For decades Penn State football fans claimed their program was different, better and purer than others-a model for all college sports. But former FBI director Louis Freeh’s 267-page report blew a hole through that claim last Thursday. It is withering, thorough, believable: When Nittany Lions coach Joe Paterno, school president Graham Spanier and others were told that Sandusky was molesting children, they all felt bad. For Sandusky.
The whole Sandusky scandal is revolting. This quote from Michael Rosenberg of Sports Illustrated captures the disgust which most Americans feel towards the once-proud institution. Joe’s family protests, but taking down his statue and revoking the record-setting coaching victories was the least that could be done to restore some modicum of respect to college football.
I’m not a reactionary liberal and think the personal loyalty shown towards Sandusky was admirable. But when one is talking about serious child abuse for more than decade, a crime is a crime, just as much now as in 1998. Not reporting this serial child molester to the authorities for prosecution — and at the very least severing his ties to the Penn State football program, which facilitated his evil — is and remain completely inexcusable. We can only hope Paterno is red-faced in his grave.