Joe Paterno’s funeral was today and Penn State and ESPN continued with their selective memory when it comes to the football coach who was at Penn State for over 4 decades. I will say it once again, Joe Paterno is a despicable human being. He put the Penn State brand, as did others, above the lives of young boys who were being raped by former assistant Jerry Sandusky, and Penn State continues to slap these victims in the face by honoring Joe in grand fashion. ESPN covered the event, which again is a slap in the face of all the kids that Joe could have prevented from becoming Sandusky’s future victims after 2002. ESPN analysts also continue to say Joe made a “mistake”. Are you kidding me, someone tells you that he witnessed a grown man anally raping a 10 year old boy and you not going to the police is a “mistake”??? Hitting the delete key when you wanted to hit the enter key is a “mistake”, not reporting child rape to the police to protect the football brand you built at Penn State is the act of gutless coward who valued himself and his football program over the lives of children. Joe has to take responsibility for all of Sandusky’s victims after that 2002 incident when he failed to act. He is just as culpable.
For 46 years, Joe Paterno has embodied everything about Penn State football. He’s been its face, its spirit, and its conscience. Hell, he’s been the de facto moral leader for all of college football. But as the Jerry Sandusky scandal continued to unfold, and horrifying detail after horrifying detail emerged, it’s becoming clear that Paterno was negligent in failing to do much at all about a sexual predator wandering around his campus, and guilty of putting his program and himself above the lives of who knows how many young boys.
Shocked” is a word that has been thrown around a lot since the story broke over the weekend that Sandusky, Penn State’s defensive coordinator from 1977 thru 1999, was arrested for the sexual assault of at least eight young boys dating back as early as 1994. It’s the word that Paterno himself used in a statement released to the press on Sunday, in which he said, “If this is true we were all fooled, along with scores of professionals trained in such things, and we grieve for the victims and their families. They are in our prayers.”
A nice sentiment, Joe, but way too late. Where the hell were those thoughts for the victims over the past decade, when you failed time and time again to protect past and future abuse victims from Sandusky?
Sandusky is a full-fledged predator, and one who was incredibly shrewd about how he selected and intimidated his victims. His “charity” is called Second Mile, a foundation designed to give guidance to young boys from absent or dysfunctional families. You couldn’t possibly think of a more diabolical way for a deviant to have access to children. And even though Paterno and others told people about the reports, they never made sure the that the authorities were made aware of them, and never made any attempts to follow up on them. Instead they wiped their hands of his crimes, knowing full well that Sandusky was still a constant presence in the lives of numerous young and vulnerable boys.
After reading the Grand Jury’s statement — a document that is more disturbing than any horror movie I’ve ever seen — what we know is that Paterno was told by then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary (a former Penn State quarterback and current assistant coach) that McQueary had walked in on Sandusky anally raping a boy of about 10 years old in the shower of the Penn State locker room. After reporting the incident to Paterno, a series of meetings between McQueary, Paterno, athletic director Tim Curley, and vice president Gary Schultz occurred, the ultimate result of which was that Sandusky’s keys to the locker room were taken away, he was barred from bringing young children to campus, and the charity that Sandusky founded was supposedly made aware of the situation.
Read that again. After an eye witness caught him anally raping a child, Sandusky had his keys taken away. Since then, rather than rotting in prison, Sandusky has had nearly unfettered access to the Penn State facilities, maintained an office on campus, and attended practice as a friend of the program. One time in 2007, he even brought a little boy to practice with him. Of course, nothing was done about it.
Much like the Catholic Church abuse scandal, Paterno and Penn State had ample opportunities to expose this monster to the world and save God knows how many more boys from unspeakable horrors. But instead, they chose to sweep it under the rug, seemingly to save the program the embarrassment. What other reason could there have been to not report such a despicable series of crimes to the authorities? If they had done so when they first knew — whether that was in 1998 when Sandusky was first investigated, or in 2002 when McQueary caught him in the act — then it would have been a terrible story for a short time, but ultimately the program would have been respected for doing the right thing.
The mentality of covering up something like this is too absurd for me to wrap my mind around it. It almost seems like a Madoff-esque Ponzi scheme. No matter how ridiculous the original reasoning behind it may have been, the longer it went on the worse it got, and eventually they were in too deep. But did they really think that it would never come out? How can anyone be that stupid, that callous, or that negligent?
There are absolutely no redeeming characters in this tragedy, and no sympathetic figures aside from the victims. Curley and Schultz are facing perjury charges for lying to the grand jury about McQueary’s report. McQueary himself not only failed to stop a 10-year old boy from being raped, but continued to work there after Sandusky had no ramifications brought upon him. (And seriously, how is that not a bigger deal in all this? How is McQueary not being utterly vilified for witnessing that and just walking away and letting it continue to happen?)
I also want to take this opportunity to state that Franco Harris and all those former players that are more worried about the Penn State football program than the victims are also in this group. I wonder how they would feel if it was their son who was anally raped and found out Joe Paterno could have prevented it. All those that speak out on Joe’s behalf show how ignorant and selfish they are every time they open their mouths.
Which gets me to people like ESPN’s Colin Cowherd is also a compltete idiot? He actually staed that Joe was in his 70′s and didn’t know how to handle the situation. I have uncles in their 80′s and they know if someone tells them they saw a 10 year old boy being anally raped that the ONLY right decision is to go to the police.
If Penn State wants to do the right thing they need to take down his statue outside the football stadium, and start stating the facts. Joe Paterno covered up anal rape of a 10 year old boy, and allowed countless future victims by his inaction??? Sounds like a man of integrity and honor, and remember, what if it was your kid…..