Cloud of Child Molestation Hangs Over Joe Paterno's Penn State Legacy

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You can’t read the reported accounts of the allegations against famed Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky and not throw up.

Forget the alleged sickness of Sandusky, what about all the people representing the institution of Penn State that covered it up? Mike Wise of the Washington Post summed it up perfectly in the open of his article on Saturday.

After what allegedly happened to “Victim 2,” a boy estimated to be 10 years old, in the same room where Penn State football players shower, it’s near impossible to keep reading the grand jury’s report. By “Victim 8,” numbness turns to anger.

You want to scream at the traumatized graduate assistant coach in 2002 and janitor in 2000 who saw and didn’t stop it, according to the report released by the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office. You want to grab hold of and shake those who reported the crime only to their superiors, washed their hands of responsibility and then let it go, treating a kid’s life as if it were a football that slipped through their hands.

I started out this piece being politically correct by talking about the allegations against Sandusky as if he deserves the benefit of the doubt until proven guilty by a jury of his peers. The hell with that, I just can’t continue that way. Call me un-American, short sighted, ignorant, or anything you want and you can rule me out as a potential juror too as the evidence is simply too overwhelming for me to look at this with any objectivity at all.

They should hang the son of a bitch.

I’m already done with him and want to move on to the cover-up, which to me in some respects is worse than the crimes themselves. Somewhere along the way, someone at this academic institution of higher learning needed to have the honor, decency and the ability to accept the responsibility of reporting the unbelievable occurrences so that future victims would be spared.

There now appears to be evidence coming out that suggests that Joe Paterno, the winningest coach in major college football history, was aware of these allegations and turned his head. While I have already concluded that Jerry Sandusky should go to hell, I am not prepared to state that I am 100% certain that Joe Paterno was in the know. That said, based on the breadth and scope of what’s happened here, I find it hard to believe otherwise and will have to be convinced. The way I see it, Paterno deserves the opportunity to prove that he’s innocent, but I won’t go so far as to say he’s innocent until proven guilty. Again, bash me in any way shape or form for that un-American judicial point of view, I’m a big boy, I can take it.

Paterno’s entire legacy is at risk here. I don’t care how many games he’s won, how much money he’s donated or how many lives he’s touched in a positive way; if the allegations are true that Paterno knew but protected his long time friend either because of loyalty or simply because he wanted to win games and thought the Sandusky was the best guy for the job to help him do that, JoePa is done.

Paterno’s entire career is based on old fashion traditions. Everything from the way he recruits, to the way he runs his practices, to the way he treats his players, and to the simplistic Penn State uniforms speaks of old school cleanliness. Covering up the perverted disgusting ways of a dirty old man, if that is in fact the case, takes down the entire Paterno Empire in one fell swoop. The decisions Parterno made with regard to this situation have nuclear implications for Paterno, the Nittany Lions program and the entire academic sporting world.

JoePa, I pray that it turns out that you were just a naive old man who was too blind to see what was in front of you. You may have to prove that you also gave your social security number, bank account and routing number to some random person from a third world country who emailed you claiming that you were bequeathed millions and they needed the info for you to get the money in order to prove that you had no knowledge of what was going on here, but I hope that’s what happened. Either way, whether you knew or not, this happened under your watch JoePa, and you need to step down from your throne. Not after a few more wins, not after the season is over, now.

The founder and former owner of MC3 Sports Media, Mike Cardano is the Sr. Business Administrator for RotoExperts and the Executive Director here at You may email Mike @ [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @MikeCardano. Listen to Mike on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio with Scott Engel and the morning crew Tuesday mornings at 10am ET.