The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

February 21, 2013

Aquaintance offenders

Daily Item

---- — Since I wrote in support of Joe Paterno's non-football legacy one year ago, I am compelled to offer my comments in the wake of the "Rush to Injustice" release. As Jim Clemente forcefully told Bob Ley on ESPN Sunday, Jerry Sandusky was RESPONSIBLE for the heinous crimes and acts committed.

What I learned from reading the entire report and then reviewing the Freeh Report, is that while I looked to "blame" someone to rationalize this scandal for myself. I was ignorant and naïve about the psychology of a "nice-guy acquaintance offender" and how someone like Sandusky could thrive in a community like State College.

What I understand Mr. Clemente saying is that many, many people were "groomed" in this process and that he, a victim of such abuse in his teens, wants to educate everyone about how such an atrocity can occur and also to increase awareness to help others.

I also learned that Former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh's analysis should make everyone question the "authenticity" of the Freeh report and its conclusions. Many may not like the Paterno family's commissioning of this report or the family's efforts to change the post-Freeh report image of JoePa.

What would we do if we were in their shoes? If there is any good here, it may be in Clemente's analysis and in Attorney Wick Sollers' summary raising again the question of the NCAA's jurisdiction and unprecedented actions -- unfortunately, I cannot directly help the victimized. However, I can choose to support their cause and the cause of others similarly affected. And, as a proud alumnus, perhaps, I can try in some small way to make Penn State University better "for the future that we wait."

Thomas P. Olenginski, M.D., Lewisburg