Even though Jerry Sandusky is behind bars and can thankfully never sexually abuse another child ever again, the negative effects of what went on between him and his victims at Penn State will never be forgotten -- and the school will likely never shake its connection to the infamous scandal.
And even though many fans had probably hoped Joe Paterno's reputation would be upheld in the wake of the Sandusky guilty verdict, an investigation has proven both the university and Paterno failed to protect the victims in the case.
Former FBI director Louis Freeh issued a report that said:
Our most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims by the most senior leaders at Penn State. The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized.
No matter how loyal some fans, students, and alumni are to the university, that statement is virtually impossible to argue with -- and it perfectly sums up the total lack of concern and protection that those poor boys 100 percent deserved.
Even though coach Paterno may not have witnessed Sandusky's actions with his own eyes, he chose not to report him to the authorities, and in failing to do so -- he not only failed the victims -- he failed the football program and the entire university as a whole.
In a letter Paterno wrote to his ex-players right before his death, he said, "This is not a football scandal and should not be treated as one. It is not an academic scandal and does not in any way tarnish the hard-earned and well-deserved academic reputation of Penn State."
Little did he know how much those words would come back to haunt him even after his death. From now on, when anyone thinks of Penn State, the Sandusky scandal will be the first thing that comes to mind -- not the school itself or how good the football team is. Joe Paterno had the opportunity to change that -- and now instead of being remembered as a legend, people will always think of him as negligent and completely heartless.
Do you think Penn State will ever recover from the impact of this scandal?
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