The Unholy, Unspoken and Uninvited

By Eric D. Graham BASN columnist
Updated: July 27, 2012

Ready to meet his maker

Ready to meet his maker

NORTH CAROLINA (BASN)To borrow a line from the Dark Knight, “You either die a Hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”

This is actually what happened to Joe Paterno.

Because on Thursday morning, July 13, tremors of sadness rippled across the campuses of college football, when former FBI director Louis Freeh revealed in his 267 page report, which lasted seven months and cost Penn State $7 million, that their school’s legendary coach was a part of an elaborate cover-up, which attempted to hide Jerry Sandusky’s horrible acts of child molestation from authorities, the board of trustees, the community of Penn State, and the public at large.

“The facts are the facts,Freeh said of Paterno.

He was an integral part of this active decision to conceal.”

Unfortunately, we can’t dig up the truth buried with the body of the beloved Joe Pa, who evidently took his secrets to the grave with him.

But sadly, now, those on the other side of heaven must face the reality of this heinous crime, which involved at least 10 victims, who were molested by Sandusky.

As a result, the darkness of this child abuse scandal has devoured the light that once illuminated over the head of Joe Paterno in the form of a halo.

It is a tragedy that will be linked with Penn State for generations, because Paterno failed miserably as a leader, educator and human being. He was the man with the real power to stop the sexual abuse of young boys in his locker room. Yet he did not do it.” wrote Christine Brennan of USA Today.


With Paterno’s no snitch policyand code of silence that governs most locker rooms, board rooms, Catholic churches and police departments,” the NCAA chose to fine Penn State$60 million, ban them forfour-yearsfrom playing in post-season bowl games, reduce thenumber of football scholarships from 25 to 15 for the next four years, give all returning football players the right to transfer to another school, place the football program on a five-year probationary period,which gives them reservation and the right to do further investigations and impose additional sanctions on individuals for their behavior as well as vacate 111 wins from Pater no’sofficial record book from 1998 to-2011, which eliminates him from being “the winningest coach in college football”

Along with all of these penalties, bulldozers were called in to knock down the walls which displayed Paterno’s plaques. Plus, his bronze statue which stood outside of Beaver Stadium was removed.

Prior to this, Nike also decided to remove Paterno’s name from its child development center on the Nike Campus in Beaverton, Oregon.


Honestly, what is happening to Joe Paterno’s legacy is sad.

But, what he failed to do was sinful.

Therefore, university officials and the NCAA had to clean house and enforce harsh penalties for the school’s lack of institutional control and for their failure to carry out its requirement under a federal law called the Clery Act, which mandates universities to collect information about allegations and warn the campus community about the threats.

As a result, there will be a dark cloud that will hover over Penn State and its football program for several years to come because the child abuse scandal involving Jerry Sandusky, whowas convictedof 45 of 48 counts of sexual abuse over a 15-year period, in which some of his crimes occurred in his office and other facilities at Penn State, including the football team’s shower.

Yes, the shame of this “little” family secret will cause years of turmoil for Penn State and leave a permanent stain on Joe Paterno’s legacy.


But does one mistake, define the life of man, who meant so much to college football.

Did the guilt and shame kill him?

Did he die of a broken heart?

Did he really sacrifice the safety of children for the success of his football program?

Is Jerry Sandusky’s child abuse scandal, a part of a hidden underground sex trafficking ring, which involves his 2 Mile charity and Penn State?

All of these questions must be answered as this investigation continues.

It’s a toxic topic, even with Sandusky, who was Paterno’s friend for 32 years, facing up to 442 years in prison.

But this story is far from being over.

Why? Because, there are still a lot of unholy alliances that must investigated. Plus, there are several dark allies, we must all walk down.