On days like today — as we learn the Freeh investigation’s findings indicate Penn State’s most powerful people knew about but did little to stop Jerry Sandusky’s abuse of children — I can’t help but think back to October 29, 2011.
Most might remember that day for the unseasonal snow and ice storm that crippled our region.
I also remember it as the date of Joe Paterno’s last game as Penn State coach, and the postgame celebration that followed his record-setting 409th career victory.
Watch the beginning of this video. It’s eery now to watch Paterno, athletic director Tim Curley and university president Graham Spanier standing together and smiling after that football game.
It was their final public appearance together. Less than a week later, their worlds and their legacies would change forever.
It’s sad to think we thought we were standing in the presence of greatness that day, not yet realizing we were also in the presence of an institutional secrecy that — according to the Freeh report — meant these three men long knew of some of the worst crimes against children but did little to stop them.