Initially, I held off passing judgment on Joe Paterno
, figuring the media might be whipping itself into a frenzy again over an alleged sex-abuse case involving a major college sports program. The ugly Duke lacrosse scandal
was definitely in the back of my mind. So was Paterno’s image of running a clean-cut college football program over 46 years. But I’ve now read enough to conclude that a lot of people at Penn State knew, or should have known, that a former Penn assistant coach was sexually preying on young boys at the college – and over a number of years. It’s as if they flicked a mental switch and went into full denial mode. They knew it was wrong. But they deep down didn’t want to deal with it. They wanted it to go away. They pretended it wasn’t there. They valued the image of the program too much. … Maureen Dowd’s column
this morning is devastating. … Here’s why sports legends cherish image so much: They’re glorified.