Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor
If you've ever actually experienced dealing with allegations that a young child has been sexually abused (and I have, numerous times, as part of my job), I can tell you quite conclusively that you don't simply put it off your plate.
Because, here is what Joe Paterno was told (in effect):
"I saw your former assistant coach, who worked for you for 30 years, who runs a charitable organization for young children and associates with young children on a daily basis, and who maintains an office on campus that he visits every day, anally raping a 10 year old in your football team's locker room."
If you can put that out of your mind and assume it's been taken care of just because you don't hear anything else about it, God help you as a human being.
And that's not even getting into the fact that if you DON'T believe that's true, you continued to employ the accuser on your staff? Really? You call an assistant coach of 30 years a pedophile and get to keep your job? If Paterno really believed Sandusky was innocent, that kid would've been on the next bus out of Happy Valley for lying.
Agreed, I'll go even further.
Sometime in 1998, it was brought to the attention that Jerry Sandusky was acting "strange" around children in the 2nd mile, to the point of showering, perhaps worse. It was investigated internally to the point where Jerry Sandusky "retired" in 1999. Now perhaps there was nothing credible, perhaps in blind loyalty and not wanting to believe the possible full extent of what may have happened, you buy Jerry's story that they were "just horsing around" in the shower. Perhaps you cling to it being more innocent that it looks, but you let him out of his job and he promises not to repeat it. OK, bad enough, but I can at least see how JoePa and Penn state get to that point.
Now 4 years later, McQueary comes to your office with his father and tells you he saw something again, perhaps he doesn't even describe the full extent, but you can bet your hind end, that when McQueary went to the AD/VP of PSU he was forced to describe the full extent of what he saw. There is no way in heck, knowing the instances of 1998 that it wasn't related back to JoePa. Heck there is little doubt in my mind that JoePa was in that meeting, as support for McQueary who had to be shaken by the whole thing to hear the full version for himself, straight from the horses mouth.
So what happens then? It goes no where. Perhaps the VP told JoePa that they'd handle it and he believed them. So what does JoePa, as the most powerful man on campus do with Jerry Sanduski? He allows him to continue using the facilities. He continues to allow his student athletes to be connected to Jerry and the 2nd mile. Paul Pusloski (sp?) was on Mike & Mike this morning, paul was a freshman in 2003. I doubt Paul knew any of the allegations of Sandusky, but he came to campus at a time when Jerry was allegedly bared from using the campus for the 2nd mile or being around young men. When asked if he knew Jerry, Paul said yes; everyone on the team knew if they wanted to do any community volunteering, they could go to Jerry and help with the 2nd mile program.
So now JoePa knows of 2 instances, 1 strong enough to force him to resign, then the McQueary instance, and yet he still directs his 17, 18, 19 year old players to help 2nd mile, a charity still being run by Jerry Sandusky. Jerry is still around using the facilities, around the program to some extent.
Fast forward again while ignoring several more boys that have been vialated by Sandusky to sometime over the last year when the Grand Jury report is being formed. Its not like they interviewed JoePa, the AD, McQueary, etc... on saturday evening, it happened months, perhaps even over the entire prior year, so even if they put it out of their mind, it was brought back to their attention full bore and it was obvious the charges were serious enough to get investigators involved, yet there he was, Jerry Sandusky, using the work out facilities for the football program on Friday.
So JoePa had not 1, not 2, but at least 3 concrete chances, and perhaps many more to tell Sandusky to go to hell and keep away from campus and his program, but instead Jerry was still around as recently as friday. Its not like any Joe Schmoe can walk in and use the football facilities, if its anything like what I've seen at Ohio State, security is tight. Certainly somebody as recognizable to the PSU program as Sandusky is going to stick out like a sore thumb. If Joe doesn't want you around the program, you're not getting thru those doors, you're not working out in "his" facilities.
Legally, Joe may have done the bear minimum to prevent getting charged legally. Morarly, as the face of both the program and largely the university he failed farther than any man previously, save arguable Dave Bliss. At best, JoePa put his head in the sand and refused to acknowledge the information that had been brought to his attention on more than 1 occasion.
My opinion, and perhaps my opininon only, Joe decided to look the other way in order to protect the image of his program and school. Joe knew what this would do to the image of his program. Keeping in mind that the school president asked Joe to resign around 2001-2002 following several sub-.500 seasons and Joe refused and kept on coaching until yesterday, it was obvious Joe had more power than the school president. In my opinion, Joe didn't want this to see the light of day, because above hurting the image of the program and school, he likely knew the public outrage would lead to his forced resignation.
How people defend this man or actions in this case are beyond me. The more that comes out, the more Joe looks culpable. I don't care how many games the man has won, how many building he's built on campus or money he's donated to charity, when the rubber meet the road, and Joe had the opportunity to put an end to arguable the worst crime a man can commit, JoePa failed miserably.