Joe Paterno legacy should not be to toss out value of sports
The Freeh investigation makes clear that Penn State officials weighed the importance of their football program against the safety of children and ruled against the children.
The investigation said longtime Penn State coach Joe Paterno and other university officials “failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who (Jerry) Sandusky victimized.”
Sandusky, a former Penn State coach, has been convicted of 45 criminal counts for abusing 10 boys.
Since at least 1998 there were complaints against Sandusky, observations of him sexually abusing children and “more red flags . . . than you could count over a long period of time” that Penn State had a serious problem, said former FBI director Louis Freeh, who led the investigation sought by the university trustees.
The investigation found that the Penn State officials concealed information about Sandusky’s activities to avoid bad publicity.
Football or children? Football won the coin toss at Penn State.
Here’s the question for every other football-crazed campus and Saturday afternoon stadium crowd decked out in school colors: What would win out where you send up your cheers?
Penn State is having their best year in fundraising ever, and the temptation is to dismiss them as heathens who would throw the safety of children to the gridiron gladiators. But a more measured response is called for.
College sports have their place. Paterno, for whatever harm he did in the Sandusky case, has been an inspiration to thousands of other young men, students and fans.
Children and their safety certainly outweigh the importance of a football program or any sports endeavor. Things went seriously and tragically wrong at Penn State. But tossing out the good of college sports programs - even at Penn State -- would be an egregious reaction.
Achenblog by Joel Achenbach
Postman On Politics