SOUTH CENTRE TOWNSHIP -- In a lawsuit involving Penn State University and its old insurance company, one line revealed that Coach Joe Paterno knew about Jerry Sandusky molesting underage boys long before previously knowing.
Before this recent court paperwork, the earliest known allegations against Jerry Sandusky were in 1988. But now, court filings show Joe Paterno may have known about allegations as early as 1976.
Jerry Sandusky is serving 30 to 60 years in prison after being convicted of molesting multiple boys.
People's opinions on the late Joe Paterno differ, starting with Mitch Knorr, who played in a football camp with Sandusky when Knorr was in high school.
"[Joe Paterno is] still one of the best college football coaches out there," said Knorr of Bloomsburg. "You can't take that away from him. He might have known some bad things but he's still the best. He always will be!"
Then there were several sets of parents and grandparents of Penn State students at Scoreboard Sports Tavern in the Lime Ridge area of Columbia County.
"I think he was responsible and I don't think he carried through like he should have," said Dick Svhetler of Lime Ridge. "I'm a Penn State guy, but I think he was wrong for what he did or what he didn't do."
"I don't think he knew about all of it, but he knew some of it," said Linda Boone of Orangeville.
"He is an icon," added Jody Boone. "Nothing is going to change that!"
The family of Joe Paterno released the following statement:
Because of a single sentence in a court record of an insurance case, Joe Paterno's reputation has once again been smeared with an unsubstantiated, 40-year-old allegation. In response to this allegation and the subsequent media hype, the Paterno family is demanding a full public review of the facts.
From day one, Joe Paterno and his family have called for an objective and total pursuit of the truth with a full respect for due process. In 2011 and 2012, Joe Paterno was subjected to an unprecedented rush to justice by Louis Freeh and the NCAA. Time has proven that the Freeh report was deeply flawed and the unprecedented punitive actions of the ncaa were unjustified. Over the past four and a half years, numerous allegations that were taken as fact when they were initially communicated have been proven false. It is in this context that the latest claim should be viewed.
The reckless, all-out rush to accept accusations as legitimate without a full fair review of the facts, cannot be allowed to happen again. Fighting shadows and rumors on issues that are this significant is a disservice to everyone who cares about the truth. We do not fear the truth, we embrace it. And we will not allow a repeat of what happened before. We challenge anyone with evidence of misconduct to come forward and present their allegations in a process that allows a full, fair review of the evidence.
We will stand by the facts, but we will never accept veiled accusations presented in a context where they cannot be objectively reviewed and analyzed.
If anything has been learned from the Sandusky tragedy it should be that rushed investigations do incredible harm. For once, a fair process should come before conclusions are reached.