Penn State is facing what is being called “unprecedented penalties” for the culture of fear and protection that their football team fostered with regards to convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky. One source in the NCAA told CBS’ Armen Keteyian that he had “never seen anything like it.” The NCAA can hit Penn State with any number of penalties and punishments up to and including the complete dissolution of their football program.
Meanwhile, Penn State has removed the statue of Joe Paterno. The statue outside Beaver Stadium has been placed in storage. A small group of people witnessed the removal of the eleven-year-old, half-tonne statue being removed. The Freeh Report into the sexual assault and abuse scandal centering on Sandusky found that Paterno was complicit in the coverup that surrounded the abuse. It may never be known just how many boys Sandusky raped over his life, but the earliest known victims date back to the 1980′s, and include his adopted son.
Not everyone is happy with the removal of the statue. State College resident Susan Lamey told reporters that “It’s just another crime being committed. It’s just like what they want to do with the football team. They keep punishing the innocent. This is not solving the problem. This doesn’t fix anything.”
There are many who would not agree that Paterno is innocent in this situation given the fact that he helped to cover up the crimes of Sandusky, according to the report.
Penn State president Rodney Erickson stated that he feels it will help the school heal, and said in a statement that “I now believe that, contrary to its original intention, Coach Paterno’s statue has become a source of division and an obstacle to healing in our University and beyond. For that reason, I have decided that it is in the best interest of our university and public safety to remove the statue and store it in a secure location. I believe that, were it to remain, the statue will be a recurring wound to the multitude of individuals across the nation and beyond who have been the victims of child abuse.”
Paterno passed away at the beginning of the year.
“Tearing down the statue of Joe Paterno does not serve the victims of Jerry Sandusky’s horrible crimes or help heal the Penn State Community. We believe the only way to help the victims is to uncover the full truth. The Freeh report, though it has been accepted by the media as the definitive conclusion on the Sandusky scandal, is the equivalent of an indictment — a charging document written by a prosecutor — and an incomplete and unofficial one at that.
“To those who truly want to know the truth about Sandusky, it should matter that Joe Paterno has never had a hearing; that his legal counsel has never been able to interview key witnesses, all of whom are represented by lawyers and therefore unavailable; that there has never been an opportunity to review critical evidence which has not been made public; that selective evidence and the opinion of Mr Freeh is treated as the equivalent of a fair trial. Despite this obviously flawed and one-sided presentation, the University believes it must acquiesce and accept that Joe Paterno has been given a fair and complete hearing. We think the better course would have been for the University to take a strong stand in support of due process so that the complete truth can be uncovered.
“It is not the University’s responsibility to defend or protect Joe Paterno. But they at least should have acknowledged that important legal cases are still pending and that the record on Joe Paterno, the Board and other key players is far from complete.”
The family has, previously, stated that they are conducting a comprehensive review of the Freeh Report and “are dismayed by, and vehemently disagree with, some of the conclusions and assertions and the process by which they were developed by the Freeh Group.” Unfortunately, this is typical for any family as it is rare that they can accept the crimes that their loved ones commit or protected.