Since Nov. 5, 2011, when former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was charged with child abuse involving eight boys over a 15-year period, a dark cloud has hung over Penn State.
The outrage over the case led to the controversial dismissal of Nittany Lion football coach Joe Paterno and the removal of school President Graham Spanier for what the PSU Board of Trustees deemed a lack of leadership.
In a related matter, the state charged Gary Schultz, a university vice president who has subsequently retired, and athletic director Tim Curley, now on administrative leave, for allegedly lying to a grand jury and for failing to report alleged child sex abuse. Both maintain their innocence.
All of that turmoil and transition, which included the hiring of new football coach Bill O'Brien, has at times shifted the focus from Sandusky, the longtime Nittany Lion defensive coordinator and founder of The Second Mile, a home for disadvantaged youth.
It has taken seven months, but the legal process is moving, with Sandusky's trial set to start on Monday. It is expected to last until the end of the month.
Since the original arrest, two more alleged victims have come forward, swelling the number of charges to 52 against Sandusky, who has maintained his innocence.
Last week, visiting Judge John Cleland moved quickly in selecting a jury, sorting out those with ties too close to be fair and completed the process, surprisingly, within two days.
Given the vast amount of publicity that dominated the news through December and again in January when Paterno died from lung cancer, finding people who haven't heard anything about the case or formed a preliminary opinion about it would have virtually necessitated searching the globe.
To his credit, Cleland is showing faith in the system that a jury will be able to judge the defendant and his guilt or innocence based on the evidence and not whether a juror is an admitted Nittany Lion football fan or worked at Penn State.
That is how it should be.
We don't know exactly what went on with Sandusky and his accusers. We do know that he's admitted to showering with boys over the years, questionable in and of itself but not necessarily a crime.
We hope the trial will clarify the uncertainty and accomplish what it's supposed to - and that's to serve justice, one way or the other.
Once that happens, maybe - hopefully - we'll be another step further along with the needed healing process and the cloud over State College and the Penn State community will finally break up.