Missouri state representative Sara Lampe of Springfield, who is running for lieutenant governor, released a statement Thursday afternoon criticizing Missouri head football coach Gary Pinkel for his comments about Joe Paterno and the Penn State scandal.
Pinkel was quoted as saying, “You can’t take away the greatness of this man. He was a great man, and you can’t, however you analyze this, all of a sudden erase all that this guy’s done. You can’t do that. Nobody can do that.”
Lampe responded with the following release. “University of Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel on Tuesday called the late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno a ‘great football coach’ and a ‘great man.’ Paterno may have been a great coach, but as a man he failed at what mattered – protecting children from a sexual predator.
As the exhaustive investigation into the Penn State scandal by former FBI Director Louis Freeh proved beyond a shadow of a doubt to all but the most sycophantic of Paterno worshipers, Coach Paterno protected and covered up for a serial child rapist and in doing so enabled him to keep raping children for another decade. A great man never would have done such a foul thing. That a great football coach did should be disturbing to everyone.
Coach Pinkel’s defense of the indefensible indicates that he holds the same attitude that allowed the reprehensible situation at Penn State to occur; the attitude that building a successful football program is more important than everything else, including protecting innocent children from rapists.”
Lampe admitted during a radio interview on KFNS-St. Louis, that she did not read the full Freeh Report, but read the summary, heard news reports and based her statements from the information she gathered.