Idol With Feet of Poo – Paterno

Once upon time, we respected Joe Paterno.  He refused to let his players play unless they kept their grades up.  He understood all too well that only 4% of high school students will get any kind of a foot ball scholarship.  Of that 4%, only another 2% will ever go on to play in the NFL at all.  That includes the 4th string benchwarmers.  Of that 2%, maybe half – 1% will get paid enough to actually make a living playing football.  So 99% of the kids in college on an athletic scholarship needed an education.  We might not have liked him but he was viewed as taking a moral and ethical stand on the use and abuse of atheletes to foward the business goals of universities. 

I think it is for this reason that we find out that he, other members of the coaching staff, and management at Penn State knew about this and did nothing to be truly horrible.  Mr. Paterno, how could you?  You have been a father and a grandfather.  You know how vulnerable children are.  You benched players for grades and refused to bow to the pressure to let them play.  How then could you bow to the pressure to keep quiet about this? 

Jerry Sandusky ran a “charity” for “at risk youth”.  I use quotes on the charity because it’s pretty apparent at this point that Jerry Sandusky was using this foundation as his private hunting ground for 10 year old boys.  More than 40 victims over 15 years.  Thats 3 or 4 a year.  Many of them were apparently victimized – meaning that the abuse actually occured on Penn State property. 

This behavior was so blatant that Jerry Sandusky was conducting this not in some private area but in the lockeroom showers.  If you’ve ever been involved in athletics, the showers are not nearly as private as the one in your own bathroom.  People are coming and going constantly.  In many cases, you have to cut through the showers to get to certain other areas.  Think of something more like the showers at your gym.  For him to do this, there….  This is a man who doesn’t fear getting caught. 

You see Mike McQueary, who was at the time a graduate student assistant, was walking  through the showers.  He heard a slapping sound and assumed that there was some sexual activity.  Intending to break up what he assumed was a girl friend who had snuck into the boys showers, he came around the corner to a horrific thing.  , He walked in on Jerry Sandusky who had a 10 year old boy bent over, hands on the wall, and was (forgive me for the crude expression) pounding away.  It’s a bit hard to describe that on a PG rated blog.  Horrified by what he witnessed, the young man called his father who told him, “Joe Paterno is a good man.  You tell Coach Paterno tomorrow.  He’ll take care of it.”

What Paterno did was to ignore the children who were being harmed by his assistant coach.  How can any kind of a man know that this is happening and not do anything?  We’re not talking about some kid who might be seeking attention or financial gain.  We’re talking about one of your assistants walking in on another assistant doing something horrible and ghastly.  McQuery had nothing to gain by reporting this to Paterno.  IMHO, you have a moral and ethical if not a legal obligation to report it to the police. 

Paterno reported this his supervisors at Penn State.  They are facing criminal charges.  How is it that they can be charged but Paterno is not?  And why is McQueary not being charged?  He of all people had first hand knowledge of a man using his position and authority to abuse children.  If anyone knew the truth about Jerry Sandusky it was McQueary. Since Penn State knew about it, one wonders if they haven’t taken steps to shield themselves and/or manage the possible financial liablity. 

Even more disturbing to me are the Penn State students.  While they may be in college, it is obvious that ethics and morality are lacking from the curriculum.  You are rioting in the defense of man who shielded a child molester and allowed him to continue ass raping little boys in the showers of the football program you hold in such high esteem.  Working through the logic of this, that means that Penn State students must approve of having a winning football team no matter how many 10 year old boys have to be sacrified on that altar.

I’m sorry, Mr. Paterno but your decision to protect a child molester so that he can continue to rape children makes you partially responsible for his actions.  That’s at least ethically and morally true if not legally and financially.