Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Corbett Fires Back

The NCAA responded to Gov. Corbett's lawsuit against them in a motion to dismiss the case.  (No surprise there!)

Specifically, the NCAA claims:
“We are disappointed by the Governor’s action [Wednesday]. Not only does this forthcoming lawsuit appear to be without merit, it is an affront to all of the victims in this tragedy — lives that were destroyed by the criminal actions of Jerry Sandusky,” Remy said. “While the innocence that was stolen can never be restored, Penn State has accepted the consequences for its role and the role of its employees and is moving forward. The announcement by the Governor is a setback to the University’s efforts.”

Corbett contends the university and the state have been harmed by what he called “harsh penalties” over the abuse committed by Sandusky, a former assistant football coach.

Note the subtle but often used misdirection . . . the "affront" to all the victims.  Puh-lease.  This hasn't been about the victims from the start, and it certainly isn't about them now.  Let's be perfectly clear here:  What Jerry Sandusky did to those kids was inexcusable and he is being punished for that.  So let's focus on what this is really about . . . is Penn State and the current football team culpable in this whole sordid mess or not? And for the State of Pennsylvania, the issue is about the economic impact.  So for those of you who need things spelled out very slowly . . . the economic impact is NOT more important than the health of children . . .but are the current penalties fair considering all the evidence, not just the Gospel According to Freeh.

What many fans are arguing for is not whether or not crimes were committed against children and whether those are heinous or not, but rather is it appropriate to punish the players today for crimes perpetrated more than a decade ago.  The Freeh Report claims there was a conspiracy.  The NCAA acted on that information.  Many have questioned the validity of Freeh's conclusions, including a recent report sponsored by the Paterno Family which included a number of experts who not only critique Freeh's efforts, but seriously cast doubt on the conclusion that a conspiracy to cover up even existed.  And lost in all this emotion is the fact that no one at Penn State University has been convicted of failure to report so far.  Unfortunately, those trials may take years.

As an aside, I find it interesting that Sandusky can be convicted in months on 42 counts, but we can't get these other trials to court on a single charge of failure to report.

But not to be out done, Corbett has fired back in this game of ping-pong:
Corbett said the judge should not grant the NCAA's request to dismiss the case, saying college sports' governing body made a factual error when it said the penalties were voted on by the university's trustees.

"The NCAA wrongly claims that its arbitrary decimation of the PSU football program is no different than its enforcement of rules regulating player eligibility or uniforms - which do enhance collegiate competition - although PSU was not found to have violated a single NCAA rule and the NCAA's own president insisted that the consent decree was not an enforcement action," Corbett's lawyers wrote.

The NCAA has said the penalties are unrelated to regulation of economic activity so antitrust law doesn't apply.

So here's a radical thought . . . why don't we just let the COURTS hear these arguments and go from there?  Of course, the NCAA doesn't want to risk that, because they have NO LEGAL BASIS outside of the piece of crap CONSENT DECREE they are cowardly hiding behind right now.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

O'Brien Does THON

Video courtesy of GoPSUsports.com as seen on Youtube.

THON raised $12,374,034.46!  Congratulations Penn State! 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Dissenting Opinion

At least two people have already spoken out negatively regarding the report that was commissioned by the Paterno family and scheduled to be released tomorrow.  And this is without either one actually READING THE REPORT.

Are they Board of Trustee members?  (Get it, they accepted the Freeh report before it was actually completed and released, but I digress.)

No they are not.  But they are members of the "media", one representing Sporting News and the other CBS.

Steven Greenberg writes:
But the Paternos have gone on a major offensive, one that may or may not help to clear Joe's name but will — without a doubt — cause angst and discomfort for many regular folks in State College and around the country. It may freshen the pain for Sandusky's victims and their families, too.

We haven't seen the report yet, but we'll go ahead and summarize it for you anyway: Joe did nothing wrong. If there was a cover-up, he played no part in it. Joe wanted nothing more than for the full, unvarnished truth to come out about everything related to Sandusky's actions. Joe was indeed the man you once thought he was, and he deserves to be remembered as such.

Look, that's not to say there won't be important details — yes, truth — in this report. There may have been a few rushes to judgment, a few bows tied prematurely, in the Freeh Report. Hopefully, the Paternos and their investigators will enlighten us.

If you can detect room for an admission of real fallibility[in Sue Paterno's Letter] — let alone an apology — anywhere in there, please tell us. Because we can't.

And if they can't believe, can't even conceive of, what some of us believe — that, at the worst possible time, JoePa's morality went unforgivably limp? Perhaps that just makes them human.
Isn't it comforting to know that a journalist associated with a media outlet like Sporting News isn't worried about details like TRUTH.  Hell, he can't even wait for the actual report to start piling on again.  And his rebuttal helps the victims in what way?  Wouldn't truth be helpful?  Don't the victims want to know what went wrong and why their pain was not forestalled or stopped?  Since when do rushes to judgment and prematurely tied assumptions and misinformation trump actual TRUTH?

The second piece of trash comes from the fingers of Dan Bernstein, associated with CBS in Chicago.
Mr. Bernstein attempts to tackle this matter with sarcasm and humor, and misses as badly as Manti Teo missed tackles in the BCS title game.
  • The crimes supposedly committed by Sandusky were actually committed by conspiratorial members of the mainstream media, as part of an elaborate plan to embarrass Penn State due to “jealousy.” These media members, coincidentally, were all employed by print/electronic/digital outlets outside of Pennsylvania. They maintain that reporters, columnists, anchors and personalities were motivated thusly because the football teams of their respective almae matres were not as good as the Nittany Lions.

  • Joe Paterno actually died in 1983, and everything since has been an uncanny series of muscle spasms.

  • Oh yes, the age card is always good for a laugh, even if the guy is actually dead.  Sounds like something you'd read on a Pitt message board.  We now know why this man writes columns rather than doing stand-up comedy.
    • The report cites new information — undermining the conclusions of the Freeh investigation — that was provided by a recently-contacted source: a lovely, young Stanford coed of Samoan descent who has apparently had a rough go of it lately.
    • Paterno’s true win total? 9,546.
    Real funny stuff right there.  Ties in that whole Manti Teo thing.  And it's Mr. Bowden who is counting high school wins, junior college wins and anything remotely connected to football as a win in his career total--not Joe Paterno.  And Sue Paterno even went out of her way to say that this fight isn't about the wins, but hey, if you can get a cheap laugh out of that, I guess it's worth a shot.  Much better than these efforts:
    • Paterno, a devout Catholic, was simply emulating the behaviors of respected clergymen like Bernard Francis Law of Boston, Roger Mahoney of Los Angeles, and longtime Prefect for the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Joseph Ratzinger.
    • The Paternos’ independent report also claims that victims 2 , 4, 7 and 10 were really, really cute, you have to admit. C’mon. Especially 4.
    Mr Bernstein?  How would you feel if victim #4 read that?  Or any of them for that matter?  For someone who is willing to throw due process under the bus in the name of protecting innocent children, you seem to have a blatant disregard for the emotional condition of those you supposedly champion.  Just so you can get a laugh?  Oh, you were trying to make a point?  I totally missed that, but perhaps it's because your sarcasm isn't as sharp as you think it is.

    I wonder how this writer would feel if his own father or a good friend was accused of playing a role in some heinous crime, for which he was actually innocent.  Would he still have written this drivel?

    His righteous indignation has been on display since this whole thing exploded.  He was aghast at the Rally for the current Penn State team.  In that same article he claimed Lubrano won his spot on the BOT by promising to post-humously rehire Joe Paterno.  In another gem, he claims that Franco Harris's support of Paterno can be "chalked up to football-related deterioration, and his brain will be in a Boston University bell-jar sooner rather than later." 

    I guess when you consider the source . . .

    We'll see who has the last laugh.

    Friday, February 8, 2013

    Is a Storm Coming?

    I'm not talking about snow in Boston.

    Rumors started early in the week about an interview of Sue Paterno by Katie Couric to air on February 11th.  Then there were tweets about an upcoming segment of OTL on ESPN to be aired on Sunday.

    And today, a letter by Sue to former Letterman was posted.
    The crimes committed by Jerry Sandusky are heartbreaking. As a mother of 5 and grandmother of 17, it is incomprehensible to me that anyone could intentionally harm a child. I think of the victims daily and I pray that God will heal their wounds and comfort their souls.

    When the Freeh report was released last July, I was as shocked as anyone by the findings and by Mr. Freeh's extraordinary attack on Joe's character and integrity. I did not recognize the man Mr. Freeh described. I am here to tell you as definitively and forcefully as I know how that Mr. Freeh could not have been more wrong in his assessment of Joe. I knew Joe Paterno as well as one human being can know another. Joe was exactly the moral, disciplined and demanding man you knew him to be. Over the years I watched as he struggled with countless personal and professional challenges. Never - not once - did I see him compromise his principles or twist the truth to avoid bad publicity or protect his reputation. Joe was tough, sometimes difficult, always opinionated and extremely demanding. He was also scrupulously honest, rigidly moral and absolutely unafraid of the consequences of doing the right thing.

    After the Freeh report was released I knew immediately that the situation demanded further review. Unfortunately, the Board's response was to panic again. They embraced the report without reviewing it. They never met with Mr. Freeh or his investigators. They asked no questions and challenged no assertions. Although they never officially voted to accept the report, they endorsed its findings and allowed the NCAA to impose unprecedented sanctions. To claim that this ill-considered and rash process served the victims and the university is a grave error. Only the truth serves the victims. Only the truth can help prevent this sort of crime from occurring again.

    Although it was not something I ever imagined doing, I directed my lawyer, Wick Sollers, of the King and Spalding firm in Washington DC, to undertake a review of the Freeh report and Joe's actions. I told him to engage the best, most respected experts, to take whatever time he needed and to go wherever the facts led. Sunday morning at 9am we are releasing the full Report by Wick and his team of experts. The report and additional information will be available at Paterno.com.  
    Second, there has been endless speculation about what my family and I ultimately want to achieve. Is it the return of the statue? The restoration of Joe's wins? His name on the football stadium? On this point I also want to be clear. Joe Paterno's legacy wasn't a statue, a winning record or public adulation. He was grateful for the many accolades he received but he never believed they defined his life. His legacy is his family and you his players. How you live your life speaks louder than any report. The great fathers, husbands and citizens you have become fulfill the dreams Joe had. All that we want - and what I believe we owe the victims, Joe Paterno and everyone who cares about Penn State - is the full record of what happened. On this point, I know the advice Joe would give. Don't give up. Don't be afraid. Do the right thing. And make sure your actions serve the greater good. This is the path I will continue to follow.

    AMEN!  You go Sue!  I wonder how Wick's report compares cost-wise to the Freeh Fiasco.

    I have said all along that the man we all knew--Joe Paterno--and the man portrayed by Freeh and the media were not congruous.  Of course, the same could be said for Jerry Sandusky--but at least Jerry had his day in court and was given due process.  Joe Paterno never had that luxury.

    Governor Corbett has also filed a suit, which the NCAA has already filed a motion to dismiss.  Let's face it.  The NCAA cannot allow this go to court.  Penn State broke no NCAA rules.  The NCAA did not follow their regular procedure for investigation.  And while a Consent Decree was signed, this is not a usual or customary practice that the NCAA uses, and it may have been signed under duress--i.e. a threat of greater penalties.  NCAA lawyers will be hard pressed to explain all these irregularities in procedure.

    And while it may take months to years to complete, it will be really interesting to see what happens if Schultz, Curley and Spanier are acquitted.  Think about that.  What if they did follow Pennsylvania law in reporting Sandusky to The Second Mile?  If they are acquitted, how in the hell can the NCAA justify any penalty whatsoever?  So you penalize a school that broke no laws and no rules?

    And to top off all of this, Congressman Dent of Lehigh Valley is promising Congressional Hearings into the NCAA's decision regarding Penn State.
    Dent, in a telephone interview Friday, said he had read summaries of the review commissioned by the late head football coach's family. The review is set to be published Sunday morning.

    "To blame the culture of Penn State for Sandusky's crimes is a horrible mistake," Dent said Friday, characterizing the findings of one of the experts commissioned by the Paterno family. "To blame the culture of Penn State or even the football program … is not supported by the facts."

    Dent said the review cements his conclusion that Penn State has been "horribly mistreated" by the NCAA. After the college sports governing body hit Penn State with a $60 million fine and stripped the one-time Big10 powerhouse of football scholarships last summer, Dent called on NCAA president Mark Emmert to keep the money in Pennsylvania and restore opportunities for student athletes.

    "The entire Penn State culture was punished based on this report," Dent said, adding that he will call for congressional hearings on the NCAA's decision.

    Dent said the Paterno family's review comprises reports by four experts, including a former U.S. attorney general whom Dent would not identify. "The former attorney general says the Freeh report is seriously flawed, very flawed," Dent said.
    Some have speculated that the unidentified US AG is former Governor Dick Thornburg.

    And I thought the off season was going to be boring!