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    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

    Penn State: They Got What They Deserved (and less)

    I never liked Joe Paterno.  I always thought he was hanging on too long, and padding his statistics while becoming a caricature of himself.  To those Penn State fans who thought he was some kind of demi-God, you are sick, and should be ashamed of yourself.  They should take that Joe Paterno statue, and blow it up, Taliban-style.

    If you haven't read the Freeh Report on this, it is scathing in its treatment of Penn State's "leadership" (if you can call them that) and Joe Paterno.

    The report is forthright, stating, "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 report further identifies four "leaders" at Penn State who failed to provide this protection - for over a decade! They were President Graham Spanier, Senior VP-Finance and Business Gary Schultz, and Athletic Director Tim Curley and Joe Paterno.  Furthermore, the school's board of trustees failed in their oversight role. 

    A great article on the hubris of Joe Paterno, written before the sanctions were handed down, came from  Washington Post sportswriter Sally Jenkins (she's also the daughter of legendary sportswriter, Dan Jenkins).  In his final interview, just before his death (with Jenkins), Paterno insisted he had no knowledge of the 1998 allegations that were originally brought to the police.  That was a lie.

    Jenkins spared Paterno no punches.  He was a "cover-up artist," a man who's final years were a "work of fiction" and a "hubristic, indictable hypocrite."  And that's just the first paragraph.

    On Monday, the NCAA handed down some pretty tough penalties to Penn State, and posthumously, to Joe Paterno.  The school was forced to vacate all the victories from 1998-2012, leaving Joe Paterno nowhere near the winningest coach in NCAA D1 history, they were forced to vacate several bowl victories, and required to pay $60M to various local child-protection charities.  They lost over 20 scholarships, all their current scholarship players are released from their commitments, and they have 5 years of bowl probation.

    It couldn't happen to a bigger bunch of babies, so, I hope it takes them as long as SMU to recover from this.  Somehow, all those idiots watching football in "Happy" Valley will, I think, rally around what's left of the football program, and, in 2019, they'll likely be back on the winning streak.

    Here's hoping not.

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