The words of Joe and Sue Paterno remind us of why the search for the truth is important
Every now and then, it's good to take a step back from what you are doing and assess the situation. It's easy to get caught up in the news of the day and follow the hot story. As a result, you get distracted from the primary objective and waste time on trivial matters and sideshows.
In order to reset the investigation's priorities, I reread Sue Paterno's letter of February 8, 2013. The last paragraph says it all:
"Joe Paterno's legacy wasn't a statue, a winning record or public adulation. He was grateful for the many accolades he received but he never believed they defined his life. His legacy is his family and you his players. How you live your life speaks louder than any report. The great fathers, husbands and citizens you have become fulfill the dreams Joe had. All that we want - and what I believe we owe the victims, Joe Paterno and everyone who cares about Penn State - is the full record of what happened. On this point, I know the advice Joe would give. Don't give up. Don't be afraid. Do the right thing. And make sure your actions serve the greater good. This is the path I will continue to follow."
In the interest of full disclosure, I would not be a Penn State graduate if it was not for Joe Paterno. However, it was the "other" things about Joe Paterno, and not his success as a football coach, that made me admire him so much. Specifically, it was those life lessons that I read in his autobiography, Paterno By The Book.
If there was a single thing that Joe Paterno said that changed the way I approached my life, it was this:
“There are many people, particularly in sports, who think that success and excellence are the same thing. They are not the same thing. Excellence is something that is lasting and dependable and largely within a person's control. In contrast, success is perishable and is often outside our control. If you strive for excellence, you will probably be successful eventually. People who put excellence in the first place have the patience to end up with success. An additional burden for the victim of the success mentality is that he is threatened by the success of others and he resents real excellence. In contrast, the person that is fascinated by quality is excited when he sees it in others.”
In the search for the truth in the Sandusky scandal demands patience.
There are ongoing investigations by the Attorney General Kane's special investigator Geoffrey Moulton and by the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District. In addition, the Paterno v. NCAA lawsuit as well as the fantastic efforts by BOT candidate Ryan Bagwell are sure to uncover much of the behind the scenes information about the PSU BOT and its dealings with the Freeh group and the NCAA.
The aforementioned investigations and activities will reveal much about:
-- The 2008-2011 Sandusky investigation
-- The 1998 Sandusky investigation
-- The roles of DPW, CYS, Penn State, and the police in both investigations
-- The role of The Second Mile
-- The interactions of the PSU BOT, Louis Freeh, the NCAA, the PA Department of Education, and the Big Ten Conference.
The SMSS efforts have uncovered or highlighted much information that the media has ignored or not sought out. While we have covered the broad base of topics in our investigation, undoubtedly the "greater good" that will be served by our efforts is the rooting out of the corruption in the child protection system, as as a result, better protection for children.
The were many unintended consequences of the Sandusky Scandal and it is my belief that, in the mind of Governor Corbett, the outing of the failures of PA DPW and of The Second Mile to protect children from Sandusky were among those he was attempting to cover-up.
The Governor and his sycophants at the Patriot News attempted to paint the Sandusky Scandal as an isolated problem that occurred on PSU's campus. We know that story is false.
We know that the PSU BOT, for reasons yet to be revealed, aligned with the Governor and took every step to promote this false narrative, including the hiring of Louis Freeh, the acceptance of his report, and the subsequent agreement to draconian sanctions by the NCAA.
We know that accepting this nonsense of a Penn State cover-up and "moving forward" does not serve the greater good and leaves the children of Pennsylvania at risk.
In closing, I'll repeat the two most important goals in the aftermath of the Sandusky scandal:
1. To find the truth.
2. To ensure Pennsylvania's children get the protection they deserve.