Mini-Movie Seeks to Exonerate Joe Paterno of Penn State Football

Bill DiFilippoContributor IIIDecember 5, 2012

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA - NOVEMBER 08: Penn State University head football coach Joe Paterno leaves the team's football building on November 8, 2011 in University Park, Pennsylvania. Amid allegations that former assistant Jerry Sandusky was involved with child sex abuse, Paterno's weekly news conference was canceled about an hour before it was scheduled to occur. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

A new "mini-movie" has been made in the latest attempt to exonerate former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno by documentary filmmaker John Ziegler.

Ziegler, the founder of the website www.FramingPaterno.com, has been at the forefront of the movement to clear Paterno’s name of any wrongdoing in the Jerry Sandusky scandal that became national news just over a year ago.

The "mini-movie" is an attempt to gain support for a full-length documentary to be released in the future.

In the film, Ziegler interviews Paterno supporters including former Penn State and Pittsburgh Steelers running back Franco Harris, former Penn State long snapper and two-time Academic All-American Andrew Pitz, former Penn State quarterback Rashard Casey and several other former football players, all of whom played under Paterno.

The film combs over different elements of Paterno’s involvement in the scandal, including the controversial 2001 investigation that became national news in November 2011 and led to Paterno’s firing, as well as the Freeh report, which led to the NCAA sanctions on the football team.

"People think they know the story of the Jerry Sandusky scandal," Ziegler says in the film, "but they don’t. The media created a largely false narrative to fit their own agenda."

Ziegler goes on to claim that there is "no evidence" that Paterno was a villain, but that, "if the media wanted to, they actually could have made Joe Paterno the hero of this case."

The "mini-movie," according to the Framing Paterno website, "is intended as a small sampling of what the full documentary might look like if we get the support to do it."

Two versions of the film have been uploaded to YouTube and have amassed over 52,000 views combined. They can be viewed here and here.


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