Monday, July 11

Statement on Return of JVP Statue

It is long past the time Penn State University sets the record straight on the Sandusky scandal and there's no better way to do it than by saying it as Joe's statue is returned to its spot next to Beaver Stadium.  Here's what PSU should finally say.

Ray Blehar

On November 9, 2011, a small group of members of the Penn State University (PSU) Board of Trustees (BOT) removed Joe Paterno from his coaching position without a review of the available facts and without a vote.  

On July 22, 2012, former PSU President Rodney Erickson unilaterally, that is without a vote, decided to remove Paterno's statue.  Erickson did so based on a report by former FBI director Louis Freeh that similarly was not reviewed.  

Louis Freeh, facing a defamation lawsuit over statements made in his report now claims he was simply offering opinions.  At the time of his national press conference, he referred to his opinions as "reasonable conclusions."   

Those conclusions were unquestioningly accepted by the media and reported as facts -- especially those concerning Joe Paterno.  

Today is the day to set the record straight.

Joe Paterno acted appropriately the one and only time Jerry Sandusky's inappropriate behavior was reported to him.  
To make it perfectly clear, Paterno reported Jerry Sandusky in accordance with PSU's policies and Pennsylvania's laws in 2001.  

He did not turn a blind eye to abuse as has been falsely claimed by the media and others.

Louis Freeh falsely claimed Paterno had followed the 1998 investigation of Sandusky closely -- even though that claim was refuted by the evidence, or lack thereof, in his report.

More recent claims of reports of Sandusky's behavior to Paterno in 1971 and 1976 have been made by charlatan victims.  Anyone familiar with the pattern of Sandusky's criminal behavior and common sense would immediately recognize those claims as false. 

There can't be a worse way to dishonor Sandusky's victims than the acts of those who made false claims in pursuit of monetary gains. 

It is also deeply disturbing that the attorneys paid by PSU to mediate settlements with claimants did not validate those claims and expended PSU funds unnecessarily.

When the media accepted the Freeh Report's conclusion that it was access to PSU's football facilities that enabled his crimes, it did so without checking the trial verdicts that plainly revealed Sandusky's crimes were committed in various locations off campus up to 2001, then exclusively off campus in the years after.

Freeh's shallow conclusion that access to facilities enabled Sandusky's crimes on campus would be much akin to concluding a man who committed a mass murder of his family in their home was able to do so because he had a key to the house.

Regretfully, PSU paid $8.5 million dollars for that conclusion and others that were similarly flawed. 

The University flatly rejects the findings of the Freeh Report and will file a lawsuit for the recovery of monies paid for his fraudulent investigation.

It is also very disturbing that the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney general and its media accomplices have misinformed the public at every step of the Sandusky scandal and have wrongly focused and placed blame on PSU and Paterno, respectively, for covering up Sandusky's crimes. 

Overwhelming evidence revealed that Sandusky was able to perpetrate his crimes for many years because he was a pillar of the community, acquaintance offender who convinced those around him that his actions with children were altruistic.   Even when he was committing acts of abuse, he was able to mask them through deception.

However, the evidence is indisputable that PSU officials reported Sandusky's questionable behavior to individuals outside the University, who were responsible for the care of children,  in 1998 and 2001.

In short, the evidence does not support a cover-up or concealment.

Evidence during the Sandusky investigation and afterward also revealed that agents of Pennsylvania's child protection system routinely fail to identify the signs of child sexual victimization and child abuse.   Moreover, a recent report by the Pennsylvania Auditor General revealed that the child abuse reporting system, ChildLine, also is dysfunctional.
The Paterno statue is a symbol of "success with honor"
that is shared by Penn State grads, friends, and fans 

Joe Paterno's dying wish was that there would be a "silver lining" that came out of the Sandusky scandal.

That "silver lining" is the evidence that demands improvements be made to Pennsylvania's child protection system.

Victim advocates should not be spending their time and energy on vindictive acts, such as protesting the return of a statue.  Instead, they should be focused on helping victims and doing all they can to prevent the next child from being abused or victimized.

Joe Paterno's statue was created in honor of him being the all-time winningest coach in major college football.   

Interestingly, many individuals, including members of the Paterno family and Joe himself, did not believe a statue fit with his belief that honoring the group or team was more important than individual honors.   

Joe Paterno, the coach, always took time to thank and give credit to those around him and those across alumni, fans, and friends the country who supported him.   

Over the years, the Paterno statue became a symbol of something all Penn Staters share -- a decades long ideal of "success with honor."

Today, we restore the Paterno statue to its rightful spot next to Beaver Stadium to honor the accomplishments on not just Coach Paterno, but his players and all of those individuals he inspired over six decades.

PSU also believes the best way to honor the Sandusky victims is by finally revealing the truth about how he committed his crimes, the failures in Pennsylvania's child protection system to identify signs of child abuse, the Commonwealth's lax oversight of charities involved in youth services activities, and to make good on our promise to be the nation's leader in the education and prevention of the epidemic of child abuse.


  1. Ray, Rodney Erickson should be in jail for willful child endangerment. He ignored that warning letter from decorated 25 year FBI veteran, Jane Tuner. The one warning him that Louis Freeh had intentionally botched a child sex abuse investigation in North Dakota. Erickson was given direct first-hand documented knowledge of Louis Freeh's modus-operandi in covering up for high-level child sex abuse criminals. And he still hires Louis Freeh to obfuscate with a crippling 8.5 million dollar false narrative. This shows Rodney Erickson's willful disregard for the safety of all children. Specifically, the safety of those in immediate danger from Sandusky. And then as you say, based on the Freeh-Fraud report that Erickson paid for with PSU's money, he decides without a vote, like a dictator, to remove the Paterno statue. This all is not an "oversight" or a "bad decision", or even a "mistake". It's willful deceit that covers up the high-level network of child abuse that is still hidden. Louis Freeh and Rodney Erickson's highly immoral collaboration is clear as day. They dip in, do their cover-up, and then disappear. Yet the Washington Post somehow wants us to believe they don't see the obvious scapegoating of Paterno? I'm a "nobody" with no title as a Washington Post journalist and I can see the truth easily and talk about it easily.

    So the enormity, the entrenchment, and the organization of this child sex abuse network must be mind-boggling. Because, desperately, the Washington Post has now stooped to the level of a supermarket tabloid with it's Joe Paterno, one man conspiracy of statewide child sex abuse. What a joke, they want us to believe an old, now deceased football coach single-handedly ran the PA corruption network's mafia pedophile racket, the Second Mile!

    I believe Merck and Ken Frazier have nefarious ties to the Second Mile and other child "protection" agencies. I also believe that the possible familial connection of Ken Frazier's sister to Jonathan Luna needs to be investigated and reported on in the media. But no, the Washington Post wants you to believe the child sex abuse racket in PA is a one-man conspiracy in Joe Paterno!

    1. Truthseeker,
      The Washington Post has been a tabloid for some time now. As a matter of fact, Woodward & Bernstein really were the forerunners of Sara Ganim...their big story was handed to them by a leaker.

      It is mind boggling that no one in the media will dig into this the fix must really be in and the corruption touching every part of the government.

      Getting to the bottom of this will take an independent commission, much like the one that was established for the Hillsborough soccer incident.

    2. Hopefully, the Paterno estate v. NCAA case will uncover more about the 1971 and 1976 accusations. I expect Bernie McCue will be called to testify. He might admit to a hoax under oath rather than face perjury and fraud charges.

      They could also call other players from the 1976 football camp. One person said in a comment that he was at the 1976 football camp, and there was no showering of coaches and players together. He stated the players showered in East Halls, which has single stall showers.

  2. Meanwhile, over at the Washington Post website, more than 1000 comments have been posted on this story with the headline "Joe Paterno knew of Jerry Sandusky abuse in 1976 per testimony in newly unsealed records":

    It is essentially a regurgitation of the material from the unsealed documents. Not surprisingly, nearly all of the comments condemn Paterno -- the usual "placing-football-before-little-kids" and "pedophile-enabler" crap that these ignorant readers wallow in, encouraged by lazy reporting like this. The bylines on the piece are for Will Hobson and Cindy Boren. Ray, have you ever had any communication with either of them? If not, it might be worthwhile to write to one or both. Then again, Hobson is a Pulitzer Prize recipient, so he might be especially dense.

    1. Jack,
      Believe it or not, I've been in touch with Hobson a time or two.

      He was hyped up about The Second Mile at the times I communicated with him, but it appears clickbait has won the day.

      Anyone who read those depositions and found them to be credible -- and then reported it that way has made an admission that they have no clue about the Sandusky case.

  3. Great job as usual.

    The only quibble I have is the statement that "Joe Paterno's statue was created in honor of him being the all-time winningest coach in major college football."

    It was actually to celebrate more than his wins but his contributions to Penn State. In fact he didn't even get the wins record until his final game, long after the statue went up. The photo shows he was honored as "Educator, Coach, Humanitarian." Coach wasn't even first.

    1. Tim,
      The original statue was commissioned prior to the 2000 season in anticipation of Joe passing Bear Bryant as the all time winning coach in major college football. Joe set that record in 2001 and the statue was revealed (on the video screen) at the game (IIRC).

      The 409th win, passing Eddie Robinson, set the Division 1 record. Division 1, as you are probably aware, is divided into two divisions (BCS & FCS). Robinson/Grambling was considered FCS.

  4. I have been thinking about the statue. I think it might be best to reach a compromise and put the Paterno statue in the all-sports museum near the stadium. There it can be viewed but better protected from vandals.

    The player part of the statue with the plaques could be put back outside and expanded to include players from the entire history of PSU football. That way it wouldn't be just associated with Paterno.

  5. Bringing the statue back will almost certainly be a point of contention with the Victimistas. Protecting it from vandalism will be a dubious job at best. Outbreaks of violence are going to be inevitable. While I concur with most of you that it should be returned, the dangers that will present override the benefit. I think Paterno himself would agree with this assessment, were he alive today.

    Tim's suggestion is better than putting back where it was. There will still be attempts made to vandalize it so it is not a perfect idea. Perhaps it is the best compromise possible given the current situation.

  6. Bring the statue back to the original location. If you wish to honor additional teams before or after the Paterno era so be it. The important thing is honor not Paterno per se but his ideals and contributions to Pennsylvania State University. Remember he was an educator, coach and humanitarian.