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Penn State proof that damaged reputation is difficult to repair

A recently discovered letter, written by the late Joe Paterno, said that the sexual abuse scandal should not be tied to the university or the football program, as it is a separate issue.
A recently discovered letter, written by the late Joe Paterno, said that the sexual abuse scandal should not be tied to the university or the football program, as it is a separate issue.

An independent investigation of the sexual abuse scandal that shook Penn State University last fall found that the most senior officials within the university were at fault for not protecting children victimized by Jerry Sandusky, according to the New York Times.

Referred to as Freeh's investigation, information was gathered for seven months and involved more than 400 interviews and the review of more than 3.5 million documents. Last month, Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of sexual abuse including rape and sodomy, by a jury in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.

Joe Paterno, university president and head football coach, who died in January from lung cancer, wrote a letter that was recently made public. His family members said it was originally meant to be an opinion letter, shown only to a few former players. According to the Associated Press, the Paternos did not release it, yet the letter found its way onto the Internet.

In the letter, Paterno addressed the allegations made against Sandusky and his involvement in the matter, stating that as awful as the situation was, it should not affect the overall image of the university or the football program.

"This is not a football scandal and should not be treated as one," Paterno said. "It is not an academic scandal and does not in any way tarnish the hard earned and well-deserved academic reputation of Penn State. That Penn State officials would suggest otherwise is a disservice to every one of the over 500,000 living alumni."

Paterno went on to say that regardless of any failings that happened, and what anyone's opinions might be towards his conduct, or that of others, to not tie the allegations to the most recent team or any other prior graduates.

The scandal at Penn State University is an example of how public opinion can be damaging to a business or organization. Ensuring that a proper business continuity plan is in place can help all individuals within the company or enterprise know how to handle any type of situation.