Penn State AD: Paterno’s Legacy Will Be Restored

 (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

How long before Joe Paterno’s statue returns to Happy Valley?

With the sidelining of most NCAA sanctions following the Jerry Sandusky scandal and the restoration of Paterno’s wins record, the full restoration of JoePa’s legacy on campus has seemed only a matter of time. Sandy Barbour, Penn State’s new athletic director, basically confirmed that this week in an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“I have no doubt that at the right time, as some of the legal issues have been sorted through . . . Penn State will honor not only Joe Paterno’s legacy but the Paterno family’s legacy,” Barbour told the Inky’s editorial board. “We’ll know when it’s time.” Read more »

The Price of Joe Paterno’s Reputation? About $13,500 Per Win

 (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Let’s be fair here: Given the expense of big-time college athletics, it probably cost way more than $13,500 apiece for Penn State to earn each of the 111 victories that were eventually erased from Joe Paterno‘s record following the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

But the legal bills for the fight to restore those victories have come due, and PennLive reports today the final tally amounts to about $1.5 million — or, roughly, the aforementioned $13,500 per restored victory. Read more »

Here’s the Suit Former Penn State President Graham Spanier Just Filed Against Louis Freeh

Graham Spanier

Former Penn State President Graham Spanier has filed suit against former FBI director Louis Freeh, saying the latter defamed him in his famous “Freeh Report” on the Jerry Sandusky affair that ended the Joe Paterno era at the university.

The complaint was not immediately available, but an official with the Court of Common Pleas in Centre County confirmed Wednesday afternoon that the case had been filed. Spanier’s attorney, Libby Locke, did not return calls for comment, nor did any of the three offices of the Freeh Group, the company that the former FBI director now heads. Read more »

Penn State President Criticizes Freeh Report

Penn.State.President.Eric.Barron

Penn State’s president has criticized the Freeh Report that found broad university culpability in the Jerry Sandusky scandal, saying it was overly “prosecutorial” and arrived at “absurd” conclusion.

An association of sexual abuse survivors reacted angrily to the news, issuing a statement urging university officials to “man up” to their responsibilities in the matter.
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Who Will Sanction the NCAA in Wake of Penn State?

The NCAA, the organization that’s normally as inflexible as a PVC pipe, gave it up last week.

So what if part of the settlement of a filed court case was that it didn’t do anything wrong. Smart people know what was at work here: that even with the wrongdoing at Penn State, this NCAA revealed itself as a lying, cheating, and oft-incompetent organization infatuated with a beer-muscle bully pulpit. And they did it all under the guise of “protecting” college athletics. In many ways, it is the married preacher who teaches you the wonders of God, but after the sermon sneaks behind the altar to bang the church secretary.

So the Penn State football program got its 112 wins restored (taken away in the original “consent” decree), while Joe Paterno got re-credited with his 111, to become once again the all-time winningest college football coach, and the $60 million fine on PSU was fine-tuned to help child abuse programs only within the state of Pennsylvania.

Penn State nation celebrated this development, which I found somewhat peculiar. Joe Paterno may have been wronged in the manner with which he was fired as football coach, and his character may have been besmirched. But I think we go too far when we make Paterno a victim. This was a dark chapter of Penn State’s history that isn’t going to be wiped away by smearing the campus with Paterno’s total win number of 409. When we do that, we cheat the kids who were the true victims of Jerry Sandusky’s heinous child abuse.

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Why 409 Is the Most Controversial Number in Pennsylvania

A banner in the parking lot tailgating outside Beaver Stadium before football game between Penn State and Temple in State College on Saturday., November 15, 2014.

A banner in the parking lot tailgating outside Beaver Stadium before football game between Penn State and Temple in State College on Saturday., November 15, 2014.

When Penn State had its vacated football wins restored as part of a deal the NCAA made with Pennsylvania officials, one number was immediately on the minds of Penn State football faithful: 409. That’s the number of times the Nittany Lions won under Joe Paterno, the most of any major college football coach.

Ever since Paterno was fired in November 2011, the number has become famous, even fetishized. Those who defend Paterno say he was made a scapegoat. Defenders usually mention his generosity to the university and his well-liked status among former players. And 409 has become shorthand for that. There’s a car in my neighborhood with 409 bumper stickers. There’s a restaurant in State College called 409 Pizza and Wings. People once held vigil at the spot where a Paterno statue once stood. Hundreds of people rallied in celebration when the wins were restored.

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What They’re Saying About the Penn State Deal

Earlier today, the NCAA and the state of Pennsylvania reached a deal that restores all 112 wins vacated in the of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. The late Joe Paterno had 111 wins restored in the agreement, which once again makes him the all-time winningest coach in major college football history.

The Paterno family released a statement in the wake of the ruling. Here is a part of it:

Today is a great victory for everyone who has fought for the truth in the Sandusky tragedy. The repeal of the consent decree and the return of the wins to the University and Joe Paterno confirm that the NCAA and the Board of Trustees acted prematurely and irresponsibly in the unprecedented sanctions the NCAA imposed on the University, the players, coaches and the community.

This case should always have been about the pursuit of the truth, not the unjust vilification of the culture of a great institution and the scapegoating of coaches, players and administrators who were never given a chance to defend themselves.

Read more »

Deal Restores Penn State’s Vacated Football Wins

 (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Joe Paterno is once again the winningest coach in major college football history.

In the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal, the late Penn State coach had 111 wins vacated in 2012. But Pennsylvania officials and the NCAA reached a proposed settlement that will restore Paterno’s wins, bringing his record to 409-136-3 — and 24-12-1 in bowl games. (A 112th win, which was won under interim head coach Tom Bradley following Paterno’s firing in the wake of the scandal, was also restored.)

The deal was approved by the Penn State Board of Trustees this afternoon. Here is the NCAA announcement containing details of the settlement.

Read more »

NCAA Could Restore Paterno’s Wins

 (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Penn State and NCAA are in talks to reconsider the sanctions imposed after the Jerry Sandusky scandal, according to multiple reports — a reversal that could restore former coach Joe Paterno’s vacated wins back tot the record books.

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