Joe Paterno’s legacy was damaged after Freeh’s report on abuse scandal proved that the Penn State coach was accomplice to Jerry Sandusky’s deeds. The documents presented by the former FBI director Louis Freeh show that Paterno was aware of everything that his assistant coach was doing, but covered him up in order to protect the reputation of the university, says the Associated Press.
The former FBI director Louis Freeh investigated the reaction of the Penn State University to see whether the executives knew about Jerry Sandusky’s child abuses or not. The results of the research have shown that everyone was aware of the said child abuses, but they all hushed up because they did not want to destroy the reputation of the football team. Joe Paterno, who was one of the most loved football coaches, was also tarnished by the recently published report because documents proved that he lied about Sandusky’s abuses.
Paterno’s supporters, in general, and Penn State University students, in particular, have quickly responded to Freeh’s accusations. They tried to defend the late coach’s reputation saying that it is easy for Louis Freeh to accuse a dead person knowing that the latter can’t defend himself. They also made reference to the numerous accomplishments that Paterno registered during the 50 years he worked for the Penn State University.
Frank Fitzpatrick, a Philadelphia Inquirer columnist and author of two books on Paterno and Penn State, told the press that the world is shocked because Paterno was always regarded as “St. Joe”, whereas now he is depicted as the devil. There is a very big difference between the moral standards he always promoted and his actual behavior, in Fitzpatrick’s opinion.
After the report was published, analysts recommended Penn State to withdraw out of football for at least a year. NIKE also decided to remove the coach’s name from the child care center in Beaverton, Oregano and the Penn State University announced that they will most likely remove his statue from Beaver Stadium.