The Freeh Report on Penn State’s Jerry Sandusky scandal comes out today. And given that the servers hosting the report online have currently failed (as of 10:45 am on Thursday), its fair to say the general public is somewhat interested to learn its contents. It seems entirely likely that what will emerge is a portrait of the late Joe Paterno consistently failing to turn in Jerry Sandusky to the police during the 2000s, despite mounting evidence that Sandusky was, in fact, a serial rapist who targeted children. I think it is also entirely likely that the sports media will excoriate Paterno for these failings. And the media will be correct. Yet with every new revelation about Paterno’s compromised morality that stumbles squinting into the light of day, I keep hearing the prescient bridge of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones’ 1997 hit “The Impression That I Get”:
I’m not a coward,
I’ve just never been tested
I’d like to think that if I was,
I would pass
Look at the tested and think, “There but for the grace go I”
I might be a coward,
I’m afraid of what I might find out.
This is a horrible story about a horrible man who destroyed everything he touched, including it seems, the good sense and backbone of Joe Paterno. As ever, our hearts go out to the victims.