Would Joe Paterno Have Been Charged With A Crime?

joe paterno

Photo: AP Images

Yesterday, Pennsylvania’s Attorney General officially charged former Penn State president Graham Spanier on eight counts of perjury and endangering the welfare of a child.Spanier is the third person to be indicted in connection with the alleged attempt to cover-up Jerry Sandusky’s crimes, joining former athletic director Tim Curley and former vice president Gary Schultz.

Of course, the biggest name in the Penn State scandal was Joe Paterno. But according to Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports, when asked if Paterno would have faced charges if he were still alive, attorney general Linda Kelly “offered no comment,” saying “that’s the end of it.”

This is significant because, in addition to the three already indicted, Paterno was the fourth person identified in the Freeh Report as having been part of the coverup. And it is quite possible Paterno would have been charged yesterday along with Spanier, further tarnishing JoePa’s already damaged legacy.

On the other hand, as we have discussed previously, the Freeh Report may have overstated Paterno’s involvement in the coverup as the damning email communications never actually discuss what Paterno knew or what his role was.

As it is, we will never know. And for somebody that should have done and said more, “no comment” may be a fitting end to Paterno’s involvement in this case.

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