Joe Pathetic

July 14, 2012 | Josh Levine

Pathetic. The word I choose to now associate with Joe Paterno. I held out hope that the Freeh Report would show that Paterno knew very little about Sandusky’s crimes and in fact had done all he could do. I respected Paterno and what he did for Penn State and the game of football. Now that respect is gone. I was living in a dream world hoping that Paterno knew nothing.

The Freeh report, while potentially limited and an internal report, shows that Joe Paterno knew about the accusations regarding Jerry Sandusky in 1998 and did nothing except let Sandusky coach for him for two more years. Paterno ignored the accusation.

In 2001, when graduate assistant Mike McQueary saw Sandusky “acting inappropriately” in a shower, Paterno told his bosses and assumed the matter would be handled. The most powerful man at PSU talked school officials out of reporting Sandusky and like sheep, those officials did what Paterno wanted because he was Joe Paterno and could have had any of them fired. Graham Spanier, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz knew that Sandusky was abusing young boys at their school and they did nothing because the great Coach Paterno did not want them to.

I am tired of hearing Penn State alumni and fans support Paterno with comments like, “He said he wished he would have done more,” or “He did a lot of great things like build a library,” or “He is not here to defend himself.”

A lot of convicted criminals often state that they wish they had not committed their crime. A lot of criminals apologize to victims. Wishing you did more does not excuse the fact that you knew you had a child predator on your campus abusing young boys and you did nothing.

All of the great things Joe Paterno did are meaningless because he knew in 1998 that Jerry Sandusky may have had a problem and instead of addressing the issue he tried to sweep it under the rug. In 2001 he ignored it and wanted to treat Sandusky humanely. What about the young children coach?

I am aware that Coach Paterno died. He had his chance to tell his side of the story or tell the truth to a grand jury in 2011. He had the chance to tell the truth in November when the coverup blew up in his face. He had chance after chance to do the right thing at some point and never did and now his legacy is rightfully destroyed.

Penn State did the right things by commissioning the Freeh report and now they need to take further action. Start by removing the Paterno statue. Do not allow people to continue to honor this coach on your campus because he does not deserve to be honored. It needs to be pointed out that he failed those young children so perhaps no coach ever gets so powerful that university presidents feel as if they are working for the football coach.

I’d also like to see Penn State suspend their football program for one year and if they do not, I hope the NCAA gives the PSU football program the death penalty. Per Sports Illustrated, “Articles 2.4 and 10.1 of the NCAA constitution command ethical conduct on behalf of coaches and others associated with athletic programs, and 2.4 expansively states, “These values should be manifest not only in athletics participation, but also in the broad spectrum of activities affecting the athletics program.”

A lot of people will argue that giving PSU the death penalty would not be fair tothe current student athletes or coaches. However, as a friend of mine pointed out they may have to be collateral damage. The right thing would be to show the entire country that the institution of PSU acknowledges that they put football ahead of being in the right (if for no other reason, they gave their football coach more power then their president) and that they will NEVER let that happen again. And that they are so serious, that they are willing to go without football for a year to prove that they are so upset with themselves.

The athletes who have scholarships should be offered the ability to transfer to another school without having to sit out a season or PSU should offer them their scholarship for 2012 even though there will be no football and they can return to football in 2013. The decision then would be up to the student as to what they want to do. You cannot not punish PSU because current students athletes may not get to play college football. You have to punish PSU because 10 young boys that we know were abused at that campus and the administration and football program helped cover it up. The fact that Joe Paterno helped cover it up is just disgraceful and inexcusable. He truly was pathetic.