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Sunday, January 22, 2012

It Was Always Hard to Imagine Penn State Without Joe Paterno, or Vice Versa

Posted by on Sun, Jan 22, 2012 at 9:54 AM

Of course, it was lung cancer, or the "complications" thereof, that is the official cause of death. But we all know that Joe Paterno really died of a broken heart.

 

Comments (79) RSS

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DOUG. 1
You know what's also heartbreaking? Providing sanctuary for pedophiles. Forgive me if I don't shed a tear for Paterno.
Posted by DOUG. http://www.dougsvotersguide.com on January 22, 2012 at 10:01 AM · Report this
sirkowski 2
I question the timing!
Posted by sirkowski http://www.missdynamite.com on January 22, 2012 at 10:04 AM · Report this
Vince 3
My condolences to his family and all who loved him. Life is not fair.
Posted by Vince on January 22, 2012 at 10:05 AM · Report this
eastcoastreader 4
@1 yes

also, the guy was 85 for crying out loud, it wasn't some tragedy or something.
Posted by eastcoastreader on January 22, 2012 at 10:05 AM · Report this
TVDinner 5
@3: Vince, you can't be serious. The old fraud lived to be 85. Good riddance.
Posted by TVDinner http:// on January 22, 2012 at 10:11 AM · Report this
6
Broken heart as in one so vile it would cover for a child rapist for a dozen years and who knows how many countless 10 year old boys getting fucked by a 65 year old man.
Posted by Jersey on January 22, 2012 at 10:11 AM · Report this
7
A broken heart? Was Paterno a pedophile as well, and not just an enabler?
Posted by who knew, i mean really on January 22, 2012 at 10:15 AM · Report this
Vince 8
@5 I don't see it as an ocassion to be cruel. Even an eighty five year old has people who love them.
Posted by Vince on January 22, 2012 at 10:23 AM · Report this
Goldy 9
You know, guys, one can disapprove of another human being and his actions, and still feel empathy for him as another human being.
Posted by Goldy on January 22, 2012 at 10:30 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 10
Things like this always show how hard it is to maintain ethics when the person in question is someone you admire.

My awareness of college football is oblique, at best. I've known that Penn State was a longtime powerhouse, three months ago I didn't know the name "Joe Paterno." That makes it easy for me to condemn the man, and point out that even a program admired for its character can be corrupt. That's certainly why Paterno and his cohorts chose to keep quiet about Sandusky - not so much for the big payday of being a top football college (although that's certainly a factor) as for the Penn State brand.

But getting back to the point of it, I'm sure Goldy and other Penn State fans aren't, on the whole, defenders of pederasty, but their muted reactions show how hard it is to take when someone who commanded so much admiration and respect is revealed to be complicit in covering up a horrible crime. Paterno gave millions so much enjoyment, and showed that good guys can win, too. Also, it's not like he was the pedophile.

But if one is to truly live by a code of ethics, one has to condemn the man unequivocally. One has to remember that Paterno was a football coach, not a freedom fighter. This would be a much harder choice if we learned that Martin Luther King had hushed up pedophilia within the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

It may take Penn State fans time, but those who really understand right and wrong will come around.
Posted by Matt from Denver on January 22, 2012 at 10:31 AM · Report this
11
@8/9: A man who is more interested in "legacy" than humanity is naturally going to have to deal with the "legacy" he left the world.
Posted by find his humanity, we'll toast to the rest of his life on January 22, 2012 at 10:39 AM · Report this
markvz 12
@8 agreed ... to a point. Thousands will be gushing over him and his legacy for days. However, the parades and the funeral will soon be over, life will go on, and he will forever be remembered for the years of child rape that he could have prevented, but didn't. This is particularly so for the vast majority of us that don't give a flying fuck about Penn State football.
Posted by markvz on January 22, 2012 at 10:47 AM · Report this
13
Sorry Goldy but all the empathy I can muster goes to the kids who were victimized after the truth was first brought to piss-poor fake hero paterno.
Posted by Jersey on January 22, 2012 at 10:48 AM · Report this
Posted by Confluence on January 22, 2012 at 10:50 AM · Report this
Goldy 15
Matt @10, To be clear, I'm not a Penn State fan. I went to the other Penn.

But having grown up in Pennsylvania, I have a sense of how Paterno's identity and that of Penn State were so intimately intertwined. Cancer or no, his death comes as no surprise.
Posted by Goldy on January 22, 2012 at 10:53 AM · Report this
Goldy 16
@13 and others,

Don't confuse "empathy" with "sympathy."
Posted by Goldy on January 22, 2012 at 10:56 AM · Report this
17
Hey Goldy, you do the same thanks. You don't know shit about me.
Posted by Jersey on January 22, 2012 at 10:59 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 18
@ 15, especially when the diagnosis was lung cancer. My 92 year old great uncle died about three months after his diagnosis, and 30 years ago my 68 year old grandmother died about as quickly.

Maybe he would have lasted a bit longer without his ignominious end at Penn State - just maybe.
Posted by Matt from Denver on January 22, 2012 at 11:00 AM · Report this
19

Slog readers are so wanting (check: emotionally needing) to rebut traditional figures that it clouds their thinking: The first thing Joe Paterno did was call his boss, and separately called the University Administrator who was in charge of the police. Two calls. Right away. He then gave a complete accounting of what he heard. Nobody disputes this.

He did not actively pursue any subsequent enquiry, as he admits - though had been told (by the chief of the police) that it would be looked into.

However: Keep in mind that the child rapist had not been an employee of Paternos for something like 10 years, and since Paterno had broken his pelvis, was not frequenting his on-campus office. Consequently, he had virtually no contact with the rapist.

So, in hindsight. Joe Paterno was a good man who appears to have made a good decision, but not a sufficiently good decision. In hindsight, he recognized that shortcoming and rather graciously accepted the consequence.

In the full light of the facts, Slog readers come-across as socially damaged angerphiles, so intent on finding fault with a symbols of "traditional values" that they are willing to throw a hard-working educator onto the pyre. The only thing that fire illuminates is there own deficiencies and self-hate.
Posted by Zok on January 22, 2012 at 11:07 AM · Report this
reverend dr dj riz 20
.sorry about the whole situation. but i'm a survivor so i'll continue to choose which grief i honor and which i put in the compost bin.
.. . i'm going back to listening to some etta james
Posted by reverend dr dj riz on January 22, 2012 at 11:20 AM · Report this
Noadi 21
I have zero, absolutely zero, sympathy for Paterno. However he's dead. His loved ones, who in all likelihood had no idea he was covering for a child rapist, are still alive and hurting and they deserve sympathy for their pain.
Posted by Noadi http://noadi.net on January 22, 2012 at 11:26 AM · Report this
BLUE 22
I think it a good thing that he was fired and shamed before he died. It gave him and us some time to reflect on his failings. Better to begin condemning the living than the dead.
Posted by BLUE on January 22, 2012 at 11:42 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 23
@ 19, that is an impressive show of logic contortion and rationalization. Nice work.
Posted by Matt from Denver on January 22, 2012 at 11:56 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 24
@19: You'd make a good Pope or scummy Defense attorney.

You make a terrible human being, though.
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 22, 2012 at 12:05 PM · Report this
Irena 25
As I said in the morning news thread, I'm glad Joe Paterno didn't die a legend. But if your feelings about his death aren't complicated, you might want to do a little soul-searching. He was so beloved, and he fell so far, so fast -- that scandal was like an atom bomb on Penn State. As I've already said, I think that's good -- blind hero worship is a terrible thing. But what if it was your hero? Imagine how you'd feel. I think most of us would really like to believe in perfect goodness and perfect evil, and neither exist. That's as hard to take for those who condemn Paterno as it is for those who lionize him.
Posted by Irena on January 22, 2012 at 12:05 PM · Report this
Irena 26
@19, and following from that, I don't buy your apology for him. He made a terrible decision, with terrible consequences, and his supporters need to accept that. Don't let your defensive loyalty blind you to the seriousness of his crime.
Posted by Irena on January 22, 2012 at 12:22 PM · Report this
Vince 27
@25 Sports legends who fail in life confuse the minds of those who worship them. It's a bit like what happened with O.J. The people who loved his talents on the field could not bring themselves to see his failures as a human being. I think it's related to our tendency to turn people with extraordinary abilities into gods. Gods are never at fault. Gods have no weaknesses. Gods would never harm the innocent.
Posted by Vince on January 22, 2012 at 12:31 PM · Report this
28
I grew up in Pennsylvania also. Half of my high school graduating class went to Penn State. I get what you're saying Goldy, but I'm still too angry for empathy. I know his family is grieving. I hope they heal soon. But as for him... fuck him.
Posted by Soo on January 22, 2012 at 1:29 PM · Report this
29
What a surprise. Goldylocks feel sorry for someone who lets others rape little kids.
Posted by BetarayBilly2 on January 22, 2012 at 1:36 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 30
25: "blind hero worship is a terrible thing. But what if it was your hero? Imagine how you'd feel. I think most of us would really like to believe in perfect goodness and perfect evil, and neither exist."

This assumes that everyone *has* heroes. I set my expectations properly for humanity. I admire people, but few true "heroes" exist. He enabled a child rapist to rape children (with FULL KNOWLEDGE of these actions, with multiple confirmations) while providing cover-up duties, and cared more about the rapist's legacy and his own than about fellow humans.

It's a "gray" issue in that he did the minimum expected of a college administrator, but falling back on bureaucracy is not what a "hero" does, and it's a sign that the entire system exists to maintain the legacy of a school (and its superheroes) at the expense of rape victims everywhere, college-aged or children.
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 22, 2012 at 1:45 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 31

He should have gotten out while the getting was good. Retirement at 65 would have cleared him of the whole mess.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on January 22, 2012 at 1:47 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 32
@27: "The people who loved his talents on the field could not bring themselves to see his failures as a human being"

I think the kneejerk defenses of OJ and Michael Jackson retain a few similarities, if not directly analogous.
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 22, 2012 at 1:49 PM · Report this
33
Wherever did someone get the impression that idolization of Joe Paterno was a necessary condition for objectively assessing the conditions and circumstances?

Joe Paterno -- citizen, and entitled to blind justice -- called authorities immediately. He gave a complete accounting of what he knew and heard. You don't dispute that do you?

The suggestion that he was covering for the rapist isn't supported by any facts any reasonable assessment. And suggesting that only people who will stand-up for someone else, do so only because their "idol" has "fallen" is simply part of the lame narrative of negativism, typical of the Sloggish.

Yes, far better to trash a college coaches life of work with slanted hysteria, than to make a meaningful contribution in your own spheres. Bitch bitch bitch about contributors in society isn't doin much to better your own sorry lives. He's not an "idol" of mine in any way. He's a guy who stumbled in the course of making the correct step.

You should hope others would defend you when you try to do the right thing, and stumble, when others would rather you be kicked down.

Posted by Zok on January 22, 2012 at 1:57 PM · Report this
sikandro 34
@23, 24, 26. Try actually responding to what 19 said.
Posted by sikandro on January 22, 2012 at 2:20 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 35
@33: "Joe Paterno -- citizen, and entitled to blind justice -- called authorities immediately."

He did not contact the appropriate law enforcement authorities who are tasked to investigate. He contacted the "authorities" tasked to maintain the "legacy" of a school and actively cover-up incidents, keeping them from being followed up upon.

Your claims of "hysteria" are as worthless as your ability to judge the decency of any individual.
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 22, 2012 at 2:35 PM · Report this
Goldy 36
Again, folks, one doesn't have to feel sorry for Paterno to recognize that he cut a tragic figure. If you can't understand that, I suggest that you don't read Shakespeare.
Posted by Goldy on January 22, 2012 at 2:41 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 37
@34: Try reading @30.

He was not a "good person." He was a bad person in a bad system, who did exactly what he wanted to maintain the bad system, to protect another bad person.

Also @33:

"Yes, far better to trash a college coaches life of work with slanted hysteria, than to make a meaningful contribution in your own spheres."

You sound like a fucking cultist.

http://libertytothecaptives.net/scientol…

"The "Handling the Media" policy, as expounded by L. Ron Hubbard, is simple:
"The DEFENSE of anything is UNTENABLE. The only way to defend anything is to ATTACK, and if you ever forget that, then you will lose every battle you are ever engaged in, whether it is in terms of personal conversation, public debate, or a court of law. NEVER BE INTERESTED IN CHARGES. DO, yourself, much MORE CHARGING, and you will WIN."
[Hubbard, "The Scientologist: A Manual on The Dissemination of Material", Ability Major #1"

You have no defense for your rape-enablers, so you attack the morals of those who are outraged by a system that failed many children, many times over, and actively helped the rapist avoid investigation and jailtime after evidence of his many rapes was made available many times over as well.
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 22, 2012 at 2:44 PM · Report this
38
Goldy, I'm with you. Overwhelming sympathy and support and siding with the victims isn't mutually exclusive with recognizing the tragedy of a person who's made an horrendous, unforgivable, life-defining mistake and dies in the awareness of it. Which I hope he did.
Posted by Rainy Owlet on January 22, 2012 at 2:45 PM · Report this
39
Make that *a* horrendous, etc.
Posted by Rainy Owlet on January 22, 2012 at 2:46 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 40
@36: "Again, folks, one doesn't have to feel sorry for Paterno to recognize that he cut a tragic figure. If you can't understand that, I suggest that you don't read Shakespeare."

The whole story is an epic tragedy, surely. You aren't forced to appreciate any figure of Greek or Shakespearean tragedy, or accept anything inherent about their character and flaws, though.

Isn't the point of tragic drama to contrast humanity with supposedly "inhuman" actions? Isn't outrage at the continued acceptance of the frailty of human morality the point, and their continued relevance?
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 22, 2012 at 2:47 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 41
I don't think what I'm posting is necessarily at odds with Goldy, though. Only the Zoks, who can never view their idols as mortal or flawed. Evil, certainly institutional evil is always handwaved away.
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 22, 2012 at 2:50 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 42
@ 33, here is an objective fact.

No one at Penn State called the police. They were the only authorities who mattered. The university's director of athletics and president weren't the authorities; neither was Paterno himself.

Keep in mind that Sandusky left his Penn State job suddenly, several years earlier when he was Paterno's heir apparent - and around the time several rapes listed in the indictment took place. That's real interesting, isn't it?

If you're going to allege that Paterno's culpability isn't supported by the facts, then you had better explain this.
Posted by Matt from Denver on January 22, 2012 at 3:45 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 43
@ 36, all the major Shakespearean tragic heroes were state leaders. I suppose Paterno was a Penn State leader, but the parallel is still lacking.
Posted by Matt from Denver on January 22, 2012 at 3:51 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 44
@42: Check this out-

http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/story/_/i…

"You know, (McQueary) didn't want to get specific," Paterno said in the Post interview. "And to be frank with you I don't know that it would have done any good, because I never heard of, of, rape and a man. So I just did what I thought was best. I talked to people that I thought would be, if there was a problem, that would be following up on it."

According to Paterno, there's no such thing as "man-rape", even after being presented with evidence, multiple times.
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 22, 2012 at 3:55 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 45
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424…

He's also had a history of this behavior, as well.

"In an Aug. 12, 2005, email to Pennsylvania State University President Graham Spanier and others, Vicky Triponey, the university's standards and conduct officer, complained that Mr. Paterno believed she should have "no interest, (or business) holding our football players accountable to our community standards. The Coach is insistent he knows best how to discipline his players…and their status as a student when they commit violations of our standards should NOT be our concern…and I think he was saying we should treat football players different from other students in this regard."

This is Paterno. This is what he did and who he was.
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 22, 2012 at 4:06 PM · Report this
46
Y'all are dicks. A man died. And while he made some bad decisions -- some really fucking bad decisions -- a man, a living being, died. Take your trolling asses to an article about a fuckup who didn't just die.
Posted by TooLazyToMakeAnAccountRightNow on January 22, 2012 at 4:11 PM · Report this
47
@35 and @42

Thank you for proving (again) that you're fucking idiots. Even a passing understanding of the facts of the case would belie your imbecilism.

The grand jury found, and EVERYONE acknowledges, that Paterno called Gary Schultz, the VP of Operations at Penn State BECAUSE he was the chief administrator in charge of the police department that had jurisdiction in the case. He didn't call Institutional Affairs, University Relations, as one would in a cover-up.

Nope: He called the guy whose only possible inclusion in the proceedings was because of his senior-level representation of law enforcement.

The fact that DID...
- Instantly respond.
- Call his boss.
- And calling the chief admin. overseeing the police
- And gave a complete recounting

And DID NOT
- Delay in responding
- Avoid anyone with law-enforcement responsibility
- Call campus image-makers
- Tell a partial story
- Call the accused to warn him

Would seem to dilute any standing your argument against him as covering-up a crime.

Sorry if the facts are inconvenient to your agenda.

(But at leest your intellectual dullness is amusing.)

Posted by Zok on January 22, 2012 at 4:14 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 48
"Mr. Paterno told the Allentown Morning Call newspaper that the players weren't misbehaving any more than usual, but that such news was now more public. "I can go back to a couple guys in the '70s who drove me nuts," he said. "The cops would call me, and I used to put them in bed in my house and run their rear ends off the next day. Nobody knew about it. That's the way we handled it.""

Another direct quote that spoke to his narcissistic/sociopathic personality.

Power was his, fuck all of those who were hurt in the process. Legacy and win above all.
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 22, 2012 at 4:16 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 49
@47: "Would seem to dilute any standing your argument against him as covering-up a crime."

He's got a history of covering up and aiding criminals.

He was made aware multiple times of Sandusky's molesting of kids, and that Sandusky had been banned from being around kids in his own charity.

He continued doing the least possible he could do to aid in bringing Sandusky to justice.

He died in shame, a shame that spreads now to you.
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 22, 2012 at 4:20 PM · Report this
50
Y'know, I love Slog. I really do. I love the give and take, the interesting conversation, and the wit and intelligence in the comments.

But it's times like this that the cynicism can be overwhelming. I grew up in Pennsylvania, with the legend of JoePa. Personally, I thought he should have left coaching a long time ago, like the first time he was hurt to the point that he couldn't be on the field during games. And I totally believe that the university did the right thing when they finally got around to firing him, and he deserved all the criticism he has gotten.

But I still have sympathy for his family, who loved him. And yes, he did die of a broken heart, because Penn State football was all he knew and loved, and he made some horrendously bad decisions because of that. That's a tragedy in and of itself, though nothing compared to what the boys Sandusky allegedly raped endured (and I'm using "allegedly" he hasn't had his day in court - not because I think there was some massive conspiracy to go after him).

Paterno was a human being, flawed like the rest of us. His bad decisions will forever be a part of his legacy. But I still feel for those who loved him. Loss sucks, even when it is someone with a less than stellar reputation.
Posted by Sheryl on January 22, 2012 at 4:57 PM · Report this
51

Wrong again.

Paterno understood that there were rumors about Sandusky in the late 90's. Sandusky was previously advised that an extensive 1998 police investigation (Borough of State College, not PSUPD) had revealed allegations, but had not uncovered grounds for prosecution.
Posted by Zok on January 22, 2012 at 4:58 PM · Report this
52
@51 he was told not rumors, but the direct story of Sandusky raping a child, by one of his trusted associates.

Paterno was also on the board of Sandusky's charity when Sandusky was banned from having sleepovers with children because he was again, caught by others raping children.

Saying "wrong" does not change reality. For all your screeds about how your critics are dumb, your argument relies on the morality of the Good Old Boys system and saying "nuh-uh!" over and over.
Posted by you're a vital part of the system on January 22, 2012 at 5:10 PM · Report this
DOUG. 53
In the state of Pennsylvania, Joe Paterno had no boss.

Joe Paterno allowed Jerry Sandusky to have access to the Penn State locker room long after a child was raped by Sandusky there. Anyone defended Paterno's actions, claiming that "he'd done enough," is either delusion or psychotic.
Posted by DOUG. http://www.dougsvotersguide.com on January 22, 2012 at 5:12 PM · Report this
Rotten666 54
"He died in shame, a shame that spreads now to you."

How dramatic!
Posted by Rotten666 on January 22, 2012 at 5:12 PM · Report this
Just Blue 55
@47, what are you talking about? Paterno himself testified that he likely didn't instantly respond: "I ordinarily would have called people right away,

but it was a Saturday morning and I didn’t want to interfere with their weekends." He stated that it was within a week. According to the Grand Jury

Presentment, it was the next day. Regardless, that's not an instant response.

BTW, Schultz' title at the time was Senior VP for Business and Finance (though you're correct in your assertion that he oversaw various operations,

including the police department). It appears you're alluding to Schultz in comment 19 when you wrote that Paterno was told by the "chief of police"

that it would be looked into. A VP for Business and Finance is not what most people think of when they envision the chief of police. At least present

your facts honestly.

Schultz testified that he notified Penn-State's then-president, Graham Spanier. The only thing that was "done" was Sandusky was told he couldn't bring children onto campus (which was unenforcable - nobody denies that). So essentially we have a handful of folks passing the buck.

Though he might have followed the letter of the law, what he did certainly wasn't ethical. If you were told by an eye-witness that someone you worked with sexually abused a child, would you really think it's okay to tell a couple bosses, then call it a day? Even when the guy still has access to kids, time goes on, and apparently nothing has changed? Really? Please tell me you don't work anywhere near kids.

http://sportsbybrooks.com/transcript-joe…

http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/uploadedF…
More...
Posted by Just Blue on January 22, 2012 at 5:56 PM · Report this
56
@52
Wrong. Joe Paterno was never a Board Member of Second Mile. (If you insist, cite references please.)

Further, get your timeline straight. In 1998, the rumors were refuted as to be unfounded after an in-depth investigation. At the point several years later that Paterno heard a first-hand recounting of a crime, he acted immediately by calling the guy in charge of campus polices (FYI, PSUPD is as big as the Borough of State College police dept.)

Is there any evidence you have that says this isn't true? Because if not, just admit you've misjudged the fact of the case and only mindlessly repeated your loser friends.

@53
No, in fact "Joe Paterno" didn't give Sandusky access to "the football facilities." Sandusky was named an emeritus professor in the School of Physical Education (on the Academic side of the institution, not Athletics). His offices were in the East Area Locker building, across the street. That's how he had access.

Jesus, you two are gullible if you simply believe and regurgitate everything Rachel Maddow serves-up.



Posted by Zok on January 22, 2012 at 6:04 PM · Report this
Just Blue 57
Sorry for the weird paragraph breaks in #55. Botched copy and paste job (this computer is prone to the occasional glitch, so I type longer comments in another file).

Anyway, one last point: this is exactly why when I heard the news he died, my immediate reaction of empathy - albeit limited - was replaced by disgust. Because now his apologists are back at work, busily polishing his halo and blasting the unbelievers for nailing him to a cross.

I don't take perverse pleasure in watching heroes fall. I think it's sad. Just not as sad as children being raped.

I simply believe everyone should be held to a reasonable standard of ethics - especially when kids are involved, especially when sexual abuse is happening.
Posted by Just Blue on January 22, 2012 at 6:12 PM · Report this
emor 58
@47

So when nothing happened, he sort of shrugged his shoulders and thought, "Well, maybe he won't rape any more children?"

Even if you assume going to the VP of Operations constitutes going to the "authorities", an individual concerned about the well-being of those children would have pressed further when that first attempt failed.
Posted by emor on January 22, 2012 at 6:17 PM · Report this
59
He should have called the cops. The actual police, not the guy supposedly in charge of the campus cops.

I'm sorry for his family's loss. I'm sorry for everyone who loses someone they love. But the fact that he died does not make him a good man. If he'd been a good man (i.e., done what he should have done), he wouldn't have been fired. Then people could talk about his "legacy", etc., ad nauseum. Not now.
Posted by sarah70 on January 22, 2012 at 6:31 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 60
Well, zok, I guess facts don't mean anything to you. That's too bad, considering your professed "objectivity." I'll keep this in mind any time I see your name on SLOG again.
Posted by Matt from Denver on January 22, 2012 at 6:39 PM · Report this
61
@60
The only thing you need concern yourself with is:

Would you, im Joe Paterno's position, been reasonable in your thinking in assuming that; by calling the person charged with overseeing law enforcement, and; having expressed the seriousness of the offense; in the presence of others; and being told it would be looked-into, been comfortable in thinking that had reported the incident?

No?
Posted by Zok on January 22, 2012 at 8:01 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 62
No. Because the "law enforcement" in question was the university police, and campus cops don't have jurisdiction over crimes of that nature. And the earlier allegations were swept under the rug - there's no "thorough investigation" that you made reference to. The real police weren't involved in that, either, which means that Paterno was aware that such things had been alleged in the past.

Where there's smoke, there's fire, especially when you see it more than once.
Posted by Matt from Denver on January 22, 2012 at 9:04 PM · Report this
63
@62
You're talking out of your ass. PSUSD aren't a bunch of Barney Fifes. In fact, they're the serious side of law enforcement in the Borough. By State Statute...

(Section 2416.1 of the Administrative Code of 1929 (Act 57 of 1997) and Section 2416.1 Campus Police Powers and Duties)

...They have the same authority as cops in Phlly and Pittsburgh.

Give-up dude. You're getting your ass kicked.
Posted by Zok on January 22, 2012 at 10:32 PM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 64
@61 It's rather quaint how you deliberately ignore the reality of Paterno's situation at Penn State. It has nothing to do w/ the laws on the books, but how people act under the cult of personality.

Except we're dealing w/ child molestation.

You know, there's no set of facts that people are refusing to look at. The story is as plain as day and everyone knows it. Jerry Sandusky fucked pre-pubescent boys and everyone looked the other way because of his connections w/ Penn State and Joe Paterno specifically.

You should get a job at FNS.
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on January 22, 2012 at 10:35 PM · Report this
Karlheinz Arschbomber 65
The cult and empire of Penn State football is a close parallel to that other abuse-fostering-&-protecting hierarchy, the one with all those crosses on their tax-free palaces.

Above and outside normal law and consequences, to question anything is to show that you do not believe.... and that leads to eternal consequences.

Big college sports is just corrupt anaerobic fuckitude, and needs to go. It won't, of course. Think of all the empty space on cable channels.
Posted by Karlheinz Arschbomber http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arschbombe on January 23, 2012 at 3:01 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 66
@ 63, you've apparently never gone to college or dealt with campus police if you believe some silly old statute matters. You've also never seen what kind of investigation occurs when crimes like this are committed on them.

Anyway, keep telling yourself you're "winning." Denial is one of the stages of grief, isn't it? Work on that, and come back when you've processed that. We can always use your childish right-wing taunting on some political thread.
Posted by Matt from Denver on January 23, 2012 at 4:49 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 67
http://www.newser.com/story/134756/joe-p…

"And the bad publicity continues for Joe Paterno: The former Penn State football coach had deep ties to Jerry Sandusky's Second Mile charity, writes Sarah Ryley in The Daily. Paterno worked closely with Second Mile board members, including longtime chairman Robert Poole, and right around the time Paterno allegedly learned of Sandusky's shower-room misconduct from Mike McQueary, he and Poole had secured financing for a $125 million luxury retirement community. "It’s no coincidence that they failed to act at the same time that they were working on this project," says a victims’ attorney, who called the project "another layer of motivation, individual financial stakes, in making sure that the stature of The Second Mile and Penn State remained intact.""

http://espn.go.com/college-football/stor…

"STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Former board members of Jerry Sandusky's charity say its CEO never told them about a 2002 shower incident that is the focus of child sexual abuse charges against the retired Penn State assistant coach. If they knew Sandusky had been banned from bringing kids on campus, they say they could have taken steps to better protect children a decade ago.

"Not one thing was said to us," said Bradley P. Lunsford, a Centre County judge who served on the board for The Second Mile between 2001 and 2005. "Not a damn thing."

If more information had been given to board members, they "would have asked the follow-up question: Why? You don't know? Who knows? Who can we talk to? Has this been reported to the police?" Lunsford said. "I guarantee you there would have been a competition among all those people to be the first to ask the question, 'Why is he not allowed on campus?' "

Some former Second Mile board members say had they known Penn State banned Jerry Sandusky from bringing kids on campus, they could have taken steps to better protect children a decade ago.
Lunsford and four other former board members at The Second Mile point the finger at Jack Raykovitz, a close friend of Sandusky's who ran the charity until resigning following the former coach's Nov. 5 arrest.

A former prosecutor, Lunsford said Raykovitz had an obligation to tell the board. "There are a number of people around that table who have been involved with children's charities for years and there's a very good chance that if given accurate information about what the allegation was, there's a lot of people around that table who could have done something about it.""

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/11/19/pen…

"Penn State University received almost $250,000 for a series of sleepover camps in 2008 and 2009 run by the charity group founded by Jerry Sandusky - years after ex-athletic director Tim Curley imposed an “unenforceable” ban on the accused child molester from bringing children onto the school’s sports facilities and main campus.
Financial records obtained by FoxNews.com show $124,587 was given to Penn State by The Second Mile in 2009. The year before, in 2008, the university received $119,592 from The Second Mile. The money is listed under “food and lodging” in charity records, and officials said the payments were made on a series of week-long sleepover camps.
Penn State apparently took money for the camps months after the mother of a high school freshman contacted authorities in the spring of 2008 saying her son had been abused by Sandusky. That allegation kick-started the grand jury investigation that earlier this month indicted Sandusky on 40 counts of child sex abuse charges."

Paterno did nothing to actually *stop* any of this from occurring. He was among many similar cowards and cronies, but none of them had the good will and idol status that Paterno did.

He was put to the ultimate responsibility because his words mean more than anybody else's who was involved, and his silence spoke for his ultimate selfishness, apparent greed and complicity.
More...
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 23, 2012 at 7:59 AM · Report this
Rujax! 68
Fuck Joe-Pa.
Posted by Rujax! http://rujax.blogspot.com/ on January 23, 2012 at 9:12 AM · Report this
69
Paterno did the absolute minimum required by law and university policy. We can debate why he acted as he did. Was it to protect his friend? To protect the program and/or the university? Was it because he didn't truly understand what McQueary saw? (I can believe that McQueary was not explicit with what he told Paterno.) Is it because he was from another era, when things like child rape and molestation weren't talked about, and thus didn't understand or believe it?

But the fact remains that he did the bare minimum. What do you think he would have said to a player who did the bare minimum?
Posted by clashfan on January 23, 2012 at 12:44 PM · Report this
70
We can't trust institutions like college football teams or churches to deal with crimes like this internally, since their first instinct will always be to preserve the reputation of the institution, even if it means protecting the offender. That's why we have law enforcement -- real police, NOT campus police -- and a judicial system. Not taking these allegations straight to the police was inexcusable, period.
Posted by Amanda on January 24, 2012 at 1:00 AM · Report this
lark 71
Goldy,
I agree Paterno probably died of a "broken heart". @69 you do put it succinctly.

There are two comments I have. First, it is interesting to speculate on what would have transpired had Curley, the AC, Shultz, the counsel and Spanier, PSU President had all gone to to the police immediately after Paterno's disclosure. Had Sandusky been arrested in 2002 perhaps none of this fallout would have happened.

Second, I'm of two minds concerning Paterno's legacy. I believe he paid a price by being fired in the wake of the revelation. That will be a permanent legacy. The other isn't as the NCAA football's all-time winningest head coach. It was his teams' relatively high graduation rates for a program that big. I'm no fan of PSU or college football for that matter given its known corruption. But, I'd rather remember him for the latter than the former.
Posted by lark on January 24, 2012 at 1:28 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 72
@71: "It was his teams' relatively high graduation rates for a program that big. I'm no fan of PSU or college football for that matter given its known corruption. But, I'd rather remember him for the latter than the former."

Couldn't that *also* be a matter of pulling the right strings? It's not like there's ever been an unspoken arrangement in the past.
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 25, 2012 at 3:49 PM · Report this
mtnlion 73
I admit I don't know all the details of the story, but I do know one thing: it is very easy and very convenient to talk about how bad other people are, and believe, having no experience in a similar situation, that you would do the better thing. The Right Thing. Because your morals are steadfast, and you are a human who understands that suffering to that degree is worth ending regardless of the consequences. Because you're a good person. And Joe Paterno is not. It's that simple, yeah?

So then, you do all know there are children getting molested, raped, and trafficked every day right? And that Seattle is reported as having a very high number of child prostitutes that are transported into the city every day? Why don't you do something to help them? I bet you won't. And it's not because you're a bad person; it's because the problem doesn't *really* affect you and its inconvenient and you don't have the time and you can't afford to donate and and and... anyone can justify not helping others. Joe Paterno did the same thing. He wasn't *sure* it was happening, and didn't want to accuse someone if he had bad info, didn't want to report a friend, maybe did the bare minimum and told himself it was enough, didn't want to embroil himself in a public scandal (that of course occurred anyway, years later). This is probably want he told himself.

I know it's not the same thing, to ignore/deny the suffering of children the way most of us do and to turn a blind eye to someone who is probably molesting children who's right in front of you... but it's really not that different, either. I have never liked the way people talk about how terrible other people are when comes to situations like this. How can you possibly be so sure you'd act differently? I'm telling you right now that there are children getting raped in the town you live in. And you're probably not going to do anything either.
More...
Posted by mtnlion on January 25, 2012 at 8:05 PM · Report this
mtnlion 74
My bad!: probably what* he told himself.
Posted by mtnlion on January 25, 2012 at 8:07 PM · Report this
75
Mtlion, Paterno was told by an underling named McQueary that he saw a former employee named Sandusky sexually abuse a boy in the Penn State football locker room showers. McQueary testified to a grand jury that he saw Sandusky anally raping the boy--it's unclear how explicit he was when telling Paterno.

This kind of information is very different from the knowledge that somewhere in Portland, children are being sexually abused by people I don't know.
Posted by clashfan on January 25, 2012 at 8:24 PM · Report this
mtnlion 76
@75, I concede that it's different, and I don't mean to say we're all like him or all the same. But why crucify someone and insist we're better that that, when most of us are not even willing to step up and give ten bucks to the local anti-trafficking organization?

I agree that Joe should've done more; he really fucked up, and his lack of action directly contributed to the suffering of more kids. Maybe my lack of action is indirectly hurting more kids. Everyone should do more in most harrowing circumstances (bystander effect? groupthink?). But I think it's a bit self-deceiving to ignore the possibility that given similar circumstances, we'd behave much better.
Posted by mtnlion on January 25, 2012 at 8:37 PM · Report this
mtnlion 77
The entire thing is an enormous tragedy; I never meant to excuse him. But what are we doing when we shout "shame shame shame" on others and don't look inward to what we can do ourselves?

You know when people talk about Nazis like they were the devil in the flesh, and how no one could convince them to perpetrate the horrors they all took part in? Because they're independent thinkers who don't go along with the crowd, and stick to what they know is right? Sadly not usually how it goes. People tend to do what others do, even if inside they feel it is wrong. I am a psychology major--is it showing? ; )
Posted by mtnlion on January 25, 2012 at 8:49 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 78
@73: "So then, you do all know there are children getting molested, raped, and trafficked every day right? And that Seattle is reported as having a very high number of child prostitutes that are transported into the city every day?"

He was in a position of immense social power to do something about it, you obscenely crass prick.
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 26, 2012 at 9:49 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 79
And seriously, I'm glad that JoePa fans would not just look the other way, but continue covering up when being given direct reports of systemic child rape, but that just proves that mtnlion is a scumbag, it doesn't reflect poorly on MY character.
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 26, 2012 at 9:50 AM · Report this

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