The cover up always takes down more than the bad actor. Such is the case with "What Was, Penn State." The undoing of Joe Paterno was in the cover up – in his failure to come forward and demand justice for these children.
The Penn State failure was not just in Paterno’s inaction, but also in the inaction of many others in the face of these most credible allegations. So many failed to shed bright light upon and bring aggressive action against the twisted deeds of Sandusky. Through criminal and civil courts and through the University’s investigation, we will begin to learn what was known, by whom, and when. Then will we see how much this was scandal about a University and its leaders, including Joe Paterno, who turned eyes away and passed along the opportunity to act. They chose to be silent, and that simply protected and enabled an aggressor. They failed to protect and seek justice for the young and innocent victims of rape by a former Penn State football coach.
How Penn State moves forward, how the students, alumni, and administration react and rebuild will be the next measure of "Who Is, Penn State." The rioting last night in protest of the appropriate, albeit late, actions taken by the Board of Trustees, makes it appear that these students think the football program and Joe Paterno are more important to protect that the innocent children who were harmed by Sandusky.
What we have seen is a failure of leadership – when years ago Paterno chose not to do more about Sandusky, and when he failed years ago to resign if more was not done about Sandusky. And those failures of his, to be a true leader, continued until last night, when for still refusing to resign (because he clearly felt coaching football was more important than doing what was right?) he left the board with no choice but to fire him.
With the riots last night, Paterno’s failures have transformed into a failure of a student community, who are following his role model of placing football above the children harmed by Sandusky.
If you indeed you "are going to be, Penn State," then stop the riots and support every action to hold accountable every person who has participated in the failure to protect these children.