Penn State Scandal: Brace yourself, it's about to get worse

In Hollywood they’re always talking about “subtext” — well, here’s the subtext of the Penn State scandal and it’s pretty depressing.  As they begin to dig and dig into this situation, what is going to emerge is that a lot of people in the Penn State football program knew that Sandusky was bad news starting in 1998 when an investigation happened and he admitted to showering with young boys and touching them in appropriately. Consider the following:

  • Sandusky was told by Paterno in 1998 that he would not be the successor.
  • Shortly thereafter he retired at a still robust age of 55.  He was the assistant coach who had won “Best Assistant Coach” in the US twice; he had studied under the great Paterno; he had all kinds of opportunity to get a head coaching job somewhere.  But he didn’t?  Why?
  • Paterno didn’t even attend Sandusky’s retirement bash other than to give a one minute speech that was bereft of any accoloades.
It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to figure out that Penn State football knew something was up with Sandusky, and took steps to ease him out — but that’s it.  They left him still dealing with youths every day in Second Mile; they still let him bring them into the Lasch building.
What’s going to come out is that a lot of people know; Paterno either knew or was guilty of “willful blindness” which is a legal term and means if you had the opportunity to know, and chose not to, it’s the same as knowing.
My guess is, the Board of Trustees had a lot of this figured out on Wednesday when they decided to pull the plug on Paterno.
More heads will roll.

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