What these claimants have said could be true. We'll never know anything about what Joe Paterno knew or didn't know other than what they said. The discouraging part to me, and there is nothing I can do about it, is the way these claims are framed in the media. Headline from SI.com: "Sandusky accuser told Paterno about abuse in 1976." A more accurate headline would have been, "Sandusky accuser says he told Paterno about abuse in 1976." The juxtaposition here is interesting to me: they say that this person is accusing Jerry Sandusky of abuse, implying that that has not been proven; however, they say that this person TOLD Joe Paterno about it, implying that the Paterno conversation actually happened.
The way the headline reads is that it is fact. We do not know whether it is or it is not. And 99% of people will assume that it is. I think that's a shame, but that's where we are. If this person really was abused by Jerry Sandusky, that's horrible on a completely different level. Hopefully whatever compensation they got from Penn State helps them in whatever way that can, whether Penn State or Joe Paterno was informed of it or not.