The outcry from the Paterno family has been for the victims, in the wake of the university’s decision to take down the famous statue of legendary coach Joe Paterno. (To read the family’s response and see video of Paterno’s son, click here.)
“Tearing down the statue of Joe Paterno does not serve the victims of Jerry Sandusky’s horrible crimes or help heal the Penn State Community. We believe the only way to help the victims is to uncover the full truth. The Freeh report, though it has been accepted by the media as the definitive conclusion on the Sandusky scandal, is the equivalent of an indictment – a charging document written by a prosecutor – and an incomplete and unofficial one at that.”
The family claims that JoePa has not had his day in court, and for that reason, taking down the decision is premature and based on–what else?–the media and its acceptance of the Freeh report as truth. Well, what else do we have? But is that what prompted the university’s decision? I don’t think so. The victims and sheer wrongness of honoring a man who could have helped them might have been a more compelling reason.
From what I’ve read, the dismantling of the statue–love it or hate it–was a university decision–not a response to a coordinated media effort.
Unless the family has some hidden information, taped conversations, notes or transcripts from what he might have told them before he died, what is the university supposed to do to find out what his role was, other than the Freeh report? Joe Paterno is dead. Only he knows his truth. If he had lived through all of this, maybe he would have agreed that his statue should be taken down. We’ll never know.