The Betrayal of Joe Paterno: How It All Probably Happened

“A lie gets half way around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”

Winston Churchill

"In the aftermath of the Freeh Report, the powers that be at present at Penn State should have the good graces to suspend the football program for at least a year, perhaps more.”

Bob Costas, July 17th, 2012

“That doesn’t necessarily make sense.”

Bob Costas, May 29th, 2013, on the underlying theory of the same Freeh Report

A year ago this week the Freeh Report investigation of Penn State and Joe Paterno was released to great fanfare. Largely because of that report, most people seem to think they know the story of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Almost all of them are at least somewhat mistaken, and most are very wrong about what actually happened. Amazingly, the average media person, because they have a stronger incentive to believe they didn’t blindly perpetrate a false narrative, appears to be even more in the dark than the typical American is about the real truth of this tragedy.

After spending most of the past year and a half researching, pondering, and speaking to more people closer to the Jerry Sandusky case than likely anyone else in the world, even I am still not positive that I know exactly what really transpired in the so called “Penn State Scandal.” While I am quite certain that the largely accepted media storyline of some concerted “cover up” by Penn State of Sandusky’s crimes is false, I am somewhat convinced that we may never know for sure precisely what actually did occur.

I am also equally persuaded that, thanks to the unique nature of my placement within this story (having no connection to Penn State, having spoken expansively to almost all of the key players in the story but having no direct loyalty to the Paterno family, being the only person to extensively question Sandusky on the record, and not being beholden to a mainstream media outlet or their “conventional wisdom”), I am in a better position to get the real truth of this matter than probably anyone else. Assuming you look at all of it with an open mind, you will likely find that the extensive analysis which follows what you are now reading gets closer to that goal than anything else that has been written to date on this subject.

You will also see that the story of what really happened here is likely both far more interesting and culturally important than the mythology most people currently believe, and that its intrigue and significance has almost nothing to do with whether you care much at all about Joe Paterno or Penn State University.

My objective here is to detail a complete scenario which makes sense in its totality and is not in direct contradiction either internally or with any of the known evidence. It should be noted that, incredibly, no one has even really attempted this daunting exercise, and certainly neither the highly priced “Freeh” or “Paterno” reports on this matter did so (Freeh because he couldn’t create a narrative which made any sense, and “Paterno” because their objective was almost entirely political).

I am well aware that almost everyone will be upset by at least something they read in my version of events. This is a horrible story and a lot of people, some of them well respected, have acted in ways which should leave them ashamed. My primary goal in all of this was simply to find out what the real truth is, no matter where that led me. Most people in my position would be far too smart not to at least shade what they really think happened here because they would realize that the unvarnished truth would do them absolutely no good personally. For better or worse, I am not one of those people.

That reality is essentially proven by the fact that you are even reading this document for free on the Internet. I had a chance to do this as a commercial book but, because of the controversial nature of its content, I was never confident that any publisher would allow me to have sufficient control over the substance of it (this is just one of dozens of examples where the media’s myopic view of this story has created a self-fulfilling prophecy because no opposing view can make it into the mainstream in what the elites deem to be a “credible” way).

I could have easily made money from this endeavor as a self-published online book, but that would have been inconsistent with my principles and cut down on the number of people who would read it. It is very important to me that there be an easily accessible public record of the real history of this story. That is why this “book” is currently in such an unusual format (I am convinced that in a remotely rational world this work would easily be the foundation for a mainstream bestseller and I am “withholding,” for now, some of the details of the media element of this story because I do think that portion may theoretically make for part of a traditional book some day).  

For those with pathetically small attention spans who just want to know what is “new” in all of this (this means you members of the news media), here are just some of the specific elements within this work which have never been made public before:

This journey has been the most difficult and demanding of my life. I have made many mistakes in this pursuit, but I believe in the end that the truth has at least been honored. Joe Paterno never got his day in court in all of this, but he at least deserved his dying wish that the truth be found. I don’t know if I have achieved that, but I know that was my aspiration and I am confident that this effort lives up to that lofty standard.

With all of that as the backdrop and context for this effort, here is what I think probably really happened in the most amazing, depressing, fascinating, troubling, perplexing, frustrating, unpredictable, and, ultimately, significant saga with which I have ever been intimately familiar. This effort is dedicated to all of the victims of the events of this horrible story, and to those who value the pursuit of truth, no matter what it may cost, or the discomfort its findings may cause.

Here are the links to each of the chapters of this book. Please share this "home page" for the book as much as possible as it is the only way the truth here will be widely disseminated.

Chapter One: It Begins

Chapter Two: The McQueary Episode

Chapter Three: The Lull Before the Storm

Chapter Four: The Media Firestorm

Chapter Five:  The Firing

Chapter Six: The Sandusky Trial

Chapter Seven: The Freeh Report

Chapter Eight: The NCAA

Chapter Nine: Playing From Far Behind

Chapter Ten: Conclusions