According to the letter, the Paterno family wants to soften "the enormous damage done to Penn State, the State College community, former and current students and student-athletes, Joe Paterno and certain others involved, as a result of the unprecedented actions taken by the NCAA."
Let's try that last paragraph again, because the part written by the Paterno family was misleading:
According to the letter, the Paterno family wants to soften "the enormous damage done to <s>Penn State, the State College community, former and current students and student-athletes,</s> Joe Paterno <s>and certain others involved,</s> as a result of the unprecedented actions taken by the NCAA."
That's what this was all about -- those 409 victories, a number reduced to 298 after the NCAA vacated the wins from 1998-2011. The Paterno family probably wouldn't mind if the school didn't owe $60 million in fines, didn't miss the next four postseasons, didn't face massive scholarship restrictions.
But that's not what the family is after. The family wants the record back.
Can you believe it? After everything that happened -- even the Penn State-commissioned Freeh report that affirmed Paterno's negligence -- they want the record back.
The family reaction to this scandal has been an affront to decency every step of the way, from its series of tone-deaf statements to Jay Paterno's "inspirational" tweets and nauseating interview on ESPN, but this letter to the NCAA broke new ground.
The Paterno family is no longer merely insulting. Now it's irrational.
I think we're seeing the mindset that JoePa had, especially in his last few years. It seems like the Paterno family really believed that Joe was the end-all-be-all person at PSU, and in State College, and that nothing was going to get in the way of Joe setting the wins record. Unless the information that's been presented in the past month is 100% false, Joe's getting just about everything he deserved. What the Paterno family is doing comes across as people who enjoyed the power and clout of being around Joe, but they don't want to carry the responsibility that came with the way Joe ran things at PSU.
Also, I'm thinking people closely associated with PSU football, particularly past players and coaches are delusional like no other. I listened to an interview on the DP show with Franco Harris, and it was amazing how Franco couldn't come to grips with the fact that Joe really let the people in State College down. If I can find the interview, I'll post it, because it was something.
Now the trustees are appealing the sanctions. It is likely that the appeal to the NCAA is a mere formality prior to filing a lawsuit. Interesting that the basis of the appeal is that Erickson had no authority to enter into the consent agreement. Because a consent agreement is essentially a contract, as soon as the consent decree was announced that was the only basis I could see for challenging the decree, but it's a pretty weak basis IMHO.