(News 4 Sports) -- Let me be clear that I am no fan of the NCAA. I think it is a consistently hypocritical organization. That said, I can't disagree with the unprecedented sanctions placed on Penn State.
After spending hours reading over the Freeh report, the only conclusion I could reach is that Joe Paterno and others at the school chose to cover their backs and protect the program rather than stop a predator in his tracks. That, in my opinion, is a cowardly and self-serving decision that altered many lives. We aren't talking about concealing a white collar crime. Jerry Sandusky wasn't accused of buying or selling drugs. He was systematically and methodically molesting young boys. We should expect more from leaders of universities. We should expect at the very least the minimum. Paterno and the administrators failed to deliver the minimum.
Jerry Sandusky is a monster. Period. I don't believe the same to be true of Paterno. I think he would act differently if he had to do it all over again. However, he was in position to make the right choice and failed. For 40-plus years he asked his players to do the right thing, to make the right choices. Yet he failed to do so when faced with the most important decision of his career.
Unfortunately, there is major collateral damage at Penn State. Coaches and student athletes who had nothing to do with the scandal are paying a heavy price. But the NCAA is allowing the athletes to transfer without penalty. That's fair. I also think new head coach Bill O'Brien should be given the same courtesy. If he wants to leave he should be allowed to get out of his contract. It will be a long time before we see Penn State as a national power in college football. Ironically, Joe Paterno helped kill the program that he built. His last official victory was November 22, 1997. His team beat Wisconsin that day. His quarterback that day was Mike McQueary. Truth is stranger than fiction.