On Wednesday’s Studio B, Shepard Smith along with attorneys Randy Zelin and Keith Sullivan, went over the role Joe Paterno played in the Jerry Sandusky case. Sandusky was the long-time defensive coordinator for the Penn State football team who was arraigned on 40 criminal counts Saturday for various sexual acts with underage boys (The graphic grand jury report can be found here).
The school has announced that Paterno will retire at the end of the year, but Smith wondered if he would — or should — even make it to December. He asked Zelin how long Paterno will remain head coach, and Zelin said that the school and coach are probably talking “every 30 seconds,” and that Penn State will likely give Paterno a soft landing, where he retires as the “good cop” and the school ends up playing the role of bad cop. Smith then asked if the coach even deserved a soft landing. Paterno followed protocol and reported an incident to the athletic director. But he didn’t call the police or take it any further than that. Sullivan dissected the angles of complicity from a legal and moral point of view:
Did Paterno break the law? No. Did he do what was minimally required? Yes. [But] morally and ethically, he has failed as a human being and as a leader. He should’ve been terminated by the end of the business day yesterday. It’s a disgrace that they will allow him to resign at the end of the season.
The usually-reserved Smith then got a little heated, suggesting that Paterno is the most powerful man in the state of Pennsylvania, and — while having done a great deal in the past transforming the lives of young athletes — he could have done more to get Sandusky put away. “If he wanted him removed from that campus, if he knew what had happened and wanted him gone, [he would have been],” Smith said. “And since he did not, is he at least morally responsible for the abuse that happened to how many children since then?”
Watch the clip, along with it’s awkwardly somber ending, below, courtesy of FOX News:
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org