Penn State, Paterno Share Blame, Shame

Shock and disgust don’t come close to describing the feeling one gets from reading the details of a grand jury investigation of alleged child molestation charges against former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

Horrifying might be a better word, and even that doesn’t even seem able to describe the vile atrocities Sandusky supposedly perpetrated upon a number of helpless young victims over a period of several years.

For longer than I care to remember, we have been subjected to one stain after another in the world of college athletics. SMU got the so-called death penalty in 1987, USC is currently wading through sanctions levied in the wake of the Reggie Bush play-for-pay affair, and Ohio State is presently taking its turn in the NCAA meat grinder following a memorabilia-for-tattoos/cash scandal that threatened to turn the program upside down and cost head coach Jim Tressel his job and his legacy.

But none of those black marks, no matter how you perceive them, rises to level of what went on at Penn State. After reading the indictments against Sandusky, one is left with the impression that while his superiors likely did not condone his actions, they certainly did nothing to stop them.

For that reason and that reason alone, Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and university senior vice president of finances and business Gary Schultz should not have been allowed to step down in order to fight the charges of perjury leveled against them. They should have been summarily fired along with Penn State president Graham Spanier.

The contract of longtime head coach Joe Paterno should be immediately nullified as well.

Some have come to Paterno’s defense, claiming the coach did all he could by notifying his AD when he was told of one of Sandusky’s transgressions. One particular pundit – so idiotic I refuse to reveal his name – claimed Sunday on national television that at least Paterno notified his superior of wrongdoing, something Tressel did not do. Later, the pundit admitted he had made a poor reference but that he was simply trying to get in one last shot at “the phony Tressel.”

Let’s set aside for the moment the ludicrous comparison of trading a Gold Pants trinket for a tattoo to seven counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, eight counts of corruption of minors, eight counts of endangering the welfare of a child, seven counts of indecent assault and

10 other miscellaneous counts, many of which occurred on the Penn State campus.

Doesn’t it go without saying that Paterno had to notify his superiors? I’m left wondering why he didn’t call the police. After more than 50 years in State College, I’m betting the coach and the city police chief are on a first-name basis.

Paterno has been one of the pillars of college football for the past half-century, and I will admit I have admired all he has done for the sport as well as his university. The selfless time he has given to charitable organizations, along with the more than $4 million he has personally donated to Penn State, is equal parts laudatory and legendary.

But Paterno has also spent much of his time perpetuating a certain image of college football in general and Penn State in particular. If that image has even a scintilla of authenticity to it, however, one would have to believe the coach would have done more than simply pass a report of misconduct up the chain of command.

One would have to believe a molder of young men’s lives would have protected those who could not protect themselves – regardless of collateral harm to himself, his program or his employer.

One would have to believe a man of Paterno’s supposed integrity would have done all in his considerable power to put an immediate stop to Sandusky’s brutalities.

But because he did not, there can be no other course of action for Penn State. Paterno must go.

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14 Comments

  1. Well said.

  2. To compare this to Tressel is beyond words. It is my guess the jar head who did that will respond to the next report of child molesting by saying “well it’s not like he got a free tattoo.” Joe must go. How do you not report this to police and on top of it let the guy hang around the facilities with full access?

  3. In business, if a company experiences a major failure, the CEO takes the rap – deservedly or not. Sandusky for years was Paterno’s chief assistant, once called his heir apparent. While Paterno may not have been involved personally, he’s certainly responsible for the behavior of people on his “executive team.” See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil is not a valid defense. If Tressel had to go for covering up sins of memorabilia, should Paterno suffer less in a case of pedophilia?

  4. To all the PSU fans who threw stones during our tough times, how do you like your glass house now? This is so sad.

    • This the the SILVER LINING I am LOVING! I am so disgusted with the hypocritical position of Penn State and it’s fans that I hope the VICTIMS (many that will be scarred for life) will sue the University for MILLIONS……….make them PAY not only financially but Their Fate in the Court of Public Opinion……….TOAST! Can You only imagine a young Recruit visiting The Campus and being paraded thru the facilities? Guide….”And this is the Shower, the Lockeroom, The Sauna where The Monster played with Young Boys. And thThis is The Office of Our Football Czar who turned a Blind Eye”. Penn State needs to be Destroyed over this “IF” they choose not to do the Right Thing. They need to Shut Down Paterno and His Season R-i-g-h-t Now, Clean House and get The Best Attorney’s Monet Can Buy. You are going to need It! Absolute DISGRACE to The Big Ten and all of Sport!

  5. Mark, this scandal has been such a shock… and such a disgusting disappointment. As a new father, I cannot begin to put into words what should happen to Sandusky. God forgive me for even having such thoughts. But as for Paterno, I don’t know what to feel. The first thought was pity, pity for such an icon to have his magnificent career and legacy tarnished in shame and scandal. But after hearing more details and the possibility of a cover up, the fact Paterno was made aware of the crimes nine years ago… and he simply notified his AD!!! That’s like walking down the street and seeing someone being beaten to death only to keep on walking and call the cops on your cell phone. To hear Paterno’s comment, “if this istrue, we were all fooled,” made it worse. He wasn’t fooled… HE KNEW! The question is why didn’t he do anything? To save his own job… Loyalty to his friend Sandusky… To protect Penn State from scandal… Pure plausible deniability? Whatever the reason, he must go… And NOW! And to see Matt Millen cry about Paterno on the air, spare us all. The tears should be for the children, the children who were violated and had their lives scarred forever while others covered it up. (Sorry for my rambling rant)

    • Well said, my friend.

  6. IMAGINE being a man, 28 years of age, walking into an empty lockerroom, hearing a SLAPPING noise, knowingly, the sounds of sexual activity, following it to the shower area for a peek, and WITNESS the rape of a 10 year old boy by an aged man, and two pairs of eyes looking right at you. Now imagine walking away. To Mike McQueary: you are NOT a MAN. How do you look into a parents eyes, and say “trust me”? To John McQueary, who stated tonight, 10 years after the rape of a boy, “my only concern is for the boy”. Whose boy are you concerned for, really? The shame is yours, and your son, sir, and should be charged accordingly, with the rest of them that covered for Sandusky, or Penn State, in the name of a GAME called football, and untold young lives will never totally recover from their injuries.

  7. I have ABSOLUTELY No Sympathy for Penn State in the handling of this matter. THIS SITUATION took place over a period of years and The University Administrators, Paterno and His Staff did E-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g possible to SHIELD Penn State from being knocked off It’s SELF Anointed Pedestal of Being Puritanical, Successful and Pure as the Driven Snow. HARDLY! The DAMAGE Done by not only Sandusky, The Administration and Paterno himself will be a Long Cross to bear for Penn State. All parties need to be FIRED, and the remaining games FORFEITED……..Penn State SCREWED Up IMMENSELY and needs to Face The Music. Their fans are getting a GOOD Dose of “People in Glass Houses Shouldn’t Throw Stones”………and I for one am RELISHING that thought. The VICTIMS are the Issue here………sure as heck NOT Penn State Football. And The Pope of Happy Valley needs to CALL IT A DAY.

  8. When Joe Paterno coaches the game Saturday, all of his failures will belong to all of Penn State.

    When do you report crime to your boss for them to decide to protect a victim, a child of tender years in this case?

    Evidently that is okay to Penn State as the way to do things.

    They need to make it clear that 911 is the right response if the crime is over and protection of a helpless victim is the right first response, it possible.

    Paterno wrecked a legacy, his own, near totally with his conduct, and now Penn State is allowing him to wreck even more—the name of his beloved Penn State!!

  9. And now we hear all the joe pa-sycophants from Penn State adopting the Joe must be treated as if none of this involved a ten year old child being raped.

    Everyone of them, uninvolved until this week, are despicable if they do not say Joe must go now, rather yesterday or the day it started, probably three years ago as to the investigation but really once Joe let a moment go by without protecting the victim through the police and every other action possible.

  10. I predict the president will be removed this week, softening and preparing the way for the next blow, and then Joe will go before Saturday’s game.

    If not, Penn State is a moral wasteland to be despised by all of America.

    It is as simple and undeniable as that.

  11. Just a correction. Reggie Bush was not a pay for play scandal. Reggie’s stepdad took money from a wanna be agent in San Diego, far from USC. The “agent” was a convicted felon, not a booster or anyone affiliated with USC. The NCAA had a vendetta against USC. Ironicall the lead investigator was Paul Dee, the AD of Miami who now has 72 players being investigated. USC should not be compared to Ohio State, Miami, or Penn St. The comparison is laughable when you compare the facts. Penn St should get the death penalty and Paterno can just twist his shirts around and say State Pen….

    • You are certainly right about Penn State. About USC, not so much. You must have forgotten the bidding war between agents for Bush, the $10,000 in improper benefits he received while he was at USC, the assertion that Bush’s stepfather talked over his housing arrangement with Pete Carroll, the program’s unusual openness to celebrities and outsiders of all stripes under Carroll, the longstanding innuendo about its generally cozy relationship with agent-types, the fishy rent arrangement between Bush teammates Matt Leinart and Dwayne Jarrett, the suspicious SUV driven by Joe McKnight, the lack of institutional control dating back to the O.J. Mayo stuff, the fact that Carroll conveniently left the cushiest job in college football for the uncertainty of the NFL right before the NCAA hammer dropped. Yeah, sounds like a vendetta to me. But let’s keep our eye on the ball here. USC, Ohio State, Miami, Auburn, Oregon, you name the school — they’re all dirty in some form or fashion. But this Penn State stuff is above and beyond the pale. The fact any of these people still have jobs at this moment is mind-boggling.


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