Joe Paterno Played Key Role in Scandal
Now his integrity is being questioned, and rightfully so.
In a new report, e-mails that were discovered as part of the investigation into the conduct of Penn State University by former FBI agent Louis Freeh show that Paterno was a big part of Sandusky not being reported to authorities.
Last year, Paterno testified to the grandy jury that graduate assistant Mike McQueary had gone to his house in 2001 to tell him that he had witnessed Sandusky in a shower stall with a young boy. Paterno noted that McQueary did not go into much detail, but understood that the scene was of sexual nature.
Jonelle Eshbach of the attorney general's office asked:
"You indicated that your report was made directly to (athletic director) Tim Curley. Do you know of that report being made to anyone else that was a university official?"
"No, because I figured that Tim would handle it appropriately," Paterno replied. "I have a tremendous amount of confidence in Mr. Curley and I thought he would look into it and handle it appropriately."
Sorry, JoePa, but "confidence" doesn't put a sexual predator behind bars. Nor does not doing anything in a 10-year period after-the-matter.
E-mails read to CNN blatantly indicate that Paterno was influential in the decision of Penn State officials not to report the allegations against Sandusky to the Pennsylvania Department of Welfare, which would have followed protocol.
On February 26, 2001, Curley reportedly wrote an e-mail to Vice President Gary Schultz in which he shared his plan of approaching Sandusky and contacting the Department of Welfare.
Even though Paterno implied to the grand jury he only spoke to Curley once, the investigation shows he in fact contacted the then athletic director a second time. Curley's plans immediately changed, as he contacted former President Graham Spanier the next day, stating, "After giving it more thought and talking it over with Joe ... I am uncomfortable with what we agreed were the next steps."
The Department of Welfare was never contacted, and the boy that was presumably seen raped in the football locker room was not sought out: What seemed to have been more important to Joe was keeping he and the university's name off the headlines and to keep his friend Jerry away from the penitentiary.
And to focus on the football team.
Although Sandusky was 'told' he could no longer bring "guests" on campus, nothing was enforced. He still retained an office at Penn State, he still was allowed keys to facilities, and he was still accepting among those who knew what he was doing behind the scenes. Including JoePa.
"I didn't know exactly how to handle it and I was afraid to do something what might jeopardize what the university procedure was," he said in an interview with The Washington Post, just eight days before death. "So I backed away and turned it to some other people, people I thought would have a little more expertise than I did. It didn't work out that way."
Unfortunately, that statement reveals the kind of man JoePa really was. He backed away when he should have stood up for the kids that were being abused, while lying to the grand jury by saying he passed on the situation to those with "more expertise," when really it was he who told them to do nothing.
Paterno may own the Division-1A record with 409 wins, but he's 0-1 in the game of life.
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