The biggest story in sports on Thursday is the release of Louis Freeh's report on the Jerry Sandusky scandal and Penn State's handling of it. Plenty has come to light regarding late former head football coach Joe Paterno and other administrators with regards to their role in what happened.
There has been no shortage of reaction from former players like LaVar Arrington, Paterno's family and Twitter at large as almost everyone seems to have an opinion. The Sandusky scandal is something that has transcended sports, and the Freeh report certainly exacerbated that.
The report offers a lot to digest and plenty of topics are covered, but there is no question that Paterno is the central figure. Here is what those with knowledge of the situation and the general public are saying about Paterno and the Freeh report.
Former Penn State and Washington Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington has been very vocal throughout the Sandusky scandal, and while he initially was supportive of Paterno, that no longer appears to be the case in the wake of the Freeh report.
According to Stefanie Loe of The Patriot-News, Arrington is "disappointed in Paterno's judgment." Arrington wrote that he didn't believe Paterno knew about the Sandusky investigation in a piece for the Washington Post back in January but has since backed off that claim now that Paterno has been implicated.
Arrington called the report "unbiased and fair" according to Loe and seems to be taking the same approach as most despite the close relationship he once had with Paterno. Arrington's comments prove that the Freeh report makes it very difficult for anyone to stick up for Paterno at this point.
Paterno has received the brunt of the criticism from those on Twitter, but there has been plenty of vitriol spewed toward the university as well. It remains to be seen how Penn State might be punished if it even is at all, but this Twitter user believes the Nittany Lions should face a death penalty akin to the one Southern Methodist University received back in 1987.
The Freeh report went into great detail about what Paterno, Graham Spanier, Gary Schultz and Tim Curley did in order to keep the Sandusky incidents in 1998 and 2001 a secret. Freeh believes that none of them went to the authorities in order to save Penn State from bad publicity, which is a notion that disgusts this tweeter.
Paterno's Family Releases Statement
The family of Paterno released a statement ahead of the Freeh report's release in order to express its dismay for the way that emails were leaked to the media as well as to defend Paterno and explain his actions. With that in mind, it wasn't unexpected when the family released yet another statement on Thursday.
While the family admitted that Paterno could have possibly done more to help in the investigation, the statement was largely defensive. The fact that Paterno said he wished he could have done more in hindsight was brought up several times. The family admitted that Paterno wasn't perfect but said that there was no way he would have aided in a cover up if he knew the truth about Sandusky.
The family's biggest issue was that Freeh inferred what Paterno's intentions were with regards to not doing more to alert authorities. While it may be true that Freeh doesn't have any clear-cut evidence of a cover up on Paterno's part, this Twitter user believes that the family is in the wrong when it comes to their comments.
Although it is nothing more than a symbol, perhaps the most talked about thing on Twitter has been the status of Paterno's statue on the Penn State campus. Paterno has long been considered a coaching legend and a mainstay in Happy Valley, but that may be changing as Paterno has been painted in a very bad light by Freeh.
This tweeter believes that Paterno's status as a legend, hero and role model is no longer valid and believes that the statue should be torn down if he swept the Sandusky situation under the rug as Freeh maintains.
Sports business reporter Darren Rovell has covered the Penn State scandal heavily since it first came to light and has had plenty to say on the matter. While he doesn't believe that the NCAA can or will do anything to the university, Rovell does believe that the school has to make a statement and take down the statue as well.
As serious as this entire situation is, comedy finds its way into every scandal on Twitter. Michael Rosenberg of Sports Illustrated may have said it better than anybody when he suggested what Penn State should do instead of destroying the statue. His idea is an obvious jab at Paterno's laissez-faire attitude regarding Sandusky.
The vast majority of people piled on Paterno and Penn State, but there are bound to be some differing opinions. This twitter user and Penn State alum rushed to his alma mater's aid and believes that the Paterno statue should remain in its current state.
There is no telling what Penn State might do next and what type of discipline it will end up facing, but the Freeh report has certainly shed even more light on a terrible situation, and based on people's reactions, it won't be going away any time soon.
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