Franco Harris Hopes to Set Record Straight on Penn State One Year Later

January 28, 2013 – 5:45 am by Eric Schmoldt

One year later, the Penn State scandal continues to be a polarizing topic. Oddly enough, former Penn State and NFL great Franco Harris is doing his best to keep the story in the news. Harris continues to hold town hall meetings where he and his group lead efforts to get the facts straight in the entire Jerry Sandusky scandal, including the involvement of Joe Paterno and Penn State and the NCAA sanctions that were levied.

Franco Harris joined WIP in Philadelphia with Anthony Gargano and Glen Macnow to discuss why he’s holding town hall meetings to address the Penn State scandal one year later, what he thinks is the biggest piece of misinformation, standing up for Joe Paterno and why he’s so passionate about the topic.

You’re doing these town hall meetings on Penn State, one year later. Give us your quick thesis:

“So much information, through a lot of time and effort, has come forward. And our town hall meeting is to provide this new information, in conjunction with the one-year anniversary of the firing of Joe Paterno. And then, as you know, through the year, the Freeh Report came and the NCAA sanctions, and what was the basis of all this? The basis of all this is, through a lot of misinformation, people came to conclusions without any evidence, without any facts. But we have had some great people that, as I mentioned, put a lot of time and effort in setting the record straight. They’ll give a whole new perspective on the whole Penn State situation.”

What do you think is the biggest piece of misinformation?:

“They keep saying that Joe and Penn State enabled it. And didn’t they say that Joe should’ve done more? And so they blame Joe for not doing more. But what are the reasons why they do that? They do it basically because based on the testimony of one guy, Mike McQueary, and what Mike McQueary said. And there’s a lot of new information on that. And also that Penn State enabled it by providing the facilities, where people, professionals in the industry of child molestation, they know that it is not the facilities — it’s not access to facilities, it’s access to the children. And I would like to say, if Joe’s name would have not been tied to this, how long do you think the story would’ve lasted?”

If Paterno is the CEO of this operation, though, doesn’t he have to take the fall for it happening under his watch?:

“In the last year, have you heard of one former football coach coming forward saying they knew Jerry was a pedophile? Have you heard of one player come forward? Have you heard of one citizen in our whole area come forward? … The victims always come years later. Every pedophile case you see, victims come forward 15 or 20 years later. … Have you heard of anyone coming forward? … So why do people think that Joe knew, when nobody knew?”

What kind of new information is out there about Mike McQueary and his testimony?:

“When you look at the information … Linda Kelly used a sexual assault [term] … and that was in the presentment. Well, it finally came out in the jury trial that that did not happen. There was no sexual assault. So when Linda Kelly indicted Graham Spanier, guess what she did? … A little bit after the trial, she now called it inappropriate behavior. What would it have been if she hadn’t lied in that presentment in the first place?”

Why are you so passionate about this?:

“Another thing that, during this past year, that we have spent on this, and there’s no doubt that my first involvement was because of the Joe situation, but as we go through the year … that has changed, the first priority. One thing we found out in this situation is that No. 1, we have to protect the children. We have found that so many people and agencies really failed the children, and it’s still happening today. We need to protect the children, and that really comes out and comes forward in what we’re presenting. And we know that this area of pedophilia, it’s a dark and dangerous category.”

Listen to Franco Harris on WIP in Philadelphia here

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  1. 3 Responses to “Franco Harris Hopes to Set Record Straight on Penn State One Year Later”

  2. I can not wait for truth to come out and also to clear joe’s name. Bring back that statue!

    By Joan merlo on Jan 29, 2013

  3. If Mike McQueary was a coach and was the one who seen this happen, then why wasn’t he fired? Why was he still given “Paid Leave”? Why isn’t he named in the lawsuit and being sued ? I am a big FSU fan, but what they did to Joe and the team was a witch hunt and nothing more.

    By Rick Botts on Jan 29, 2013

  4. The Penn State football program and Joe Paterno have handled themselves amongst the best of Division 1 programs. Other schools of Penn state’s quality, have paid players and allowed alumni to pay recruits to go to their schools. Joe Paterno, raised the bar for all Devision 1 teams and coaches. We are talking about a very special man who while making $35,000 a year at Penn State refused a million dollar NFL contract with 5% team ownership to leave PSU. .Joe stayed with the kids and the college he loved which he supported morally and financially.

    The indictment was wrong when it stated that McQuerry saw anal rape as opposed to something of a possible sexual nature. That is in his grand jury testimony.

    With only one year passed after Joe Paterno’s death, the truth is coming out. Penn State has handled itself with ultimate dignity, Years earlier, the District Attorney refused to indite Sandusky. Sandusky was asked to leave by Paterno several years before any hint of a scandal.

    The NCAA must save face over this situation. The overly harsh sanctions must be reconsidered. Louis Freeh’s report and the Pennsylvania’s prosecutor’s actions were inflammatory as reported by the 24 hr. competitive news media. All of the Penn State community, including Joe Paterno and Sandusky’s charity were taken by surprise.
    I ask to meet with Mark Emmert, credit him for what he has attempted to do and ask for mercy due to disproportionate sanctions.

    I wish to make 3 points. The children must be passionately dealt with and compensated as that is society’s remedy 2.The criminal process should go forward as to the three indicted Penn State officials who I predict will be vindicated . I would ask for the opportunity to work this out like any other legal problem – no matter how complicated – over re the last 40 years.

    This is not a job for a high powered law firm. This can be resolved by one or two real lawyers with common sense, who understand both sides’ needs.

    Al Pacino in the movie “Happy Valley” will not be favorable to the NCAA. This situation should be resolved with the co-operation and not threats to Mark Emmert and the NCAA . Gene Goldenziel

    By gene e goldenziel on Jan 30, 2013

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