'Spinning' to condemn

| Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

In response to the editorial “Spinning JoePa” (Feb. 13 and TribLIVE.com): I've always held a favorable opinion of Joe Paterno. The Sandusky scandal, as documented in the Freeh report, has not changed my opinion.

In years past, I also held a favorable opinion of Jerry Sandusky. He appeared to be guided by a moral code — much like “JoePa.” But I was wrong. The evidence is overwhelming. He was an evil, sick man.

But Joe is not Jerry. Joe positively influenced the lives of many young men — on and off the field. Some described Joe as cranky, stubborn and a bit out of touch with modern culture. But no one called him a liar or manipulator — at least not until the Freeh report. That report provides plenty of suspicion — but no concrete evidence that Joe deliberately hid anything or provided cover for the reputation of a friend or a university.

For sure, there are legitimate, unanswered questions. What and how much did Joe know? Why didn't he press Sandusky or university staff for answers? I wish we knew. But we don't. That's where the Freeh report comes up short.

Maybe someday, evidence will surface that either exonerates or condemns Joe Paterno's integrity. Until then, I withhold judgment.

The Trib asserts that the Paterno family is “spinning” in its “attempts to exonerate the family's beloved patriarch.” But those who never liked Joe are spinning to condemn him. Spin goes both ways — but serves no one.

Tim Walters

White Oak

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