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Sue Paterno Sends Letter to Penn State Lettermen on 4th Anniversary of Scandal

Today marks the 4th anniversary of what was the beginning of the darkest week in Penn State history. Jerry Sandusky’s arrest led to an ugly domino effect that is still being felt today in many corners of Penn State. Sue Paterno experienced this collateral damage as much as anyone. The widow of our iconic coach released a letter today on the family website directed to Penn State lettermen, calling out the administration and Board of Trustees’ missteps in the aftermath of the scandal.

It’s a critical letter, but in true SuePa passion, she ends it with the statement “I love Penn State more every day.”

Here’s the letter in its entirety:

Dear Lettermen,

November 9 is the fourth anniversary of Joe’s firing by the Board of Trustees and their wholesale indictment of the football program and the Penn State culture. Joe and I knew they had acted rashly, but we were hopeful that, with the benefit of time, they would correct their mistakes and set the record straight.

While much progress has been made in the last four years, the Administration, the NCAA and Louis Freeh have yet to acknowledge fully the extent of their errors. Worse yet, they are still waging an all-out campaign to keep the facts from ever seeing the light of day.

I write to you now to let you know that we have not given up on setting the record straight – and we never will. Four years of secrecy are enough. The victims, their families, each of you and everyone who cares about Penn State deserve the truth.

The sad history of this case is that the Board of Trustees took a terrible tragedy and made it worse. Their complete reliance on the deeply flawed Freeh report and their total capitulation to the NCAA were terrible mistakes that needlessly and recklessly tarnished the reputation of this great university.

Our only options are to give in and accept the allegation that Penn State was consumed with a corrupt culture, or fight for the truth. You and I know what Joe would have expected us to do. Penn State’s culture is a treasure. It is worth fighting for. And the truth is not to be feared, but embraced.

Because these issues are currently being litigated, I am not able to comment on specific aspects of the case. What I can tell you is we respect the courts, and we welcome a chance to have the facts finally reviewed in a setting that honors transparency and due process.

Finally, I want you to know how proud I am of each of you. What you do with your lives is the ultimate testament to the Penn State culture. My life continues to be consumed with children and grandchildren and raising money for the causes Joe and I cared so much about. I also continue to pray for the victims and hope that the lessons of the Sandusky case will open eyes throughout our society.

I cherish my memories with all of you. I love Penn State more every day, which is why I will see this case to its proper resolution. I wish you and your families the best for the holidays.

With love,

P.S. Please hold the date…September 17, 2016, marks the 50th anniversary of Joe’s first game as head coach. We are planning a special event to honor all that you accomplished. I will be back to you with more information about plans for that weekend.

About the Author

Kevin Horne

Kevin Horne was the editor of Onward State from 2012-2014 and currently holds the position of Managing Editor Emeritus, which is a fake title he made up. He graduated from Penn State with degrees journalism and political science in 2014 and is currently seeking his J.D. at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law. A third generation Penn Stater from Williamsport, Pa., Kevin is also the president of the graduate student government. Email: [email protected]


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