It seems those in power never seem to learn the most fundamental lesson of any scandal...The coverup is always worse than the underlying crime. Whether it's Nixon, Clinton, the Catholic Church, etc., it seems profoundly pathetic that those whom society deems "the best and brightest" all seem to fall prey to the same delusion: that they'll be the ones who get away with it...This brings me to the BoT, the Administration and the Governor of Pennsylvania.
We all know the gory details, so there isn't any real need to go over the underlying crime, that of JS's child molestation. Further, from the preliminary hearing testimony of McQuerey, Paterno, the ex-police chief, Dranov, etc., it seems clear that Paterno told the appropriate authorities (Schultz) and trusted same to do his job. If what I've heard is true (and my guy has been right about all of this since last January), I believe that, after all of the facts come out, it will be conclusively shown that Paterno did far more than has been disclosed. But I'll leave that subject to another day. This post is devoted exclusively to the actions of the BoT, Administration and Governor of the Commonwealth.
Prior to my analysis and the following hypothesis, as a disclaimer, I assure those of you who read this that I am not a partisan hack. The truth is that I have voted Republican in every election since my first, in 1992. It gives me no inner pleasure to point out that a fellow Republican likely needs to be impeached and to explain why. However, truth and justice needs always to trump party affiliation and ideology if our republic is to survive.
Further, I am not one of those conspiracy nuts. I believe Oswald killed Kennedy. I believe Al Qaeda, not Bush or Israel, perpetrated the attacks of September 11th and I believe our Astronauts landed on the moon in 1969. However, I can only base my opinion and hunch on the facts that are before the general public.
What we know, so far, is that as Attorney General, Tom Corbett initiated the grand jury process. As the chief law enforcement officer of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, he surely had access to all of the evidence being presented: every police report, every witness statement, etc. However, during the time of the initiation of the grand jury process, Corbett was also a politician looking to win the office of Governor. Penn State University, and its alumni, are collectively one of, if not the most, powerful political forces in the Commonwealth, both in terms of fundraising and voting. While it is important to keep this thing quiet for the obvious reason of not wanting to piss off the voters, it is also advantageous to provide cover for wealthy political contributors, many of whom are likely to contribute to a republican candidate for governor.
Fast forward to January, 2011, when Corbett was sworn in as Governor. At that point, he became an ex-oficio member of the Board of Trustees of an institution that he knew was being investigated for possibly covering up the most horrific crime one could imagine. Also, by that time, many members of the Penn State Administration had provided testimony and/or been subpoenaed. As such, we are left with two logical conclusions: A) the BoT likely was aware of the ongoing investigation and B) AG/Gov. Corbett knew, prior to his campaign/election and inauguration as governor, that Penn State would be faced with the worst scandal in the history of American Sports. We are talking about intelligent, highly capable individuals who could not credibly claim that they never saw the firestorm coming.
Given the likelihood that the BoT and AG/Gov. Corbett knew that this was coming, it seems inexplicable that these individuals could have handled the aftermath of the Grand Jury report so terribly. Further, Corbett (the ex-oficio member of the BoT) would have had knowledge of the testimony of Paterno, McQuerey, Curley, Schultz, Spanier and Dranov. If, as they claim, Paterno was fired for "failing to do more," They would have had this knowledge in early 2011. Why not fire him then? Why let this thing fester now and leave yourself open to criticism? Why risk upsetting the alumni network with A) the piss-poor reaction; B) the badly handled termination of the football coach; C) the feckless search for a new coach? Again, we are talking about Heads of Governments, Corporations and other highly intelligent and accomplished individuals. It is hard, almost impossible to believe, that these individuals (on their own or collectively) did not know how bad this would look. At the risk of needing a tin foil hat, what if this was by design?
Again, Corbett is a politician. The lifeblood of politics is money. What if the focus was intentionally put on Paterno in order to divert attention from other entities, like The Second Mile? Again, it is likely that the BoT felt that Paterno "did not do enough" in early 2011, at the latest. Why not fire him after recruiting was completed? Also, why would the GJ report erroneously state that McQuerey told Paterno that a child was being raped when McQuerey testified at the prelim that he never told Paterno that? In fact, he could have been allowed to resign, citing "health reasons" and no one would have batted an eye. The only purpose served by allowing Paterno to continue coaching into this season was to A) get the record, allowing PSU to profit off of the attendant merchandise/tv revenue/ticket sales/exposure, and/or B) to ensure that, when this matter blew up, the focus would be on Paterno. If the second one is correct, the question would be why.
I believe that there is more to The Second Mile than has been reported. If, what I've read/heard is true, it would make sense for Gov. Corbett to want his political donors not to be exposed, as it would potentially destroy the Republican Party in Pennsylvania, probably forever. If that is the case, the BoT/Corbett would need to create a distraction so big, so devastating, that attention would be drawn from the fact that a child molester founded a charity for at risk kids, which received large donations from many of the same donors that gave to Corbett's campaigns for Attorney General and Governor. Accordingly, destroying the reputation of one of the greatest coaches in the history of American Sports might just do the trick. As such, it is my sincere belief that Joe Paterno (ironically, a lifelong republican) was scapegoated in order to provide cover for political allies of the Governor. I believe that his press conference the day he was fired was cancelled by the university for that reason. I believe that the BoT/Governor were scared that if Paterno, as promised, answered any and all questions regarding his role, that the possibility of hanging him out to dry would have been gone and the necessary distractions would have been unavailable.
It is for the above reasons that I implore any readers of this site, who may be journalists or members of the Democrat party in Pennsylvania, please start investigating this angle. Again, I am a lifelong republican, but I know how these things go and we will never know the truth about what happened and how far this goes if the party that might be at fault is the one investigating. If the governor allowed Paterno to be scapegoated in order to protect his allegedly depraved, monsterous donors, the public has the right to know and he needs to be removed from office. If this whole "Paterno didn't do enough" thing is one big lie (as I've been told it is), then the alumni and citizens of the commonwealth likewise have a right to know.
Lastly, to any members of the Paterno family who may read these blogs, please implore Joe, when he is feeling better, to hold his own press conference (with his attorney present) in which he answers any and all questions from the media. I know members of the Paterno family are active within the Pennsylvania Republican Party, but this is your Dad. Family trumps all of that, or at least it should. Stand up for your Dad now and flush all of the garbage from the state GOP. Be the men that your father showed us how to be. Anything less is cowardice and is unacceptable.