One year ago today, the late head coach Joe Paterno and former Penn State president Graham Spanier were removed from their positions by the Board of Trustees in response to the grand jury presentment released for the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse case.
Sandusky, a former assistant football coach, was arrested just four days before the two administrators were fired and has been sentenced to at least 30 years in prison on 45 counts of child sex abuse.
Fast forwarding one year after Paterno and Spanier’s removal, Spanier, along with former Interim Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Gary Schultz and former Athletic Director Tim Curley have all been charged with perjury, child endangerment, obstruction of justice and failure to report suspected abuse, as well as conspiracy to commit the previously mentioned crimes.
Those walking along campus or on College Avenue can see, though, that there is still a strong support for the former football coach and through efforts by filmmaker John Ziegler, the truth in the so-called “cover up” is still being searched for.
Documentary filmmaker and creator of the FramingPaterno.com site, Ziegler, has once again produced a video regarding the “cover up” at Penn State, a precursor to a longer documentary he hopes to create.
But due to a large marketing budget needed for the documentary, it may be difficult to create such a project that would garner enough recognition. Ziegler said the media is so “pervasive,” they would prevent the film from coming to the surface he is looking for.
The 32-minute “mini-movie”, which included interviews with a trustee, former football players and Penn State professors, appeared on YouTube Thursday, released just in time for the one year anniversary of Paterno’s ousting.
The video points out several instances in the media where incorrect statements were broadcast regarding the sex abuse case. Many of those statements revolved around former assistant football coach Mike McQueary, whose testimonies don’t correlate with the grand jury presentment in every case.
Several of the interviewees, including former football player Franco Harris and Trustee Anthony Lubrano were shocked when the board announced that Paterno would lose his job immediately on the night of Nov. 9, 2011.
Christian Marrone, former football player and one of the leaders of the PS4RS Legal and Regulatory Task Force, said in the video that the attorney general made a huge mistake in putting the words “anal intercourse” in the grand jury presentment, since McQueary testified that he only saw “horsing around.”
The attorney general’s office could not be reached for comment.
Harris said in the video that he spoke to McQueary, who had said to him that he never witnessed sexual assault.
Analyst for the Director of National Intelligence and Penn State graduate, Ray Blehar, said in the video that the record shows that Paterno was never aware of the case in 1998, where Sandusky was first called into investigation. The case never moved forward and Sandusky was found innocent.
David La Torre, university spokesman, wrote in an email that the university did not have a comment on the situation.
But, the video also calls into question McQueary’s stability in answering questions and staying truthful. Former Penn State football player Andrew Pitz, who had McQueary as a coach, said that he was “falsely accused” for several things he didn’t do by the former coach and lost playing time because of it. Because of his experience with McQueary then, Pitz said he didn’t trust the man.
“The media is no longer constructed to handle a story as this one,” Ziegler said in the video.
But because of the positive feedback he has been gaining from this video, Ziegler said he will continue on with the cause, knowing that there is a strong support system and another side to the story that the media is falsely producing.
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