Sue Paterno, the widow of late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, has emailed a letter to hundreds of former Nittany Lions players informing them that a report, commissioned by the family in response to the Freeh report that followed the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case, will be released Sunday.
The Freeh report, authored by former FBI head Louis Freeh, was highly critical of Joe Paterno and other administrators at Penn State in their handling of the Sandusky scandal. The NCAA later imposed unprecedented sanctions on Penn State based on the conclusions of the Freeh report.
Breaking more than a year of silence, Sue Paterno said in her letter to players Friday that her commissioned report presents “a persuasive critique of the Freeh report as a total disservice to victims of Sandusky and the cause of preventing child sex offenses.”
The report also questions the interpretation of evidence by the Freeh report, and the NCAA’s actions in sanctioning Penn State. In her letter to players, Sue Paterno also defends her late husband as a “moral, disciplined” man who never twisted the truth to avoid bad publicity.
I sort of understand the desire by the family to try to restore Old “Look the Other Way” Joe Pa’s image, but at the end of the day this falls into the same camp as Lance’s self-serving (or what was designed to be self-serving) Oprah interview. Look, Ms. Paterno, I know he was your husband for three hundred years or something like that and you loved him, but he is not the victim here.
Your husband chose to risk his reputation for career. His choice. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think there are lots of coaches including some I don’t like–Bobby Bowden, Mark Richt come to mind–who would not have not done what he didn’t do. They would have stopped it, no matter the cost. JoePa chose to sacrifice those kids for his football program. It was a gamble, he timed it wrong and died a hair too late. His reputation is certainly in tatters, but that doesn’t make him a victim. We don’t feel sorry for bank robbers who break their legs running to the getaway car.
You’re just not getting it. You don’t care if this silly effort stirs it all up again for the victim’s families, if it shatters whatever fragile closure they may have managed to gain. Because in your mind, JoePa (or rather his family) is the victim here. Repeat after me: JoePa is not the victim.
But what’s even worse is this.
Sue Paterno said in her letter to players Friday that her commissioned report presents “a persuasive critique of the Freeh report as a total disservice to victims of Sandusky and the cause of preventing child sex offenses.”
What horrifies me most is that you have the temerity to hide your obvious motives behind concern for the victims.
Of course, this isn’t the first time a Paterno has done something self-serving and claimed it was for another reason. And it’s sure as hell not the first time a Paterno has showed a total lack of concern for the victims.