PSR ANYTIME. ANYWHERE. Introducing the Pittsburgh Sports Report eMagazine. Click to read and watch the best sports coverage in the region.
Sunday April 26 2015
Leave this field empty.

Intentional Ignorance

PSR Logo
Jerry Sandusky will never see the light of day as a free man. That’s the first good news out of central Pennsylvania in a long time. That news is a credit to the 12 men and women of Bellefonte, PA, who acted as good American citizens by serving on the jury that convicted him.

It’s a credit to the eight brave young men who revisited the nightmares of their youth, by testifying in a packed courtroom and telling their stories to all of America in the process. It’s also a credit to Attorney General Linda Kelly, who did what her one-time colleagues Ray Gricar and Tom Corbett couldn’t—or wouldn’t—do.


But the work is not over. Far from it. And it only promises to get more difficult from here.


Jerry Sandusky was a monster; a man whose crimes were so heinous they are beyond comprehension for most of us. The folks who allowed him to commit these crimes, over and over and over again, for decades, are much more difficult to dismiss as rogue lunatics.


While it’s up to former FBI director Louis Freeh, and Kelly’s office, to determine who exactly is at fault, certainly former Penn State president Graham Spanier, ex-vice president Gary Schultz and ex-athletic director Tim Curley appear to be on shaky ground. The late Joe Paterno’s actions—and non-actions—are also questionable.


These men are—or were—respected leaders in the community, people we could relate to, not to mention people who staked their careers on the premise that their university was better than most. Penn State, nestled in the innocence of Happy Valley, was above the cesspool that defined other college sports programs and universities. The Penn State leadership, and those who filled their stadium on Saturdays, believed in that grand stature. They preached the Nittany Gospel across the land: JoePa playing the role of martyr by refusing to take the dirty money of the NFL; President Spanier shaming the media for daring to criticize Paterno in the wake of off-field scandal.


They did no wrong. After all, They Are… Penn State.


And now they are accused of turning a blind eye to child sexual abuse?


Nonsense. These men absolutely did not turn a blind eye to Jerry Sandusky’s crimes.


No, these men acted swiftly, decisively and aggressively. They made a very clearly defined, well thought-out and conscious set of decisions: to cover-up Sandusky’s abuse of children.


They didn’t ignore years of warning signs and graphic eye-witness accounts of horrible acts. Rather, they carefully considered the possible crimes, potential evidence, and the repercussion: who committed the acts, what the acts would mean legally, and how they would impact the precious—and lucrative—image of Penn State Football.


The parade of people—fans, media, coaches, Nike chairman Phil Knight—who want to paint Paterno and the others as victims of Sandusky’s actions are at best misguided, and at worst, evidence of the culture that allowed this to happen in the first place.


“These acts by one man cannot overshadow all the years of Paterno’s coaching greatness,” they plead.


Simply put, yes they can. Yes they do. And yes they should.


The only victims are the children Sandusky abused. The rest are adults who made decisions.


Paterno’s Grand Experiment failed, and it failed in the worst way. Preaching about wrong-doing by others is easy; holding yourself accountable is much more difficult. Happy Valley is just like any other city in America, and the Nittany Lions are just like any football team. Good people may populate them, but bad things—horrible things—can happen.


The only way for Penn State to repair its image is to allow that image to be burned to the ground.


Stop preaching. Bring everyone who participated in this cover-up to justice. And move on.

Share
In June, George Blanda—along with the late Johnny Unitas and living legends Joe Namath, Joe Montana, Dan Marino and Jim Kelly—will be honored in Pittsburgh.
Editor's DeskFeature One
The popular pitching coach tandem of Ray Searage and Jim Benedict have significantly changed how the media perceives pitchers the Pirates have brought in as reclamation projects.
Feature TwoNorth Shore Notes
Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux were 27. Jaromir Jagr was 20. Bobby Orr was 24.
Blue LineFeature ThreeTop Story
CoGo's is proud to recognize Butler High School's Megan Paul as the April 2015 High School Sports Unsung Hero award recipient.
Feature FourHigh SchoolTop Story
PSR VIDEO
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 1 Steelers TV Channel
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 2Xfinity HS FootballHigh School TV Channel
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 3PSR Video PiratesPirates TV Channel
It's no secret that the Steelers need help in the defensive secondary and at outside linebacker, but there are also needs elsewhere. Here's a breakdown of the team’s potential targets in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Custom 1Pure Steel
West Virginia's Kevin White will be the first local player off the board, but Pitt's TJ Clemmings looks like a first-rounder as well. Penn State has several players expected to go in the second and third days of the draft.
Custom 2Penn StatePitt FootballPure SteelTop StoryWVU
Prospects are constantly moving up and down teams' draft boards as players visit and work out for teams during the month of April. Two quarterbacks and two receivers make up four of PSR's top five players available.
Custom 3Pure Steel
While the Steelers, Bengals and Ravens are coming off playoff appearances and look to fill specific needs in this month's draft, the Browns are once again in need of help all over the roster, particularly on offense.
Custom 4Pure SteelTop Story