The remarkable story Paul excerpts below really draws a line under Paul’s earlier point about the holier-than-thou sanctimony Paterno showed toward Barry Switzer et al. Switzer’s crimes involved playing fast and loose with NCAA recruiting rules. The exploitative purpose of these rules, of course, is to ensure that beyond a basic scholarship that can be revoked at the pleasure of the coach none of the great wealth generated by the NCAA can go to the players putting themselves at substantial physical risk and their families. And yet, oddly, the Sacred Principles of Amateurism are not violated by coaches stuffing as much money as they can with both hands into their pockets. (If a dime of those millions had gone to his players, of course, Paterno’s legacy would really be tarnished.) And, partly because it’s forbidden to compensate the players, the salaries of NCAA football coaches are disconnected from the free market even by the standards of powerful Americans. Paterno demanding enormous sums of money as a scandal involving actual violent crimes that Paterno actively helped cover up was beginning to engulf the campus, is both an illustration of our corrupt elites and as good an illustration of Taylor Branch’s point as you can find. When NCAA football coaches agree to salaries that don’t exceed the salary of the median associate professor, I’ll listen to arguments about how the Noble Principles of Amateurism demand that players be ruthlessly exploited. (And still reject them, but at least I’ll listen.)
Indeed, Mr. Freeh’s investigation makes clear it was Mr. Paterno, long regarded as the single most powerful official at the university, who persuaded the university president and others not to report Mr. Sandusky to the authorities in 2001 after he had violently assaulted another boy in the football showers.
The same conclusion was drawn by Dan Wetzel, and Bruce Feldman, and…you get the idea. It’s what the Freeh report says, and the inferences drawn by the Freeh report are the only reasonable interpretation of the sequence of events established by the emails.