Jay Paterno Should Not Have Appeared on ESPN

Today was another horrible day on top of a horrible year for the Paterno family. Joe Paterno was damned by the Freeh Report, his name was taken off of the Nike Child Development Center, and the Internet has declared war on the Paterno statue.

As they usually do, the Paternos were quick to respond this morning after the release of the Freeh Report. But that wasn’t enough. A little over an hour ago, Jay Paterno went on SportsCenter to discuss his opinions of the Freeh Report and uphold his family’s honor.

While to most the Freeh Report is clear-cut evidence that Joe Paterno was one of the four powerful people at Penn State that failed to protect the victims against a sexual predator, the Paterno’s think there is still more to be known. “Everyone has to keep this in perspective…[the Freeh report] is an opinion…There were no new facts,” Jay started off.

He stated that he finds the “culture of concealment” purported in the Freeh Report to be “unreasonable.”

“When you judge people’s actions in a historical event, it’s human nature to judge those events based on info we have now in 2012,” Jay said.

While Jay admitted that his family has accepted that Joe should have pushed for further investigation, he assured that his father would never put a child in harm’s way for “another win or to avoid bad publicity.”

He said that his father has been the only leader in this situation thus far. “This episode is one chapter in a very very big life, a life that was led with integrity, honesty and commitment to this university.”

ESPN reporter Tom Rinaldi then asked some bullshit questions like, “What does your family’s name mean today?” which contributed nothing and only made Rinaldi look like an asshole.

So what did I take from all of this?

1. Jay Paterno should not have appeared on ESPN

2.The Paternos need a LONG vacation.

I can’t imagine having to accept that your father/husband, who up until this fall was considered a saint nationwide, is partially at fault for the sexual abuse of several children. Joe Paterno has been in the media spotlight ahead of Jerry Sandusky through this whole ordeal, and has possibly received more hatred than the buck-toothed swine that committed these heinous crimes.

However, the Paternos need to be quiet. If I were in their shoes, I would probably be making every effort to defend my father, but from the outside, it is only doing them greater harm. People are going to say what they want about Joe no matter how many emotionally-charged statements they release. This is a fight they will not win.

Jay, we know that you love your father, and you are only trying to do justice to the man that you knew, but you need to think about your own sanity, and the sanity of your family. If the Freeh report is merely one side to the story, then the truth will come out in time, and then it will be your chance to take the podium.

I struggle to determine the guilt of Joe Paterno. I am doing my best to grant him neither damnation, nor innocence because I believe there are still a few chapters yet to unfold. But, I still love the rest of the Paterno family, and I can only feel compassion for them. Watching Jay stumble across his words (an uncommon characteristic for such a well-spoken man), struggling to maintain composure was awful, and it must have been much worse for him.

Paterno family, please go on a nice long retreat. Stay out of the media for a while because they will not show you mercy. You need to let the upcoming events transpire as they will because you are only exhausting what little energy you must have left at this point. And most importantly, as Jay claimed his father would say if he were alive right now, “Continue to seek the truth.”

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About the Author

Ryan Kristobak

Hailing from Lebanon, PA, I am a senior majoring in print journalism. Things I enjoy include lovesacs, denim, mullets, Fight Milk, Jonny Moseley, and "hang in there" kitten posters. Things that bother me include "fun" sized candy bars (not fun), fish, shoobies, wet door knobs, baby leashes, and Jake Lloyd.

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