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home : blogs_old : hang time September 30, 2014

Hang Time
By Steve Stockmar
Daily Courier sports editor Steve Stockmar gives you the cheat sheet for today’s top sports stories.
Friday, March 22, 2013

Penn State's world of ill-defined victims

By Steve Stockmar

Christopher Weddle/Centre Daily Times, AP
Former Penn State football player Brian Masella speaks with the media surrounded by other lettermen after a Penn State Board of Trustees meeting in Hershey, Pa. on March 15. Penn State's trustees heard last Friday – if they didn't already know – that the firing of Joe Paterno soon after Jerry Sandusky's arrest on child molestation charges remains an open wound among the school's vast ranks of alumni.

Accident-scene gawkers will love the fact that NBC's "Today Show" will present a new interview with Jerry Sandusky this Monday. The network announced the interview Friday.

"He'll describe in his own words what he says happened on the Penn State campus," Matt Lauer said of the interview.

Two sides whose own words I am done with: Jerry Sandusky's and the Paterno family's. And I hope, in the name of decency, that TV viewers are as well.

First, JoePa.

The Paterno family bought their customized report to counter all allegations from last July's Freeh Report, which, as you know, gave credibility to Paterno's culpability and ultimately led to the destruction of his legacy, not the least of which amounted to yanking his statue off the campus.

The family's independent report in response had its conclusions calculated before any investigation even began, which eased any objectivity with artful misdirection.

Paterno's lifelong achievements don't exonerate his final failings, not when it comes to the path of destruction left in the wake of his football program.

Never forget that JoePa was aware of a 1998 investigation charging Sandusky with having inappropriate contact with a young boy with whom he was showering in a Penn State locker room. In 2001, Mike McQueary's eyewitness account of a Sandusky assault came to Paterno's purview. By JoePa's own admission, he waited a day before reporting the incident to then-Athletic Director Tim Curley.

The only thing more baffling to the rest of the world than asking why Paterno waited one day to report it is the realization - again by Paterno's own admission - that he didn't follow up with Curley.

"With the benefit of hindsight," Paterno infamously said, "I wish I had done more."

We all do. Especially the future victims of Sandusky and their families.

Watching this Monday's Sandusky interview is your call.

You can watch him proclaim his innocence and say he's been railroaded and has been the victim of a rush to judgment.

Or, you can listen to the Paterno family say the same thing about JoePa.

Or, you can feel relieved for the kids of State College that the university has severed ties with all those complicit in a destructive football-first environment.

There are numerous victims in this sad, sad saga, and Sandusky and Paterno aren't among them.

Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, March 30, 2013
Article comment by: Even More Baffling

The Freeh report was bought by the Penn State trustees. The Freeh report which eased any objectivity with artful misdirection. Sandusky is a piece of crap that belongs in jail, but how about some real reporting. One of the victims mothers did report Sandusky to the police years ago nothing happened. We need to have some real facts about how evil people like Sandusky can fool people. The more real facts instead of paid reports the better the chance that maybe other kids can be helped sooner.

Posted: Saturday, March 30, 2013
Article comment by: @ To Steve

I am so sorry your 'parents' abandoned you when you did the right thing and needed them the most. You mattered infinitely more than that so-called man's career, and still do. My heart breaks for you, and I pray you find healing, peace and renewal for your battered spirit. Again, so, so sorry.

Posted: Saturday, March 23, 2013
Article comment by: To Steve

Well said.

As the victim of child molestation, and the child of parents whose exact words when I did the 'right' thing and 'told an adult' (i.e...my 'parents') .....

"you could ruin this man's career".

They chose to take the high road, not address the issue, subject me to further incidents, and subsequently marred my image of self and ruin my life. It took 30 years to repair that damage.

And that is what has been happening to Sandusky's victims. At least they were able to see him punished. Let's not further victimize the TRUE victims of Sandusky by crying foul against Joe Paterno. Not reporting and following through is almost as big of a crime as the crime itself.

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