Wetzel: Last-ditch effort to reframe Joe Paterno's legacy fizzles out

Discussion in 'BWI / McAndrew Board' started by ChiTownLion, Jul 2, 2017.

  1. ChiTownLion

    ChiTownLion Well-Known Member
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    Noticed this extremely frustrating tweet by Mark Alesia who helped break the Larry Nassar story at the Indy Star.

    Rather than reward him with clicks, here's the story from Bernie Fine's No. 1 fan.

    Last-ditch effort to reframe Joe Paterno's legacy fizzles out
    [​IMG]
    Dan Wetzel | Columnist | Yahoo Sports | Jun 30, 2017, 6:03 PM


    [​IMG]
    Joe Paterno won more college football games than any other coach, until those wins were vacated because of the Sandusky scandal. (AP)

    With fiery rhetoric from high-powered attorneys and surrogates such as a former Pennsylvania governor, four years ago the family of the late Joe Paterno announced they were suing the NCAA. The suit sought to overturn NCAA sanctions against Paterno’s old Nittany Lion football program. It was mostly about what the family deemed unfair and irreparable harm the NCAA inflicted on Paterno due to its use of the Freeh Report in leveling the penalties.

    The Freeh Report, written by former FBI director Louis Freeh and commissioned by Penn State itself, took a harsh view of Paterno and others in allowing former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky to molest boys through the years.

    Deemed a search for truth and a continuation of JoePa’s dying wish to investigate the case, the high-profile lawsuit was billed as the family fighting back against a rush to judgment that had cost Paterno his job and his reputation. He died of cancer at age 85 in January 2012, just months after being fired after 55 years as head coach, where he had won more games than anyone in college football history.

    “An illegally imposed penalty that is based on false assumptions and secret discussions,” blasted Wick Sollers, the Paterno family attorney, upon filing the suit. It was further backed by members of the Penn State Board of Trustees and other prominent community members, including former Gov. Dick Thornburg.

    Sollers said the case demanded “meticulous review.”

    After four years of presumably just that level of review, the case came to an abrupt conclusion. The family voluntarily filed a motion in Centre County Court Friday to discontinue the case “with prejudice,” meaning it’s over for good.

    There was no settlement here. There were no considerations. This was a one-sided decision. After all this time, the family just gave up on this avenue. The NCAA was still muscled up for a fight. The timing wasn’t a coincidence. Plaintiff attorneys were facing a Friday afternoon deadline to file its discovery that backed up its claims on the case.

    Instead they quit.

    Whatever truth the Paternos hoped to shine on the situation never materialized. Instead the news of the retreat was buried late on a Friday before a holiday weekend.

    The NCAA immediately declared “total victory.” It then put the family and its lawsuit on blast with a level of pent-up vitriol uncommon for the Association.

    “The Paterno family characterized this case as a ‘search for the truth,’ ” Donald Remy, the NCAA’s chief legal officer, said in the statement. “Its decision today, after years of investigation and discovery, to abandon its lawsuit rather than subject those facts to courtroom examination is telling.

    “We believe that the powerful record developed during discovery overwhelmingly confirmed what the NCAA has believed all along: the NCAA acted reasonable in adopting conclusion of an eight-month investigation by Louis Freeh,” Remy continued.

    This turn of events represents another bitter and humiliating chapter in this story for Paterno supporters. They have long slammed the Freeh report as overly conclusive and inconsistent – little more than a predetermined blame game in search of the flimsiest of proof. There was a measure of merit to the claim, as Freeh took leaps of logic to make conclusions that could certainly, at the very least, be debated.

    As such, there was long held hope among Paterno supporters that this lawsuit would cause the 267-page Freeh Report to come under continued assault, eventually leading to the softening of public opinion against Paterno. The ultimate goal was complete vindication and the return of a statue honoring the coach outside Beaver Stadium.

    Previously, the NCAA had walked back heavy sanctions against the football team, all but conceding it went too far in its initial decision.

    Other than that, though, there has been little success to be found in the courts for the pro-Paterno and pro-Sandusky factions. Be it criminal or civil, be it decision by jury or judge, almost everything has gone against the Paternos.



    Former grad assistant Mike McQueary, a villain to the pro-Paterno people, meanwhile won a whistle blower lawsuit against the school for his wrongful firing. He was awarded $7.3 million. Additionally, the school’s civil suit against an insurer led to even more brutal headlines, as uncorroborated allegations of additional abuse were revealed that painted Paterno and Penn State in even worse light.

    In the swirl after the scandal hit, causing Paterno’s once glowing career to end in controversy, there was a belief from those loyal to him that eventually the cool and calm of the court system would deliver vindication.

    Perhaps nothing was more important to achieving that than Paterno v. NCAA. It promised to be an intriguing battle between a once beloved and respected coach who spent his life promoting the ideals of college athletics against the central organization of college athletics itself. Both sides had resources, patience and seemingly endless resolve. Fireworks were expected.

    “This matter will never be resolved until the full facts are reviewed in a lawful and transparent manner,” Sollers, the Paterno attorney, said at the outset.

    On Friday that review ended. In like a (Nittany) Lion, out with a whimper.

    =======================================================================

    Unfortunately, these are the headlines that will define the story's conclusion. And it's all because the Paterno family was too classy to sue Penn State University and the 2011 Board of Trustrees.
     
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  2. interrobang

    interrobang Well-Known Member
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    Fair article, actually.
     
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  3. Art

    Art Well-Known Member
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    Written, of course, by someone who will leave no legacy.
     
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  4. Lion8286

    Lion8286 Well-Known Member
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    Last ditch?? Wasn't this lawsuit filed a number of years ago??
     
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  5. Sproul

    Sproul Well-Known Member
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    Who is the ultimate winner in this case...the media or mcquaide's ex-wife? Barbie gets nearly all the money. Ganim gets a fake pulitzer and a gig doing weather reports for life.
     
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  6. lionlurker

    lionlurker Well-Known Member
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    Nevertheless, it's mostly correct. Nobody ever refuted much of anything.
     
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  7. gohigh79

    gohigh79 Well-Known Member
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    Ultimate winner: Louis Freeh

    Ultimate loser: Louis Freeh's automobile

    In more seriousness, it's the various attorneys who really make out in this whole ordeal.
     
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  8. michnittlion

    michnittlion Well-Known Member
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    From day one, Paternos should have sued Freeh and/or Penn State.

    This lawsuit against the NCAA was a waste of time - wrong defendant.
     
  9. PSUPride1

    PSUPride1 Well-Known Member
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    I agree 100%.
     
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  10. bjf1991

    bjf1991 Well-Known Member
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    If the goal was indeed to "uncover the truth"...... and I don't if that was or wasn't the goal.......

    Suing Emmett and the NCAA - instead of Surma, Frazier, and the PSU BOT - was not "classy", it was immeasurable and Biblically stupid.

    That said - - - I have no idea what the actual goals of the Plaintiffs were.
    I would like to assume that the plaintiffs were not Biblically stupid....... and I don't think they are/were, which forces some other explaination.

    I have no idea what it is......... but it certainly doesn't matter any more.
     
  11. ChiTownLion

    ChiTownLion Well-Known Member
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    Meanwhile, here's what Dan Wetzel wrote about an actual, real-life pedophile:

    Bernie Fine's day of vindication should serve as lesson in caution for public, media
    [​IMG]
    Dan Wetzel | Yahoo! Sports | Nov 9, 2012, 11:07 AM

    From the start, the reaction to the investigation into the Bernie Fine case was nearly as troubling as the accusations of the Bernie Fine case.

    In a post-Jerry Sandusky world, the similarities between a former Penn State assistant football coach (Sandusky) and a current Syracuse assistant basketball coach (Fine) involved in sexual molestation allegations produced assumptions that overwhelmed the reality of the situation and an understanding of the judicial process.

    [​IMG]
    In November 2011, Sandusky was charged by a grand jury with 52 counts of sexually molesting 10 boys. It was the end of a significant, three-year state police investigation. No less than the attorney general of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania made the charges. Eight of the boys testified in person in front of the grand jury, as did supporting witnesses and Sandusky coworkers. It was an exhaustive process just to get the charges.

    Sandusky was eventually convicted of 45 charges and sentenced to at least 30 years in prison.

    In November 2011, Bernie Fine was accused on ESPN by two former Syracuse ball boys of sexually abusing them in the 1980s. Local police previously looked into the case and declined to press charges. A similar Syracuse University investigation also found it had no merit.

    On Friday, federal authorities dropped the investigation completely after claiming to interviewing 130 witnesses and sorting through 100,000 pages of documents and finding no evidence to support the claims.

    Neither Bernie Fine nor anyone else will be charged, the local U.S. Attorney's Office said.

    [Also: UK's freshmen highlight opening weekend slate in college hoops]

    For Fine it is a day of vindication, although one that fails to undo the damage of the allegations. He lost his reputation, had every bit of family dirty laundry aired out and no longer has what was once a respected career as a college basketball coach. Even though he should be considered 100 percent innocent – not just presumed innocent – his name, after one hellacious year, is still damaged and many people will still feel he was guilty of something.

    Sadly, you just can't un-ring that bell.

    For everyone else, this should serve as a day of caution. The Fine case was, in some ways, as frightening as the Sandusky one.

    Not just because the charges were eventually dropped after a firestorm of coverage and anger. More troubling is that it was the significant lack of awareness about how criminal investigations and cases work that produced said firestorm and anger.

    Again, the Sandusky case became public at the end of a thorough investigation, with actual detailed charges filed and a 23-page grand jury report available as support.

    The Fine case became public at the start of the process, with tenuous allegations by questionable witnesses about acts that fell outside the statute of limitations. ESPN made its decision to go with the story and it will have to answer for that.

    Everyone else should have hesitated to react as aggressively to ESPN's initial story.

    This was never about making a judgment call on the believability of the accusers' story or Fine's story or any other bit of information. This was about acknowledging where in the game everything stood and avoiding declaring an outcome before the investigation even began.

    Other than their occupations – assistant college athletics coaches – the Sandusky and Fine cases were two completely different situations at two completely different stages of inquiry. The early process that eventually exonerated Fine hadn't even begun. With Sandusky it was over.

    [Also: Top storylines of college basketball's opening weekend]

    This sounds like a hindsight lecture. And unfortunately some will take this as patting my own back, although that isn't my intention. The obvious question though is my own culpability as a member of the media.


    I didn't think Boeheim should have it both ways, blasting witnesses on a good day, clamming up on a bad one. He later apologized for questioning the honesty of accusers in the first place, acknowledging he shouldn't have put his powerful voice into the process and admitting he acted rashly out of loyalty.

    I probably shouldn't have even written about Boeheim. I had planned on sitting out the Fine case altogether, and despite repeatedly reiterating there were no similarities to the Sandusky case – and that this case had far to go to even reach the charging stage – I allowed the explosiveness of the tape to draw me in.

    [Also: The most intriguing college basketball coaches]

    The Sandusky case brought great awareness to the crime of child sexual abuse and hopefully it leads to better prevention and prosecution of those acts. The fear, though, is it opens up a witch hunt where the reaction to any allegation is treated as a conviction.

    There is an investigative and legal process that deserves to play out, especially in these kinds of cases because the mere suggestion of such an act can be irrevocably staining. The public and media don't have to abide by the standards of the legal system. We operate in the court of public opinion. But on something like this, if not caution, then at least awareness of procedure, isn't a bad thing.

    The reason Bernie Fine never received his presumption of innocence in a court of law is because he never even got as far as an arraignment. Fine, however, was instantaneously convicted by too much of the public.

    He was never Jerry Sandusky, though. He was treated that way.
     
  12. mn78psu83

    mn78psu83 Well-Known Member
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    Elliot Strokoff, MM's lawyer, will be the big winner. I don't think he's gifting his share to MM's ex-wife.
     
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  13. ChiTownLion

    ChiTownLion Well-Known Member
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  14. fairgambit

    fairgambit Well-Known Member
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    Joe's name and legacy will forever carry the stigma of Sandusky. Nothing on earth will change that now. At one time I thought the stain of the scandal would fade over time. Now I think it could become marginally worse as all efforts to rehabilitate it have come to an end, while the attacks continue. I still believe Joe was an honorable man, and I will continue to defend his name when appropriate, but I, like so many here, have spent far too much time on something over which I had no control. I am finally moving on. I have largely put Penn State in my rear view mirror. It is time for me to follow the Paterno family and do the same with Joe's legacy.
     
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  15. gohigh79

    gohigh79 Well-Known Member
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    Yeah, thinking about it, there's not much reason to sue Freeh either, with Penn State having fully accepted his report (Barron's comments notwithstanding). The actionable cause is against Penn State (via the actions of Corbett's political allies of the OGBOT, some of whom would make fine co-defendants).
     
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  16. nittany119

    nittany119 Well-Known Member
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    Read the comments from the uninformed masses, at the end of the article. It 100 per cent validates what you are saying. The narrative has been written, at this point all our arguing to the contrary won't change a damn thing. Joe was vilified by the court of public opinion, as the BOT and PSU hung him out to dry. And when C/S/S didn't say a word when given the chance, that was the end. It's over, game, set, match.
     
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  17. mn78psu83

    mn78psu83 Well-Known Member
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    Et ita factum est.
     
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  18. nits74

    nits74 Well-Known Member
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    You and I have been like-minded on this from the get go.
     
  19. L.T. Young

    L.T. Young Well-Known Member
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    It was a fair article. I'm not sure what there is to be angry about?
     
  20. Corabi94

    Corabi94 Well-Known Member
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    It's time for everyone to do what some of us having been saying for years...Move On.
     
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  21. getmyjive11

    getmyjive11 Well-Known Member
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    It was well written and factually accurate. There is nothing to hate about it.
     
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  22. KnightWhoSaysNit

    KnightWhoSaysNit Well-Known Member
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    No, it wasn't well written. It conveniently omitted the fact that Joe followed the correct procedure for such cases -- not only those at the time, but later those stipulated by the NCAA itself.
     
  23. Rip_E_2_Joe_PA

    Rip_E_2_Joe_PA Well-Known Member
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    There are kernels of fact in the article but the conclusions in it are giant leaps of hysteria,
    and the conclusions in this article will be long forgotten as the Joe Paterno Legacy continues to be restored.... in fact, what article are we talking about.

    The biggest problem with the suit from the get go was that it named the wrong parties.... the Morons at PSU should have been the target of the suit. The NCAA had to choke on their miniscule penises when they had to restore the wins as they thought they could leap from the jurisdiction which they had to the jurisdiction and end the idiots wanted to have.... Oops.

    No matter how many trials the morons that claim Joe was some super powerful ogre will always be there.... have always been there. Is there justice within a cult of stoked up hysterical idiots.... never.

    What bothers these wannabes is that the Grand Experiment lives on and their Illini or Syracuse or whatever program will never achieve this level of balanced excellence....
    and to me..... and that is how it should be.
     
    23 Rip_E_2_Joe_PA, Jul 3, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2017
  24. DandyDonII

    DandyDonII Well-Known Member
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    He certainly minimized the reduction of the sanctions and returning paterno's win totals. The NCAA did that to limit what the Paternos could ask for in the lawsuit.
     
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  25. getmyjive11

    getmyjive11 Well-Known Member
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    Sorry, but the article did a good job of quickly going over the various events after the scandal. It was accurate.
     
  26. getmyjive11

    getmyjive11 Well-Known Member
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    No, the NCAA did that because they were about to lose in the case against the Commonwealth. It had nothing to do with the Paterno lawsuit.
     
  27. ChiTownLion

    ChiTownLion Well-Known Member
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    Sure seems to have been the Big Ten's motive for dropping its pursuit of damages beyond $10,000,000.
     
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  28. interrobang

    interrobang Well-Known Member
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    Why would an article on the dismissal of the lawsuit discuss what Joe did or didn't do?
     
  29. getmyjive11

    getmyjive11 Well-Known Member
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    The Big Ten dropped it because of the NCAA's actions. Again, the Paterno lawsuit had zero to do with it.
     
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  30. kgilbert78

    kgilbert78 Well-Known Member
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    I guess the only thing I'm wondering is why the NCAA wants all of this sealed. And has from the beginning. But I'd guess our "friends" would tell us that they are just trying to protect Paterno....
     
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  31. didier

    didier Well-Known Member
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    Some of that I believe is related to the Freeh material. Anything regarding Freeh stuff had to be sealed as it had been designated so already.
     
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  32. voltz99

    voltz99 Well-Known Member
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    You can thank the joebots for keeping the negative stories in the news. Paternos did not help themselves. They filed the lawsuit and now look stupid.
     
    32 voltz99, Jul 3, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2017
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  33. PSUPhreak

    PSUPhreak Well-Known Member
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    Wetzel once wrote a story that made mcquery out to be some tragic sympathetic figure in all of this. He should never be taken seriously.
     
  34. kentuckycb

    kentuckycb Well-Known Member
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    Wetzel kneels at the altar of the lazy, sanctimonious, "gotcha" journalism today that satisfies the masses.

    I would be concerned if Wetzel wrote a positive Paterno article.

    Joe was a good man that got caught up in bad situation not if his own making, that's it.
     
    34 kentuckycb, Jul 3, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2017
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  35. artsandletters

    artsandletters Well-Known Member
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    The corrupt love them some seals.
     
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  36. MtNittany

    MtNittany Well-Known Member
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    FFW to about a minute...
     
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  37. Zenophile

    Zenophile Well-Known Member
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    Can't seem to get it to work.
     
  38. MtNittany

    MtNittany Well-Known Member
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    Works for me.
     
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  39. Zenophile

    Zenophile Well-Known Member
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    Strangely it works in my reply -- doggone iPhone.
     
  40. francofan

    francofan Well-Known Member
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    I love the way that Kevin Slaten oblierated Dan Wetzel.
     

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