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Columnist Mark Madden: ‘They should cancel the rest of Penn State’s season’

Nov 10, 2011, 2:04 PM EDT

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David Crosby, Graham Nash AP

Mark Madden has earned a bit of belated renown recently when it was pointed out that he’s been on this Jerry Sandusky/Penn State story since April of this year. Madden wrote for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for 15 years and is now a radio sports talk host in Pittsburgh, in addition to writing a weekly column for the Beaver County Times. It was in the latter capacity that he first started writing about Sandusky, most significantly in this now-famous piece.

So Madden has earned a significant amount of gravitas, in my opinion, on this subject. And that’s why, when he says that Penn State probably shouldn’t be playing football on Saturday, it’s more than a passing comment from am emotional outsider.

Madden, on WSCR radio in Chicago with Mully and Hanley today:

“The committee did the right thing, the Board of Trustees, they just took too long to do it. Honestly guys I don’t think they’ve gone far enough. I can’t believe McQueary is still on the staff and I can’t believe they’re going to play Saturday.

“You saw the riots last night. Tell me what good can come from 100,000 angry people assembling Saturday at Beaver Stadium. (Sarcastically) I’m sure everyone present will be calm and rational. They should cancel the rest of Penn State’s season. Every time they go a little bit further it makes me realize they’ve not yet gone far enough.”

Audio here.

Madden on the reason this didn’t come out sooner:

“Penn State is the community’s lifeblood, the community’s entire economy. Up until this situation, Penn State has always been able to control the media and what’s leaked out of State College. I attribute their clumsy behavior all week long to the fact that they don’t know what to do when they can’t control something because they’ve always been able to.

“A lot of people have given me credit because I wrote what I thought was going to happen with this situation back in April. I don’t deserve any credit accept for maybe having guts because all of this information was publicly available. It was in the Centre Daily Time in dribs and drabs as the grand jury continued its investigation but no one wanted to tip over the apple cart of Penn State. That’s why nobody wrote about this to the degree I did. It’s gonna get worse before it gets better. The one thing I hear is being investigated right now, and I hasten to add that this is only a rumor, but I know of at least two columnists that are investigating, the story is that the Second Mile pimped out young boys to wealthy donors.”

OK, that last sentence is nothing short of a live grenade at a dinner party, but I didn’t feature it higher because I figured you’d already heard about it. And besides, there’s nothing concrete about it as of yet.

But most interesting to me is when Madden climbs into Paterno’s head for a bit.

“Joe Paterno comes from a different time. None of what I’m saying is justified because everything that has happened there is no justifying. I’m sure you guys understand me when I say that, but Joe Paterno comes from a time where you covered this kinda thing up. Back in the day all you thought about is what the neighbors knew and the neighbors thought of you. Joe Paterno comes from a time where something like this happened you swept it under the rug and got on with it the best you can, and I’m sure that’s what Paterno was thinking. I’m sure Paterno can’t believe all this has come to light in the fashion it has.”

That makes more sense than anything I’ve read about Paterno so far.

Meanwhile, the scandal even reached the Republican Presidential Primary debates, or the aftermath, anyway. Following Wednesday night’s debate, candidate Rick Santorum, a former senator from Pennsylvania, said the Paterno firing was justified.

“To go out there on the field on Saturday would have been a very, very difficult thing for everybody,” Santorum said. “I think you’re going to see a lot of other people fired too, not just Joe Paterno.”

“There’s no explanation for allowing that to occur,” he said of the scandal.

A politician coming out against child molestation isn’t exactly news. But one from Pennsylvania, who counts Paterno as a friend, probably is.

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Mark Madden on the Penn State scandal’s newest rumor: ‘The story is the Second Mile pimped out young boys to wealthy donors.’ [Sports Radio Interviews]