Joe Paterno: Cover Up May Have Been His Idea

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In the days and weeks since Joe Paterno’s death, he has been painted as a good, honest man whose main goal in life was bettering the lives of his players; he has been hailed as a kindly older gentleman with nothing but the best intentions in his heart.

But now that several email exchanges between the former president of Penn State and two employees have been released to the public, we are seeing a potentially dark side of that man, and people who once stood in his corner are finding a change of heart.

The emails were exchanged between former president Graham Spanier, vice president Gary Schultz, and athletic director Tim Curley in the days following Mike McQueary’s claims to Paterno that he had witnessed Jerry Sandusky sexually abusing a boy in the school showers. Curley and Schultz were concerned and initially wanted to go to authorities, but quickly changed their minds, which was reflected in the emails. Their second option, they wrote to Spanier, was to go to Sandusky directly rather than involving anyone publicly, and Spanier agreed, calling it a “humane and reasonable way to proceed”.

Curley wrote:

“After giving it more thought and talking it over with Joe [Paterno] yesterday, I am uncomfortable with what we agreed were the next steps. I am having trouble with going to everyone, but the person involved. I would be more comfortable meeting with the person.. tell him the information we received… and tell him we are aware of the first situation.”

”The only downside for us is if message isn’t ‘heard’ and acted upon and we then become vulnerable for not having reported it, but that can be assessed down the road,” Spanier allegedly replied.

When the emails first surfaced, many people wondered what would make Curley and Schultz, who seemed so intent on bringing the story out at first, change their minds so suddenly. Now, it looks like Joe Paterno played a major hand in swaying them towards keeping the allegations quiet.

Unfortunately, Paterno isn’t here to answer questions, as he passed away earlier this year of lung cancer. With these newly-discovered emails coming to light, his reputation and legacy will no doubt be even more marred.

Joe Paterno: Cover Up May Have Been His Idea
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  • Jerry

    Joe Paterno timed his exit from this earth just in the nick of time. Old Joe would have to face all the child victims abused by his dear friend Jerry Sandusky, the same Jerry that had keys to Penn State’s football facilities like dressing rooms and showers. What would Old Joe say to all the abused children? I’m sorry children I didn’t do more in hind sight. But I’m the mighty Joe Paterno the same Joe Paterno who is treated like a God at Penn State by dumb students and faculty. They have dedicated statues to me and they have used my words to put on the sides of buildings. And my name is on many football trophies because I’m Joe Paterno so don’t forget that.
    But now that Penn State has fired me for not doing the right thing to stop the abuse of children by my good friend Jerry Sandusky, blame is being directed at me so my best defense is to act like a feeble, old man that doesn’t know anything about this scandal. Yeah, I’m very old and my memory is very poor so I’ll just act dumb when the authorities or the news media ask me any questions about the scandal. 6

    • jay

      couldn’t agree more and lets not forget the rest of the CRIMINAL staff, GRAHAM SPANIER then university president and GARY SCHULTZ, vice president who have yet to see their day in court for corroborating in the coverup that led to God only knows how many other children being molested.

      instead of an outcry from the Paterno family for the victims today’s headlines read how the “family decries over the leaks of the emails” pinning the coverup on him and the university. rather than defending their hero, the students should be tearing down his statues and plaques like those of Sadam Hussein just as he has torn down their school!

    • Willard

      Jerry, Your comment is the best I’ve read yet.

    • Elizabeth


    • Being Frank

      Reply to Jerry

      You make some good points – except Sandusky WAS NOT Joe’s dear friend!

  • JoAnne

    I believe it’s pathetic the way some individuals look at this. Paterno is deceased so lets just move on. He’s not alive so we can just leave him up on that pedestal and not hold him accountable for his part in the cover-up. Oh, and the young men will get lots of money and we will just pretend nothing ever happened. Isn’t that what happened in the first place? A lot of adults turned their backs on a number of high-risk underprivileged boys. All the money in the world isn’t going to make this story right or give children back their innocence that were sexually abused by Sandusky. Perhaps we could all agree that the law needs to be tougher in the future on any school official that believes the reputation of school sports is more important than protecting the most vulnerable–our children from predators.

    • lived a little

      No we cannot nor should we turn a blind eye to this so people like you can feel a little better about it!

      • commonsense


    • http://webpronewsviaYahoolink mark

      joAnne,, amen

    • jay

      perhaps you would feel differently if that pedestal were shoved your kid’s ass in a shower someday. how many more coverups have to take place before like minded idiots, who are more concerned about their school pride than an innocent child’s life, see the light? you and your hero disgust me!

      • Jessica

        Apparently, a lot of you people on this site have a tough time reading. JoAnn was saying he SHOULD be held accountable, and was saying that it’s wrong for people to act like he should be vindicated just because he’s dead/had the sports status that he did. Reread the post.

  • JD

    I loved it when it came out..Joe Pa from his driveway..”I think we should all just pray for these young people”( meaning the victims)..they didn’t need prayers Joe they needed help and you were the one who could have afforded that help and put a stop to it..But to protect a friends pedophilia and your own legacy- you tried to sweep it under the carpet. Face it The guy had more power and influence than anyone in the State of Pa- maybe even the governor.That’s whack and this is the kind of stuff that happens when good men fail to face evil…

    • Elizabeth

      so very very right

  • you sucks

    go to hell joe p. sandusky will follow you soon. kill that bitch in prison

  • you sucks

    so sad

  • sandusky hater

    sandusky has one miserable life ahead.. I hope he ets f’ed everyday in the ars by Bruno the gay she/man.
    Joe P – its not his fault…period…so what if he looked away…
    the world and media and our f’ed up juducial system makes one think about getting involved.
    They would have sold Joe down the river no matter what.
    cut off sanduskys weiner, sew it to his forehead or nose.
    until they come up with the eye for an eye punishment there will be no stopping the molesters.

    • commonsense

      I agree. If you see wrong, act on it immediately. Slamming the locker room door didn’t get the beast off that kid. And trying to cover it up only shows what hypocrites they all are. But now the Reaper has taken his harvest. RIP Joe Pa, and a long and now muddy legacy. Repent or Rot J. Sandusky along with the evil deeds you have committed. Let it be a lesson to all no matter how wealthy or high in stature that what was done to these boys is not tolerable in our society.

  • creon

    The entire “Joe Pa” mystique and legend is nothing more than an advertising brand. If Paterno or McQuery had any integrity, much less the “manly” virtues football heroes supposedly show, McQuery would have physically wrenched Sandusky off of that kid in the shower and Paterno would have used his influence and reputation to end the abuse of any kid irrespective of what may have been “humane” to his buddy. Neither came through when they were needed most. It takes character to stand up for what is right. The legend and mystique of the “Joe Pa” era is based upon alleged character and integrity of a great football coach. May his legacy remain just as long and prominent as that of The Second Mile.

  • sandusky hater

    I onl hope sandusky lives a very long life now.
    a good long miserable hell …
    put him , madoff, manson in same cell

  • sandusky hater

    Amanda Crum …speculation in this article..
    rumors and no facts
    put her with sandusky

    • Elizabeth

      If you know how to add 1+1 and are able to tie your own shoes then any rational person can figure out that Joe Paterno could have stopped this and chose not to…just common sense folks.The no longer “revered one” had the power, the status, all the tools to do something and if had one ounce of integrity he would have done the right thing. The rest of this group of pathetic human beings probably always did was Joe wanted…any moron can figure this out

      • http://Yahoo Brehwound

        If you think for One minute that Paterno could have stopped this you are more Nave than most. Colleges are big business and stuff like this is way over the coaches head.

        • jim

          You would be naive if you think JoePa didn’t have the power to stop this. He built Penn State and controlled the athletic deptartment from one end to the other. period.

          • lin

            I also believe that Joe had to know what went on in the locker room and made the choice to cover it up for the sake of thefootball program. A mistake that ended his career and ultimatley his life.

            It is also very tough for Joe/PS fans to accept this fact. I personally no no one that sides with Joe over all the abused kids. It’s very sad.

  • Frank

    People are totally forgetting what was at stake here. The whole reason people go to college is for the sports program. These situations needed to be kept quiet for the good of the team. You can’t allow outsiders to rip apart a winning season, nothing can stand in it’s way. The kids just needed to take a shower and walk it off. Sports are the most important thing in life, more important than the live of any single person. So if a few eggs have to be broken in order for the coaches to do their best work for the sake of sports, this is all that really matters. Everyone knows a kid in a wheel chair who has suffered from being in sports, but they come to each game and are treated nicely by everyone, reminding how brave they were to give their all for their school. So what if you can’t walk any longer, it was for the team. So what if a few kids couldn’t handle being touched by a coach, they had no business being in a sports program. They need to get him out of jail, and return to the college to head-up the sports program to keep it going. Anyone who can’t play sports is a loser. Anyone who doesn’t like sports is a loser. Anyone who can’t handle be controlled by a coach shouldn’t have been there to begin with. It’s the price of admission, and the rewards to us all, to humanity is that sports will continue. So what if a few girls on campus get rapped by some of the players, that get caught, they should be honored they were noticed by the jocks. I know when I go to a car lot to buy a used car, I look for the ex-sports jock from college to do my dealings with because they will win for me, push the sale past the goal, line and fight. Fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight. Yes, they will, fight, fight, FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT!!!

    • http://rdwade.2700@yahoo.com Becky

      Frank, you are a moron. Sandusky raped and abused young boys. This has nothing to do with sports. He was an evil, cowardly man committing evil acts against young children. This situation has nothing to do with sports, except that he used that as bait to prey on the innocent. I’ll pray for you, Frank, because you’re going to need all the help you can get going through life believing that the abused were at fault.

      • Zoink

        Becky: See definition number 2.

        sar·casm   [sahr-kaz-uhm] Show IPA
        harsh or bitter derision or irony.
        a sharply ironical taunt; sneering or cutting remark: a review full of sarcasms.

        • Steve

          Religious people don’t understand sarcasm.

    • FrankHater

      Frank? whoever you are you are a sick nasty human being who will rot in hell for those things you’ve said. you think any type of “victory” or football game is more important than the innocence of a child? you must have been raped as a kid and been made to believe you were loved and special for it?? those kids won’t ever be “right” again and it’s people like you that make this world a sick place. i hope someone who knows you see’s that comment you left and whoops you’re fucking ass

    • Chelsea

      How did you go from sports to buying a used car? What does that have to do with these victims? You think the boys who were raped by Sandusky to take a shower and walk it off? Wow sick. I will pray for you. I hope these young victims get justice!

      • commonsense

        He was being SARCASTIC!

    • mr s

      you are just the kind of pervert that needs to be in jail with sandusky- you think sports are more important than a person being subjected to sexual violation and a lifetime of shame and confusion. If it were you or someone like your son or daughter, you would have a different opinion. I feel sorry for you. And as for your comments on sports and losers, you are the biggest loser, and always will be. Not everyone can play sports, and not every one needs to, as it seems that the sports life just leads to sodomizing little boys. You effin pervert freak!!!!!!

    • Tom

      You are a very misguided human (if I can call you that) if you are really serious about what you wrote. You are a sad tribute to society and even a more sad example of a Penn Stater (if you are a Penn Stater). If you have any friends, I wouldn’t want to meet them. This is coming from a person (me) who has been through the Penn State Football program. You are sad, sad and more sad. Maybe you are just trying to get responses from people; I hope so. A book could be written about your pathetic

      • Jessica

        I’m certain he is not serious with his post. It’s called sarcasm.

    • Ayanna

      Frank, you are right on the money. Becky’s weak and feeble mind can not grasp the fact that the reason it was not reported was for the sake of the program and the reputation of ” The winnings coach ever”. If sandusky had been a regular Joe on the street or even in the stands, the act would have been reported without discussion or emailing back and forth on how to handle in a “Humane and Reasonable manor”.

    • tsant

      Frank.. just admit it.. you are a child molester yourself huh? hope you dont have any kids…

    • Terry

      That is a very funny and well written bit of sarcasm. It amazes me on all the people that thought you were serious. Truly, this is why so many people that vote maybe shouldn’t. There were some founding fathers that believed only land owner should vote. I with they were more influential back then and maybe the democrated party wouldn’t exist to buy the votes of the ignorant.

  • Joe Blow

    You are a hack, and that’s being nice. I guess it would pay to have a viable subject to a story, that the actual story backs up. Oh, and it also pays to not steal others work and stick your name on it. Clearly that’s the only way you got through school… HACK!

  • Person of interest

    “All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
    Problem is, I can’t find one good man in this quagmire.

    • david

      Blame it on who you want. Evaid responsibility. The dead man is to blame. The living are to blame. Put some more in jail/prison and you may begin to give children some basic human rights.

  • janice grinstead

    The key words in this e-mail to be found out and acessed later down the road……the dark shall come to light

  • jim hull

    “MAY HAVE BEEN…? You reputation ” ASSASSINS,” should be ashamed. any sensational headlines to make a buck. “NEVER SPEAK ILL OF THE DEAD,” especially without proof.

    • What

      You’re talking about the forced rape of underage boys, by someone you would hope you could trust. The death of Paterno doesn’t change the facts.

  • http://yahoo.com US lass1

    I saw Joe Paterno in an interview and he said he never heard of a man raping a man or boy. He said he did not know how that could be done. Really? He was that sheltered? A Football coach of a College team never heard of a man raping a man? No one ever told the coach dirty jokes? WOW !

    • What

      Sandusky should take the life of the person who raped his adopted son.

  • Philo99

    Joe Pa is in Hell now. He will get exactly what he deserves there.

  • http://yahoo bryan

    on a unrelated topic, can we simply keep women out of sports before every sport is now ruined and every warrior now has to wear pink uniforms and seat belts and have airbags installed in their helmets, WTF, the only reason that people are enamored with certain sports is that truely one can actually be taken off the field in a body bag. quit trying to imasculate the american male, and please don’t give me any women reporters, as if we really take them seriously, except for Pam Oliver that is,

    • Jessica

      You, sir, are a class A jerk.

      FYI, it’s “emasculated”

  • http://electedface.com Patrick Shane

    Well guess what? Joe Paterno is dead. How about we shift focus to the real question that NOBODY is asking. What about Tom Corbett??

    As Attorney General, Tom Corbett received over $647,000 in campaign contributions from members of the Second Mile Foundation, while only assigning one investigator to the case.

    Meanwhile, at the same time, he assigned 14 investigators to Bill Deweese, who spent more than 5 years trying to get him.

    It is difficult to believe these campaign contributions did not improperly influence his decision to not file charges against Jerry Sandusky.

    The state police trooper who initially handled the Clinton County case against Jerry Sandusky believed there was enough evidence from a teenage boy — now known as Victim One– to charge Sandusky with indecent assault.

  • Price

    First of all the story states that there were emails, as in plural, not just one email, which is all they mentioned.
    Secondly, we know Joe reported it to his superior.
    That’s all legally he has to do.
    From a moral standpoint, yes, as he said, he could have done more, but an email where they discussed it with Joe only shows that they went to Joe to get his opinion.
    We have no way of knowing if they suggested going directly to Sandusky to Joe or not. If they did, and Joe though that Jerry may confess then again, Joe did no wrong.
    If Joe finds out that Jerry denied it then Joe is only to assume that his superiors would take it further after that.
    What this article doesn’t realie is that Joe Paterno was not Law Enforcement.
    He could only do what he could do, which is what he did.
    Report it to his superior, which was Curley. Curley then went to his superiors and they are the idiots who attempted to pass the buck back down the chain.
    Once Joe sees nothing has happend he assumes that it was handled and unfounded.

  • Rudy

    Did it ever occur to you that Joe Paterno may have wanted to confront Sandusky to find out if there was any validity to the accusations before he went to the authorities? How the hell would that occur to you.Certainly you had no problem dragging Paternos name through the mud on limited bits of emails and information. I think I have read your articles before didnt you do that story about the Holocaust being faked? That is some nifty spin doctoring. I think Fox news is hiring. You hack.

    • John Capaletti

      P.S.U.= PERV State University…

  • Proudmom72

    It comes down to this, Joe Paterno didn’t want Penn State football tarnished while he was there. IF Joe Paterno would have been thinking about the children Sandusky was molesting, he could have saved a lot of heartache and pain. How would he had felt if Sandusky would have molested one of his grandchildren. Paterno knew his friend was a PERVERT and turned a blind eye for football. GUILT killed Paterno!!!!

  • Ricardo Kim

    It seems easy for the ones involved personally with Paterno or Penn State to brush aside his involvement in the scandal. There is too much sentiment and collaterals in place. But if you’re like me, hundreds of miles away, couldn’t care less about Penn State’s reputation and its football program and all the good it purportedly brought to the community, the verdict on Paterno will depend on how much he knew, and if he knew enough, and enough is not so much, he is guilty. Apparently, investigators came up with more than enough evidence that he was pretty aware of the whole child molestation problem. I think somehow he rushed to die so he wouldn’t face prison…feel sorry for his family; having to try to defend the indefensible.

    • Jeff

      Hey Ricardo, I’m 30 miles from Penn State,. What the heck where you saying about Penn State Football program? Didn’t know they had one. Paterno knew more than what people said. He just didn’t know who to start at quarter back last year. But he was called a leader? I hope they tear down the statute. The new coach made a decsion who to start a quaterback already. As far as I was concerned the officials should take Paterno off the list’s of coach of the year. Was he donating money or buying his job? Any state funded university should not be allowed to accept the millions he donated as an employee. I Dupont wasn’t allowed to donate tv’s to the prisonors oin Camp Hill correctional facility because of ethics of unduinfluence.

  • redsox679

    seems to me its easy to place blame on a dead man..he wasnt the one fondling boys in the shower.. And now Penn state has offered to open their checkbook to pay the victims, hoping they won’t take the university to court? To try and save their reputation, all i can say is Penn State will never get decent recruits for sports with this mess over their heads.

  • Jeff

    I wonder what the people who rioted, have to say now? Was the charges worth rioting for? Didn’t a few of them receive felonies? Can they file suit? because Joe trapped their emotions? 2 national championships in 45 years? Priceless. Rioting. millions of dollars. A man who didn’t stop the abuse when he claims he witnessed it? Cowardness. 3 national championships in less time like other coaches have
    really priceless. Go Alabama,OSU and Florida Gators.

  • AJW


  • Luke Easter

    Joe Paterno, Icon or Moron?

    A person who is notably stupid or lacking in good judgment, (Informal),
    By no means stupid but lacking good judgment isn’t this Coach Paterno?
    However, before you decide whether or not this moniker for Joe is real,
    Make yourself aware of Joe’s sweetheart self negotiated retirement deal.

    Very clear that Penn State & its legendary football program new along,
    About the abuse of children regarding Jerry Sandusky and it was wrong,
    From as early as 1998 factual allegations were still ignored nevertheless,
    After all, athletics brought in tens of millions and Joe Pa did it the best.

    National Championships, Big Ten Titles, radio, TV, endorsement deals,
    What about the little boys? Ah, those physical scars will eventually heal,
    Exact same for emotional trauma because time heals wounds & after all,
    Were not the kids afforded first hand interaction with Penn State Football?

    School President, Athletic Director, Head Coach & the Chief of Security,
    Nowhere in the job descriptions was it recommended to, strive for purity,
    As it is with all Division I Schools, the bottom line is the almighty dollar,
    In that quest for the spotlight who cared if children screamed & hollered?

    The investigation & Louis Freeh Report showed with no reasonable doubt,
    Every one that could have but did not, simply whimpered instead of shout,
    Jerry’s, “Second Mile Charity” was nothing more than a breeding ground,
    For child abuse and rumors are surfacing that he even passed them around.

    1886, “Liberty has made her home, nor shall her chosen altar be neglected,”
    President Grover Cleveland on the, “Statute of Liberty” it is well respected,
    On behalf of the United States, “We will not forget” he proudly proclaimed,
    Wonder if any Penn State Official bothered to even know the victims names?

    The statue of Joe Paterno on campus shall not be removed; it is a big mistake,
    Especially as the ex-Federal Judge & FBI Head report confirms Joe is a fake,
    Everyone involved who could have made a difference has proven to be a liar,
    All this time I thought the purpose of a college degree was to take you higher.

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