Former Penn State Quarterback Todd Blackledge: “What took place was evil”

November 11, 2011 – 6:00 am by Eric Schmoldt

Todd Blackledge certainly knows what it means to be a part of the Penn State family. The former quarterback was a three-year starter who led the Nittany Lions to a national championship in 1982. Like everyone else, the current ESPN analyst has been stunned by this news and says, while he doesn’t believe Jerry Sandusky is evil, that the things that occurred were.

Todd Blackledge joined 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia with Mike Missanelli to discuss Joe Paterno’s firing, if he agrees with the decision, if he thinks the people responsible for cover ups were trying to protect the image of Happy Valley more than anything else, if he gets the sense Joe Paterno was complicit in this, how Penn State handled the firing, and working with Jerry Sandusky and the Second Mile foundation.

Do you agree that Joe Paterno should have been let go?:

“Yeah, I do. I mean, you could see it coming. I wasn’t sure it would happen as quickly as it did, if the board would be able to pull itself together and get everything in line that they needed to. I didn’t know if he would coach this week or not, but at the end of the day, I agree it was a decision that needed to be made.”

Do you view this as people looking to protect the program and image more than they were protecting the welfare of other people?:

“I guess so. Again, I don’t have all the answers right now, I don’t know all the details, but what I’ve seen, that’s kind of what you’re led to believe. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of sadness that I feel on a lot of different levels in this story. But my greatness sadness and feelings are, I’m a father of four boys. The people that were victims in this, over a long period of time, that’s the most tragic thing. … The idea that they were children then, but several of them are adults now that have lived with this for years and years. … The fact that that was not stopped, that it was not properly reported … there’s no reason that explains it or is good enough.”

How deeply do you think Joe Paterno was complicit in all of this?:

“I don’t know. I can’t answer that question. My hunch would be, and maybe it’s because I have such strong feelings and a fondness for him, my hunch would be that I don’t see him as being complicit. I do see him as that he could have done something different and done something more and should have, and didn’t.”

Do you have a problem with the way Penn State handled the firing?:

“There’s no pretty way to do it. There was no happy ending here. So, however it happened was not going to be a great situation.”

Could you have ever foreseen all of this with Jerry Sandusky?:

“No, not at all. I had a lot of respect for Jerry, first as a coach. And I had a lot of respect for him as a person, I thought, that was really committed and passionate about helping kids. I got involved with the Second Mile while I was still a student-athlete at Penn State and have continued to be a supporter and involved with the Second Mile ever since. I would have never, ever guessed that and was totally shocked by the allegations and what came out in the grand jury report. I read the whole thing and it was a sickening thing to read. … To me, that’s evil. I’m not saying that Jerry Sandusky is evil, but what took place was evil.”

Listen to Todd Blackledge on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia here

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  1. 3 Responses to “Former Penn State Quarterback Todd Blackledge: “What took place was evil””

  2. I sure wish Todd Blackledge hadn’t started his comments this morning on tv with how much he cares and admires Paterno and the ousted AD. While he went on to say he was with the victims in spirit, I think for the victims’ sake, it’s much better to stop saying you admire or care about people who may have contributed through their collective silence to allowing Sandusky to continue sexually assaulting victims.
    If that were your 10 year old kid in the shower, I think all of your fondness for Paterno and the AD would be out the window.

    By Kate on Nov 12, 2011

  3. Mr Blackledge,

    I’ll direct this to you as your counterpart, Matt Millen, has proved time and time again that he is more than incompetent at almost any endeavor (see 0-16 as GM of Lions) but is completely insensitive based on the countless racial slurs he’s made over the years.

    You seem (somewhart) sincere in your disgust and remorse at what happened to the innocent at your alma mater. Yet, for the objective American, the actions of you and others who continue to defend and homage to this man is as equally cowardly as the actions of coach McQueery ten years ago when he saw a boy being VICTIMIZED! The fact that all this comes out days after Coach Paterno became the winningest coach is coincidence only to you and other PSU supporters.

    Whatever “Excellence” Joe Paterno and the Penn State football program died well over a decade ago. Yet, people like Franco Harris and Matt Millen still defend this coward and in doing so continues to victimize these children.

    Benedict Arnold was one of this Republics greatest heroes – The hero of Freemams Farm UNTIL he betrayed the people who trusted and admired him. Arnolds name thus left the list of great men like Washington, Greene, Knox and Morgan. Likewise, Paternos name no longer belongs to be mentioned in the same list as Bowden and Bryant. Power corrupts. This atrocity goes way beyond recruiting violations. This is a crime so detested that prison gangs of will not allow membership!! What an irony that one of those animals wouldve ended on the spot what McQueery ran from!

    So, Mr Blackledge, if you truly are remorseful. If you truly believe in the “Excellence” that Joe Paterno once symbolized, do something to send a true message. Be a voice for these children. Imagine you as a father of a victom seeimg this man so honored. How can they truly heal and what does it say if Joe Paternos name is at the top of the list of great coaches? Use your voice to strip those wins from this coward! Call for the Death Pemalty for Penn State football!! If you are sorry. But there is money, there is tradition, there are all these other players and fans. It will hurt too much. The stakes too high.

    Imagine how hurt that young boy felt. Imagine that your son. No. You won’t do it. You, like the slow witted Millen and Harris, will cling to the hero and not the traitor.

    By CowardU on Nov 12, 2011

  4. To CowardU,

    The first six letters of your handle sum you up pretty well. Six is all the fingers and thumb from one hand and one from the other, since it seems you must have gone to an SEC school, if at all.

    Those who don’t provide their name, phone number and real email address and hide behind an anonymous post have no business calling others cowards. Grow some testicles and tell everyone who you really are.

    By ToddFan on Nov 14, 2011

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