In an interview on “60 Minutes Sports” with prosecutors Frank Fina and Joseph McGettigan, Armen Keteyian asked: “Do you believe that coach Paterno was part of the conspiracy to conceal — to cover up the crimes at Penn State?”
Fina responded: “I do not. And — and I — I’m viewing this strictly on the evidence, not any kind of fealty to anybody. I did not find that evidence.”
A more accurate response would have been: “I do not know. There is an email from Tim Curley to Graham Spanier suggesting a possible conspiracy involving Paterno. The upcoming trials may answer that question. Our job was to find evidence against Jerry Sandusky, not against Paterno. And when you don’t look, you probably won’t find.”
A competent interviewer would have asked McGettigan the same question. And Keteyian should have asked both prosecutors about the Curley email and its relevance to a possible conspiracy involving Paterno. And why not ask both prosecutors about evidence that Paterno engaged in his own personal coverup?
As expected, many Paterno apologists rushed to exploit Fina’s careless statement, proclaiming Paterno’s innocence. But they omitted the word conspiracy from their assertions.
Careful readers would note this glaring omission in articles in the Collegian, the online version of the CDT, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, a Sept. 9 CDT column by attorney and Paterno apologist Christine Flowers and an email to members of Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship.
The undeniable facts remain: Paterno knew — by his own words — that Mike McQueary’s story involved sex; and he never reported it to police.
This is a private cover-up, separate from any possible conspiracy.
Bernie McCue, State College