Below is a letter signed by 425 former Penn State players showing support for former head coach Joe Paterno who turned 85 years old today. I was pretty surprised to see Todd Blackledge sign it. As a member of the media establishment, an establishment that has kind of condemned Paterno for his role in protecting Jerry Sandusky.
Unless you’re someone who’s Penn State blue through and through, you’re likely going to be at least somewhat upset by what you read after the jump.
(Sandusky is pictured above, ok, not really that’s Herbert from Family Guy).
As members of the Penn State Community, we are deeply saddened by the allegations against Jerry Sandusky, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families. Given the allegations against Sandusky, we understand the public’s outrage because we share it.
At the same time, however, it’s important to remember that all of the facts surrounding this troubling matter are not known. Until all of the facts are known and due process has run its course, we ask that the public reserve judgment about Joe Paterno and the Penn State community.
Having known Coach Paterno for many years, we can say with certainty that Joe Paterno is a remarkable man and that Penn State is a remarkable institution. Joe has had a profound effect on the lives of almost every member of the Penn State family. Joe has taught Penn State faith, fairness, philanthropy and the importance of academic excellence – all values that make Penn State a great institution today.
Penn State’s new president recently said that he wants the university to be known as a great research institution. In fact, the institution that Joe helped build is much larger than a single coach or team. Penn State is 94,300 students on 24 campuses. We are Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Dickinson School of Law and Smeal College of Business. We are the world’s largest dues-paying alumni association. We are home of the world’s largest student run philanthropic organization. We are the University that has raised over $500,000, to date, for victims of child abuse during its darkest hour.
We are much more than just one man or one sport. We are a great research institution today and a university that prepares all of its graduates for success in many different fields.
Many in the Penn State community view the public’s rush to judgment of Joe as a rush to judgment of everything Penn State. We ask for due process for Joe Paterno and the Penn State community. Based on the immense quality of Joe’s character and the absence of all the facts, we stand in support of Joe and Penn State.
The Penn State Football Family
The following family members have signed the letter:
The list is super long so go here to see who has signed on