The family of Joe Paterno is about to make the second-biggest mistake in their history: They’ve announced plans to appeal the NCAA’s sanctions against Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child-sex scandal.
Paterno’s family claims enormous damage has been done to the university -- not to mention the late Joe Paterno’s legacy -- in part because the NCAA did not follow due process and in part because the school placated college sports’ governing body to escape the death penalty for its football program.
The Paterno family lawyer, Wick Sollers, wrote in a letter sent to the NCAA on Friday that the school’s investigation, overseen and authored by former FBI director Louis Freeh, needs further review. Freeh’s report, which Penn State turned over to the NCAA, said Paterno and three school officials concealed allegations of Sandusky’s abuse dating to 1998.
The NCAA, in response to the report and after negotiations with the university, announced sanctions that included a four-bowl ban, the loss of scholarships and the vacating of 111 wins dating to 1998 as well as a $60-million fine.
While Joe Paterno might have built a football empire, it seems digging deeper into this case would only cause further embarrassment to the university and the Paterno legacy.
But here’s the singular reason why the NCAA will not grant a review or consider further investigation: Where was the due process for the victims of Sandusky’s crimes?
By the way, Sandusky awaits sentencing for his conviction on 45 counts of sexually abusing young boys.
Case closed on the biggest mistake that we know about in Paterno family history.