When did Penn State become the Roman Catholic Church?
In light of the recent revelations regarding the evil acts committed by former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, an easy parallel can be made between the two institutions. And sadly, I have an association with both.
As a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University (Class of 1990) this scandal makes me question what I once believed about the university and head football coach Joe Paterno, much like I now question the Catholic Church. I went to eight years of Catholic grade school and another four years of Catholic high school. The scene in the Blues Brothers where the nun whacks them with a ruler? Been there, done that.
I read countless articles about the incomprehensible acts of pure evil committed by priests and how all of it was covered up by those in charge. There is even some evidence to suggest that the pedophile priest scandal went all the way to the Vatican. It is why I know consider the Catholic Church to be the most contemptible and hypocritical organization on the planet. Now we have come to find out that the administration at Penn State seemed to use the Catholic Church as a model.
I read the grand jury report detailing the horrific criminal acts committed by Sandusky and they shook me to my core. I was not only saddened for the victims, but also for my school. Nothing will ever be the same at Penn State. But they apparently have no one to blame but themselves.
Sandusky spent 23 years as the defensive coordinator for Paterno at Penn State until he “retired” in 1998, supposedly to focus on his charitable foundation, “The Second Mile”. The charity was set up in 1977 to help at-risk youths, but unfortunately it was just a front to give Sandusky access to young boys like priests with alter boys. The sick bastard.
Let me just say that I consider anyone who hurts a child to be the lowest form of life on the planet. I wish that there was some way to torture these sick individuals for the living hell they put their victims through. Unfortunately, the worst that can be done to Sandusky now is putting him in prison for the rest of his life. I would only hope that they would put him in the general prison population, so his life would be cut very short. Even among criminals, child molesters are looked down upon. The other inmates would treat that piece of garbage to a viscous end fitting of the evil he perpetrated on innocent boys.
I’m sure all of you have read, or at least heard about the gory details, so I will go into them here. My kids already were confused when their father wouldn’t let go of them last night. I can’t bring myself to type the horrific events.
There are eight victims identified right now and I am afraid that there will be dozens more now that this has come to light. The problem here is that it took so damn long for it to come to light. Apparently that is because there was a massive coverup to protect reputations and the almighty dollar.
I hold Joe Paterno in the highest regard. I believed he always stood for what is right in the cesspool that is college sports. Now that reputation has been destroyed by the actions of his one-time assistant.
It is unclear exactly what Paterno knew and it is even less clear what he thought since he has not directly addressed his actions when he found out from a graduate assistant, now identified as current assistant coach Mike McQueary, that Sandusky was having sexual intercourse with a minor as young as ten years old in the shower in the team’s locker room.
What we do know is that McQueary reported what he saw to Paterno. Paterno then reported what he was told to athletic director Dan Curly. And then Curly apparently did nothing other than ban Sandusky from bringing kids onto campus anymore.
Let’s start with McQueary. How could anyone possibly witness what he did and not kill the man. I am talking about literally beating a child molester caught in the act until he is dead, then continuing to beat and kick his dead body until you are exhausted. At least you should scream for help and get the boy out of there. He just left? How?
Paterno did what he was legally required to do, but was that enough? It pains me to say this, but I say no. Paterno saw that Sandusky remained on campus after that incident with an office like any other professor emeritus gets when he retires. Something should have gone off in JoePa’s brain to compel him to question his bosses and go to the police if necessary. My brain is having trouble processing the fact that the man who I held in such high regard, didn’t do what was morally right.
Let me stop there for a second and say that everyone is entitled to their own moral standards. I’m far from perfect, so I don’t want to get a holier-than-thou attitude. Heck, I’m not the least bit religious, so morals probably have a slightly different meaning to me. But when it comes to protecting innocent children, there is right and there is wrong. There is no gray area. The issue here, really, is what exactly Paterno knew.
His statement seems to suggest that he was not given the graphic details of the incident in the shower in 2002.
“As my grand jury testimony stated, I was informed in 2002 by an assistant coach that he had witnessed an incident in the shower of our locker room facility. It was obvious that the witness was distraught over what he saw, but he at no time related to me the very specific actions contained in the grand jury report. Regardless, it was clear that the witness saw something inappropriate involving Mr. Sandusky. As Coach Sandusky was retired from our coaching staff at that time, I referred the matter to university administrators,” part of Paterno’s statement read.
Regardless of what he was told, Paterno should have done more when he saw that nothing was done by the Penn State administrators. I don’t think it should cost him his job though. The local Philadelphia media are almost all Temple University graduates who have long hated Penn State and Paterno for kicking their school’s ass every single year on the football field. That petty jealousy has gotten the best of them and is nothing short of unprofessional. I mean, they don’t seem to have any problems with Temple grad, Bill Cosby being the university’s unofficial spokesman even though he has been accused of drugging and trying to rape multiple women. Do I need a degree in journalism to think that raping a woman is somehow more acceptable than molesting a child? Sorry, but all the hypocrites in the media really tick me off.
The administrators at Penn State should be held accountable for their actions. They not only brushed the incident under the rug, they actually lied to the grand jury investigating the claims of several victims and their families. It is exactly what the Catholic Church has been doing for decades and it is just plain wrong. It is also criminal.
Both Curly and Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Gary Shultz have been indicted for perjury. They were also guilty of not reporting a crime. Pennsylvania’s mandatory reporting statute for suspected child abuse states that when a staff member reports abuse, the person in charge of the school has the legal obligation to report the incident within 48 hours to the Department of Public Welfare of the Commonwealth of PA.
PA Attorney General Linda Kelly said that Paterno will testify against Sandusky, but will not be charged with any crime. But she would not comment on whether or not university president Graham Spanier would be charged. He probably will be charged since it seems obvious that he knew exactly what was going on.
It’s like Paterno is the pastor who found out that one of his priests had abused a boy. The school administrators are like the archbishops who quietly brushed everything under the rug to protect themselves. The rest of coaching staff are like the parishioners who buried their heads in the sand and refused to believe any of it. The whole thing was despicable.
I’m sure all of the administrators will lose their jobs, but Paterno’s status isn’t so obvious. He did report the incident as he was required to do, but then failed to follow up. Is that lapse in judgment enough to force him out? Probably, but I’m not sure. What I am sure about is that the reputation of Penn State and of Paterno have been irreparably tainted.
Paterno has more victories than any other coach in major college football history, but in this situation there are no winners.
If you’ll all excuse me now, I’m going to go hug my kids.