TAMPA - I have tried to keep my distance from the Penn State scandal. It’s so ugly it makes me shiver.
I’ve kept my opinions to myself in an effort to gather as much information as possible before yapping about an event I wasn’t even around to experience first-hand, thank God.
I have run a gamut of emotions. From feeling sorry for Joe Paterno to being extremely disappointed at his reported lack of direction to stop Jerry Sandusky’s most disgusting acts.
I sit and wonder what he and three other head honchos at PSU were thinking when Sandusky’s dark side came to their attention in 1998.
Then they never, ever did anything about it, for years, and years, and years.
Impossible? Apparently not.
So on Monday, 14 years after the first Sandusky episode, the NCAA came down with their hammer on the football program, using the Freeh report as gospel.
I sure hope it is, and not filled in part with conclusions that are not entirely accurate.
Paterno’s family thinks so. So do the other three PSU officials who covered up this whole thing.
I don’t have any idea what the truth is. I hear what I hear. I read what I read.
As we all do, right?
So why do I sit here today wondering if the NCAA overstepped its boundaries?
They say no way. They’re in the right.
Why do I sit here and wonder why innocent people have to be penalized for actions they had no control over and frankly weren’t even around when Sandusky started his indiscretions?
Was it right to take away 111 wins off the Penn State football ledger, throwing Joe Paterno deeper into the abyss?
I think for one, I have to take a step back and see the forest through the trees.
Here we have a sad story about four men who thought covering up such indecent acts was for self-serving purposes.
Just to save their face, their program without consideration for the 10 boys who were molested, abused by Sandusky.
I find it hard to believe that there will be any evidence brought forward that will exonerate anyone.
I find it hard to believe that Freeh’s report was full of conclusions, not total fact.
I find it hard to believe that there are people out there still defending Joe Paterno.
His lack of action can’t be defended.
His apparent action to squelch the 1998 situation is mind-blowing.
I feel for the Penn State players, innocent victims that deserve better.
Some will transfer out with the blessing of the NCAA. Some will stay.
There will be Nittany Lion football.
There will be a tomorrow.
There will be a heightened awareness all across this country at every educational institution that no man, no program, no one is above the university itself.
The good old boys club at PSU is kaput.
It’s a new day, a better day. A clean slate. A chance to make it right.
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