Let Penn State’s Punishment Stand

Suddenly, the Jerry Sandusky sanctions are under review. Has Penn State earned a second chance?


Suddenly, Penn State football fans have some hope. Maybe, just maybe, they’re going to get their bowl games back. Maybe, just maybe, Saturdays in Happy Valley will have some luster restored. Maybe, just maybe, the dark shadow of Jerry Sandusky will begin to recede.

Maybe. But I hope not.

Everything hinges on the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, which last week announced it was prepared to examine the sanctions imposed by the NCAA in the wake of the Sandusky affair. In a case over how the $60 million fine paid by Penn State could be used, Judge Anne Covey said the rest of the punishment — the bowl ban; the deletion of Joe Paterno from the record books — could also be under review.

“High school athletes who had no involvement in the criminal acts were prevented from obtaining a free college education,” Covey wrote, explaining why she felt the larger issue merits further review.

“Student-athletes, trainers, coaches and support personnel who were taught and trained to be and do their best were stopped from competing … by the prohibition against post-season play.

“Student-athletes, trainers, coaches, administrators and support personnel who had excelled in their jobs through hard work, practice, commitment, teamwork, sportsmanship, excellence and perseverance were told none of that mattered.”

Covey’s comments so echoed the arguments of Penn State’s most-vociferous post-Sandusky defenders that I had to check: No, she’s not an alumni of the school.

That said, the only appropriate response to Covey’s observations about the fallout from the scandal is: Too bad.

Listen: There are a million reasons to hate the NCAA — and if the current trend toward unionizing student athletes is successful, I’ll joyously dance atop the organization’s bloated, burning husk — but the mere fact it sometimes withholds rewards (which, after all, are not entitlements) is not one of them. What happened to Penn State isn’t really all that unique.

It is always, always the case that NCAA sanctions involving postseason bans and scholarship losses end up punishing people who have no direct guilt in a crime. For decades, students and their coaches have lost the opportunity to get free college educations, or to have their hard work affirmed with an appearance in a playoff game. Boo hoo. Penn State’s advocates ignore the fact that, two head coaches and a few no-penalty transfers later, the people who remain at the university are those who chose to be there, eyes open, and who are willing to co-endure the punishment. Any loss they’ve suffered is of their own volition.

The how and why Penn State was sanctioned are unique, however, and worth considering.

How? Well, it’s true Penn State didn’t go through the usual enforcement process. The school looked at the evidence arrayed against it and decided, in legal parlance, to cop a plea. Penn State’s defenders argue that plea was made under duress, under threat of harsher punishment if Penn State didn’t comply — that is always why defendants take a plea: To avoid the prospect of worse punishment. That agreement is probably why Penn State still has a football team eligible to compete against NCAA competition. In such cases, survivors usually count their lucky stars and move on. Penn State’s partisans, it is now clear, will always live to fight another day.

Then there’s the “why.”

Why? Because Jerry Sandusky molested young boys. Because important people at Penn State knew about it, eventually. Because they passed the buck out of deference to the football program. And because that allowed Jerry Sandusky to keep molesting young boys. All of which may not violate any particular NCAA rule, but it did undermine the underlying ethos of the NCAA’s enforcement regime: Schools are supposed to have control over their athletics programs, not the other way around. Penn State didn’t. Period.

You could argue that last statement is true to some degree of almost every major college sports program in existence, that the culture of college athletics has grown far beyond its useful boundaries. I wouldn’t dispute that. At Penn State, though, the cancer developed into something uniquely evil. It deserved an equally unique, intense response. Thus the sanctions and the $60 million fine.

There are many, many good people at Penn State and among its alumni. Some of them are my friends, and it doesn’t please me to anger them.

But football is still, these years later, the prism through which we view the university. Sue Paterno is making endorsements for the university’s board of trustees, even now. The continued persistent effort of many Penn Staters to get the punishments reversed, to make this bit of history go away, to shout down journalists who don’t stick to their preferred storyline, to keep relitigating the facts — all of this suggests, as always, that they forget (or don’t sufficiently care) about the real victims of Jerry Sandusky. The sanctions should be left in place.

Follow @JoelMMathis on Twitter.

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  • guest

    the “why” is actually about Mark Emmert taking advantage of public outrage to assert his authority to make a statement about the power of his organization. he really couldn’t care less about the victims.

    • DanM

      Exactly. And it’s not like Penn State would have gone unpunished w/o NCAA sanctions. And how “schools are supposed to have control over their athletics programs” relates to an ex-coach is beyond me. This went well above the athletic department. Really Joel your work is laughable at best.

      • Guest

        Case and point, $60 mil in lawsuits directly to the victims.

  • mhentz

    this article is the exact reason why the Paterno v. NCAA lawsuit is so critical and so extremely necessary. This article is rife with blatant inaccuracies, misleadings and outright lies and the saddest part is that the article’s author appears to not even be aware that he is inaacurate, misleading and lying.

    • mike

      Is it a sin to hear something somebody says and report it as truth knowing it is not the truth?

      • Catalacjack

        It is and it is called slander.

        • roaminglion

          In print it’s called libel.

    • jacksonbrown

      I think this is more a criminal/civil situation than an NCAA thing. Sandusky is already in prison and two or three others are facing criminal charges. The NCAA should just bow out of this situation and let the judicial proceedings run their course. It’s easy to jump to the conclusion that PSU did not exercise institutional control, but the NCAA never investigated that. It’s obvious to me that Emmert pressured the BOT into accepting these sanctions to avoid the death penalty, when the death penalty was never on the table, according to one of the members of the committee.

  • wensilver

    I have to comment….I’m not a football fan and could give a flip about sports. The underlying issue to this tragedy (for those of us that have been following closely) is the failures of the county and state agencies that we have in place to protect and serve our kids in all of this.

    A few key points:

    PSU was on the doorstep of The Second Mile complaining to Dr. Jack Raykovitz (TSM Pres & CEO). Jack dismissed this and suggested Jerry “just wear swim trunks” in the future. He declined to inform the majority of TSM Board & the staff about this. Dr. Jack is a Mandated Reporter & failed to implement a safety plan in 1998 & 2001 as per state mandate.

    Sandusky was an Agent of the County by virtue of his status as an Adoptive/Foster Parent and his employ/standing with The Second Mile. TSM is a Childrens Charity licensed in our state, with oversight by the Pa Office of Attorney General. He was also approved by 6 Caseworkers and a PA Judge.

    Sandusky was also able to roam the hallways of area Public Schools, pulling kids from class, with little or no oversight by school administration.

    Licensed Social workers, Children & Youth Services & others lauded and applauded this man, encouraged and embraced a Preferential Child Sexual Offender; gave this guy the Good Housekeeping Stamp of Approval, and they did so for decades.

    To date, not one head has rolled at The Second Mile, surrounding CYS & area schools. Not one Official has stepped forward to explain how they allowed a PCSO unfettered, unauthorized, individual access to minors – kids which were their clients or under their care, custody and control

    Not one. Let that sink in a moment.

    • Frank Sieck

      Kudos to you on your response!!! People are quick to blame Penn State because they’re the big fish in this situation. No one cares about The Second Mile and their culpability in this matter, so they don’t want to hear anything about them. Many, many, many people have blood on their hands pertaining to Sandusky’s crimes (can you hear me Governor?) but ESPN made this the Penn State scandal and it has stuck. Do more research people before you continue to judge Penn State!!!

  • theberklands

    Who besides Jerry Sandusky has been convicted of anything? The sanctions were kind of like putting the cart before the horse, don’t you think? Shouldn’t it be proven that the football program, or those who over saw it, actually did what they’re accused of doing before people go off half cocked and take aim at a bunch of kids who never even heard of Jerry Sandusky? This whole article is such nonsense! It continues to perpetuate a story, created in large part by the media, without the benefit of all of the information necessary to make a determination. Please familiarize yourself with the story of the story about Hillsborough, England when 96 people were killed and the fans blamed for their deaths. It took 25 years to unravel the truth, but the truth finally won out. Those of us who REALLY care about the victims know that it’s only the truth that will serve justice to those victims. It’s only the truth that will cause state agencies who failed to protect children to make the necessary reforms that will improve outcomes for children. It’s people like Joel Mathis who are the real enablers by allowing a false narrative to keep children in harm’s way. Shame on you. Who’s passing the buck?

  • Joel Mathis

    I’m never sure how much I should engage on this issue. There’s a large segment of folks so completely convinced of Penn State’s relative innocence in the matter that nothing I can say will persuade anybody of, well, anything.

    I will say this: I think it’s possible to think that Second Mile also failed in its duties to kids and community without believing that absolves Penn State of anything. I can believe both institutions — and institutions beyond them — failed. Which means that what Jack Raykovitz did or didn’t do has no bearing on the topic of NCAA sanctions. Spreading blame is not the same as absolution.

    Beyond that, I won’t relitigate. It’s easy to “raise questions” about the Freeh Report, just as it’s easy to “raise questions” about any human endeavor, because such endeavors are necessarily the results of messy and imprecise human efforts. I’m persuaded the Freeh Report is substantially correct.

    • Bobbyd

      I see you address the failures of TSM, but what about the failures of the state? You know, the people who we pay to protect our children. They failed on multiple occasions, even before PSU, and no one has lost their job or even admonished. So it’s easy to say “Jerry Sandusky was left to roam the streets because of reverence to PSU football”, although he wasn’t employed by the football program at the time of the incident. Yet we ignore the total failure of the state and all its agencies. Convenient.

    • DanM

      The Freeh Report has already been disputed by Frank Fina (at least Paterno’s involvement) and contains mostly speculation. You really just show your ignorance of the topic each time you write one of these.

      • theberklands

        The Freeh report has been completely discredited by numerous people. And with regard to Joel’s comments about Judge Covey, she is speaking from a legal perspective. She’s questioning whether or not the consent decree was even legal. Is Joel an attorney too?

    • theberklands

      Joel, football had NOTHING to do with Jerry Sandusky’s activities, that’s the bottom line. There is, as yet, no evidence that it did. No one affiliated with the university has been convicted of anything. The NCAA stepped WAY out of line in sanctioning a football program which not only met, but exceeded, their rules and guidelines for fair play. If and when someone can produce the evidence that anyone at Penn State covered up the actions of a pedophile to protect the football program, then you’d have a point.

    • phlhui

      That article isn’t penetrating, Joel. Nothing’s as important to these people as (1) watching teenagers play football and (2) Penn State’s reputation.

      How about exploring why they’re so evangelical in their quest to convince everyone that Penn State is a wonderful, prestigious, morally superior institution? Why is watching other people accomplish things on a football field so important to them?

      There has to be some common variables among them, because I’ve never witnessed similar cultish behavior from other alums. The behavior and language is very similar to anti-vaccinators, conspiracy theorists, creationists, and global warming deniers. Evidence isn’t important.

      Pointing out how incorrect they are has been done. I’m curious who these people are and how they got that way.

      • theberklands

        We want the truth. If that’s a cult, I’m proud to be a member of it. By the way, when you can share that evidence you have of this cover up to protect football, I’d love to see it.

        • phlhui

          “We want the truth.” No, you want everyone to agree with the biased conclusions you’ve reached.

          • theberklands

            Pot meet kettle.

          • phlhui

            Oh really…what are my biases considering I don’t care about football (unlike you)? Can’t wait to hear.

          • guest

            Your bias is that you are prejudiced toward thinking that all collegiate sports are corrupt, so when the media tells you that PSU covered the crimes of a pedophile, you believe it without needing proof.

          • tongsli

            it’s not about football. Wrong again

      • camembert

        Whether the people in charge did or did not do “the right thing”, you are absolutely spot on about the “cultish behavior” of PSU alums. My boyfriend is a Penn State grad and when he talks about his school, he seems to recite lines about how great the school is, the legacy of Joe Paterno (they’re the only school with “a football stadium named after an academic president, and a library named after a football coach!”), the various post-grad degree programs the athletes are enrolled in, all sorts of stuff that NO ONE would care about… unless they also went to Penn State. How they say “thank you” – “you’re welcome” after the “WE ARE” chant, good lord it tickles them, how clever they think it is, because Penn State is, as you said, morally superior, and therefore polite. At the end of the football games when they sing the Alma Mater, they all bloody scream the line that goes “May no act of ours bring shame, to one heart that loves thy name” and cheer wildly. Any of his friends that I’m friends with on Facebook, all I see them post is articles about Penn State, sharing pictures and events from a wide variety of Penn State Facebook pages. Some of his friends pay to join online forums at hundreds of dollars a year just to talk about Penn State. He hasn’t got that kind of disposable income at the moment but he still spends most of his free time during the evening on the free PSU forums. Then he tells me all sorts of stuff about the football program, and the women’s volleyball program, and the wresting program, and why the basketball program isn’t that great but how it has no bearing on how great the whole school actually is. What they did for Thon this year or that year. (I know they raise a lot of money for very good causes, but it’s that sense of moral high-groundedness that brings even that down.) He knows I didn’t go to PSU. He knows I don’t really even like professional sports let alone college ones. He can’t help himself, I guess, from spreading the Good Word of PSU. I’ve even told him, multiple times, “You just went to school… You didn’t join a cult!” But maybe he did?

        When this stuff went down how ever long ago it was, it shook all these people to the CORE. They were walking around with their sense of identity absolutely destroyed. Obviously it was upsetting and disgusting and Sandusky should be punished, and I’m really not even for ALL the sanctions that were placed on the university and how previous teams were stripped of their titles and the bowl game ban; the players had nothing to do with it. It’s just amazing how personally everyone from Penn State took all these events. I can only imagine if this happened at my university, which is not small but nowhere near the size of PSU (and we’re Division III, so there’s that). Most of the students already believe the leadership is flawed (like pretty much any leadership would be), but that we do get a good education, which is why we are there. There is no school saint that we idolize. Once we graduate, we hang our diplomas on the wall, maybe have a couple of sweatshirts in our closets, a bumper sticker if you’re really into it, but our lives move on and we become more than we were in college. Sure, it’s not like your school shouldn’t have any sort of influence on you, but there needs to be some degree of separation. It is very clear to me that I am not my college, and my college is not me. But, I guess with Penn Staters, “[THEY] ARE!”

        tl;dr: Cultish indeed.

        • MattD

          I’m sorry you didn’t go to a school that makes you feel proud. You don’t understand having pride in your college, so you hate what you don’t understand. I bet your BF loves that you hate something that makes him happy. You seem like a genuinely bad person.

          • phlhui

            I attended 3 schools that are much harder to get into than Penn State (all in-state). Disclosure was as needed. We didn’t stomp around screaming “We Are U-Penn!” What are you even bragging about? Is it hard to get into Penn State?

            And I can’t say I feel any sense of institutional pride about anything. My pride is reserved for my own accomplishments, not corporate logos or PR-manufactured images.

          • Sir_Ronald


          • theberklands

            What does any of this have to do with Sandusky or the NCAA? You don’t like Penn State……who cares?

          • phlhui

            The infamous (and unearned) PSU Pride nothing to do with Sandusky or the NCAA. It has everything to do with why so many of you are so obsessed with clearing PSU’s and Paterno’s name.

            And it’s not that I don’t like Penn State. I just find the cult-like devotion very strange.

          • theberklands

            Actually it’s about a lot more than that. It’s about fixing a broken child welfare system, it’s about truth, it’s about justice. Everybody should be very concerned that people’s lives can be destroyed without due process. This is something that could happen to any of us. It’s not cult like. It’s actually more of a family.

          • tongsli

            Football fans or not. Maybe you should read Joe Posnanski’s book in order to understand the “cult” following

          • guest

            “Unearned” PSU Pride? Maybe you can explain why PSU alums shouldn’t be proud of the fact that they are a part of one of the most well respected academic institutions in the world and the most altruistic student body. Maybe you’re too self-centered to understand.

          • phlhui

            Exhibit A and B right there:

            You just not only called a school known for churning out corporate accountants and widget salesmen “the most altruistic student body in the world,” but you also declared a school with low admissions standards “one of the most well respected academic institutions in the world”

            It’s not even one of the most respected in Pennsylvania.

            Penn, Swarthmore, Haverford, Carnegie Mellon, Lehigh, Lafayette, Bucknell, UPitt, Muhlenberg, Franklin & Marshall, Villanova, Gettysburg… Those are in-state schools just off the top of my head with tougher admissions standards, yet I never hear their alumni loudly declaring their prestige and altruism.

          • QuestionAllTheThings

            High school admission standards? Really? That’s what you’re basing your claim on?

            Why not research output and productivity?

          • tongsli

            that’s because you have no idea what you’re talking about

        • laxjosh

          I am going to take a stab and theorize that your rant represents bigger issues either in your life or your relationship with your boyfriend. My advice is to seek therapy.

        • smokeybandit

          You should dump your boyfriend then, because he’s just an cultish enabler.

        • phlhui

          Well it’s not too late to find someone with proper perspective and better taste in hobbies. Living vicariously through alpha males is unbecoming of a real man.

          • Bernie Goydish

            It’s not anyone else’s fault but your own that you did not attend a university with the immense school pride as Penn State. That’s a YOU problem. You went to UPenn. You should be proud of that instead of trying to insult those who take pride in the life and experiences they took from Penn State. I feel bad for your boyfriend and hopefully he mvoes on to someone with a better sense of reality.

        • tongsli

          well maybe you shouldn’t even consider marrying him then if it bothers you so much.

      • tongsli

        You’re way off base. You keep equating football to the “cultist behavior”. That’s not the relationship at all.

        If you knew anything about Paterno it was his values and morals which he imposed on his players that people who went to PSU admire. It’s not at all about football.

        That’s what you don’t get because you don’t know anything about Paterno

        • phlhui

          Right. I’m sure you’d be fighting this battle if he was the local math tutor.

      • publius211

        You have been asked several times in this thread to produce evidence. To produce facts. You have failed to do so. All you can do is try and marginalize the pro-PSU people and try and make yourself feel superior to them. You are a failure. And by the way, are you aware of the fact that the earth has not warmed since 1995? You would be funny if you weren’t so pathetic.

        • phlhui

          What evidence do you want, that Paterno knew? I don’t know what evidence you are talking about. You sound like 9/11 Truthers…well…Climate Change deniers. Which you are. Of course.

          I can find those emails and it won’t matter. You’ll look at it and say the AD and VP were talking about some other Joe or Coach.

          • Chris

            If you find any evidence that Joe Paterno covered it up. I’ll agree with you. Unfortunately you won’t find any b/c there isn’t any. That is our argument.

    • laxjosh


      Let me ask you this:

      During Freeh’s press conference, he was asked whether he or his team had spoken with Joe Paterno. Freeh responded that they had wanted to, and Joe was cooperative and wanted to speak with him, but Joe’s health turned south before they were able to get together.

      Six months later, when the Paterno Report was released, Freeh attacked the report, stating that if Joe Paterno had cared about the truth that he should have met with Freeh instead of talking to the media.

      Which version are you “persuaded” to believe is correct? Because, you know, the two versions are in contradiction with one another.

      Also, what is your response to the fact that Freeh issued his statement in response to the Paterno Report a mere 16 minutes after it was released? Is Freeh able to read over 250 pages of legalese AND craft an emotionally driven and charged response in only 16 minutes time? Or, do 1) the completely contradictory statements about Paterno, 2) the emotionally laced and angry response and 3) the fact that he didn’t read the Paterno Report before responding, point to the greater issues which have plagued Freeh’s work throughout his years both in the public and private sectors?

    • smokeybandit

      Instead of being persuaded, how about reading it yourself and try to make sense of how million dollar conclusions can be made from ten cent facts.

    • Billy Lipps

      Why don’t you try actually reporting things as a respectable journalist and allow the court system to play out before declaring guilt? Not as many clicks on the website for that kind of reporting I guess and it is so much easier to skim a headline or summary of a report than actually reading it and finding the summary/conclusion draws from nothing contained within that report. But then again, reading is hard and sensationalism is easy.

    • Frank Sieck

      “I’m persuaded the Freeh Report is substantially correct.”
      I’m persuaded??? Substantially??
      Your next article should be when you’re 100% certain. BTW, what parts of the Freeh Report are you unsure about?

    • Zenophile

      If you have, in fact, read the full 267-page Freeh report, then yours is a unique and interesting take on it, sir.

    • tongsli

      “I’m persuaded the Freeh Report is substantially correct” well there it is. The entire problem with Mr. Mathis. If he stays in this place he can never be persuaded even with the truth. Amazing.

    • Catalacjack

      Joel when you write a piece about a crime you should at least read the law that was broken. In this case that was PA Statute 42.42 (b) If you read it carefully you will find out that McQueary was supposed to go directly to Spanier with what he heard (he heard what he thought were sexual sounds), because all he saw was Sandusky and the boy in the shower at the same time. Why is the law written this way? Because the lawmakers wanted to reduce hearsay evidence tainting the report. So what was Joe’s involvement? He simply pointed McQueary in the right direction.

      • phlhui

        Wait, timeout.
        If I see a kid getting raped by an old man at work, I’m supposed to tell the CEO rather than call the police?

        • guest

          if you see a father in a locker room shower with his son, would you call the police?

        • Catalacjack

          Do you work for a school, hospital, institution where you come in contact with children on a regular basis? If so then yes according to the law you are to report to the head of the institution. Here I took the time to retrieve the appropriate law.

          Staff members of public or private agencies, institutions and facilities. Licensees who are staff members of a medical or other public or private institution, school, facility or agency, and who, in the course of their employment, occupation or practice of their profession, come into contact with children shall immediately notify the person in charge of the institution, school facility or agency or the designated agent of the person in charge when they have reasonable cause to suspect on the basis of their professional or other training or experience, that a child coming before them in their professional or official capacity is a victim of child abuse. Upon notification by the licensee, the person in charge or the designated agent shall assume the responsibility and have the legal obligation to report or cause a report to be made in accordance with subsections (a), (c) and (d).

    • Hoot

      If the Freeh Report states that Paterno was involved in a cover-up and Frank
      Fina says there is no evidence of that, how can you say that the Freeh Report is essentially correct?

    • mhentz

      The Freeh Report is a cover-to-cover fraud. This not an opinion. Those in the media and their supporters in the comments sections and elsewhere who snidely call us JoeBots and Paterno truthers and much, much worse believe we are vainly waiting for some elusive truth to be exposed that only we suspect exists but actually does not. This is a fallacy. We know what the truth is, it is not something we merely suspect, we know it. It is you and the rest of the world who still believe in the fictionalized story spun by the Freeh Report that have been completely snowed and we refuse to allow that condition to persist. We insist that the truth about the fraudulent Freeh Report and the reasons for it having been brought about and the motivations of the people who created it be exposed to the entire world in a way that is both incontrovertible and undeniable. The Paterno vs. NCAA lawsuit is designed to do exactly that. Even you, Joel, will not be permitted to keep your precious head buried in the sand.

    • Nellie R

      Let’s make it simple for you, Joel. Nowhere in the NCAA’s constitution and bylaws does it provide for the sanctioning activity that took place. All of their sanctioning procedures are tied in to student-athlete welfare, so tell me, where in the Sandusky case was a Penn State athlete involved at all? Did you even read the NCAA’s procedures? I read them in 2007-08 timeframe on another situation, and then reread them when this travesty occurred, to see where oin the world they had made any such updates. I could not believe that the Exec Committee of the NCAA was so lax as to not fully examine the facts and wait for court cases to conclude, especially when I realized one of the members was a U President that I thought would take real care with this since they had been through something (somewhat) similar before. If you do not have a working knowledge of the NCAA charter, bylaws and sanctioning process, then I suggest you get busy reading and discontinue opining.

    • guest

      Try harder than stringing together cliches and non-sequitors that have been used before. I’m a rational person and I’ll listen to facts. However the case against Penn State is weak and based almost entirely on emotional arguments. The emotion that clouded the scandal is wearing away and people will finally listen to those who want the truth to come out. The cover-up narrative is weak; there was no malicious intent by anyone who isn’t in prison already.

    • YonkersLion

      Joel If you are never sure “how much you should engage in this issue” then you should stfu and not write anything in the first place Typical blogger! Any idiot with a keyboard…

  • DanM

    “Because they passed the buck out of deference to the football program.” – Your evidence of this?

  • MattD

    Really ignorant and disappointing article. I’ll leave it at that.

  • laxjosh


    Let’s hash out some of crap which “journalists” such as yourself continue to spew left and right.

    There are two periods and series of events.

    The first is 1998 – 2001, and consists of a number of Sandusky’s crimes, a few of which took place in facilities on Penn State’s campus. Two and half years after the grand jury presentation was leaked, that presentation is still the primary document from which we can glean real information. You assert that 1) Penn State officials covered up the 2001 incident in order to 2) protect the interests of the football program.

    The first assertion will be played out in court. Keep in mind that the “conspiracy” theory is typically quickly dismissed, while the “a few people screwed up” theory tends to be the generally accepted one. Somehow, someway, media such as yourself have openly accepted and embraced the widespread conspiracy theory from day one. That’s interesting.

    The second assertion continues to boggle my mind. Have you read the Freeh Report? For all of its flaws (and there are many, many, many), the Freeh Report does not even link motive (bad publicity) to protection of the football program. He refused to make that connection even during his press conference. Yet, like many, you continue to be all too eager and ignorant of the evidence to make that connection because, why? Mark Emmert stood in front of a podium to announce that he and the NCAA, despite no one from the Indianapolis organization ever stepping foot in State College, were going to make the connection that not even Freeh was willing to make? Again, that’s interesting.

    The second series of events is the “crisis” which began in late 2010 with subpoenas of Penn State officials. We know much more about this series of events, if for no other reason than our eyes were open and aware during that time. Many Penn State alumni are angry with the University for their utter lack of timely response and protection of the University while it was under attack from media and governing bodies.

    What “journalists” like yourself so conveniently forget is that the two series of events are not one and the same. When Tom Corbett sued the NCAA, the NCAA issued a statement claiming the lawsuit an affront to Sandusky’s victims. Your are claiming the same.

    No one is forgetting Sandusky’s victims. In fact, the victims who have spoken out or issued statements regarding the sanctions have all spoken out AGAINST the sanctions. The VICTIMS don’t see the connection, but somehow YOU do? That’s interesting.

    We, as Penn Staters, are capable or caring about more than one issue at a time. In fact, it is PENN STATERS who have been the ones pointing out that “JOURNALISTS” like yourself are the ones who are hurting child sexual abuse in this country. Your continued pounding home of the “how could this possibly happen” and “this only happened because people turned their backs” mantra only goes to drive the mis-perceptions surrounding child abuse. Articles and attitudes like yours are only making it harder and more difficult to properly educate the public and prevent abuse in the future. And, for what? So you can get a few more hits and put a few more bucks in your pockets?

    If you want to help, educate the public to the very real facts of child abuse. Point out that 1 in 4 girls will be sexually abused. Point out that 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused. Point out that such abuse does and will continue to happen anywhere and everywhere, regardless or demographics, social status, etc. It will happen in your local church, in your local Boy Scout troop, when you drop your kids off at the neighbors or relatives. Child sexual abuse knows no bounds, and no barriers.

    The next time that you walk into a room of people, look around and project that 1 in 5 number out and realize that child sexual abuse is an epidemic and it is not NCAA sanctions against Penn State (based on a connection that Freeh didn’t even make) that will help to curb it (and sure not idiotic rants such as yours), but proper education and encouragement of a safe place for victims which will curb it. I don’t know if you have kids, but, if you do, I’d be very worried for their safety and protection if the ignorant attitude that you project in your column here carried back to your home life.

    • jfsemmer

      laxjosh should be the one getting paid to write editorials. He has his facts, and his proirities, straight. Too bad the “journalists” in the state doesn’t give a damn about protecting children, as evidenced by the ongoing need repeat the lies and half truths and unproven, far fetched theories as fact. Keep writing this trash, Joel. You make it so easy to justify my decision to never give another dime to Philadelphia media… no way will I pay the salary of such a lazy reporter.

    • Guest

      laxjosh- thank you. Please, get a book deal and shed some light on the situation. I cannot count how many articles and blogs I’ve encountered from reporters that have done what seems to be no research and are cashing in on this tragedy. Not only you, but we deserve it too.


    “Suddenly, Penn State football fans have some hope” No Joel, PSU fans have a lot of hope. Two winning seasons in a row, two back to back top 30 recruiting classes, the 2015 recruiting class right now rank number 1, PSU has one of the best young coaches in country and two prime time ABC/ESPN games this year. Toss in that public opinion has changed and most football fans currently believe the NCAA was wrong (google ESPN polls on the matter) and now the courts are questioning what has happen. The bowl ban will be lifted, the only questions is whether it will be reduced by two years or one. You opening line should be “Since July 2012, Penn State football fans have gone from depressed to very joyful fans, with a bright future”.

    • phlhui

      OK I did Google it.

      Apparently you don’t know the difference b/w “the public” and “rabid sports fans participating in an ESPN poll, many of whom were PSU people stuffing the ballot box.”

      • Spank

        Voting is “stuffing”? The largest alumni organization in the world doesn’t need to “stuff”.

  • smokeybandit

    “Because important people at Penn State knew about it, eventually.”

    Everyone knew about it, eventually. I guess we all should be sanctioned.

  • Sean

    Great article Joel. Keep shining the light on those cockroaches.

  • brown

    Your ignorance shows that you don’t care about dealing with a serious problem in realistic terms. If you’re so short sighted and simple as to think Jerry Sandusky’s access to children was supported by Penn State or Penn State football then congratulations, you’re stifled meaningful debate, and allowed abuse to continue.

  • jfsemmer

    When will someone in the media have the courage to take a stand? Have the courage to do some real research about the Second Mile, the failures of Child Youth Services, the failures of the State Police and the governor? When will someone in the media assess the “evidence” against Penn State in an unbiased fashion? Is it just too easy to continue the blatant distortions and outright lies? Children will continue to be abused until someone has the courage to investigate what really happened, who knew what, why reports were not made or were not acted upon. It had NOTHING to do with football… and if there was a converup it was the dumbest coverup in history… who covers something up by telling a dozen people about it? Who spends 10 years hiding the truth and then forgets to stick to a consistent story on the witness stand (Paterno failed to tell the same horseplay story as the other two… why would this evil genius forget to stick to the script?).

    You state that Penn State “copped a plea” consistent with what other guilty defendants do. Not exactly true… a few leads on the Board of Directors, including the governor, pleaded guilty on behalf of others. Their motives are far from pure (all had ties to the Second Mile, including the governor), and yes they might have also been coerced. And those pleading guilty aren’t doing the jail time – they are trying to portray themselves as heroes. The story is far, far deeper than the headlines, but the lazy sensationalist journalists don’t care about truth. Which is why the industry is dying.

  • smokeybandit

    Anyone who focuses on Penn State’s role and conveniently ignores the failures by numerous people, groups, state agencies and organizations whose job it specifically is to keep kids safe obviously has an agenda.

  • Dave

    “ignorant of facts” is really a good description for this article. The trials of the PSU officials hasn’t even happened yet and it has been widely proven the Freeh report has many jumps to conclusion based on no facts. The argument here is to punish PSU “just because”. Nice job.

  • Jim Justice

    Joel is the poster child for successful lobotomies

  • Name

    Corbett knew about it and still took $25,000 in campaign contributions from The Second Mile. I guess he is guilty too.

    • smokeybandit

      He took a few hundred thousand in contributions from TSM board members.

  • A-Town

    Ignorant article. Key statement that is flat-out wrong: “Because important people at Penn State knew about it, eventually”. FACT: Spanier & Paterno both stated that molestation was not reported to them. They both understood what happened to be “horse play”. How a journalist cannot grasp that after all that has been written & said leaves me disgusted. Whatever happened to “get the facts & then print them”? Too bad you are willing to reveal yourself as a shoddy journalist, Mr. Mathis. We could use some journalists that still do good work.

  • guest

    Joel, it’s not just that the NCAA sanctions punish the innocent who were left behind as you pointed out is typically the case with all NCAA sanctions… it’s that they punished a program not proven guilty of anything. Every person associated with the PSU football program reported what they knew. There was no tail wagging the dog here, the mistakes made were made outside of the PSU Athletic Department. Nobody ever cheated to win any games (there is no other instance of the NCAA vacating wins that were not ill-gotten by some violation of the rules). No proof has ever been offered that any actions or inactions taken by University administrators (including the allegations of impropriety for which we have not yet heard from the defense of the accused, BTW) had anything to do with football or that the football program exerted any influence over any of the decisions that those men made.
    So, in essence, in this case not only are the innocent bystanders left behind being punished, but the innocent who never did anything wrong and are long gone are being punished as well.
    How someone like you can twist and distort the truth to justify the injustice done here is both fascinating and astonishing.

  • Scott Yorty

    Can you sat D-BAG!!!

    • Judas Shuttlesworth

      No…but I can spell ‘say’

  • JK

    I never understood the “theory” that penn state administrators “passed the buck out of deference to the football program.” What would be their motive? Protect the football program from what? Sandusky was already a few years removed from his coaching when 2001 rolled around…his only association with the program at that point was as a spectator…granted limited access because of his “emeritus” status. Now if you want to talk about the Second Mile…they had a lot of reasons to “pass the buck.” I’m not exactly sure what PSU’s administrators could have realistically done other than report him to TSM….its not like they had a smoking gun. Psu’s only failure, in my opinion, was not being more proactive pushing the issue with state agencies and TSM..demanding more action. Not sure how any of this relates to the athletics department, specifically one program. People like to say they protected the “football” program….but can’t really say why exactly not reporting protects a football program. From what?

    • phlhui

      Sandusky was still running overnight football camps on campus for little boys until just a few yrs ago. PSU let him. He was also still using facilities and bringing little boys to team functions. He wasn’t a coach anymore but he was still a part of the program.

      They just wanted to keep the whole thing in house in the hopes that it would disappear on its own. And it went on and on and on. And Sandusky kept raping and raping and raping…using PSU football as bait.

      • Robert S. Walls

        He’s was not part of the program. he worked for the second mile. he retired in 1999.

        • phlhui

          lol Amazing. I feel like Charles In Charge trying to explain something to Lembeck.

          • guest

            he was also committed crimes in a toyota camry. lets go after toyota.

      • indynittany

        That they rescinded Jerry’s guest privileges, but did not take away his own access to the facilities says a lot. After all, I seriously doubt that the other assistant coaches wanted to share a shower with a pedophile. If they suspected Sandusky was that twisted, they would have severed all ties with him. So why didn’t they?

        • Catalacjack

          Herein lies the problem the trolls are to only antagonize, They refuse to do any real research into the case and find all the facts, so they keep coming back and spewing the same falshoods over and over. At PSU access can only be granted by two sets of people the first was Spanier could grant access it on a short term basis i.e. a weekend. If you wanted access for a longer period of time then you had to get it through the BOT. In 2001 Spanier asked Schultz to get the keys from Sandusky, Yet after 2001 Sandusky was reported to still be seen on campus. If Spanier took the keys we can assume that he did not give them back to Sandusky, so that means that someone on the board of trustees must have given the keys. Maybe that is why the BOT got upset and threw Joe under the bus by firing him.

  • Judas Shuttlesworth


    Look at the cult attacking like there’s no tomorrow. The author defiled their deity!

    Expect Ray Blehar to issue a Fatwa against the author…

    • tongsli

      what a stupid post, you parents must be proud

    • Robert S. Walls

      People like you are simply ignorant and hateful

    • publius211

      Get out of your pajamas, go in the kitchen and have your mom make you something to eat, and the go outside and get some fresh air. And don’t forget to take your meds.

    • QuestionAllTheThings

      Pointing out blatant inconsistencies and errors in this article isn’t a “cult attacking”. It’s pointing just bad journalism.

      But it looks like you created an account solely to troll PSU articles, so I doubt you actually care or would be able to comprehend it.

  • Bill Geesey

    to add to this !!! Another way for all you haters and bashers to fight against each other cause it draws clicks. Let this thing play out. The damage is done so let the truth be told.

  • todd70

    The NCAA like you agreed with the Freeh Report and sanctioned the football program for one reason, Joe Pa tried to cover up. It is disgraceful if true that Emmert/Freeh/Erickson conspired on the conclusions and Erickson agreed in advance to accept the Report and the sanctions. HOWEVER, Fina, who wants to indict Joe, has admitted that there is NO evidence Joe tried to cover up. If this is the only reason the football program (the only sports program) was sanctioned, then the NCAA has to abate these sanctions. The rest of the sanctions can be determined after the S/C/S trials. BTW, Sandusky was rushed to trial, why aren’t these others? If we wait for these trials and the judge confirms Joe is innocent, it is too late to make up for no Bowl Games and a cut in the scholarships.

  • mike

    Hey Joel, Tom Corbett knew about it also and choose to do nothing so he could gain millions in campaign funds…

  • Charles R Donahue

    AN INSIPID CONCLUSION BY AN INDIVIDUAL WHO MUST BE BENT ON DESTROYING ANY THREAT TO SEC PROMINENCE in college football. . At no time did Joe Paterno do any harm to young people involved. In fact Paterno was, and continues even after dying to be, an open champion for the next generation whether they are athletes or not. So many troubling relationships which have been revealed in this scandal and other like situations in college football. We all have favorites do we not? Again the NCAA has come down on the absolute “evil side ” of justice. (The media and current political influence appear to have done the same, BUT then “what is different?”

    • Harpua13

      Any threat to SEC prominence isn’t coming out of the Big 10 there scrappy. Try being better than the MEAC and work up.

  • Crazy_Jim

    I have read Mr. Mathis’ article and find it to be just another attempt to cloud the issues surrounding this terrible tragedy. This is America and the news and sports media doesn’t get to decide whether Joe Paterno or Penn State gets tried in the court of “Public Opinion”! They are entitled to their opinions, as are those people who want to know the truth about what happened and who is responsible for allowing these hideous actions to occur.

    I have read both, the Freeh report and the Paterno report and agree that both have clear agendas; The Freeh report was structured so the evidence would draw attention away from the school, BOT and the Governor of PA and place responsibility on two middle managers and an aging coach! While the Paterno report attempts to point out inaccuracies in the Freeh report, reverse the sanctions against Penn State and exonerate Joe Paterno. Frankly, if someone made inaccurate statements about any of these writers’ fathers, I believe they would do what they could to set the record straight!

    Most of these reporters, including Mr. Mathis, are very good writers and I enjoy their pieces! However, I think if professional news and sports writers want to comment on this situation, they should complete their own investigation first, then write their piece based on their OWN findings, not their opinions. I really could care less about their opinions, as I’m sure they care very little for mine.

    I’m not even a BIG Penn State fan and I smell something funny here. Now we have discovered that PA’s current governor, Tom Corbett, who was the Pennsylvania Attorney General involved in the initial investigation of these allegations, may have ignored information and/or allegations rather than vigorously continue the investigation in to these sexual abuse cases. By doing nothing, Governor Corbett may have jeopardized the lives of additional children. If he had vigorously investigated these allegations, perhaps additional children may have been spared the pain and humiliation of sexual abuse. As you may expect, I’ve waited for some well respected news and sports reporters, to pursue the Governor with the same vigor and indignation that they pursued Penn state and Joe Paterno, but to my surprise there was only silence.

    Joe Paterno, a football coach, was fooled by a master manipulator (who also fooled trained professionals and law enforcement) and immediately informed his superiors when he heard of the allegations, and everyone rushes to judgment that he should have done more and he gets fired!

    Governor Corbett, an attorney and the AG at the time of the allegations, may have sat on this information, never arrested the alleged perpetrator who went on to commit more atrocities, and no one is screaming for his dismissal…

    Where are all those talking heads on the news and sports shows including Mr. Mathis, who crusaded for the firing of Joe Paterno? Are they afraid to challenge the Governor of PA? Are they afraid to pursue Governor Corbett? Don’t they want to know the complete story? Don’t they want to report the complete story to their readers?

    In my opinion, most news outlets have egg on their faces and are now trying to deflect the questions posed by the Paterno report by more speculation. Both major and regional news outlets should do their own, indebt investigation and set the record straight, once and for all. Even if they have to admit that they were wrong (and perhaps their not!!!), no one will ever know the truth except those idiots who challenge anyone who pursues the complete truth, and then makes accusations That anyone who challenges the Freeh Report, is supporting child molestation!

    Stop following the music Michael… Investigate and if Paterno is involved, he should be shamed! If he’s not, eat crow and make your apologies. You and your fellow news reporters, talk about morality; if you believe that Joe Paterno traded his morality to save his football team, then you should do your due diligence, be better than Joe Paterno, do your job!

    Mr. Mathis, I don’t expect you to respond to this post because that’s what Men do; Cowards hide behind empty words and win awards by bringing down icons….

    Draw your own conclusions….

  • Robert S. Walls

    Here’s the bottom line and why the sanctions on the football team is just simply wrong. what happen was a CRIME comitted by a criminal, not a football ncaa infrraction. You can punish the school for the failures of a couple PAST leaders without punishing 18 ,19 year old student athletes who were in grade school when that monster did what he did. Furthermore paterno won those games FAIR and SQUARE and did NOT CHEAT to win and comitted NO NCAA INFRACTIONS during that period or ever for that matter. Penn State is only one of four div 1 teams to have NEVER COMITTED A SINGLE RECRUITING VIOLATION. So the notion that you must punish the kids on the football team to punish the school and a FEW FORMER LEEADERS makes NO SENSE and does NOTHING FOR THOSE WHO VICTIMIZED by that monster over a decade ago. If you disagree you allowinghhate to over rule

  • lionintexas

    Joel, your article does nothing more than rehash all the false narratives and baseless claims that all the jounalists that came before you have already stated. Nothing you say is supported by facts. If you call yourself a credible jounalist, please take the time to educate yourself on the issues. Learn more about Sandusky and his victims. Learn what really happened rather than taking his 45 convictions at face value. Learn when and where his “crimes” really took place. Learn which victims were really molested. I’m not saying Sandusky is not guilty, but he certainly is not guilty of all 45 dispicable crimes he was accused of. Even if he was found guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt of only 1 crime, that is 1 crime too many, and Sandusky deserves to be in prison. However, the conclusions drawn and sanctions taken against Penn State were based on the notion Sandusky was a monster who molested children for over a decade and his alledged crimes were all made possible by Penn State officials who failed to take appropriate action following the “locker room shower incident” reported by McQueary – the incident that the victim himself has stated twice that it never happened that way, and the same incident for which Sandusky was found not guilty of committing!!! If there was no ground zero, then there could not have been an explosion. If there was no locker room shower incident, then there could not have been a failure by Penn State, and therefore no basis for any NCAA sanctions.

  • Billyboy172

    What a pile of BS by this writer. No wonder journalism is now in the toilet. To lazy to check facts there Joel. Uh What did Frank Fina say “No evidence Joe was part of a cover up”. Should have been front page news but so called jouralists have to keep the lie going because they got this story completely wrong. And how many of this band of jackels have ever looked up the definition of “Hindsight” before they lynched Joe? Well here it is Joel “understanding of a situation or event only after it has happened or
    developed.” How many times have you left the “with the benefit of Hindsight….” off your quotes. You and the rest of your kind are going to look like the lazy bottom feeders you are when the court cases are done.

    • phlhui

      You guys do know there’s a paper trail of this stuff, right?

      “‘I did not find that evidence but ]Paterno] said it best,” said Fina. “He said: ‘I didn’t do enough… I should have done more.'”

      The quote was a response to a reporter’s question on whether Fina discovered evidence that Paterno was an active cover up participant in the crimes like the athletic director, President, and Vice President, who he found tried to interfere with the investigation many times for years.


      • Legalbeagle

        Your not that dumb are you, It seems everybody knows the correct saying..it has to do with hindsight..???

    • Billyboy172

      phlhui With the “benefit of hindsight” You and the rest of the media and including Fina always leave that qualifier off every time. But you are to ignorant to look what that phrase means so here is the definition:

      “The knowledge and understanding that you have about an event only after it has happened.” Or
      “Perception of the significance and nature of events after they have occurred”..

      “recognition of the realities, possibilities, or
      requirements of a situation, event, decision etc., after its occurrence.

      Maybe now you will understand Joe was NOT admitting guilt but saying had he KNOWN more he would have acted differently. But morons always make this out to be “Doesn’t matter”. Joe Paterno allowing kids to be raped. BS.

  • Robert S. Walls

    From the moment the story broke it has been nothing but a travesty of justice. What happen was not a simple infraction, but a serious crime that should have resulted an investigation lasting years. Its called due process which was side stepped. To please those who just wanted blood and didn’t care who paid the price or if it made sense or not. Regardless of what crime was comitted everyone is deserving of due process. Penn State recieved no LEGAL Invvestigation conducted by law enforcement or state officials but was punished on the grounds of an EX FBI agents OPINION. Fight for the football team and end the sanctions now.

  • docwilly

    HIS NAME IS mATH-ass

  • publius211

    The author fails to cite a single violation Penn State committed that resulted in the sanctions. Sad. Journalism died years ago. For what it’s worth, of the crimes of which Sandusky was convicted, none, not a single crime, occurred on Penn State’s property.

    • phlhui

      This didn’t take long to find.

      Lack of Institutional Control.
      Violation of the NCAA’s morals clause.

      • Spank

        You found nothing. Even Emmert admitted it as such.

      • DanM

        You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. That only applies to NCAA violations. Read the court ruling on the Corman case.

    • Charlie O’ 444

      @ publius211 Technically and Totally you are wrong, Victim 6 (1998) Counts 29,30 & 31 and Victim 2 (2001 MM) Counts 8,9, 10 &11, both happened on PSU property. Possibly & probably other Victim’s counts also took place in University Park. As for Joel JOEL MATHIS you are retarded (slow) to get up to speed on on this case. You are way way ‘beyond the pale’ i’m glad you are not anywhere ‘inside the pale of happy valley’

  • Bill_Levinson

    The Commonwealth Court’s opinion was, in no uncertain terms, that Penn State’s Board of Trustees was incompetent and derelict in its fiduciary duty when it allowed the NCAA to impose its illegitimate sanctions.

    I think it is reasonable to conclude from this article that Joel Mathis is an irresponsible yellow journalist like, for example, Dan Bernstein and Buzz Bissinger; one who does not even check his facts before he touches his keyboard.

    Penn State never “copped a plea,” or accepted the sanctions. Two Trustees, Kenneth Frazier and Karen Peetz, affirmed the Freeh Report without the Board’s authorization, and therefore in violation of the Board’s own Standing Orders. The NCAA used this, with the full knowledge that Penn State never accepted the Freeh Report’s findings, to misappropriate money to which it was not entitled. Yes, I think the court system should have a very close look at this indeed.

    Mr. Mathis is also lying about Penn State administrator’s “knowledge” of Sandusky’s activities, noting that the only actual witness, Mike McQueary, could not testify under oath that he actually saw Sandusky molest a child. He said he heard some noises, and assumed sexual activity was taking place. It is not surprising that McQueary did not call the police and, based on what he told them, his father and Dr. Dranov did not advise him to call the police.

  • nlkoebel

    If the atmosphere at Penn State is so bad, they explain this: 468 student-athletes have a GPA at least 3.0, with 197 of them earning Dean’s List honors. 84 athletes were All-Big Ten. Athletes at Penn State have an 88% graduation rate, and 2 athletes (one a female volleyball player and one a football player) earned Academic All-American honors. Sounds like a football culture to me (NOT). Look at the records in this area of all the schools where NCAA Executive Mark Emmert has worked and you’ll see a different story. One of them, North Carolina, is under investigation for fraudulent classes and grades earned by athletes including NCAA Basketball.

    • Bill_Levinson

      Emmert is learning the hard way that he is not a king or a dictator, and cannot do whatever he wants. He’ll get a hard lesson about that in the upcoming lawsuits against his so-called organization.


      Memos from 1998-99 showed that Emmert and two other top UConn officials knew about the construction project’s big problems then, but failed to disclose them to the school’s board of trustees or the state legislature.

      The other two officials ultimately resigned after being placed on leave. The
      third — Emmert — went on to become president of the NCAA.

  • Bill_Levinson

    Re: “to shout down journalists who don’t stick to their preferred storyline”

    By the time this is over, and all the dirty linen is aired in the courts, I think a lot of journalism careers are going to end. I am thinking particularly of Tim Dahlberg, Buzz Bissinger, and Dan Bernstein, all of whom brayed like the yellow journalists who once made up news (e.g. “Spaniards strip American women on the high seas!”) so the Yellow Press could sell newspapers.

    When the lynch mob is exposed for what it is, I suspect that these people, as well as possibly the author of this “column,” will have to write for those tabloids you see at the supermarket checkout lines–you know, the ones with horoscopes, articles about space aliens, and so on.

  • Stokes_Ann

    You stated definitely “Why? Because Jerry Sandusky molested young boys. Because important people at Penn State knew about it, eventually. Because they passed the buck out of deference to the football program.”

    Yes – Jerry Sandusky is a monster who molested young boys, he is where he should be. However, we do not know the truth of the second part of your premise. It has not yet been tried in a court of law, nor fully vetted.

    We should all be concerned when we administer “justice” through the media, public opinion and media control firms. We have protections under the law for very good reasons and the prosecution, Corbett and Louis Freeh violated many of those protections for the administrators of Penn State.

  • Billyboy172

    Hey Joel maybe the PA OAG will contact you since you seem to know so much. It would be a bombshell for the prosecution. What a joke you are with the facts of this case. The Freeh report hasn’t been backed by any competent attorney or investigator and you believe that worthless piece of crap. The only people who believe it are journalists as they continue knowing they got this story completely wrong. Freeh’s investigation was like investigating Bobby Bonds for steroids and talking to the ballpark parking attendants. You show your lack of intelligence if you think that report is the least bit credible. You disqualify your opinion by supporting that report.

  • pkeely

    Couldn’t agree less with Joel`s opinion. Truth will eventually prevail..and for now I don`t have to read Philly mag.

  • indynittany

    Out of curiosity, does Ira Lubert own this rag too?
    This article is a classic example of what happens when a lie gets repeated often enough. People are getting their information from two primary sources:
    One is the grand jury presentment, which is nothing more than document created by the prosecution to secure an indictment. Nothing could possibly be more one sided. In this one, the public was treated to a whopper when it stated that McQueary had witnessed anal intercourse, despite the fact that he repeatedly said he saw no such thing.
    The second is the Freeh report, which did not interview a single player in this saga other than Spanier and…..you can’t make this stuff up….was contractually prevented from including any exculpatory evidence that might harm the commonwealth’s case. Of course, the report itself wasn’t that bad. It was the press conference and bullet points that caused all the uproar. I guarantee that whole circus was orchestrated specifically to discourage the press from reading the actual report.
    Corbett has got to be a the center of this mess. Here’s hoping Kane and Moulton find what they need! In the meantime, I have every expectation that Emmert and the NCAA will gladly throw the PSU board under the bus before allowing the Paterno legal team comb through all their records.

  • RevealTheFacts

    Because there are no facts to support this and the trials of the Penn State employees have not yet occurred, this could (and most likely WILL) very well be defamation: “Because important people at Penn State knew about it, eventually. Because they passed the buck out of deference to the football program. And because that allowed Jerry Sandusky to keep molesting young boys.”

  • smcase77

    It’s unfortunate that folks like “author” Joel Mathis here are so caught up in their Penn State hate that they don’t realize their faulty, sensationalist “journalism” actually harms victims of child abuse.

  • Jackie Miceli

    Obviously you are one of the many media people who have not taken the time to read the full Freeh Report. You pass judgement on this based on other media articles not the facts. Bob Costas passed judgement without reading the full report, and after he took time to read it–he recanted his judgement and had the guts to admit he made a statement without being fully informed. Yes-Penn Staters and people from State College are upset. Jerry Sandusky was not a university employee at the time. McQuery now says he isn’t sure what he saw. The Second Mile shut it’s doors to avoid investigation. The governor used the incident to advance his own political agenda. I suggest you do more reading and research before you pass judgement. It’s clear you know little about PSU, the State College community, the Frazier-Freeh connection, the full Freeh Report, and most definitely –you never had any interaction with Joe Paterno.

  • James Kimble

    Mathis, you a typical reporter, a JOKE. Learn all the facts and be a real reporter who actually does some fact finding instead of drinking the Kool aid. You should quit your day job!

  • roaminglion

    “But football is still, these years later, the prism through which we view the university.”

    That’s your fault, not mine or any PSU alumni’s doing. You choose to view the school through the prism of football, I choose to look at it as a top 50 University in academics, a leader in research, AND a school with a very good athletics program which is not limited to football.

    My lord, you complaining that you only see PSU as a football school, like somehow it’s our fault that you look past everything else PSU has to offer.

    “The continued persistent effort of many Penn Staters to get the punishments reversed” – Really, of ‘Many’? How many? How do you define ‘Many’? Because it’s actually a relatively small number of people considering 500,000 active alumni and 50,000+ students and faculty. Yet you make it sound like the majority of us are petitioning all over the place and throwing hissy fits.

    “all of this suggests, as always, that they forget (or don’t sufficiently care) about the real victims of Jerry Sandusky” – I’ll stop short of hurling profanities your way, but I really want to. I’m so sick of the asinine rhetoric that if you are of the opinion that Paterno didn’t know the extent of what Sandusky was doing, that “you don’t care” about his victims. Please, this stance of yours pretty much disqualifies you as someone of rational thought. “Paterno didn’t know” does not equal “who cares about the victims”. It doesn’t mean anything close to that. It means some people do not believe he, or others knew exactly what was happening. That they made a big error in judgement, and trusted someone they knew for a long time wasn’t doing violent things to children. To say people don’t care about the victims is rhetorical nonsense.

  • Mookster86

    If it hasn’t already been said, this writer is either missing the point that the NCAA had no right to impose sanctions in this case or he’s just plain ignorant. Mhentz hit the nail on the head.

  • Joel Mathis wrote:
    “I’m never sure how much I should engage on this issue. There’s a large segment of folks so completely convinced of Penn State’s relative innocence in the matter that nothing I can say will persuade anybody of, well, anything.

    I will say this: I think it’s possible to think that Second Mile also failed in its duties to kids and community without believing that absolves Penn State of anything. I can believe both institutions — and institutions beyond them — failed. Which means that what Jack Raykovitz did or didn’t do has no bearing on the topic of NCAA sanctions. Spreading blame is not the same as absolution.”

    I doubt that Joel Mathis has read the Freeh Report cover to cover or has reviewed the evidence that Freeh LEFT OUT of his report. I have done so, and what was left out tells quite a different story.

    First, the Commonwealth’s child protection agencies failed to protect these kids, starting in 1998 and continuing through 2009. Children were abused at both times Sandusky WHILE Sandusky was under investigation in 1998 and 2008/2009.

    The Public Welfare Code requires the child protective service agencies to work with the charity to put a protection plan in place once a suspect is under investigation. That didn’t happen. The trial verdicts and testimony prove that Victim 4 was abused while Sandusky was under investigation in 1998 and that Victim 9 was abused while Sandusky was under investigation in 2008/2009.

    Penn State is being punished for being the ONLY institution involved in this case that promptly acted to stop Sandusky’s abuse. In 2001, the PSU administration WENT ABOVE the legal requirement when it contacted the Second Mile and informed them of Sandusky’s inappropriate conduct. Their ban of Sandusky from PSU’s facilities in fact stopped abuse on the campus (according the the evidence in the grand jury presentment). What did Second Mile do with the 2001 report from PSU? NOTHING. Who was mandated to report suspected abuse in 2001? THE SECOND MILE.

    In terms of covering up Sandusky’s abuse, there is ample evidence on the public record that Second Mile is guilty of this. They learned of the abuse finding against him in late 2008, but despite their claims to the contrary, did not prevent him from contacting children. Victim 9’s testimony proves that in the worst way, however, media reports reveal Sandusky had attended the 2010 Second Mile Summer Challenge camp, which served over 500 children and he attended banquets and other activities where children were present. Despite his forced resignation from the charity in Fall 2009, The Second Mile never told the public that Sandusky had lost his clearance to work with children. Even after he publicly retired from the charity in Fall 2010, they kept him involved in fundraising activities.

    There is much more to this story than I’ve written here, but these are the facts that clearly show the state agencies and The Second Mile failed to protect children after they learned of Sandusky’s abuse.

    The key issue here is that this is NOT an isolated case of the state dropping the ball when it comes to protecting children. Pennsylvania has the lowest rate of investigating child abuse in the U.S. Only 8 in 1,000 cases results in an investigation.

    In other words, those who are assuming that the alleged failure of PSU officials to contact DPW in 2001 was the sole factor in enabling Sandusky are sorely mistaken. Given the track record of PA’s child protective services, it is more likely the call WAS MADE and ignored.

    That is the inconvenient truth that the PA State Government does not want the public to find out.

    Sandusky may be in jail, but PA’s children are still in danger. They are not being protected by the system.

    Unfortunately, failing state agencies don’t make headlines or sell newspapers. This is why the media hasn’t investigated or publicized the real failures in this case.

    • Judas Shuttlesworth

      Is it really all about the kids Ray? Then why do you have “HOW YOU CAN HELP CLEAR JOE” in all caps on your blog?

      We know who you are and what you’re all about Blehar. You’re nothing more than a shill and a mouthpiece for the enablers. You’re a FRAUD!

      Judging from your quotes below, Ray, you don’t give a rat’s ass about the victims AND YOU NEVER HAVE!

      “I have plenty of sympathy for child sex abuse victims. I have no sympathy for liars and frauds.” – Ray Blehar

      “Perhaps if you can identify a legimate rape victim, I could show concern. There aren’t any.” – Ray Blehar

      “You’re the one who’s gotten swindled. You believed this crap that a lying prosecutor called evidence. And you also believe that the gold diggers showing up at PSU have been abused.” – Ray Blehar

  • Jfsemmer

    it is simple Mr. Mathis. Penn State may have done something wrong – the courts have yet to decide on that. But you cannot find any evidence, anywhere (not even in the Freeh fiction) that their actions or I actions were motivated in any way to protect the reputation of the athletic program. It is a theory 100% invented by the media… It is harmful to children, has ruined the lives of many, impacted 1000s, and completely without any basis in fact. But no one in the media has the courage to admit that there is no evidence that you got the story right. You should be ashamed of yourself for perpetuating a myth. Do some research.

  • Mdlowery

    Mathis…you are totally Glib!!!

  • Not a PSU Fan

    Wow! This guy is a ****ing moron!