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The continuing saga of Framing Paterno

For anyone interested (and that’s probably just Scott M.) in the latest developments in Framing Paterno’s ongoing quest to uncover the truth and nothing but the truth surrounding the Jerry Sandusky scandal, Franco Harris and John Ziegler will appear on Rick Amato’s show on One America News (link here). Airs at 9 PM EST (6 PST), with a repeat at midnight (9 PST).

Also looking forward to being a stone’s throw from the NCAA’s upcoming convention in San Diego for the below event. For those still paying attention, please be sure to check it out via livestream (or if you’re in the LA area, I’m hitting I-5 South at 8 in the morning).

20 comments to The continuing saga of Framing Paterno

  • Penelope27

    I have always believed that character is who we are. I thought that Joe Paterno’s character had been taken from him. It is good to see that there are those who still put value on character and are willing to defend it. I may just have to follow this a little more closely. Thank you for the reminder.

  • Scott M.

    Headed for that den of thieves,Eric?I wish you luck.

  • Didn’t see any NCAA thugtards to mentally bat around, but an otherwise perfect morning/afternoon, even learned a few extra things about how incredibly messed up the Freeh Report is. Yes, I knew it lacked credibility and any coherent gathering of facts, but to learn four subsequent reports, plus the expert team of Ray Blehar, discredited it to shreds made me smile pretty damn wide-like. Thanks for taking the time, too, Penelope –greatly appreciated!!!

    Now, with the official hiring of Franklin, time to grab some popcorn and sit back while the PSU admin performs exercises in pretzel logic to defend a coach who was cleared of any cover-up in a rape allegation.

  • It was kids ass-raped by a pervert not an allegation — evidence proven in court not just Freeh’s report. Don’t lose the audience by downplaying what happened to those kids. Paterno’s gone. I can guarantee 100% he doesn’t care about his reputation anymore. I’ve worked with kids who have undergone this.

    That’s all I have to add to this.

    • Multiple testimonies proved no rapes happened, Floyd, most notably nothing on the PSU campus. Lots of questionable and inappropriate horseplay from Sandusky? No argument, but please don’t believe the media-driven hype. You’re a legally minded person, I think you’d genuinely be interested in the scads of inconsistencies in the Freeh Report, and what got accepted as fact because of it.

      This goes far beyond Joe Paterno’s rep, too. Penn State’s now unjustly synonymous with pedophilia (and, yes, the NCAA vindictively bullied draconian sanctions on the football program) and thanks to the efforts of Franco, John, and a growing group of others, that’s hopefully going to continue to change.

      • Stirring it up repeatedly keeps PSU identified. It’s time to move on. Victim 2 and his voicemails are proof enough for me. The location is irrelevant. The victims are continually harmed by this crusade to justify a dead man. He’s dead. The victims are alive. It’s a well-documented concept called “the second rape” because it makes victims re live the event. This crusade for the truth is not about Joe Paterno at all. He doesn’t care. He’s dead. It’s about the feelings of his kids and followers. To not acknowledge that he fucked up even a little is unreasonable and hurtful to the real victims in this horrific scenario. From an outsider’s perspective it hurts PSU even more. I wouldn’t even think of Jerry Sandusky without your posts or Ziegler. Moving on, as we’ve seen hundreds of times in these Untited States is the best rehabilitation.

        • I liked Joe Paterno. There’s no way in hell the head coach of a D 1 football program with over 40 years of tenure doesn’t bear some blame. I’ve been in higher ed for 15 years and I practiced administrative law in a large state bureaucracy.

          Paterno messed up. Not as much as the PSU administration says for sure. Well… That means he had become an incompetent administrator then.

          Time heals all wounds and Paterno will be rehabilitated in due course in about 10 years or so…. as we all are.

        • Wow, Floyd, sounds like you’re saying something akin to “the science is settled.” Honestly didn’t realize the sharing of facts, facts which blast the Freeh Report and the ESPN-led false narratives to shreds, would make anyone so uncomfortable. No apologies, either, and as long as 3D readers like Penelope27 and Stosh from the Sticks admit they’ve learned from these posts, I will continue to bring Franco, John and beyond’s herculean efforts to our little part of the blogosphere. The truth and nothing but the truth is all Coach Paterno ever wanted, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to stick my head in the sand, and dishonor an honorable man, still the only person in the Penn State admin to admit that in hindsight, he wishes he’d done more.

          Further reason for Framing Paterno and Franco’s “Upon Further Review” to stay on the offensive: One of the attendees and panel members yesterday was John U. Bacon, author of “Fourth and Long: The Fight for the Soul of College Football,” who, for one of the chapters, embedded himself with the Penn State football team in 2012, part of the time being when the sanctions were handed down. During the panel discussion he admitted being stunned at the amount of information he learned during the course of hearing all the speakers and their respective presentations, information he wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else. How helpful will that be when he returns to his teaching gigs at Michigan and Northwestern (along with Ohio State, two of the other schools in “Fourth and Long”), or when he makes book tour stops? In his own words, immensely.

          Again, this isn’t about Joe Paterno’s rep, at least not entirely or even primarily. It’s about the truth re. my alma mater (and not Ziegler’s by the way, which he reminds people of all the time, along with his thinking Paterno should have retired long ago). Honestly restoring the school’s should will take care of the rest.

          P.S. Ignorance doesn’t have a shelf-life in my opinion, be it “moving on” after two years, ten years or 100 years.

          P.P.S. You’re absolutely correct about the location not mattering. Now please be sure to send those notes to every team any Penn State team faces in the future because we currently endure Sandusky-related chants even at soccer matches.

  • Rufus

    Eric, you have a bias. That’s understandable. It’s your alma mater. I’m still mad at the pusillanimous, Caucasian pantywaist from the affluent suburbs of Chicago who decided the noble image of heroic Native American, Chief Illiniwek offended his delicate sensibilities and petitioned the NCAA to have a beautiful, hundred year tradition cast aside to appease his desire to live in a world that conforms to his warped, inaccurate understanding of American history. And no matter what the morons at the NCAA dictate, I still wear my (now obsolete and unavailable for sale) Chief Illiniwek logo’ed sweatshirt when I’m out and about in Threedonia, and I wear it with pride.

    The NCAA does some stupid stuff, and there is a long list of alumni, fans, coaches and players who have good arguments against the lunacy of some of the athletic sanctions the NCAA has imposed. Hell, I missed a chance to march in the Rose Bowl (or some other elite Bowl in a warm climate) because of sanctions they imposed during my tenure in the Marching Illini. Was it fair that I and my bandmates, let alone the players, missed that opportunity because the NCAA decided the coach unfairly transitioned some JUCO players to the program? Who knows? It is what it is and it was what it was. After all; it is still just a game.

    But, Eric; innocent kids were abused by that scum, Sandusky, and most everyone but the most ardent Nittany Lion is going to have a hard time seeing past that vile fact. Was there collateral damage in the aftermath? Could be. Frankly, I think I speak for most when I say that I don’t care. I imagine many (if not most) big University Boards of Directors have some sycophants and media hungry egotists on them. I imagine many Universities are run by Presidents or Chancellors more interested in political correctness and their own reputations than ultimate truths. When any institution is rocked by a scandal of this nature there will be incorrect judgements, mistakes and often repercussions that impact innocents uninvolved. I hope this isn’t the first you’ve heard this, but life is not fair.

    Floyd is right, the more you force it in the public the more you make yourself a target and keep the abuses fresh in people’s minds.

    If you, other alumni and the current student body devote your efforts to healing those hurt, and helping others who have been similarly abused you’ll do a lot more to foster good will for PSU than complaining about unfair treatment. Those young boys who trusted Coach Sandusky know a thing or two about unfair treatment. Missing a bowl game and some scholarships pales in comparison.

    • Gonna break ya down all Rufus-style (it’s a slower than usual Monday, why not?) …

      >>Eric, you have a bias. That’s understandable. It’s your alma mater. >>
      Yet from day one, I have always looked at this with biased and unbiased eyes because I apparently still have enough journalism in my blood. Fair is fair, and if you’ll recall my initial thoughts were if JoePa (or anyone at Penn State) erred, they should pay for any applicable crimes. Hell, I was even one of the people who got caught up in the ESPN-driven hype that Paterno bore a whole bunch of blame for letting Sandusky run rampant on and off campus. Amazingly, everyone (including ESPN) forgot Paterno was initially praised for his handling of the situation when it was reported to him in 2001. That didn’t sell ad-time or print expenses, though, so the false narrative was created, and everyone was disappointed with JoePa to various degrees, even me. Once the initial hysteria calmed down, however, and a non-alum like Ziegler, started to reveal how twisted and incorrect the stories continued to unravel, my eyes opened further, and continue to open as John, Franco, and a growing number of experts join their team.

      >> I still wear my (now obsolete and unavailable for sale) Chief Illiniwek logo’ed sweatshirt when I’m out and about in Threedonia, and I wear it with pride.>>
      As you, or anyone proud of their university’s traditions, should.

      >> After all; it is still just a game.>>
      Amen to a degree, but these unauthorized sanctions from the NCAA affected far more than football games, and will continue to affect the Penn State campus for a few years after they’ve expired. As you know, football at Penn State, like several D-I schools, finances the other varsity sports, as well as drives a lot of the local businesses in the surrounding area during home game weekends. Sure, both the athletic programs and businesses have adapted, but think about the number of scholarships which have already gone unrewarded, at an institution of higher learning where the student-athletes in every sport place as much importance on the first part of the hyphenation as the second, and regularly graduate at the highest in the conference (and nationally), as well as providing numerous Academic All-Americans.

      >>But, Eric; innocent kids were abused by that scum, Sandusky …>>
      When did I say otherwise? The answer is never. Here’s a couple little known facts your ESPNs won’t divulge, though: Victim #6 maintained a friendship with Sandusky after the 1998 incident’s investigation, from which the authorities found no crimes, and the parents pressed no charges; Sara Ganim, who received a Pulitzer Prize for her work on this scandal, was a pawn of the prosecution, who solicited her services to urge the mother of Victim #6 to find more victims so in order to prop up their case when Victim #6’s case wasn’t getting them what they needed.

      More facts like that available at FramingPaterno.com, and as mentioned above, because there are people here who don’t know everything about this scandal, and have no problem wanting to learn more, I will continue to share the information. I honestly never would have imagined anyone here was afraid of new knowledge.

      >>… and most everyone but the most ardent Nittany Lion is going to have a hard time seeing past that vile fact.>>
      Meaning what exactly? Nobody I know in Nittany Nation (and methinks I have you trumped in this department, just as you will undoubtedly know more Illini than I) denies Jerry’s creepy at best and a sick predator at worst. Nobody, and if I did run into someone in our base who thinks the way you claim, they’d be viewed as more than a little out of touch.

      >>Was there collateral damage in the aftermath? Could be.>>
      Yes, see above.

      >>Frankly, I think I speak for most when I say that I don’t care. I imagine many (if not most) big University Boards of Directors have some sycophants and media hungry egotists on them. I imagine many Universities are run by Presidents or Chancellors more interested in political correctness and their own reputations than ultimate truths. When any institution is rocked by a scandal of this nature there will be incorrect judgements, mistakes and often repercussions that impact innocents uninvolved. I hope this isn’t the first you’ve heard this, but life is not fair.>>
      Gee, thanks for that tidbit of wisdom. No shit. Now please know this: I’d be more than happy to accept NCAA’s punishments A) if they actually had any jurisdiction to levy them against a criminal, non-football matter, and B) which weren’t derived from the Freeh Report, a shoddily assembled document with enough suppositions, circumstantial evidence, and holes in it that it would very likely be inadmissible in a court of law (words of Ray Blehar, senior requirements analyst with over 27 years as an analyst and investigator for the US government and major corporations, not mine). Please also know the Framing Paterno team is holding the Penn State administration and Board of Trustees as accountable for accepting the sanctions as the NCAA.

      >>Floyd is right, the more you force it in the public the more you make yourself a target and keep the abuses fresh in people’s minds.>>
      All due respect (sincerely, as I consider the two of you as having two of the brightest minds I know), no, you’re both wrong, at least as long as you allow a false narrative (and its aftermath) to dictate your knowledge of what happened re. the case.

      >>If you, other alumni and the current student body devote your efforts to healing those hurt, and helping others who have been similarly abused you’ll do a lot more to foster good will for PSU than complaining about unfair treatment. Those young boys who trusted Coach Sandusky know a thing or two about unfair treatment. >>
      Oh, I’m sorry, the PSU alums, teachers and student donating over half a million dollars to RAINN, and other child sex abuse victims, in the week after the scandal broke not enough of an effort for you? Our voluntarily donating continued portions of every ticket sold at football games (as well as respective personal donations) not enough? See also the annual Special Olympics project (headed for years by Sue Paterno), and “For the Kids” THON, both raising millions of dollars over the years, and the latter being the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. Sorry, Rufus, but don’t believe the NCAA-generated hype. As indicated above re. the high graduation rates, the culture at Penn State has and always will be one of generosity and sympathy.

      >>Missing a bowl game and some scholarships pales in comparison.>>
      Amen. Searching for and shining light on the truth pales to nothing means a whole lot, too. As printed on the back of the program from the “Upon Further Review” from a couple days ago, Rudyard Kipling’s “If,” along with “The Aeneid,” a Paterno favorite.

      If you can keep your head when all about you
      Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
      If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
      But make allowance for their doubting too;
      If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
      Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
      Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
      And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

      If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
      If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
      If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
      And treat those two impostors just the same;
      If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
      Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
      Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
      And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:

      If you can make one heap of all your winnings
      And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
      And lose, and start again at your beginnings
      And never breathe a word about your loss;
      If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
      To serve your turn long after they are gone,
      And so hold on when there is nothing in you
      Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

      If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
      Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
      If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
      If all men count with you, but none too much;
      If you can fill the unforgiving minute
      With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
      Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
      And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

  • Rufus

    Regarding Coach Joe Paterno, there were a few things that bothered me…

    First, I’ve never met the man, don’t know a whole lot about him, and have always heard very favorable things from people who met him, knew him and/or worked with him. Although based on limited information; I have a high opinion of him based on what I’ve heard from others.

    When all this broke many of his defenders made the argument that his hands were clean because he followed proper procedures and notified the AD.

    That’s true, I suppose.

    Then, when all hell broke loose Joe held his own press conference without notifying the AD or Board of Directors and said he was going to retire at the end of the season.

    Well, if you’re a typical head coach in a typical college program you report to the AD and you serve at his or her behest. He or she is your boss and a Board of Regents or Chancellor or President is his or her boss. So, if that’s the system you’re in, and a coach notifies the AD of something, the coach can kind of wash his or her hands of repercussions if the AD decides incorrectly regarding the matter.

    PSU was not such a system. The Football coach was more powerful and “above” the AD and the Board. Anyone who knows the school and the football program knows that to be true, but we also have evidence. Coach Joe Paterno held his own press conference and stated what he would do regarding his career without consulting the AD or the Board. It’s obvious that Joe Paterno felt it was appropriate to act that way, despite it violating the hierarchy he worked in.

    So, there’s a conundrum here. If Joe Paterno was just the football coach and the AD was responsible for handling Sandusky how can you justify Joe going around the AD in talking to the Press and managing his retirement along with whether the AD or Board would punish him?

    Or, the flip side: if Joe’s reputation earned him the right to act independently, free to talk to the press and sanction himself… How does one justify that he didn’t handle the Sandusky issue personally when it was brought to his attention?

    I don’t see how one can have it both ways.

    • You’ve got a multi-pronged question, so will try to answer it as best as I can.

      First, Joe was not as powerful as many would like to believe. Did his opinion hold a lot of sway? Absolutely (see his shaming the Board of Trustees into improving the school’s academics (not more facilities for his football team, the entire student body) with more teachers and library access after winning the 1982 championship). Check this, though: when the scandal broke, Joe requested the university to hold a press conference, with him and the admin speaking, because he wanted the truth to be known sooner than later. They agreed and had one scheduled … then they abruptly canceled it, with no explanation to Joe or anyone.

      Now I have no idea why Joe held his own press conference. Maybe he was a little tweaked and his fiery Italian blood got the better of him, and he thought he’d stick it to the Board that way. Maybe he thought it would be best to make a declarative statement so calmer heads could prevail re. the scandal’s due process (which should have occurred). Maybe a combination of both, maybe neither. Either way, the Board apparently had their revenge when they decided to make Joe their #1 scapegoat, firing him over a cellphone. Not a courtesy call to arrange a meeting or press conference. Nope, the alleged “King of Penn State” terminated via a cellphone.

      To what more could he have done when he learned of Sandusky being in the locker-room shower, I ask you to review what Mike McQueary did (or didn’t) tell Joe, and then let me know what you think he should have done. From what I’ve been told by legal experts working with Framing Paterno, had Joe done more than he did by responsibly reporting it to his superiors (again, originally lauded by ESPN for this), he would have been overstepping bounds, regardless of who he was.

  • Rufus

    The riot the students threw on Joe’s behalf was unbecoming of any group of young men and women. They embarrassed themselves and brought shame on the good name of their University.

    Joe’s reaction to the riot was less than severe.

    • Hmmm, sounds like exactly what I said after it happened. As mentioned by Steven Link, an expert on crisis management, this past weekend, while inexcusable, the Board of Trustees brought that on themselves when they didn’t wait for a measured firing of Paterno instead of doing it (almost literally) at the 11th hour.

  • Rufus

    Eric, I’ll try to reply to your lengthy reply to my earlier, lengthy comment when I have more time, but regarding your two most recent replies.

    If the company I worked for was in the news for a highly charged legal matter and I held a press conference on my own I would expect to be fired. I would expect to be fired in the most ignominious manner possible. I would not even expect a phone call. I would expect to find the locks to my office changed, armed security waiting to meet me if I got within 100 yards of the company and the occupants of my desk in a dumpster.

    If my boss was going to hold a press conference and asked me to attend and it was canceled and I still went ahead with a press conference (see the above paragraph).

    If my boss was going to hold a press conference and asked me to attend and it was canceled and I still thought there should be a press conference I would contact my boss and give him my reasons. If he disagreed and I still went ahead with a press conference (see two paragraphs up).

    If the video you posted is the one I’m thinking of; it’s Joe and his wife complaining that his boss had the gall to fire him by phone. How could anyone who had so egregiously jumped the chain of command be surprised to get fired? As I wrote, I’d be shocked to even get a phone call! The only reasonable answer in my mind is Joe saw himself above the chain of command. That also explains why he would hold an independent press conference.

    If I saw a group of people physically destroying the premises of an institution I cherished and destroying the reputation of an institution I cherished and destroying their own reputations, all on “my” behalf, I would personally get in front of them a la Chinese tank man, and demand they stop and show respect.

    A man with Joe Paterno’s reputation could have stopped the riot. A man with Joe Paterno’s reputation could have gotten Sandusky removed from the program. A man with Joe Paterno’s reputation could have gotten the AD and/or the Board to hold a press conference. Why weren’t those things done? Personally, I think it’s because a good man held on to a job too long and no longer had the mental acuity to make the decisions necessary to manage those difficult circumstances.

    And, since you’re giving yourself credit for prescient posts you made; I’ll remind you of the several I wrote (and you refuted) giving the reasons why Paterno should step down long before any of this was public knowledge. I can’t imagine anyone not seeing now that he truly did stay on longer than his abilities warranted. But, as Floyd wrote, in time all the good works he did prior will hold sway and his reputation will be restored.

    Regarding the good works you and other PSU almnus have done on behalf of victims of sex abuse. Well done.

  • >>If I saw a group of people physically destroying the premises of an institution I cherished and destroying the reputation of an institution I cherished and destroying their own reputations, all on “my” behalf, I would personally get in front of them a la Chinese tank man, and demand they stop and show respect.>>
    He, like many, was likely sleeping. In the morning, he condemned all of it.

    >>A man with Joe Paterno’s reputation could have stopped the riot.>>
    See above.

    >>A man with Joe Paterno’s reputation could have gotten Sandusky removed from the program.>>
    You’d think, but not so. He didn’t even like Jerry all that much, going so far as to inform Jerry it was the Penn State job to possibly succeed Joe, or focus more on Second Mile. He chose the latter. Joe was also not fond of Jerry hanging around the football facilities so much after he’d retired following the ’99 season. Didn’t matter to then-President Spanier, though, who denied Paterno’s requests to restrict Jerry. Spanier even inexplicable granted Sandusky emiritus status, but most importantly and to your point, not as much power as everyone thought/thinks.

    >>A man with Joe Paterno’s reputation could have gotten the AD and/or the Board to hold a press conference.>>
    The more I learn about the Board, and current President Rodney Erickson and AD Dave Joyner, the less inclined I am to agree with your assessment. As I mentioned, Joe’s request was rebuffed by the Board and AD, presumably so they could honor Joe’s desire for shining light on the truth. How exactly was he going to change their minds once they cancelled? See above re. guesses on his own conference.

    >>Why weren’t those things done? Personally, I think it’s because a good man held on to a job too long and no longer had the mental acuity to make the decisions necessary to manage those difficult circumstances.>>
    You and I have addressed this topic enough in the past. Agree to disagree.

    We could also could likely go back and forth ad infinitum (for ourselves) and ad nauseum (for the rest at 3D), but until you take the time to explore Framing Paterno, even a little, I don’t know why the conversation should continue. It’s admittedly an exhaustive process, so highly recommend starting here or here.

    • Rufus

      Eric, you’ve argued yourself into a corner. You change Joe Paterno to fit the needs of whatever point you are defending based on what’s necessary to eliminate any culpability on his part. Either Joe Paterno was competent to head PSU’s football program, or he was not.

      A competent leader would have someone removed from his staff and the program if that was his desire. A competent leader would stop a riot on his behalf. If he were in bed (who knows?) one of the members of his staff would have woken him and notified him. I can’t imagine a riot on Notre Dame’s campus that centered on something regarding the football program and someone not telling Brian Kelly. It’s inconceivable. Either Joe knew, and did nothing, or he was so out of the loop no one bothered to tell him. Based on his lack of involvement with the program in the prior years (not wearing headphones on the sidelines, often not even being on the sidelines during games, unable to conduct interviews…) I would wager on the latter.

      • Rufus

        In your defense of Paterno you claim the President or AD or Board were the ones running the program and Paterno was a pawn. That’s ludicrous for anyone who knows Paterno’s personality and the program, but, regardless, a competent manager in such a situation would still get what he wanted.

        If Paterno didn’t like Sandusky hanging around he could have told some of his assistant coaches to say something to the AD or President. He could have had former players like Franco Harris tell the President or AD they were going to mention something to the local press.

        If Paterno didn’t like the AD he could have told former players who’ve made it big, and they would have gotten the AD removed without Paterno having to get involved.

        Do you really expect me to believe that, with all the influence and money that came into that school on Joe Paterno’s behalf he had to work for a boss who was forcing him to do things against his will or desire?

        Eric, that is nonsensical.

        Like I wrote, the only reasonable explanation for all of the mistakes and mis-steps regarding Joe is he was no longer competent to effectively manage the program. And, there are many other examples of this in the ensuing years related to matters on and off the field. Occham’s razor says that’s the answer regarding Paterno’s lack of involvement.

  • For Scott M, Stosh and Penelope27, and anyone else who prefers the dissemination of facts to, well, the alternative, from the virtual desks of John Ziegler and Franco Harris:

    This past weekend in San Diego on the eve of the NCAA Convention went really well. I would like to share with you some great content from the event and I hope that you will then share it with others.

    First is an unusually good TV interview that I did with Franco Harris on the One America News network. It is really important that you watch and share this interview so that the network will know that there are people out there who appreciate this type of programming.

    Second is my speech from the “Upon Further Review” event which Franco hosted. I think you will really enjoy this one.

    Third, is the entire “Upon Further Review” event which, at least for now, can be watched here.

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