FanDuel - WFBC

November 08, 2011

New York Times: Paterno's Exit Underway at Penn State: Joe Paterno's tenure as coach of the Penn State football team will soon be over, the New York Times reported Tuesday afternoon. Two sources told the paper that Paterno, 84, has lost the support of many Board of Trustees members over how 2002 allegations of child sex abuse by former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky were handled.

posted by rcade to football at 12:48 PM - 204 comments

Sad to see a great career end this way, but her should be gone by weeks end. I have never been a PSU fan, but it is sad to see him go out like this. I figured he would die on the field and be stuffed in front of the stadium.

posted by Debo270 at 01:06 PM on November 08

I would like to congratulate Matt Millen for re-affirming his title of "Dumbest Man in Sports". His performance on Sportscenter right before and right after this news broke was cringe-worthy. How does he continue to get jobs?

posted by yerfatma at 01:52 PM on November 08

What did he say? Just different iterations of "I don't think this is a big deal?"

posted by cobra! at 02:29 PM on November 08

With everything that's come out on this sordid affair, it was hard to see this getting resolved any other way. I suspect they will clean house in the athletics department - it didn't sound like anyone handled this situation well.

posted by BikeNut at 02:41 PM on November 08

Millen, while counselling people not to jump to conclusions or get emotional, had to fight back tears and apologized for getting emotional.

posted by rcade at 02:42 PM on November 08

What did he say? Just different iterations of "I don't think this is a big deal?"

Basically, that no one could say anything because the facts hadn't come out. When the host interrupted him to say the NYT was reporting Paterno would be leaving, Millen turned into the ESPN Ombudsman, asserting that he could not provide an opinion on this news because it wasn't confirmed. And then he started complaining that ESPN was reporting conjecture. As opposed to what he does for a living, analyzing upcoming athletic contests based on cold, hard facts.

posted by yerfatma at 03:05 PM on November 08

Screw what Millen did or didn't say; this is a sad, sad, sad way to see the career of a living legend end.

Everything that I have seen so far indicates that Paterno did what he was required to do. Nevermind what he should have done morally or ethically, he did what was required by the letter of the law.

Ultimately one of the brightest careers in coaching is going to end with a huge black smudge in the record books and that is just sad.

posted by Tinman at 03:09 PM on November 08

Nevermind what he should have done morally or ethically ...

Why should we nevermind that? Paterno going out as an enabler of child molestation is nobody's fault but his own.

posted by rcade at 03:20 PM on November 08

Why should we nevermind that? Paterno going out as an enabler of child molestation is nobody's fault but his own.

The culture being what it is/was, unless Paterno had compelling evidence himself, he did what he was obligated to do. I have seen nothing that says he had that evidence.

It was the duty of the Penn State administration to follow up on that allegation and they decided to instead sweep it under the rug in the hopes it would go away quietly. Strikingly reminiscent of a lot of Catholic Diocese don't you think?

posted by Tinman at 03:31 PM on November 08

Graduate assistant Mike McQueary witnessed Sandusky anally raping a 10-year-old boy in the Penn State locker room showers and told Paterno "what he had seen," according to the grand jury indictment. If that's not compelling evidence, I don't know what is.

Like the Catholic church, Paterno valued the reputation of his institution (and himself) more than the victimization of children. No one associated with Penn State notified police.

posted by rcade at 03:36 PM on November 08

If you know children are being raped under your watch, your obligation is to the children. Period.

No institution's reputation is more important, even if that institution is you.

posted by Hugh Janus at 03:38 PM on November 08

Are you sure, Hugh? Wouldn't it be better to do nothing and continue seeing the molester at your workplace for nine years? It seems like such a gray area.

posted by rcade at 03:54 PM on November 08

If you know children are being raped under your watch, your obligation is to the children. Period.

No institution's reputation is more important, even if that institution is you.

This.

posted by tommytrump at 03:57 PM on November 08

he did what was required by the letter of the law.

...oh fuck it never mind.

unless Paterno had compelling evidence

....re-mind one of HIS grad assistances brought it to HIS attention and HE chose to pase the buck. Legal in Pensilvania to do just that apparently. But what more evidence do you need? Fucking Polaroid's of the act in progress?

Now to what I came in here to say before I derailed myself. Early on I hated PSU almost as much as ND (well my dad did anyway and thus I learned too) But as I mellowed with age and understood how amazing men like Eddie Robbinson, P. Bear Bryant, and Joe Parterno could be I grew to respect Paterno even if I was going to root against him.

It is a sad day for Penn St. and Paterno to HAVE to end his career under such deplorable circumstances.

posted by Folkways at 03:58 PM on November 08

Everything that I have seen so far indicates that Paterno did what he was required to do. Nevermind what he should have done morally or ethically, he did what was required by the letter of the law.

Paterno managed to be a minimally decent Samaritan. With as much clout as he has he could have done, or rather should have done, so much more.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 04:11 PM on November 08

he did what he was obligated to do

This is not something I want on my tombstone. I'd rather go with the current front-runner, "A complete asshole, but he never watched a kid get raped."

posted by yerfatma at 04:48 PM on November 08

Paterno managed to be a minimally decent Samaritan

Samaritans everywhere (even the not-so good ones) cringed when you hit post.

posted by Folkways at 04:59 PM on November 08

I actually like Paterno, and Penn State, and I hate to see him leave this way. But he has no one else to blame but himself.

posted by justgary at 05:24 PM on November 08

Even given that I am on record as having called Joe Paterno a shit in the prior thread, it is sad to see him leaving under these circumstances.

Poor behavior, and as politicians never seem to learn, it is always the cover up that can not be excused. He did not do everything, hell, he barely did anything, in his power to stop a 10 year old boy from being raped.

May his exit be swift and complete.

Hugh, your words in the last post were powerful. We most certainly did have the wrong perspective, worrying about the monsters instead of the boy.

posted by dviking at 06:23 PM on November 08

Paterno did what he was required to do

Wait - are you telling me that citizens aren't required to report crime in PA? That's a complete pile of crap.

Possibly you'd have a different opinion if it was you or your kid who was victimized by the Penn State Football fraternity.

posted by cixelsyd at 06:32 PM on November 08

I don't think it helps to make this about other commenters and their children. There are plenty of true things we can say about the topic to help people revise their opinions, or even feel shame at what we see as callousness. The intent is to educate, or to argue, or to in some way try to lift each other up to where we understand and perhaps come to agree with each other.

I understand wanting to grab somebody by the ears and give them a good shake. But the intent behind telling someone to imagine his or her child being raped is to hurt. It's extremely painful rhetoric, an abusive tactic in an already fraught conversation, and I think we'd all be better off without doing it.

It's hard to be our best when the topic is people at their worst. I'm no saint; I'm sometimes downright nasty here, which may make this comment seem hypocritical. That's my fault. This is a sad topic, already personal to a lot of people; it unpacks a lot of carefully stowed rage and pain for some of us. I hope we can avoid using other people's children to make a point.

It's difficult to be both angry and fair. I don't know what else to say about it.

posted by Hugh Janus at 07:49 PM on November 08

Aside from a complete housecleaning of the entire athletics department, I think the president of Penn State should follow Paterno out, frankly. He was made aware of it as well, and did nothing.

It all served to remind everybody involved how much more valued Sandusky and Penn State's rep were than the safety of the children involved.

This comes from someone who's never been a fan of college sports and how much more they're valued over the actual scholarly institution and education within. My alma mater was busted for academic fraud and hit with NCAA sanctions, so I was able to see some of that firsthand (though of course academic fraud pales in comparison to the Sandusky matter). Still, far too many were eager to keep quiet and protect the athletics department at all costs. This happens all the time and it makes you wonder how many more Sandusky-esque scandals have been hushed up to avoid precisely this sort of media freefall.

The whole thing with Penn State leaves me so angry and disgusted -- reading the grand jury report was illuminating in a completely horrific fashion.

posted by evixir at 09:57 PM on November 08

Hindsight is great, isn't it: always 20/20.

I have no idea what went through Paterno's mind when the accusations against Sandusky came to his attention. What any of us do know is that: 1) something heinous happened; 2) Paterno did not personally witness said acts, but heard about them second-hand from a graduate assistant; 3) he followed normal procedure and reported what he heard to his superiors; 4) his superiors, in turn, failed to take the matter to the police. So it seems, at least to me, like Paterno did what he thought at the time was the right thing.

Should Paterno have gone to the police himself? Hindsight demands we say "yes," and I would guess that Paterno would now agree. But no one has the benefit of hindsight when making such choices.

I wish I could also have the benefit of insight into Paterno's mind that some other commentors here, like rcade, seem to have when they so confidently assert that Paterno's decisions were grounded in his concern for the reputation of his institution (and himself) more than the victimization of children .

Again, hindsight is wonderful: it is certainly an effective and persuasive prosecutorial tool for the court of public opinion. I am only glad that it has no place in the court of law.

posted by billinnagoya at 06:08 AM on November 09

What any of us do know is that:

1) something heinous happened;

The rape of a child is not just something heinous, its a criminal act, and in this case its been covered up for damn near a decade.

2) Paterno did not personally witness said acts, but heard about them second-hand from a graduate assistant;

Who Paterno called "distraught" and "traumatized"

3) he followed normal procedure and reported what he heard to his superiors;

How many more boys was Sandusky aloud to rape due to following "normal procedure"?

According to justgary's link "Pennsylvania state law requires Curley, Schultz and Paterno to have reported the charges to the police. They didn't. (Curley and Schultz are being charged with perjury and obstruction. Paterno is not.)"

4) his superiors, in turn, failed to take the matter to the police.
So passing the buck is just fine in cases of child rape in Happy Valley?


I wish I could also have the benefit of insight into Paterno's mind that some other commentors here, like rcade, seem to have when they so confidently assert that Paterno's decisions were grounded in his concern for the reputation of his institution (and himself) more than the victimization of children .

billinnagoya, try reading any number of articles on this shit and maybe, just maybe, you will begin to see how powerful college football has become. Billions spent yearly by fans, sponsors, the networks. Billions earned by the universities, surrounding communities, coaching staffs. Not to mention this didn't start yesterday, Paterno etal have known about this since 2002 if not earlier. Sandusky was removed as the D-coordinator yet aloud access to university buildings such as the training facility where he was caught in the shower with a boy that appeared to be 10yrs old.


Again from justgary's link

"Damn Sandusky. Damn Paterno. Damn Penn State. But above all, damn the fact that the billion-dollar logic of big-time college football leads to decisions as venal as those made in Happy Valley."

posted by Folkways at 07:05 AM on November 09

I wish I could also have the benefit of insight into Paterno's mind that some other commentors here, like rcade, seem to have when they so confidently assert that Paterno's decisions were grounded in his concern for the reputation of his institution (and himself) more than the victimization of children.

If Paterno had another reason for brushing off a credible allegation of child rape taking place under his roof, let him stand up, face the world and tell us what it is.

It shouldn't take hindsight to see that a child molester who goes uninvestigated will continue to abuse children. And now there are as many as 17 victims, according to a Philly news station.

posted by rcade at 07:16 AM on November 09

how powerful college football has become.

That's why college football will probably give this whole sordid episode a cursory "bad Penn State," then circle the wagons, let time pass and go on counting its money.

posted by roberts at 07:18 AM on November 09

A common institutional response to any controversy is avoidance. It doesn't have to be a million-dollar business. I reported some child neglect to my child's school, the guidance counselor was interested in getting involved and talking to the parents. As soon as the principal found out, he said to stay out of it because they are not legally obligated to get involved. This happens constantly in institutions of all sizes. Billions of dollars annually probably go to lawyers to parse institutions exact legal obligations, so that they can avoid whatever they don't have to do. I think the connection to the money involved in college football is tenuous. If there was no money involved, they'd probably do the same thing.

The hysterics involved in reading all these sinister motives into everyone's inaction seems to be missing any basis. But, it all seems to be in a fever pitch right now, and anyone who doesn't want to participate in the mob is condoning child rape.

posted by bperk at 07:41 AM on November 09

Again, hindsight is wonderful

It is, and Paterno had plenty of chances to correct his mistake.

For years after he reported it he saw Sandusky walking around campus a free man. At any point Paterno could have gone back to his superiors to find out what happened. He could have corrected, what in hindsight, was a mistake.

He didn't.

posted by justgary at 08:26 AM on November 09

I have no idea what went through Paterno's mind when the accusations against Sandusky came to his attention. What any of us do know is that: 1) something heinous happened; 2) Paterno did not personally witness said acts, but heard about them second-hand from a graduate assistant; 3) he followed normal procedure and reported what he heard to his superiors; 4) his superiors, in turn, failed to take the matter to the police. So it seems, at least to me, like Paterno did what he thought at the time was the right thing.

Just to be sure on this point:

You believe that if an intern comes up to you at your work place and tells you (distraught and traumatized) that he just saw (not heard about, but actually witnessed) the V.P. of your company raping a 10 year-old boy in the company bathroom, the normal procedure for your workplace is to tell the CEO about what you saw, but not to call the police (or tell the intern to call the police)?

posted by grum@work at 08:36 AM on November 09

The hysterics involved in reading all these sinister motives into everyone's inaction seems to be missing any basis. But, it all seems to be in a fever pitch right now, and anyone who doesn't want to participate in the mob is condoning child rape.

You seem to think you've taken the enlightened position, given the language you're using to characterize those of us who disagree with you.

If you knew someone who has been living for decades with the consequences of being molested as a child, as I do, perhaps you would not dismiss the anger over Paterno's inaction as mob hysteria. These kids will be struggling with it for years and years. Being molested destroys self-esteem, poisons attempts to form intimate relationships and often leads to depression.

Sometimes it leads to worse. I was raised Catholic and turned down an offer at age 11 to become an altar boy. One of the boys my age who took that offer never made it to college. He was repeatedly molested by one of the priests and killed himself at age 18.

I don't think it's the enlightened position to accept Joe Paterno and Mike McQueary doing nothing when Jerry Sandusky was not criminally investigated in 2002. They had to know -- when weeks went by and police never interviewed them -- that no one had initiated a criminal investigation. They either chose to ignore the cover up or were a part of it.

Paterno is such a control freak that he "micro-managed the program down to the sheets of toilet tissue," according to the L.A. Times in 1998.

Do you honestly believe Penn State's response to a suspected child molester in his locker room was out of his control?

posted by rcade at 08:55 AM on November 09

The "corrective action" taken by the school was unreal. If you are any person in the chain from grad student/Joe/AD/Pres, you go straight to the police. If I am Joe, the "moral compass of college football", and I tell my higher up, as he did, and no police are talking to me within 24 hours, I am bringing the situation up again or going to the cops myself. I mean I am sure if Joepa wanted to get a hold of the Chief of police or the mayor or the Governor, he could make that call. Hey Gov. Rendell, Joe Pa on line 1.

I see Sandusky eating a bullet.

posted by Debo270 at 09:36 AM on November 09

Paterno did not personally witness said acts, but heard about them second-hand from a graduate assistant

Correct me if I'm wrong with my timeline, but he heard about this second-hand four years after hearing much the same accusation of the same person from elsewhere.

posted by yerfatma at 09:42 AM on November 09

The hysterics involved in reading all these sinister motives into everyone's inaction seems to be missing any basis. But, it all seems to be in a fever pitch right now, and anyone who doesn't want to participate in the mob is condoning child rape.

"All these sinister motives," you say? People are here and elsewhere casting about for explanations as to why Penn State football assistants and higher-ups collectively witnessed and were notified of one of their own fucking a ten year-old boy in the ass, and then proceeded to hush it up, without doing anything to restrict the rapist's access to more young victims.

The most charitable answer we can come up with is that the cover-up was done to protect the school's and coaches' reputations. That is absolutely the kindest possible way to look at it.

Men who catch another man raping a child are obliged to stop that rape and make sure it never happens again. These men didn't do that. This isn't some witch hunt, it's a lot of people searching for answers in the wake of a systematic and possibly systemic betrayal of fans, of Penn State University, of the football program there, and especially of Sandusky's victims.

So we conclude, charitably, that it was done to protect the school's and the coaches' reputations. The next question is, why are those reputations so important? How can a reputation grow to be more important than the sexual trauma of a string of children?

This isn't hindsight. This is people seeking explanation in the wake of betrayal. Sandusky hurt those kids more than most of us can imagine. The rest of the adults involved enabled him by their inaction. That much is true.

Discussing why and how this could have happened the way it did is important. If our conclusion is that only the upper hierarchy of the Penn State football program operates in such a way that child rape goes unreported and the rapist is free to continue, then that is worth talking about. If we discover that there is something about the football culture at Penn State that encourages turning a blind eye to child rape, then that too is worth investigating. If in fact there are aspects of big-time football that lead to the system covering-up crimes like child rape instead of stopping them, it is important, for the sake of the victims, that we get to the bottom of it, and then do everything in our power to stop and correct it.

We all want clean football programs. We all want to idolize our great coaches and admire our great players. Nobody wants children to be hurt. But we all know that it's more important to protect children than it is to protect our image of football programs, coaches, and players. We ask these questions and posit these answers because we are human, just like our heroes, just like our villains, just like our children.

posted by Hugh Janus at 09:42 AM on November 09

....and anyone who doesn't want to participate in the mob is condoning child rape.

No, you're just condoning being a shit.

We've been over it enough at this point. If someone really feels that all Joe Paterno has no moral obligation to ensure that 10 year old boys are not raped by people in his control, so be it. If they are fine with knowing that Joe Paterno continued to let this monster use his facilities to continue to work with children, so be it. If they are fine knowing that Paterno allowed a heinous criminal act to go unpunished, so be it.

But, to be clear, I think that is a low road to be taking.

posted by dviking at 09:58 AM on November 09

But, to be clear, I think that is a low road to be taking.

Amen
If you can look at what happened and Not Blame everyone from the grad student to Joe to the AD all the way up then you are not well. To allow this to keep happening is almost as bad as the crime itself. Any MAN with any values would have made sure this ended that day.

posted by Debo270 at 10:08 AM on November 09

Joe Paterno will retire at the end of the season, his son Scott said. I wonder if they announced it to save him the shame of being ousted.

posted by rcade at 10:17 AM on November 09

... the intent behind telling someone to imagine his or her child being raped is to hurt

No, the intent is to focus on the severity of the crime and separate that from the worship of the iconic paticipants involved.

I was a huge fan of Paterno the coach, but I'm disgusted that someone I had considered a great leader refused to lead when it mattered most.

posted by cixelsyd at 10:26 AM on November 09

"Update: A source close to Paterno said it was the coach's decision to retire and that he has had no contact with the board of trustees." So it's definitely a pre-emptive move.

posted by rcade at 10:44 AM on November 09

No, the intent is to focus on the severity of the crime and separate that from the worship of the iconic paticipants involved.

Perhaps intent was the wrong word. "Predictable effect, regardless of intent?" In any case, it's a creepy tactic that stands no chance of achieving its aim of convincing someone to rethink their position.

The only reasonable response is, "Hey, leave my kid out of this."

Don't tell people to imagine their loved ones being raped. It doesn't work.

posted by Hugh Janus at 10:56 AM on November 09

Graduate assistant Mike McQueary witnessed Sandusky anally raping a 10-year-old boy in the Penn State locker room showers and told Paterno "what he had seen,"

That's the problem I have with all this. McQueary witnessed this and did nothing except leave to go tell his dad what he just saw who then went to JoePa ..the next day!? Why wouldn't a 28 year old former football player physically stop Sandusky from continuing raping a 10 year old?

Damn the consequences, the safety of this child should have been the #1 priority and not the integrity of Penn State.

posted by BornIcon at 11:05 AM on November 09

To me this whole scenario is mind boggling. I just learned who it was that witnessed the rape of a child by an old man. It was a 28 year old ex player. What kind of individual sees an old man raping a child, and decides to leave, call his daddy and ask what should he do? This is not a man. The fact that supposed men after the fact did not try to find this boy, get the police involved, and follow through with their top priority being only the prevention of further molestation, and new victims, is reprehensible.

They should all be fired immediately, without regard for the football program, the season, the alumni etc. As a university Penn State should make it clear nothing trumps this.

As Hugh so eloquently pointed out, a human being who witnesses the rape of a child has to take immediate action not just to report it but to immediately stop it and remove the child from the situation. Even if it means possible injury. When I first heard of the story I just assumed the witness may have been another child without the ability to stop the act. When I found out is was a 28 year old ex football player, I was in shock. His lack of action makes him just as culpable as the perv. and I hope he has a difficult time living with himself. He should be ashamed. Why he did not, stop the act, beat the shit out of Sandusky, and hold him for the police is beyond comprehension. If one child was molested by Sandusky after this incident was witnessed, the blame squarely rest with this A-hole and then trickles down from there to Paterno and the rest of them.

Paterno should be immediately fired. No questions asked.

posted by Atheist at 11:08 AM on November 09

So we conclude, charitably, that it was done to protect the school's and the coaches' reputations.

I don't see why this is the logical conclusion. A janitor witnessed a child being sexually assaulted as well. The janitor was traumatized, reported it to other janitors, and his supervisor. No one did anything else -- not one person who heard about it and not the witness or his boss. Are we supposed to believe that they were "protecting" Penn State football -- a bunch of janitors? The wrestling coach at the high school saw something inappropriate, and reported it to to no one. The assistant principal at the high school thought Sandusky's behavior was "suspicious" and did absolutely nothing and even facilitated Sandusky's access to children until a parent reported abuse (to the school not the police). All the unsuspecting parents that allowed their children to have Michael Jackson-style sleepovers with this grown man did nothing. There seems to me to be something bigger going on than protecting a football program that is allowing men like Sandusky to operate.

I don't think I'm enlightened. I just don't see Paterno as the bad guy here. He heard about abuse and reported it to someone. Did he do all he could do? No. Did anyone in this whole sordid tale do all they could do? No. Every single other adult mentioned in the indictment did even less. They aren't all trying to protect child rapists. Something else is going on that is preventing people from taking aggressive action to stop predators like Sandusky. I don't know what that is, but it is bigger than sports.

posted by bperk at 11:13 AM on November 09

Don't tell people to imagine their loved ones being raped.

I'll bet Michael Dukakis agrees with you.

From Paterno's statement today: "This is a tragedy. It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more."

I hope that Paterno ending his storied career in such monumental disgrace will cause other people to fear the consequences of not reporting child sex abuse to police.

Are we supposed to believe that they were "protecting" Penn State football -- a bunch of janitors?

As the indictment states, the janitors were afraid of losing their jobs. Also, after Jim Calhoun witnessed the alleged sex abuse, Sandusky was seen lingering in the parking lot by Calhoun later and was seen driving slowly through the lot two different times that night. Perhaps he was waiting for Calhoun's shift to end so he could threaten him or talk him out of reporting anything.

None of this excuses the janitors. But they weren't the most powerful person on campus, so they had much less reason to think that (a) they'd be believed, and (b) there'd be no consequences for them.

posted by rcade at 11:19 AM on November 09

This morning, I watched footage of thousands of Penn State students rallying around Joe Paterno, holding signs telling him they loved him, and demanding he be exonerated. Something tells me that the university should encourage its students to enlighten themselves about the facts of the matter before an even larger black eye is left on the entire school.

posted by tahoemoj at 11:37 AM on November 09

I don't know what that is, but it is bigger than sports.

You may be right, and you make a good point about the scale of the problem possibly going well beyond Penn State or even football, or sports in general. We are all asking questions here, and all of us, including you, are coming up with conjecture to fit a narrative that explains so much callous inaction.

But you tell everybody else who is thinking and commenting in this thread that they are making baseless, hysterical claims of sinister motives, that we're a mob at a fever pitch, accusing anyone who comes up with a different answer of condoning child rape.

That's not true, and if you get a strong reaction when you say so, it's because mischaracterizing other people's earnest answers to emotionally fraught questions like these, and then belittling them for it, is a stupid thing to do, and you aren't stupid. So we wonder why you do it, and some of us come to our own conclusions.

posted by Hugh Janus at 11:38 AM on November 09

I just don't see Paterno as the bad guy here.

How can you not. Legally he is clear, but he allowed kids to be raped for years in his locker room on his campus on his watch. He knew the story, reported it, and had a moral obligvation as Joe pa, moral compass of college forball to see the problem was addressed. He would have been even more respected as person for pulling the trigger on one of his own guys.

posted by Debo270 at 11:49 AM on November 09

That's why college football will probably give this whole sordid episode a cursory "bad Penn State," then circle the wagons, let time pass and go on counting its money.

As I've said here before, college athletics in the US is tainted like pro cycling -- you can be entranced by the passion and spectacle and mystique, but you can't let that overwhelm your reasoning.

A common institutional response to any controversy is avoidance.

I agree on this, and I think there's a certain amount of 20-20 hindsight on this one. Most people aren't part of institutions as powerful and self-contained, and we all like to think of ourselves as possessing sufficient autonomy and moral fortitude to Do The Right Thing, but precedent suggests that happens less often than we'd like. That's not to make excuses.

I've commented here before about the Cult of Coach, and its narrative of "turning boys into men", which sounds especially bad in this context; perhaps Paterno's retirement brings to an end the era of the head coach as college paterfamilias, but the controlling narrative doesn't go away easily.

posted by etagloh at 11:50 AM on November 09

The fact that the President of the University to Joe Paterno knew of the Sandusky incident and decided to handle it internally (sweep it under the rug) is a truely sad statement. All of them knew Sandusky ran a charity for abused chbildren. By them not coming forward, it allowed this animal to continue to escort his victims in through the front door. It will be interesting to see once the dust settles how many of the board of trustee members who are calling for Joe Paterno's ousting also knew about Sandusky's wrong doings. They all need to go, and now, not at the end of the season.

posted by MGDADDYO at 11:59 AM on November 09

Too bad Michigan State really has a strong claim to "THIS IS SPARTA!"

posted by yerfatma at 12:13 PM on November 09

A janitor witnessed a child being sexually assaulted as well. The janitor was traumatized, reported it to other janitors, and his supervisor. No one did anything else -- not one person who heard about it and not the witness or his boss.

This seems to fall under the two wrongs don't make a right to me. Yes the janitor should have stopped it when he saw what was happening, yes McQueary should have stopped it when he saw it happening. This does not absolve Paterno, the janitors boss and who ever they told of responsibility.

What am I missing? Cause I certainly don't think those of you standing up for PSU or its head coach are condoning child rape but how is telling his boss all you feel Paterno needed to do here? Would you not wonder why Sandusky was still walking free, being aloud to use university facilities and take young boys on road trips to away games? Would you not feel obligated to bring this up again and again until you were absolutly sure that the situation was resolved and Sandusky no longer had access to little boys or PSU. I would have to have done at least that and as has been mentioned before id have beaten Sandsky with a bat if he continued to soil my university grounds by being on campus ever again.

Im not holier than thou nor do I think anyone here is evil because they disagree with me but im missing something here cause I don't see how any excuse is acceptable when it comes to the welfare of children.

And who ever is writing these press releases for Paterno and PSU really aren't doing either one any favors. Seriously, saying in hindsight I should have done blah blah blah totally sounds like if I knew id get caught id have done blah blah blah.

The fact that Paterno said he was going to retire at the end of the season so the board of trustees need not waist its time on if or when he should go totally smacks of a god complex. I mean really Joe, you now get to decide, even after at least two people have resigned/retired over this if you should leave now or later.

This whole thing has left me mentally exhausted and physically ill.

posted by Folkways at 12:19 PM on November 09

One article I read said that these allegations were brought to the attention of the board of Sandusky's charity--and that board did nothing either.

So bperk has a point, and I'd like to see those board members pestered for an explanation of why they allowed this perv to continue in a position of authority and close contact with his potential victim pool.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:27 PM on November 09

As more and more comes to light on this situation, I retract any absolution I may have afforded to Paterno. There is no way to justify or defer inaction in this case as the abuse was systemic and over a long period of time. I hate to see Joe-Pa go out this way, but he should have seen it through to protect any future victims. He didn't and that is inexcusable.

posted by Tinman at 12:33 PM on November 09

Can you imagine being at a bar in some other state rooting for your Nittany Lions with Paterno coaching? Unbelievably classless.

posted by phaedon at 01:25 PM on November 09

Penn State president Graham Spanier, who knew about the allegation in 2002 and did not contact police, will resign or be fired today.

posted by rcade at 01:40 PM on November 09

The district attorney who did not press charges against Sandusky disappeared in 2005 and has been declared legally dead.

posted by wfrazerjr at 02:23 PM on November 09

Didn't Paterno report this to his superiors and wasn't that what he was supposed to do? How is it that a man does what he was supposed to do and he still gets nailed for wrongdoing?
His legal and moral obligation was to report what he was told and that is what he did, where is his wrongdoing in this?
What his superiors did or didn't do is not Paterno's liability, nor should it be.
Sounds like another witch hunt to me.

posted by quizman at 02:45 PM on November 09

It is tragic that the atrocities performed by one monster should land on innocent shoulders. One can only hope that members of the press, whose persistent efforts in wrecking jobs and careers, along with causing needless public humiliation, will one day find the same justice at the hands of their peers.

posted by EEEEE at 03:00 PM on November 09

How is it that a man does what he was supposed to do and he still gets nailed for wrongdoing?

Try reading the thread for a dozen answers to your question.

One can only hope that members of the press, whose persistent efforts in wrecking jobs and careers

Which of the reporters was banging kids again? Thanks for joining the site, but please leave your straw men at home.

posted by yerfatma at 03:04 PM on November 09

>>"Didn't Paterno report this to his superiors and wasn't that what he was supposed to do?"

Who cares who's cutting the damned paychecks? I can't begin to understand that mentality. Workplace chain-of-command is totally irrelevant. Seriously: if it had been someone unconnected to PSU football, they would have acted differently.

posted by Uncle Toby at 03:20 PM on November 09

His legal and moral obligation was to report what he was told

What is legal does not always equate to what is moral. Legally, I can stand at the shore of a pond and watch a child drown. Morally, not so much. If you think Joe Paterno satisfied a moral obligation by reporting to the administration, that's your business, but I think you'll find yourself greatly outnumbered in decent society (and on Sportsfilter, gladly).

posted by tahoemoj at 03:20 PM on November 09

My sense is that Paterno is trying to dictate the terms of his departure in much the same way he declined to retire after the 2004 season. He'll do it his way when he's ready.

If they wanted to terminate him before the end of the season, with the show of support he got last night at his house, now there's a public safety aspect to it. If they fired him before this Saturday's home game, there's no way to predict what might happen inside or outside the stadium during the game. Or to adequately plan how to control the situation if it got out of hand.

If Paterno and McQueary are on the sidelines on Saturday, their mugs are likely going to be shown on the TV screen an extraordinary amount of the time, which would not be beneficial to the situation. There are a lot of considerations that have to go into how the school handles the fate of the coaching staff and athletic administration.

On a purely instinctive basis, I'd let Paterno declare his intent to retire, let the dust settle from that for a day, then fire him effective immediately anyway.

PSU won't do that because they wouldn't want to go courting a successor with a scorched earth scenario tucked under their arm. Plus all hell would break loose.

posted by beaverboard at 03:30 PM on November 09

Everything is going to be ok: the Westboro Baptist Church is going to be at the next game.

posted by yerfatma at 03:44 PM on November 09

What am I missing? Cause I certainly don't think those of you standing up for PSU or its head coach are condoning child rape but how is telling his boss all you feel Paterno needed to do here?

There are a couple of things that I think are going on here that bother me (and thus make me a defender of Paterno though I am most definitely not a fan of the team or coach).

First, I'm generally against singling one person out for collective guilt (e.g., let's only punish the most famous steroid users in the steroid-era of baseball). It's an injustice as far as I'm concerned. All of the people who allowed Sandusky to do the things he was doing share the guilt, but they certainly aren't going to share the punishment. In my opinion, most of them are far more culpable than Paterno.

Second, when we have a whole lot of normal people doing the wrong thing and a whole lot of normal people absolutely positive that they would never do that wrong thing, it strikes me that something is amiss. All of these people are not intentionally facilitating Sandusky's abuse of children. People who abuse children aren't just skilled at getting kids to trust them; they are also good at getting adults to trust them. I think in Paterno's case, maybe many people wouldn't believe that someone they've known all these years would do something like that. I wouldn't really believe it if someone told me my best friend did something like this. So, the reason why the police haven't come to interview Paterno is that the graduate assistant didn't see what he thought he saw. The cognitive dissonance has to be pretty powerful in a situation like that. I would guess that the same thing is true of the people closest to Sandusky (e.g., his wife). These predators are out there as coaches and teachers and they are routinely trusted with children. It isn't because people don't care about children, it's because both the adults and children are duped by savvy predators. Unfortunately, no one seems to thing that they could be duped by this type of person, which makes the predator's job even easier.

posted by bperk at 03:51 PM on November 09

People who abuse children aren't just skilled at getting kids to trust them; they are also good at getting adults to trust them.

I think that's partly accurate, but it also dovetails with institutional frameworks where there's a emphasis on internal discipline: "we handle this stuff ourselves". Except that that framework becomes a way to cover up their own failings.

Everything is going to be ok: the Westboro Baptist Church is going to be at the next game.

Given that the Phelps Phamily's M.O., beyond professional trolling, is to make money from lawsuits, they've probably picked a good venue to have the crap beaten out of them then sue for damages.

posted by etagloh at 04:04 PM on November 09

I work in education.

At our school, we have a very clear chain of events that are supposed to happen in the event of a crime on campus.

For example, if a kid punches another kid and I witness it or am the first to learn about it, I'm supposed to call the principal, who then calls the police.

While our policy states that I'm not supposed to call the police myself, here's two thoughts.

First, if this happened after school hours when the principal was off campus, you can bet I'd call the police myself.

Second, if I knew the assault happened, reported it up the ladder, and nothing was done about it, I'd sure as hell want to know why nothing was done about it.

If the crime was heinous (like child rape or murder), yeah I'd call the principal, but I'd damn well expect to see blue lights on campus within the hour.

The only scenario here where I can see Paterno being even slightly absolved is one where his superiors reported to him, "we've looked into it, the charges were unfounded but thank you for reporting it to us." If his superiors lied to him, then I could see Paterno saying "Oh, well, I guess I don't need to do anything else."

Excuse me if I think that is a far fetched scenario. At best, I think Paterno didn't want the charges to be true, so did everything in his power to make himself believe they weren't true.

The unkind side of my brain tends to think that there were a lot of Admins thinking "Wow, poor Sandusky - it would be awful if his life was ruined because of these obviously false charges. We all KNOW him and he'd NEVER do anything like that."

Bah, the whole system - college football, university administration, what have you - is fucked. Its people, you know actual human beings, who work today to ensure that it remains fucked.

Yeah, innocent until proven guilty and everything, but if its all true, may Sandusky and everyone who enabled him rot.

posted by Joey Michaels at 04:33 PM on November 09

umm, quizman, really? You wait until 60 posts down the thread to post that??

bperk, I don't think anyone is really saying that Paterno should be held to a higher standard than the others. Anyone that knew of child being raped that didn't make sure that the police were notified are in the same boat...a very leaky boat. Now, Paterno most certainly has a higher degree of positional authority to ensure that something be done, and he has a much higher degree of control over what access Sandusky would have to children going forward. The janitors would fear for their jobs and have zero control over Sandusky...yet, they should have called the police. Paterno has no excuses.

I hate that he is playing out the year. At his age that is not a punishment, that is letting him take the easy route. He should have resigned immediately.

Penn State has forever tarnished their brand in my mind.

posted by dviking at 04:55 PM on November 09

Interesting that Joe did report the issue and the people he reported it to had the responsibility to take it to the police, they did not. That is where the anger and attitude should be focused, rather than at a person who took action. Paterno heard this whole thing secondhand. He witnessed nothing in person, that's why what he did was correct. Wake up to what is real or is this Salem all over again?

posted by quizman at 04:59 PM on November 09

How exactly did McQueary describe what he witnesses to Paterno? I haven't read that and am not sure if it has been reported. Did he tell Paterno he saw Sandusky fucking a kid in the ass, or did he report something without the graphic details? Did McQueary phrase it to be he saw Sandusky being sexually inappropriate with a kid? I just want to know because it may be the determining factor of why Paterno merely reported this to the people he reported it to and didn't deal handle it in a much, much more severe manner. I just have a hard time believing a family-oriented person such as him would not go nuts if a guy came to him stating Sandusky was fucking a little boy in the school showers.

It's obvious everyone should have acted differently and that Penn State messed this up so badly that they deserve to have the program dismantled. But I still have some questions before I assume Paterno knowingly harboured a dangerous, perverted child rapist for years. If the facts prove this, then he should be held legally responsible.

On a much less serious topic, I think about the steroid issues that surrounded Tony LaRussa when he managed McGwire and Canseco. LaRussa says he never witnessed or knew about all the many things going on around him, and I always found that impossible to believe. But how would I really know for sure? I can't be sure exactly what Paterno knew, how it was specifically described to him, or if he had any idea this was such a pervasive problem with Sandusky. Like with LaRussa, it would seem he must have known what was happening. I want facts before I label Paterno as one of the biggest assholes on the planet. If he was only told Sandusky was only told Sandusky was possibly being somewhat inappropriate with one boy, he probably thought he was acting appropriately in passing it on.

I'm just looking beyond the "Lynch Paterno" sentiment that is gaining more and more steam and want answers to questions I have. I in no way excuse or am not repulsed by what took place or the university's handling of things.

posted by dyams at 05:02 PM on November 09

dviking,

Yes I posted my first entry in this thread when I felt moved to do so.
My first reaction was to listen and read-gather info before making wild accusations as others seem to here.

This isn't my first priority and my feelings about this seem to be in the minority.

If Joe was involved in any part of a cover-up then he gets what he deserves. If he acted in the manner he was supposed to then leave him alone.
Chain of command does mean something, even in this kind of situation.

posted by quizman at 05:12 PM on November 09

How exactly did McQueary describe what he witnesses to Paterno?

The indictment states that McQueary, identified as a 28-year-old graduate assistant, "saw a naked boy, Victim 2, whose age he estimated to be 10 years old, with his hands up against the wall, being subjected to anal intercourse by a naked Sandusky. ... The next morning, a Saturday, the graduate assistant telephoned Paterno and went to Paterno's home, where he reported what he had seen."

Paterno testified that he called Curley to his home the next day and told him that "the graduate assistant had seen Jerry Sandusky in the Lasch Building showers fondling or doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy."

Around a week and a half later, McQueary "reported to Curley and Schultz that he had witnessed what he believed to be Sandusky having anal sex with a boy in the Lasch Building showers."

posted by rcade at 05:12 PM on November 09

I just have a hard time believing a family-oriented person such as him would not go nuts if a guy came to him stating Sandusky was fucking a little boy in the school showers.

That's a sentiment shared by every single one of us.

posted by Hugh Janus at 05:23 PM on November 09

Another thing I keep wondering is this. After Paterno and others knew that Sandusky was a child molesting pervert, how did they treat Sandusky? I mean the fact that Sandusky could still come to the facility could still remain involved in his charity, bring boys to Penn State facilities etc, while his dirty secret had been discovered must mean to some extent he was not made to feel to much discomfort. You'd think most people would disappear forever rather than face their piers with a secret like that exposed. This is insane.

I can't imagine government officials (as it is a state university), students, and parents haven't demanded the immediate firing of everybody involved in helping cover this up including Paterno. To allow Paterno to finish the season is absurd. He should be forced to go now.

posted by Atheist at 05:29 PM on November 09

Look, his responsibility as an employee might have been to report this to his superiors.

The articles suggest that it was the legal responsibility of everyone who heard about this - from the witness on up - to contact the police. Surely the laws of the state of Pennsylvania trump the internal rules of a university.

Regardless of the university rules and state laws, his responsibility as a moral human being was to follow up to make sure something had been done. It was also the responsibility of the witness to follow up and make sure something had been done.

You can argue that both Paterno and the witness were assuming that somebody above them was going to do something, but they both still had a moral responsibility to follow up with their superiors on this situation.

If you know a child has been raped (in the case of the witness, certainly) and see the rapist walking around as if nothing has happened, I should think you'd want to know why.

posted by Joey Michaels at 05:32 PM on November 09

the people he reported it to had the responsibility to take it to the police, they did not. That is where the anger and attitude should be focused, rather than at a person who took action

Which is to say, "I like Joe Pa, so it can't be his fault." Everyone involved is at fault here. No one gets free pass. Reference Salem if you want, but these people are all floaters, in the sense of a toilet bowl.

posted by yerfatma at 05:35 PM on November 09

Second, when we have a whole lot of normal people doing the wrong thing and a whole lot of normal people absolutely positive that they would never do that wrong thing, it strikes me that something is amiss.

Yeah, this is what gives me pause. I don't understand how so many normal-seeming people could all decide to keep quiet for so long. Sports or an athletic program doesn't seem like a big enough motivation for all of these people. I'm torn between wanting to know more about was going and wanting to never think about it this story ever again.

posted by tron7 at 06:26 PM on November 09

First, I'm generally against singling one person out for collective guilt (e.g., let's only punish the most famous steroid users in the steroid-era of baseball). It's an injustice as far as I'm concerned.

We are in total agreement here.

All of the people who allowed Sandusky to do the things he was doing share the guilt, but they certainly aren't going to share the punishment. In my opinion, most of them are far more culpable than Paterno.

Total agreement here as well.

Second, when we have a whole lot of normal people doing the wrong thing and a whole lot of normal people absolutely positive that they would never do that wrong thing, it strikes me that something is amiss.

Agree to disagree on the validity of anything being amiss about it.

All of these people are not intentionally facilitating Sandusky's abuse of children. People who abuse children aren't just skilled at getting kids to trust them; they are also good at getting adults to trust them.

OK now I have a much better understanding of where you're coming from, thx for spelling it out cause I was clearly not gettin' it. Thus my ...yes, but Paterno too, as well, also... attitude in my response.

posted by Folkways at 07:49 PM on November 09

"Which is to say, "I like Joe Pa, so it can't be his fault." Everyone involved is at fault here. No one gets free pass. Reference Salem if you want, but these people are all floaters, in the sense of a toilet bowl."

Personally, I have no like or dislike for Joe Paterno. He is a well known coach. That being said, all of my comments are aimed at those who rush to judgement and stir the pot for their own purposes.

It was never Paterno's job to investigate or confront the accused. His responsibility was to report the information to the proper people. He did that. Since the allegation was delivered to Joe in a hearsay manner, all he could do was to inform his superiors of that which had been reported to him. At that point he met his obligation. Could he have done more? Certainly, however that doesn't make him at fault. His superiors are the ones who let this situation fall through the cracks.

The bulk of the detractors in this thread seem to want to project their own personal moral judgement on to Joe. Not Joe's to own.

Think what you will, The Salem Witch Hunt was replete with thinkers just like these.

posted by quizman at 09:26 PM on November 09

His responsibility was to report the information to the proper people. He did that.

I see no indication that Joe Paterno called the police.

This wasn't someone misusing office supplies, or making inappropriate comments about a co-worker, or looking at porn on a computer. Those things, you tell a supervisor/next-in-line, and follow office procedures.

This was a child "10 years old, with his hands up against the wall, being subjected to anal intercourse by a naked Sandusky".

You call the fucking cops.

Everyone in the chain is despicable.

The person who saw the act, that guy's dad, Joe Paterno, his superiors..each and everyone one of them.

Nobody should be free of blame for not reporting it to the police, regardless of their stature in Penn State.

posted by grum@work at 09:48 PM on November 09

It was never Paterno's job to investigate or confront the accused.

What was his job in the case of someone saying, "I just saw you defensive coordinator fucking a kid in the showers!"?

The Salem Witch Hunt was replete with thinkers just like these.

I hate to be the one to break it to you, but that thing where you think you're smarter than the average bear? It might be true. But you're surely a lot dumber than the average person. STFU.

posted by yerfatma at 09:56 PM on November 09

Paterno and President fired... Link to follow... Live on ESPN

Joe Paterno fired immediately as Penn State football coach, Board of Trustees announces

http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2011/11/joe_paterno_is_out_as_penn_sta.html

posted by NEPABob at 10:27 PM on November 09

Yep, both were fired. Sad, but you kinda saw it coming.

posted by NerfballPro at 10:38 PM on November 09

Quizman: If a coworker told you he saw a child being ass-raped by an adult at your workplace, would you call the cops if no one else did?

posted by rcade at 11:01 PM on November 09

My son (PSU 2011) had planned to head for State College this weekend for Joe Paterno's last game at Beaver Stadium. Then he saw the scene in the streets around the campus. I don't think any member of the Board of Trustees wants to be within 100 miles of State College this weekend.

After having read comment after comment castigating Joe Paterno, and growing more and more angry at what I truly feel was the typical piling on by the media, I have finally calmed down enough to comment. It is human nature, when an institution - and Paterno is truly as much an institution as is Penn State - that has been held up as a shining example of the right way to do things becomes touched by scandal, to loudly call for the heads of anyone involved. I can understand this. It is also the nature of the various media to single out the most recognizable individual in the situation for the sharpest criticism, all the while seemingly disregarding the extent of his guilt. I can even understand this. After all, the print media need circulation, the broadcast and cable media need audience share, and the internet relies on clicks. If you report only that Curley and Schultz were indicted, and that Graham Spanier was somehow involved, there is a large, collective yawn form the general public.

So if you need sensationalism, who do you go after? Joe Paterno did not do enough. OK, OK, I get it. As much as I'd like to disagree, the fact is clear. But what about the janitors that witnessed Sandusky performing oral sex on a youngster? What about a Centre County District Attorney who did not prosecute Sandusky on a complaint? How about the school authorities in Clinton County that banned Sandusky from a county high school, but did not make any formal complaint? Why does Paterno somehow become the only one who should have done better? The answer to me is the old line about the bigger you are, the harder you fall. Except the fall is harder because the public and the media know your name and take great pleasure in sanctimonious tongue clucking, hand wringing, and head shaking. Save your outrage and disgust for those who truly deserve it.

A couple of things lead me to believe that Paterno really was not impressed with the seriousness of the situation. First, McQueary waited until the next morning to report what he had seen to Paterno. There is nothing in the grand jury report that specifically says how McQueary reported the incident. Did he describe it in graphic terms, did he merely allude to a sexual contact, or did he really just call it 'horsing around'? By the delay in reporting, McQueary probably led Paterno to think that it wasn't of such a drastic nature that it should be reported to the State College police. I can hear all of you loading up to disagree, but try to think about the mind set. Paterno and Saqndusky had a long working relationship. Paterno might not have wanted to hear what he did, and if things were not described graphically, and the incident was not reported to Paterno as soon as practical, why would Paterno tend to diminish the importance of the thing. Yes, he was wrong, dead wrong, but try to understand what might have been his mind set. Curley and Schultz waited a week before interviewing McQueary about what he had seen. I think we have the real problem right here, and Graham Spanier should be standing alongside them as one of the accused.

The Board of Trustees probably had no choice but to fire Paterno and Spanier. Paterno for the outcry, justified or otherwise, in the media, and Spanier for being a total idiot. I have the nagging feeling that this is going to cost the university a lot of money in the form of alumni donations. Joe Paterno and the football program was the glue that held alumni close to the university. Had Paterno left under better circumstances, things would have gone on as before. The appearance is that Penn State let Joe Paterno conveniently fall under the bus, rather than throwing him, and this will be remembered when the "we need your financial support" letters arrive in the mailboxes of the alumni.

posted by Howard_T at 12:44 AM on November 10

It was never Paterno's job to investigate or confront the accused.

He knew a crime was being committed, he knew the criminal was in his employ, he was supposedly a great leader ... but he refused to take any responsibility.

I'm sadly waiting to hear the final count of victims in this case and left wondering if Joe and the leadership of Penn State had done the right thing how many incidents may have been prevented.

posted by cixelsyd at 12:53 AM on November 10

"Quizman: If a coworker told you he saw a child being ass-raped by an adult at your workplace, would you call the cops if no one else did?"

My answer is to enroll the eyewitness to report the incident. I can only say what I was told, on the other hand, the eyewitness is the only one to say what they saw.
The fact that Joe reported this horrible crime to his superiors speaks to his moral compass and tells us that he did attempt the right thing. To hold him to some other standard is wrong in the opposite direction.

"I hate to be the one to break it to you, but that thing where you think you're smarter than the average bear? It might be true. But you're surely a lot dumber than the average person. STFU."

So the way this works is that if someone, me/I, disagrees with you on a subject that isn't about either one of us, its good form to make personal attacks. That's mature. Thanks for playing, you're dismissed. "I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you."

posted by quizman at 01:28 AM on November 10

Why does Paterno somehow become the only one who should have done better?

He doesn't. But as the paterfamilias and feudal lord of State College, defined by the terms of the Cult of Coach, the spotlight falls on him. As Debo270 said, Paterno was in a position to get the governor of Pennsylvania out of bed at 3am to take his call.

Except the fall is harder because the public and the media know your name and take great pleasure in sanctimonious tongue clucking, hand wringing, and head shaking.

Personally, I take no pleasure in it at all. As I've emphasised in this and previous threads, while it's nice to think that one would do the right thing in such a situation, the history of institutions in which abuse has taken place suggests otherwise. The climate has changed since the days when, for instance, a mostly-Catholic local police force would turn a blind eye to claims of child abuse from the local clergy, but when you have a institutional leader who's held that position since 1966, to some degree the social sentiments of that era stick around.

this will be remembered when the "we need your financial support" letters arrive in the mailboxes of the alumni.

I suspect that's true, but I also think it tells a troublesome tale, once again, about the position of college sport in the USA.

posted by etagloh at 01:31 AM on November 10

"He knew a crime was being committed, he knew the criminal was in his employ, he was supposedly a great leader ... but he refused to take any responsibility."

Everything I've read say that Joe Paterno did take responsibility, HE REPORTED IT! If this turns out to be false then you have a point.

posted by quizman at 01:39 AM on November 10

Great to see that the University had the balls to fire him. He did not deserve to dictate the terms of his exit.

Since the allegation was delivered to Joe in a hearsay manner, all he could do was to inform his superiors of that which had been reported to him. At that point he met his obligation.

Christ that's a silly thing to say. If you're Joe F'ing Paterno, and someone tells you that someone in your program is raping 10 year old boys, surely there is more you can do than notify your superior. I could, and should, do more than that. How can you possibly say that telling one's boss is all a person could do. That defies logic. What, Paterno doesn't know police forces exist? He has no phone? Is unaware of lawyers? And, again, you wait until this thread had discussed the legal versus moral obligation multiple times before posting this weak statement? Yeah, he probably met the minimum legal standard of being a shit. Didn't come close to reaching the minimum standard of being a human. As was said before, if Paterno had been told that Sandusky had groped a secretary, his actions might have been acceptable, but he was told that a 10 year old boy was raped. It really doesn't matter what context he was given.

Howard, not sure where you're going with your comments about the others that were involved. Others have been fired, indicted, and one is dead. A few more most likely will be dealt with as well. As to the janitors, yeah, they should be fired as well, but as was also discussed earlier in this thread, they lacked the power that Paterno had. I find it very easy to believe that they would fear for their jobs if they turned Sandusky in. Joe had no such fear. I find it easy to believe that the janitors might have felt that others might not believe them to begin with. Joe had no such problem. Yes, Joe is not the ultimate villain in this story, that is why he in not being charged with a crime. He is, however, being held to a minimum standard of decency, which is why he is no longer the coach of PSU.

Good to see that the board at least gave him a shove under the bus. If he had any sense of decency, he would have resigned immediately instead of trying to simply retire at the end of the year.

posted by dviking at 01:39 AM on November 10

The next move should be to move Saturday's game to Nebraska because I can see that scene getting way out of hand.

posted by dyams at 05:38 AM on November 10

If you're Joe F'ing Paterno, and someone tells you that someone in your program

He knew a crime was being committed, he knew the criminal was in his employ

Just for the record, Sandusky was a former coach at this point. He had already retired three years before, and was not working with Paterno. The university allowed him to continue using PSU facilities as part of his retirement package. So, it isn't like Paterno was dealing with Sandusky on a daily basis. In fact, I don't know if we have any idea if Paterno ever saw Sandusky after the allegations though Sandusky was continuing to use PSU facilities.

posted by bperk at 05:41 AM on November 10

Everything has taken place to this point without anyone saying anything, which is itself incredible in this day and age. There's many questions I would love to have the answers to. None of those questions/answers would deflect from the terrible situation, but we have just watched as one of the most prestigious programs in sports has been terminated for at least the near future. Can you seriously envision any kid wanting to attend Penn State to play football in the next few years? I live less than a couple hours from Penn State and own a great deal of PSU clothing, and I can't even envision myself putting that stuff on because of the shame, embarrassment, and nausea this issue makes me feel.

posted by dyams at 06:07 AM on November 10

My answer is to enroll the eyewitness to report the incident. I can only say what I was told, on the other hand, the eyewitness is the only one to say what they saw.

You're dodging the question. If the eyewitness who told you never contacted police, would you call the cops?

posted by rcade at 06:53 AM on November 10

Penn State is being investigated for violating the Clery Act, which requires colleges and universities to track serious crimes that take place on their campuses and warn the public when there's a safety threat.

posted by rcade at 07:23 AM on November 10

You're dodging the question..

He's not dodging the question.

His answer is simply Paternoing.

posted by grum@work at 08:23 AM on November 10

The list of vileness and how I prioritize my rage:

1. Sandusky.
2. Eyewitnesses, because how the fuck do you catch someone in the act of raping a child and not immediately put a stop to it and then call the police?
3. Paterno and everyone else who heard from the eyewitness(es) and didn't encourage the eyewitness(es) to contact the police and then do it for them when they further failed in the moral obligation.

1 and 2 are doing a pretty good job of monopolizing my rage, despite the media focusing on Paterno's et al complete failure to perform their civic duties as members of the human race. No matter how deeply disgusting you find their failure, 1 and 2 have a much higher burden of culpability. The only person I understand not contacting the police is Sandusky, and that's because he's a revolting pile of feces wearing a human face.

posted by apoch at 08:24 AM on November 10

Here is one way to think about whether Paterno did the right thing:

If tomorrow, a college coach somewhere else in North America were to be told by one of his interns that they saw a former assistant coach raping a young child on the school grounds, what do you think the coach's reaction would be right now?

Do you think they'd follow the Paterno path? Or do you think they'd call the police, now?

posted by grum@work at 08:27 AM on November 10

Why does Paterno somehow become the only one who should have done better?

Maybe I missed it but I don't think anyone has said Paterno alone is at fault here.

What about a Centre County District Attorney who did not prosecute Sandusky on a complaint? How about the school authorities in Clinton County that banned Sandusky from a county high school, but did not make any formal complaint?

Yes, what about all these (McQueary, Curley, Schultz, Spanier) other people that have been aware that something is not right here, WTF kind of system encourages this depth of complacency?

If those men are guilty of not doing enough Paterno is as well. Or is Paterno so old and senile he simply can't be held responsible. When others are being charged criminally, fired, or are retiring why should Paterno alone be aloud to stay or dictate his own departure?

I just don't get this IMO blind loyalty to Paterno by some here and on the campus of PSU.

posted by Folkways at 08:28 AM on November 10

Just heard this comparison of the Penn State situation on Mike & Mike and thought it was rather appropriate.

posted by BornIcon at 08:31 AM on November 10

Consider the tale of PSU offensive coordinator Galen Hall.

Hall was a 2 year starter at Penn State in the pre-Paterno era. After 10 years as a top offensive assistant at Oklahoma, he was fired from Barry Switzer's program and made his way to the U. of Florida.

A few games into his first season there, UF fired Charley Pell amidst a whirlwind of NCAA investigations and made Hall the head coach. He blazed a remarkable winning trail out of all the turmoil, but was later forced out of the HC job himself.

Since then, he has coached from here to hell and back in darn near every upstart professional league that ever existed, including the WLAF, the Arena League, the NFL Europe League and the XFL.

Hall came back to PSU and went to work for Paterno in 2004, helping forge the team's recent revitalization and success.

Up until last Saturday, Galen Hall was legitimately entitled to think that he had seen it all.

Now he has.

posted by beaverboard at 08:42 AM on November 10

Here's a picture of McQueary, who is 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds but couldn't manage to intervene to save a kid who was being raped by a 58-year-old.

posted by rcade at 09:07 AM on November 10

I'm amazed that McQueary is the one who still has his job. I think he is the worst offender (of the non-pedophiles, of course).

posted by bperk at 09:38 AM on November 10

If the eyewitness who told you never contacted police, would you call the cops?

how does he know the eyewitness never contacted the police? How does he know it ISN'T being processed through the right channels at all?

That's the part I'm missing (and maybe it's been reported and I'm just missing it), but he reports it to his supervisors..at that point, how does he know the proper channels aren't being pursued? For all he knows, maybe the parents and university reach an agreement to keep it quiet for the kids sake, to avoid a child having to go through a trial and victimized again. That sort of "financial" settlement is not exactly uncommon to these types of scenarios. Or maybe he is investigated criminally and it's found there's not enough evidence to charge? Would Paterno know the difference between "buried" vs. one of these other scenarios? Would you or I?

Outside of that, to me a lot of it is really dependent on what exactly he was told when it was reported to him. I think everybody assumes he was told "Last night I saw Sandusky ass-fucking a 10-year old in the shower". That may not be exactly what he was told, however.

posted by bdaddy at 10:10 AM on November 10

I think everybody assumes he was told "Last night I saw Sandusky ass-fucking a 10-year old in the shower". That may not be exactly what he was told, however.

actually, I missed this quote from Paterno:

"at no time [McQuery] relayed to me the very specific actions contained in the grand jury report."

posted by bdaddy at 10:14 AM on November 10

Paterno testified that "the graduate assistant had seen Jerry Sandusky in the Lasch Building showers fondling or doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy," according to the indictment.

how does he know the eyewitness never contacted the police?

"Hey, Mike. This is Joe Paterno. Did you contact the police about what you saw?"

For all he knows, maybe the parents and university reach an agreement to keep it quiet for the kids sake, to avoid a child having to go through a trial and victimized again.

"Hey, Graham Spanier. This is Joe Paterno. Did you enter into an agreement with the family of the kid Sandusky was fucking in the shower?"

An agreement of that kind would be a criminal conspiracy. Institutions like Penn State don't get to cover up crimes for the "benefit" of the victims.

posted by rcade at 10:20 AM on November 10

"at no time [McQuery] relayed to me the very specific actions contained in the grand jury report."

That statement by Paterno appears to contradict his grand jury testimony, per the indictment. Paterno testified that he was told McQueary saw "fondling or doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy," which is more than enough reason to call the police.

posted by rcade at 10:24 AM on November 10

An agreement of that kind would be a criminal conspiracy.

No. The Catholic Church has been doing it for years. A conspiracy is an agreement to commit a crime not an agreement not to prosecute or pursue charges for a past crime.

posted by bperk at 10:26 AM on November 10

In April, Pittsburgh sports radio host Mark Madden wrote a column about Sandusky that laid out a lot of what we learned this past week.

Today, Madden said on the radio that this scandal could become much worse.

posted by rcade at 10:33 AM on November 10

No. The Catholic Church has been doing it for years.

The fact that the Catholic Church has engaged in an activity for years does not mean it is not a crime. Being an accessory after the fact is a criminal offense. It would also open up Penn State to enormous legal liability to sign a contract with a family not to report a child molester (and violate the Clery Act). Your premise is incredibly unlikely.

posted by rcade at 10:40 AM on November 10

Cal Ripken Jr.'s name just disappeared from the honorary board of Sandusky's Second Mile charity. Lots of other big names still there, but I imagine not for long.

posted by rcade at 10:45 AM on November 10

I've watched multiple reports and interviews of lawyers and educators. Everyone has their own opinion regarding how or what Joe Paterno did or didn't do. Some say he didn't do enough and others say that what he did was correct for the circumstances.

It seems that those who are adamant Joe did wrong are advocating for the "Moral Police" to be on patrol. Not interested in that rule of law.

Paterno lost his job due to the fear of what it would look like to the rest of the world if the Board didn't let him go. That is politics not morals.

The question was raised about other coaches and how they might respond to this same kind of issue. I think its clear that now, if they want to continue coaching, they will report to the police as well as to their superiors. Fear is a great motivator.

Lastly as I have stated previously, for me this has nothing to do with being a fan or supporter of Joe Paterno, I am not.

posted by quizman at 10:54 AM on November 10

Being an accessory after the fact is a criminal offense. It would also open up Penn State to enormous legal liability to sign a contract with a family not to report a child molester (and violate the Clery Act).

You can't manipulate the accessory after the fact law to punish everyone who doesn't report a crime. If the family doesn't want to report to the police a child molester, they are under no obligation to do so. The settlement with Penn State would be to remove PSU from liability for the assault. These kind of settlements are routine. They are also completely separate from whether the school has other legal obligations that must be fulfilled.

My quick reading of the Clery Act (the implementing regs in the CFR) leads me to believe that there is no violation here. PSU is required to publicly report crimes that have been reported to the campus police or their security. This crime was not.

posted by bperk at 10:57 AM on November 10

My quick reading of the Clery Act (the implementing regs in the CFR) leads me to believe that there is no violation here. PSU is required to publicly report crimes that have been reported to the campus police or their security. This crime was not.

You think Penn State is off the hook because it didn't report an alleged crime known to the university president, a university vice president in charge of campus police, athletic director and head football coach?

That would be a nice loophole to exploit: "If we don't report the crime, we don't have to report it!"

posted by rcade at 11:18 AM on November 10

It seems that those who are adamant Joe did wrong are advocating for the "Moral Police" to be on patrol. Not interested in that rule of law.

Heaven forbid we hold anyone accountable for looking the other way while a child molester continues to harm kid after kid. That would make us judgmental.

posted by rcade at 11:23 AM on November 10

It seems that those who are adamant Joe did wrong are advocating for the "Moral Police" to be on patrol. Not interested in that rule of law.

I would say yeah thats true and fair because for the last 65 years, Joe has been the "Moral Police" He and everyone else have held him up as a moral compass to college sports. It is only fair he be judged on the same standard he has held everyone else to. He is not Lane Kiffen who has never stood for anything. He is Joe pa and there is a higher standard.

My biggest issue is this in not about Joe. I listened to coverage of this for almost 2 hours and no one has mentioned Sandusky, The real story here is being pushed to the back. A good story

By the way. Nice riots last night. You stay Classy PSU!!!

posted by Debo270 at 11:30 AM on November 10

If, by "moral police on patrol" you mean that people would like others to be held accountable for their actions then, yes, I support that. Do I want Paterno to go to jail? At this point, of course not. Did I want him to suffer some consequences for his glaring lapse of moral character? You bet your ass I did. Polite society should not be forced to stand by and allow morally reprehensible behavior to be excused simpl because someone fulfilled the barest legal obligations.

If you believe that simply remaining within the realm of legality makes you a moral or ethical person, you have set your sights on the lowest common denominator. And if you believe that a person should suffer no consequences in his life or career unless he is convicted of a crime, your worldview is a scary one. It's all been said before; "I can explain it to you, but I can't understad it for you." Paterno had reliable information that would have led to a child rapist's dismissal or arrest. He could have helped stop a monster from damaging children. He did not contact the police. He did not follow up on his conversation with administrators. The perpetrator continued after that fact to rape children, sometimes on the grounds of Penn State, to which he was an invited guest, welcomed by Paterno. If I'm outraged by that and glad to see Paterno suffer consequences for his inaction, then fuck yes, sign me up for the moral police.

posted by tahoemoj at 11:47 AM on November 10

"Heaven forbid we hold anyone accountable for looking the other way while a child molester continues to harm kid after kid. That would make us judgmental."

If you are going to make statements about this issue, wouldn't it be a good thing to get your facts straight?

Paterno reported this to his superiors as is the policy and procedures of the University. Whether or not he should have done more is what has him in the fix he is in, not that he did nothing.

posted by quizman at 11:52 AM on November 10

not that he did nothing

He did the bare minimum to cover his ass legally. If I report chiold rape to my boss and dont have cops interviewing people in the next 24 hours, I go back to those bosses and say"what happened with that rape thing" he told someone else , passed the buck, and washed his hads. It is his Program. He could have been the hero that helped save kids instead he choose to let it get swept under the rug.

I also wonder if the QB job Mcqeary now has came as part of the deal. "Forget about it kid and we will keep you on staff."

posted by Debo270 at 12:08 PM on November 10

In a perfect world the eyewitness would report to the police what they saw and it would be handled from there. Isn't it a shame that didn't occur?

I'll bet that the vast majority of those here that advocate moral outrage toward Joe Paterno's choice to report to his bosses would themselves jump at the chance to be the "Good Samaritan" in every circumstance. Reality check, it not true.

Do you stop to help a person along the highway broken down? Do you step in to stop a robbery or a fight? Are any of you accountable for your neighbors, or only your neighbor's wife?

Save your indignation, it seems to be self-serving at best.

posted by quizman at 12:11 PM on November 10

Pretty good write up here regarding Sandusky's retirement in 1999 and what it suggests Paterno and/or the football program may have known back then. While this is conjecture, if true it suggests that the "sweeping things under the rug" or "handling things in house" mindset prevailed and was applied before the 2002 incident.

Paterno lost his job due to the fear of what it would look like to the rest of the world if the Board didn't let him go.

Paterno lost his job because with great power comes great responsibility, and he failed to live up to the responsibilities that his job and his position as an institution and icon conferred upon him. History is replete with incidents of CEOs, military leaders, etc. being ousted for things that happened on "their watch," even where the primary culpability lies elsewhere -- hell, even in some instances where the scapegoated/figurehead individual knew nothing about what was going on. Sometimes it is just a failing of organizational/institutional control, sometimes it is just "something happened on my watch" and I am vicariously liable/responsible. Paterno prided himself on running a program that "did things the right way," that went the extra mile, and that stressed accountability. When those are the values that an institution (in this case Penn State football) espouses, then those at the very top need to accept responsibility for an institutional breakdown at multiple levels, even if those at the top themselves have totally clean hands (which is not even the case here) and especially when those at the top failed to live up to those standards.

Does Paterno deserve better, in light of his years of building that program, influencing countless lives for the better, etc.? Yes, he probably deserves a better ending to his storied career. But, in the words of William Munny, "Deserve's got nothin' to do with it."

posted by holden at 12:12 PM on November 10

Given that Penn State is not a military organization and the crime committed had no particular connection to the school other than the pervert involved, how in the world does chain of command or any similar BS excuse come into play?

Absolutely the grad student should have called the cops instead of his dad the night he saw this but Paterno should have told him to do it the next day in their conversation. Everyone who knew about it should have said, fuck it, if no else is calling the cops I am.

That Paterno allowed Sandusky to have an office on campus for years afterwards, and I find it hard to believe that would've happened with Paterno's okay, speaks to exactly who Paterno really is, rather than some carefully cultivated public image.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:21 PM on November 10

Do you stop to help a person along the highway broken down? Do you step in to stop a robbery or a fight?

I do. Dont know about the robbery part because they could be armed and I am not putting myself at risk for phycial harm, but thats a different situation. There is a MAJOR difference between helping someone with a flat, and helping a child not be molested and fucked in the showers.

posted by Debo270 at 12:21 PM on November 10

Just my observations here, morally there is no difference, seems that lines are drawn anyway. Just sayin.

posted by quizman at 01:09 PM on November 10

morally there is no difference

Are you saying morally there is no difference in stopping for someone with a flat and protecting an innocent child who is being raped? Are you high or just dumb.

Do you stop everytime someone has a flat, prob not, would you say something if you walked in the restroom at your local YMCA and saw a kid being raped, I sure hope so. I really hope to god you are never in a positions of power of children or for that matter dont have any of your own. Youa re basically saying it is ok to let child abuse happen. Did Joe do it, No. Was it his job to make sure others were prosecuted. HELL YA. Did it happen under his watch, king of morals Joe? Yes, Should he be punished ??YES

posted by Debo270 at 01:24 PM on November 10

Just my observations here, morally there is no difference, seems that lines are drawn anyway. Just sayin.

Morally there is no difference between what and what? What are you talking about?

You've done quite a lot of speculation about what other people would and wouldn't do in Paterno's situation. For all you know, there's someone here who has been in that situation. You don't know how the people you're talking to here would respond, or have responded, when the question of "what to do" was no longer academic. You say it's just your observation, but it's not -- it's speculation. The two are very different.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 01:34 PM on November 10

If you are going to make statements about this issue, wouldn't it be a good thing to get your facts straight?

I didn't say Paterno did nothing; I said he looked the other way while a molester continued to prey on kids. That's exactly what he did by never following up on his initial report to Curley -- even as Sandusky had a continued presence at Penn State and Second Mile.

You keep attacking people for being outraged about this, as if we're just vicariously enjoying a chance to revel in our righteousness. There's always at least one person in the crowd like you on any subject that makes people mad.

Have you ever considered that some of us have a personal reason to be outraged? I'm close to someone who was molested as a pre-teen.

If Paterno knew how much a victim of child sex abuse can suffer, even decades later, surely he would have used his influence to ensure the crime was fully investigated and the child's safety was assured.

posted by rcade at 01:37 PM on November 10

Do you stop to help a person along the highway broken down? Do you step in to stop a robbery or a fight? Are any of you accountable for your neighbors, or only your neighbor's wife?

Well, yea actually, i do. I'm every guy that woulnt pass up stranded motorist because he's been there and it sucks. I'm every guy that has ever decided to get his ass kicked rather than stand by while someone is being physically or mentally abused.

Now where the hell did I put that {block idiot} Button

posted by Folkways at 01:41 PM on November 10

rcade,

I too have my reasons for my perspective.

That does not excuse the broad strokes taken or the personal attacks here on posters that have a differing opinion.

Standing up for what a person feels is right is the right we all have. Even if its not popular.

Enjoy your day.

posted by quizman at 01:57 PM on November 10

The question was raised about other coaches and how they might respond to this same kind of issue. I think its clear that now, if they want to continue coaching, they will report to the police as well as to their superiors. Fear is a great motivator.

You make it sound like they are being peer/public pressured into doing something wrong, and that the only reason they should do it is to keep their jobs, like the welfare of a child being raped (and potential future victims) isn't enough to motivate someone to call the cops.

I have to assume by your callous attitude and flippant responses to other people being upset that you are just trolling at this point.

I would be very disappointed to find out that you aren't.

posted by grum@work at 02:01 PM on November 10

"Do you stop to help a person along the highway broken down? Do you step in to stop a robbery or a fight?

I do. Dont know about the robbery part because they could be armed and I am not putting myself at risk for phycial harm, but thats a different situation. There is a MAJOR difference between helping someone with a flat, and helping a child not be molested and fucked in the showers.

posted by Debo270 at 12:21 PM on November 10"

"Just my observations here, morally there is no difference, seems that lines are drawn anyway. Just sayin.

posted by quizman at 01:09 PM on November 10"

"Just my observations here, morally there is no difference, seems that lines are drawn anyway. Just sayin.

Morally there is no difference between what and what? What are you talking about?

You've done quite a lot of speculation about what other people would and wouldn't do in Paterno's situation. For all you know, there's someone here who has been in that situation. You don't know how the people you're talking to here would respond, or have responded, when the question of "what to do" was no longer academic. You say it's just your observation, but it's not -- it's speculation. The two are very different.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 01:34 PM on November 10"

There is your answer.

posted by quizman at 02:02 PM on November 10

"The question was raised about other coaches and how they might respond to this same kind of issue. I think its clear that now, if they want to continue coaching, they will report to the police as well as to their superiors. Fear is a great motivator.

You make it sound like they are being peer/public pressured into doing something wrong, and that the only reason they should do it is to keep their jobs, like the welfare of a child being raped (and potential future victims) isn't enough to motivate someone to call the cops.

I have to assume by your callous attitude and flippant responses to other people being upset that you are just trolling at this point.

I would be very disappointed to find out that you aren't."

Any portion of a conversation taken by itself can be misconstrued to mean something other than what was intended.
Nothing callous or flippant here just speaking to human nature and what motivates people into action.

Its not about peer pressure to do something wrong, its peer pressure to act or do something other than what they would otherwise do without the pressure.

posted by quizman at 02:08 PM on November 10

morally there is no difference

I stand by what I said above. The fact you seem to feel we're not getting your point in spite of a dozen people arguing against you should be a bit of a tip-off, not a point of pride. You're not a voice of reason crying out against mob justice.

posted by yerfatma at 02:29 PM on November 10

Do you stop to help a person along the highway broken down?

Yes, I have.

Do you step in to stop a robbery or a fight?

Yes, I have.

Are any of you accountable for your neighbors, or only your neighbor's wife?

What, motherfucker? What the fuck did you just say? There's no bar in the world you could say that to someone and keep your teeth. What gives you the courage to say it here?

I was in here earlier counseling people to try to be calm about this, to try not to demonize the other commenters in this thread. I still think that's right, and I think we had an excellent discussion of this going. It's a trigger subject for me, brings up scary memories that I avoid visiting. Hell, it's a touchy subject for everyone here.

Touchy subjects, big stories like this, they hurt a lot of people. Hurt people have to do a lot to remain calm in such a discussion. Trolls like you, one-note contributors who only come around here to accuse other people of witch-hunting (I've seen you play the same card before), you fuckers are just here to have a laugh. Then you whine about how unfair other people are being with their personal attacks, when you've been making it personal from the start.

Look at some of the contributors here who don't think Paterno should take so much heat. They know it's a minority opinion, and they're being assailed by people who are patient as well as people who are angry. They're standing up and saying what they think is right, and they're doing it in a respectful way that invites discussion. I disagree with them, but I will engage their ideas as calmly and coherently as I can, because they deserve it. They're taking part in Sportsfilter.

You're just here to accuse people of ulterior motives for wanting a full investigation and real penalties for a group of men who seem to have conspired to cover-up ongoing child rape. It's real fucking hard to remain calm around that. Right now, I hope someone comes up behind you and hits you in the head with a bat. That's not okay; I shouldn't be that mad. It's my fault, I've mentioned my lack of perspective on this, but you're a little motherfucker who's just on here to push people around and see what happens.

Go see what happens when you do that to someone's face. "Your neighbor's wife?" Well done, you fucking troll. I hope you try that shit at your local bar. You'll get what you deserve.

posted by Hugh Janus at 02:35 PM on November 10

Children were raped, and people riot over the fact that someone covering it up was fired? Says a lot about our sports culture in this country.

posted by insomnyuk at 02:38 PM on November 10

An agreement of that kind would be a criminal conspiracy.

No, it wouldn't..it happens everyday. Ask Herman Cain.

Have you ever considered that some of us have a personal reason to be outraged? I'm close to someone who was molested as a pre-teen.

So given that history, have you considered that you might be impartial in your judgement on Paterno? Might you automatically lump him in the group of the people that protected the Priest you refer to earlier, even though the situations and details of THIS case are not the same or not as available to you?

posted by bdaddy at 02:46 PM on November 10

Children were raped, and people riot over the fact that someone covering it up was fired? Says a lot about our sports culture in this country.

I'd say most of those people don't believe he covered anything up. They believe he did what he was supposed to do and OTHERS covered it up. I can't say I fully agree with that (or disagree with that either, I put myself in the camp that says I don't know enough to sit in judgement over him either way), but I can certainly understand that if they believe that way, why they might be angry about his dismissal.

You seem to be implying here exactly what bperk argued early, that because people disagree as to his culpability, they must be condoning the actual act. That I certainly disagree with. People rioting over their anger of his dismissal, in no way would/should mean that those same people don't care that a child was raped.

posted by bdaddy at 02:55 PM on November 10

bdaddy,

I concur on both of your points.

Nothing I have stated absolves the real perpetrator or those that had the obligation to go to the police. My points have been that some in this mess did report what they saw and or heard and they too are being taken down.

Mob mentallity, if the shoe fits.

posted by quizman at 03:04 PM on November 10

I'd say most of those people don't believe he covered anything up. They believe he did what he was supposed to do

Fixed it for ya.

posted by cixelsyd at 03:25 PM on November 10

My points have been that some in this mess did report what they saw and or heard and they too are being taken down.

If I'm understanding you correctly (and given your recent posts, I can't say that I am with all certainty), you are stating that Joe Paterno telling the president of the university about what was told to him was the correct thing to do. There was no other obligation (moral, legal, or otherwise) that Paterno had after he told the president?

posted by grum@work at 03:28 PM on November 10

McQuery saw the rape occurring and not only did he do nothing to stop it, he did not go to police. Paterno was informed of the matter and he told his AD. Paterno did not go to the police. As far as I know the AD did not go to the police. Did anyone in that whole fucking campus go to the police? Paterno deserved to be fired. I don't understand how McQuery still has a job. There are probably some members of the Board of Trustees that should step down too. The fact that none of these men went to police and essentially enabled Sandusky's despicable behavior certainly merits criminal charges in some situations and at minimum firing. Paterno got what he deserved. Sandusky deserves to spend the rest of his natural life in prison. The fact that these men did not go to police immediately meant that Sandusky was allowed to continue his sexual abuse of children. This is unconscionable and absolutely unforgivable. Firing is the minimum of what Paterno deserves. Simply reporting it up the chain of command is clearly insufficient. Anyone that argues that Paterno didn't deserve what he got is the worst kind of sophist, engaging in rhetoric that essentially apologizes for people that protected and enabled a child rapist. What is so hard to understand here?

posted by insomnyuk at 03:28 PM on November 10

As always, The Onion nails it perfectly.

posted by grum@work at 03:28 PM on November 10

There are probably some members of the Board of Trustees that should step down too.

We don't know if anyone has actually said that the information got up to the BoT yet. Most of those people are figureheads who show up to vote on financing. I doubt they have any contact/information about day-to-day actions around the campus.

That said, maybe the president did inform them in a meeting ("Uh, we might have a problem with Sandusky."). In which case, cut them loose if they knew any of the details and didn't do anything about it.

posted by grum@work at 03:31 PM on November 10

- But, it all seems to be in a fever pitch right now, and anyone who doesn't want to participate in the mob is condoning child rape. - bperk

- Anyone that argues that Paterno didn't deserve what he got is the worst kind of sophist, engaging in rhetoric that essentially apologizes for people that protected and enabled a child rapist. - insomnyuk

I'd say you were right on the money, bperk.

Fixed it for ya.
posted by cixelsyd

Yea, thanks for fixing my opinion for me. By the way, I was talking about the people that were RIOTING so it's pretty clear THOSE PEOPLE didn't believe he didn't do what he was supposed to do.

posted by bdaddy at 03:44 PM on November 10

I was talking about the people that were RIOTING so it's pretty clear THOSE PEOPLE didn't believe he didn't do what he was supposed to do.

Or it might just be that they were drunk as fuck college students, almost none of whom had read the grand jury report or a reliable new source's account of the events that led to his firing, and were looking for a good time.

posted by tahoemoj at 03:49 PM on November 10

Or it might just be that they were drunk as fuck college students, almost none of whom had read the grand jury report or a reliable new source's account of the events that led to his firing, and were looking for a good time

Yea and what's the deal with all the drunk Irishmen, racist southerners, and flamboyant gays?!? (am I missing any other gross-categorizations we can make on groups of people? :-)

I kid..and get your point, but I personally suspect that students at the school are probably a lot closer to this than most of us just catching the 10 minute byline on sports center.

posted by bdaddy at 04:12 PM on November 10

rcade: An agreement of that kind would be a criminal conspiracy.

bdaddy: No, it wouldn't..it happens everyday. Ask Herman Cain.

bdaddy -- I think your sentiment is misguided due to differences between criminal and non-criminal acts. In Herman Cain's case, there was no crime unequivocally committed. Sexual harassment (such as unwanted advances, creating a hostile workplace environment, etc.) is a civil matter unless it crosses over into sexual assault of some sort, which I do not believe any of the Herman Cain complainants have alleged. Even in cases of alleged sexual assault, there can be agreements whereby the assaulted party agrees to drop charges or not press charges (this sometimes occurs because criminal statutes require the victim of certain types of crimes to press charges or because questions of "consent or no consent" effectively mean the prosecution has no case without support of the victim). This is presumably done under the fiction that everyone is agreeing that a crime did not occur -- because it will take the victim to confirm whether the crime occurred (in court or otherwise) and because he/she will not, no crime occurred and therefore an agreement of this type is okay. Think Kobe's situation in Vail.

In this case, there is no consent defense to statutory rape (because minors, by definition, cannot consent) and it is a strict liability crime. Even if there is a private right to press charges (by the victim or his parents), the state has the right (and often the obligation) to press charges as well. If Sandusky did what the grand jury report alleges, a crime occurred and there are no extenuating circumstances or factors (or niceties in an agreement) that can undo that reality. So, I tend to agree with rcade that hushing this up with an agreement (if university officials knew what happened, which it seems that they did) would be some sort of criminal activity, whether conspiracy or otherwise.

posted by holden at 04:28 PM on November 10

I kid..and get your point, but I personally suspect that students at the school are probably a lot closer to this than most of us just catching the 10 minute byline on sports center.

If this goes as bad it looks like it could go (there are reported rumours that Sandusky was using the Second Mile charity as a way to procure young boys for well-to-do donours), then the dark cloud that falls on Penn State will taint them as well. Penn State will become an ugly joke for people, and that doesn't look good for the students.

I can sort of understand why they'd double-down to defend Paterno, especially in a mob mentality sort of way.

posted by grum@work at 04:35 PM on November 10

Even in cases of alleged sexual assault, there can be agreements whereby the assaulted party agrees to drop charges or not press charges

Yes, this is exactly the argument I was trying to make. But your counterpoints about the fact that it's a minor, so consent doesn't matter, makes a lot of sense....so I withdraw that argument.

I guess I got lawyered? :-)

posted by bdaddy at 04:42 PM on November 10

"If I'm understanding you correctly (and given your recent posts, I can't say that I am with all certainty), you are stating that Joe Paterno telling the president of the university about what was told to him was the correct thing to do. There was no other obligation (moral, legal, or otherwise) that Paterno had after he told the president?"

As I understand the Policies and Procedures that govern these kind of incidents, yes. After informing those who "are" obligated to report to the police, Joe did what he was supposed to do. At that point it was turned over to his superiors and they should have informed the police.

That does not mean that he could not have gone further and gone to the police himself, however that is the order of things. For this reason, I believe, Paterno has not been charged with breaking the law. Joe has said that in hindsight he wishes he had done more. Can't change what took place back then.

In as much as people would like to stand on their moral outrage, the law does not support that belief system in this area.

posted by quizman at 04:45 PM on November 10

grum, maybe I'm overly optimistic on people in general, but that "rumor" HAS to be false. I mean I don't think a TV movie could come up with a more absurd story. A child-sex ring?

And let's not forget Mark Madden is the source of this (or at least first to raise it loudly), and anybody who is familiar with him knows he isn't above yelling FIRE! just to get someone to look at his ugly face.

posted by bdaddy at 04:46 PM on November 10

And let's not forget Mark Madden is the source of this (or at least first to raise it loudly), and anybody who is familiar with him knows he isn't above yelling FIRE! just to get someone to look at his ugly face.

I'd say the same thing, except he wrote an article back in APRIL about what everyone is going crazy over right now. He might just have the right connections, this time.

posted by grum@work at 04:53 PM on November 10

So, I tend to agree with rcade that hushing this up with an agreement (if university officials knew what happened, which it seems that they did) would be some sort of criminal activity, whether conspiracy or otherwise.

The reality is that criminal investigations are regularly ended by way of private settlement. The victims would just "decide" not to pursue the case, but would not be prohibited from cooperating with police. Without victim cooperation, there is no case -- not even a child molestation case. The premise was that Paterno could think a settlement might have happened. That's certainly possible, and Paterno wouldn't have been having a legal debate about it.

posted by bperk at 05:09 PM on November 10

Just my observations here, morally there is no difference, seems that lines are drawn anyway. Just sayin.

At first I thought you were just lazy...not bothering to read the prior posts, and posting what had already been discussed multiple times. Now, I think you're just a fool.

Not getting involved in an on-going robbery is somehow the same as not reporting a rape??? Man, oh man, you got yourself some mixed up thoughts in that cranium of yours.

I'm in the hospitality field, every new hire goes through security training. They are taught in very clear terms to 1) NEVER get involved in a robbery...your safety is the number 1 concern. And 2) ALWAYS report any crimes to the police...do not call your boss, call 911 if you know about a crime.

Police will tell you not to stop and help someone you don't know fix the tire, you should instead call the police.

So, 16 year old kids understand the reasoning behind those rules/guidelines, odd that you don't.

Joe Paterno would not have been putting himself in harm's way. He would have been helping others avoid harm's way!

As to any reference to those that feel the way I do as being the "moral police", well, there is this from the wire today.
Paterno is not a target of the criminal investigation, but the state police commissioner called his failure to contact police himself a lapse in "moral responsibility."

So, if the real police agree with us, I guess I'm okay with you putting labels on us. I got one for you as well, but I'll save it.

posted by dviking at 05:12 PM on November 10

dviking,

If the only thing being aired out here was the moral correctness of Paterno's actions we might be on the same page.

The reason I have been stating my position here is that there seems to be a considerable crossing over of legal and moral obligation. Then once that is in play the moral issue takes over all together. Not everyone sees the moral issues the same or from the exact perspective.

My raising the question about a robbery or fight was not to suggest putting ones self in harms way but to suggest that many people see plenty and do little about it.

I think the eyewitness was a coward and should have done whatever it took to stop the crime at that very moment. Calling the police right then and there was the right thing to do, legal and moral.

Think what you will about me, I'm doing just fine. BTW I've stepped in where others did not in the protection of a child. I know what that is like firsthand.

posted by quizman at 05:46 PM on November 10

So, if the real police agree with us, I guess I'm okay with you putting labels on us.

Yeah, well, the police and prosecutor failed to stop him in 1998, so instead of pointing fingers they should be looking in the mirror.

posted by bperk at 06:21 PM on November 10

Please, for your own safety, Do Not Feed the Trolls.

posted by Folkways at 06:41 PM on November 10

I think the eyewitness was a coward and should have done whatever it took to stop the crime at that very moment. Calling the police right then and there was the right thing to do, legal and moral.

But not Paterno. Makes sense to me.

posted by yerfatma at 06:50 PM on November 10

Without victim cooperation, there is no case -- not even a child molestation case.

I am not a criminal lawyer, but would this be the case even where police had third party eyewitness testimony? Or video? Seems like it may be harder to convict without victim cooperation, but is that really a prerequisite to a prosecution? I am legitimately asking here. I think the confrontation clause of the 6th amendment would require the witnesses against the accused to be available for cross-examination, but does one of those witnesses have to be the victim? In this case, could it not just be McQueary?

posted by holden at 07:24 PM on November 10

Without victim cooperation, there is no case -- not even a child molestation case.

That's patently false.

If a single parent molests an infant (and is witnessed by another person doing so), then the government can obviously prosecute (even though the child and the guardian couldn't/wouldn't "co-operate").

posted by grum@work at 07:46 PM on November 10

Thanks Joey Michaels for that post and thanks to the author Joe Posnanski.
The article is very well written and from that perspective I completely agree.

posted by quizman at 08:04 PM on November 10

The Second Mile foundation has a statement on their welcome page about the situation.

posted by beaverboard at 09:32 PM on November 10

The premise was that Paterno could think a settlement might have happened.

There's little point in exploring this hypothetical, given that we know no one at Penn State found out the identity of the child being raped. There was no settlement. There was no attempt to assure his safety.

You seem to be looking for a possible motive for Paterno's actions that would be more sympathetic than the facts we do know: He testified he was told something "sexual" took place between Sandusky and a boy in the shower and never called police.

If Paterno has an explanation for his inaction, he should offer it. If he can't explain it for legal reasons, he should say that. Until he talks, I think it's fair to judge him based on what we learned about him in the indictment.

posted by rcade at 09:38 PM on November 10

Given that Paterno has now hired a CRIMINAL defense attorney, I imagine we're going to be hearing more about this. (emphasis on criminal is mine, most people don't hire criminal defense attorneys unless they've committed a crime, or at least expect to be charged with one...yeah, yeah, he's just being proactive)

quizman, I care not how you're doing, so don't worry about it. For what it's worth, I think everyone has been pretty clear on the difference between Paterno's legal and moral obligations. In fact, we've gone over-board on it. That was my issue with your original post. We (as in everyone that had posted prior to your first post) had stated about 2 dozen times that Joe might have met the minimum legal obligation, but he had clearly missed his moral obligation.

So, I guess it's good that you understand that your analogy of stopping a robbery/calling the police on Sandusky was flawed. At least that's a start.

The eyewitness was a complete coward, especially given that he's a very large man. Anyone should have done something to stop Sandusky, but a large man that wouldn't have feared bodily harm has even less of an excuse for inaction. I guess we agree on that.

posted by dviking at 09:52 PM on November 10

Seems like it may be harder to convict without victim cooperation, but is that really a prerequisite to a prosecution?

No, it is not a prerequisite, but it makes it a lot more difficult. And, someone who refuses to cooperate but is able to would pose an even greater challenge for the prosecution than someone who is unable (dead, too young, mentally ill). It rarely happens though I recall that a former QB (Moon?) was unsuccessfully prosecuted even though his wife didn't cooperate.

You seem to be looking for a possible motive for Paterno's actions that would be more sympathetic than the facts we do know

And all the speculation about his motives by others on this thread and the last thread are based in facts? Like that Paterno "covered it up" or was protecting his reputation or the institution? There aren't any facts to support that speculation, and it hasn't stopped you or many other people putting those theories forth.

posted by bperk at 10:00 PM on November 10

So given that history, have you considered that you might be impartial in your judgement on Paterno? Might you automatically lump him in the group of the people that protected the Priest you refer to earlier, even though the situations and details of THIS case are not the same or not as available to you?

I'm not going to defend my judgment, because it's pointless. Of course I regard myself as fair. And my mother agrees with me.

People are spending too much time putting others on the defensive by attacking their motives, as our new friend Quizman is doing over and over. It's noise that adds nothing to the actual issues under discussion.

posted by rcade at 10:05 PM on November 10

There is one very fine point concerning Paterno's response in 2002 that might have had some bearing on why he did not go directly to the police. The incident occurred on the Penn State campus. While the State College Police certainly have jurisdiction on campus, the primary responsibility for law enforcement on campus lies with the University Police Department, with those who commit crimes on campus being subsequently given over to the State College PD for arrest. By notifying Gary Schultz, by job description the head of campus security, Paterno was in effect calling the police. Once again, he did what he thought at the time he was supposed to do. In hindsight, which everyone in this discussion has with great acuity, he did not do enough. He knows that, he said that, and he deeply regrets that. Criminal behavior intended to cover up a crime? Hardly.

posted by Howard_T at 10:30 PM on November 10

And all the speculation about his motives by others on this thread and the last thread are based in facts?

No. I've engaged in little speculation aside from one comment in the last thread theorizing a cover up that began in 1998. Most of my comments are what I think about the testimony characterized in the indictment.

I was not objecting to your sympathetic speculation. I mentioned it to suggest that it's only necessary because Paterno is choosing not to explain himself.

But since you brought it up, I think some of your speculation is misinformed. You find the notion of a "child-sex ring" too far-fetched to even be the plot of a movie. In reality, tens of thousands of children are prostituted by adults in this country. It is sadly not out of the realm of possibility that Sandusky did such a thing.

posted by rcade at 10:35 PM on November 10

By notifying Gary Schultz, by job description the head of campus security, Paterno was in effect calling the police.

The indictment does not state that Paterno notified Schultz. It only says that he contacted Curley. The defense that Paterno contacted campus police by contacting Schultz does not appear to be factual.

posted by rcade at 10:40 PM on November 10

From the Patriot-News, the paper that got this story first: "the mother [in the 1998 incident] told us that she had been specifically instructed by state police not to speak with reporters."

posted by rcade at 10:47 PM on November 10

"Everyone on that staff had to have known." -- Barry Switzer

posted by rcade at 10:52 PM on November 10

From the Patriot-News, the paper that got this story first: "the mother [in the 1998 incident] told us that she had been specifically instructed by state police not to speak with reporters."

And so it begins...

The unravelling of cover-up by multiple people in multiple levels of power looks to be only a few steps away from the current state of affairs.

posted by grum@work at 11:54 PM on November 10

Joey Michaels: long time lurker here, and I always appreciate your comments and insight. But I thought that Joe Posnanski piece was lousy. Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees. The Onion piece linked to previously I think was much better, in all seriousness.

I tip my hat to SpoFi for an enlightening and focused dialogue. I haven't seen any better on all of the internets.

posted by Boris at 11:57 PM on November 10

But since you brought it up, I think some of your speculation is misinformed. You find the notion of a "child-sex ring" too far-fetched to even be the plot of a movie. In reality, tens of thousands of children are prostituted by adults in this country. It is sadly not out of the realm of possibility that Sandusky did such a thing.

I don't think this is outside of the realm of possibility, but you do the point a disservice by pointing to numbers from NCMEC that are pretty much bullshit. These numbers are good for driving funding to interested organizations, but not for actually understanding how big of a problem this really is.

Also, always be wary of the "[Number in the tens of thousands] prostitutes are descending upon [City X] for the Super Bowl!" stories, which are also invariably bullshit.

posted by holden at 12:33 AM on November 11

Why is it seemingly so difficult for the Penn State Board of Trustees to get rid of McQueary? They can eliminate Paterno, the biggest name in college football for half a century with a 10-second phone call, but the guy who actally saw this taking place is still employed? How has this been overlooked to this point? He was, and is, an adult who should have understood the responsibilities many others are being fired for not following through with.

posted by dyams at 07:15 AM on November 11

Saw it reported that McQueary will not be on the sidelines at the game due to having received "multiple threats". He may be gone soon regardless.

posted by beaverboard at 08:14 AM on November 11

Also heard it reported McQueary is being protected because his testimony is going to be needed and the university and prosecutors don't want him to be forced to get a lawyer and go on the defensive. Understandable, if true, from a prosecuting standpoint, but bullshit when others, Paterno obviously included, are being shunned from all directions when the actual eyewitness to the most heinus of acts, and who started the chain-reaction of inappropriate responses, is not dealt with swiftly.

posted by dyams at 08:45 AM on November 11

NYT article on state of PA investigation here.

(rcade, If the link defaults some viewers to a NYT sign-in page, please fix if possible).

posted by beaverboard at 08:49 AM on November 11

Why is it seemingly so difficult for the Penn State Board of Trustees to get rid of McQueary?

Pennsylvania's whistleblower law may be a factor.

Holden: Thanks for the correction. I didn't trust the "100,000 to 300,000" figure, which is why I didn't quote it, but I didn't realize the underlying methodology was so bad.

posted by rcade at 08:58 AM on November 11

rcade -- I saw that you had given a different number an order of magnitude lower. Just wanted to get the counterinformation out there for the numbers quoted in the linked article, as this crap gets bandied about all the time by the media and it's only the alternative media (like the two Village Voice/Village Media owned properties I linked) and folks like Jack Shafer that ever call bullshit on this.

Back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Here's a link with a helpful who's who and timeline:

15 adults who knew about the allegations re Jerry Sandusky before his arrest

posted by holden at 09:24 AM on November 11

So wouldn't that same whistleblower law protect Paterno? Even though he's a big name he reported what he knew in good faith to his superiors, and he didn't (as far as I know) witness a thing.

posted by dyams at 09:35 AM on November 11

So wouldn't that same whistleblower law protect Paterno?

He's not the one that initially "blew the whistle", so he wouldn't get any protection. Otherwise, everyone below the CEO of a corporation would be granted "whistleblower" status if the initial report filtered up through a regular chain of command.

posted by grum@work at 10:43 AM on November 11

15 adults who knew about the allegations re Jerry Sandusky before his arrest

They are missing a 16th person: Mike McQueary's father, who Mike called after the March 1, 2002 incident.

posted by grum@work at 10:47 AM on November 11

Mr. Corbett eventually decided to send a public signal: he formally announced he would attend the scheduled meeting of the trustees on Friday, something he had never done before.

"It was indicative of him putting a thumb on the scale," said a person with direct knowledge of the governor's deliberations.

At an emergency meeting on Wednesday night, the board removed both the university president, Graham B. Spanier, and Joe Paterno, the football coach. Afterward, the trustees said they had acted independently. But they conceded, without being specific, that the board had received some unsolicited encouragement about what action to take.

With Mr. Corbette having intament knowledge of the case I see the trustees decision to fire Paterno as being less about morality and more about legality. if I knew the shit was about to hit the fan, who had been accused of what , and if the accusations were valid, I'd probably give my unsolicited encouragement to the board as well.

It seems the cover-up may be deeper and the number of conspirators much larger than the 4 or 5 guys mentioned a week ago. This thing is looking much worse for PSU and it's likely to continue getting worse as facts come out about not only WHO knew about this but WHEN they knew about it. I predict the Nuremburg defense will come into play.

I really feel for the current football players and student body as they don't deserve to be vilified because of this. All the Pedophile State, Pervert State jokes and comments being thrown around by the media are in really poor taste. I may forgive students their immaturity but for so called professionals these remarks are inexcusable.

posted by Folkways at 11:05 AM on November 11

All the Pedophile State, Pervert State jokes and comments being thrown around by the media are in really poor taste.

Folkways -- where are you seeing this? Not questioning that it's out there, but in what sort of outlets? I would be surprised if any of the established media/professional journalists (as opposed to, say, bloggers) are really making jokes of this nature.

posted by holden at 12:20 PM on November 11

But since you brought it up, I think some of your speculation is misinformed. You find the notion of a "child-sex ring" too far-fetched to even be the plot of a movie.

I didn't speak to the child sex ring speculation at all. I think you are mixing my comments with bdaddy's. I did some sympathetic speculation of my own, but it was mainly related to Paterno not believing his friend/former colleague capable of that kind of thing.

posted by bperk at 12:33 PM on November 11

where are you seeing this? Not questioning that it's out there, but in what sort of outlets? I would be surprised if any of the established media/professional journalists (as opposed to, say, bloggers) are really making jokes of this nature.

Without physically searching on-line for individual names, while flipping channels around 4-5am this morning both FoxNews and MSNBC morning crews referred to PSU as pedophile or pervert state. Thats when I remembered why I dont watch these stations.

posted by Folkways at 02:12 PM on November 11

The indictment does not state that Paterno notified Schultz.

You are correct, rcade, I misread that part of the record. Nonetheless, Incidents on campus are normally reported to campus security before being turned over to the State College authorities.

On a somewhat snarky note, but intended not in anger, more in sadness over the current state of dialogue in the US (although SpoFi is far more respectful): Best hurry up and get your licks in against Penn State. The national sale of pitchforks and torches going on at Home Depot, Lowe's, and WalMart ends next week. Take an extra 20% off if you are also going after a political figure.

posted by Howard_T at 03:18 PM on November 11

Boris: But I thought that Joe Posnanski piece was lousy. Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees.

I think its a very well written piece that captures the conflict that many of the Penn State supporters are experiencing right now. I don't especially agree with it, but I do think its a strong piece.

That said, I very much appreciate how you expressed your disagreement. Much respect.

posted by Joey Michaels at 04:48 PM on November 11

I think Posnanski is being somewhat unfairly criticized for that piece (this is based on the comments thread at SI.com). He is basically saying that something horrible happened, that Paterno should have lost his job, but that this is a complicated situation, we don't know all of the facts yet, and we should not jump to conclusions about who bears the most responsibility or the ultimate responsibility until we know more. (In reality, I think the more facts that come out, the more damning this will be for Penn State -- as I have a purely conjectural sense that the 1999 retirement of Sandusky was probably less than voluntary.) I think this is sane advice, and is not a blind, unthinking defense of Paterno or an attempt to defend the indefensible -- and I think the people who are suggesting that Posnanski is blinded by the fact that he is writing a book on Paterno and stands to gain economically (or lose less) if Paterno comes out of this looking a little better than he currently seems to are ascribing crass motives to Posnanski that are unwarranted.

posted by holden at 05:34 PM on November 11

Best hurry up and get your licks in against Penn State. The national sale of pitchforks and torches going on at Home Depot, Lowe's, and WalMart ends next week.

Yeah, unfortunately, the price is going to skyrocket as more information comes out and demand grows. I'm simply betting that this gets a whole lot worse for Penn State as more information comes out, Howard. So, I'd say best to hurry up and defend the institution and the people involved now before they become entirely indefensible.

We are going to get more information on exactly what took place here and I don't see how any additional information can be anything but worse than what's already been revealed. I mean do you see any potential for future news to be anything but horrible?

posted by tselson at 11:02 PM on November 11

I don't imagine Penn State is the only college or university having some type of sex scandal. I bet we'll see more of this or some other type of sex scandal that has been hidden by officials of various universities.

posted by roberts at 07:36 AM on November 12

I'll take that bet. Put me down for $100 that we don't see anything this despicable again any time soon. Maybe a little marital infidelity, or a prostitute or two in the recruiting process, but a serial rapist of little boys being protected by his superiors and co-workers? I'll take that bet any time.

posted by tahoemoj at 11:09 AM on November 12

I think Posnanski is being somewhat unfairly criticized for that piece (this is based on the comments thread at SI.com). He is basically saying that something horrible happened, that Paterno should have lost his job, but that this is a complicated situation, we don't know all of the facts yet, and we should not jump to conclusions about who bears the most responsibility or the ultimate responsibility until we know more.

I have to agree with Boris. Who bears the most responsibility is irrelevant, because responsibility in such a situation is not a zero-sum game. It isn't like a pie that you divide up into equal parts, where everybody in the group bears a partial responsibility for getting the thing done, and it all adds up to 100%. Joe Paterno was 100% responsible for putting a stop to that situation. So was McQueary. So was everyone he told, and so was everyone that Paterno told, and so on. And yes, all of those add up to more than 100%. The point is that if you're in that situation, regardless of who else is also responsible, it is 100% on you. You have to assume full responsibility, and if someone else did the right thing and got it done ahead of you, then great...but you still have the responsibility to get it done. You can't just do 10% or 20% and say, "Okay, I did my part."

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:10 PM on November 12

Yeah, unfortunately, the price is going to skyrocket as more information comes out and demand grows. I'm simply betting that this gets a whole lot worse for Penn State as more information comes out, Howard.

If the information comes out and it turns out that the truth is worse than what we already know, then I think it's perfectly reasonable for things to get worse for Penn State.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:14 PM on November 12

I'll take that bet. Put me down for $100 that we don't see anything this despicable again any time soon.

Pay up.

posted by phaedon at 03:58 AM on November 13

Not sure that it's so similar, and I see it as a bit coincidental, rather than indicative of widespread occurrence...but yeah, I'll concede to losing the bet.

posted by tahoemoj at 12:02 PM on November 13

I know I am a loser, But I do not think I have ever seen a thread get to 200 comments. It would have been sad for this one to end at 199.

Thank you Nebraska for winning Sat and putting an early end to the"We are going to win out for Joe " story.

posted by Debo270 at 12:32 PM on November 14

Unsecured bail ... Yeah, it's not as if the guy could possibly pose any threat to society (he's been released and is living in his house which is reportedly situated less than 1000 feet from an Elementary School).

Rumors of others involved leave me wondering whether the guy is deliberately being left "unsecured" by State College authorities. After all, keeping him in custody would ensure he is capable of testifying.

posted by cixelsyd at 02:49 PM on November 14

I think there are a lot people out there that would like to help Sandusky load the gun if he ever decides to pour himself a lead shot.

posted by grum@work at 04:08 PM on November 14

Might be able to save some lead by just keeping him mingled with the general prison population when he goes in to begin doing his time. Nature will take its course sooner or later. He's a prime candidate for the Christopher Scarver award.

They need to crank out some swift justice on all these characters so that their pensions can be terminated or garnished or whatever. And a lien on their assets. Stop the money flow, especially when it's coming from the overburdened state coffers.

posted by beaverboard at 08:13 PM on November 14

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