I coverered three states and about 250 miles Sunday morning to the soundtrack of the Penn State Blues on sports talk radio. As news broke that the statue of Joe Paterno was being removed from outside Beaver Stadium, the handful of sports talk radio hosts and dozens of callers within earshot filled the dawn airwaves. The anecdotal reactions revealed a sports nation divided about Penn State, Joe Paterno and what, if any, role the NCAA should play in punishing the university.
UPDATE [07.18.2012]: Digital snow pings off the video with the simple message: THIS VIDEO HAS BEEN REMOVED BY THE USER. That's all that is left of Joe Posnanski's two-minute video promoting Paterno, his new book scheduled to be released August 21. The video, that was posted on YouTube and Amazon.com as late as Tuesday afternoon, has since been removed.
Joe Posnanski is not talking about his new book, you know, the one about, ughh, do I have to say his name? OK, Joe Paterno. Back on point: The release of the Freeh Report came and went last week without a single blog post by the former Sports Illustrated writer. His only response came in a 101-character tweet that read:
I dedicated myself to write the most honest book I could about Joe Paterno. Everything I have to say about his life is in it.
So many questions are still being asked, and will continue to be asked, before, during and after Jerry Sandusky faces 40 counts of sexual misconduct in a court of law. Who knew what ... and when? While authorities wrestle with those questions in an attempt to define the fullness of illegal activities, another investigation is brewing: What will the allegations do to the historic Penn State football program?
If you think the allegations against former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky are disturbing, listen to his defense attorney, Joe Amendola. In a published interview with the New York Times, Amendola put up his best defense claiming his client "helped thousands of kids. It’s just a shame this comes down to this stuff."
Joe Paterno has been the head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions for 46 years. According to my math that equals my entire life. As a sports fan growing up, Paterno and Penn State were synonymous. You couldn't mention one without the other. Today, you can’t mention one or the other without feeling some degree of disgust; not after reading the grand jury report issued last Friday that alleges former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky molested several young boys.