A monster to most, a messiah to himself; no matter which Jerry Sandusky you want to believe in, both are in prison forever.
Since charges were filed against the former Penn State Coach there have been many questions lingering. Among these are some that have rarely been asked. Specifically-
– Was Joe Paterno involved beyond his admissions? Now that has Paterno literally died of embarrassment we will never be able to truly pursue it. No accusers have surfaced, then again neither has the District Attorney who initially investigated the charges against Sandusky. Paterno’s reaction and story told of a man cluelessly inept; a stark contrast to his Game Day persona.
Paterno was the face of the Nittany Lions. He was considered to be a master of the game. Was he master of another, much more brutal game? One in which penalty flags were never thrown and the other team had been paid off. While everyone sees their alma mader through rose colored lenses, the Sympathy Riot on campus had more passion then anything short of the Occupy Oakland movement. Torching a car, the students disgraced themselves. While perhaps understandable to a degree from kids, the disgraceful behavior of the Penn State Brass is beneath contempt. Some may feel the recently removed statue of “Joe Pa” would look great in a cell WITH Sandusky.
So incompetent, immoral and unethical were the actions of the School itself as an Institution; it raises questions about what Penn State is all about at it’s core. Which Brings me to my next question-
– Will the Penn State Diploma EVER recover?-
No one I have heard in any media format has openly questioned this. If perception is reality, no one outside the Keystone State will view the same way ever again. Like a football bet what matters most is the point spread. How sensitized are the people in a position to decide? At this point no demographics specific to Human Resources, so there’s not much to goon here but gut. What is known is damning.
There was abuse, there was a cover up so enduring and systemic that it undermines prestige. A generation will need to come of age before the stench of these accusations dissipates. What other scandals are brewing? How many future victims of any given element of the school will surface?
With the team routinely pulling in figures between 50- 70 million dollars a year the motivations of the Penn State hierarchy is easy to understand, and the solution they arrived at- ‘He’s fired and so are we’, was morally reprehensible. Individuals who should have been held liable used a reverse version of a Night of the Long Knives to scurry from the light.
Will future investigations reveal even more layers to the scandal? Were others complicit or even enablers in the scandal? Could there have been a ring of wealthy donors furthering an ongoing Criminal Enterprise? It fits in well with a theory that someone with something to gain ‘disappeared’ the District Attorney who began the investigation.
The short answer regarding a Penn State degree is; “kinda sorta”. There will always be regional respect and no one in Pennsylvania will balk at hiring a Penn State Grad. Outside of the Keystone State it’s pretty much anyone’s guess. Questioning whether Penn State is merely a Diploma Mill fronting for a football team is valid. ESPN and most other sports media seem to be actively whitewashing the school. Penn State’s long and lucrative performance both on the field and in media contracts shows an obvious bias. The scandal still may make all the investments by sponsors and media contracts a losing proposition. What is at stake, great ratings and sweet, sweet cash, looms over the motivations of all involved.
– Is the scandal finally over?
This is the most compelling aspect of the entire Sandusky affair. There’s simply no way to know. If one were to use the Catholic Church Abuse Scandal as the textbook case the answer is an unflinching – NO- the scandal will smolder for years and may flare up again at any time.