Ob Populus

The Black Shoe Scandal

In Uncategorized on July 22, 2012 at 10:17 pm

Shoeless Joe Jackson is third on the all-time ...

Shoeless Joe Jackson is third on the all-time list. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We all have heard of the infamous Black Sox scandal. Although that event occurred over ninety years ago, the one name from that event that sticks out in the public’s mind is Shoeless Joe Jackson. His reputation has been forever sullied even as debates to his ultimate involvement in the scandal remain unresolved. Fast forward to today and we have a similar situation here in not so Happy Valley.

The Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal is now known almost exclusively as the Joe Paterno sex abuse scandal. Now Joe is involved to some extent but like Shoeless Joe, his ultimate involvement is open to debate. And besides many others failed in this sorry saga along with Joe. The police, the local prosecutor, state child protection workers and so forth. The list is never-ending and blame can be spread across the spectrum. Yet, the focus has primarily been on Joe and his football program; and both are going to take the brunt of the blowback. 

The NCAA is prepared to hit the storied football program with crippling sanctions that will all but kill the football program. Outside of this, life will go on. Children will still be abused. Incompetence and illegal behavior will continue in all facets of life. Officials will continue to make blunders and act in corrupt and illegal ways. But, by God, PSU football will have been taught a lesson. What that is, not quite sure.

Joe Paterno was known for many great things and many peculiarities. Besides his iconic glasses, Joe was known for his black sneakers that he wore all the time, a signature trademark. He unfortunately will also be the one name remembered for the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal when all others are forgotten. This despite the fact his ultimate responsibility is still open for debate. 

Move over Shoeless Joe, you have company. JoePa, can you make sure to bring an extra pair of sneakers.

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  1. Great article. Another rush to judgment–this time by the NCAA. To be honest, I can live with Joe losing 100 games. We all know what he did in football. An asterisk next to his name can’t change that. And they can always restore the wins if he’s ever cleared of the “cover up” allegations. But no post season play? They might as well have given us the death penalty. It will hurt kids who weren’t even playing high school football when this all happened, and drive away fans who are interested in the competition as much as the sport. But what I really don’t get is the $60 million. How did they come up with that? That can only hurt the current undergraduates,. I wonder what the NCAA plans to do with it? Erickson is willing to accept anything to put this behind him, as unlikely as that is. This truly has turned into the football scandal that Joe said it wasn’t. Maybe that’s what this is all about?

    • And how much of that $60 million will actually get to any kids. After the NCAA and its cronies get their fingers on it, not much will pass through.

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