesn't say what Joe said. Or how Joe might have influenced him. And neither Curley, former PSU VP Gary Schultz nor former PSU president Graham Spanier, in all of the leaked emails in the thread, ever again mentions or references Paterno in any way. Which would seem to indicate Paterno is not relevant in their decisions related to Sandusky, right?

If the Freeh Report contains a "smoking gun" re: Paterno, this email sure isn't it.

Nevertheless, in the national media's extraordinarily narrow and simplistic view of Penn State, JoePa controlled everything, so even relatively vague and unsupported references to Paterno really are implying JoePa lorded over the decision.

Or as Sports Illustrated wrote in an attempt to be clever and incisive, "It would appear that Paterno cast the decisive vote in keeping Sandusky's crimes quiet,'' even though, based on what we know, he did no such thing. (And about the use of the word "crimes" - there was a single allegation against Sandusky at that time, not "crimes." The exaggerations never end for those trying to link Paterno to Sandusky's acts.)

After the Freeh Report is released, the next big event in the post-Sandusky scandal era will the prosecution of Curley and Schultz, which is expected later this month or in August.

If Curley's attorneys can somehow get a jury comprised of national media members, they can't lose, since all of them are sure to blame Paterno for anything Curley may have done, or not done.


Back in the mid-2000s, Paterno clashed with an administrator at Penn State, Director of Student Affairs Vicky Triponey.

She wanted control over football player discipline (student discipline was part of her job), and he wanted control over football player discipline (football player discipline was part of his job).

The ordeal reads like an escalating pissing match, with Paterno ultimately allegedly saying to Spanier - in an "I'll-take-my-ball-and-go-home" moment - either she goes, or I stop fundraising for the school.

This dispute became national news in November when the Sandusky scandal was exploding, The Wall Street Journal had obtained some emails (sound familiar?) of scathing, melodramatic rebukes of Paterno from Triponey, including one email to Spanier that said "please do something to stop this atrocious behavior before this team and an entire generation of Penn State students leave here believing that this is appropriate and acceptable behavior within a civil university community.''

(link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204443404577052073672561402.html)

Of course, this being open hunting season on Paterno, the Triponey conflict has been raised again, with some ignorant news sources acting like they are presenting this information for the first time.

A few things to keep in mind about this clash between Triponey and Paterno:

First, Triponey was a lightning rod for controversy due to her control-freak policy implementations at both Penn State and before that the University of Connecticut, in manners completely disconnected to football or student discipline. One Penn State-related website had even created "The Vicky Triponey Timeline of Terror," unrelated to her then-unreported dispute with Paterno (link: http://safeguardoldstate.org/the-vicky-triponey-timeline-of-terror/)

Second, Spanier clearly wanted the clash between Triponey and Paterno to happen, even caused it. Think about it: after nearly 40 years as head coach, Paterno suddenly is supposed to abdicate player discipline to someone he doesn't know, who just came to Penn State, and is disconnected from the football program? Spanier hired Triponey in 2003 knowing her controversial background at UConn; he supported her actions vis-a-vis Paterno for a time; and the biggest clashes came after the 2004 season when Spanier had tried to strong-arm Paterno's resignation, or at least get Paterno to plan a retirement timeline. The team started winning again in the 2005 season, and after that Spanier appears to have stopped supporting Triponey, i.e. he gave up trying to get Paterno to retire, for the time being at least. By 2007 Triponey was out at PSU.

Third, Triponey must have been ignorant or arrogant or stupid, or all three. In one email to Spanier in Sept. 2005 she wrote, "I do not support the way this man is running our football program.'' Um, whose football program, Dr. Triponey? It is a shockingly egocentric, unenlightened and undiplomatic comment. In sum, Triponey wasn't just someone trying to do her job who ran headlong into an obstinate, power-hungry old man. She had been set up, so to speak, by Spanier, and she was at least a little foolish and arrogant.

Fourth, there are two things about which all major college football coaches are in near constant conflict with school administrators: admission and eligibility.

Coaches of course want the best recruits they can get to matriculate at the school, i.e. they want the admissions department to let them in.

Every single major college football team - Stanford, Northwestern and Vanderbilt included - has lesser admission standards for football players than other applicants. (This of course doesn't mean all football players benefit from lowered admission standards, but many do.) It varies from school to school, but the coaches and admissions department everywhere clash over the admission of some recruits each year. It just doesn't make the news, with rare exception (Steve Spurrier famously blasted the University of Florida admissions department for denying a signed recruit in 2000 - he later apologized - and the player, defensive lineman Santonio Thomas, ended up at Miami.)

Coaches also want the players on the practice field and/or working out year-round, so keeping them academically eligible and also out of trouble is essential, too. And they want to discipline the players themselves, for many reasons, most relating to control: They want the player to know the punishment is coming directly from them, that their fate with the team and the severity of the punishment is controlled by the coach, and so forth.

(One local judge maintains Paterno never in any way meddled in the legal problems of his players: http://www.statecollege.com/mobile/news/columns/district-judge-never-once-any-sign-paterno-tampered-in-justice-system-988524/)

Coaches also want the punishment to be minimally destructive toward football, when possible, so they want a significant say in the form of punishment (which might explain why Paterno favored getting the entire team up early on Sunday mornings to clean the stadium, rather than, say, suspending several players for a couple of months). Not practicing and not playing is destructive. Practicing but not playing is a little less destructive to the team - the player stays "football ready" by practicing - and it still stings the player, because there are only 12 football games a year, and missing just a few of them is genuinely harsh punishment.

Regardless of all that, the purpose of publicizing the emails from the Triponey affair is of course to make Paterno look bad (has anybody read any stories recently about the legions of emails praising Paterno?) regarding player discipline, to look like a phony and a bully.

But 45 years of evidence, taken as a whole, tells the opposite story. Paterno was stricter than other coaches when it came to punishing his players for various transgressions. It's a fact documented ad nauseum that countless ex-PSU players - many who disliked Paterno, and many who liked him - have attested to hundreds of times over decades. It's part of the reason PSU football has been so successful academically.

Did Paterno cause Triponey's demise at Penn State? Almost certainly.

Could Paterno wield his clout forcefully? Yes.

Did Paterno have a reputation for using his power to fire people, or get them fired? No, he didn't. Just take a look at the incredible longevity of his staff. And at this time, when it's extremely popular to bash Paterno, why aren't more Triponeys coming forward? Where are the others he ran roughshod over?

There don't seem to be any. Otherwise they'd have been lining up the past eight months to get their revenge. 


It's an obvious understatement to say no major college football program would fare well after an eight-month, no-stone-unturned investigation in the wake of an epic scandal.

No matter how glaring the light is shined on the PSU football culture and what cockroaches emerge, that culture has long been considered, unquestionably, one of the finest examples of big-time college football. 

Rooting for Penn State always has been a little extra special. Everyone loves rooting for their school's team, but there unquestionably has been something a little better, a little extra cool, about Penn State football. 

Consider these abbreviated, recent PSU football-related achievements:
  • The New America Foundation declared Penn State football the 2011 national champion in its 5th annual academic bowl championship series (the only schools remotely close to PSU's score were Boise State, TCU and Stanford). According to the analysis, Penn State graduates 80 percent of its football players in six years or less and also shows no achievement gap between its black and white players.
  • Penn State and Stanford are the only BCS conference schools never to incur major sanctions from the NCAA. That's a pretty awesome testament to the entire PSU athletic department, the boosters, the coaches, the athletes and the administrators.
  • Lift For Life, an annual event founded and operated by PSU football players, has raised more than $600,000 in its first nine years for the Kidney Cancer Association.
  • PSU football is annually hailed by the American Football Coaches Association for its Graduation Success Rate. Among teams ranked in the Top 25 at the end of the 2011 regular season, Penn State tied with Stanford for the best GSR at 87 percent.
  • PSU football's 49 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans ranks third all-time.
Data like this always made it seem like Penn State football was making the best of things. Sure, a small army of tutors and support staff help make these accomplishments possible, but other schools have such assistance, too.

Even though major college football might be somewhat incongruent with higher education, the Nittany Lions, seemingly, have always made it as congruent as possible.

In other words, Penn State has had the best, most well-integrated football island in the college landscape.


Did Joe Paterno coach for too long?

Well, of course he did. No octogenarian should have a job as difficult, consuming and pressure-filled as major college football head coach.

Then again, Penn State was 66-20 his final seven seasons, from the beginning of the 2005 campaign until Paterno's last game, a win over Illinois in the ninth game of the 2011 season. That's almost identical to, among others, superpowers Oklahoma, Alabama and Oregon during that same span. Yep, you can look it up - the Sooners, Tide and Ducks, all regaled as current mega-powers in the sport, all had 20 losses in that time, same as the Nittany Lions.

Also, his 76.7 winning percentage those last seven seasons is higher than his career mark of 74.9.

So reasonable minds can debate whether Paterno should have long-since retired prior to the 2011 season, with solid arguments on both sides.

But it is nonsensical to associate Paterno's age with Sandusky's crimes. They're totally disconnected.

Sandusky's documented abuse started in the early 1990s. There's a realistic possibility it started before that. Using 1990 as a fair line of demarcation for the onset of Sandusky's abuse, Paterno was 63 at the time. Perhaps past his prime, but in no way old, or too old, to handle anything. By the 2011 season, the 84-year-old Paterno had drastically cut back his daily regimen and workload in many ways as a concession to age. But not so in the early 1990s.

Also, this line of thinking - that Sandusky's abusive perversions in some way benefited from Paterno's age/longevity - is based on the flawed notion that Paterno is the person most responsible for Sandusky, or was best positioned to be the one who stopped him. That is something that can never be known, and also seems illogical. 

Hundreds, if not thousands, of others engaged Sandusky for extended periods (weeks, months, years) during the past 20 years, including dozens of coaches and staff at Penn State, dozens of executives and staff at the Second Mile, dozens of colleagues and affiliates at Central Mountain High School, and many others. Old, young, and every age in between. Also, a great many were around Sandusky when he was with young boys much more often than Paterno ever was. 

Just because Paterno is the only PSU figure the national media is familiar with, or was old, doesn't make him any more culpable.

In 1998, the Centre County district attorney, Ray Gricar, let Sandusky off the hook following an accusation by a victim's mother. Gricar investigated and elected not file charges. In 2001, Spanier elected not to contact authorities about Sandusky - to the best of our knowledge it was Spanier's decision, unless it is learned the BOT had a say. Spanier was the president, he apparently had all of the information Curley and Schultz had, it was in his hands. And if Spanier's decision was to let Curley or Schultz make the decision, then it still was Spanier's decision. (If Spanier can prove he didn't have the same information as Schultz and Curley, then the dynamic changes.)

Both Spanier and the DA had reasons for their decisions. This is very hard for people to put into proper context, but the Sandusky everyone knew then was not remotely like the vacant, bizarro, sex abuse pervert monster we know now.

He had not committed any crimes that anyone knew of at that time; quite the opposite, he was a revered and admired do-gooder, rescuing at-risk children for decades through his fabulous charity. And he was a renowned football coach, or recent former football coach at PSU.

That's not an excuse, but it puts the situations in proper context.

While a lot is known about what Gricar and Spanier each knew at that time (though Spanier disputes what he was told), exactly what their reasons were may remain unclear, especially since Gricar disappeared in 2005 (which certainly seems incredibly suspicious and has been a longtime source of intrigue) and was declared legally dead in 2011. Why they each balked at pursuing Sandusky further when they seemingly had enough information to do so, we may never know. But it wasn't because Paterno was old.

This opinion piece offers unique and interesting thoughts on the effect of laws about reporting abuse in the wake of Sandusky: http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/20120710_Penn_State_scandal_shows_sex-abuse_laws_can_backfire.html


What do we know about Freeh Group International Solutions, which has conducted this investigation and will issue the report heard 'round the world on Thursday?

It is headed by Louis Freeh, a New Jersey native with undergraduate and law degrees from Rutgers. Freeh was appointed FBI Director in 1993 by President Bill Clinton and resigned shortly after George W. Bush took office in 2001, in the wake of the Robert Hanssen spy scandal. 

(Small world moment: Hanssen was arrested about a week after Sandusky was spotted by McQueary, in Feb. 2001)

From the Freeh Group home page:
Freeh Group International Solutions, LLC (“FGIS”) is an independent global risk management firm serving in the areas of business integrity and compliance, safety and security, and investigations and due diligence. FGIS was founded by Louis J. Freeh, former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and former federal judge. In addition to Judge Freeh, the management team of FGIS includes former senior law enforcement officials, legal consultants, accountants, and security and compliance experts. ... With access to subject matter experts across the globe, FGIS can quickly assess a situation and deliver solutions virtually anywhere in the world.

With regard to the Penn State investigation, besides its staff of  "senior law enforcement officials, legal consultants, accountants, and security and compliance experts,'' who might have been the "subject matter experts" accessed by the Freeh Group on this project? Were they experts in university administration? Higher education news reporters? Major college athletic directors? And how much has Freeh been directly involved?

We'll find out a lot more on Thursday morning, when the Freeh Report is released at 9:00 a.m., followed one hour later by a press conference.

Here is the task the Freeh Group accepted on Nov. 21:

Freeh to Lead Impartial and Comprehensive Assessment of University's Actions,
Governance, Protocols, Decision-Making and Oversight 

Can the Freeh Report deliver on its mission? We'll see.

At the bottom of the Freeh Group home page are four identifying words/terms: Integrity, Credibility, Experience, Global Reach

They've failed integrity thus far. 


The ESPN story about the anticipated contents of the Freeh Report recalls the movie Dead Poets Society.

As many surely remember, tragedy strikes when a student named Neil at an elite prep school commits suicide. His classmates gather to discuss it, and one says: "Think about it. The board of directors, the trustees and Mr. Nolan - do you think for one moment they're gonna let this thing just blow over? Schools go down because of things like this. They need a scapegoat."

It's clear who the national media sees as the scapegoat at Penn State. If there's been one story trying to connect Paterno to Sandusky's crimes, there have been 500.

If there's been one story relating to this scandal that delves deep into the questionable actions of Gov. Tom Corbett, or the PSU Board of Trustees, or the executives at the Second Mile, then please tell us where to find it.

Why the gaping discrepancy? Money is part of it, of course. Nationally, Paterno is the much bigger name. Generations of people nationwide know of him and his previously stellar reputation. Very few outside of Pennsylvania are familiar with Corbett, the PSU BOT or the Second Mile. 

Scandalous Internet headlines for stories that try to connect Paterno to the outrageous, highly publicized crimes of Sandusky get page views, which generate ad revenue, i.e. money.

Linking Paterno to Sandusky is big business. It is not necessarily good reporting.

What's also big business, for PSU, is protecting the university as much as possible. When the Freeh Report comes out, what will it say?

"I have here a detailed description of what occurred at your Dead Poets Society meetings. It describes how your teacher, Mr. Keating, encouraged you boys to organize this club and to use it as a source of inspiration for reckless and self-indulgent behavior. It describes how Mr. Keating, both in and out of the classroom, encouraged Neil Perry to follow his obsession with acting when he knew all along it was against the explicit order of Neil's parents. It was Mr. Keating's blatant abuse of his position as teacher that led directly to Neil Perry's death."


The Freeh Report was supposed to be a pillar, a key cog in the foundation of the post-Sandusky world. It doesn't look that way anymore with all of the leaks and inside sources spilling selected information.

Here are some cold facts:
  • Nothing is bigger than the university, and the Captains of Industry at the top of the Board of Trustees will protect the university as much as possible. (Translation: PSU has been very good to them and good for them, and they want to keep it that way as much as possible.)
  • The folks at the top of the BOT are very powerful and well connected and will protect themselves. (Translation: They need to justify their actions, so they need the Freeh Report to support their actions, such as the BOT's firing of Paterno, and the BOT allegedly not being informed by Spanier of the Sandusky allegations in either 1998 or 2001, and they just might be capable of having the Freeh Report manipulated. Does anyone doubt that?)
  • Relatively unknown administrative higher-ups won't suffice as scapegoats in the Sandusky scandal, regardless of what the truth is. (Translation: The public and national media apparently needs more than someone named Gary Schultz on a platter - unless, hypothetically, there is extreme evidence against Schultz or someone else - in order to feel satisfied about blame assessment for the abomination of Sandusky's crimes.)
  • There is a lot of money at stake, so the school needs to try to minimize its liability.(Translation: whatever the Freeh Report could possibly say to keep the multi-million dollar payouts to the victims from escalating further, the BOT would want it to say that.)
  • The one person the national media has been thirsting to shred to pieces for his role in the scandal not only was fired almost immediately by the BOT in November, but he died in January. (Translation: It's easier to pin something on a dead guy.)
It seems clear where this is headed.

All of the leaks and inside sources and rampant unprofessionalism (or calculated actions?) suddenly engulfing the Freeh investigation make it seem fait accompli:

Systematic release of specific information for the purpose of priming the public and the gullible national media into elevating Paterno's culpability. Quotes saying the report "is going to be very tough on Joe.'' Acknowledgment that the special committee of the BOT has been kept abreast of the investigation during the past several months.

Why would this information be leaked? What purpose would it serve to release such information? Is it prepping everyone for the forthcoming report declaring it all mainly Paterno's fault? 


Sandusky could have happened at virtually any school; he just happened to coach at PSU. The sports world is speckled with these abhorrent, defective people. A few minutes on Google will tell you more than you ever wanted to know about such things.

Exactly when Sandusky would have been busted is the variable, as every situation is different. But the historical facts about child sex abusers tell us it would have been longer than anyone can bear, no matter where he plied his perversity. 

Still, the Sandusky scandal is so heinous, so appalling, so confusing, that blaming the ivory tower power brokers apparently won't be enough to satiate the quest for a scapegoat.

So Joe Paterno, six feet under, will take the fall.

Whether he deserves to or not is another matter.

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