The Freeh report states in no uncertain terms that Joe Paterno was complicit in a culture of silence and the active cover-up of child sexual abuse at the hands of his right-hand man for 30 years, Jerry Sandusky.
As many continue defending him - saying that this isn't the "Joe they know," I would argue that the facts tell a different story.
Meteor Blades has a great quote in his signature line - "Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe. "
Follow me below the jump for a brief history of Joe's "doing"...
Between 2002 and 2008, 46 Penn State players were charged with a total of 163 crimes; 27 were found guilty.
Football is All that Matters
In late 2002 Anwar Phillips was charged with sexually assaulting a woman and was expelled from school. However, Joe Paterno allowed him to play in a bowl game in January, 2003. Mr. Phillips was acquitted of the charge in a subsequent trial.
In The Lion in Autumn, sportswriter Frank Fitzpatrick wrote:
Paterno refused to say whether he even knew Phillips had been accused or suspended. “What happened, happened. I have very little control over it,” he said that spring, according to Fitzpatrick.
Paterno added later: “That’s nobody’s business but mine. It’s not the fans’ business, and it’s not yours.”
“The handling of the matter, and what was seen as the use of a loophole to permit Phillips to play, struck many as an indication that Paterno and Penn State were no longer the bastion of ethics they claimed to be,” Fitzpatrick wrote. “When a bowl game was at stake, even they were willing to abandon the moral high ground.”
That's the way we handled it
In 2004, after several incidents involving football players, Mr. Paterno told the Allentown Morning Call newspaper that the players weren't misbehaving any more than usual, but that such news was now more public. "I can go back to a couple guys in the '70s who drove me nuts," he said. "The cops would call me, and I used to put them in bed in my house and run their rear ends off the next day. Nobody knew about it. That's the way we handled it."
Paterno would rather we NOT inform the public...despite any moral or legal obligation to do so
In 2005, following several issues involving football players and code of conduct issues, Vickey Triponey wrote an email to Dr. Spanier:
"Coach Paterno would rather we NOT inform the public when a football player is found responsible for committing a serious violation of the law and/or our student code," she wrote, "despite any moral or legal obligation to do so."Later that same year, another incident involving a football player "prompted Mr. Spanier to visit Dr. Triponey at her home. Dr. Triponey confirms he told her that Mr. Paterno had given him an ultimatum: Fire her, or Mr. Paterno would stop fund-raising for the school."
Mr. Curley's response, also reviewed by the Journal, was sent three days later and was copied to Mr. Spanier. "I think your summary is accurate," it said.
Mr. Curley, who had played for Mr. Paterno's team, explained what he said was the coach's "frustrations with the system." Mr. Paterno, he wrote, felt that "it should be his call if someone should practice and play in athletics." He said Mr. Paterno felt the school had "overreacted" by deciding to allow reporting of off-campus incidents, and that the NCAA had gone "overboard" with new rules on academic-eligibility requirements
A cute girl knocks on the door - what do you do?
2006, on the eve of the Orange Bowl, Paterno had this to say about a Florida State linebacker named A. J. Nicholson who had been accused of sexually assaulting a woman: “There’s so many people gravitating to these kids. He may not have even known what he was getting into, Nicholson. They knock on the door; somebody may knock on the door; a cute girl knocks on the door. What do you do?”
Paterno continued to a group of reporters: “Geez. I hope—thank God they don’t knock on my door, because I’d refer them to a couple of other rooms.”
After Paterno’s comments became public, the National Organization for Women called for his resignation.
“I’m not going to say anything about it,” Paterno told ESPN a few days later. “Most people know me. I am what I am.”
Can't expect players to testify against each other, they have to play football
In 2007, six players were criminally charged with at least one felony count of criminal trespass, some with two other felonies, burglary and criminal solicitation.
Some of the victims were punched, one was hit in the head with a beer bottle and knocked unconscious, and another was punched and kicked in the face, authorities said. At least five students were struck during the fight and at least two needed treatment at a hospital, authorities said.
In a statement issued by the athletic department, coach Joe Paterno said the football staff was concerned about the accusations "and will determine the appropriate consequence for each player's status on the team when due process has transpired."
Dr. Triponey's department began an inquiry. According to a Penn State employee's record of the proceedings, Mr. Spanier was involved in at least nine meetings with representatives of the judicial-affairs department, and Mr. Paterno was involved in at least six.While charges were eventually dropped against many of the players, two plead guilty to misdemeanors and four were suspended from school. They did not, however, miss any games.
In a meeting with Messrs. Paterno and Spanier and others, Dr. Triponey complained that the players were stonewalling her and suggested that Mr. Paterno ought to compel them to be truthful, according to one person familiar with the meeting. Mr. Paterno angrily responded that his players couldn't be expected to cooperate with the school's disciplinary process because, in this case, they would have to testify against each other, making it hard to play football together, these people say.
When this story broke in November, 2011, I heard Brandon Noble on a radio interview saying that football players 'insulate" and that they "try to handle it in house." This is the culture that needs to change. The behemoth that college football and other sports have become create this culture of conspiracy, of cover-up, of collusion. If Sandusky, Spanier, Curley, Schultz, Paterno, McQueary, et al., have taught us one thing, it is that we can never again elevate an individual, a sports program, a university to a level above reproach - a level above the law - never again can we turn a blind eye to questionable behaviors based on someone's status in the university or spot on a football team.
I will close with a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. (use of quotation marks mine)
~We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the "good" people.