They had their moment of truth. They were confronted with an ugly situation: credible allegations of child abuse against one of their assistant coaches. They could turn him over to the cops or they could do nothing.
They choked. They did nothing. They had concerns, but they rationalized doing nothing.
So more kids got abused. Young, defenseless kids were sexually assaulted by a serial child rapist. All because they didn't go to the cops.
It makes no sense morally or logically. They were alerted to an allegation against Sandusky in 1998. According to the Freeh report, the police, the Centre County District Attorney's Office and the Department of Public Welfare all investigated Sandusky in 1998. Charges were never filed. You can ask why charges weren't filed, and you can ask why Paterno, Spanier, Curley and Schultz didn't do anything to remove Sandusky from campus then. But in fairness to them, the authorities investigated and they didn't charge Sandusky.
What's not OK is that they did nothing in 2001 when similar allegations were brought to their attention by former Penn State quarterback Mike McQueary, then a graduate assistant with the program.
The Freeh report makes plainly clear that it was inexcusable those four men failed to report Sandusky immediately to the police after McQueary told them what he saw in light of the fact that they had already been alerted something was wrong in 1998.
Why? It makes no sense. If they had reported Sandusky in 2001, they had cover. He was no longer a coach then, and if the 1998 incident came up, they could legitimately claim the authorities had looked into it and hadn't charged him. Beyond the obvious moral reasons, why wouldn't they have thrown Sandusky immediately under the bus in 2001 in order to protect themselves and the school?
Could it really be because they feared publicity and the impact on the football program? Seriously?
No institution, no matter how large or revered, is worth the price of one child.