Anyone who has spent any time inside a major football program or university knows there are few kept secrets. Common sense dictated Penn State's leaders knew in 1998 and that Sandusky's 1999 retirement was no coincidence, but absent evidence to support that, the men still could enjoy some benefit of the doubt. They can't anymore.
Paterno is dead, so he won't have to watch as the tremendous legacy he built collapses under the weight of this one colossal human failing. Any defenders he has left are either blind, fools or family. Most of the nation realized his grand jury testimony provided enough evidence to conclude he enabled Sandusky, but the evidence contained in the Freeh Report should eliminate any doubt.
Curley and Schultz stand accused of perjury for lying to the grand jury last year. They'll get their day in court, and unless they have O.J.-level defense attorneys, they'll be convicted and imprisoned. Hopefully, they'll never work again. They deserve much, much worse.
Major League Baseball eventually adopted nearly all of Mitchell’s recommendations, most recently approving testing for human growth hormone under the new collective bargaining agreement. The only major guideline suggested by Mitchell that has not been put in place is a truly independent testing program.
“The university is going to have to show it is acting in good faith to regain the public’s trust,” Tobias said. “They are going to have to take these guidelines into consideration to prevent something like this from happening again.”
Turns out, Jerry Sandusky's best hiding place was in the glow of Penn State's aura.
We might still not know the why of Sandusky. May never know, because how far can you see when the darkness in a man's purpose is this thick? But at least after Thursday, we know a little more about the how.
Lou Prato, who has written several books about Penn State football and is considered a historian of the program that came to define Penn State as an institution, called the Freeh report “devastating.”
“It’s even worse than the grand jury report,” Prato said. “My heart goes out to the victims and it will affect Paterno’s legacy. All of the good things he did will remain part of his reputation but we all make mistakes and this is a big one.
“There has always been an anti-Paterno faction of people and this will solidify them. But it will also make a lot of people sad.”
Bill Earley, a former football booster, conceded that there would remain two sets of opinion about Paterno in the greater Penn State community, but said the details of Thursday’s report will forever change the way he was perceived.