There are the obligations we all have to uphold the law. There are then the obligations we all have to do what is right.
It has become increasingly clear that while Penn State University President Graham Spanier has not been charged with breaking any laws, he did not do what is right — for his school or, more importantly, for the alleged victims of coaching legend Jerry Sandusky.
Spanier needs to step aside. If he doesn’t, the university board of trustees needs to take that step when it meets this week.
As for Joe Paterno, the face of Penn State and the man who has pushed for excellence on the football field and for the entire university, this must be his last season. His contract should not be extended.
This is not about age. This is not about rebuilding a football team.
It is impossible not to cringe when hearing the charges against Sandusky
. From 1994 to 2008, he is said to have sexually abused eight boys as young as 8 years old. Some victims reported up to 20 incidents.
Though Sandusky is said by the attorney general’s office to have found the boys through his Second Mile charity for kids, many incidents are said to have happened in the football locker room at Penn State — both before and after Sandusky retired as a Nittany Lions coach in 1999.
The allegations are horrifying in nature, stupefying in quantity, nauseating in detail.
The courts will determine whether Jerry Sandusky is guilty of any crime. Until then, he is presumed innocent. That is the bedrock of our democracy.
The court system will also determine whether Athletic Director Tim Curley and university Vice President Gary Schultz committed perjury. The twists and turns of such things as the statute of limitations and legal definitions will play key roles in the courtroom.
But right now, here, today, we know what Spanier and Paterno did — and did not do.