I just finished reading the 23-page grand jury report on the Penn State football child abuse sex case against former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. As of this minute, I stand before you an outraged man.
And if you want to get mad right along with me, go on the Internet and read that same report. I guarantee one thing. It will reduce some people to tears over what happened to those poor young victims that Sandusky allegedly attacked.
I only use the word "allegedly" because Sandusky is going to trial and is innocent until proven guilty.
Reading this report cut me to the core. Sports writers like myself are supposed to be objective and neutral but on this one, that's tough.
I played four years of high school football and four years of college football, all of them for Hall of Fame coaches: Mark Miller at Linden High, Clare Slaughter at Fresno City College and Bob Mattos at Sacramento State. I can't imagine any of these men failing to protect children.
If Sandusky is convicted, then he used his position of authority to abuse the most sacred trust parents place in coaches: the mental and physical well-being of their child.
Coaches having sex with athletes is not new. Not that it should make any difference in principle, but it usually involves a coach and a teen athlete. Few approach the apparent depravity of this case, involving the alleged abuse of several children over years.
And Penn State, especially Paterno and his staff, reportedly condoned it. Heck, as recently as two weeks ago, Sandusky still had an office in the Nittany Lions football building despite retiring under a cloud of child sexual abuse suspicion in 1999.
Don't even get me started on assistant coach Mike McQueary, who said in the report that he witnessed Sandusky having sex on a 10-year old boy in the shower.
If I was a 28-year old graduate assistant at that time like McQueary was and observed that, I would make sure the abuse stopped, then and there, and that the police were called in.
It happened on Joe Paterno's watch and JoePa had to go, no doubt about it.
Like one of my friends said, it appears that Paterno and McQueary are at fault that children continued to be harmed by Sandusky over the years and they might as well have been right there with him when he was allegedly committing these horrible acts.
And my friend was right about one more thing. Paterno won't be remembered for winning 409 college football games or being the all-time winningest coach.
He will be that famous football coach who knew your child was molested and did nothing about it.
Richard Banas is a Lodi News-Sentinel sportswriter. He may be reached at LodiSentnlSports@aol.com.