Former Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer is saying what many people believe about Joe Paterno and his coaching staff at Penn State: they had to know about Jerry Sandusky. What gives Switzer’s word slightly more credence is that he was the head coach of a big-time college football program for 16 years and was a coach in other capacities for an additional 20 years.
“Having been in this profession a long time and knowing how close coaching staffs are, I knew that this was a secret that was kept secret,” Switzer told The Oklahoman. “Everyone on that staff had to have known, the ones that had been around a long time.”
The question is: To what end did they know? Did they know that Jerry Sandusky was investigated in 1998 for alleged sexual assaults? Or did they just think his attachment to kids was a bit strange? We’ve also heard the opposite from people who believe Sandusky was just a good guy who was charitable.
If the coaches, including Joe Paterno, knew that Jerry Sandusky had a history of alleged sexual assaults and still did little after the alleged ’02 anal rape witnessed by Mike McQueary, then the conclusion that there was a systemic coverup is fair. But if they did not know about past abuse investigations, and just thought something was odd, then Paterno’s behavior was somewhat more understandable.
H/T Eric Bickel
More on the Penn State Scandal:
Jerry Sandusky Could Face Criminal Charges in San Antonio
Why Did Campus Police Director Call Off ’98 Jerry Sandusky Investigation?
Paterno Likely Did Not Know in ’02 What We Know About Sandusky Now
Urge to Rip Joe Paterno Leaves Society Ignoring Most Important Lesson