New Castle News

Penn State Scandal

July 13, 2012

Penn State Scandal: Former players from county react to latest findings

NEW CASTLE — One of the biggest scandals in college athletics keeps growing.

The Penn State community was rocked once again yesterday with the release of Louis Freeh’s 267-page report. Freeh, a former FBI director who was hired by university trustees, and his firm’s comprehensive investigation concluded that Joe Paterno and other top Penn State officials hushed up child sex abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky more than a decade ago for fear of bad publicity.

It added another dimension for many former Penn State football players, who consider themselves part of a family regardless of when they were part of the program. They were already shocked and disgusted to learn of the allegations against Sandusky, a former Nittany Lions assistant coach.

“It’s quite surprising. I think it’s just very sad to think they had a chance to stop this and they didn’t. I just hope it truly wasn’t because of the (potential for) negative publicity from it,” said Mike Latsko, a New Castle graduate who played linebacker at Penn State from 1983-86 and was coached directly by Sandusky. “It’s still not clear to me who made all the decisions. I think the thing that’s hardest to believe is how did that get past everybody? How do you fool so many people for so long, especially with all the scrutiny that goes with a high-profile program? It’s all very disappointing. I feel sad for the kids and everybody involved.”


The report stated Paterno, along with former president Graham Spanier, athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz “failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade.”

“What Sandusky did — I have two young sons — it’s horrific. He should be punished. If these people at the top lied, they should be punished, too,” said John Wojtowicz, a Union graduate and Penn State offensive lineman from 1977-81. “I wasn’t there and I don’t know. What was actually said and what was told. Who knows? But, it looks like a lot of people at the top dropped the ball. A lot of people and families had their lives ruined. If these people didn’t do what they were supposed to do, then their lives are ruined, too. It’s a no-win situation for a lot of people. If anybody is in the wrong, they should pay and a lot of people will pay, it looks like.”

Nick Marmo, a New Castle High graduate and Nittany Lions offensive lineman from 2001-04, was surprised to hear of the latest developments.

“I was driving all day, so I listened to the radio and all the talk about this. It was nice to hear different perspectives from (former PSU great) Matt Millen and other people — some who were All-Americans and some who were not even associated with the program,” he said. “Being there and having a great experience, it’s hard to believe. It’s also hard to believe (Paterno) didn’t know anything about it and he ran everything. It’s sad this came out. It’s just disappointing.

“I was (at Penn State) right after Sandusky and I wasn’t a part of it. I am not going to let it ruin my experience,” he continued. “Some of the things Joe tried to instill and teach you — now you kind of question some of those things, especially in my position as a teacher now. As a teacher, if I am faced with that sort of situation, maybe I will make the right decision. So maybe, in a way, Joe’s still teaching us. This is a big black mark on him, but he did a lot of good things for the university and the players.”

Despite the latest developments, the former Nittany Lions players don’t want the entire university and anyone else associated with Penn State tarnished.

“My opinion doesn’t change. Joe said he wished he would have done more. A lot of people should have done more. It’s just a shame,” Wojtowicz said. “He did a lot of good things for a lot of people. Hindsight is 20/20. Obviously, they should have done more. There are a lot of good people who went to Penn State and aren’t associated with all of this. So, to have them lumped in with this whole scandal is totally ludicrous. It’s so hard to get my arms around how one sick individual could cause so much damage to such a great institution and all these people.”



Speculation has suggested the football program may face some form of NCAA discipline. Latsko — and other former Nittany Lions — hope that doesn’t happen.

“This has nothing to do with any of those players. It doesn’t have anything to do with thousands of people associated with the university,” he said. “It’s just one guy who committed crimes and others who covered it up.”

Marmo believes punishment is in order, but not for the current football players and staff members.

“People want to give the program the ‘death penalty’ just because of something some old guy, whose picture used to be on the wall, did. This has nothing to do with the kids on the field or my experience. That’s the problem I have with it,” he said. “You don’t want to punish the kids there, but something has to happen.”

New head football coach Bill O’Brien has a tough task rebuilding the Nittany Lions’ reputation on and off the field.

“I don’t know what effect this will have,” Latsko said. “Everything I have heard, everything is well received with how he has gone about it. He’s praising the kids for working through the controversy.”

Added Wojtowicz: “I wish him nothing but the best. He has a big mountain to climb with all this. I hope he does well and all the kids enjoy their experience because they had nothing to do with this. Let them enjoy their college experience at Penn State. Why should they suffer? They had nothing to do with it. This is obviously a huge black eye and probably will take years to get over.”

Marmo has seen O’Brien and the newest Nittany Lions up close and is impressed.

“I have been to a couple practices and workouts. The energy is great. It seems like they are going to keep things going in the right direction,” he said. “They are still getting good (recruits). To me, it’ll be interesting to see how it impacts the future. I just don’t know.

“Penn State is a great place even if a few people didn’t do the right thing. I am still wearing my Blue and White. I am still proud,” he continued. “We’re going to get through this.”


Text Only | Photo Reprints
Penn State Scandal
  • Our Opinion: Report finds flaws in Sandusky probe, but no scanda

    So it seems the investigation into Jerry Sandusky was less than perfect.

    June 24, 2014

  • sandusky.jpg Penn State scandal played out in courts over 2013

    Penn State paid millions to settle claims of child sexual abuse, three university administrators accused of a cover-up fought the charges and NCAA penalties were dialed down slightly as the Jerry Sandusky scandal continued to play out in many different ways over the past year.

    December 28, 2013 1 Photo

  • gavel.jpg Appeals court denies Sandusky new trial

     Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky should not get a new trial after being convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys, a Pennsylvania appeals court ruled Wednesday.

    October 2, 2013 1 Photo

  • Penn State Abuse1.jpg Three from PSU ordered to stand trial

    Penn State’s ex-president and two former top school administrators were ordered yesterday to stand trial on charges accusing them of a cover-up in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

    July 31, 2013 1 Photo

  • Penn State Saga: Paterno lawyer says estate to sue NCAA

    The family of the late Penn State coach Joe Paterno — along with several university trustees, former players and others connected to the school — plan to sue the NCAA over the landmark sanctions against the university for the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

    May 30, 2013

  • Paterno family speaks at child abuse event

    On the night before he died, Joe Paterno scrawled a message that his wife Sue did not find until after the legendary coach had passed away. In that message, Joe Paterno noted the silver lining in the child sex abuse coverup that led to his firing might be that the scandal could inspire a greater awareness about child abuse.

    April 12, 2013

  • Judge: No new trial for Sandusky

    Jerry Sandusky lost a bid for a new trial Wednesday when a judge rejected his argument that his lawyers were not given enough time to prepare for the three-week proceeding that ended with a 45-count guilty verdict.

    January 30, 2013

  • Spanier.tiff Ex-PSU president Spanier charged in sex abuse scandal

    Former Penn State President Graham Spanier on Thursday became the latest high-ranking school official to face charges in the child sex-abuse scandal involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. Additional charges were also filed against two other school officials already charged in the case.

    November 1, 2012 1 Photo

  • dd5576bc7a387e1c1d0f6a7067004664.jpg Our Opinion: Sandusky jail term protects children and sends a message

    There probably isn’t much new to say about the Jerry Sandusky saga at this point. However, yesterday’s sentencing of Sandusky to 30 to 60 years in prison — essentially a life term — for his conviction on child sex abuse charges, warrants additional comment.

    October 10, 2012 1 Photo

  • dd5576bc7a387e1c1d0f6a7067004664.jpg Jerry Sandusky will die in prison, judge says

    Jerry Sandusky was sentenced Tuesday to at least 30 years in prison — effectively a life sentence — in the child-sex-abuse scandal that brought shame to Penn State and led to coach Joe Paterno's downfall. A defiant Sandusky gave a rambling statement in which he denied the allegations and talked about his life in prison and the pain of being away from his family.

    October 9, 2012 1 Photo 1 Story

House Ads

Have you held or will you hold a garage/yard sale this year?

I have and it was a success! It's a great way to get rid of some junk and make a little extra pocket money.
I have, but it didn't go over so well. Better luck next time?
I haven't yet, but I plan to.
I haven't and I don't plan to. It's not for me.
     View Results