Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Everyone Changing Their Story In Penn State Scandal, This Is Going To Get Ugly

There's a few interesting developments in this Penn State Child-Sex Abuse scandal that has rocked this public institution.  Both could highly impact Joe Paterno and may be the basis for why he ultimately retained a high-powered lawyer.

First is the Jerry Sandusky interview with Bob Costas from yesterday.  
“I have done some of those things,” Sandusky said. “I have horsed around with kids. I have showered after workouts. I have hugged them and I have touched their leg without intent of sexual contact.”
Notice the use of the term, "horsing around." That is the term that Paterno claims was said to him by then-graduate assistant (now assistant coach) Mike McQueary in describing what Sandusky was doing to the boy in the Penn State locker room showers.
With Sandusky using the same terms that Paterno did under oath, Sandusky is attempting to pin down McQueary on exactly what was told to Paterno.  If McQueary told him just that and that alone, then Sandusky has, on the record, a statement from McQueary that he was just "horsing around."

Now today we had news that McQueary's story IS changing, which seems rather odd.  He's received heavy criticism for not stepping in at the moment he saw the abuse and stopping it.  Apparently (and assuredly against the advice of his lawyers), he sent an email to former Penn State teammates in which he claims that he stopped the act he saw before him.  
"I did the right thing… you guys know me… the truth is not out there full… I didn't just turn and run… I made sure it stopped… I had to make quick tough decisions."
Interesting how none of that is in the Grand Jury testimony.  One would think that doing something to stop the heinous act in front of him would have already been in the news.  One would think that, if you stopped this horrible abusive act that you're seeing, you would have taken that young boy out of there and got him to the proper authorities.  It just doesn't make sense.

So here's the crux of the issues:
  • Sandusky is trying to use Paterno's own words to lessen his guilt.  He's going to force McQueary to testify exactly what he told Paterno, in his exact words.  
  • McQueary turns into the most important prosecution witness, but him changing his story now isn't going to help his credibility.  
  • There is most likely much, much more bad stuff to be revealed about who knew what and when.  
The thing that really bothers me the most is the outraged behavior of Penn State students, alumni, and fans to Paterno's firing and the media attention that this scandal has brought on to the University.  These folks (a minority, I believe) are missing the point, and potentially damaging the reputation of their beloved Penn State even further with their behavior.  If this scandal occurred at my alma mater, Georgia, I'd want heads to roll.  

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