Sunday, November 11

Blehar, Morgan & Ziegler at Franco's BoT Roast

Pittsburgh Town Hall draws well as it slams the AG FREEH and the BOT. Freehdom Fighters Eileeen Morgan, Ray Blehar and John Ziegler do well. 

Franco and Ray
Team up to Support PSU 
Franco Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers legend and one of the most impassioned defenders of late Penn State University football coach Joe Paterno, took the microphone inside a Downtown theater Saturday and began his remarks with a question: "So, why are we here?"  It was clear his audience of nearly 140 people, many clad in Penn State's blue and white colors, already had the answer. Mr. Harris recalled how the late coach, for whom Mr. Harris once played, was abruptly fired by the university a year ago, his name kept off of football programs and his statue removed from Beaver Stadium.
It's all because Penn State trustees and some others, in a rush to find scapegoats so they could extricate the school from the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, "wanted us to move on. Forget about it. It's done," Mr. Harris asserted. 

 "Well, we did move on," he said. "But not in the direction they wanted us to go."
Twelve months after bursting into the headlines, the scandal and resulting investigation that yielded a seemingly endless stream of revelations also remains dogged by skepticism and unanswered questions. That was evident from the turnout for a three-hour town hall meeting inside the Harris Theater that supporters of the late coach -- including the session's host, Mr. Harris -- hope will evolve into a national push-back against perceptions that have tarred the university and its storied football program. 
Those efforts, including ongoing analysis of the school's own investigation, will continue "until we find the truth," Mr. Harris said. 
Saturday's meeting, dubbed "Upon Further Review: Penn State One Year Later," included the first public showing of a 32-minute mini-movie by Los Angeles filmmaker John Ziegler, "The Framing of Joe Paterno,'' which may be developed into a documentary. There were speakers who rebutted key findings against Paterno and other university leaders as well as a panel discussion. 
The event was held a year and a day after Penn State announced it had fired Paterno and accepted the resignation of Penn State President Graham Spanier, who last month became the third campus administrator to be criminally charged in an alleged coverup. 
Singled out for criticism Saturday were a state grand jury presentment that speakers said contained serious errors and exaggerations; school trustees whom Mr. Ziegler said "wet their pants" as lurid allegations broke in the media, and a school-commissioned investigation the speakers said was flawed yet formed the basis for landmark NCAA sanctions that Penn State leaders accepted without challenge.
The speakers said that journalists were eager to topple a vaunted football program and its coach, while overlooking the failure of others. 
They asked why -- if state and local law enforcement and child welfare officials took no action for years after learning of suspicions about Mr. Sandusky -- it was assumed Penn State had enough evidence to do more than it did. 
"If there was a cover-up in 1998, it was by the local authorities and not Penn State," said Eileen Morgan, a 1990 Penn State graduate who has analyzed the investigation led by former FBI director Louis Freeh. 
Ray Blehar, another Penn State alumnus who conducted his own analysis of the Freeh report, said the root problem was failure by the Department of Welfare and by Children and Youth Services to stop Mr. Sandusky back in 1998. 
Therefore, he said, Pennsylvania's children are no safer today. 
"The same people who let him roam for 14 years are still in their jobs," Mr. Blehar, who works as a U.S. government analyst, said after Saturday's meeting.
Mr. Sandusky, 68, a retired assistant Penn State football coach, has begun serving a 30- to 60-year prison term for sexually assaulting 10 boys over 15 years, some on campus.
In addition to Mr. Ziegler, the panel discussion included Anthony Lubrano, a Penn State trustee; Rob Tribeck, a lawyer and legal counsel to the alumni group Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship; Post-Gazette sports columnist Gene Collier; and journalist Robert Dvorchak, who along with Bill Moushey co-wrote the book "Game Over: Jerry Sandusky, Penn State and the Culture of Silence."
Mr. Ziegler's tone turned angry at times as he addressed journalists on the panel. He called the media morons and lemmings, prompting Mr. Dvorchak, a former Post-Gazette reporter, to break the tension by asking tongue-in-cheek, "Should I turn myself in?"
PHILLY dot com coverage

A YAHOO Sportswriter at yahoo maintains his dedication to ignorance.


  1. Wish I could have been there to join the group...When is the BOT and the media going to realize that WE are NOT going AWAY???...Why do they want to continue with the embarrassment?...Just accept the responsibility and tell the world you f$$ked up, apologize to the alumni, current students and the Paterno family...That's what it's going to take in order to "move forward"...

  2. I also wish I could have been there. Yes, those of us that played for JoePa will NOT move on! The initial investigation should have been started and ended way before the incident in the locker room. If the AG and his underlings had done their jobs we would not be having this conversation. The Freed comic book was a complete waste of money and was too quick to include any pertinent information and included not one shred of evidence that implicated JoePa. The rush to implicate JoePa by the BoT, Erickson, the Gov. and the NCAA is the biggest travesty to ever happen to any school, person or program. I will always be a supporter of the Nittany Lions and Coach O'B, but I will never move on from the ignorance that portrays Penn State under Coach as anything but a leader in college athletics.

    1. I think Joe's former players could really help to bring this story back into the main stream media. Franco is, of course, an especially recognizable face, but I think a group of players and lettermen, banding together and speaking out, not just for Joe, but for the TRUTH could be really effective.

    2. Linda
      I would gladly lend my name to any group of former players who really know the Joe Paterno who never would be party to the storyline that the BoT etc. are trying to move on. I for one owe him a great deal of thanks for everything he has done for me and my family and I was not one of his fav in practice when I was a player.
      A quick JoePa story:
      I last saw him at the Alumni Golf Outing and before I could even say hello he said, " and you had to throw the ball into the stands" 1968 last game I played against Syr. My senior year. I will always remember that day. He is and always will be my mentor.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Is there any way to get a video of the Town Hall on Youtube? I'd love to see it!

  4. I would love to see the video of the Town Hall too.

  5. Although Franco Harris made the Immaculate Reception, He was an Honorary Director of the Second Mile Charity. Hence, the public has little no no chance of learning the role that others at the charity, besides Jerry, played in the scandal. Also, let's stop fooling one another, this scandal started in 1977. The proof lies with the victim Greg Bucceroni and the law case against Ed Savitz, a bosom pal of Gov. Ed Rendell.

  6. this talk shows Franco holding back, I believe.