Shocked In State College: Allegations rot to the Penn State core

For years on this website we've talked about Joe Paterno and the fact he's a footballing icon.

And whether you like it or not, he is. He's passed Eddie Robinson as the all-time Division I wins champion, and that's amazing achievement.

Now, one of his former defensive co-ordinators, Penn State assistant Jerry Sandusky, has been charged with six different acts of child molestation. The charges are horrifying. In fact, if you want to read them, click on the link above. Because right now, they are making me ill too ill to read and re-write.

Don't get us wrong, we love Penn State football. We've spent more than our fair share of money over the years going to games, and we've spent more than our fair share of emotion and sleepless, angry nights watching the program.

But this is - to say the least - an outrage. This is a cancer that's enveloped State College, PA and made the once gleaming Penn State program ugly to look at. There is no moral high ground for Penn State as a program anymore. This is the lowest of the low, and makes any Penn State fan worth their salt feel guilty and angry that the possibility that this might be true.

This does not only poison an 8-1 season, it poisons past victories when Sandusky was a co-ordinator as well. And for the future, it poisons recruiting, as well. How many kids do you think are doubting playing for Joe Paterno or Penn State now?

One advocate wants Paterno fired and jailed  because he called the Athletic Director Tim Curley (who incidentally has been charged as well for not telling police when they heard of allegations of a boy being molested in the shower) as soon as he found out about the allegations and passed it onto him. The advocate says that Paterno should have called the police immediately when he found out about the allegations.

Paterno has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the grand jury report.

Dan Wetzel, the excellent writer from Yahoo Sports, still wants questions asked of the octagenarian coach:

"Did he really listen to this story and think merely telling the AD was enough? Why did he wait a day to summon Curley to his home? Wouldn’t a charge like this take precedent over pretty much everything? Why didn’t he personally look into it further? This is something that allegedly happened in his locker room, by a man he both coached and employed as a trusted assistant for a combined 33 years?
Technically Paterno may have done the right thing, reporting the allegation to his superior, but he isn’t just some middle manager. Tim Curley worked for Joe Paterno more than Joe Paterno worked for Tim Curley. He could’ve called in the police himself.
Paterno was 75 at the time and his advancing age and the limits of his participation in the program are well known. That simply can’t be used as an excuse. Positions of authority come with great responsibility and advancing age does not excuse someone of merely accepting the plaudits of success while avoiding the more difficult duties of the position.
Paterno may very well have appropriate answers to all of the above questions and more. He needs to give them. Four-hundred-plus victories shouldn’t absolve anyone from being accountable in a case such as this."

We're in Wetzel's court. We hope that Joe Paterno has the answers, that he doesn't leave in a cloud of acrimony (this may well force him out), and that his legacy - now horrifically tarnished - will remain. The guy's been a coach and a father figure to many players and many, many students and fans.

And because we believe in fairness, we'd like to note that Jerry Sandusky, one of the founders of 'Linebacker U' has completely maintained his innocence. 

Let's hope everything's true, and everything's vindicated. Because right now, we feel really rather ill.