FBI investigators recently released a report concerning the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal and the length of Penn State University’s knowledge about the illegal acts and involvement in the cover-up. The report centered on multiple high-profile officials in the scandal, including the former university President Graham Spanier and the legendary and recently deceased football coach Joe Paterno.
The report, authored by FBI investigator Freeh, revealed that the officials probably had more of a hand in concealing the child abuse from authorities than was originally believed. Freeh states in the report that many of the officials showed a lack of empathy for the child abuse victims.
The reaction to the report by former revelers of Joe Paterno has been largely negative. For example, the artist of a famous mural on a building in State College, Pennsylvania removed the halo that was once drawn around Joe Paterno’s head after he passed away. The halo was replaced by a blue ribbon, representing child abuse awareness.
The Great Oak Middle School in Connecticut has decided to remove a painting of Joe Paterno from their “Wall of Heroes” mural at the school. Paterno’s alma mater, Brown University, has removed Paterno’s name from their coaching job position descriptions.
Penn State has also announced that the former “Paternoville,” the nickname for the camp set out by students outside the Beaver Football Stadium before prime football games, will now be named “Nittanyville.”
Paterno’s family, however, still fights against the Freeh report. They contend that the Freeh report is only one opinion, and that the report is not the “last word on this matter.” They stand by Paterno’s statement that he did not cover up the abuse nor did he realize that the matter was not being properly handled. His family has vowed to conduct an independent investigation on their own looking at other materials released by the Freeh group. Indeed, the full investigation is not yet complete, and critical information may still emerge.
Whatever the facts turn out to be, it is a tragedy for all of the people and families that are involved.
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