And so it begins.
Late Sunday night, Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and vice president of finance and business Gary Schultz stepped down from their respective positions with the university, officially becoming the first, but surely not the last, to lose their job as a result of the Jerry Sandusky child-sex abuse scandal.
Both men face one count of perjury for lying to a grand jury; they turned themselves in to authorities in Harrisburg Monday.
There is no doubt the allegations against Sandusky are sickening. And while extremely unsettling, the charges should not come as a surprise it was March 31, slightly more than seven months ago, that the Harrisburg Patriot-News first reported that Sandusky was facing a grand jury investigation which, at the time, had been ongoing for 18 months.
Sandusky has said through his lawyer, Joe Amendola, that he's been aware of the allegations for nearly three years. Sandusky was also banned from one of his accuser's Clinton County school district in 2009.
However, the news of the depth of the accusations against Sandusky and the possible cover-up by Curley and Schultz that came out over the weekend is what has truly shaken what has now become the Not-So-Happy Valley.
Joe Paterno said Sunday in a statement issued by his son, Scott, that he was "shocked" by the allegations against Sandusky and that if they were in fact true "we were all fooled." We all can only hope at this point that Paterno truly didn't know what Sandusky was up to, but if this situation provides us with anything, it's the knowledge that you can never be sure of someone's real character.
Multiple sources with knowledge of the investigation have confirmed to The Associated Press that current Penn State wide receivers coach Mike McQueary is the graduate assistant listed in the grand jury report claiming he saw Sandusky performing sex acts with a young boy in the showers of the Nittany Lion football facility in 2002. McQueary and his father reported the incident to Paterno, who then went to Curley with allegations.
Everything up to this point is fact. But this is when the waters begin to get muddy, and only the truth revealed by the conclusion of this case can clear things up.
Paterno said that the witness (McQueary) was obviously distraught by what he had seen, but at no point related to him the very specific actions contained in the grand jury's report. Curley and Schultz reportedly met with McQueary a week after he had gone to Paterno with what he had seen, but neither police nor child protective services were made aware of the situation.
Nils Frederiksen, a spokesman with the state attorney general's office, said Paterno was a cooperative witness in the grand jury investigation and is not a suspect.
But what did Paterno truly know? Did he or did he not attempt to follow up with university officials on what McQueary had seen? The courts eventually will find out the true answers to these questions.
And what about McQueary? Did he follow up with officials after his meeting with them? When he met with Curley and Schultz, was he told to kept quiet? Again, the truth will come out in the legal system.
And whether or not Curley and Schultz attempted to cover up the alleged actions by Sandusky will also only be determined by a court of law. But in the court of public opinion, the jury is already out and all parties involved are guilty.
The legal system will ultimately find out the dark, disgusting details of this case and the depth of the possible cover-up. But the stain this scandal will leave on the university and Paterno's career at Penn State will be nearly impossible to erase.
The allegations against Sandusky immediately became national news. The once-thought-to-be spotless Penn State football program has suffered a black eye that no one, not even Paterno, will be able to survive.
The only solution for the university would be to wipe the slate clean at the end of the season, if not sooner. University officials can play it off as it simply being time for Paterno to step down, which quite possibly could have, and should have, happened at the end of the season anyway.
The fact of the matter is that more than likely these next few weeks will be Paterno's last as coach of the Nittany Lions. It's a shame it has to end this way.
Chris McFarland is the news editor of The Sentinel. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org