In the pantheon of evil at Penn State, Paterno was second only to Sandusky
In fact, Paterno comes out looking worse than anyone, aside from Sandusky.
According to the report, Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz were prepared to report Sandusky's abuse to the proper authorities, but were talked out of it by Paterno.
CLICK HERE FOR A FULL COPY OF THE REPORT
The report spells out the revelation of Sandusky's activities as far back as 1998 to Paterno, Curley, Schultz, and university president Graham Spanier.
Keep in mind that when Mike McQueary walked into the Penn State locker room and saw Sandusky raping a young boy, he discussed it with Paterno the next day. Before McQueary even walked into Paterno's office, he had already known about Sandusky molesting children for 3 years.
Paterno was the driving force behind NOT informing the appropriate officials, and NOT informing Second Mile, a charitable organization for kids that was run by Sandusky.
The Paterno family has released a statement, in an attempt to clear Joe Paterno's name, and somehow alleviate him from some of the blame in this horrific situation.
CLICK HERE TO READ THE PATERNO FAMILY STATEMENT
The Paterno family claims that Paterno didn't realize what Sandusky really was, and that if he had understood the extent of Sandusky's actions, he would have pushed his superiors to report them.
A few things are mistaken there, however. For starters, there's no one who was higher on the food chain than Paterno. He HAD no superiors at Penn State, which was made clear when he was able to talk the AD and VP into letting Sandusky continue raping children without ffear of being reported to the authorities.
Also, there's no doubt that Paterno knew exactly what was going on. He was told by several different people on multiple occasions, and there's really not a lot of gray area when it comes to what Sandusky was doing.
At this point, there are a few things that are abundantly clear, and a few things that absolutely need to happen.
The first order of business is that the Paterno statue on the Penn State campus needs to come down immediately.
Before this investigation, Paterno was seen as not only a legendary football coach, but a great man off the field as well. He was thought to have held his team and the university to the highest academic and ethical standards.
As the truth has come out about his role in the Sandusky scandal and the ensuing coverup, it's clear that Paterno is not the man he was believed to be. Instead, he's a man so obsessed with his own legacy that he not only failed to protect young children, he also enabled and condoned further abuse.
Next order of business: Vacate all of Paterno's wins after May of 1998, when Paterno was notified of Sandusky's behavior.
That would eliminate 102 of Paterno's wins, and it would be completely justified. By any standard imaginable, Paterno's actions at that time merited dismissal. If he had been fired, which is exactly what should have happened, he wouldn't have gotten those additional 102 wins, and wouldn't leave him with the all-time wins record.
Is it a bit petty to go after his legacy? Perhaps. But that record is one of the major factors that contributed to his desire to cover up the Sandusky scandal, so that should be one of the first things to go.
Next: Take down the Penn State football program.
It's a bit harsh, but an example needs to be made.
This can't be a slap on the wrist, like the "Death Penalty" that teams receive for recruiting violations. It has to be worse.
Don't just take away the program for a year or two, don't just take away scholarships... shut it down forever.
This is the worst situation that we've ever seen in the history of college sports. To be honest, it's not even close. The punishment should fit the crime, and it should send a clear message to the rest of the country that some things are more important than football.
For decades, Penn State football was EVERYTHING in State College, Pennsylvania. In the end, it proved to be such a high priority that it became more important than the safety of young children. Penn State Football was so important to Paterno, Curley, Spanier and Schultz, that they allowed Sandusky to continue raping children on university grounds simply because they were afraid of the backlash that could occur if they reported it.
In this case, the love of football (and the money that came along with it) was the root of an awful lot of evil.
I'm not 100% sure what the NCAA can or will do, but here are a few ideas:
What the NCAA should do:
1. Eliminate the Penn State football program altogether.
2. Allow the current members of the Penn State football team to transfer wherever they want, without penalty, and force Penn State to continue honoring their scholarships.
3. Remove the Joe Paterno statue, and any appearance of his name anywhere on campus, as well as the others involved in the coverup.
What Penn State should do:
1. Fire everyone and anyone who may have had any role whatsoever in the coverup of Sandusky's actions.
2. Start offering HUGE checks to the victims.
Let's get this behind us ASAP, shall we?