Dear Editor:

After reading Steve Schickram's wonderful account of what a hero is, I have come to the conclusion that he should have played football for PSU so that he could have learned some of life's basic lessons from Joseph Vincent Paterno.

One of the truly great guiding principles of this great country is the fact that people are presumed innocent until proven guilty and a person is not found guilty until all of the facts are in. Your article finds fault with much of what Paterno did and in doing so you are painting yourself out to be the biggest hypocrite of them all. There are many aspects of this you are either ignoring or are ignorant of.

First of all, why are you not bashing McQueary, his father or the friend of the family who found out about the incident in the shower before Paterno did? The three of them, two of them holding the prestigious title of doctor, decided it was worth the wait until the next day for Mike to go to Paterno's house. The logic they used was that Paterno was McQueary's superior. As this moves to the next day after McQueary discloses to Paterno what he saw, Paterno decides to send this information to his superior who was Curley.

The reasons he did this were very important because they explain the legality of his actions and also illustrate that he did not cover himself in a blue and white blanket like you suggested. Going to Curley allowed him to relay the information to his superior. Sandusky was no longer under Paterno and because of this, Paterno had no contact or influence over him. Secondly, had Paterno gone to the police that day, legally they could not have arrested Sandusky as Paterno's report was not an eyewitness but rather second party.

People are upset saying Paterno never followed up with Curley. Again, once a report is made to a superior, that superior is not allowed to talk about what was done or discussed to protect the person who was involved in the report. So following up would have done no good. The other reason Paterno went to Curley and Schultz was that he was not entirely sure of what PSU's policy was. He did not want to do something that jeopardized the university's position regarding what was told to him.

You are so quick to point out the immorality and cowardice of Paterno, I have to stop and ask why you are not calling into question the actions of our beloved governor? Yes, Tom Corbett was the Attorney General when the case involving the boy from Central Mountain made its way to his office. When he got the case, he could have done something to get Sandusky off the street right away due to the nature of the offense. He chose not to. Instead, he assigned one trooper to investigate the case and began a grand jury investigation. Much of the 2002 incident was known to this Attorney General before this year but it took over 1 1/2 years for the grand jury to question PSU officials. Here we have the top law office in the state who could have done more but chose not to. I now have to question whether Mr.Schickram voted for Governor Corbett.

My last question to you is why are you not calling on the PA legal system for an overhaul. In 1998, police taped Sandusky admitting he liked to shower with boys and refuse to stop doing it. The DA, Ray Gricar went missing in 2005 and has been declared legally dead. Why was nothing done or questions asked back then? Why is no one individual pushing for interrogation of the Centre County DA office and the policemen involved back then? That is when they had the perfect opportunity to stop Sandusky yet failed.

For 45 years, our beloved JoePa walked the streets of University Park and State College and contributed to an educational system in unprecedented ways. His virtue and morality were apparent in the success of his "Grand Experiment" that has been proven successful. Students can excel on the gridiron but more importantly in the classroom and in becoming men. I don't consider Joe Paterno a hero for he was a humble man who worked hard to make dreams come true for thousands of individuals.

Every student who attends PSU is a better person due to the values of Joe and Sue Paterno. If you want to find the real villains in this sordid "scandal", you have to look no further than Mr. Noonan, who made the irresponsible comment he had a moral obligation to do more, and the media who did exactly what you did - rushed to pass judgment on a man when all of the facts were not in. My hope is that you treat your children more fairly when you deal with their transgressions than you have with a man who I have and will continue to look up to.

Rocco Mariano

Hazleton