The costs of the scandals and repeated mistakes of the Paterno family and Rutgers University are not just paid by the students, children and athletes who were all caught up in their respective cases of abuse.
The fact that neither can seem to move on – or in the case the Paterno family, almost offensively refuse to move on – makes matters much worse.
The Paterno family announced last night that they would be suing the “overreaching” NCAA for overly relying on the “inaccurate and incomplete” Freeh report, as if that changes the fact that Joe Paterno allowed sexual abuse to continue after he knew about it.
The problem for Rutgers is that the institution doesn't appear to understand how to do a background check.
These instances of abuse were rare occurrences, if you assume the widespread condemning of the acts is proof that it isn't going on elsewhere, but the incompetence displayed in these instances doesn't give the public a good impression.
Can Rutgers really be serious about moving away from a coach with an abusive past when they hire an AD with similar skeletons? Does that mean they think it isn't a big deal?
The Paterno family continuing their futile fight to clear JoPa's name, reminds us that we must be careful not to glorify those in power too much. Downside is, that continued presence is swinging the pendulum of public opinion and swift justice too far.
For example, neither Bernie Fine nor Todd Hoffner has been offered a job since they were accused of crimes they didn't commit. Fine was Jim Boeheim's right hand man who was accused of molesting a teenage boy. Hoffner was a former head football coach at Minnesota State accused of producing child pornography.
Those are serious crimes and schools have virtually no choice but to distance themselves immediately from those words. No one wants “Minnesota State child pornography” to show up under the google search suggestion bar.
There isn't a right to a fair trial in the court of public opinion.
Fine and Hoffner were only guilty by association, but must now bear the brunt of public perception. A negative association that Rutgers University and the Paterno family keep reinforcing by their constant foolishness.