By now you’ve heard the Freeh Report has been released and it’s not good news for Penn State. As Dan Wetzel at Yahoo! Sports writes:
In clear, calm, concise and unrelenting words, a report from an independent investigation into Penn State’s handling of the Jerry Sandusky sexual molestation case assigned blame in harsh terms to a wide-ranging group of high-ranking officials.
From iconic football coach Joe Paterno, to now fired president Graham Spanier, to a detached Board of Trustees, the failures, lack of concern and ceding of oversight, no one escaped blame in failing to stop Sandusky’s 15-year plus reign of terror in central Pennsylvania.
“The most saddening finding by the Special Investigative Counsel is the total and consistent disregard by the most senior leaders at Penn State for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims,” the Freeh Commission report, released Thursday morning, reads. “The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized.”
Most notably Paterno’s failures are profound and clash with his previous portrayals.
The Freeh Report concluded that, as many had assumed, Paterno (as well as other administrators) was aware of a 1998 criminal investigation on allegations that Sandusky abused a boy in Penn State locker room showers. While the local district attorney did not prosecute, the Freeh Group condemned Paterno and the others for not setting up further precautions against Sandusky’s behavior.
Read this again:
“The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized.”
Really, the report’s findings aren’t surprising. Anyone with half a brain knew that Joe Paterno either was either too old and diluted to know what was happening or that one of the most powerful figures in college sports was covering this putrid matter up. Either way, for Paterno and his family it was all about legacy- continuing to build it and conspiring to maintain it.
And the other most important powers that be at Penn State conspired with him.
So it’s for this reason that I think Penn State should take a hiatus from college football, if not all collegiate sports. This has nothing to do with NCAA and whether or not infractions were committed. It has to do with doing what is right.
Football at the collegiate level (as with all other college sports) should be used to develop students and to prepare them to contribute to society in a positive way. At Penn State, this was backwards. The coaches and administrators were willing to use and sacrifice anybody so that they could remain in power.
The same group that allowed the bogus “Success with Honor” mantra to be perpetuated was allowing young boys to be molested and raped. And they kept their mouths shut so that the cash cow wouldn’t be gored. Their priorities and their perspective was wrong and an organization doesn’t get those things back by simply saying, “my bad” and by hiring another coach and athletics directors. You get those things back by returning to the basics, by doing things that help to restore your thinking. In this case, I think that can best be done by doing without football for a while.