Category Archives: You Can’t Put A Price Tag On Joe Paterno’s Legacy

Another day without a comment from Stacey Osburn

This doesn’t sound like a good thing for the NCAA.

A specially presiding senior judge has ordered the NCAA to turn over emails and other communications related to the repeal of Penn State’s sanctions as part of a defamation lawsuit filed by the estate of Joe Paterno.

At issue is whether the NCAA maliciously and unfairly tarnished Paterno’s name and harmed the plaintiffs, which include former assistant coaches Bill Kenney and Paterno’s son, Jay.

The lawsuit was filed in 2013 and seeks punitive damages. The defendants include the NCAA, president Mark Emmert and former executive committee chairman Ed Ray.

According to Judge John Leete’s order, which was filed Monday, the NCAA must turn over communications between board members and administrators and between itself and Penn State officials. Privileged communications are exempt, but the NCAA must provide a privilege log outlining what documents are withheld.

It may be a bullshit lawsuit, but they’re playing on JoePa’s home field, and that’s likely to yield some embarrassing disclosures.

None of this is to excuse what went on, or to say that the school didn’t deserve to be punished for enabling a serial child molester, but when Mark Emmert decided he didn’t need to follow any established guidelines in his pursuit of Penn State, it was pretty much a given that he’d get this kind of reaction.  To mix metaphors, when you break a few eggs to make your omelet, don’t be surprised when some of the chickens come home to roost.


Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA, You Can't Put A Price Tag On Joe Paterno's Legacy

I’m sure it will be tasteful.

So, with the blessing of the Paterno clan, Penn State’s gonna do some honoring this weekend.

Penn State detailed plans Thursday to mark the 50th anniversary of Joe Paterno’s first win as hundreds of the late coach’s former players made their way back to State College for a private reunion, marking a milestone that has emerged as a sensitive issue for the university and people critical of Paterno’s role in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

Athletic director Sandy Barbour said Thursday that commemorations during Penn State’s game Saturday against Temple would focus on Paterno’s commitment to student-athletes and academic, plus highlights of the 1966 game.

“Coach Paterno wanted academic success not only for his players but also for every student who came through Penn State. Together with his wife, Sue, they helped countless students become leaders and earn a Penn State diploma,” Barbour said in a statement. “Our plans are consistent with the wishes of the Paterno family as well, with a focus on the players and their accomplishments at Penn State and beyond.”

If this strikes you are somewhat tone deaf, you’re not alone.  What in the world are these people thinking with a public show of support?  Hey, it’s college football, so you only get one guess.

So here comes Penn State on Saturday against Temple with a commemoration that may satisfy nobody and anger everybody. Note to Penn State: When your administrators won’t conduct interviews about the commemoration in advance, as Penn State refuses to do, it’s a good sign you don’t need to honor Paterno right now.

Paterno has not been officially recognized in Beaver Stadium since his last game on Oct. 29, 2011. The Paterno statue came down from outside the stadium. And now is the right time to honor him?

Why now? Fundraising is probably a big reason since the school is going through another capital campaign. There are plans to renovate Beaver Stadium. As I wrote in May, some major Paterno supporters won’t write checks until they see him honored.

It’s times like this that make me grateful Charles Manson wasn’t a successful head football coach somewhere.


Filed under You Can't Put A Price Tag On Joe Paterno's Legacy

“Joe Paterno is dead.”

Not that Penn State is paying attention.


Filed under You Can't Put A Price Tag On Joe Paterno's Legacy

“Paterno, the man testified, just walked away.”

It seems Penn State has fallen victim to one of the classic blunders – the most famous of which is “never get involved in a land war in Asia” – never go in against an insurance company when there’s serious money on the line.

A man testified in court in 2014 that Penn State football coach Joe Paterno ignored his complaints of a sexual assault committed by assistant coach Jerry Sandusky in 1976 when the man was a 14-year-old boy, according to new court documents unsealed Tuesday in a Philadelphia court.

The victim, who was identified in court records as John Doe 150, said that while he was attending a football camp at Penn State, Sandusky touched him as he showered. Sandusky’s finger penetrated the boy’s rectum, Doe testified in court in 2014, and the victim asked to speak with Paterno about it. Doe testified that he specifically told Paterno that Sandusky had sexually assaulted him, and Paterno ignored it.

“Is it accurate that Coach Paterno quickly said to you, ‘I don’t want to hear about any of that kind of stuff, I have a football season to worry about?’” the man’s lawyer asked him in 2014.

“Specifically. Yes … I was shocked, disappointed, offended. I was insulted… I said, is that all you’re going to do? You’re not going to do anything else?”

And there’s more where that came from.

That is but one of the multiple depositions from the documents illustrating claims of abuse that spanned more than two decades before it was brought to the attention of law enforcement. The documents stem from an insurance lawsuit over allegations that a boy told Paterno that Sandusky was abusing young boys.

It’s sad to think there are still plenty of Penn State fans who want Paterno’s statue restored to its place on campus.


Filed under You Can't Put A Price Tag On Joe Paterno's Legacy

“Coach Paterno is not alive to refute them.”

Probably a good thing for him.

Penn State’s legal settlements with Jerry Sandusky’s accusers cover alleged abuse dating to 1971, which was 40 years before his arrest, the university said Sunday, providing the first confirmation of the time frame of abuse claims that have led to big payouts.

1971?  Holy crap.

If you believe money talks, that’s some pretty loud shouting.


Filed under See You In Court, You Can't Put A Price Tag On Joe Paterno's Legacy

The dog ate Penn State’s homework.

It’s worth a try, I suppose, but insurance companies litigating multi-million dollar claims don’t tend to be as sweet and understanding as that fourth-grade teacher who let you get away with that excuse.

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Filed under See You In Court, You Can't Put A Price Tag On Joe Paterno's Legacy

Just when you thought you were out…


A new bombshell dropped in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal Thursday.

It came in the form of a single line in a court order on a related insurance coverage case involving Penn State, and its full ramifications can’t immediately be gauged.

But that line was eye-popping in itself.

The line in question states that one of Penn State’s insurers has claimed “in 1976, a child allegedly reported to PSU’s Head Coach Joseph Paterno that he (the child) was sexually molested by Sandusky.”

The order also cites separate references in 1987 and 1988 in which unnamed assistant coaches witnessed inappropriate contact between Sandusky and unidentified children, and a 1988 case that was supposedly referred to Penn State’s athletic director at the time.

Naturally everyone on the Penn State side – there’s almost $60 million at stake in insurance proceeds, remember – as well as Paterno’s family is quick to caution that this pronouncement shouldn’t be taken at face value.  And you know what?  They have the luxury to do so because

First, it’s unlikely that corroborating or disproving information about the allegation will surface. According to Penn Live, the record containing the deposition transcript is sealed. Also, the victim who made the allegation against Paterno has apparently reached a confidential settlement with Penn State. Odds are this victim will not make his identity known or ever talk about his claim about Paterno.

Well, that’s certainly convenient.

Throw in that Jerry Sandusky is getting his day in appellate court and it’s all just a reminder that there are no heroes in this mess, only shitheads, enablers and victims.  I’ll leave you to decide who is what.


Filed under Crime and Punishment, You Can't Put A Price Tag On Joe Paterno's Legacy