A damning report saying Joe Paterno and others at Penn State buried child sexual abuse allegations has many people wondering how those Penn State leaders could have abused their power so badly, and put the reputation of the university ahead of the well-being of children.
It's a topic addressed at Thursday's news conference.
"If one thing should be abundantly clear, it is that all responsible and caring adults have a fundamental responsibility to safeguard the children in their communities," said Ken Frazier, member of the Penn State University Board of Trustee's Task Force.
That safeguard failed at Penn State, tarnishing a reputation at a university known for having fervently supportive alumni.
"That was not the culture that we learned at Penn State. We are a proud people. I support my university to this day," said Mark Robinson.
Robinson played football for Joe Paterno.
"It bothers me that an outside group comes in, they do an analysis, then there were some assumptions made," he said.
"I think every alumni probably feels a little bit differently," said Jaime Rubscha.
She feels sad for the victims, and also for students and faculty.
"People will associate the trial of one man, and now maybe four others, with the population of so many that have done great things, and I think that's important," she said.
Protecting that reputation is a reason cited in the FBI report that describes a decade-long cover up.
"A business is a business, and you want to protect the reputation of your business. Sex scandals and sexual offenses are not good for your business. They never have been. They never will be," said therapist Dr. Laura Umfer.
It's not the first time trusted, powerful institutions have come under fire for saving face and hiding crimes.
"We've heard a lot about Catholic priests abusing males and females, and males and females have to be at a certain place almost in their life before they're willing to disclose that," explained therapist Amy Abdnour.
She believes sex abuse is particularly difficult to talk about.
"Even though they know it's not something that was right, there's still that personal shame element," she said.
But a coverup has likely caused more damage than 'fessing up would have a decade ago.
"They could have handled this in a way that could have made them look good, and they didn't," Umfer said.
Penn State University's identity hinges on it's reputation. It's motto says it all: "Success with Honor."
And living by that motto seems all the more important to some alumni.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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