According to a January 19, 2016 email from "Wounded Lions" author Ron Smith, he set out to find the "historical background" that explained "how Penn State administrators responded to the Sandusky scandal."
Smith was not speaking about how the Penn State Board of Trustees sold the University down the river under the false pretense that they were caught by surprise by the Sandusky investigation.
He was digging around trying to find individuals who would support the false narrative of an insular athletic culture that didn't conform to the rules of the rest of the University.
Smith's emails contained numerous examples of his falling for false narratives that the Attorney General's office and Louis Freeh wrote to deflect attention away from the failings of the Pennsylvania State Police, The Second Mile, and child welfare agents. Instead, they heaped the responsibilities of those organizations onto Penn State.
The gullible emeritus professor got played like a fiddle.
|Smith built a half century of history to support a false narrative of an insular football culture.|
The whole "Penn State scandal" was based on allegations that Curley and Schultz, then eventually Spanier, failed to report abuse but Smith didn't believe he needed to find out whether that happened or not.
What is even more crazy is that Smith admitted that if a trial took place, PSU officials wouldn't be found guilty.
That statement said a lot about Smith's knowledge about the scandal.
First, all he needed to do was read the child abuse reporting statutes to know whether or not what PSU did (or didn't do) was criminal. It wasn't. The statute didn't apply to University administrators in 2001 and still doesn't today -- even after revisions to the statutes in 2014.
Next, he didn't follow the case close enough to know that Spanier, Curley, and Schultz are scheduled to be tried together. There will be one trial, not three.
Finally, he didn't think they would be found guilty -- but the failure to report Sandusky charge is the decision for which he based his historical research.
So Smith forges on apparently assuming the PSU 3 are guilty -- but won't be convicted at a trial because of a lack of evidence.
Speaking of evidence or lack thereof, the book's premise is that PSU athletics was an "insular" operation.
Well, that premise was defeated by the evidence that was made public the day the Sandusky grand jury presentment was published.
Evidence: PSU athletic department officials were extremely forthcoming and open in reporting and/or investigating Jerry Sandusky in 1998 and in 2001.
In 1998, PSU Athletic Director (AD) Timothy Curley did not interfere or attempt to get involved in a child abuse investigation of then full-time assistant coach and defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.
In 2001, athletic department employees Mike McQueary, Joe Paterno, and AD Curley, when confronted with another incident of retired former coach Sandusky's inappropriate behavior with a child, reported the incident in accordance with University protocols. In short, it was reported outside athletics.
Neither the 1998 nor the 2001 incident fit Smith's template of athletics as an "insular" operation.
But he somehow built a half-century of history to show that it was.
That's why I didn't waste my time reading "Wounded Lions."