With the beginning of the Big Ten media days just under 24 hours away there are plenty of stories coming out with some things to pay attention to. As far as Penn State is concerned there is a concern about the quarterback situation, the development of the running game, the comeback of the defense, injuries and having the top secondary in the league.
Or as Don McKee of the Philadelphia Inquirer would like to remind everyone, there is the fact that Joe Paterno may have known about former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky’s troublesome past. Sandusky is the subject of a grand jury investigation into allegations he sexually abused a teenage boy and as The Patriot News reported in March, the allegations were made in 2009, ten years after Sandusky retired from Penn State as Paterno’s defensive coordinator. Paterno, along with Penn State athletics director Tim Curley and university Vice President and Treasurer Gary Schultz have since been among those who have appeared to testify before the grand jury.
McKee seems to believe that all of this will become an issue for Penn State moving forward and will cast a dark cloud over Big Ten media days in Chicago.
“Where this leaves Penn State and Paterno is hard to see,” McKee writes. “But Sandusky’s retirement after the 1999 season, when he was only 55, will surely be looked at in a different light now. The retirement had been announced before the season and was not a spur of the moment move, but the timing now will surely be looked at as suspicious.”
At this point I am curious exactly where McKee is running with this thought process. Nothing new is being brought to the table. Was this written four months ago and just waiting to be posted so it could generate some traffic around Big Ten media days? The timing, to say the least, is odd.
McKee is accurate in saying that there is a legitimate curiosity on how Sandusky retired. Did Paterno know something about his assistant coach that could have led to an early dismissal? Was he waiting to make sure he had all of the facts before coming to a definite decision? Was he allowing his assistant, who had been a long-time member of the coaching staff, to leave without disgracing himself further? Should Paterno be commended or criticized for that?
“There would seem to be no way that Joe Paterno could avoid any fallout from this case, should it result in criminal charges,” McKee says in his closing.
Yes McKee, Paterno will be asked about it, but it will hardly paint an image of doom in Chicago as you seem to think it will. So why did you wait until now to share these thoughts?
What do you think?
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