November 10th, 2011

Written by sdunbar. Posted in Blog, November 11

In all my years working at ESPN, as I start my 33rd season this weekend on the Carrier Ship as North Carolina takes on Michigan State, it will be a special, special moment. But I must reflect on the Joe Paterno situation and the Penn State scandal. It is without question the worse I have witnessed in my years in all my years in sports. It is so sad what has transpired. What could have maybe been eliminated if people would have had the guts and fortitude to stand up and go to authorities to make sure this came to an end. I find it mind boggling when reading the Grand Jury Report that as early as the late 90’s that people were reporting Jerry Sandusky for being involved in scenarios that were inappropriate, to put in mildly. Yes I can’t comprehend how no one went to the police and the proper authorities. If only they would have stood tall and had some guts. To believe this went on all these years and everyone turned their back is hard to comprehend. There is no doubt the university had to move in the direction they did, firing the President and also Joe Paterno. It really breaks my heart because I have great admiration and respect for what Joe Paterno brought to intercollegiate athletics. But he fumbled this big time.

Yes there have been so many people that broke down. When I think of Penn State I think of a great university. But they were let down by their leaders. They were gutless at a time when they had to stand tall. And because of their lack of courage, many young people will be scarred for life. Tragic, and sad. To think about it, Joe Paterno 409 wins the winningest coach ever in Division I football, will now be remembered by this scandal.

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Comments (5)

  • Bryan B. Hopkins

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    Well done Mr Vitale your knowledge and insight on all matters is something I look forward to. It makes my skin crawl at the thought of grown men with children of their own turning their back on defenseless young boys just to save a universities image. Nothing surprises me in the day and age we live in now but nothing turns my stomach more than what has went on at Penn State and more so because So Called Leaders did nothing to protect innocent young boys from physical and emotional terror.

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  • Keith Ward

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    DickieV, as a Penn Stater, I understand an sympathize… first, with the victims. What I have learned in my 51 years is that often what first appears to be true, often is not. I cannot comprehend that a man who lived his life with those values would consciously and intentionally allow young boys to be molested. He spent his whole life being a second father to the boys on the football team and NO father would allow what is alleged to have occurred.
    I remember back to the Duke lacrosse scandal a few years ago and remember… those boys were vilified in the press and EVERYONE declared their guilt. But over time, the truth came out. But not before those young men suffered.
    I am NOT saying that I don’t believe the allegations against Jerry Sandusky. I do. There are just too many witnesses. But the conversations between Mike McQueary, his father, Joe Paterno, Gary Schultz, Tim Curley and Graham Spanier are what I don’t quite believe. In your life, I am sure that there have been times when, during a conversation you were having, that the message sent was not the message that you heard. And I think that MAY be what happened here. I am not excusing anyone. But I do think that there is more to this story and assigning so much blame before more facts come out may have devastating consequences. Just food for thought.

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  • aaron r

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    what really bugs me about it dicky v. is that only Joe paterno and the president were fired. the guys that are still coaching had to know about it too they have been their with the program from ten to twenty five years. and the same for the bored of trusties how many of them knew and did nothing. or worse how many of them used money and influence to cover it up. the first time it went to the d.a he just ignored it and did nothing. the U.S department of Education is launching an investigation also. so now the feds are looking over peoples shoulders. by the time all is said and done sir the great school and traditions of Penn state are just going to be a foot note to one of the worst child sex abuse cases and witch hunts we have seen. collage sports will never be the same again.

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  • bill reif

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    I know how the PSU stuff breaks ur heart, DV; thanks for taking a stand. Would be easy being in the coaching fraternity to pass on having an opinion. Bill R

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  • Brent

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    As usual Dick, you hit the nail on the head. As a UK fan, I did not watch Penn State often, but I always had the most respect for Joe Pa and his integrity. This is a prime example of how our lives are shaped by our choices. To preserve his image of integrity, Joe helped cover up a pedophile who should have been in prison many many years ago. Because of that, his image was destroyed forever.

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