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Penn State’s Sick Sad Saga Back in the Spotlight



Joe Pa runs out with team

Is there anything easier than writing a negative column about Penn State for a Pitt football outlet?


Does that mean it shouldn’t be written?


Many in the Penn State community/fan base will dismiss what you are about to read as being opportunistic, tainted, Pitt-agenda-driven criticism of their sainted and now deceased former head football coach. Those people tend to spend more time dissecting the reasons why outsiders to State College may have a bias against their school’s handling of Jerry Sandusky’s child molestation than their own reactions to it.

Can’t blame them. Emotionally, that probably is a lot easier to do.

And I bet that just got harder after those unsealed court documents came out today. They are related to a case in which Penn State’s insurance company is battling over pay outs made to Sandusky’s victims.

In those a documents, a victim (then 14 years old) testified that he informed Paterno of a sexual assault performed against him by Sandusky way back in 1976. As chronicled by the Washington Post, “Sandusky touched him as he showered. Sandusky’s finger penetrated the boy’s rectum.”

The victim, called John Doe 150, claims he informed Paterno of the attack. The coach’s response was allegedly “I don’t want to hear about any of that kind of stuff, I have a football season to worry about.’”

Tell ya what. I’m going to save Penn State fans a lot of hassle on this one. Leave your blue and white horses in the barn, I’ll give you no need to circle the wagons. Franco Harris can keep the cardboard cut out in the attic. Donald Trump doesn’t need to spout another botched defense at a pep rally.

I don’t need to amplify my disdain for Paterno’s actions anymore after today. My opinion of how he handled himself was so low already, I don’t need to go 12 rounds with half of the (814) area code about the details of this event.

What JoePa defenders call “piling on,” I call “chumming the water” for them. Stories like this do nothing but galvanize the Nittany truthers. They instantly revert back to Freeh Report mode.

  • Dwell on the minutia of timeline inconsistency.
  • Restate why the claims didn’t advance further in the courts decades ago.
  • Go after Mike McQuery’s account, character, and intent.
  • Ask rhetorical questions about why Joe would keep Sandusky along if he allegedly was aware in the first place.
  • Affix blame to anyone and everyone besides Joe. Because if anyone else was guilty of anything, that doesn’t matter. So long as Joe’s rep gets spit shined.

We’ve seen this movie before. And I don’t like the ensemble cast. I’m sick of Franco, and Trump, and the (in some cases hardly memorable) player alumni who want to get one last “atta boy” from Penn State fans as they “demand” the statue goes back. I’m over the cries from the Paterno family on Joe’s behalf. I don’t need to hear any more soundbites from John Ziegler. I laugh at the personal twitter pleas from some undergrads were barely on their high school campuses, let alone at PSU when this all went down.

So I’m going to give this one to Sappy Valley. They can have it. I’m sure John Doe 150 made the whole thing up. I believe the courts and the media are working against you. And I’m sure McQueary is lying…a-gain!

But I don’t need it. My mind was made up already. It has been for years. And it wasn’t at first. Yet nobody said it better than Joe himself before he died when he allowed, “Maybe I could’ve done more.”
Yeah, he could’ve. Before he died. In 1998. And now maybe back all the way in 1976 as well.

Because his first failure to do so allegedly happened much earlier I suppose that, indeed, this could make him look even worse. But he looked so awful in the first place for how he handled it, I don’t want to give the Paterno hold outs the satisfaction over battling about whether he should be viewed as “awful-er.”

Let the Penn State fans yell at the clouds. It’ll give them something to look at since they seem to refuse to look in the mirror.

// Header image: JoePa Enters Beaver Stadium by Ben Stanfield from Washington, DC, USA | CC BY-SA 2.0,

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker

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