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It’s Time to Fire Joe Paterno

For those of you who don’t follow Pennsylvania sports, there’s really only one team that doesn’t completely suck and plays in something close to what the rest of the country considers real college football. It’s Penn State, and their head coach has been there since 1950 (though only as head coach since 1966). The man is revered in Pennsylvania. I don’t understand why, either. Joe Paterno has only got such a high number of wins because he’s been doing the job so long. He doesn’t have the highest percentage of wins, and earlier this decade, he led the team in a severe losing streak.

This weekend, conveniently on an off week for Penn State & released on a Saturday, the state AG’s office announced that one of Paterno’s now-retired coaches has been sexually assaulting very young boys for years. The charges aren’t just for minors, but for minors under the age of 13. The guy also had a charity set up for troubled young boys that served as his easy source of victims.

To make the news for Penn State even worse? Paterno knew and decided to simply tell the school’s athletic director once he heard from an eyewitness that his coaching staff was raping a boy who appeared to be about 10 in the stadium’s showers. The athletic director & a school vice president are now being charged with perjury and not reporting the incident to police. Yet, prosecutors seem to be ignoring the fact that Paterno and a graduate assistant in the football program also knew and did not report it to police, instead only reported it to college officials. (Granted, not reporting the crime seem to be only a summary offense. In that case, I believe that’s actually a better reason to use the charge – it won’t end someone’s life, but it will reiterate that they should have reported it.)

Of course, this is not the first time that Paterno has ignored the consequences of sexual assault allegations. When a player from another team was alleged to have sexually assaulted a woman, here was Paterno’s response:

“There’s some tough — there’s so many people gravitating to these kids. He may not have even known what he was getting into, Nicholson. They knock on the door; somebody may knock on the door; a cute girl knocks on the door. What do you do?”

Here’s a hint: If a cute girl knocks on a door, don’t sexually assault her. (Though, it would seem the case against the player ultimately didn’t go anywhere, the accusations were fresh at the time he was asked.)

So, what do you do when someone tells you your former staffer who you allow to access your stadium & allow to attend games & coaching meetings with these young boys is seen raping them in the showers? Here’s a hint, Paterno: You don’t go to your boss and then leave it alone. You call the police. If your boss won’t do it, you do it. You follow up every damn day. You encourage the guy who actually witnessed the assault to go to the police.

I find this most appalling because I’ve seen local media & commentary applauding Paterno for his great response of not calling the police when he hears that young children are being raped by his coaching staff in his team’s showers. WTF?

I look back to my memories of the most popular coach I can recall in Oklahoma – Barry Switzer. (Please keep in mind that I was 9 years old when the guy resigned, so I’m having to go off news reports I’m finding now.) Switzer had to resign from OU (with a higher percentage of wins than Paterno, thankyouverymuch) after several players were arrested for various crimes and the NCAA launched an investigation into the program. Yet, Paterno is still at Penn State with full support after ESPN reported that in a six year period, 46 of his players managed to find themselves with 163 criminal charges. That comes out to more than three criminal charges per player in trouble in a few short years.

I don’t understand how this guy still has the support of the school, support in the media, and support of alumni. According to media reports, the Board of Trustees didn’t even entertain the question of whether Paterno should be forced to resign or retire. I come from a state that is far more serious about their college football, and I’m pretty sure that after this kind of record, we would be calling for the heads of everyone who knew and didn’t report it to law enforcement.

Joe Paterno’s career should end, and he should not be revered as some amazing football coach. He should be remembered as a guy who looked the other way while children were raped and assaulted on his watch. Of course, should he leave on his own terms, Pennsylvania taxpayers will likely be on the hook for a very generous retirement package to reward his behavior of looking the other way for criminals in his program.

UPDATE 11/8: The NYT reports that inside sources say Paterno’s time is up at Penn State. They are supposedly working on an exit plan now.

44 Responses to “It’s Time to Fire Joe Paterno”

  1. David says:

    Or, maybe you should wait for the hearings. Guilty by association and presumed guilty before a trial are not what our legal system was based on. Maybe one day you’ll be so unlucky and have to explain your guilt by association, when you’ve done nothing wrong.

    Based on what has been written so far, and the grand jury testimony, Paterno did not witness the shower incidents. So running to the cops and crying foul about something that someone else told you they saw is just a juvenile move. Furthermore, PSU has its own police department with competent criminal investigators – on of those charged with perjury oversaw the PSU PD.

    Maybe for now, you should focus on the people who have been charged and not the people who have not been charged.

    I guess you were in favor of Glock sh*it canning Dave Sevigny because the team coach was playing with the 15 year old on the team. After all, there has to be a fall guy, a high profile fall guy.

    This ranks as your worst post ever. Not only is is not gun related, it’s a pure knee jerk reaction condemning a man who has done nothing wrong. I thought you hit a new low with those lame NRA foundation posts trying to shame people into donating. This hits a new low, way too low.

    • Bitter says:

      I guess we have a Penn State fan here…

      I do believe that justice should be served. However, the results of the legal trial aren’t the same as having a discussion over whether or not Paterno gets to keep his $1 million+ taxpayer-funded salary when he does have a history of criminal problems on his team. From what the grand jury report says, while Paterno has been cooperative with the prosecution, he was informed of the incident years ago and did nothing other than call his boss who swept it under the rug. Now, maybe you do consider that I would be far too swift to act, but if I was informed that a staffer under me was being indecent with young children, I would call the cops. Whether it was the university law enforcement officers or off campus departments, I would be requesting an investigation. If the staffer is innocent, then the air is cleared with a quiet investigation. If, on the other hand, they are guilty, then it can be stopped as soon as possible. Even if my first reaction was somehow to tell my boss, then I would contact the police preemptively if I still had not been questioned within a week.

      I get that people love their PSU football. But, when we’re talking about a guy who was raping children and had a never-ending supply of troubled youth at his disposal, football can wait. I’m not assuming that Paterno should have assumed the the absolute worst and run screaming to the media and everyone who would listen that there is a pedophile rapist on the loose. I’m simply saying that once he was told of the shower incident, he should have followed up himself. I would argue that the graduate assistant (who I haven’t seen named in any of the reports) should have followed the same course of action.

      • Phil says:

        A couple points. Sandusky wasn’t a current coach the time, so Paterno wasn’t his boss. He had emeritus status with the University which is why he still had access to the facilities. Also, it isn’t clear what details were made known to Paterno by the the witness. Paterno was not present when the witness made his statement to Curley and Shultz.

        Poeple claim Paterno is out of touch and doesn’t even know what is going on with his team and isn’t actively coaching them. At the same time he is described as the most influential man in State College and in the know about everything and how could he not know? How are both possible?

        I will wait for the facts to come out, and if it turns out he knew details and still didn’t follow up or contact authorities, I will be right behind you in calling for his job. But for decades we have trusted this man and the grand jury says his testimony was credible and he did the right thing, then why are we questioning him before we even hear the facts? For the children? I think this is as disgusting a crime as anyone else, and I do believe it was handled improperly by Penn State officials on some level. I just think we should not be so quick to condemn the many for the actions of a few.

        • Bitter says:

          I realize he wasn’t on staff at the time of the most discussed incident, but he was a former staffer. Also, in his position with access to the facilities which he appears to have used for years – including the time when he was an employee – in his escapades, I’d be hard-pressed to believe that Paterno would have had no say in his access to the program and building.

          I am completely open to waiting on formal action until more comes out from the investigations. However, I am still really disturbed that no one is even willing to have the conversation. Of course, I would also hope that the Board of Trustees is willing to open a conversation on whether the president should stay if more things come out about his knowledge of the incident. It’s not a bad thing to begin having a debate about what line we accept as appropriate to start firing people. Based on the report, and based on what I learned about his history of not handling problems in his program, he has crossed my line of acceptable behavior.

          I don’t believe he had to know the level of detail from the witness in the grand jury report to justify action. It shouldn’t take a detailed description of “rhythmic slapping sounds” associated with sexual activity and how he looked into the showers to find Sandusky behind a kid who looked to be 10 years old being anally raped to get someone fired up into asking for a criminal investigation. Merely getting a report of indecent activities of a sexual nature involving a 50+ year old man and child should be enough to warrant a person to seek help from law enforcement. Based on the grand jury presentment, Paterno’s report to the administrators was that the assault was “fondling or doing something of a sexual nature with a young boy.”

          • Phil says:

            Do you think Russ Rose dictates who has access to Rec Hall? Or Pat Chambers dictates who has access to Bryce Jordan? Paterno still has superiors. Sandusky’s access to the football facilities was granted to him as part of his retirement package. Paterno does not negotiate retirement packages.

            I don’t think the board of trustees or any fan/alum/student/faculty/staff is taking termination off the table for Paterno or Spanier if they did in fact do something wrong or were negligent. I just don’t think they want to start there. In fact, I think most Penn Staters are already saying that if it comes to light that he knew specifics and still did nothing they want him out as well. I think that counts as having a conversation.

            As for that quote, I can’t say. I didn’t think that was the exact wording, but if it is that is pretty damning. His released statement said that he didn’t know it was anything of a sexual nature. I think we should just give Paterno the opportunity to explain himself. I don’t think he will have the luxury of waiting until after the trial is heard.

            • Bitter says:

              That quote came from the grand jury presentment which was composed based on the reports from those involved – particularly Paterno and the graduate assistant. Specifically, it came from page 7 in the paragraph that begins, “Joseph V. Paterno testified…” and ends with the account of what Paterno reported to the Curley, the athletic director.

      • David says:

        You’ve rushed to yet another judgement. I could care less about PSU football. I graduated from PSU and managed to never go to a PSU football game, nor do I own any PSU merchandise (besides the degree on the wall behind me).

        As for his $1,000,000 salary. Do you know how much money the football program brings in the University, I bet you don’t? It’s more than enough to fund the program and all other NCAA sports at the school. Next, do you know how much Joe raises for the school? A few years back when Spanier wanted Joe to retire, the big donors got behind Joe and Spanier changed his mine. Next one, do you know what the graduation rate of players was under Joe? 89%. When other D1 football programs were casting off these kids when the season was over, Joe and PSU push them to excel off the field and in the classroom.

        This isn’t about PSU football. It’s about people like you condemning a man who has not been convicted of anything. Further, when you run a $100,000,000 program, there will always be accusations, there will always be people who try and discredit your staff and supports, there will always be people who try and get ahead by harming others.

        It’s a sad day when a blogger who won’t even use her own name has the balls to attack an innocent man with a 60 year career. When other coaches left the NCAA for the pros and big money, Joe stayed put. When other coaches salaries skyrocketed, Joe’s stayed pretty low.

        I expect nothing more than shitposting out of you. It’s become your treademark.

        • Sebastian says:

          I gave her the OK to put the post up, so if it’s shit, it’s as much my fault as it is hers, as I have final say over what does and doesn’t go up here. Paterno’s own grand jury testimony noted that his report to administrators was that it was “fondling or doing something of a sexual nature with a young boy.”

          I don’t blame Paterno for taking this to his superiors first. I would have done the same thing. But I would have made it abundantly clear that I expect the next course of action to be contacting the police. If that wasn’t what my superiors were inclined to agree with, I’d take the witness and go to the police myself.

          I can sympathize to having outrageous accusations being leveled at a friend, and not really knowing what to do next. I was in a position with my previous employer where someone was sending harassing e-mails to coworkers of a sexual, and borderline threatening nature. I uncovered evidence that it was an employee. It was someone I knew well, who I did not believe was capable of such things. But I ended up turning over the evidence I had to the CEO while they were talking to the police.

          It’s a difficult thing to do, but you have to do the right thing ultimately. I could have buried the evidence to protect my friend. If it had been something like Child Porn, I would have gone to the FBI if the CEO wouldn’t. I don’t think Paterno acted admirably here, regardless of what he does or does not bring to Penn State’s football program.

  2. Bitter says:

    I’ll add that I realize the end of my post is harsh. Perhaps I’m more sensitive to these topics as the daughter of a social worker who twice had to make the very tough call of telling my mom things about friends who were in troubled homes. It was a tough call specifically because it wasn’t anything as horrible as sexual assault, but still in the realm of neglect issues which can be subjective. Hearing that your staff member has been sexually indecent with children calls for a phone call to the authorities. It’s that simple. It isn’t disputed that Paterno was a middleman between the witness and the administrators now being charged.

    When you add in the recent history of criminal problems plaguing his team, I believe his decision not to follow up and instead pass the buck warrants not being remembered as a fantastic coach. It’s not dishonest to say he was just a football coach with a long record that was pretty good, but that in the last years of his time at PSU, he hasn’t acted appropriately when it came to handling problems with his staff. The fact that there are news outlets reporting PSU fans calling and screaming that they even dare mention Paterno in regards to this news is absolutely disturbing. The guy was a middleman, and he doesn’t deny it. He’s working with the prosecution, which I do concede is a good thing to do now. Unfortunately, I don’t think he did the right thing when it really mattered based on everything that has come out from authorities and even in further statements from those involved.

    I think it’s fair to also question what role, if any, he played in the atmosphere that may exist within the program & administration to keep these things quiet. The reports from the AG press conference just a bit ago indicate that other staffers witnessed sexual assaults years before, but were afraid for their jobs if they came forward. What’s more telling is that the AG responded to a question about the role of the PSU president and said that they couldn’t comment on that part of the investigation that was still ongoing. They also said more charges may be brought, and reports indicate he may have had an idea of just how bad the allegations were at the time when they decided to sweep the issue under the rug.

    Maybe Paterno didn’t contribute to that atmosphere that had people fearing for their jobs for doing the right thing. Maybe he didn’t help create the “rules” for Sandusky that did nothing to stop his sexual assaults. I am open to that, and I certainly didn’t say to convict him of that crime. However, I am free to think that one who doesn’t follow up on reports that they have a sexual predator who is assaulting children in the facilities that fall under his program isn’t a great person who should be revered. It reveals what I consider to be a serious flaw in judgement. That’s actually why I think that a charge like not reporting is appropriate since it is a summary offense if he was given enough information to warrant calling investigators.

  3. Dannytheman says:

    Listen Bitter,
    You shouldn’t defend your comments ever! You are entitles to say whatever you want! David is an obvious Penn State backer.
    Feel the way you want, say what the hell you want!

    I only care if they covered it up. Anyone with any knowledge or knew should resign, be placed in jail or seek employment elsewhere. I think this will take Joe Pa down finally, IMHO!

    • Phil says:

      I think this will take Joe Pa down finally, IMHO!

      (emphasis mine)

      I also think it is disgusting to use this tragedy to further your own agenda.

      • Bitter says:

        I don’t think he meant this as a case of trying to “further [his] own agenda.” Based on what I have read in the last couple of days about Paterno’s last decade or so, there have been several instances where some people have felt that he should step aside. I can see where someone who believes this would feel that this should be a proverbial straw to break the camel’s back.

        • Phil says:

          If the allegations people are making about Paterno are true, I think that would be enough to be the sole reason he leaves, and not need to be a straw that broke the camel’s back.

    • David says:

      Unless you know something I don’t. Stop assuming. You’ve fallen into the trap of rushing to judgement.

  4. Heather from AK says:

    Disclosure: yes, I am a Penn State alum.

    I am very, very upset by this issue. However, I’m not entirely willing to toss JoePa under the bus yet, since it’s not entirely clear how much he knew… although given that he made Sandusky resign over the first accusations years ago, I don’t know what reason he would have to cover anything up which is why I’m incredibly confused. If it does become clear that he had definite knowledge and was not being lied to about the situation’s handling by Curly, then he ought to resign. At the least. At the moment, I’m much more incensed over Graham Spanier’s comments.

    What I really want to know is how this guy got a job with Second Mile after the first abuse allegations…

    • Bitter says:

      Heather, I’m actually appalled that Second Mile still exists. The fact remains that from what they know of the victims (and the AG said today that they are still looking for some and also ask that others who are now adults please come forward) that Second Mile was the source of troubled youth for him to take advantage of in these assaults. I understand the non-profit world, and I actually do see how a social service group could have something like this happen with no one knowing. However, when you find out that your org was basically the playground for a sexual predator to choose his prey, I personally couldn’t continue. If it were up to me, I’d reach out to the other social service groups in the area and start a wind down plan, perhaps placing any current staff with those groups and directing donors to those other groups. Even with Sandusky in jail, I’m not sure how any organization can just wipe their hands of that kind of history. I feel bad for them because any good work will be ignored in light of this. That’s why I personally would try to save what I could of the programs by working to pass them off to related groups.

      • Heather from AK says:

        Yeah… the Second Mile thing is really upsetting. I did some security work for some of their events and stuff back in college. To think that this was happening to some of those kids…

      • Phil says:

        I agree. It’s also a shame that people will think of this situation in the future before letting their kids be involved in programs like this. He didn’t hurt just Second Mile.

  5. Bees says:

    How can he (Joe) report something to the police that he didn’t even see? How would that stand up in court? That would be like me calling the cops on you for hearing a rumor that you sodomize your daughter. He went to his superiors, which is exactly what he should have done. It makes absolutely NO sense to call for his firing. If you knew anything about the Paterno family, and judging from your blog post, you dont… You would know that Joe would be the 1st in line to step up to the plate to take care of this scumbag. He reported it to the proper people. What THEY did from there is NOT his fault. Its insanity to even think for a moment that Joe would allow a know pedophile on or around his staff. Garbage… Garbage article. I feel dirty for even taking the time to stoop to your level writing this comment…

    Disgraceful article from a disgraceful person just trying to drag someone through the mud while not really knowing any facts at all. You weren’t there, you dont know what really happened. All you know is whats being reported, and with the media today we all know how that is. Especially when its on a big a figure as Joe Paterno. Think before you spew…

  6. Bees says:

    By the way:

    AG Kelly: Joe Paterno has been cooperative with investigators, is not a target, did all he was required in reporting.

    Straight from the Attorney General, just 2 hours ago.

    • Bitter says:

      No one here has said he wasn’t cooperating with prosecutors. As I said in the post, the most that could be pinned on him even in a worst-case scenario is a summary offense of not reporting it to the police. I also understand why a prosecutor would want to forgo a charge like that in order to secure the testimony of Paterno. Remember, it’s Paterno’s testimony that will seal the deal for Curley and Schultz. Considering that even if he did know every minor detail of every case of abuse, the only charge he could face would be failure to report, it is more important that they do what they have to in order to use Paterno to go after the administrators who perjured themselves in order to deflect the investigation.

      There is a difference between filing criminal charges and having the debate about whether someone should remain on staff at a public institution. Bad judgement isn’t a crime, but it might be enough to merit letting someone go.

  7. PT says:

    The accused was witnessed raping 10 year-olds.

    As a Big Ten alumni, fire his ass yesterday, along with anyone else involved in this mess.

    I do not think bitter is over the line. If this happened at my university, I would be livid.

  8. Doyle says:

    I’m shocked by the Paterno apologists that responded to this post. Simply amazing cover for a person who was told the next morning of a sexual encounter in the shower with a 10 year old. Let me get the facts straight here, as reported in the newspaper: In 1998 a mother reports to the university that Sandusky has taken a shower with her child. The university police “look into it” and Sandusky apologizes. End of controversy. Did Paterno know of this incident? Why, of course he did! A year later Sandusky retires, unexpectently. He continues to use an office in the athletic department and promote his “cause” to help young boys. In 2002 a grad assistant witnesses what has been described as noise and slapping in the shower late at time. He discovers Sandusky with a child and is having anal sex. This scumbag worries about his future at Penn State football (he’s an assistant coach now) and reports this to his father. As reported this child has not be identified as of now!! Why didn’t the scumbag intervene with what was going on in the shower and call the police. The next morning Paterno is told of this and he doesn’t ask for details? After knowing what happened in 1998 and the first allelgation???? Please! So, Joe’s cover is that he reported this to his supervisor. What if there had been a murder in the shower? Would reporting it to the Athletic Dir bee sufficient? My gosh, a 1st Degree of a minor child is punished in my state (Florida) is Life in prison. And to think that Sandusky was still using the athletic dept office and running his program since 2002. There is simply no excuse for Paterno to have not investigated this by asking details and to have called the police immediately. Athletic Director should have been the second call. Paterno should be fired and should never coach another game! This is not about rush to judgement. This happened in 2002 and this young boy has never been identified. For those covering for Joe Pa shame on you.

  9. Heather from AK says:

    It looks like we’re fixing to get rid of Paterno now, according to today’s news. I only hope Spanier goes with him.

    • Bitter says:

      I agree with you, Heather. I think one of Sebastian’s college buddies summed it up best when he was talking about Paterno, but it reflect the same on Spanier. He noted that in the best light, these accusations reflect a guy who was absolutely out of touch with his program & staff. That doesn’t bode well for a leader in any situation. Like I said, I think it applies to both based on what has been reported and where the investigation appears to be headed.

      UPDATE: Another interesting thought: I’ve seen several reporters from the central part of the state report that Paterno & his son were trying to set up a press conference to make up for the one PSU cancelled. That actually highlights how little control the president has over anything at the school if he has staff going around his back to run their own press conferences. So yeah, I think you’re even more spot on, Heather.

  10. rudytbone says:

    I’m a PSU alum. My wife is also. I don’t know Sandusky. She does. She grew up in State College and lived there after graduation. She has done work with Special Olympics and Second Mile and was involved in the establishment of Second Mile’s protocols that were designed to ensure that this very type of situation did not happen. She can’t believe the allegations against Sandusky.

    Does that mean Sandusky is innocent? Of course not. But it does give some insight into the mindset of those who knew Sanduksy. Incredulus that these allegations are levied against a “pillar of the community”? And, make no doubt about it, Sandusky was considered to be a “pillar of the community”. Paterno said “If this is true we were all fooled, along with scores of professionals trained in such things,…”

    Let’s put some perspective in here…A man you’ve known for decades, someone you trust and whom you would trust your own children in their care gets an allegation of a heinous misconduct. You don’t believe it, but you report it because its your duty to report. So, now you are supposed to go “above and beyond” and report a probably scurrilous allegation to the police? Get real. Not going to happen.

    Should it have happened? Different story.

    As to the Grand Jury report….take with several grains of salt. Everything in the report is from the prosecutor and much of it may not stand up in court when challenged by the defense. All the Grand Jury does is decided if charges should be brought based on evidence provided by the prosecutor. A good prosecutor can bring Grand Jury indictments against Santa and the Easter Bunny if they should so choose.

    My wife thinks there is a financial motiviation here (Second Mile has deep pockets) and that the criminal charges are to set up civil suits.

    As for me? I’m saddened every way possible. That it could happen. That it could be someone who had the standing of Sandusky. That if true the administration swept it under the rug. That if not true, Sandusky’s reputation is severely tarnished. For the children, either way.

    I’m trying to be objective and not pass judgement. Sandusky is innocent until proven guilty despite what others have said/written. Paterno, et al also.

    But wouldn’t it be a shame to fire Paterno if Sandusky was innocent?

    • Bitter says:

      Actually, I think Paterno’s dismissal would still be justified if Sandusky was found innocent. Consider the facts of the case that no one is disputing when you think about it. If Sandusky never behaved inappropriately with children (which we know isn’t true since he admitted in the previous abuse investigation to inappropriately showering with them) and is found completely innocent on all 40 charges and all victims who come forward are proven to be absolute liars, there’s still a problem in the program at PSU for which Paterno has not taken responsibility as he should have.

      If Sandusky did not do it, then there was and currently still is a member of the coaching staff (who has since been promoted) that made a wild and false accusation meant to smear another employee’s reputation and possibly lead to police investigation. Paterno would be aware of it since the employee came to him with the wild and false accusation. Paterno then would have to admit that he found out it was wild and false and continued to promote a person with such poor judgement skills in his program, and he would have to admit that even before finding out whether or not the accusations were true, he passed the buck and never looked back. None of that speaks well of the way he runs his program. Interestingly, all of the charges filed against administration officials still stand since the perjury happened regardless of the jury’s verdict in Sandusky’s future trial.

      I suspect the reason that many people who do know him and trust him have a hard time with this is because if they are told it is true, it means going back to re-examine how many, if any, warning signs they missed or ignored. It also means that regardless of how many precautions Second Mile took to supposedly prevent this kind of thing from happening, they did not stop it and they ultimately served as a source of untold numbers of victims for a sexual predator. It isn’t a pleasant realization for anyone involved. I’m sympathetic to that fact.

      But, I do find it troubling that you absolutely write off the possibility that someone realistically would call the authorities in a situation that was reported. I don’t accept your statement that it simply won’t happen because I have had to go to authorities when I was dealing with far more subjective situations of neglect. So, sorry, but I simply don’t accept the premise behind your statement that it would not happen. Decent people report such things to the authorities regularly.

  11. Sage Thrasher says:

    Every single person who heard about the rape that was witnessed firsthand and who didn’t call the cops is at fault. I’m more amazed someone could actually witness a rape and not step in to stop it or call the police immediately. That this guy apparently saw a rape & decided he had to tell his boss about it first before doing anything else speaks volumes about the culture in the football program at this school.

  12. rudytbone says:

    Bitter, I think either I did not write clearly or you misunderstood. I’m not writing off calling other authorities. What many people don’t comprehend is Sandusky’s (previous) standing in the community; especially his work with children. Allegations like this would be considered ludicrous to people who “knew” and or worked with Sandusky. Like my wife.

    You, an interested outside observer aren’t biased by that knowledge. Does that put you in a better position to make a non biased judgement? Absolutely. But it also makes it easier for you, who didn’t know Sandusky, to believe allegations than someone who had a previous and entirely positive impression of Sandusky. It’s like finding out Ronald Reagan was a communist. It’s unheard of.

    I’m not asking to take it easy on those involved. I’m asking to put yourself in their shoes – most people considered Sandusky a saint, not a sick criminal.

    • Bitter says:

      I understand why people might have a hard time believing it. But, regardless of what they thought, is there no hesitation over the fact that Sandusky was previously caught being inappropriate with kids – something he admitted to and promised not to do again? Add to that the multiple eye witnesses (the janitor in one case, the other football staffer in the other) to his assaults, and it’s time for people who adored him to start asking questions. If he is innocent, then they can breath a sigh of relief when he has his day in court.

      Again, I understand having to look at someone through one lens and then realizing that they have deceived others. It’s not fun. But, that doesn’t make it any excuse to ignore that there does appear to be pretty overwhelming and damning evidence.

  13. Bitter says:

    According to Twitter reports from media in the middle of the state, Paterno is “retiring” at the end of the season. Of course, that means that the issue will still hang over the heads of the entire school for his high profile role.

    • Heather from AK says:

      Joe made the right call.

      And I don’t understand why everyone is so focused on Joe, rather than the Grad student who didn’t call 911 or Spanier, who hasn’t been letting anyone talk about the matter and probably lied to the grand jury, or Curley or Shultz.

      Yes, Joe should have done more. He said today that he should have done more. Unlike many people involved though, his failing was moral rather than legal. So why should he be taking all of the blame?

      If Joe retired today, the issue would STILL be hanging over the entire school for Spanier, Curley, and Shultz’s high profile and possibly illegal roles.

      • Bitter says:

        I think it’s a legitimate question, Heather. There should be more focus on why the eye witness didn’t do more as well, especially now that we know he’s still part of the football program. Because he wasn’t named in the grand jury report, it didn’t have as clear of a tie to PSU at the time. Now, I believe he should be gone as well. I’m also on board with ousting the president.

        From what I’ve read about the efforts by the Board of Trustees, there are some serious leadership competency issues that are coming out in this mess and there may be some shakeups happen on the board, too.

        I also find the designation of a moral vs legal failing an interesting one – at least for purposes of employment. Many contracts of high profile people feature some sort of moral turpitude clause. Because so many law enforcement officials have said there was a moral obligation to act, even if the legal standard was met. I don’t know if Paterno’s contract includes such a clause, but if it does, then that would warrant discussion on the issue of continued employment. That said, I suspect that Spanier’s contract would likely consider such a clause as well. You don’t exactly want a university president make headlines for serious moral failures.

        • Heather from AK says:

          I’m sure there would be such a clause, and I really don’t have a problem with the discussion of Paterno’s continued employment being open. But let’s face it, the discussion really has been JUST about Paterno, not about those who were more directly involved and arguably more responsible. Why is that? It’s because Joe Paterno is a big name and that sells in the media. Even this blog post – would you have received as many comments and hits on this post if you’d titled it “Time to Fire Spanier,” or “Time to fire McQueary”?

          This is what really bothers me, the focus on Paterno to the exclusion of the others, including the man who allegedly committed the crimes.

          • Bitter says:

            Fair point. At the time I started writing this post, no one has named the person who was merely listed in the presentment as “graduate assistant.” That’s why I did not mention him. Since I did not know who it was, I couldn’t comment on the status of continued employment since I didn’t realize he was still on the coaching staff. Ever since that was released, I’ve argued that he should be let go as well, and I believe he should be asked the same questions about his actions.

            To some degree, people seem to give his immediate actions a little more leeway. Some (including me) can’t believe he didn’t just storm in to stop what was happening since there is no context in which what he witnessed is acceptable. But, I also consider that when a janitor caught Sandusky performing oral sex on a child years before, he was so shaken up that his colleagues thought he was going to have a heart attack. He also described it as being worse than anything he saw in war (this is in the Victim 8 section). Because of those kinds of extreme reactions to such acts, I think people generally give him some room for trying to process it before he reported it. I do believe that even in that case, he should have still gone to the police instead of just Paterno.

            As for the president, I have seen just as many calls for his resignation. I also suspect that given the AG all but said flat out that they could still file charges against him, no one sees him as really getting off the hook at this point.

            • Heather from AK says:

              Spanier is almost certainly gone as of today from what I hear, but it’s not confirmed yet. And it will certainly come at the direction of the board, as opposed to Joe’s.

              Anyway, just take a look at the headlines of news articles. They are significantly weighted towards JoePa’s name, to the exclusion of just about everyone else involved, including Curley and Schultz. Everyone is out for Joe’s blood, but Curley simply gets administrative leave to defend himself in court? According to the grand jury report, these men thought the incident “not that serious” and not even a crime! But who is asking for his resignation?

              My biggest fear, as I said, is that in the focus on JoePa, other very important questions will be forgotten and go unasked. It was only today that I found any article pointing out the fact that the Second Mile’s lawyer was also Penn State’s lawyer during the 1998 investigation, something that was obvious in my reading days ago. There are a LOT of people involved in this and I don’t think any of them should be let off the hook. Heck, if we want to get a little tin-foil-hatty here, the DA who declined to file charges in 1998 is the same one who disappeared in ’05 without a trace.

  14. Arnie says:

    As usual, I have come late to the dance. I am amazed at the parallels between this story and the present Herman Cain allegations: happened years ago; multiple events; matters originally dismissed with minor repercussions; presently exploding all over the media; major VIP refuses to quit (yet); not sure what to make of it. I hate he said, he/she said allegations with no way to verify the truth. I wouldn’t want to be the victim of false allegations I couldn’t prove to be false. Yet, I am also uncomfortable with actual sexual predators roaming free because people/victims were afraid to speak up or couldn’t possibly believe a “saint” could also be a sinner. Gads, fellows, let’s please discipline ourselves to just KEEP “IT” IN OUR PANTS and stop this stupid behavior!!!!!! Whew! Thanks, you all! Feel better now.

  15. Doyle says:

    Joe needs to be gone now. Not next week, not next month, not the end of the year, but TODAY. He doesn’t need to be on the field again! And I suspect that he won’t be.

  16. Arnie says:

    You were right Doyle – he’s officially gone. But not soon forgotten.

    • Doyle says:

      Arnie,
      It’s one of those times when being right isn’t all that good. I’m not from PA, but I’ve always been a fan of Penn State and Paterno. There’s much already said about this and much more to come. To me it’s a sad day for all, and especially the kids.

  17. Charles says:

    Joe Paterno has more integrity and moral fiber in his little finger than anyone saying he didn’t do what he should have. Joe Paterno did what he was suppose to do. Especially, after the investigation in 1998-1999 by the police and state. That’s why the University let Sandusky “retire” and gave him the keys to the facilities. Joe Paterno didn’t do this. The University did. And when Joe Paterno told them that his assistant saw something, the University did nothing. Maybe everyone should read the Grand Jury report and use common sense to see that everyone knew in 1998 what was happening and the University enabled Sandusky to continue his horrible behavior.

    Joe Paterno reported what he knew and continued on with his life’s work of caring and guiding of the thousands of athletes and students there. The University did nothing. After he was fired, those that really know Joe Paterno, the students, showed what we all should do. Support JoePa. I could also say that I should have done lots of things differently, As Joe said, “with the benefit of hindsight”. The University, The Second Mile, the police and the state can also say the same thing.

    As for all you “perfect” individuals that know what you would have done, maybe you should look with “hindsight” at your own past to see how “perfect” you are not. For all of you that can meticulously handle every detail of your life, why don’t you add on the Penn State Football Program and a couple thousand young students to see how “in-touch” you are with “everything”. I’m sure you would have done better. Not!

    Just in case you missed it. What did Joe Paterno do within a couple hours after being fired? He came out of his house and told the hundreds of students to go home and study get some rest and pray for the victims. That’s JoePa. More concerned about the kids than his job or the University and himself.

  18. Doyle says:

    I see that you still don’t get it, Charles.

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