Saturday, November 5, 2011

Coach Paterno Should Also Share Blame For Sandusky Scandal At Penn State

Forget the NCAA violations that USC committed. Cheap.

Erase in your mind the things that Coach Jim Tressel lied about in the Ohio State scandal. Small hill of beans.

What is enveloping Penn State University right now is the worst sort of wrongdoing you ever want to see on a college campus.  The kind of scandal that will rock a well-respected university to its foundations.

Allegations of child abuse, specifically of a sexual nature, by retired, long-time defensive football coach, Jerry Sandusky.  A man who started a boys organization under the guise of "helping" troubled adolescent boys, but who in reality was a sexual predator who used his special Penn State privileges to help him win these little boys' trust.

At the heart of the scandal, however, are some of the highest officials at Penn State.  The Athletic Director, Tim Curley, and the VP for Finance and Business, Gary Schultz, are both being charged with perjury in connection with their testimony in front of a grand jury into these allegations.  They're both going to lose their jobs and go to prison for protecting a monster of the worst kind.

You can read the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report here.  Here's a good yahoo story about this horrible situation.

My issues with Paterno are these:

  • When an eyewitness who witnessed Sandusky and a boy together brought the matter to Paterno's attention, he turned everything over to the athletic director.  He certainly never attempted to find out who the child was, and he also didn't follow up with the investigation.
  • Why is that an issue? The alleged incident took place in the showers of the football locker room.  A simply look at security camera footage would have shown Sandusky and the boy entering/leaving at the time indicated by the witness to help corroborate the story.  
  • Paterno is responsible for all things football.  Anything that happens on his watch, in his facilities, should have his stamp on it.  This man RUNS Penn State.  If you don't believe me, then why is he still there when he's really not doing much anymore??  Do you think if he had pushed the investigation that the Athletic Director would have been able to stop him?
  • Another thought: Sandusky had a charge brought against him for having a child inappropriately in the showers of the Penn State locker 1998!!  The charges went nowhere.  However, in 1999, he surprisingly retired from Penn State supposedly to dedicate himself to his boys' group full-time. 
  • Did Paterno know about Sandusky's deviant behavior in 1998 and simply got him to leave the program before he could dishonor it further?  Or did Sandusky simply realize all the little boys he could molest full-time if he wasn't coaching? 
  • That's a horrible thought, but Sandusky is a horrible, horrible monster.  If the allegations are true (and is certainly sounds like the Grand Jury has this thing wrapped up well; typically if a Grand Jury decides to take a case to court, it's a pretty tight case), then Sandusky will spend the rest of his miserable life in prison.  There are 40 charges against him, with 21 of them being felony charges.
My anger with Paterno is that he didn't take responsibility when he knew what had happened. Telling the athletic director was a start.  If he suspected anything at all, he should have informed the police.  He should have followed up with the Athletic Director, especially when he found that Sandusky received no punishment at all and wasn't reported.  He's supposed to be a guardian for all the young men who come through his door.  How can he look parents in the eye and tell them that he'll take care of their boys at Penn State after this?  He has five children, and 17 grandchildren.  How would he feel if someone knew one of his little grandsons was being abused and didn't report it in order to save his job/program/skin?

If Paterno is somehow without guilt in this matter, let him come forward and say so.  He's supposedly going to testify for the prosecution in the trials against the charged men, and that's good.  However, it wouldn't surprise me if he's doing it simply because refusing to do so might result in charges against him.

I can see this ending very ugly for Penn State.  The VP, AD, and former coach will all be in prison by summer.  By that time, Penn State will be trying desperately to put this scandal behind them by bringing in fresh new blood.  Paterno will not, and should not, be coaching this time next year.  His silence on this matter for the past nine years indicate that, just like Jim Tressel, what he values most is not getting himself or the program into trouble.

By his, and the rest of the Penn State officials who knew and didn't do anything, lack of anger and alarm at this situation, Sandusky roamed free for another 13 years molesting who knows how many boys.  That is inexcusable.

100%, totally, wholly, and unmistakably inexcusable.  I don't think one can be too harsh on a subject such as this.

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