"If the Pennsylvania attorney general's office is to be taken at its word — if the sad, sickening details of alleged sexual abuse of young boys by Jerry Sandusky are true — a once-immaculate program thought of as beyond reproach is now close to beyond redemption.''
Mike Wise, Washington Post
"Today, Penn State looks precisely like the Catholic Church looked for so many years. There were accusations of pedophilia. The allegations were so horrific that they threatened to undermine the reputation of the institution. The people in charge should have brought the allegations to light. But they were more worried about how the institution would look than the values it is supposed to uphold.''
Michael Rosenberg, Sports Illustrated
"No one involved in the tragic handling of the allegations against Sandusky is worthy of sympathy and benefit of doubt without first answering some very direct and serious questions.
"Not Paterno. Not Mike McQueary, the graduate assistant-turned-recruiting coordinator who reportedly witnessed Sandusky rape a young boy in the Penn State locker room in 2002. Not Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, the former Penn State administrators accused of covering up the 2002 rape. Not Penn State president Graham Spanier.
"Until questions are answered thoroughly and forthrightly, all of these people, including the people rationalizing Paterno's weak actions upon hearing about the 2002 incident, are guilty of valuing the JoePa myth more than the reality of the vulnerability and preciousness of human life.''
Jason Whitlock, Fox Sports
"Paterno's life work has earned him the temporary benefit of a doubt, and there is little doubt he regrets not seeing Sandusky for what he was and doing more. But there is no amount of football success that should shield him from a full and limitless investigation into the case.
"There is no suggestion here that Paterno face prosecution. There is no suggestion here that Paterno was purposefully harboring a monster.
"There is the expectation that he answers the toughest of questions publicly before he assumes the right to coach the Nittany Lions on Saturday against Nebraska.
"Paterno owed that boy more back in 2002. That much is clear now.”
Dan Wetzel, Yahoo Sports
"Paterno always has grudgingly described any violation of his code of ethics as a 'distraction,' and those usually come to light only when a police report is filed and information becomes available outside of buttoned-down university channels. But the mere suggestion of a coverup considerably raises the stakes, and it would be foolish to discount the possibility that, by the time the legal drama fully plays out, Paterno, Curley, Schultz and even Penn State president Graham Spanier all will be gone, by their choice or not.''
Bernard Fernandez, Philadelphia Daily News
"I think there's so much that makes me sick about the Jerry Sandusky story, but the timing of the case troubles me greatly. It took 13 years from the time it first became known to authorities that there was credible evidence that Sandusky was a sexual predator for the man to be indicted. Thirteen years! When I read the grand jury report Saturday, I just kept thinking, How many boys had their lives changed forever because this case somehow didn't get on the front burner of law enforcement?
"The benign neglect of it should haunt authority figures at Penn State and in law enforcement in the area forever. And if his position as a football coach in a powerful program is found to have had anything to do with the power over young boys that he allegedly exercised, then shame on the football culture that holds too much influence over our lives."
Peter King, Sports Illustrated
"In 46 seasons as the football coach at Penn State University, Joe Paterno appeared to create a culture of winning and decency he called 'Success with Honor.'
"Now that the culture has been exposed as a haven for an alleged child molester, Paterno needs to do the honorable thing and resign before he coaches another game.
"It's sad that the winningest coach in major college football history will end his career with a giant 'L' in the human-being department, but not nearly so sad as the idea that boys may have been abused because football's most controlling boss did nothing.''
Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times
"This story, for me at least, needs time. This thing is so vile, so grotesque, that it is human nature to want everyone to pay. Innocent children were hurt, scarred, and as a parent this is something so horrible that I cannot even think of a penalty harsh enough. There is no way to see this thing clearly now, not for me, anyway.''
Joe Posnanski, Sports Illustrated