About a month before he died, Joe Paterno reportedly wrote what his family called an op-ed piece. That missive was released earlier this week in advance of the damning report issued by former FBI director Louis Freeh, the findings of which were heavily critical of the university and Paterno for failing to prevent Jerry Sanduskys criminal and abhorrent sexual deviance. (See Freeh report.)
In Paternos dispatch, the former head coach asserted that "this is not a football scandal and should not be treated as one."
Paterno was wrong about that. What happened tarnished the universitys reputation, and it had quite a bit to do with the football program.
What we learned from the Freeh report is that Paterno, former President Graham Spanier, former Senior Vice President Gary Schultz and former Athletic Director Tim Curley all knew about Sanduskys monstrous predilections as early as 1998. Despite that, the report asserts that the quartet exhibited a striking lack of empathy for Sanduskys victims and, worse, concealed Sanduskys activities from the Board of Trustees, the University community and the authorities.
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