Erasing Paterno's legacy: Does removing his statue make up for PSU's complicity with Sandusky?
Joe Paterno's likeness is no more as his statue was removed from the grounds of Penn State University on Sunday, symbolizing the crumbling of his stellar legacy.
Current PSU president Rod Erickson reportedly said this in a statement on Sunday about the statue's removal: "I believe that, were it to remain, the statue will be a recurring wound to the multitude of individuals across the nation and beyond who have been the victim of child abuse."
The fallout from former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky's decades-long sexual abuse of more than 10 boys continues and Joe Paterno, the heart of football at Penn State, is being punished beyond the grave for his part in that tragedy.
67-year-old Sandusky, who now sits in jail awaiting sentencing, was convicted of 45 out of 48 counts of child sexual abuse on June 19 in a Centre County, Pennsylvania courtroom.
Damning emails have since surfaced showing that several top ranking officials at Penn State knew of molestation allegations over the years and did not report them to the proper authorites. Some actually lied to a 2001 grand jury.
Paterno was one of those implicated in the four emails, published in a CNN expose' by Susan Candiotti in June. In one of those emails from athletics director Tim Curley to director Graham Spanier, Curley reportedly wrote: "After giving it more thought and talking it over with Paterno yesterday, I am uncomfortable with what we agreed were the next steps. I am having trouble going to everyone but the person involved. I would be more comfortable meeting with the person...tell him about the information we received..and tell him we are aware of the first situation."
This strongly implied that Curley had spoken to Paterno about molestation allegations against Sandusky and was swayed out of doing what his earlier emails to Spanier and another official in a position of power at Penn State, vice-president Gary Schultz, had outlined as their plan of action.
These three men were discussing the 2001 shower incident where assistant coach Mike McQueary had seen Sandusky performing a sexual act with a small boy in one of the university's showers. Curley, Schultz and Spanier had agreed on a three part plan of action, but after his talk with Paterno, going to the authorities was deferred for a murky, indefinite time somewhere later down the road. We now know that that time never came and no one reported the sexual abuse of children.
The original three-part plan allegedly included: (1) a "talk with the 'subject'"(2) "contacting the charitable organization" (Second Mile) and (3) "contacting the Department of Welfare."
Read more on those damning emails here: http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/12496515-uncovering-the-coverupnew-email-tie-paterno-and-others-at-penn-state-to-hiding-sanduskys-crimes
Joe Paterno and Spanier, who were both fired after the scandal broke and were never formally charged with any crimes, but Schultz and Curley were charged with obstruction for their part in the coverup.
The 85-year-old veteran coach Paterno lost his battle with cancer on Jan. 22, a few months after being fired in November of 2011, his legacy in shambles. However, his million dollar-pension remains intact. Even convicted felon Sandusky will reportedly still collect his $59,000 yearly pension behind bars.
Does removing Paterno's statue make up for the university's complicity in Sandusky's crimes, or is it too little too late?