Jay Paterno sent a strong message Friday, when the USA Today published his letter to the editor responding to criticism directed at Penn State.
Jay’s father, Joe Paterno, was honored by the school during last weekend’s game between the Nittany Lions and Temple. The game marked the 50th anniversary since Joe Paterno’s first game as head coach.
Penn State was criticized heavily for the gesture.
In his letter, headlined “My dad was not an enabler: Jay Paterno,” the son of the coach fired in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal in 2011, responded to those critics.
Specifically, Jay Paterno responded to USA Today writer Christine Brannan’s column, “What is Penn State thinking in honoring Joe Paterno?”
Here is a portion of Jay Paterno’s letter:
These are just five of many facts to counter that narrative:
- Prosecutors investigated claims against Paterno. They stated he was not involved in any attempt to cover it up.
- Paterno neither committed nor witnessed a crime. He reported, to the fullest extent of the law, the allegation brought to him.
- Claims about assistant coaches’ knowledge were denied. Investigators searching phones, computers and files turned up nothing.
- Allegations of “enabling” show a lack of understanding about “nice-guy offenders.” They don’t have “enablers,” instead going to great lengths to conceal their actions.
- The media made Paterno a central figure in this case, yet in a three-year grand jury investigation he testified as a witness for just 7 minutes.