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Kovacevic: NCAA must pursue death penalty

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

If football mattered too much, then it shouldn’t matter at all now.

In light of the Louis Freeh investigation report that dropped like an anvil this morning, the NCAA no longer has a choice but to aggressively pursue the so-called death penalty for Penn State football.

And the NCAA must do so independent of any other concern, any precedent. Because a case involving serial child rape and its cover-up has no other concern, no precedent.

The 267-page report took a while to download, even longer to absorb, so I started by searching for “Joe Paterno” — probably like most — and found it appeared on 69 pages.Among the references was evidence Paterno knew of the 1998 accusations of Jerry Sandusky molesting a child. That was the polar opposite of Paterno’s testimony to the grand jury and what he repeated to the Washington Post’s Sally Jenkins in the final interview of his life: “I never heard a thing.”

It casts into doubt everything Paterno said on this matter.

Freeh said Paterno “clearly followed” the 1998 case and that the notion he wasn’t aware was “completely contradicted by evidence.”

Step back a moment.

That was the former director of the FBI accusing Paterno of lying in a court of law.

And being right.

And that was Freeh stressing that Paterno never informed his assistant coaches about Sandusky’s behavior, never set up limitations to keep Sandusky away from children or the Lasch Building or dorm rooms during road trips, and, most powerfully, never took independent action after Mike McQueary told him of the 2001 shower incident.

In fact, in maybe his most powerful remark, Freeh pinpointed Paterno’s Feb. 26, 2001, conversation with three university principals — Graham Spanier, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz — as “critical” in the men’s burying of the shower incident.

Freeh fingered Paterno as the main culprit in enabling child rape!


All of it.

Spanier, Curley and Schultz should be prosecuted with vigor.

It’s too late for Paterno, but he’s ruined. Bring down the statue, rename the library, melt the peachy ice cream, the whole deal. Nothing would reflect better on Penn State than if all of that happened right away.

But don’t hold your breath.

Jay Paterno, ever the loyal son, sadly downplayed the Freeh report as “just one opinion” and “a piece of the puzzle.”

A weepy-eyed Matt Millen, a Penn State alumnus and former NFL general manager, spent several hours on ESPN repeatedly saying “if the Freeh report is accurate,” and placing all the blame on Spanier.

The Big Ten Network didn’t air Freeh’s news conference at all.

Karen Peetz, chair of the Board of Trustees, talked a lot about “accountability,” but she never mentioned football. Other than to say, upon questioning, that the university’s honoring of Paterno is “something we need to discuss.”

Accountability doesn’t cross the white lines, I guess.

Only the blindest supporters, blind by choice, can dismiss or diminish this now. But judging from reaction on my blog, emails and Twitter, trust me, they’re still out there.

Their common argument was constructed like this:

1. Random point.

2. Second random point.


Which leads me back to the death penalty.

I also counted no fewer than 11 pages on which the red-flag word “institutional” appears. That flag surely was sent flying by Freeh’s investigators to catch the attention of the NCAA, which applies the abstract concept of “loss of institutional control” as its main criteria for the death penalty.

Those 11 references cannot go ignored.

I don’t want to hear about loopholes in the bylaws, and I don’t care what lawyers were dissecting Thursday. It’s just a little safe to that covering up child rape qualifies as both a loss of institutional control and within the NCAA’s ethics clause. If the NCAA believes it’s right to impose the penalty, there’s no question it can. SMU is still the only school hit with it, and the corruption that drew that punishment looks like a cookie stolen from an open jar compared to Penn State.

If this doesn’t qualify for the death penalty, God help us on the day we find out what does.

I also don’t want to hear the tired line about how you “can’t punish these kids.”

When Enron fraudulently redirected millions of dollars, the company didn’t get off by simply firing those responsible. Other employees weren’t saved. That’s not how it works. Corporations, institutions and, yes, universities pay a joint price. There’s always collateral damage. Ohio State’s punishments for players accepting gifts in 2010, including a postseason ban, weren’t wiped away when Jim Tressel walked out. Urban Meyer and his players will still pay that price.

“These kids” at Penn State can play their football elsewhere, if it comes to that. Bill O’Brien and his staff can coach elsewhere. (I’d be stunned, incidentally, if a smart man like O’Brien didn’t have some sort of escape clause in his contract if this occurs.) If anyone is really seeking fairness in this situation for the current team — and not just looking to PLAY FOOTBALL — they should appeal to the NCAA that all student-athletes be allowed to transfer without limitations.

Penn Staters want to move on. I understand that. I empathize.

But this thinking that everything will be fine so long as football comes back … no, it won’t. It won’t be fine for the next program that loses institutional control and knows it won’t face the NCAA’s harshest punishment. And it won’t be fine for Penn State, which will never fully recover its brand without some form of real retribution.

Look at it this way: This cover-up of horrific crimes was aimed at making sure Penn State could continue to PLAY FOOTBALL. A failure to address football leaves the very goal of the cover-up indefensibly intact.

If the university and the tens of thousands who love it truly want to move on, it’s time to show football isn’t the priority.

And never should have been.


  1. JohninOshkosh says:

    Well and forcefully done, Dejan. Not easy to write about.

  2. TJA says:

    Thank you, DK. VERY well said!

  3. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I like the stolen cookie line and the whole column. Tats for my Buckeyes fit that category, too, but still wrong. Thanks for writing this.

  4. Steve says:

    Thank you for this blog column DK. Going to be very interesting to see the University’s reaction as the harsh reality of the Freeh report sinks in over the next few hours or days. I think the NCAA will take some action.

  5. Ochotexto says:

    As usual right on the money DK. Program needs to go dark for a year.

  6. Bunch of fair weather fans... says:

    “Only the blindest supporters, blind by choice, can dismiss or diminish this now. And those people will be the ones to drag the university down even further. Stamp them out. Shout them down. Show that the community is better than that.”


    It’s time to show some class, some respect for human dignity, and do the right thing.

  7. tanschmidli says:

    As a father of 10-yr old and two-yr old boys, thank you for writing this. I couldn’t agree more. I just try to imagine if my son was one of the victims after the McQueary incident and how awful it must be for not only the victims but their families. I can’t remember the last time an event made me this angry. Just sickening.

  8. Robert says:

    For years i’ve wanted to see PSU fall BUT never like this, not at the expense of the innocent. There’s a mentality that still exist there that football is still king. PSU is a great institute of learning and for those who attend there for other reason besides football are the ones being punished now. Football and money is what drove this cover up…it was the root of the evil.

  9. On the money like always DK. I’m a Penn State fan, but sadly these are crimes that cannot be looked past.

  10. Zack says:

    Looks like it’s pretty cut and dry as far as institutional control goes. Right on DK. My only sympathy goes out to the players who are currently their and those who have committed.

  11. John A says:

    While we’re shouting please explain how shutting the program down helps any single victim of the crime or punishes any single perpetrator? The victims will be compensated in civil court, the guilty will be punished in criminal court. Depriving those currently at Penn State of football is a misguided act that only punishes the innocent victims of circumstance.

    This report says nothing new, anyone who thought that Sandusky’s “retirement” was unrealted or that Joe wasn’t calling the shots was a fool.

  12. Boise Bucco says:

    Maybe they should just burn down the school and kill everybody that lives in State College. Because short of that, there’s really no coming back from this. C’mon, what’s a death penalty gonna do, besides starve the volleyball and softball and hockey teams of funding they need to compete? I’m not here to defend Title IX sports or anything, I just don’t see what good could come out of banning football for a year.

  13. Dan1283 says:

    DK, you’ve been a voice of reason in a storm of hyperbolic calls to action and a cowardice storm of excuse-making. Makes your words today have all the more impact.

    Kudos to you on a job well down every step of the way on this story.

  14. Arriba Wilver says:

    I thought the Paterno quote to McQueary was even a bit more damning, especially in light of the fact he knew all about the 98 stuff. It was something like “you’ve done what you had to do, it’s my job now to decide what we want to do.”. It’s on p. 62 of the report (among other places).

  15. pipecock says:

    Crazy to see people still care about football at Penn State. I hope this, combined with the current revelations of concussions, will help sink football’s importance in American culture. I love the sport as much as anyone else, but perspective is truly lacking in many people’s “love” of football. It’s just a game.

  16. Arriba Wilver says:

    11. If you think this report says nothing new you haven’t read the report.

  17. Jay Tee says:

    Sad to see Penn State proponents are still glib on the whole situation. The death penalty is a punishment. As DK says it would (hopefully) prevent any other academic institution to cover up something in order to preserve the football legacy.

    Of course the volleyball, soccer, etc… teams will suffer. There’s no way around that. Based upon this logic, people who do bad things shouldn’t be sent to prison because their friends and families will suffer.

    Instead of being angry at the people throwing around the idea of the death penalty how about being angry at Joe Pa and others that are the reason why it’s being brought up???

  18. Artie says:

    I cannot imagine, even after this report, that PSU will take down the JP statue or even re-name the library (or the ice cream.) They should, but I just don’t think they will. I am waiting for JP apologists to either say that JP “forgot” about the earlier problems when speaking to the Grand Jury, or to poo-poo it all and say that JP was “old-school” and that he was handling the problems in an “old-school way.” Ridiculous, but you know that will happen.

    Good column DK.

  19. BobDH says:

    DK: I disagree with you on only one point. The PSU Board of Trustee’s should invoke the death penalty and not wait for the NCAA. Paterno and Penn State used to be known for doing the the right thing, even when placing the football program at a disadvantage. Penn State needs to get back to this culture. The Freeh investigation is a good step in that direction. Self-imposing the death penalty sends a further message that Penn State, the institution, is serious about getting back to the culture of “doing the right thing.”

  20. wally says:

    ” If football mattered too much then, it shouldn’t matter at all now”

    DK –

    Your views are not only absolutely correct, but this is some of your best writing ever.

  21. John A says:

    16. I mean to say that it is not surprising in any way, any person who has thought critically about it should have already concluded that a coverup was in place from day and that Joe was the seat of all power at PSU.

    In no other place of commerce would we expect that the company should be disbanded for the acts of a few in leadership positions.

  22. Justin says:

    This is not an NCAA matter. This is a criminal matter, and the state should give out their own version of the death penalty by cutting state funding to anything outside of educational purposes, freeze any endowment funds for use until the state has approved the use, etc; and at the same time, go after the men in charge of such a cover up – why haven’t these “leaders” who have been fired or retired been charged? It’s a legal matter, and imposing the death penalty on the athletic program only hurts the current students/players, and doesn’t affect ANYONE that was involved with this crime over the years.

  23. BobDH says:

    Please see entry 105 in the previous blog entry for my full justification for a self-imposed death penalty.

  24. Dan says:

    The PSU excuse-makers are already showing up on this blog. It is irrelevant what shutting down football does to other sports. It has to be done. The NCAA must act. DK makes the point perfectly: if the NCAA allows this to go unpunished, then other big time football programs will think they can cover up crimes also. The criminals might get caught, but hey, the football “program” will go untouched under new leadership. That cannot happen. Concern about the “program” is what caused the cover-up in the first place. So the “program” must pay and it must pay a significant price. Athletes and coaches – in all PSU sports – can go elsewhere. Don’t blame the NCAA – blame beloved Joe Pa. Paterno claimed he loved and cared about PSU more than anything. Funny, cause now it looks like all he cared about what his “program” because his inexcusable attempt to protect football have destroyed his beloved university.

  25. Allen says:

    So PSU gets the dealth penalty…do you really think that’s going to stop the next school from trying to protect it’s athletic programs if something like this happens again? I don’t. Look at all the violations that occur every year even after the penalties to SMU, Baylor, etc…

  26. John A says:

    17. Why is ending the football program now “doing the right thing”? Doing the right thing would have been to stop Sandusky earlier. Doing the right thing was to fire those involved including Joe. What does punishing those uninvolved accomplish? Sure it hurts Penn State the University as a whole, but why punish those who did not do this?

    If Apple had a scandle where its CEO and its iPhone division were involved, no one would be calling to end the company after all those involved where removed and pursued in court.

  27. Mark Leighty says:

    I have been a long time Pitt man and dislike ( to put it mildly ) Dark Glasses Joe and State Penn for decades.

    In spite of that, nothing major will happen to PSU or it’s football team. The NCAA doesn’t have the stomach to do more than slap the hand.

    Today’s report still dances around the obvious, that Joe Pa “TOLD” the administration to sweep the issue under the carpet, and the NCAA will never pull the trigger and admit that sports and the money involved is more important the any child’s welfare.

    Ranting commentary will not change that………. sorry to say.

  28. Dan says:

    20. The company is not being disbanded. The company is Penn State University. Football is a part of the company. That part needs to be disbanded because its hurting the company. That happens all the time in business.

  29. Vav800 says:

    Exceptional stuff, Dejan.

    Your line about PSU fans simply “wanting their football back” may have been the most accurate observation I’ve read regarding this entire situation. It won’t be “real” to a great number of PSU alums/fans until they lose their weekend treks to Happy Valley, the tailgating, and the “WE ARE, PENN STATE” braggadocio that permeates the Commonwealth each fall. All of the damage control, the goodwill gestures, and the PR had one central purpose: to keep “the boys in blue” running out of that tunnel every Saturday…unfortunately that very same rationale will probably lead to the ruination of all that they hold so dear.

  30. scapper says:

    “But what some of them really mean when they say that is, if we just get our football back, everything will be fine.”

    Great line, DK. That attitude is at the core of this tragedy, and it permeates football cultures at all levels in this country. From the pros on down to the high school level, rules are skirted, exemptions assumed, and creating in insular, cocoon-like culture is the norm and goes mostly unquestioned by a society that loves its King Football.

  31. JohninOshkosh says:

    “Paterno is ruined.”

    Quite something to see that in black and white on the monitor screen. Sad.

  32. Ryan says:

    John A and Boise:

    It’s really easy and convenient for the Penn State faithful to argue against the death penalty under some compensation theory, that no “good could come out of banning football for a year.” Here’s the flaw, though. The death penalty isn’t about compensation, remuneration, or recompense. It’s about punishment. When someone is convicted for robbery, the court doesn’t sit back and say, “We don’t need to punish the defendant because the victims can sue to get the value of their jewelry back, and get money damages for their pain and suffering.” A court doesn’t say, “We can’t send the defendant to jail, because he has kids, and they’re just the ‘innocent victims of circumstance.'” That’s not how a punitive system works. Punishment carries with it necessary and unavoidable collateral damage, but that is not the concern of the punitive system.

    Don’t get me wrong; there are certainly innocent victims of circumstance at issue here: the kids who were abused at the hands of Jerry Sandusky. The innocent victims of circumstances that dictated that the PSU administration would rather cover up these crimes than jeopardize their football program, circumstances that directed grown men, men charged with protecting them, to turn a blind eye.

    Right or wrong, the NCAA has positioned itself as judge, jury and executioner in the world of collegiate athletics. Their role isn’t one of compensating victims. Their role is punishing institutions that are incapable of policing themselves. Sometimes that lack of control manifests itself in free tattoos or cars for recruits and jobs for mom and dad. Sometimes it manifests itself in a hereunto deified head coach aiding in the cover up of serial child abuse and then perjuring himself to perpetuate the lie and his myth. If tattoos and cars and jobs can bring sanctions, should we hesitate even for a moment to suggest that this doesn’t? The NCAA – should it break from recent precedent and do the right thing – will punish Penn State’s football program, collateral damage be damned. That’s unfortunate for the non-revenue generating sports, and for the students who are innocent in all of this. However, if that is what is necessary to change the culture that allowed this to happen, I’m sure that most will happily take that bargain.

  33. Boise Bucco says:

    @John A,

    I agree with you. Shutting down the football program, even forever, doesn’t do a damn thing to address the crimes that were committed. If we blame PSU college football, the next logical step would be to blame Big Ten college football for encouraging that “win at all costs” mentality, and even all of United States college football. I don’t wish to compare PSU’s crimes to other violations around the nation, but it is a fact that other violations occur yearly, and how far away are we from discovering the Next Jerry Sandusky? Maybe they should shut down college football across the nation for five years. THAT would be the right thing to do.

  34. wally says:

    Unfortunately, it really is a perfect, real life Greek tradgedy. Rise to the pinnacle of success, only to be destroyed by your own hand; yuor own weaknesses and hubris.

    Now if only it were a story and didn’t have real victims….

  35. Boise Bucco says:

    I want to clarify my statement: PSU football IS to blame for these crimes. But the time to punish the whole football program is too far gone now.

  36. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    The one damn person at that university you would think to take control of this situation, didn’t. The coach I idolized since I was a kid, failed.

    Every sign of his “great duties” to the university must be removed. The death penalty? Screw football, get rid of it all together. Any funds that were geared towards the program can be broken up among the other sports.

    I have 4 boys, 13, 9, 4, 3 along with 2 nephews still in Pa that are 14 and 12.

  37. Gamardo says:

    Anyone with any awareness of PSU and the State College culture of the Paterno era knows that Joe knew.He knew if a player or staff member sneezed. It is absolute folly to think in that Mayberry of a town that these atrocities occurred without the knowledge of this “brilliant” leader. Spanier, Curley and Schultz need to be prosecuted. As for football, who could possibly care in light of the damage done repeatedly to children??

  38. Nap says:

    Not sure what killing the football program will accomplish. I guess many still need to see a public lynching. The damage PSU caused themselves can’t be undone and the death penalty for football is not justice for child abuse victims.

    PSU and the NCAA need somehow to turn it into something positive. Keep the football program. It is a money maker. Use the money to help stop future abuse, and counselling for victims, nationally. Killing the program won’t benefit anyone.

    If other institions haven’t learned anything about institutional control from this ordeal, then the death penalty for PSU won’t change them. Besides, the death penalty for football from the NCAA can’t be worse that what has already happened.

  39. Burghermeister says:

    @John – your continuous attempt to compare the PSU situation to something at Apple or any other company in the private sector is laughable. PSU, and any other similar institution, are places of LEARNING, of TRAINING, of PREPARATION for life. They are meant to TEACH young adults.They must be held to a higher standard than any company and what might be done in the name of profit. The NCAA death penalty is not meant to punish those there NOW, but to PROTECT future generations of students. AS DK wrote, student athletes should be allowed to transfer if the athlete part is of greater importance to them than the student part, because certainly you can’t argue that the academics will be damaged by an imposed death penalty. Sorry, but this argument is nothing but an attempt to maintain the status quo, and that cannot be the outcome of this sad, tragic situation.

  40. Josh says:

    If Penn State is not punished, then Paterno and the rest of his cronies accomplished their goal. Protect PENN STATE FOOTBALL. By not punishing the football program they win and the football program continues on in its delusional culture that allowed a large number of children to be raped. Bury the program now.

  41. Chris S says:

    Terrific blog entry DK.

    I could not agree with you more re: “But what some of them really mean when they say that is, if we just get our football back, everything will be fine.”

    Sitting here wondering if the thousands of idiots that filled two city blocks near the campus in November and turned over a media van and damaged the campus after Paterno’s dismissal feel like complete buffoons right now? Probably not.

  42. Scott P says:

    I agree with you DK. Unfortunately I don’t think the NCAA has the stomach for it. It would not shock me to see them wash their hands of the whole thing and hide behind the line of “allowing the justice system to run it’s course”. The NCAA is a joke.

  43. Arriba Wilver says:

    DK—what exactly does the “death penalty” mean? I think some are reacting by misunderstanding what it means in college sports. I mean, in an industrial unionized setting getting fired is called the death penalty.

  44. Hank says:

    As a Penn State alum, I have to say this article is spot-on. The Freeh report mentions very early on amongst its recommendations that Penn State (all of us from alumni and students to educators, administrators, etc.) have to take an honest and critical review of the culture at PSU. Clearly the culture of deference to football at all costs was a critical component to contributing to this nightmare.

    Shutting down the football program (even moreso if it came as a voluntary action on the part of the Board) would send a powerful message that PSU, and really the football and athletic communities at large at universities and pro leagues all over the country, need to re-evaluate the role of sports in our lives and how that pales in comparison to what was allowed to happen to these poor children. No culture should ever enable horrific acts as these to occur.

    Admittedly, this action may come across as “punishing the many for the sins of a few,” but the gravity of what happened at my alma mater demands it.

  45. Jason says:

    The whole point to the death penalty is that if you don’t give it in this situation it will never be given. The next time a coach covers something up they can simply say to themselves “Penn State didn’t get the death penalty why would we for this?” You have no choice, you have to shut them down.

  46. Peter Venkman says:

    Otter: Ladies and gentlemen, I’ll be brief. The issue here is not whether we broke a few rules, or took a few liberties with our female party guests – we did.
    [winks at Dean Wormer]
    Otter: But you can’t hold a whole fraternity responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn’t we blame the whole fraternity system? And if the whole fraternity system is guilty, then isn’t this an indictment of our educational institutions in general? I put it to you, Greg – isn’t this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we’re not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America. Gentlemen!

  47. Pantherman13 says:

    John A – I get what you are saying, but must respectfully disagree with some of your reasoning. One of the fundamental conclusions of the report is that this was much more than the acts of a few people, but rather, ran to the culture at PSU that permitted the coverup to happen. If the only way to change that culture is to eliminate it for a year, then so be it. When you look at SMU, this was the rationale behind shutting that program down. The problems were so imbued into the structure and culture that the only way to change it was to get rid of it. I don’t know if PSU is at the same point, but the continued defense of Paterno seems to indicate that this is a much bigger problem than just a few people making bad decisions.

    Also, the comparison to corporate actions isn’t quite as neat as you suggest. Even looking beyond the fact that universities have different missions than public corporations and therefore need to be run differently, if top execs at a company were found to have violated certain laws, not only would they be punished, but the corporation itself could be severely punished (through fines, restrictions on business practices and criminal prosecutions of senior officials) to the point that the company would effectively be shut down.

    And yes, I am a Pitt fan, but I take no joy in this whatsoever. As much as I did not like Joe Paterno, I am saddened by these revelations.

  48. Florida Pirate says:

    You guys are duh-reeming if you think the school and the football program aren’t going to get hammered.

    “what good does it to do punish the school and football program”. Umm, that’s like asking what good it does to sentence a criminal after the crime. What good does it do the crime is done.

    Its called punishment. This is right up there with the worst behavior from a football program and university EVER.

    Start your stop watch because within a year they will be focusing on great intramural programs at PSU

  49. JB says:

    Although I can’t imagine how this doesn’t show a lack of insitutional control, this is from Joe Schad’s twitter:

    “NCAA expert attorney Michael Buckner read Freeh Report and said it does not show lack of institutional control as defined by NCAA Manual”

  50. Joseph says:

    There is a fine line between justifiable outrage and hysteria; a line, DK, you may have crossed.

    The notion that the football program should be permanently abolished . . . is simply beyond the pale. Where is the precedent for such an action? The closest comparison I can think of is the Baylor, men’s, basketball program in which one player murdered another, it was discovered that the head coach paid was paying the tuition of players and directed his assistant coaches to lie to investigators about that. For that Baylor’s men’s basketball program was forced to play a reduced schedule for one season (2005-2006) and was placed on probation until 2010.

    Penalties and punishment for PSU? But blowing-up the football program infers that the institution is incapable of rehabilitating itself, and it would be unfair (at this point) not to give it a chance to try.

  51. Mike says:

    Does anyone find it weird that all of this came out after Coach Joe had the record. I idolized the man growing up, but to cover it up and hide it is very sad. I truly feel sorry for those who didn’t know but will forever be tossed in the baby’s bath water as guilty as those who did know.

  52. BobDH says:

    John A (21):

    I am not suggesting that Penn State shut down the football team forever. That would be a mistake. However, shutting down the program for 1-2 years would be appropriate for several reasons (for starters):

    1. If the death penalty is self-imposed, the players are automatically released from their scholarships and they can play immediately for another football program. Somebody in the last blog entry referenced this.
    2. Yes, doing the right thing in 2001 would have been better, but that is no longer possible.
    3. Can you possibly imagine what it be like in September when THIS PSU team takes the field in a opposing stadium? Those fans will react and it won’t be pretty. And it will be like that for the rest of the season.

  53. NMR says:

    3. Can you possibly imagine what it be like in September when THIS PSU team takes the field in a opposing stadium?

    What was the reaction last fall?

  54. BobDH says:

    Arriba (30): The death penalty means suspending the athletic program in question for a specific period of time. It is not permanent.

  55. Arriba Wilver says:

    JB–good point–the definition may very well be different. Freeh said he was in contact with the NCAA, but was clearly not acting to make a determination for them. But in just layman’s terms, what the Freeh Report describes sounds like lack of institutional control.

  56. chris50_50 says:

    I think there is a general misconception for people against the death penalty in that they think the people advocating for that action want it done to “punish” the football program. At least in my eyes, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

    The death penalty needs to be invoked so that Penn State can truly concentrate on improving the culture and mindset of their administration. I feel that is impossible to do if the football program is allowed to continue without any time for introspection. College football is a year long machine and it is a machine at Penn State that needs to be decommissioned temporarily so that the proper actions are taken if something as heinous as Sandusky’s acts ever occur again.

  57. Curt says:

    Just thinking aloud and maybe see what people add.
    I was thinking about this earlier.

    Could it be possible that Sandusky had something on JoePa? Perhaps he held it over him and handcuffed from trying to get rid of him.?

    Again, just thinking about it and maybe there is another layer to all this that we may never know….

  58. MEC says:

    A very well-written article. The phrase “If the death penalty is for the most flagrant of violations, and this isn’t the most flagrant violation, God help us when we find out what is” truly resonates. I feel for the Penn State fans that want to defend their institution out of a sense of loyalty, or remorse, but this is indefensable.

  59. Mike Adams says:

    I’m a PSU grad who loves his football but frankly does not care if the NCAA levies the death penalty. This whole thing is just sickening. We have four grown men who quite obviously put football ahead of the well-being of children. Just disgusting.

  60. Peter Venkman says:

    Chris50_50, that’s actually a very logical point, something an award-winning reporter would expound on. Instead we get DK’s gas-on-the-fire, raving PSU-hate, and stereotyping of it’s alumni. Of course that is what sells papers, gets ‘hits’ and drives message-boards.

  61. Dave Glass says:

    As I posted on the other thread, I do not believe the NCAA will pursue, much less actually implement, a death penalty. I understand this makes SMU’s mess look like nothing, but I just cannot fathom the NCAA having the collective courage to shut down PSU football for even 1 season.

    Having said that…and I’ve taken time to reflect on it, as a PSU alum and former season ticket holder…I agree with Dejan. Shut it down. Send a message. Clearly PSU is not the ‘Camelot’ we all hoped it was or were led to believe it was – I think in the end PSU’s culture is similar to most D-I schools. I’m sure that the NCAA is OOZING with corruption at almost every major football school. Press the button, force EVERY school to re-evaluate where athletics fits in the scheme of things, and whether the tail wags the dog.

    As for my part…I never say never, but it will be a very long time before I step foot in that stadium again.

  62. BobDH says:

    NMR (35): The circumstances this season are very different. Then there were alot of allegations, but no certainty. Now, Sandusky had been convicted. The Freeh investigation has concluded, with very solid evidence, that there was a coverup. This cover-up allowed more children to be abused.

    I do not now where you live, but I live in the rural South. When I used to wear my PSU ballcap people ignored me. Last fall, I to stop wearing the ball cap because of the volume of negative comments I received. Maybe there is sympathy in PA for Penn State, but in the South there is none at all. Penn State allowed children to be hurt in unspeakable ways to the people down here.

    Penn State’s reputation has been destroyed and it is time to face that truth.

  63. Chico says:

    Apparently, the TVs in the Hub on campus were changed from CNN when the news broke. Don’t think we’ll be seeing any self-imposed death penalties from these guys. The whole university is still in major denial.

  64. steve says:

    those who compare PSU to a corporation that has a CEO who conducts himself improperly and say that this is a matter for the courts are as scewed up in the head as joepa was this is a place where society is to trust those in charge to protect are youth and psu failed horribly to do so that is why the death penalty is the correct action here to explain to those whose thoughts are still underdeveloped it would be like taking your playstation away because you didn’t clean your room the punishment fits the crime!

  65. matt_b says:

    Penn State spent over a decade protecting their program’s appearance so this debacle wouldn’t cause any harm to their reputation, recruiting, the whole shabang. The reason the death penalty should be given is because their plan to keep Penn State Football appearance clean, worked. They are still bringing in top recruit talent and have done so for these last 12 years. The Cover-Up worked. Leaving a man out there endangering children, for the sake of protecting the program. This is indeed the reason the most severe of penalties must be handed down for this disgusting program’s response to such travesty.

  66. BobDH says:

    To finish my comments from entry 62:

    To most of the people in this country, all they know about Penn State is it’s football team and now the child abuse scandal. When the PSU football team shows up in a opposing stadium, people will vent their anger on the football team. Last fall these people were stunned by the magnitude of the crime. This year they will be angry, very very angry.

  67. Bunch of fair weather fans... says:

    Some of you need to look up the “death penalty” as it pertains to NCAA sports. It has only been implemented 5 times, if I remember correctly, and it has never been for longer than two consecutive seasons. It has never been, in my recollection, a “forever” punishment. Obviously, this is not a common discussion topic, but it’s hard to hear people defend Penn State. It is especially true when it’s obvious that those defenders don’t know the facts related the punishment. In this case, the punishment fits the crime. Arguing otherwise is simply not realistic. Good day all…

  68. 21sthebest says:

    Punish/prosecute the people responsible. Let’s not turn the lives upside down of the 100 or whatever student-athletes that play on the football team along with their families.

    DK: Yes, by all means, PLAY FOOTBALL.

  69. BobDH says:

    Chico: That is why a self-imposed death penalty is so important, to break through the denial. However, I fear you are correct and as a Penn State alum, it is truly sad.

  70. SeanE says:

    Outstanding piece as always DK. I am not and have never been a PSU or Paterno fan. Quite the opposite. I could be called one of the PSU haters.

    That said, I don’t know if this is a death penalty case. The report makes pretty clear that 4 people; Paterno, Schultz,Curley and Spanier were the responsible parties for the cover up. This was not a cover-up orchestrated by the University as a whole. Yes the Board of Trustees was chastised for not having better reporting requirements but they were not implicated, nor were any other PSU officials, in the cover up. Much different than the SMU situation where there was institutional knowledge that players were being paid.

    I know the crimes in this case are heinous. Schultz, Curley and Spanier should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. But something just doesn’t sit right with me in essentially eliminating an entire football program when the actions were confined to a few individuals.

  71. Florida Pirate says:

    @67 well, that’s a good point…we don’t want to inconvenience the student-athletes due to actions of a few…seriously?

    The denial and you-just-dont-get-it-ness of people is staggering at times.

  72. jim says:

    This may be your finest work! It is outstanding in every respect: well-crafted, well-told, and as compelling as anything I can remember reading in a long time. I only hope the next time you have cause to push your creative limits the ending is not so terribly sad.

  73. Chico says:

    The people who are against the death penalty don’t seem to realize that it would be a punitive measure — a measure taken to deter that this kind of thing from ever happening again. That deterrence is the without a doubt the most important thing, and if the students, athletes and fans of the school don’t have football for a couple years as a result, that’s simply too bad.

  74. TheresMoneyInTheBananaStand says:

    This is web traffic journalism. And disappointing from DK (although I guess I shouldn’t be surprised — maybe an open letter to Paterno is in order?).

    There will be no death penalty, and I’m sure he’s aware of that. NCAA sanctions exist because infractions are (generally) not covered under civil or criminal law, punishable by jail.

    In this case, people ARE going to jail. Individuals are being held accountable for specific actions and will be punished accordingly. A symbolic issuance of the death penalty on top of that will accomplish what, exactly? Allow a few writers to enjoy their soap box? Make us feel like we put college football in it’s rightful place while we continue to feed the beast it has become? Give me a break.


    Oh, and if I wanted to generate Web traffic, anyone who knows anything about the business would attest that I’d write the exact opposite. I’d write “Leave Penn State alone!” and I’d get links and hits from all over the planet.

  75. pants-n-at says:

    @ BobDH
    “Paterno and Penn State used to be known for doing the the right thing, even when placing the football program at a disadvantage. Penn State needs to get back to this culture.” I used to think that. But maybe it was an appearance that they did that right thing. Because they failed miserably here.

  76. Fat Jimmy says:

    Well, on the bright side, at least this gives all the newspaper columnists and ESPN talking heads like Skip Bayliss a soapbox to preach their moral superiority.

    DK: Morally superior to a child molester and four men who enabled him?

    That’s pretty much everyone, wouldn’t you say?

  77. Christopher says:

    Agree 100%…if this doesn’t deserve the Death Penalty…what does? Give Penn State a 2 year time out from football and slash scholarships in half for 14 years – the same amount of time that Paterno facilitated child rape.

  78. Arriba Wilver says:

    The “actions of a few” argument blows my mind the more I hear it. Who were those few? Jiminy. And at the same time we get complaints that the janitors should have manned up and reported it. Fire the janitors, leave the football program alone! (I know, I think one’s dead and one’s in a mental institution). I think I’m beginning to understand.

  79. B-97 says:

    If you don’t play football you ruin the livlihood of the thousands of people who own (or work at) businesses in the area and rely on the revenue stream from those select Saturday afternoons. Additionally I would imagine that research and other fundamental educational activities are funded through football revenue. I think a much more fair penalty would be to have the university donate a large percentage of future football revenue to child protection foundations or activities. Use football as a platform to create more awareness about protecting youth and reporting crimes. To me that is more fair than shutting the whole thing down and crippling the local economy there.


  80. Arriba Wilver says:

    54. Thanks, that’s what I thought, but some seem to think it means shutting down the university.

  81. Ryan says:

    Great article. There are no innocent victims at PSU. They all created, protected and benefitted in the culture they created. “Big Time Football” Now we all know what that means. State College made mucho money from this sick scam. Recruits knew that saying yes to “WE ARE…” meant they were boy-Gods for 4+ years. Sundusky wasn’t the only profiteer. Its all so sick and all these people want to do is move on and start the machinery up again ASAP!?!? The statue and stadium should be melted down into a giant ring. Then all the faithful could drive by it, crying “MY PRECIOUS!”.

  82. TJA says:

    Re: #’s 11 and 68 posts…you must be kidding me? You have to be kidding. How can anyone possible even think of football at a time like this? How can one of the worst scandals that any of us can recall……. Football…maybe later on way down the road, but on July 12, 2012…this is about a hell of a lot more than football.

  83. BobDH says:

    pants-n-at: That was the culture at one time. In the 1970’s through 1990’s, Penn State was very selective about football recruits. If it was thought that the student-athlete would not be academically strong enough to graduate, then they would not be recruited. Penn State’s football graduation rate was either the best or among the best during this time period. Somewhere along the way, “doing the right thing” stopped being the culture, but “doing the right thing” was a REAL part of the culture at one time.

    I will admit though, increasingly, that time period seems to be a dream and not a reality.

  84. steve says:

    WOW can I say WOW, those of you still wanting football to be played ask yourselves how impotant football would be if your child or family member was in that shower, if it were me I would burn that athletic dept to the ground I wouldn’t rest until it was shut down, how can you defend anything about this and how can a parent feel that it is ok to send your child into that type of atmosphere to play football there it is beyond comprehension

  85. 21sthebest says:

    “DK: Yes, by all means, PLAY FOOTBALL.”

    That’s not what I’m interested in really. I don’t know what your point is other than to be dickish.

    “The denial and you-just-dont-get-it-ness of people is staggering at times.”

    What’s staggering is how people jump to conclusions based on something someone says in two brief sentences.

  86. Peter Venkman says:

    Steve is your keyboard missing a period?

  87. Arriba Wilver says:

    I know the information was there, especially from the trial, but I didn’t realize how many of the incidents occurred in Lasch, both before and after Sandusky was allegedly told not to bring his “guests” on University property. And I was wrong yesterday in saying I didn’t think there was an active coverup, more a close your eyes and hope it goes away. Freeh wouldn’t use the term, probably since it is a legal conclusion, but “active concealment” means the same thing. No wonder the actions of a few is now the defense.

  88. Fat Jimmy says:

    “how can a parent feel that it is ok to send your child into that type of atmosphere to play football there it is beyond comprehension”

    Is there a culture of child rape at Penn State? Who besides Jerry Sandusky was raping children at Penn State?

    This is a bad situation that now looks even worse — especially for Spanier and Schultz — but this is the type of ridiculous hyperbole that we’re going to get for commenters and columnists for weeks now. And, unless you’re Daniel Tosh, you can’t present a balanced argument outside of “Burn the mother#@%@ers down!”

  89. BobDH says:

    B-97: Your attitude is exactly why the death penalty is needed. The culture needs to be changed, not just the football team’s culture, but that of the University, it’s supporters, and the benefactors of that culture. Everybody. Some will suffer, but what happened cannot be allowed to happen again. The culture that football must be played no matter what is dangerous and wrong. If you do not believe me, then ask the children who abused or their family how they feel about Penn States current “culture”.

  90. dickyp23 says:

    DK your PLAY FOOTBALL responses are classic.

    This article does make a lot of sense to me. One thing I don’t see though Dejan is what you think they will do? I know you aren’t a legal expert or a mind reader but if you had to guess, what do you think the NCAA will ultimately do?

  91. Peter Venkman says:

    Re: DK’s comment on #74. “anyone who knows anything about the business world…”
    I’ll start by saying something you don’t about anyone who disagrees with you – you’re smart. In this context, if you wanted to drive maximum web traffic you would defend PSU, but you’d also be out of a job soon thereafter. So you pick what is essentially now the mainstream reaction, and drive as far from the moderate (low-traffic) center as possible. That’s the recipe for maximizing both career longevity AND web traffic.

    DK: You know what, Pete? You got me. I don’t actually believe a single thing I wrote up there. All I did was watch this news about child rape, cover-up and see this reaction to it from some alums and think to myself … hmmmmm, how could I possibly generate some web traffic today?

    I am busted.

  92. scapper says:

    Love the “PLAY FOOTBALL” responses!

    I think of a lot of the people who claim to worry about the “kids” who won’t get to play for PSU are being disingenuous, perhaps subconsciosly so. Few people actually care about the individuals on a team. They just want their collective team out there playing. If this were USC or Texas, I doubt many of these same people would be expressing such heartfelt concern for those “poor kids” who might have their college football taken away.

    Believe me, if the program gets axes, every kid on the PSU football roster will find a home on another team at another school.

  93. Dan1283 says:

    The death penalty is a must. The innocent have to suffer just as much as the guilty in this one. That’s the only way things like this work. Were the Fab Five at Michigan the only ones to pay for their sins? What about when coporations have to downsize because one person was foolish with company money? This happens all the time. Get over it. For a situation as serious as this, it’s a must.

    The football program cannot be allowed to just walk away from this. Penn State has to pay for it’s sins and the only way to do that is with collateral damage. Sorry, but that’s the way it works. Everyone affected negatively is free to find something else to do – except play or profit from a damn football program that caused all this cover-up.

  94. Piano Legs Hickman says:

    As a college professor and a lifelong football fan, by all means, DON’T PLAY FOOTBALL! PSU’s problem was that the interests of the institution superseded the welfare of Sandusky’s victims; in turn, the interests of the institution were dictated by the football program. If that’s not an argument for deep-sixing the program for awhile, I don’t know what is. Every day I see student athletes working their tails off to play sports at a Div III school; still, the sports are FOR the students, but BY the schools. If the school fumbles that responsibility, they are subject to the proper penalties. In this case, no sentence can be considered too heavy, if only to send the message that there are some things that money, fame, and football can’t trump.

  95. Corey says:

    I don’t understand why people don’t think the football program is fair game as the NCAA looks to punish PSU for this whole mess. It was protecting their beloved football program that made led them to cover this up. If Sandusky had been a Math professor with no association to the football program, he would have been reported to authorities at the first mention of child abuse/molestation. But, he wasn’t a math professor, he was an important cog in the PSU football machine. Everyone turned a blind eye because the all-important football team was their cash cow.

    Yes, innocent people will get caught in this, but you can’t allow PSU’s football program to go unpunished when this whole mess originated with from a desire to protect the football program. We aren’t talking about embezzlement or recruiting violations. We are talking about an institution who chose to allow child rape to go on for almost 2 decades so that their football team wouldn’t get any bad PR.

  96. Fat Jimmy says:

    “DK: Morally superior to a child molester and four men who enabled him?

    That’s pretty much everyone, wouldn’t you say?”

    Again…. “enabled”? They didn’t stop him. They should have. They could have. They did not enable him. They did not bring him boys to rape like some medievel sacrifice. They did not appreciate that they had a serial rapist on their hands. They should have. But let’s not lump these guys in with Sandusky as if this was some master scheme to abuse children.

  97. Bunch of fair weather fans... says:


    “If this were USC or Texas, I doubt many of these same people would be expressing such heartfelt concern for those “poor kids” who might have their college football taken away.”

    You’re right, IMO. The problem is that people don’t seem to realize that those football players who are good enough to play will have scholarships at other universities and will not have to sit out a year. No one is taking their opportunity, as anti-death penalty commenters would like to believe or portray.

    That’s my final comment. Back to work…

  98. Milo Hamilton says:

    Now that this is finally all over, when’s kickoff ?

  99. John A says:

    74, well said, no one, including DK wants to state in clear terms what the death penalty accomplishes and why its justified to punish the innocent. People talk about punishing the culture around the team, that culture is already gone. Its really is quite unAmerican to punish others by association.

    Someone mocked my earlier analogy and talked about firing the janitors. That is essentially what the death penalty is doing. Its punishing everyone (including many who weren’t even there) for the crimes of the few. Ask youself if your employer and some key higher ups went down with a big scandal tomorrow, would you feel that its fair that you should lose your job too? If so, what purpose does that serve?

    Its not a PSU football thing, I don’t understand it in general, the Baylor basketball situation was just as problematic.

    If those involved are fired or in jail then who are you punishing? If the game’s greatest coach is in complete ruins, how much more of a cautionary tale do we need?

    What would the victims want? That may be the better question as opposed to the pitch fork wielding masses. Does shutting down PSU football help them in anyway?

    I’m not saying that more can’t be done to punish those in charge, and they will get hit, but I just can’t see how the death penalty now is justified. By saying that “we won’t play football anymore” and that somehow makes it better (or right) is placing an unequal importance on football just as much as the opposite side. The correct thing to do here is to hit those involved hard with criminal penalties and to hit PSU hard with monetary penalties (that’s how you hurt a corporation). Eliminating football does cost PSU money, but it also cost every other sport at PSU money and punishes far too many completely uninvolved kids.

  100. piratemike says:

    I really won’t lose any sleep over what happen’s to Penn State and I was saying 30 yrs ago that Paterno should be replaced. In all the yrs Paterno was there he never once had a great QB, how can that be?

    However I don’t understand how punishing the whole university is justified. Joe Patero’s legacy is in ruins and his family will probably pay millions in law suits and lawyers and likewise the other people involved in the cover-up might be spending time in prison and will also be sued as well as losing their reputations. They are paying for their sins maybe not enough in some peoples minds but they are paying.

    I am not defending the university but they are being punished with loss of reputation law suits and probably a decline in enrollment. I just don’t see why the students,faculty, other employees and athletes should be punished because of a few who have and will be punished for their crimes.

  101. B-97 says:

    BobDH I respectfully disagree. I am as disgusted as everyone else about the culture and what happened there. I am offering the viewpoint that football can be used as a platform to educate and promote awareness towards victims of these disgusting crimes and also to promote the importance of reporting crimes immediately (without worry of losing a job or “bad publicity”). I am not a part of the “yes play football no matter what” crowd who is looking to get drunk in the parking lot or whatever else they do on Saturdays there. I dont even watch college football anymore. I am saying use football and the revenue it generates for a good purpose. I disagree with the idea of crippling the economy there when you can keep people at work and also promote an important cause.

  102. Lawnbeaver says:

    This is a criminal matter. The NCAA is in charge of punishing coaches, schools, and players for violating NCAA rules like recruiting infractions or giving a player lunch money. The villains in this case violated REAL laws. They are going to receive REAL punishment in the form of prison, and are going to deservedly lose years of their lives. I hope they spend some time with their palms on the shower walls. The deterrent for “the next Sandusky” is jail. The deterrent for the next Paterno, Curley, Shultz, and Spanier is jail. Tear the statue down. Change the name on the library. Killing the football program will crush the local economy, and the people that will be most adversely affected by it are the locals that earn their living off of the program. I am not sure that is the right thing to do.

  103. Karen22 says:


    My GOD—what is wrong with you enablers, deniers, rationalizers, and JUDASES?! My head is about to blow off! Pure EVIL happened here, and preserving a pigskin is still paramount to some?! The world keeps flipping upside-down. Perhaps the Mayans were right about 2012! WAKE the hell UP!!

    DK: I think I’m falling in love.

  104. piratemike says:

    I wrote my post before seeing #99 but we say about the same thing.

  105. John A says:

    93. “the innocent deserve to suffer as much as the guilty”

    What? So two wrongs make a right? The one thing we need with this scandal is more innocent victims.

    This stuff kills me, if it was your livlihood at stake and you did nothing wrong you’d be screaming from the hills.

    And to others, a lot of the non-death penalty folks posting here are not saying we need football at all costs. That’s a nic trivialization of the argument to make it seem less intelligent. As I have said, it has little to do with PSU, it about the logic in penalizing the wrong people after the fact.

  106. BobDH says:

    Fat Jimmy: They were enablers in every sense of the word. Look it up in the dictionary.
    What they did was criminal and I hope they are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

  107. Peter Venkman says:

    Hey DK as much as I am busting your chops you cover the Pirates so well because you’re so integrated into the PBC world. I just don’t feel the same way about your coverage of PSU. I’m not saying you don’t have the full right to comment on it, I just don’t think it’s as relevant.

  108. TJA says:

    Oh man…those 100 degree temps we had last week pale in comparison to this debate!

  109. John A says:

    103. That is not what we are arguing at all, try reading a little deeper. Perhaps you can shout a little louder how not playing football helps rectify the situation.

  110. BobDH says:

    B-97: I agree that football can be used to educate and promote awareness. Down the road, I hope this happens. But right now, is not the time. Maybe in several years, but not this season. Too many emotions.

  111. Mugs says:

    As a 1974 grad, I echo what so many have posted. Well-done Dejan. Tough to write (I’m sure) and tougher to read. I worked with Joe on “TV Quarterbacks” in the early 70s on WPSX-TV. Great guy and wonderful with his players. A man to be admired, as he was for generations. But now, it’s the taste of ashes. He lied. To his supporters, players, and students. I expect the death penalty for the program. I expect Spanier, Schultz, and Curley to be indicted. I expect Sandusky to spend the rest of his life in jail, watching his back. I expect this story to be with the University and its alumni forever.

  112. piratemike says:

    Why don’t you get some torches and pitchforks and just burn the whole place down.

  113. John A says:

    94, fair point, but you do realize that football funds the other sports at PSU and many private sector people rely on income from the program. If you are going to have a student athlete program you have to acknowledge the value it has in the education of those students. Eliminating the program does negatively impact the mission of the university in that regard.

    If you are trying to prove that football and money can’t trump certain things, first, good luck, but second, who are you proving it too?

  114. Jason C. says:

    “DK: Morally superior to a child molester and four men who enabled him? That’s pretty much everyone, wouldn’t you say?”

    Right, and those four men are GONE from the program.

    If Penn State football lived in a vacuum, you could remove it from the Big Ten and NCAA FBS without a problem, but frankly, business is business, not just for Penn State, but for:
    * All of Penn State’s athletes, which would suffer from the loss of football revenue that funds most of their programs school-wide.
    * All of the Big Ten Football programs, which would lose the Penn State travel revenue and TV ratings. The schedules would have to be re-made, which would cause all sorts of trouble with travel for teams and fans alike.
    * The Big Ten Network, and all the money they make from exclusive Penn State broadcast rights.
    * All of the Central Pa. economy, which would be severely damaged by the loss of those 8 home games, and all the travel-based business related to them.

    When your games create the third most populated city in Pennsylvania, lots of people are relying on those games for a substantial chunk of their livelihood. If the NCAA wants to make a statement and punish those involved, suspend the program from postseason play for 3 years, impose sanctions on the school (both institutional and financial probation) and move on.

  115. B-97 says:

    BobDH thanks. Whatever ends up happening I hope the victims can find some kind of peace. maybe today helped a little. God bless them.

  116. NMR says:

    Seriously, I don’t care near enough about a freaking game to be compared to the man who betrayed Jesus Christ.

    Quite an atmosphere you’ve created, Dejan.

  117. Dave says:

    The NCAA Crew is a bunch of hypocritical Moron’s Penn State
    Don’t let them take you down!

    Do it yourself!

    1. Discontinue Football altogether.
    2. Tear down the Stadium and build a Memorial for Abused Children in its place.
    3. Change the name of the University

  118. scapper says:

    Milo….man, was that last comment hilarious!

  119. Dan1283 says:


    “Again…. “enabled”? They didn’t stop him. They should have. They could have. They did not enable him.”

    It’s the same thing. Not stopping = enabling. By not pumping my brake to stop my car, I enable it ramming into the car in front of me. I didn’t accelerate, but I didn’t press the brake either.

    Peter Venkman, your comments about DK aiming for web traffic are pathetic and your ignorance of the actual job of the media shines through with the brightness of a thousand suns. You really should research his credentials before you go accusing him of being the equivalent of some Hollywood know-nothing from some Star magazine-type tabloid.

  120. Arriba Wilver says:

    Jimmy–“They did not appreciate that they had a serial rapist on their hands.” Whoa, boy. That trivializes and minimizes what they did. The report says that from the get go in 1998 they were aware that he might be a pedophile. The 2001 incident involved a kid they never even asked who it was. Sandusky’s lawyer (obviously not a credible source) said he offered to tell them who it was and they didn’t know. Willful blindness, or not wanting to know what was really going on is kind of one of the definitions of an enabler in situations like this. You think Jerry’s wife was an enabler, or just didn’t appreciate that he was a serial rapist? You think Second Mile wasn’t an enabler, or just didn’t appreciate he was a serial rapist? Were they as bad as Jerry? Of course not, they didn’t perform the acts, but I think the report makes clear that the reason they didn’t know (assuming they didn’t) is that they didn’t want to know. Why? To protect the University? To protect the football program? Maybe it was because they knew that with the 1998 incident they would look bad. But don’t tell me they didn’t appreciate they had a serial rapist on their hands as a defense.

    And no one has even hinted that they were part of his scheme. Where does that come from?

  121. Alex says:

    Why stop with the football program? By your logic the whole university should be shut down and bulldozed. Enron didn’t shut down the accounting department, the whole company was shut down. Also, I’m sure there were some writers that must have heard something and didn’t properly report about it. They should be fired and the newspaper they write for should be shut down too.

  122. Dan Finnegan says:

    Amen DK,

    If the death penalty means eliminating the football program forever at Penn State, SO BE IT!!! This is a crime folks that occurred to 10 innocent kids because folks, supposedly adults of good character and in positions of authority DID NOT do their duty, to the child and to the university, let alone society in general, by reporting these crimes and taking the necessary steps to prevent a recurrence. Mr. Sandusky should have been prosecuted the first time it happened. The folks who failed to do their DUTY must also be held accountable in a court of law.

  123. Erik says:

    The NCAA does not have jurisdiction in this matter. They’re not NCAA violations.

  124. radio wave says:

    I was busy with meetings and had forgotten today was the due date for the report.
    On my way home, the cab driver had the various sports talk shows on. I started to get a sense of what had happened.
    When I got home I read the previous thread and this thread.
    I’m not sure how I feel about the death penalty for PSU. I was living in Texas when the SMU situation came down. DK’s remarks about SMU are correct.
    The unpublished intended opedwritten by Paterno is sickening to me. When I heard the Paterno family remarks last night, I told my wife they sounded very defensive and that they must have seen the report and that it wasn’t going to look very good for him.
    If my understanding is correct, doesn’t mrs. Paterno receive a state pension in his name? if yes, should that be taken away as well?

    Finally, as a reader, I greatly appreciate DK’s writing today, and particuarly appreciate the heartfelt remarks from all the posters. Very good reading, meaningful, and moving commentary.

  125. Arriba Wilver says:

    That should have been they didn’t want to know who the 2001 victim was.

  126. Curt says:

    I read this a second time. Great job DK. This is why I follow your blog, writing!

  127. Piano Legs Hickman says:

    105, et al: I don’t see this as a case of collective punishment. The institution is being punished, not the people per se. If students and fans define their experiences of that institution entirely through the football program, well, that’s been the root of the problem all along and the death penalty can put things back into their proper perspective. If my favorite college football team was axed for something like this, I’d be sad, sure; but I’d also realize that my own fandom played a small part in skewing the institutional priorities to such an extent that the death penalty became necessary.

  128. TJA says:

    what is anyone hearing from the big 10…the ncaa…other universities? just curious…

  129. Graham Spanier says:

    I agree with your point Graham Spanier, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz should all be prosecuted with vigor.
    I think that rather than the death penalty, that this has to be bigger than that. Billions of Dollars bigger than that.
    Death penalty punishes the students athletes today. There needs to be a punishment for all involved that covered up all the allegations and allowed it to fester for 15+ years. I can’t believe that this just started in 1998. This has to have occurred way earlier than that.

  130. Jandy says:

    @ Dk, post #103 ~ hey, wait till Katy Perry sees THAT! :p

  131. B-97 says:

    Taking the viewpoint that you think the football program should not get the death penalty does not make you an enabler, blind, lacking morals, evil, etc. The university will pay dearly for these terrible crimes for many many years. Someone who owns a restaurant or hotel in state college would be out of work if there were no football games – they are not part of the culture there or part of the coverup. Ask a restaurant owner on the north shore what their bottom line would look like without 8 steeler games a year. There are legimate, fair, rational reasons for keeping football games on the schedule this fall and it can be done without disrespecting the victims if it is used as a platform to promote their cause.

  132. John A says:

    124 – you had me until the last line – “I’d also realize that my own fandom played a small part in skewing the institutional priorities to such an extent that the death penalty became necessary”

    This is the societal bs that I can’t stand, we all want to blame someone else for bad things that happen. Its always the parents fault or the doctors fault or so on. The guilt is clear in this case and it surely isn’t the fault of PSU football fans. Sandusky raped those kids. The big 4 covered it up.

  133. Dan Finnegan says:

    And after all that, football comes in a very distant LAST in the university’s list of priorities.

  134. Piano Legs Hickman says:

    @113: I think that first and foremost, PSU has to prove it to itself. And yes, people will suffer, but that happens whenever penalties are enforced in any sector of society, as DK rightly points out. Respectfully, that logic dictates that the guilty men shouldn’t go to jail, as their families will suffer financial hardship. These are the consequences of wrongdoing, and in this case, severe, chronic wrongdoing. The conditions that produced this situation developed over decades; they aren’t going to be wrapped up in one tidy package at this point.

  135. Jandy says:

    Milo, there you go again ;)

    At Peter Venkman #107 ~ Please. Don’t come here and spout of self-righteous BS about DK’s writing, when it’s obvious you haven’t read his work. I’ve never read a more honest, down-to-earth person’s work, and I’ve been around for a few years. Even when I disagree with him (and I disagree on how Penn State should be punished), I have to respect where he is coming from and how he presents himself in his writing.

    DK: He has a really cool screen-name, though, if you catch the reference.

  136. DemonDachshund says:

    I think people are missing the point of the death penalty here.

    You’re right, it does not change what has happened at PSU. But suppose some other University where football is king has a similar situation, where a coach is involved in some sort of horrible act. The administration finds out, and has an opportunity to try to cover it up.

    Leave a smoking crater in the place of the PSU football program, and the next head coach or administrator in that situation is going to have a lot easier time justifying to his PLAY FOOTBALL portion of his fan base why the suspected offender is suspended and under investigation. And that means that that official is that much more likely to do what he should instead of trying to bury it.

  137. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Piano Legs,

    Are you any relation to Pig Legs Robinson?

  138. Piano Legs Hickman says:

    128: Not sure how my saying that I would feel some sort of personal responsibility if it were my school instead of PSU is blaming someone else. Be that as it may, I believe that PSU had an institutional culture that placed the football program above normal oversight and discipline. What we’re seeing now is the result of that culture, and building it was definitely a group effort.

  139. Boise Bucco says:

    As far as generating web traffic goes, I’m pretty sure we’ve done better than this with your average Bucs/Cubs Wednesday night game, so I don’t think that’s the point…

    My point is, I am failing to see the point in punishing PSU TODAY for something that happened under a completely different regime. I’m trying to find a comparison, and although thankfully one doesn’t exist, the one I just made up in my head would be if, people under Steve Jobs were to have done some especially egregious things prior to his death. I couldn’t imagine the government or anybody coming down on Apple in general for any one (or two or three or four) individual’s crimes. Apple’s sales would take a massive hit, their stock would drop, and rightly so. As it stands, people are going to stay away from Beaver Stadium for a long time because of this. ESPN’s not putting them in any prime-time spots any time soon either. The university WILL lose money for many years because of this.

    If it’s about punishing those who were responsible, then prosecute those who screwed this up. Put them in jail for life. Tear down the statue if it’ll make everybody feel better. Hell, I never really liked that Peach ice cream anyway. But to punish PSU now just screams of punishing the son for the father’s mistakes.

    If it’s about punishing the institution for allowing these acts to take place, then you can’t just stop with PSU football, you can go a lot higher than that if you wish to change the environment that allowed these men to cover up such a heinous act just to “avoid bad publicity.” If they wished to avoid bad publicity, the reasons would be so that they could recruit higher-level talent and more booster money. So in that context, maybe we should eliminate all recruiting. Then, there would be no reason to wish to avoid bad publicity. That would be a good start.

  140. JohninOshkosh says:


    I’ve been looking for a response by UW-Madison. Haven’t seen one through any of the online media sites. I understand that they will want to carefully word a response, if any, after a complete review of the report.

    That being said I will be disappointed if the Big Ten and its members do not respond.

  141. Mike says:

    The phrase “institutional control” does not appear once in the Freeh report.

  142. B-97 says:

    140 – Big 10 schools with a home game vs penn state do not want to lose that revenue. They will not support the death penalty in my opinion.

  143. Piano Legs Hickman says:

    Sorry, I meant to address 132 in my previous comment, not 128.

  144. Fat Jimmy says:

    I will be very interested to see how many columnists and talking heads take the POV that Penn State SHOULDN’T get the death penalty. The problem since the GJ testimony came out has been that anyone who doesn’t want to burn PSU to the ground and melt Paterno’s statue in effigy has been accused, essentially, of being pro-rape. My guess is that nearly everyone with a public pulpit will have a take that essentially the same as above. It’s the easiest and safest thing to write and say.

  145. Ron Cook says:

    Dejan, you had the courage that none of us at the Post-Gazette have in order to write this article.

  146. LuckyNKentucky says:

    A college professor with piano legs is allowed to make a mistake.

  147. Mugs says:

    Another random thought: What will it be like for the football players to take the field for the first time this season? They will be in front of a national audience, the media, fellow Penn State students, supporters, critics, and just plain folks. And the story will NOT be the game. It will be everything else. Tough to play and tough to watch. Lots of young people (some of whom were in pre-school when this all began) will need to grow up very quickly.

  148. 21sthebest says:

    “Believe me, if the program gets axes, every kid on the PSU football roster will find a home on another team at another school.”

    Yes. But that’s not my point. They’d have to spend a significant amount of time maybe researching and making visits again. They’d have to get themselves re-established elsewhere. Would players lose starting jobs? Could this impact a players ability to get drafted into the NFL? How easy is it to be the new guy on a football team as a senior and at all levels? And it’s already mid July.

    You’re playing sports in college and you’re a junior or senior and if you want to continue playing you can no longer graduate from the school you put your heart and soul into. I’ve seen college sports eliminated before and I’ve seen what it can do to families and to the student-athletes career. And there’s still the whole academic side to deal with. They shouldn’t have to be collateral damage.

    I just don’t want to punish the innocent people in this case. This helped to kill Paterno. I have no doubt that the stress broke him down physically and I also believe he’ll pay for his mistakes yet. I’m not about, “Let’s play football” at all. I rooted for PSU to lose every football game they ever played except for this last bowl game because I felt bad for the students and the athletes. I’ve bashed PSU my entire life.

  149. Piano Legs Hickman says:

    LuckyNKentucky: You’re killing me!

  150. John A says:

    138. So when a Steeler fan beats his wife up after a loss are we all to blame for making Steeler football a little too important in his life? Nonsense. Personal responsibility is a lost concept. I cannot comprehend in the slightest how you could feel guilty of anything in this case because you are a PSU football fan. PSU football fans did nothing wrong and to suggest they did is ludicrous.

    You’re right PSU did have a culture that placed football over oversight, but those who established that heirarchy are dead or unemployed in court. On top of that siginficant finacial penalties will have to be handled by the trustees.

  151. paw160 says:

    I agree, take down the statue, take down the signs, and take down the tents in front of the stadium.

    As much as it hurts to see the reputation of someone I’ve admired be destroyed by his own actions, I agree that Paterno’s legacy cannot/should be recovered. It’s hard to reconcile his actions in this case with the real good he accomplished in his lifetime.

    With that said, I only believe in punishing the guilty. Spanier, Curley, and Shultz should be prosecuted. If Paterno were alive, I would add him to that list as well.

    I fail to see any benefit to punishing the rest of the academic institution, student body, and city of State College including all of its residents and business owners for the crimes of one pedophile and four men who tried to cover it up.

    The Penn State community needs to acknowledge the crimes that occurred and demonstrate leadership in transparent reporting and protecting children. I don’t believe that will happen if the NCAA were to issue the “death penalty” in this case. It does nothing but satisfy those out there who want some sense of vengeance. That is not justice and does nothing to ease the burden of the real victims.

  152. BobDH says:

    John A: Our “fandom” help create an atmosphere where the Big 4 felt:

    1. They needed to keep the football program going.
    2. That they could get away with covering-up Sandusky’s crimes.

    This is not societal BS. Every PSU fan help create a “culture” in which Sandusky could get away with what he did. That does not take away any of Sandusky’s guilt. He committed the crime.

    But the fans, students, alumni, faculty, staff worshiped PSU football, or tolerated that worship, to the point where WE gave Sandusky the impression he could get away with his crimes. Unfortunately, he was right. For years, he did get away with it.

  153. Corey says:

    Boise Bucco #139 – need a comparison. How about these:

    Ohio State was punished after Tressel left.

    USC was punished after Carroll left for the Seahawks.

    There is a precedent for punishing the current regime of a football program for the crimes of a previous regime. And again, those crimes were peanuts compared to the crimes under the watchful eye of the previous PSU administration.

  154. DWS says:

    The logic of Penn State fans:
    1) Paterno is a hero because he won a lot of games.
    2) Paterno won those games in large part by recruiting so well, and he recruited well by presenting Penn State as having a squeaky clean image.
    3) Paterno guarded that image by covering up a pedophile on campus.
    4) His coverup allowed that pedophile to operate for another ten years.
    5) Since the coverup worked, and Penn State still won games, it can’t be bad!

  155. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Piano Legs,

    Trying, but failing to lighten the mood. It won’t happen today, I understand. How dare we place child rape over baseball, etc. Can’t fathom this whole thing, as a minister. Just the devil at work and no other way to explain it.

  156. Jandy says:

    DK, lol, yes I surely do now that you mention it.

    And thanks for the apology on the other thread. I appreciate your candor…but I WAS serious!

  157. JohninOshkosh says:

    Hi Jandy, Milo, Lucky, NMR, Scrapper, TJA, Arriba, Dan1283, Boise, Bunch of…, etc etc

    Good to see you all in this hurricane.

    But where is Groat and RobertoForever? :)

  158. WS says:

    Dejan — No argument about how awful Sandusky’s acts were, or how ridiculous the inaction by anyone in leadership was. But, the major flaw I see in your position is this:

    The Death Penalty by NCAA is for punishing programs that break rules regarding competition in sports. Pretty sure Sandusky’s criminal actions or the administrations failure to report didn’t help the Nittany Lions win more football games — you have seen their record the past 15 years, right?

    If anything, federal laws were broken — again, not NCAA rules — and for that all of these morons should be locked away.

    The reality is, Penn State made a big mistake in keeping a senile old coot on the sideline who confused how this crap might have been handled in 1965 with what was appropriate in 2001. Does anyone REALLY believe Paterno was really coaching football the last 15 years? The times changed significantly and Paterno was way in over his head. Should have been long gone before any of this happened.

  159. NMR says:

    “I’m not about, “Let’s play football” at all. I rooted for PSU to lose every football game they ever played except for this last bowl game because I felt bad for the students and the athletes. I’ve bashed PSU my entire life.”

    Thats nonsense. DK and his mob have judged you and thats what you get.

    Seriously dissapointed in some of you who I thought I “knew”.

  160. Oscar D says:


    Another excellent article. You are the best sports writer in America. I do not always agree with you but I always consider your perspective. As a Penn State graduate I am embarrassed and ashamed at the actions of Paterno, Curley, Schultz and Spanier. JoePa’s legacy as a leader of young men has been tarnished beyond repair. This is sad but does not compare to the sadness I feel for Jerry Sandusky’s victims. The fact that the leaders of the university had such a callous disregard for the young victims is almost beyond belief. Those who broke the law should be punished. Since Joe has passed away he escapes punishment. There is nothing anyone can do to change that.

    It is for others to decide if Penn State deserves NCAA sanctions and the extent of those sanctions. But I do think that judgment should be reserved for those responsible, not for the current athletes, students, faculty and coaches. The fact that Joe escaped punishment is unfortunate but to impose the “death penalty” would punish the innocent, not those responsible. That sounds like vengence not justice.

    I have two questions for those posting. Do you think Steeler football should be disbanded for a year if a coach or executive is accused and convicted of a henous crime or if a coach or executive were to cover up such a crime?

  161. Jandy says:

    Lucky, now, listen here, dude, don’t you g being all down in the dumps ALL day. Send up some prayers for the victims and their families. I’ve sent up many.

    The devil sucks, as @suckmeter would say!

  162. Arriba Wilver says:

    Jimmy–“The problem since the GJ testimony came out has been that anyone who doesn’t want to burn PSU to the ground and melt Paterno’s statue in effigy has been accused, essentially, of being pro-rape.” Total BS, and a straw dog argument. Next?

  163. Boise Bucco says:

    Ohio State was punished for recruiting violations that weren’t illegal under federal or state law. Same with USC. Those schools didn’t commit crimes, they committed NCAA violations. That’s two different things.

    These men deserve to be punished in a court of law. NCAA has no place in this.

    If PSU came out and self-imposed a death penalty, I could see that. But only if it was PSU’s decision.

  164. Jandy says:

    OshKoshB’Gosh hey dude! Yeah, even on this dark say, with it’s sadness, I’m hanging around. Groat..didn’t I see him post early on the other thread? I’m not sure.
    Groat, where are you??????
    Roberto? Hmmm..where is he too?

    NMR, I’m not making any judgments based on the heat-of-the-moment comments this tragedy is bringing out with this new report. Most people on here are decent, caring people. I don’t agree with DK about the punishment. But I’m not going to get carried away either. Let it be until emotions calm down. You’re usually the voice of reason here. Keep it cool, man. Hugs.

  165. Mike Shigley says:

    I respect, although I disagree with, those who say that the Penn State football program should be dismantled. However, I would strongly argue against an NCCA imposed penalty. The NCAA’s purpose is to oversee the running of individual sports programs. Its jurisdiction begins and ends with how the games are played and how people are recruited and compensated and trained. “Institutional control” refers to whether the athletic director or non-athletic administrators were involved with sports violations.

    Changes in Penn State’s administration are warranted — and strongly overdue — as the scandal has clearly shown. The Board of Trustees delegated too much authority and power in all areas (not just athletics) to the university president. Still, after reading the Freeh report, I am not entirely convinced that the inaction was due to a desire to protect the university’s reputation. You can read the report and just as easily conclude that people couldn’t make themselves believe that Sandusky was a pedophile. Read the Pennsylvania state case worker’s statement in 1998 that he had never heard of a man that old becoming a pedophile. Obviously Sandusky had, but the key year was 1998, judgment was mixed, and not all critical information was forwarded up to Schultz and Spanier.

    And, finally, I side with those who say that you can kill foptball for a year, two years, or whatever. Penn State essentially did that for over a decade between the World Wars. It devalued the game and the program suffered. Just consider, however, the changed circumstances when there are so many other sports and so many other student athletes at stake if you take away the football revenue. Yes, the football players and coaches could find other schools and so could probably the basketball players and coaches, but Penn State is one of the few schools offering high level competition in other sports. So think, before your wishes come true.

  166. BobDH says:

    For what it is worth: I am a PSU Alum and football fan, but frankly I do not want to see PSU playing this year. Seeing PSU play would only remind me of what happened and I can not bear that. Maybe I can start watching games again in a few years, but not anytime soon.

  167. Corey says:

    I think at this point, the NCAA has an argument that PSU decision making process is seriously questionable, and someone else needs to step in.

    The inability of PSU to police their own has given the whole NCAA football community a little bit of a black eye. Even good programs now have to deal with a stigma that rules don’t get applied to football players and coaches the same way they apply to the rest of the university. I think the NCAA absolutely has grounds to step in.

  168. Boise Bucco says:

    Also, RE: #145, I have a hard time believing that Ron Cook is posting in this comments section, and an even harder time believing that the P-G isn’t going to have a column up about this.

  169. Dan1283 says:


    “Yes. But that’s not my point. They’d have to spend a significant amount of time maybe researching and making visits again. They’d have to get themselves re-established elsewhere. Would players lose starting jobs? Could this impact a players ability to get drafted into the NFL? How easy is it to be the new guy on a football team as a senior and at all levels? And it’s already mid July.”

    Not to sound unsympathetic, but that’s all just too bad. Sandusky and the people involved are to blame, NOT the ones who want appropriate punishments handed down.

    Football and the money it makes is the hand that guided all these decisions to sweep this under the rug. The instituition and the program, and all of it’s moving parts innocent or guilty, MUST pay.

    Penn State and the NCAA should in no way be concerned with the future of the current linebacking corp. They should be concerned with actually enforcing the image that Penn State does not put football over everything else instead of just claiming that it doesn’t.

    Furthermore on that subject, this tweet from Chris Dokish makes you think – “Just to remind people, between 2002 and 2008, 46 different Penn St. players were charged with a total of 163 counts.” How many more offenses were swept under the rug just like Sandusky’s were??

    It’s time for Penn State to pay for years and years of sins, and it’s time for people to stop caring about who it impacts and start caring about making things right.

  170. NMR says:

    Sorry, Jandy. People’s true colors show in times like these. I don’t want to hear it.

    I’ve been sick to my stomach all morning that an institution I care about so dearly could do this. Nobody except PSU alum know that burden.

    To see Dejan lead the charge in some incredibly personal attacks is something that I did not expect. Up until today, we, the blog members, have been able to discuss this issue in a civil manner without the intervention of Dejan.

    His participation today along with the ugly turn blog demeanor has taken can only be seen separately by the sheep.

  171. JB says:

    107.Peter Venkman –

    So Because DK isn’t a Penn St guy his opinion is not as relevent? This is exactly the type of narrow minded thinking by Penn St “leadership” that helped the University get into this mess. We all see what happens when Penn St people make decisions based on what is in the best interest of Penn St.

  172. Dipole moment says:

    PSU fans long carelessly idolized a lie, now it is time to painfully endure the truth. This was a culture of corruption, and neither cultures nor reputations change by simply swapping personnel. Many do not or will not agree. but the only way to wipe the slate clean, eliminate the stain of dishonor, the only saving grace — Is suspending football for a few years. Otherwise this ghost will haunt Happy Valley for 50 years.

  173. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    So. Are you ready for some football!!!

    How about a football burn party??

    Sickened and pissed

  174. 21sthebest says:

    “Sandusky and the people involved are to blame, NOT the ones who want appropriate punishments handed down.”

    Well yeah. If people want to give the program the death penalty, I don’t blame them. I just don’t agree that that’s what should happen.

    “The instituition and the program, and all of it’s moving parts innocent or guilty, MUST pay.”


    “Penn State and the NCAA should in no way be concerned with the future of the current linebacking corp. ”

    I think that should be on the list of their concerns.

    “How many more offenses were swept under the rug just like Sandusky’s were??”

    That’s a major concern.

    “It’s time for Penn State to pay for years and years of sins, and it’s time for people to stop caring about who it impacts and start caring about making things right.”

    I don’t think things could EVER be made right here. I think there should definitely be some type of punishment. I’m just not sure what it should be yet. I don’t like the idea of the death penalty as I’ve said.

  175. Milo Hamilton says:


    How dare you intervene in your own blog.

  176. Jandy says:

    NMR, I’m sorry, man, wish I could help :/

    Ryan, yeah, tell me about it! :(

  177. Peter Venkman says:

    Jandy, first of all it’s “Dr.” Peter Venkman. I have a PhD in parapsychology and psychology. Second, I have been reading DK for 10 years and if didn’t respect his writing I wouldn’t be reading it every day, multiple times a day. I take issue with the smugness and glee of some to see an institution go down that at least tried to stand for the right things.

  178. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    As you may notice, most of the ugly demeanor this blog has turned to, are from new people, or, old one’s hiding under a new name.

    This will blow over tomorrow when baseball picks up, by blown over I mean the idiots that want to dispute this and act like fools.

  179. Michele says:

    Absolutely nothing should trump the safety of a child!

    As a Penn State alumna, let me state for the record that this story has been making me sick since the news first broke in November. Coach Paterno more than deserved to be fired, and anyone who had a hand in the cover-up should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

    I welcome the Freeh investigation’s power to shed light on the situation, as unutterably devastating as it is, and I mourn for the Penn State that I thought I knew.

  180. Milo Hamilton says:

    @Dr. Venkman

    I need you to come over the house. I keep hearing noises in empty rooms & doors keep closing even though there’s nobody there.

  181. NMR says:

    You have nothing to be sorry about, Jandy. I appreciate your words, as always.

  182. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    The institution can stay……the football institution must not.

    You would not find a bigger football/PSU fan than me. But EVERYTHING JoePa stood for is gone. The worst mistake of his life and it destroyed the entire university and his legacy.

  183. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Dr. Peter,

    Does that mean Post Hole Digger? Just kidding, don’t take offense. That’s what it means here in KY. (Not piled higher and deeper).

  184. Reading says:

    A more apt analogy than Enron would be the Catholic Church scandal, and the question would be- Should the Vatican have shut down every Church where abuse occurred? Certainly, the Parishioners- even though generations of their family may have attended the Church- could worship, and the innocent Priests could minister, elsewhere. If the answer to that question is Yes, then, by all means, shut down PSU Football.

  185. JA says:

    I still can’t believe all the arguments about other student athletes suffering if the death penalty was imposed. These student athletes should be there to get an education and should not be just concentrating on athletics. When SMU received the death penalty all the football players were allowed to stay at SMU and finish their degrees or were able to transfer immediately to another school to get an education and play there sport somewhere else. I’m afraid if the death penalty is not issued then we will continue to hear stories like this at other schools in the future becuase there will be no stiff penalties for their actions.

  186. Arriba Wilver says:

    So now we turn to the argument that people who agree with Dejan are “sheep?” I think they call that ad hominem.

    Can we just get along? (the late Rodney King).

    There are legitimate arguments on both sides of the death penalty argument. Those do NOT include: generating web traffic, you hate Penn State, these guys were not enablers, we need to punish the innocent. Penn State is a cesspool of pedophiles (I made that one up) . . . and, yes, people who think _____ are sheep.

  187. Jandy says:

    @ Doktor Venkman: you didn’t use your title, why should I? :p
    Anyway, disagree with DK all you want, but don’t accuse him of sensationalism.
    However, I am with you in that the smugness and glee sickens me, just not nearly as much as the actual acts committed by Sandusky himself. :shudders:

    Ryan, hopefully, things calm down soon.

  188. Dan1283 says:


    “I don’t think things could EVER be made right here. I think there should definitely be some type of punishment. I’m just not sure what it should be yet. I don’t like the idea of the death penalty as I’ve said.”

    I too think it’s a last resport thing. I think that Penn State reached that point. This is a last resort to take back institutional control and leave the university with no doubt that if it ever lets it’s priorities slip beyond the law again that it will be punished as harshly as possible. To let them get away with a football season at this point, in my opinion, sends the wrong message to the board of trustees and the people who run the university.

    I feel bad for the students and the alumni. I feel bad for the people who lost their houses in the real estate crash through no fault of their own, too, and for the people who got laid off by the auto industry when it stopped being profitable. Collateral damage to the innocent, as sad as it is, is inevitable.

  189. LuckyNKentucky says:


    That’s no ghost. It’s Roberto, hiding out and getting information for snide references.

  190. Arriba Wilver says:

    Dr. V–what’s parapsychology?

  191. Jandy says:

    Lucky, priceless! lol

    Reading, a very good point sir.

  192. JohninOshkosh says:

    Would have been the perfect day for Neal Huntington to have traded a prospect.

  193. Jandy says:

    OshKosh, you nailed it!

  194. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    I agree with Jandy……that is a good point.

    Can’t wrap my head around that one….


  195. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Could’ve traded ANYONE and it would’ve been better topic of conversation.

  196. TJA says:

    re: #189 – great line oshkosh! hey, thanks for your info re: the university of wisconsin and their response…or lack of it yet.

  197. Milo Hamilton says:


    I’m not going to post the song. I don’t want to get sued by Huey Lewis.

  198. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m a little surprised no one has pointed out that according to the Supreme Court corporations are people. Maybe not land grant corporations. :-)

  199. 21sthebest says:

    “Collateral damage to the innocent, as sad as it is, is inevitable.”


    I don’t think comparing giving the death penalty to PSU to economic conditions is a good comparison. Obviously the death penalty doesn’t have to be given. Economic conditions are a little tougher to control.

    I don’t but I wonder how you’d feel if you had a kid that played for PSU.

  200. Arriba Wilver says:

    Reading–I’m not sure you want to use the Catholic Church’s response as a model for what should happen here . . . just sayin’. Although it is a model for what happened here.

  201. LuckyNKentucky says:


    They settled that out of court. Better than “Workin for a Livin” I guess.

  202. Jandy says:

    AW, another good point!

  203. Ice says:

    You, like many, obviously fail to understand what LOIC means in terms of the NCAA. It has been said before that the IRS doesn’t punish murders who pay their taxes.

  204. pants-n-at says:

    “Big 10 schools with a home game vs penn state do not want to lose that revenue. They will not support the death penalty in my opinion.” I think you’re wrong. But if not, then they would be no better than PSU.


  205. Kgf says:


    Coming from a Penn State graduate, thank you for trying to lift the blinders off the neanderthal-football-worshiping masses. It blows my mind how people can turn a blind eye to child rape so their beloved football can continue. Well, Paterno did. Continuing the program unpunished is a slap in the face to the victims and any child who was put at risk by being around Sandusky. Very brave and bold statement, Dejan.


  206. Peter Venkman says:

    Arriba, I appreciate your clarification of what are or are not legit arguments. That’s a great way to have a reasonable debate. Although DK is a public treasure (in the sports journalism world), i think it’s unfair to deny he has a motive to want more people to read what he writes. If what he writes is too mainstream, no one would be interested. I’m not saying he does it consciously (that would be an insult), but the tone chosen in this column was more inflammatory than it needed to be to make the points he was going for.

  207. Paul Hartman says:

    Dean, You missed this in your assessment of Joe Paterno.
    “One great risk in this situation is a replaying of events from the last 15 years or so in a way that makes it look obvious what everyone must have known and should have done,” Mr. Paterno’s family said in the statement. “The idea that any sane, responsible adult would knowingly cover up for a child predator is impossible to accept. The far more realistic conclusion is that many people didn’t fully understand what was happening and underestimated or misinterpreted events. Sandusky was a great deceiver. He fooled everyone — law enforcement, his family, coaches, players, neighbors, University officials, and everyone at Second Mile.

    “Joe Paterno wasn’t perfect,” his family continued. “He made mistakes and he regretted them. He is still the only leader to step forward and say that with the benefit of hindsight he wished he had done more. To think, however, that he would have protected Jerry Sandusky to avoid bad publicity is simply not realistic. If Joe Paterno had understood what Sandusky was, a fear of bad publicity would not have factored into his actions.”

  208. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    The thing with Penn State today sickens me even more. The ultimate responsibility should be rested on the shoulders of the University President. JoePa covered up, its safe to say. The president runs the school, not the football coach.

    That said; bury this program. Remove JoePa’s name and statue from anything associated. His beliefs are shattered, his legacy ruin. He thought more of the program, than the the children involved and chose to cover it up.

    Those awaiting trial; join Jerry.

    Tough day for this once proud PSU fan

  209. The Gunner says:

    The Gunner

    @ LuckyNKentucky

    Hey lucky

    I too was fat but they still took my money. Eventually I shed the baby fat and became quite a handsome guy and to this day, I still clean up well. So, it sounds like we have a lot in common.

    I am so sick of this Penn State crap; it is sounding like JoePa’s will be remembered pretty negatively. It’s a damn shame but it appears he made some real bad decisions. Frankly, I’d rather talk about the possibility of the Bruno Sammartino-Larry Zbzysko feud resurfacing.

    Gee, I wish the Bucs were playing tonight, don’t you? Clint has made them into a pretty exciting team to watch.

  210. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    If DK mentions the Pirates at all, he gets more responses than this.

    Not his motivation. He has even held back in the past on this subject until proof like this came out.

    He did call for JoePa’s firing, which I think he took a lot of heat for.

  211. Arriba Wilver says:

    Dr. V–so your post at # 60, which stated in part: “something an award-winning reporter would expound on. Instead we get DK’s gas-on-the-fire, raving PSU-hate, and stereotyping of it’s alumni. Of course that is what sells papers, gets ‘hits’ and drives message-boards.”

    That’s what you call “reasonable debate?” I think “raving PSU-hate” is my favorite, but “gas-on-the-fire” is the second runnerup.

  212. pants-n-at says:

    @ Paul #205. If they were all deceived, why did they ban him from taking kids into the shower. This is not a gray area. There was a reason behind that ban. They just no longer wanted the perv to do his crap on campus. Cowards all!

  213. Boise Bucco says:

    I don’t know if this is WAY off topic, but I’m gonna give it a shot anyway:

    Remember all those mid 2000’s years, that the big topic was how Graham Spanier was trying to get rid of Paterno? If Spanier knew, and Paterno knew, and Spanier knew that Paterno knew, then how could they have not used this as a way to force Paterno out? Seems like in retrospect it would have been pretty easy to get him to resign if that was the case.

  214. NMR says:


    First of all, adress me personally if you’re going to say something about me.

    Nowhere did I say that people who agree with DK are sheep.

    I said that people have turned this discussion all shades of ugly and its no surprise why.

    You yourself called me out on the last thread for stating I felt someone had an agenda and correctly stated that my comment could’ve turned the discussion into a contenious one. I appologized.

    How silly does that look after reading this page?

  215. LuckyNKentucky says:


    I’m was joking about being good looking now, but my wife says I am and she and Jandy are the only ones that matter. I’m with you on the Buc talk. Hurdle for President. Is Bruno still alive? How about Bill Cardille?

  216. pants-n-at says:

    @ Boise. (#211) Perhaps they thought about trying to get rid of him but they knew he knew they knew he knew

  217. Boise Bucco says:

    Lol inception

  218. Jandy says:

    Lucky, you are the sweetest person on this blog, so you just have to be good-looking ;)

  219. Jandy says:

    With that I am off…need to rest my weary mind and soul. Peace to all.

  220. Arriba Wilver says:

    NMR–so I apologize if I misinterpreted your comment, “His [Dejan’s] participation today along with the ugly turn blog demeanor has taken can only be seen separately by the sheep.”

    So who are the sheep?

  221. NMR says:


    The people who think that Dejan’s demeanor doesn’t influence the blogs. I’ve been told before I that I was incorrect in that assumption. It absolutely does, and it could not be any more clearly stated than looking at the two blog postings today.

    DK: I have so much more respect for the readers than that, and it’s why I value hearing dissent like yours and that from so many others here today.

  222. NMR says:

    Have a good day, Jandy.

  223. The Gunner says:

    @ LuckyNKentucky – #213

    You’re the greatest, my man! Bruno, the Living Legend, just turned 76 this past October and is doing well. And the last I heard, Chilly Billy is DJing on WJAS 1320 AM in Pittsburgh in the 10 AM to 3 PM slot, still sounds good and plays a good mix of easy listening tunes – he must be at least 84 or 85 years young by now.

    I had the pleasure of meeting Clint Hurdle this past April and had a brief conversation with him. I told him how glad I am he is with the Bucs and how I appreciate the job he has done. I still can’t believe Nutcase was able to get him as manager after all the losers they have run in here since Leyland left (John Russell & Jim Tracy especially.) On a side note, I actually liked Lloyd McClendon because he had some fire – too bad the team they gave (especially the pitching) wreaked.

    Clint will have the Bucs kicking some butt tomorrow in Milwaukee for sure!!

  224. Greg says:

    Great writing as always Dejan, well said.

  225. keebbuc says:

    I wasnt in favor of shutting down the football program prior to this but i honestly cant see how you could do otherwise at this point. I understand that four men made horrible mistakes that will really hurt alot of people financially, mentally, socially, and otherwise if football ends but how can you not watch a game in the house that paterno built and not think of everything that has happened? Of how a place of learning that is supposed to build up our youth used this sport to destroy them? Supposed leaders knowingly turned a blind eye to monster. Every time you see those plain blue and white jerseys how can you not think about those supposed leaders and how they sold their souls to football and to all money and prestige that came along with it? The only way to honestly purge themselves of all of the gains they have made in their lies and dishonesty is to do without football, focus on the institution,make amends with alums, victims, and whoever wants to listen.

  226. pants-n-at says:

    @ Gunner: Chilly Billy!! There is a name I remember from my youth. God, I haven’t heard that name in decades!! of course the military took me away over 30 years ago now so I assumed he was long gone. thanks for that info. That was a quirky show. Chiller theater, right?

  227. Arriba Wilver says:

    NMR–I’ve been one of “those people” I think you are referring to, and I think you are misinterpreting that aspect (the DK influence aspect), at least from my point of view. My recollection of that was that Roberto (maybe you,too) was arguing that whatever DK posted, if it was positive Bucs, then people went positive, and if it was negative, people went negative. I vehemently disagreed, because I didn’t see that as determinative, but rather the Pirates’ play. And it is kind of similar to this argument, because it is belittling the views that posters have personally and rationally (at least speaking for myself) that my views are “sheep” views depending on what DK says. IF you think I follow him uncritically I could get you a long list of people who would dispute that, probably headed by DK. It’s an ad hominem argument in another form.

    Apparently I didn’t misinterpret your sheep comment, but I’ll be sure to address you directly (which I usually do) in the future.

  228. mwhit14 says:

    If you believe the NCAA should sanction Penn State for lack of “institutional control,” then it follows that ALL sports at Penn State should be sanctioned. One has to assume that if Spanier, Curley & Co. couldn’t control the football program, they couldn’t control ANY of the university’s athletics programs. Death penalty to them all.

    DK: No, it doesn’t. That’s parsing. All of this happened under the football umbrella, football building, facilities, road trips, bowl games, etc.

  229. pants-n-at says:

    @ Gunner. Also to add….agree with you on the Bucs managers. Hurdle is doing a fantastic job. I may differ from him on some decisions…but what fan doesn’t, but the guy is doing it right. Here’s to a great 2nd half. And with that, I’m gone. I started with a positve note this morning on the Buccos and I’ll end it that way. I can’t say i was completely that way in between….but today’s topic is an emotional one. Take care all!

  230. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Chiller Theater was great. Many times we stayed up and watched those movies and all Chilly Billy’s antics then begged my mom to sleep in and miss church. She wouldn’t buy into it. I’d love to see some of those stupid skits he did, like the Pittsburgh Subway System, affectionately known as PSSSSST. That was before there was a subway in the ‘Burgh.

  231. NMR says:


    Again, not the views themselves, but the manner in which they’re expressed. Two completely separate things.

    How can you possibly criticize me in the last thread without doing the same to him in this one?

    Have you ever noticed that I never comment of Steelers issues? It’s because I can’t stand the emphasis thats placed on football in this town. I never spoke out on it before, but my rabid Steelers fan days ended when the team, and its fans, welcomed back a franchise quarterback who, at-best, took advantage of a severaly intoxicated girl while his buddies stood watch and a linebacker who beat a woman.

    I was a PSU football fan not because of wins, but because of what the University stood for. You can’t possibly imagine how much it hurts to see that the people in charge of leading that image failed, and more precisely the impact on the innocent victims that their failure had.

    Just because I choose to see the University for the hundreds of thousands of people who do uphold its standards and morals, not for the ones who tarnished its name, does not qualify me as being “all about the football”.

    I cannot stand the idiots DK references that certainly are all about the football. They are the ones giving the University a bad name. But turning this into a tar and feathering for all that have the slightest difference in opinion is flat out wrong.

  232. jefft says:

    Dejan…fantastic writing. Spoken like more than a sports writer, but as an outraged citizen/parent. I haven’t read the report yet, but it certainly sounds like anything less than the death penalty would be unjustifiable.
    Keep up the good work.

  233. Dan1283 says:


    I have family that went there and currently goes there too. I have sympathy that they will have to hear taunts and off-color jokes about their PSU degrees for the rest of their lives whenever they bring the subject up, but I think they would feel better about standing up for their school if Penn State escaped with nothing, even the death penalty.

    If I had a son that played for the team? I’d chalk it up to bad luck that we picked the wrong school, too bad but we got screwed, let’s either pack it up on football or find another school to play for if there’s no season.

  234. NMR says:


    “I have sympathy that they will have to hear taunts and off-color jokes about their PSU degrees for the rest of their lives whenever they bring the subject up”

    You’re truly clueless if you think this is the case. Talk about being blinded by football.

    I’ve had colleagues from around the country call me in support since the scandal happened.

    Anyone with an ounce of common sense would be able to separate the two.

    Get a grip.

  235. Arriba Wilver says:

    NMR–I can’t even respond to that because I don’t understand what you are saying.

    What I do know, or at least think, is that you are a loyal Penn State alumnus who is sickened by all this, but still want to protect your University. If I had gone to PS, I might be right with you. (I have plenty of connections, so I’m not a “hater” by any stretch). What I see is the PS supporters going overboard to say they are against pedophiles, etc., but . . . I never say I’m against it, because to me, it’s kind of like saying you are against murder. Who knew? It’s like saying you are against slavery.

    And like I said earlier (I think), I thought initially that DK was jumping the gun immediately calling for the death penalty ( and he may be) But the more I read the defenses against it the more I think he may be right. You have to read the Freeh report, which the University commissioned. It was not just 4 bad guys (not including Sandusky). It was the culture, not that allowed the first assault, but that allowed it to continue. You don’t solve that by sending the top officials to jail and taking down Joe’s statue, I don’t think. But I know that my opinion is not based on DK’s post, or any antipathy to Penn State. It’s a rational opinion, even if wrong.

  236. Jeffkqv says:

    Thank you for your thoughts on this whole situation. I totally agree. And for all who say that the program should not be shut down because of the players, I also agree with your idea. Those players should be permitted to transfer with no penalty or no waiting period. I am one who always thought that the PSU football program had too much power at the school. It”s time to make PSU about education and less about Football.

  237. Dan1283 says:

    NMR, you completely missed my point. I hope they have the same experience you have. I care about the fact that they can be proud of their degree and I sympathize with them if one day they do run across someone not so respectful. I don’t care one tiny bit about how the NCAA death penalty may or may not somehow “punish” them or any other student, football player or not. Football doesn’t need to be taken down a notch, it needs to be eliminated for a year so that A.) the coverup doesn’t go unpunished, B.) future AD’s and administrators won’t make the same mistakes, C.) people at Penn State from president to freshman commuter will realize, hey, football’s gone but life is going on here in Happy Valley, and D.) to re-establish the priorities and the morals of the university.

    Maybe once PSU realizes it can survive without football, it won’t break so many rulesand lie to cover up other rules broken by the football program in the future.

  238. JaxBuc says:

    Although many thoughts have been shared today, it’s clear that disgust and anger seem to be a common thread in many. Other than DK’s column, I think Hank at #44 seems to have written one of the best entries I’ve seen.

  239. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    1) Joe Paterno won a lot of football games
    2) Joe Paterno helped cover up child molestation and child rape.

    #1 does not excuse, forgive, or in any way diminish the seriousness of #2. No one should ever forget that.

  240. Arriba Wilver says:

    JaxBuc–are you allowed to talk about anything but the Pirates? Seriously, though, I agree with you about Hank’s post at # 44. Baaaaaaa

  241. NMR says:


    I have absolutely no problem with that opinion, and I’ve said it several times.

    At this point, I WANT the program to get the death penalty, if nothing else than to appease the mob and because I truly don’t care enough about football itself to miss it for a year.

    I didn’t and don’t feel it would solve or prevent anything. Just as you say being against child abuse is as obvious as being against slavery, its pretty freaking clear to me that other universities don’t need to be shown that its bad to cover up a CHILD MOLESTER. We were having a rational discussion and I had a rational asnwer.

    I’m not sure how you can be at a loss for words when I asked you a simple question:

    How can you possibly criticize me for my behavior in the last thread without criticizing Dejan for his?

  242. Mike Z says:

    Today is a rough day for my Penn State community, but it’s time that we all fully face reality and deal with the consequences. I can no longer defend Joe Pa or justify his mistakes. The men at the top knew enough to stop Sandusky but failed to act, all for the sake of protecting the football program. Had Sandusky been a math professor and not associated with the football team, I have no doubt he would have been stopped without cover up. Therefore, the football program that we all love so much, must pay a penalty. We can all survive a year or two without Penn State football. It’s not much of a price to pay compared to the price the victims paid. It is my hope that current University officials handle this report properly, and that my fellow Alumni continue to represent the University proudly. Today, that means taking our medicine no matter how badly it tastes.

  243. Mike Z says:

    I am suggesting the death penalty for 1 to 2 years. I never thought I would, but I’ve changed my mind, for several reasons. 1. The cover-up would not have happened if not for protecting the football program. 2. Although we’ve all learned from this and it’s highly unlikely any football program anywhere ever covers up crimes like these, there still should be punishment. How could any other football program face harsh penalties if PSU doesn’t for this? 3. I think the football program and the University will be better off in the long run if we take 2 years off from football. It can be rebuilt. The fans will come back. The players will come back. I think they’ll be more likely to come back if a harsh penalty is enforced. The rest of the country and college football world will be more likely to support PSU if the program faces the penalty. People are given a 2nd chance all of the time in this country, but only after admitting fault and paying the price.

  244. NMR says:


    A) Jail time is much more punishment than losing football.
    B) Ridiculous. See my comment to Arriba. It should be crystal clear to any decent human that covering up for a child molester is wrong. And even if it’s not, criminal law will dispatch of them before they feel the slightest reprocussion from a death penalty like sentence.
    C) I agree, as with society as a whole.
    D) Again, ridiculous. Students don’t go to PSU to watch football games. They don’t list won/loss records on their resumes. They don’t use Joe Paterno as a character reference. The priority is and always was to graduate.

    Like I said to Arriba, if shedding blood is what it takes for people outside of the University to re-establish trust, then so be it. Do it now.

  245. Arriba Wilver says:

    NMR–my criticism of you on the previous thread was because you attacked another poster (first criticism on the thread, which I explicitly stated) for having an “agenda” because he was talking about the janitors. I don’t see the connection with DK calling for the death penalty. If you enlighten me, I’d be happy to respond.

    And I obviously disagree with you that you asked a “simple question.” I don’t know what that question was. Maybe if you give it to me again, I can respond. Sometimes I’m slow.

  246. Erik says:

    to repost.

    The NCAA does not have jurisdiction in this matter. They’re not NCAA violations. Crimes are dealt with in the courts.

  247. Arriba Wilver says:

    NMR–I didn’t see your last post to Dan at #242 referencing me before I posted. I think we’re done with this conversation. If you want to respond to my #243 post, I will in kind, but it’s pretty obvious to me this isn’t going anywhere. You keep going for the ad hominem instead of dealing rationally with the issues, so there’s really no point.

    “shedding blood”—yeah, right

  248. Dan1283 says:

    “B) Ridiculous. See my comment to Arriba. It should be crystal clear to any decent human that covering up for a child molester is wrong. And even if it’s not, criminal law will dispatch of them before they feel the slightest reprocussion from a death penalty like sentence.”

    If it’s so ridiculous, then how come Mike McQueary is THE ONLY PERSON at PSU to have cared enough to report this at the risk of his own reputation? Curley, Spanier, Paterno, Schultz – for something that should be obvious, 4/5 sure did spit in the face of it.

    We don’t stop punishing crimes in society just because it should be obvious that they are the wrong thing to do.

    According to the report, this was an ivory tower situation. We don’t need to just close it off for awhile and open it back up. It needs to be leveled. This was a problem that originated with a football coach, happened in football facilties, and was covered up by football people. It’s a gots to go situation. Sally Jenkins nails it on that point –

    Do you have any idea what kind of precedent it sets to let this slide with the exception of sending a few people to jail???? Could you imagine if this ever happened again at, say, Texas, and the precedent says “Play On”????

  249. Dan1283 says:


    That’s like saying Roger Goodell can’t suspend Michael Vick because the law handled it. It’s false. The NCAA can do whatever it wants to PSU.

  250. Arriba Wilver says:

    Erik— that was my initial view, too, but the ” lack of institutional control” arguably gives them jurisdiction. That’s been pretty well documented.

  251. Erik says:


    Vick did violate rules of the NFL player conduct. So Goodell had jurisdiction. I realize the grey area rule of “lack of institutional control” will be the arguement of the NCAA.

  252. Mark says:

    I believe with my entire being what you said should be read out loud to anyone everywhere with any other opinion. I could not agree with you more

  253. AJS says:

    Put it up front here that I AM a Penn State grad. And my time at Penn State was defined by much more than football and in fact football plays a very small part in the experience as a whole. Trying to take my Blue and White glasses off and look at this objectively.

    Most calling for the death penalty point to it as a need not nescessarilly to punish the university for its crimes but instead for it to act as a deterrant to other institutions who would then think twice about their own cover up. To that argument i offer this counter:

    1. Penn State WILL pay. LOTS. More than we can even imagine at this point. Law suits from teh offended. Penalties from teh government for not implementing controls governed by the Clery Act in a timely manner. It will be an astronomical amount of money. Donations to the athletic department will suffer. Seats at the stadium will be emptier than we have ever seen them. Penn State WILL pay. How is that NOT enough to incent other to come forward and be as forthright as possible? Why is the death penalty needed on top of that?

    2. We need to give teh death penalty to Penn State because we need to change that big time football culture so this never happens again! Really? First of all that basically is an argument not only to shut down Penn Staet’s football program but we might as well go ahead and shut down the entire SEC, where academics are clearly second behind football, half of the rest of the Big 10, USC, FSU, Texas, eetc, etc, etc. Second, teh culture is going to change. Those empty seats. Thousands of students who will turn there back to the stadium on game day. That crowd of people with a die hard attitude will shrink substantially. The fact that this even happened will bring a whole new perspective to what the importance or lack of importance foorball carries.

    3. If you don’t think the criminal punishment and large amounts of settlements the University will be paying out are deterrant enough then issue other extremely stiff penalties to the football program. Cut their scholarships. Ban them from the post season for several years. Fine the university an astronomical amount of money. And this is not a JUST PLAY FOOTBALL reasoning. If they play I’ll watch, if they don’t I’ll find other ways to fill my Saturday afternoons. i don’t really care. What I do care about is the other programs that this football program supports. Cut income from this program to 0 and you cut the entire athletic budget to near the same. Why should the field hockey team be punished? Why should the men’s volleyball team pay? Why shoul the track team get whacked? You want to claim that there is always collateral damage and the point made by asing football for a year is more important than all of these kids? Yes innocent people get hurt in every sector when a punishment is issued. I’m not a fan of it when that happens either. Were other players on the OSU team punished for the acts of Pryor and a few others? Yes. But guess what, those players had an opportunity to blow the whistle. They were all part of the cover up as well. Most if not all of them likely new about it. These kids playing these other sports were in elementary school when this went down. The death penalty does’t just hurt these kids the year the football team doesn’t take the field. It effects the next 5 even 10 or in the case of SMU 20+ years.

    Those are my thoughts. As unpopular as they are. And trust me when I say thinking about what Sandusky did makes me sick. And that it makes me even sicker to think that a man who helped make the university i love into what it is today(in so many ways that DON’T involve football) couldn’t man up and do the right thing, and helped cover all of this up. It is all so very sad. But the death penalty hasn’t been issued since the SMU incident. There is a reason for that. It effects so many areas that don’t deserve the fall out it creates.

  254. JuniataKid says:

    Meanwhile, Jerry Sandusky sits in prison, eating three squares and reliving his perverse glory days in his head. If there’s a death penalty, I suggest it be William Wallace-style for Jerry Sandusky. Maybe that will make other men with similar grotesque fantasies seek out psychiatric help instead of potential victims.

  255. Stanley Schweiger says:

    An excellent, well-thought-out piece of journalism! There must be a way to get this into the hands of the NCAA’s “powers-that-be!” This disgusting situation gives the NCAA an opportunity to right-the-wrong it ridiculously & foolishly committed when it bowed to the Sugar Bowl, and allowed the Ohio State players to play in such a “very important” football game!

  256. ramius says:

    Yes, the guilty parties will be punished criminally. No, taking football away from PSU will not make the victims feel any better. But anyone who argues that anything but the harshest penalties are appropriate is part of the problem.

    When the actual death penalty is instituted in capital punishment cases, the point is not to eliminate the threat of that criminal ever doing it again, the point is to teach a lesson to those left behind. In essence to put a value on the life of the victim. To say enough! This crime was so heinous that we will not stand for it, and the ultimate penalty must be applied. The same is true here.

    Don’t feel too badly for the players, if they were good enough to get a football scholarship at PSU, there are a whole lot of teams that will cover their education in return for their services on the gridiron. This cannot be tolerated! This was not a handful of people, as so many posters keep saying. This was a LOT of people, who either knew what was going on, or should have known. This was an institution thay put the destruction of innocent lives behind the reputation of a school.

    Want to know exactly why Penn State Football must go? Read the posts on this blog defending the school, look at the students blindly defending JoPa, watch the ridiculous press conference where PSU executives never take full desponsibility. THIS COULD HAPPEN AGAIN IN HAPPY VALLEY, NEXT WEEK!!! When people put a game ahead of lives, an example must be made. Stop pretending this is equal to selling a ring, or a recruiting violation. This was instituionally sanctioned rape of minors. If you don’t get that, I pity you.

  257. jmp says:

    What no one seems to discuss is this — sports is about winning, bottom line. And, when winning happens, we celebrate the winner.

    What does it mean if Penn State wins even one football game, let alone a national championship?

    And, if winning can’t possibly be celebrated by rational people anymore, what is the point of playing? What kind of service can that do to the student-athletes to play in a sport where winning can’t be reasonably celebrated?

  258. Eric Bowser says:

    Great instant reaction column.

    Not a single word or point was missed in this.

  259. pattonbb says:

    @ AJS Re #254 – IF the death penalty is given, it won’t have anything to do with changing big time football culture. It will have everything to do with teaching Penn State a lesson. In my opinion, there’s a huge difference.

    I’m not sure what is more upsetting: the fact that Joe Paterno has been shown to be a fraud, or the fact that so many people seem to be taking such enjoyment out of that.

    This entire story cannot be compared to anything else in sports, or in business. There is no standard to measure it by.

    To the PSU alum and fans I say; I’m sorry. I can only imagine how hard this is to accept.

    To those anti-Joe people who seem to be gloating I say; get a life.

  260. Officer Mancuso says:

    As one who remembers the time when Jackie Sherrill was head coach at Pitt and subject to frequent moral nose-wrinkling by Joe Paterno, I have to say that Paterno’s belief in his own moral exceptionalism looks to me like the hubris at the root of this tragedy. Like the Catholic bishops, his belief in the importance of preserving his institution’s reputation had the paradoxical effect of making it uniquely non-empathetic to victims of predators in its midst. I’m reminded of Adam Smith’s remark that “virtue is more to be feared than vice, because its excesses are not subject to the regulation of conscience.”

  261. Newbie says:

    Children were injured. Men and women were responsible to protect the those children, not Saturday games, pep rallies, fund raising and their own legacies. They placed other priorities, including their own enrichment, above the safety of a child.

    The Death Penalty is in order and those who unknowingly invested in the criminal conspiracy that became PSU should have the option to claw back their tuition, donations, season ticket fees and even the cost of the ice cream named after the man who spoke of doing the right thing, but was incapable of acting in that manner. Sickening.

  262. Mya Opynion says:

    I do not want to dismiss the damning nature of the Freeh report. It stunned me just how complicit Penn State officials were in allowing this to occur, continue and their coverup is just astounding to me in its scope.

    However, lets address this issue as an NCAA violation and talk of the death penalty.

    In the cases of Ohio State, SMU, USC and Alabama they were all strictly football program related in order to gain an unfair competitive advantage. They all centered around improper behavior by coaches, boosters, players, winks and knowing nods by administrations and fans were all related to football itself. Now, in the case of Penn State where were or are they gaining competitive advantage from this case? Clearly and obviously not. In fact this is going to hamper their ability to be as competitive as they otherwise may have been for years or decades, we just don’t know yet.

    I am not in any way stepping away from condemning all parties concerned in this grotesque story. They are vile and despicable human beings, the lot of them.

    However when it comes to involvement by the NCAA under what guise do they treat this as a violation when it comes to talk of the death penalty? Were players paid, were boosters giving improper benefits, were there secret deals with agents, cars loaned, people paid for work they did not do? No to all of the above.

    So is it strictly from a moral standpoint that they get involved? Do they even have guidelines for dealing with something like this? What within their guidelines do they have sanctioning authority to punish a program for what a retired coordinator does even if it is on University grounds?

    I am with you in thinking something harsh needs to happen but what? Under what set of existing rules do you take into account in punishing Penn State? Like it or not moral outrage is not legal grounds for sanctions.

    We are in completely uncharted territory here but NCAA rules violations were designed for cheating in regards to athletic programs and competition. There is just no way when this body gathers to formulate and update their encylcopedic and Byzantine guidelines that anyone ever thought; “What do we do when a University was found to be harboring and covering for a pedophile?”

    It just never happened and as such, which set of rules and guidelines do you use take on the unthinkable?

  263. Patrick Westbrook says:

    Sandusky’s sick and demented behavior is not related to the current students or football program in general. Penn State will do everything in their power to help all involved but killing the program serves no purpose. This is also outside of the NCAA’s power so let them play and try to move on which will take years and years as it is. Punishment to those involved is enough!

  264. bdubb says:

    Saying you can’t possibly give the death penalty because of the businesses that rely on 8 football games a year and the support of all the other athletic teams at PSU equals Too Big to Fail. Things of this nature will no doubt have a huge trickle down effect. Some of the most powerful men in the state, and perhaps the most powerful led a cover-up of monstrous proportions. It isn’t fair to those around who will feel the effect of this but you can’t let this slide because others will be affected. How many young men now have been affected for the rest of their lives because grown men brushed this aside.

    5 year ban of the football program

  265. Drew71 says:

    I’ve been reading all day. Have been trying to figure out how to write what I’m feeling.

    Many of you know that I’m a Penn Stater.

    No apologies.

    And no apologies for worshiping Joe for decades. No apologies for valuing my education and my Penn State memories.

    And now all this.

    To mix metaphors from last week’s discussion, more smoking guns than Katy Perry.

    So. Will Penn State get the Death Penalty?

    I don’t care.

    Not that I don’t care about what happened.

    Just don’t care about Penn State Football.

    So keep it. Kill it. Whatever.

    Still love Penn State.

    Just moving on from football.

  266. Jmo says:

    I was born in the same year that psu won their last national championship. My father and most of my extended family attended psu (I was raised outside of pa and, given the difference in tuition, I chose to stay in state when I chose my alma mater). Joe Paterno – until now – has always been viewed as a model of morality and stability. His grand experiment separated him from the scandals that plagued college sports year in and year out. Shocking does not begin to describe the emotion I feel today. Sickened, mad, confused, numb, dumbfounded, sad, guilty (that I defended Paterno up until today) are just as prevalent amongst my feelings.

    With this being said, what purpose does the death penalty serve? Who are you punishing? The criminals involved in this cover up are either dead or no longer part of the university. Those left within the program are not culpable for these crimes. Why punish psu players, coaches, students and fans for the actions of 5 men? There may be a cloud over the program… There undoubtedly will be. But this is a matter for the judicial system of the united states government, not the NCAA.

    Many may disagree, but the football program can still serve as a source of pride for a broken university. Yes Paterno’s legacy should be removed from the university — but bill ob should be given the opportunity to bring the penn state community together every Saturday.

  267. Buckeyehba says:

    Whether the University hired Freeh for public relations reasons or not, it was a good move and I commend them for tthat. The next good move would be to voluntarily impose a 1 year death penalty. The two events combined would go the farthest toward putting the whole ugly event behind them.

  268. Bizrow says:

    Nice post Mr Drew

    A hard day for folks from this area

    Let alone someone from The PSU and someone that met JoePa

    My two cents, anywhoo

  269. JD says:

    Our obsession with sport knows no bounds. It is entertainment in its purest form, and a great escape from reality.

    So much so, that in our society, people can earn their entire livelihood simply by writing and talking about sports, much like yourself, Mr. Kovacevic.

    To call for the death penalty is furthering the idea that football is king and paramount, not just at Penn State, but in all things. Every single person who’s first thought in this is ‘well they must have the death penalty’ furthers the idea as well. You will all feel better about what happened here if Penn State gets the death penalty? Who wins, who loses?

    Nobody. Football does not matter. I know it’s your job to write about football…but death penalties, ncaa sanctions, vacating wins etc. etc. etc. do NOTHING to right the wrongs done at Penn State. How many years without football equals out covering up child abuse? 1? 10? 20?

    The answer is zero. Football does not matter right now.

  270. Buckeyehba says:

    To 262 and others on here. Some are misinformed on the NCAA role here. All members of NCAA must prove institutional control over sports programs…. Checks and balances. The moment Curly went to others and killed any uaction, referring to his conversation about the wishes of JoeP, the University showed a lack of institutional control. The penalty for this is ths death penalty. Yes, the NCAA has a need to be involved going forward.

  271. Dan1283 says:

    Nice post, Drew.

    You get it.

    I’m sorry for the emotional tug of war you’re going through, man.

  272. Mike Evans says:

    This is why you are one of the top 5 sports columnists in the country. Spot on article Dejan. There are more important things in this world than football.

  273. matt_b says:

    I think everyone is missing the point. The football program essentially covered up the crime in order to keep a good name and keep recruiting keeping the whole program safe. To this day, their plan of coverup worked and the football program kept its good name as a result of the authorities protecting Sandusky. The program should be punished solely because instead of taking the hit 14 years ago they kept it hidden risking children everywhere for their football’s stake, now upon discovery they should indeed be punished and take the hit now.

  274. Eric The Red says:


    The News of the World was shut down because of the criminal acts of a few so you would be happy if this happened at your paper and you and everyone that you work with lost their jobs because some made criminal decisions. That is what our courts and laws are for to punish those that did wrong. Read this article DK and Andy Staples even after the Freeh report stands by what he wrote.
    We have a justice system and let them punish those that did wrong and if Paterno was alive he should have been held accountable for his actions in a criminal and civil court. You will stretch to find an NCAA rule that was violated other than your stretch reach of loss of institutional control and this is a pattern and what is the pattern here?
    You want to say these decisions were made for the protection of the football program but I say that it was to protect the Institution of Penn State. Following this logic that you layforth in your article you have to close the University don’t you but this would not be fair would it DK. Don’t rush to punish all of State College DK.

  275. PetroSteel says:

    DK. Very well said!!! You nailed it.

    Very sad situation.

    All involved must be punished. But we cant punish the innocent, can we? I’m having trouble deciding what the punishment should be to the folks not directly involved and the University. I think the ones that were involved should never see the light of day again. But, do we punish the innocent?

    I am not an alumni and I am neutral when it comes to being a fan of the team or the University.

  276. Arriba Wilver says:

    Pattobb—who are all those people who’ve been enjoying the fact that Joe was complicit? I’ve been following along all day, and I haven’t seen a one ( I may have missed one or two). But I have been impressed by the fact that even Joe’s strongest supporters aren’t denying the results of the Penn State investigation. I did hear some stuff on the radio that sounded apologist-like, and maybe thats where you heard the people “gloating.” on the other side. I certainly haven’t seen it on here.

  277. Officer Mancuso says:

    Too bad for people who thought they were rooting for a uniquely virtous institution. Like Catholics. Like lemmings.

  278. Officer Mancuso says:

    Carefully police the behavior of people who argue that they are more ethical than their peers.

  279. Arriba Wilver says:

    If you read the report, the “University” was complicit. The University acts through its top administrators and it’s board of Trustees. If not, how do you ever hold a corporation or a University or a Union accountable?. I think one of the key findings, maybe THE key finding, of the report, was that everybody at the top was complicit in one way or another. Who is the University if not those people?

  280. Officer Mancuso says:

    Oh one more thing. When you believe, at age 80, that you’re better than your replacement, there’s a problem.

  281. Happy G says:


    Thank you so much for such an open blog. You obviously want to hear from those that disagree with you by stating their argument in your post. So, here’s my points.

    1. Random point.

    2. Second random point.

    3. Hence, PLAY FOOTBALL.

  282. Happy G says:

    And I disagree with those that posted it wasn’t an easy thing for DK to write about. DK has been waiting for years to write negatively about PSU and PSU has finally left a huge crack in its armor to write about. DK, please stick to things you are much better at writing about, the Pirates and the Penguins, not legal matters.

    DK: Busted again. Drat.

    Yes, you have me. Have secretly hated Penn State all my life. And it’s such a secret that even I was unaware of it in focusing almost entirely on professional sports until the past couple years.

  283. Drew71 says:

    I’m glad there’s no ball game tonight.

    I don’t mean that in the sanctimonious, hand wringing, sports-are-not-important way that some ESPN sports pundits say things like that when real life intrudes on their billion dollar franchise.

    I mean I’m not ready.

  284. Happy G says:

    As a PSU alum I am disgraced by what happened. This report didn’t shed any light on anything we didn’t already know. JoePa was in charge and called the shots. I understand the argument to kill the football program. But, here’s the counter argument. NCAA sanctions are in place to keep the competitive balance in their programs. Nothing in this situation improved the Penn State Football program. If anything, the football program has a tainted image forever. Criminal and civil courts will take care of those involved in this story, not the NCAA.

    Like you said…

    1. Random point.

    2. Second random point.

    3. Hence, PLAY FOOTBALL.

  285. Officer Mancuso says:

    I take no pleasure in the sinking of Paterno’s legacy, but I’m not about to make exceptiond for the sanctimonious.

  286. pgherinfl - Carl says:

    Great article Dejan! Wow did it bring out the hypocrites. I haven’t read any of the Freeh report. But your coverage of it leads me to believe that the death penalty is advised for the football team. Give it a few years and start over from scratch.

    I think they should move up the chain and get everyone involved in this. The people that covered this up from the law enforcement and legal system should also fall. They knew long ago and by ignoring it, they let this go on longer than it should.

    Scorched earth policy on this, so nothing like this can happen again, IMHO.

  287. UnivCincy Alum says:

    In the late 1990’s/early 2000’s … Univ of Cincy basketball was enjoying a long era of success, being led by Bob Huggins. He had gained tremendous support and fans … but, was ‘let-go’ when he lost a power struggle with the President of UC. Once he and the program (academic and off-campus problems were prevalent) became ‘uncontrollable’, even as he endured his first heart attack, the President of UC asked him to resign .. and they agreed to a buy-out. UC, while reasonablty competitive, has been a ‘has been’ ever since. But, it was the right thing to do. A college coach should not even think he has more power than the AD, let alone the univ. president. Though the univ. president is gone … the academic and institutional standards of UC are still stable, at least as far as I know. Michigan got rid of RichRod before trouble … though having that bad record helped him out the door… I wonder if he had gone 10-2 each year if he’d still be there? Yes .. get rid of PSU football for 3 years … … and ask the alums to put their generosity into buiilding a reputation into something not football, or even sports for that matter.

  288. Millertime Winnipeg Canada says:

    Great article and interview today on Hustler and Lawless radio in Winnipeg. You really put it in perspective on how big this story is in Pennsylvania and all over the US. The fact that this is so much bigger than any other Pittsburgh sports story says it all! It is unbelievable how this guy has gone from being a hero to a disgrace. I totally agree with your view on this story and this is way bigger than football and sports. This story is getting massive press in Canada even though college football is not as popular up here as it is in the USA.

    DK: This is it, Biz! We’ve struck Winnipeg gold at long last for the Asylum.

    That took WAY too long.

  289. Boise Bucco says:


    I’m not really seeing any hypocrites. IDK, maybe I’m not looking hard enough, but what I see are a lot of PSU alum and family of alum being heartbroken that one of the heroes of their lives being proved as a criminal. I never went to Penn State, but I always saw JoePa as a hero of sorts, and to see this happen causes many conflicting emotions. So it’s just not as easy as that sentence would make it seem.

  290. Happy G says:

    Really? “Great article Dejan! Wow did it bring out the hypocrites. I haven’t read any of the Freeh report. But your coverage of it leads me to believe that the death penalty is advised for the football team.”

    DK, I’ve read you long enough to know you appreciate posters that actually do their homework and read the material before they post. We can agree to disagree but I still love your coverage of sports in Pittsburgh.

    DK: That means a lot. Really does. In what I do, not everyone will agree on a daily basis, to say the least. I just ask — and hope — that people realize I mean what I write and put what I have into supporting it.

  291. Playoffs by 2012 says:


    #265 summed it up perfectly. Thank you.

  292. pgherinfl - Carl says:


    I’m talking about the ones who have written in and said save football. I can see people rationalizing about this but to show no regret is truly heartbreaking to me. I grew up rooting for Pitt & PSU since I lived about halfway between the 2 colleges. I’m heartbroken too although I never went to PSU. I lived on a farm and we received animals from PSU.

    But with what has come out of this report, football needs to go away for a while.

  293. Frank says:

    “Only the blindest supporters, blind by choice, can dismiss or diminish this now. And those people will be the ones to drag the university down even further. Stamp them out. Shout them down. Show that the community is better than that.” – DK

    I wonder how those supporters would feel if it were their kid in a shower with Sandusky? Would they still be singing Paterno’s praises and worrying about his “poor legacy” over the victims? Would they still be taking offense to those who have the gall to criticize the Penn State organization for covering up child rape?

    Just as long as they “PLAY FOOTBALL”, right? What a sick and sad mentality.

  294. Larry says:

    Why punish people who had nothing to do with this?

    Kids who enroll at Penn St over the next decade shouldn’t be punished.

    Leave Sandusky in jail forever, and sue and/or prosecute all those who covered up this horrendous series of crimes.

    Leave the football players and their fans alone. Punish those responsible.

  295. Happy G says:

    Here’s another argument…There are people like Jerry Sandusky in every football program in the United States. Only Penn State was unable to prevent what happened due to their concern for the football program. All of the other Division 1 schools prevented this.

    Let’s get real, this is a random act by a sick individual. If he was at a different University the same result would have happened. To say “THIS COULD HAPPEN AGAIN IN HAPPY VALLEY, NEXT WEEK!!!” is stupid and ignorant. Penn State and the rest of the country will learn from this.

  296. Cool Rudy says:

    For the people that have stated that the criminals are no longer at PSU….you’re wrong.

    Spanier is still a tenured professor at Penn St.

    Curley hasn’t been fired or stepped down, he is on administrative leave.

    So as of today both are still with Penn St.

  297. Erik says:


    Exactly. This is what I have said. The guilty must pay. The NCAA has no right to get involved with this. It must be handled by the board of trustees. In my option had no idea this went on.

  298. Tom says:

    I’m not totally against the death penalty here, or at least the rationale behind it, but I don’t think it’s the most appropriate penalty either. PSU is suffering from a PR standpoint unlike anything we’ve ever seen. They are about to pay out ungodly amounts of money in legal fees, settlements, etc. Curley and Schultz will be in jail soon, and Spanier is probably right behind them. Joe is obviously gone and can’t be punished, but his legacy is forever tarnished, and everything he worked so hard to protect has gone up in flames. The legal process is being played out, and the people who were involved are going to be held accountable. So at the end of the day, it’s not like the NCAA has to levy the death penalty or PSU will have gotten away with a slap on the wrist. I saw someone earlier mention that the death penalty would deter administrators at other schools from taking part in a similar cover-up – don’t you think these last eight months have made it pretty clear that you should not go down that path? PSU is paying a dear price as is, regardless of what happens to the football team.

    The one issue I do have, DK, is with your mocking of anyone who is against the death penalty. Yelling “PLAY FOOTBALL” like they’re all a bunch of neanderthals kills any
    possibility of reasonable discussion. Basically, agree with you or be mocked (though some of these trolls obviously do deserve it). I get that you might feel the death penalty is required to get the point across on the severity of these crimes. But I don’t think there’s any punishment that you can comfortably say is “enough”, so if someone decides that they would draw the line somewhere short of where you would doesn’t automatically invalidate their reasonings.

    Just my two cents…

  299. Erik says:

    Great comment Eric the red

  300. Tom says:

    I will add that the fact that Curley and Spanier are still employed by PSU makes me want to throw up, and makes me fear that the BOT still doesn’t get it, and won’t be willing to make the tough decisions moving forward…

  301. John says:

    Great Article – A message MUST be sent! Ironic that I have not seen any of these high ranking officials apologize to the victims yet.

  302. Santo Rizzo says:

    Do you think that the death penalty will stop this or even have an impact? Look at the facts – go to RAINN.ORG and Whether football is played at Penn State has no impact. No one will learn. The statistics on abuse are between 1 in 4 and 1 in 8. That means that there are a hell of a lot of Sanduskys in the world. People talk about ‘If I was Paterno/McQueary/… I would have…” They are full of such crap. If all these people would do something, then the statistic wouldn’t be so high.

    I say play with a BIG Blue Ribbon on the helmet (or the enough abuse hand) and every jersey should have the word ‘enough’ where other teams put the players name ( Penn State playing creating awareness would have much more impact than the death penalty. Nobody really would give a crap if they didn’t play.

    DK: Well, it sounds like you’re not worried at all that they wouldn’t play. Right?

  303. Santo Rizzo says:

    DK, I am saying what is the point and who cares if they do or do not play – doesn’t help the situation.

    If there is a tidal wave coming, would you stop to brush your teeth, do your hair, or shave? Basically, abuse is a tidal wave out of control. Penn State not playing isn’t going to stop it – its basically pushing it under the rug like its a taboo thing… Um, that’s part of the problem (Remember, most of this is with relatives and ‘you wouldn’t want to hurt grandma’…). I’d say let those organizations listed in my previous post determine what would be the best plan of action.

    There are still 1 in 4 or in 8 kids that are impacted. Stop that – talking about anything else is a waste of time.

    DK: So, you want the football team to keep playing.

  304. John says:

    Way to join into the media sensationalism. What did the this horrible tragedy have to do with the football program? Remove Paterno from the equation and replace with the swimming coach. Would you kill the swim team? This was a horrible dereliction of duty. Legacy tarnished and the statue should come down. But comments like this prove to be self serving rhetoric that sell papers and increase reply counts to blogs.

  305. GoJoePa says:

    I hate to say this b/c I love college football. But Freeh’s report is not just an indictment of PSU. It’s an indictment of college football in general. Football programs are way too big on campus these days. Maybe the college sports should be replaced by club sports: disconnect the sport brand from the universities.

  306. Santo Rizzo says:

    Yes, because not playing would be sweeping it under the rug. It is actually an act of cowardice.

    As Rahm Emanuel said “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” The team should be a visual marketing tool that creates awareness. I would have kids impacted by abuse help re-design the uniform – have drastic and dramatic things done at Beaver Stadium. Like painting it black. Make the field a color like Boise State.

    Not playing would have the reverse consequence to the victims. Totally sends the wrong message. The message should be – turn your uncle Jerry in even though it will hurt Grandma. That families overcome these things and that healing is possible through dialogue. That every saturday as people watch on TV, that they will feel uncomfortable. That they will think but more importantly to act

  307. kevnj says:

    Little late to the conversation but great column DK, I couldn’t disagree with any point you make. Shut it down because if this doesn’t deserve the death penalty what ever could?

  308. 1BUCCOFAN says:

    College Football Joe Schad said After consulting with Attorney’s familiar with the manual of NCAA that while offenses here are criminal there is no provision for the so called death penalty. He cited the fact that the NCAA in Cam Newton’s with his Father shopping him to the highest bidder provided no penalties for anyone involved. Which it does now. While holding those responsible must be the highest priority. In order for those who have been harmed to move on as anyone who has worked with persons that have been through abuse knows. Healing unfortunately will and it pains me say begins with forgiveness.

  309. Susan says:

    I’m an alum, and it wouldn’t bother me to have the program shut down for a year.

    I’m just curious though, why no one has called for the Catholic church to be shut down? Their crimes against children and cover up far exceeds anything at Penn State. I don’t recall this level of local outrage at the church.

  310. Margie C. says:

    How does one give back to the children who have suffered from the Hideous crime, yes crime, that was committed? The formative years that belong to the children were taken away from evil corruption against a minor…is the death penalty for a year too much? It seems that these low profiles of a human being, know exactly where to lay slithering like a snake, waiting for their next victim. Do away with the places they hide in, it just may save another victim!!! Oh, and the statue, just exactly what does it stand for? Justify the rights of the victims, TAKE IT DOWN!!!

  311. Mark J says:

    excerpt from wikipedia: Just so everyone is clear on what is considered the “Death Penalty” and why it was used, this line clearly says it all…and should be applied in this case.

    “The infractions committee cited the need to “eliminate a program that was built on a legacy of wrongdoing, deceit and rule violations” as a factor in what is still the harshest penalty ever meted out to any major collegiate program”

    As a result:
    The 1987 season was canceled; only conditioning drills (without pads) were permitted until the spring of 1988.
    All home games in 1988 were canceled. SMU was allowed to play their seven regularly scheduled away games so that other institutions would not be financially affected. The university ultimately chose to cancel the away games as well.
    The team’s existing probation was extended to 1990. Its existing ban from bowl games and live television was extended to 1989.
    SMU lost 55 new scholarship positions over 4 years.
    The team was allowed to hire only five full-time assistant coaches instead of the typical nine.
    No off-campus recruiting was permitted until August 1988, and no paid visits could be made to campus by potential recruits until the start of the 1988–89 school year.
    The infractions committee cited the need to “eliminate a program that was built on a legacy of wrongdoing, deceit and rule violations” as a factor in what is still the harshest penalty ever meted out to any major collegiate program. It also cited SMU’s past history of violations and the “great competitive advantage” the Mustangs had gained as a result of cheating. However, it praised SMU for cooperating fully with the investigation, as well as its stated intent to run a clean program. Had SMU not fully cooperated, it would have had its football program shut down until 1989 and would have lost its right to vote at NCAA conventions until 1990.[14]

  312. Daniella Milanovich says:

    Enjoyed you article! I feel that Paterno found escape , in death , from the secrets that were kept!

  313. Paul says:

    I realize it’s not quite the same situation, but it seems to me that a guy named who plays quarterback in Pittsburgh skated on some pretty serious issues involving incidents of a similar nature. I remember Ron Cook, shortly after, saying on the radio that if he has a good year on the firld, all will be forgiven. At the time it seemed a very jaded way of looking at the situation, but (at least for the most part) how right he was.

  314. radio wave says:

    I’m late with this, but I’ve been listening to WBZ-fm in Boston for the past couple of hours. they are discussing many subjects, including this one. You may be please to know they have quoted from this article three times while I have been listening.

  315. Rafterman says:

    Great writing DK.

    It’s time for the NCAA to issue the Death Penalty, if they don’t then why do they even exist?

  316. Jay says:

    DK – you fail to create a logical case for this because it seems that you are missing some critical facts.

    I understand that everyone wants their pound of flesh….a public lynching. However, there is a punitive system in place…the criiminal justice system. Those culpable will pay dearly for their crimes and in a very public way. And there is a means to compensate the victimes…the civil court system. Admittedly, no amount of money could fully repay them.

    The NCAA needs to act when there is no other deterrent. OSU, USC and other situations were not illegal. If the NCAA didn’t act, there would be no penalty. In this case, the legal system is all the deterrent that is necessary. And if that’s not enough, there is no deterrent that could work. Nothing the NCAA could do would matter at all. There is zero extra deterrent that can come from banning the football team.

    To be fair, I couldn’t care less. I have no dog in this fight. But you surely come off as one of the many bloodthirsty voices. I suspect that once you allow your emotions to settle, you will be able to see things more objectively. It really serves no value other than bloodlust to do as you suggest.

  317. Jay says:

    Dejan: The critical flaw in your logic lies here: “This cover-up of horrific crimes was aimed at making sure Penn state could continue to PLAY FOOTBALL.”
    That statement is not logical if you assess the circumstances. Had these disgusting fools turned Sandusky in for the 2001 incident, there would have been no risk to the football program as far as playing games was concerned. In fact, there would be no scandal. There would surely have been heinous crimes by Sandusky, but he alone. Yes, it would have been a stain of shame to know that someone affiliated with the program in such a prominent way had done these deeds. However, the impact to the football program would have been minimal. Without any doubt, there would have been no jeopardy to Penn State playing football games.
    Therefore, you must look at the motivations for these men. It is logical to say that these men did what they did to protect the pristine image of the University and football program. It is also logical to believe that Paterno was trying to protect his own legacy. These men were never concerned about playing a game because that was not at risk. If all this comes out in 2001, there is no rationale for a death penalty or even a slap on the wrist. The only damge was image and image would not prevent the games from being played.
    The University’s image is tarnished…destroyed, for that matter. Paterno’s legacy is ruined. This was never about playing football. The things these men really wanted to protect have been vanquished by the scandal they caused in trying to protect them.
    That is why there seems little point in banning football other than bloodlust.

    DK: I see what you’re saying, Jay. But follow that through. Those four men report Sandusky in 2001. What actually happens?

    To my mind, it still raises a lot of the same questions, though not to the same degree, in the sense that 1998 would still come into play, as well as the three years in between. You’d still be talking about an institutional cover-up and, given that you’d actually be much closer in time to the offenses, you’d undoubtedly have access to much more information.

    The head football coach protected the football coach emeritus for crimes committed in the football building and on football road trips.

    That’s a football matter. A football crime.

  318. Jay says:

    Dejan – the 1998 incident was reported to the authorities who investigated. The DA decided not to press charges (I have no idea why). Also, Sandusky was investigated by the state department of child welfare and cleared. I don’t thin the football team was at risk because that is some seriously good cover.
    However, where you could be on to something (and you may very well hear things that we don’t) is that maybe there was much much more than just 1998 that these guys did know of. If that were true…then 2001 would have been the same as 2012. It sure does seem that this disgusting (I would like to find a harsher word) man was doing his heinous crimes before 1998.
    With what is known, I don’t think 1998 alone would have been an issue. It still seems like protecting image/legacy to me given the details. But…you may know more in your line of work.
    Regardless…I must say that I love your work…thank you for sharing your perspective on our region and sports scene. You are a treasure for all of us.

  319. Jay says:

    Dejan – as I re-read your note…I see your point about the 3 years in between. The fact that Sandusky was cleared by legal and state child welfare authorities may have been enough to avoid penalty. But, it sure would have looked really bad…especially given the retirement package. Good point….late night and my reading comprehension is not up to speed. Thank you again!

    DK: Well, part of that is that Sandusky BEING CLEARED in 1998 would have fallen under a much harsher light.

  320. Jim says:

    It seems that you and others (Bob Pompeani on the FAN today as well) believe the death penalty must be imposed because of the severity of the acts in question. As you say, SMU’s actions that resulted in the death penalty – improper benefits paid to players — look like “cookies stolen from an open jar” compared to what happened at PSU. Very true. Also completely irrelevant to whether the death penalty — or any action — by the NCAA is warranted.

    Every year, college coaches and players commit crimes that are worse — and in many cases, much worse — than what SMU did. You don’t have to look far to find news articles showing college players, coaches, and/or administrators who have committed acts of murder, rape, sexual assault, drunk driving, terroristic threats, and assault and battery. All of these are crimes, and ALL are much worse than what SMU did. Yet, in none of these instances has the NCAA stepped in to impose ANY sections, let alone the death penalty. The reason — the NCAA is not concerned about crimes, even the most abhorrent — unless those crimes also violate an NCAA rule and/or are undertaken to achieve a competitive advantage in collegiate athletics.

    In fact, what SMU did was not even a crime. There is no criminal statute that prohibits so-called “boosters” from giving benefits to players — cushy jobs, cars, etc. Its entirely legal — but its against NCAA rules because it impacts the competitive balance. Hence, the NCAA stepped in and – because the violations were repeated and numerous and previous sanctions had not deterred the conduct – imposed the death penalty.

    The NCAA really had no other choice at the time. Cheating in college was running rampant and its attempts to curb cheating through lesser sanctions had generally gone unheeded. Plus, because paying players to go to a particular school was not illegal, the NCAA was the ONLY entity that could take any real action to stop it. No crimes were committed, so noone could be brought up on criminal charges. No duties had been broken, so the boosters/payors were not subject to civil penalties or lawsuits. Indeed, it is because of this void that necessitated the NCAA to establish rules and regulations to prohibit such conduct because it is not prohibited elsewhere.

    The situation at Penn State is completely different. Worse by far, from a moral and ethical standpoint. By all accounts, crimes were committed. Sandusky was convicted of horrific crimes and will be put away for life. Curley and Schultz will face the music in the next couple of months for their actions, and Spanier likely will as well. Paterno probably would have, but he is dead, and his legacy is in tatters.

    As for the University, it may never fully recover from the scandal. The scandal will cost it hundreds of millions of dollars in fees, costs, penalties, civil suits, lost advertising, lost tuition, etc. It will forever — or at least for decades — be associated with the worst scandal in college history, and subject to ridiculous media scorn such as that of Mark May who stupidly suggested that its not safe to send your child to college at PSU.

    Under these circumstances — the perpetrators of the crimes have been removed from PSU and are either dead, in jail or subject to criminal charges, and the University is subject to federal and state investigations, has been or will be penalized to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, and has incurred a likely irreversible loss of its stellar reputation. Put simply the University has been punished severely — by ANY measure.

    So, what would the Death Penalty do? What would be its purpose? Send a message to PSU that this kind of activity won’t be tolerated? Don’t you think that message has already been sent and received? Not only by PSU but every other institution of higher learning that did not have adequate reporting requirements for the Clery Act and any other federal or state reporting requirements. I think the message has been sent.

    So would it be imposed to further penalize PSU? If this is the case, how much is enough? Do you really wish to bring the University to its knees and to destroy the college town that relies so heavily on football weekends to make payroll? All because four men in a position of trust violated that trust? And all because you claim that football became “too important.” Please. Is football more important at PSU than it is a Ohio State, Alabama, Tennessee or at a host of other big name football schools. No way.

    And poo poo all you want the fact that the death penalty will hurt most those people who had nothing to do with the scandal — the students, alumni and fans of PSU — but when taking such a self-righteous position, remember this. Other than the victims and there families, the people who have already been hurt most by this scandal are those very same students, alumni and fans.

    So, call for the death penalty all that you want. Maybe you’ll even get your wish. But be honest about it. The death penalty will serve no positive purpose whatsoever, will send no message not already received, and will only serve to further destroy a community that has already been crushed by the scandal.

    DK: Loopholes, loopholes.

    The NCAA has every jurisdiction here. You know that. If you start off desperately seeking loopholes, you have NO justification for why Penn State football shouldn’t have a gross institutional crime met with the most severe punishment available.

  321. Jim says:

    You lose of ton of credibility based upon your reply to Jay above. What institutional coverup occurred from 1998 to 2001? What evidence can you point to that Paterno or anyone else covered up “crimes” during this period? Sandusky was not charged with a crime in 1998. Freeh, though critical of the 4 men involved in most every other respect, noted that he found NO evidence that PSU had covered up or interfered with the 1998 investigation. The DA determined – apparently without input from Paterno or PSU admins – that there was not sufficient evidence that Sandusky committed a crime in 1998. So what was covered up? And should Paterno and the rest have treated Sandusky as a child molestor at that point? Based upon what? One claim that the DA found insufficient evidence to bring a charge?

    If nothing untoward happened with respect to the 1998 investigation and if Sandusky had been reported in 2001, how is it a football scandal or a “football crime” and how does reporting it in 2001 put the football program in jeopardy at that time? Its a great leap for you to state, as fact, that “The head football coach protected the football coach emeritus for crimes committed in the football building and on football road trips.” There is NO evidence that Paterno protected Sandusky for any crime OTHER than the 2001 incident, so for you to state otherwise is simply dishonest.

    This is a huge issue for many people that has and will impact many lives. If you can’t support your arguments without resorting to making up “facts,” perhaps you should leave reporting on this issue to serious journalists.

    DK: Wow! What “crimes” were reported between 1998-2001? How about at least two cases of CHILD RAPE?

    Are you expecting a serious answer after opening with the word crimes in quotes?

    My God.

  322. John says:

    My personal favorite argument against some form of discontiunance of the football program at PSU thus far has been: “no *NCAA* rules were violated”

    Really? That’s your best argument? That has to be one of the most intellectually dishonest and stupid things I’ve heard in my entire life.

    Let’s see, there was a cover-up regarding the Head Football Coach, the Athletic Director and the President, the top 3 in charge of the….you guessed it FOOTBALL PROGRAM. What were they covering up you ask? Felonies committed by…you guessed it again…an employee of….the FOOTBALL PROGRAM (at least through part of ’99). Why were they covering it up? Again, the FOOTBALL PROGRAM.

    Where did some of the crimes take place? The FOOTBALL building (and people seem to be forgetting at the Alamo Bowl in Texas when Sandusky was still the DC).

    So, let me see, none of these could be construed as violations of NCAA rules even though almost all of them directly involved the football program? The football program shouldn’t suffer because of this?

  323. Keith says:

    The term “institutional control” is a misnomer. At Penn State, football controlled the institution. The football tail has been wagging the institutional dog for decades. Penn State, without its football program, is Southern Mississippi, albeit with less humidity.

  324. Jim says:

    Also a dishonest response. Its clear you are now vested in your argument and will ignore any rational argument to the contrary. Its called motivational reasoning.

    I KNOW there were crimes committed by Sandusky from 1998 to 2001 — I never said otherwise as is clear from my responses — but you said that Paterno covered them up. Other than the 2001 incident, where is your proof?

    And as for your “loopholes,” I would expect nothing more from you. Again, I ask, what salutory purpose would imposing the death penalty serve, other than for you and others to extract an additional pound of flesh?

    Your response only further proves that you are a lightweight journalist who should stick to reporting sports scores.

    DK: Rule of thumb, my friend: Once you reach the point of grasping so badly you’ve got nothing left but to attack the person you’re arguing with, your argument is lost.

  325. mark says:

    The single best line I have read *anywhere* when discussing whether or not the death penalty would be appropriate:

    “Look at it this way: This cover-up of horrific crimes was aimed at making sure Penn State could continue to PLAY FOOTBALL. A failure to address football leaves the very goal of the cover-up indefensibly intact.”

    An outstanding, direct, and stinging point, DK.

  326. James says:

    As a PSU alumnus, I am heartbroken, angry, disgusted, saddened, etc. etc….PSU football and what it meant to me is DEAD so you may as well kill the program anyway. I don’t think I will be watching much if they do play this fall. I will probably come back over time, but it will never be the same. I guess I have my Saturdays back now….

  327. Nathan says:

    Football is NOT greater than the Law…

    I think that is all that needs to be said about this issue.

  328. Nathan says:


    Even if Paterno covered up only ONE incident in 2001, he still covered it up, he still put the football program above the wellfare of a child. Your comment is as if there was some magical limit that made something like this right and wrong.

    One cover up is too many cover ups….

  329. Pat says:

    The Boston Red Sox Child Abuse Scandal 2000 Didn’t get the death penalty there still playing a child is a child we need to protect them ALL, Soxs paid 3.2 million penality. We need to protect all children, why didn’t MCQueary go in there and stop it, I know as a father i would have stopped it.

    Thank You to All Our Veterans and keep our serviceman and women safe from harm.

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