After more than 18 months, a lot of people simply don't care anymore.
When it comes to Penn State and Joe Paterno, they roll their eyes: They made up their minds about the Jerry Sandusky scandal and moved on long ago.
And so it is with the recent lawsuit filed by the Paterno camp against the NCAA. The lawsuit followed their special report this past winter and all of those news releases issued since the scandal broke.
At the same time, though, an overriding mission may be strengthening. It's what reaches above and beyond the argument of whether Penn State was punished too harshly by the NCAA or should not have been punished at all.
It puts into perspective the debates that continue to swirl around Paterno, Penn State officials, the NCAA, Sandusky and the Freeh report.
The Paterno camp has hit on this mission from time to time. And it was a strong beat in a recent letter to Penn State football lettermen, the part directed at Sandusky's victims but meant for everyone:
"They deserve to know the truth about what happened, whatever that is and wherever it may lead."
It's a simple-sounding expectation and yet most difficult and complicated in this mess. Still, it's a goal that should be pursued no matter of how annoying it might become to some.
It should outweigh everything.
Remember that a university has been torpedoed, athletes and coaches have been harshly punished, officials have been fired and a public figure's character has been destroyed.
Also, a man is in prison for the rest of his life. Who knows how many he sexually abused?
Millions of dollars have been assessed in penalties and millions more have been lost in revenue.
Which all means that this is the heaviest of burdens, all the greater because it happened at the place with the most dues-paying alumni in the world.
So what is the price of finding the truth, of being sure of it?
If this is the most serious scandal in the history of college athletics, then it still deserves the best answers as to how it happened and who is to blame and who could be covering up and lying — no matter how long it takes.
No matter where the answers lead at this point.
If it can be proven definitively that Paterno was involved in a cover-up or that university officials truly did lie, so be it. If their beloved university ends up looking even worse than it does now, so be it.
But there are reasons to believe that we cannot make those calls yet.
Consider:The most bombastic claim in the grand jury presentment that incited public outrage (Mike McQueary alleging that he witnessed the rape of a boy in a shower) has been waffled upon and changed. It did not hold up in court. The eventual basis for those NCAA sanctions was a university-commissioned Freeh report that was not voted on by its own board of trustees or scoured by attorneys before being unveiled and summarized at a defining news conference. The report is heavy on conjecture in reaching critical conclusions. It is still unclear as to whether the NCAA threatened Penn State officials with a football "death penalty" to sign off on the sanctions and not appeal; competing stories are told by both sides. There are now two "reports" on the matter (Freeh and Paterno), both surely with important discoveries but at odds with one another.
Where does the truth stand?
And we still do not know the extent of involvement by Sandusky's charity The Second Mile, or by the Department of Public Welfare and Children and Youth Services. Those organizations still could face investigation.
Through it all, there has been a push to show that the puzzle pieces in the case were fitted hastily but not necessarily correctly. Some have dedicated immense time to it, including former government analyst Ray Blehar and documentary film maker John Ziegler.
And Bob Costas, one of the nation's most respected interviewers, has helped rescue the discussion nationally, admitting that the Freeh report warrants a closer look.
Again, though, truth-seeking can be arduous — and patience plays lousy in this world of social media that begs for the quickest reactions.
Plus, there's the concern that these relentless and uncomfortable debates could drive off good people or shame the innocent.
The thing is, those who support Penn State can support new head coach Bill O'Brien while still driving to learn more about what actually happened before he got there. It doesn't have to be an either/or scenario. (Plus, O'Brien seems too intelligent and grounded not to understand the emotion rising up around him.)
Which brings us to the crucial core of this. It isn't really about scholarship losses and bowl games and restoring a legend. It's not about vanquishing the NCAA and its president Mark Emmert.
It's simply about those lines in that letter to Penn State football players.
Because while Louis Freeh and Emmert and so many others might have gotten the most important conclusions correct, we should beware of blaring warnings that they did not.
That means we should bring on the lawsuits and the reports and investigations, because this is too important not to.
It is the truth being sought and measured, after all.