What a stooge I was.
I talked about Paterno's "true legacy" in all of this. Here's his true legacy: Paterno let a child molester go when he could've stopped him. He let him go and then lied to cover his sinister tracks. He let a rapist go to save his own recruiting successes and fundraising pitches and big-fish-small-pond hide.
Here's a legacy for you. Paterno's cowardice and ego and fears allowed Sandusky to molest at least eight more boys in the years after that 1998 incident -- Victims 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9 and 10. Just to recap: By not acting, a grown man failed to protect eight boys from years of molestation, abuse and self-loathing, all to save his program the embarrassment. The mother of Victim 1 is "filled with hatred toward Joe Paterno," the victim's lawyer says. "She just hates him, and reviles him." Can you blame her?
What a sap I was.
I hope Penn State loses civil suits until the walls of the accounting office cave in. I hope that Spanier, Schultz and Curley go to prison for perjury. I hope the NCAA gives Penn State the death penalty it most richly deserves. The worst scandal in college football history deserves the worst penalty the NCAA can give. They gave it to SMU for winning without regard for morals. They should give it to Penn State for the same thing. The only difference is, at Penn State they didn't pay for it with Corvettes. They paid for it with lives.
What a chump I was.
A lot of us were. Certainly I never suspected Paterno was sitting on this volcano, trapped in a hell of his own making, and deciding that the only option, the noble option, was to support the "greater good" of Penn State while these victims were abused sexually by his monster of an assistant. Nobody did. And the worship of JoePa continued because the sports journalism world never thought to give any credence to the claims that Sandusky was a blight on humanity itself. It went on for years because all the people involved didn't want to be trapped under the rubble when the pyramid of lies holding up Joe Paterno's program finally collapsed.
Collapse it did. We have to seriously re-evaluate college sports in America, and even more so, journalism in America. And the football team? Scrap it, take the millions in money the program is worth, and build a center dedicated to the prevention of sexual abuse in America. Hold fundraisers and booster dinners and gladhandle to raise eight figures for that each year.
There's your legacy.