Reader Poll: Do You Believe Joe Paterno Covered Up Jerry Sandusky’s Crimes?

PaternoAnother shoe dropped in the Sandusky scandal late last week.

A new report from Charles Thompson of the Patriot News revealed that one victim claimed to have informed head coach Joe Paterno in 1976 that he had been abused by assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

There were also additional instances in 1987 and 1988 when assistant coaches witnessed Sandusky behaving inappropriately with children. The latter incident was allegedly referred to the university’s Athletic Director.

Then, Jeremy Roebuck and Susan Snyder of the Inquirer reported that Penn State had settled in those cases.

Additionally, the victim in the first case told Sara Ganim of CNN he spoke to Paterno over the phone and that the coach accused him of making the incident up.  

These revelations fit alongside the findings of the Freeh Report, which showed that Paterno knew of a 1998 investigation despite testifying that he did not know about any sexual assault claims until 2001.

Furthermore, Freeh found that Paterno convinced then-Athletic Director Tim Curley not to report the 1998 incident to the PA Department of Welfare.

Nevertheless, Paterno’s family remain steadfast in their declarations of the former coach’s innocence. The university’s President Eric Barron also defended Paterno’s conduct and legacy.

What we want to know, however, is what you think.

Do You Believe Joe Paterno Covered Up Jerry Sandusky’s Crimes?


  • Yes (68%)
  • No (32%)

Total Voters: 1,020

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30 Responses

  1. Yes Paterno knew. No question. I do have a question for Peggy though – what planet you do live on? Your logic is certainly out of this world.

  2. vince phillips,
    Scores of children were raped by a man who was supposed to be a mentor. The predator was protected by a coach who the entire community deified and an administration whose top priority is the well being of the students and children in their care. If this doesn’t make your blood boil and make you want to skin alive the monsters who allowed this to continue, then the blind fanboy in you has taken over and devoured your soul. May Joe Pa rot in hell with the rest of the scum who allowed this to happen for the sake of a mediocre football team.

  3. I just voted ‘Yes’ to the poll . . . but want to clarify. I do not think that he planned a ‘cover up’, but do think that became aware of allegations made against Sandusky which, if they have been received in today’s society/norms, would have caused him to ensure that no stone went unturned until they were validated or dismissed.

    I do not think that he intentionally hid Sandusky’s wrongs for his own personal gain on the field or PSU’s gain off the field. Rather, I believe that his set of norms and beliefs were such that person is innocent until proven guilty . . . that one must be SURE that the allegations are accurate before acting given the consequences for the individual having been accused of doing something inappropriate . . . that the venue to deal with those issue lie outside his jurisdiction . . . or that those allegations were ‘not possible’ in his world view (e.g., a man sexually abusing a boy was outside his reality–preposterous).

    Unfortunately, the recent reports has again divided the PSU community (of which I consider myself a part) and opened up wounds that were healing towards no meaningful end–the victims were given some compensation, which is why PSU is challenging insurance coverage in court, and Sandusky is behind bars, so even if the allegations were/are true, the issue has been resolved where he can do no more harm.

  4. I do appreciate the few contrarian commenters who injected some thoughtful reasonable doubt into this conversation. Stuff I didn’t know before and no one seems to have an answer for.

  5. Gulag…simply ‘racist’ is how whitey knew her at Duquesne Law School. Tarzan and Jane knew better than to sign up with her.

  6. Every time I see a “JVP” or “409” bumper sticker I want to vomit. That the reputation of a football team and its dead coach for so many PSU fans is more important than finding justice for those victimized by Sandusky still floors me. “Nothing to see here…the Kool-Aid is to your left.”

  7. Is Cynthia Baldwin still employed at Penn State after her unethical conduct at PSU 3 grand jury? Disbarred yet?

  8. Who was the bright bulb at the Penn State legal dept who thought it was a good idea to sue the insurance company? Cynthia Baldwin?

  9. Spambot: “Dumber than a cafeteria worker” is how Pittsburgh lawyers described Cynthia Baldwin when she was mucking up Family Division.

  10. Poll score: 71–29. Just like when Joepa ran up the score on William and Mary U., except that William didn’t play. Sandusky was showing him how to take snaps under the bleachers. We arrgh Penn State!

  11. I have a new chant mantra for PSU. Instead of WE ARE PENN STATE how about EFF YOU JOPA KNEW

  12. The Freeh Report just assumed Paterno somehow knew about the 1998 investigation but could not determine how he found out. The PSU police chief was the source of the leak on the investigation but he never testified he told Paterno. Even if Paterno knew, the investigation concluded that Sandusky committed no crime.

    The 1976 accusation has no corroboration at all, no details of what kind of abuse was alleged and how Paterno was allegedly contacted. It could easily have been made up to increase the settlement fee.

    The 1971 accusation offers Bernie McCue as contemporaneous corroboration. McCue is not at all credible because he has harassed the Paterno family for over 20 years and twice pleaded guilty to harassment. CNN did not even mention how a 30+ year old McCue came to know a 15 year old foster child in 1972.

    Too, McCue claims he knew of a Sandusky rape in 1972 but kept it secret until now. That makes McCue a pedophile enabler and a huge hypocrite for criticizing Paterno as the same.

    McCue is nationally known as a Paterno hater being featured in the “Happy Valley” movie on the Sandusky scandal and in major publications such as Sports Illustrated and the New York Times.

    The CNN article by Sara Ganim about the alleged 1971 victim is a hatchet job that ignores ethical journalism practices that ensure fairness and accuracy. I think Ganim should be fired for such trash.

  13. Fact PSU paid out claims dating back to 1971 over 100 million dollars in the last 5 years. When Barron took over as President and PSU thought the ” heat ” was off and the statue may come back PSU did a turn around. THEY DECIDED WE PAID VICTIMS ENOUGH! They started submitting claims thru their insurance co. The insurance company said no. But for the arrogance and greed of PSU the latest events would not be occurring. PSU and JoPa village of the damned stepford zombies can’t have it both ways. PSU paid made victims sign disclosures. By suing the insurance company the info is now public. It doesn’t erase the facts. Joe Paterno knew. Stop supporting the cover up and atonement is the only way out of the messy bog. Own it before it owns you PSU!!!

  14. Unsanctioned R: I have heard that repeatedly from fellow alums who live in State College and from Jay Paterno in his interview that I heard today

  15. The insurance company doesn’t want to pay, so it throws out an allegation. Like the Freeh report, so much has never been cross examined. Paterno reported up the line, per University policy. The Second Mile was informed but did nothing. We need thorough cross examination in a court to prove exactly where the blame lies–and to determine if flaws remain in the system.
    So easy to blame the dead guy and ignore the rest. Childish polls like this simply scapegoat and should be beneath us.

  16. Interesting Joecat, do you have a citation on the Paterno kids playing at Sandusky’s or good resource to share?

  17. Joecat…maybe Joepa was in on it. The man-boy association reached some very high levels. If Sandusky is in fact guilty, then they ALL had to know, except Cynthia Baldwin ’cause she to dumb.

  18. I always find it rather interesting that the Paterno children and grandchildren played at the Sandusky home, swam in their pool, and socialized with each other. Do you think that is something that Joe would have permitted had he known Jerry was a pedophile? I doubt it. Moreover, the newest report suggests that a case of abuse occurred around 1971, when Jerry had been on the staff as a junior coach for about two years. Why would PSU coverup for a junior coach when they could simply dismiss him. Most likely because they questioned the authenticity of the complaint. A simple settlement eliminated far costlier legal fees. I wish we could do one thing – stop permitting allegations and suppositions to take on the weight and gravitas of a conviction. There is no evidence that has been presented, vetted and accepted that indicates that Joe covered up anything. Jerry Sandusky was the convicted party and if the administrators lose their legal case – then you have every right to condemn them. But as of now, we are dealing with speculation and wild suppositions. That is not a fair way to destroy anyone’s reputation – not for the sake of sensationalism, selling papers, and increasing viewership. I suggest you all reread “the Ox Bow Incident” and maybe even the Dreyfus Affair.

  19. Peter Gozinia – I’m sure the number of different times that boys were abused by Sandusky far exceeds that magical 409 number. That number is meaningless if there is any evidence that JoePA knew about it.

  20. He said in an interview that he knew about the abuse in 2001. He died a decade later. How is that not a cover up?

  21. Peter Gozinia-

    Yes. That is so much more important than covering up decades of sexual abuse of minors.

  22. JoePA made history with win 409, that is all that matters here. Move along.

  23. We didn’t know when Paterno was alive, because he was able to continue the cover up.

  24. I do not believe Joe Paterno covered up for Jerry Sandusky; however, I do believe the Second Mile, who was run by Republicans, covered up the sex abuse scandal. Leave Joe Paterno and Penn State alone. Joe did what he was supposed to do, but did the Second Mile? Doesn’t it seem strange, that all the investigations conducted about the scandal, that this information is coming to light now. Why didn’t Fina and friend know about this? Why didn’t they investigate this?

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