Home / General / Paterno Will Coach Penn State This Saturday

Paterno Will Coach Penn State This Saturday


But he’ll apparently retire after the season when he would have likely retired anyway. I really can’t believe that he will be on the sidelines in the press box this weekend, and it represents yet another moral failure by Penn State.

[Erik]–Scott just beat me to a post on this so let me chime in. What would Paterno have to do to be fired? Personally rape children? Or would that even be enough? Utterly disgusting.

[SL] As far as I can tell, most media outlets seem to be framing this as “Paterno will be leaving at the end of the year” rather than “Paterno is still coaching the team despite having knowingly allowed a child rapist to remain free.” I don’t understand this.

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  • Kurzleg

    I can’t believe that Paterno and the administrators made aware of Sandusky’s behavior aren’t considered mandated reporters in this case. Forcing out all of them would be nice, but shouldn’t they be looking at criminal charges for failing to alert legal authorities?

    • West of the Cascades

      I’m afraid that from the point of view of the mandatory reporting law, Paterno apparently did do the bare minimum to protect himself from legal liability. It’s a nightmare trying to use the PA Code online service, but it appears that the relevant mandatory reporting provision for State employees (which Paterno is) provides that:

      Staff members of institutions, etc.–Whenever a person is required to report under subsection (b) in the capacity as a member of the staff of a medical or other public or private institution, school, facility or agency, that person shall immediately notify the person in charge of the institution, school, facility or agency or the designated agent of the person in charge. Upon notification, the person in charge or the designated agent, if any, shall assume the responsibility and have the legal obligation to report or cause a report to be made in accordance with section 6313.

      So by notifying the “designated agent” of the “person in charge of the institution,” Paterno covered his ass from legal liability under the child abuse reporting statute.

      Although, from the point of view of ACTUAL authority, there’s a potential legal argument that Joe Paterno IS the “person in charge of the institution” and therefore did NOT discharge his legal obligation by reporting to Curley and Schultz.

      • Scott Lemieux

        Yes, as far as I can tell Paterno didn’t violate the law. Morally, however, his (in)actions were abominable.

        • Kurzleg

          At what point would an institution be obligated to report such information? My understanding is that no one at PSU reported this incident to authorities. It would seem that at some point the institution would need to report.

          • witless chum

            Kurzleg, the athletic director Paterno reported it to and a vice president who was in the loop are charged with failing to report the 2002 incident, as well as perjuring themselves to a grand jury during the investigation. As the prosecutors seem to be applying the law, administrators are mandated reporters but football coaches like Paterno and the graduate student assistant who actually witnessed Sandusky raping a boy aren’t mandated reporters.

            • West of the Cascades

              To get a little more technical, according to the reporting statute ALL of people who had “reasonable cause” to suspect child abuse are mandatory reporters. So both McQueary and Paterno DID have a mandatory duty to report the suspected abuse.

              However, the mandatory reporting statute allows someone to complete their legal duty to report suspected abuse by reporting the suspected abuse to the “person in charge of the institution” or to a “designated agent” of the person in charge.

              I’m assuming from the way the charges have been presented on the reporting issue (since I haven’t seen this made explicit anywhere) that the AD (Curley) and VP responsible for campus security (Schultz) were designated by Penn State as individuals to whom suspected abuse was to be reported.

              So from a technical standpoint, while all of these people had an obligation to report, McQueary and Paterno satisfied their legal obligations by reporting the suspected abuse to Curley and Schultz. Curley and Schultz then violated the law by not report to the state-wide, toll-free number to the PA Department of Public Welfare.

              As Scott has pointed out, discharging the legal requirement of reporting the abuse within the Penn State system doesn’t wipe away the moral abomination of not taking care of the child victim and not doing more to prevent Sandusky from continuing his predation after 2002.

            • Kurzleg

              Got it. Thanks.

      • Sherm

        But you’re assuming the falsity of his superiors’ testimony that Paterno neglected to tell them that anything of a sexual nature occurred in the shower. If it is true, as both the AD and VP testified, that Paterno did not provide them with any of the details which he knew from McQueary, then Paterno would not have reported the abuse to his superiors as required by the law.

        I do not believe that we have enough information to clear anyone from criminal wrongdoing at this time. That Paterno has not been targeted does not necessarily mean that he testified truthfully (there is a conflict between his testimony and McQuearys) or that he fulfilled his legal obligations. It just means that the prosecutor chose not to target him and to use him as a witness against his superiors.

        • Hogan

          They heard directly from McQueary, who testified that he told them what he told Paterno.

          • Sherm

            Yes, and that’s why they have been indicted. But my point was that since we do not know that Paterno told them everything that he was told by McQueary, we cannot assume that Paterno fulfilled his reporting requirement.

    • Dammit, let that old geezer finish out the year before you kick his geriatric ass to the curb. He’s gonna die right after he retires. Workaholics always do.

      The Political Blog of Pure Win

  • Is this not the week he passes Stagg for most games coached?

    Penn State ought to be doubly ashamed: first for not firing him and now for letting him grab some irrelevant glory(hole)

  • West of the Cascades

    Paterno showed in 2002 that he is a coward and only cares about Paterno, and has done the same today.

    Apparently the Penn State board of trustees is meeting today, and I given what’s being written about the shifts within the board, I have a hard time believing Spanier will be President of the university tomorrow. If the trustees had any moral courage, or (more likely) if they simply have an interest in the survival and viability of their football program, they will fire Paterno today along with the rest of the people involved in this affair. There are still three days for Penn State’s board to do the right thing and make sure Paterno has already coached his last game.

    I’m astounded by the articles I read that say that the Sandusky Coverup will “could Paterno’s great legacy.” Uh uh. It IS Paterno’s legacy. Everything Paterno has done since 2002 has been a fraud on the people who believe(d) in him.

    • I agree. It’s hard to imagine a 46 year coaching career summed up in the inactions of a senile old coot forgetting that he lives in a society where we protect children and punish the wicked, but that’s the mantle he decided to don.

      • mark f

        Let’s not automatically conflate age with senility or dementia. My grandfather died earlier this year at the age of 87. He was weakened physically and needed a lot more rest than he did even two years ago, and it would’ve been impossible for him to maintain employment. But he still had his mental faculties and would’ve known what to do if he looked out his window and witnessed a murder. There’s no evidence that Paterno’s diminished role as head coach had anything to do with dementia or senility; if there was, that would be a legitimate argument that Paterno bears little responsibility for what happened. Similarly, attributing his actions to those things lets him and the culture that promotes and perpetuates those actions off the hook.

        • Mark,

          The Penn State faithful have been calling on him to retire for years because they feel his advancing age has hampered Penn State football. Indeed, his contract extension in 2008 was viewed as a “fuck you” to the fans who criticized him.

          • mark f

            Some Penn State faithful have called on him to retire. Others thought he was more valuable still working. Indeed, the school gave him a contract extension and continued to allow him to give (perfectly cogent) press conferences. I’ll accept that in recent years much of the actual coaching has been delegated to assistants. So what? Being old and fatigued is not the same as being senile.

            • Ed

              Similarly, attributing his actions to those things lets him and the culture that promotes and perpetuates those actions off the hook.

              Indeed. I have a relative Paterno’s age. He’s not as sharp in some departments as he was, but he’s perfectly clear on the conduct of Paterno. Suffice it to say he’s not making excuses for him on the basis of age.

      • witless chum

        He doesn’t seem senile to me in interviews on TV. For whatever that long distance and inexpert opinion is worth.

        • Furious Jorge

          Thanks, Dr. Frist. ;)

  • BradP

    I will be wondering what sort of reception he gets. This isn’t gonna be like Tressel, nobody is sticking on that bandwagon, and it strikes me as remarkable that Paterno or the university would think this is a good idea.

    • mark f

      It’s not clear that the university is on board with Paterno’s announcement. Given the situation there is very little grace that Paterno could bow out with, but he seems determined to not make use of any of it.

      • mark f

        My mistake. I found an article with the statement, which was apparently issued in conjuction with the school.

        My comment about grace still stands, however.

        • elm

          Well, the school administration supported the statement, the Trustees, on the other hand, have said nothing. I don’t think they dismiss paterno, but we shouldn’t be so quick to assume he will coach this weekend.

        • West of the Cascades

          Paterno is a loathsome creature. His statement is a PR disaster, too — this part is vile:

          “At this moment the Board of Trustees should not spend a single minute discussing my status. They have far more important matters to address. I want to make this as easy for them as I possibly can. This is a tragedy. It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more.”

          Sick, craven, megalomaniac.

          • Halloween Jack

            “With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done moreguess I should have reported one of my supervisees buggering that kid in the shower.”

            The more I find out about this, the more I want to puke.

  • JMP

    My local news opened with a story on a rally in support of Paterno, which was just enraging. Apparently to some people helping to win meaningless football games outweighs covering up child rape; it’s like the people who continue to support Roman Polanski.

    • Halloween Jack

      Even though I’m very short on cash at the moment, I’d still contribute to a fund to print WHAT IF IT WAS YOUR SON?signs for counter-demonstrators.

    • Incontinentia Buttocks

      I saw this on SportsCenter last night and it utterly disgusted and baffled me. Thousands of people (SportsCenter said they were students) held a march in support of Paterno. Privilege has its privileges, I suppose.

      Paterno and his staff have been treated like gods in Happy Valley for decades. Nevertheless, you’d think that even such a powerful reality distortion field has its limits, as yesterday’s Michael Weinreb piece on Grantland suggested.

    • witless chum

      The angry almost mob was also reported as calling for the president’s head. I think its more of a chose to believe that it isn’t Joe Pa’s fault and implausibly place the guilt on the others, because they love Joe Pa.

      If I observe correctly, a lot of Penn State students and alums see themselves as being more honest and upright when it comes to big-time football than other schools and Paterno is wrapped up in that. It’s easier to deny reality than to change the self-image, at least for a mob worth of people in Happy Valley.

    • BobS

      Anyone remotely associated with that university should be ashamed if either Paterno or McQueady is in the stadium Saturday. and hopefully fans in Columbus and Madison will be plenty vocal the following two weeks if either of the child rape facilitators are there.
      And I’m sure that many of those kids rallying to support Paterno will be wondering ‘what the fuck was I thinking?’ in the coming days, months, or years.

  • c u n d gulag

    Never mind all of the moral implications – which no one at Penn St seems to give a shit about.

    This makes NO sense from a FOOTBALL perspective.

    Ok, your game is at home this week. You can control some of the media there in (No longer) Happy Valley.

    But why subject the players, most of whom were the same age as the little boy who was raped in the shower, to further ostracism on the road by have Joe Paterno as their Coach?

    This is a classic example of how NOT to handle a crisis.

    I’ve been a lifelong fan of Penn St and Joe Paterno.
    No more.
    That place can sink into the Earth for all all I care – but let the students and faculty get out first – of course!

    • West of the Cascades

      From one of reports I read this morning, it sounds like a significant group of the board of trustees was very upset that Paterno released his statement over the weekend without running it by the board. If he’s done the same here (leaked his intention to resign at season’s end without advising the board first), he may find that his decision is no longer his own.

      I think c u is right that, from a pure football perspective, Penn State would do well to fire Paterno today. Maybe if they won’t do the right thing morally, but perhaps they’ll be moved by the short- and long-term interest of the biggest cash cow on campus.

      • c u n d gulag

        It seems like the last thing Penn St looks out for is kids – whether they’re 10 or 23.

        Fire him so the poor players can at least not have to deal with questions about him, which I know they’ll be told by the lawyers not to answer anyway.

        As each day passes, I grow more and more disgusted.

  • Chris

    I’m a bit disappointed that the generally great Joe Posnanski seems to feel that some amount of time needs to elapse before it will be clear what ought to be said about Paterno. I think I understand the impulse (and I do think it’s classic Posnanski, who is usually moderate and evenhanded in the best possible sense of those terms). But this is not a complicated issue, and I would hate to see Posnanski be persuaded otherwise by his own closeness to the situation. He could probably be the single greatest journalistic voice in this matter, but he doesn’t seem to want to be. There is such a thing as loving sports too much.

    • Scott Lemieux

      Yeah. He has a chance to redeem himself with the book but his initial reaction was very disappointing. It’s not much better than Matt Millen’s “due process” gibberish.

    • BradP

      Fuck Joe Posnanski. This sounds like the same bullshit as the rest of them.

      Someone who loves sports too much should absolutely shit themselves when someone uses his position as a sports authority to abuse young kids trying to become better athletes.

      Posnanski just has a lot invested in the biography and he is trying to salvage it, just like all of these Penn State administrative peices of shit.

      Paterno knowingly allowed a child molester to use the university and football team to gain access to and rape children. Neither time nor Posnaski’s book is going lessen that outrage.

      • BradP

        I came to the conclusion then — a conclusion that has congealed through the years — that people are complicated and contradictory and mysterious and often bewildering. Good people do bad things, bad people do good things, happy people get lost, lost people become heroes. This is the wonderful and depressing and daunting challenge of writing about people. Things don’t always make sense. Mistakes are made.

        Writing about Joe Paterno is a challenge for many reasons, but probably the greatest challenge is that his personality attracts extremes. He is called saint. And he is called hypocrite. He is a hero. And he is a villain. He is real. And he is a phony.

        And I repeat: Fuck Joe Posnanski.

        Is he really taking time to try and figure out if a good man just made a mistake?


        • Halloween Jack

          Mistakes are made.


        • Tom Ames

          You know: “Mistakes are made; children are occasionally raped. It’s all so complicated.”

    • mark f

      That Posnanski was hanging around State College working on a hagiography while the grand jury was taking testimony, and evidently got no whiff of this, shows that he’s either not the reporter I thought he was or needs to examine his faith in lots of things.

    • McKingford

      I write this as someone who is almost physically ill at the thought that JoePa gets to coach to the end of the year and then retire (I mean seriously – the guy’s 84, it’s not like he shouldn’t be retiring anyway). But is the world any better served if Poz piles on at this point? Given the (deservedly) one-sided trashing of JoePa, maybe the only novel intelligent thing to say is what Poz is saying – that he needs time to process to say something new and intelligent.

      As Scott says, we may get a better picture when the book comes out. But it’s an interesting parallel: what was almost assuredly a hagiography has to quickly morph into something else entirely. Poz is probably struggling with the very same conflicting incentives JoePa was in 2002. Let’s just hope he doesn’t, as JoePa, err on the side of self-interest.

  • ajesquire

    The caveat here is that this report is apparently coming out of the JoePa camp.

    I’ll be extremely surprised if Joe is in the booth on Saturday. I think they’ll release a statement that “Joe has decided” that “for the good of the team” and to “avoid taking attention away from the team on the field” and yadayadayada that Joe will not be present, but is still officially head coach.

    Given the Pep Rally that students held in JoePa’s favor (?!?) last night, and rumors that players and former players are planning some show of support for him on Saturday, I can’t see how the University allows that to go out on national TV.

    If they do, I’m pretty sure that the Trustees will have JoePa out by Sunday afternoon or Monday at the latest.

    Maybe as a Catholic kid from Philly I’ve become numb or cynical to this stuff. But I’m personally shocked at the pace that this story has taken since last weekend. After less than a week, this is to the point of threatening not just the football program or the Athletic Department, but the University itself.

    My money is still on a no-show-Joe for Saturday.

  • fanshawe

    I don’t have great faith in the Trustees, but this came from Paterno not them. They could still tell him thanks but no thanks, you’re gone Friday.

    And really, Paterno is the lightning rod, but I wouldn’t feel too much better about Coach-X-who-also-probably-had-a-pretty-good-idea-of-what-going being the interim coach. They’re not going to replace the staff before the end of the season, so short of Penn State cancelling the rest of the games (not happening) or some sort of anarchy/players run the game situation (not happening) the stink will remain until the season is over and they can clean house.

    And good, because this is an institutional problem. Paterno is a heinous actor in all this, but I still think Spanier, Curley and Schultz (and Sandusky, obviously) are worse, if only by a matter of degree. I’d hate for them to fade from the spotlight by Paterno talking a (well earned) fall on the sword.

    • ajesquire

      My understanding from folks at Happy Valley (my father-in-law is a prof there) is that there’s a significant call for McQueary’s (the GR who saw the ’02 rape) head on a stake.

      The only way for the Trustees to avoid the drip-drip-drip “yeah, but what about x’s responsibility” is to clean house top to bottom in the coaching staff.

      Logistically, I don’t know how they do that, and keep their recruiting intact, by next season.

      • fanshawe

        That’s what I mean, they’re not going to nuke the staff right now, so, in my view anyway, what they do with disgraced head coach Joe Paterno is pretty irrelevant.

        Right now the entire program is tainted. Outside of a small minority of 19-year-olds in State College I haven’t heard anyone expressing a lot of support for the program. I just don’t think that whether Paterno leaves in disgrace now, or leaves in disgrace after technically coaching the last three games is going to change many hearts and minds long term. After the season, clean everything out. Five years of shitty football is a small price to pay. And like I said, there’s a lot of housecleaning to be done outside the football program anyway.

        I say all this as a very sad alum. I wasn’t the a face-painting super fan, but I truly enjoyed my time there and, until Saturday, had almost nothing but good feelings about the school. It’s just hard to believe, hard to process, and truly heartbreaking that so many people suffered because of a place that made me so happy.

      • mpowell

        Recruiting is irrelevant. If you’re cleaning house you’re accepting that the program is not going to perform at the typical level for the next 2-3 years. For Penn State that means instead of 9-10 win seasons and potentially winning the Big 10 you get 7-8 win seasons and no real threat to win anything. But it’s not the end of the world. It really is better to start cleaning house now. You need a new University president, a new AD and an entire coaching staff. And normally when you’re filling those positions you can think about looking internally. Not so here. So getting new people in place is going to take some time and they might as well get started. You can kiss the next 2 seasons good-bye either way (though you don’t talk about it that way publicly).

        • ajesquire

          Agreed. I don’t know the timeframes, but would kids have already committed for the 2012 season?

          • Only verbal commitments. Signing day is in February I think.

            • witless chum

              Yup. Recruits can walk at any time before they sign a national letter of intent. National signing day in February is the first day they can do that.

              And I’d wager anything that other coaches are currently calling PSU commits and saying “Why not come to Molests Less Children U?”

              • Hogan

                ITYM “Molests Fewer Children As Far As YOU Know U.”

                • ajesquire

                  I guess there are some kids who either aren’t going to have other options, or who make a strategic decision that things will get cleaned up before they reach Junior/Senior year.

                  But I can’t imagine that PSU’s top prospects aren’t getting poached right now by teams who’s recruiting pitch is to send Girls Gone Wild to meet them, while all PSU has is the feeble promise that a Trustee-appointed Commission will try to put an end to the Coach-Ass-Pounding.

  • Rob

    Isn’t this about the only reason the NCAA exists? If this isn’t lack of institutional control I don’t know what is. I know that a player somewhere might have sold his jersey is likely more pressing to the men in charge but if you want to show you have a reason for existing this is it. Vacate the Penn State record for the past decade and stop Paterno from even have any reason to be the “head coach” and impose the “death penalty” on the school.

    • mark f

      The NCAA has heard rumors that some of the victims were given gifts and even promised walk-on roles with the team. In accordance with its bylaws the NCAA is working hard to ensure that those kids are permanently stripped of their scholarship eligibility.

      (Shamelessly stolen from a Deadspin thread.)

      • ajesquire

        I’m curious if irony between “coach protects a child molester and gets his head on the Coaching Mount Rushmore” on the one hand and “poor black kid accepts a free Slushee from an agent and gets banned for life” will gain any traction in exposing the bullshit of “amateur athletics” to the public-at-large?

        • fanshawe

          BUT THEY GET A FREE EDGAKATION!!!!!!!!!!

          • Except when they don’t!

            How’s this for a rule: if you give someone an athletic scholarship, he gets 10 free semesters (red-shirting, doncha know) guaranteed the moment he sets foot on a practice field in September, even if he slips and blows out his knee.

  • Linnaeus

    Folks might be interested in this Dave Zirin article at Edge of Sports. Here’s an excerpt:

    This is what happens when a football program becomes the economic and spiritual heartbeat of an entire section of a state. The Nittany Lions football regularly draws 100,000 fans to Happy Valley. They also produce $50 million in pure profit for the University every year and has been listed as the most valuable team in the Big 10 conference. Another economic report held that every Penn State game pumps $59 million into the local economy: from hotels to kids selling homemade cookies by the side of the road. It’s no wonder that Paterno is revered. He took a football team and turned it into an economic life raft for a university and a region. When something becomes that valuable, a certain mindset kicks in. Protect the team above all over concerns. Protect Joe Pa. Protect Nittany Lions football. Protect the brand. In a company town, your first responsibility is to protect the company.

    • Incontinentia Buttocks

      As I suggested on another Penn State thread, though this certainly is an endemic problem in bigtime college sports, it’s more generally a problem for large, bureaucratic institutions with a “brand” to protect (e.g. governments at all levels, universities and colleges, the National Restaurant Association, the Catholic). When potential trouble strikes, such institutions tend to see their first responsible as brand-protection and damage control, human consequences and simple justice be damned. When serious crimes are perpetrated by an individual high up in the hierarchy like Sandusky, sweeping those crimes under the rug and quietly assuring that the individual continue to do his crimes somewhere else is a very frequent kind of institutional response.

      I’m as critical of bigtime college sports as any rational, bigtime-college-sports addict can be, but to hold the structure of bigtime college sports entirely responsible for the Penn State travesty is to miss the larger picture of how bureaucracies and power work in our society.

      • Linnaeus

        Agreed, but I don’t think Zirin would say that big-time collegiate athletic institutions are exceptional bureaucracies. Rather, the point seems to me – though it’s not explicit – is that they very much aren’t, although we are often led to think that they are.

        • Hogan

          “Every time we say it’s a game, you tell us it’s a business, and every time we say it’s a business, you tell us it’s a game.”

    • mpowell

      Yeah, but isn’t all that money made of PSU grads and Pennsylvania residents? Even the TV revenue is just basically money for the opportunity to advertise to fans of the team. So it’s not like they’re bringing in money from outside the region like a real company might. I don’t expect people to be able to understand that particularly well, but it’s simply not true that PSU provides any economic benefit to Pennsylvania. Any benefit is simply in the enjoyment the fans get from the team.

      • ajesquire

        I agree with that point when it comes to the bogus argument that public spending for stadiums will increase revenues.

        But it may be a little different when you’re talking about a University that can recruit (both athletes and non-athlete students) from out-of-state.

        Also, as far as the eco-system of State College/Happy Valley go, there would have to be an economic impact to the Nittany Lions taking a black eye on this.

        I’m no expert on either of those issues, but I don’t think it’s as cut-and-dry that the money that gets spent on football would still be spent in the area as it is on other issues.

      • Big Al

        The TV money is real – it isn’t just predicated on local advertising. Also, the average Penn State home game brings at least 10K fans in from out of state, likely for a long weekend. That is also real. Merchandising revenue, also real, also significantly from outside the state (PSU has a large contingent of alumni and fans that live outside PA).

        The impact is huge. It by no means excuses any of the behavior that has occurred, but there is certainly a tangible thing that they thought they were protecting, however horribly misguided were their efforts.

    • commie atheist

      They also produce $50 million in pure profit for the University every year and has been listed as the most valuable team in the Big 10 conference.

      Reading that, all I could think was: and not a dime goes to the players.

  • Simple facts:

    (1) You can’t fire Paterno today and replace him by Saturday’s loss to Nebraska with anyone who isn’t at least as culpable.

    (1b) If Sandusky really was on campus recently–or any time this year(well post-ban)–then the entire coaching staff collaborated in his presence, and the violation accompanying.

    (2) You can’t fire Paterno–who did everything right as per the process and rule of law–before firing Spanier, who didn’t.

    (3) Only the Trustees can fire Spanier. (And they should.)

    (4) At that point, (1)–and especially (1b)–still applies.

    (5) So the Trustees can (a) fire Paterno and have an assistant coach the team, (b) cancel the rest of the football season, including the Nebraska game, (c) accept that Paterno will stay in place until the end of the year, declare that a Top 20 team will not participate in the inevitable Bowl Bid this year, and announce that the search for a new coach from outside of the current staff will begin immediately, or (d) accept Paterno’s word as law.

    I’m hoping for (5c), but betting on (5d). Firing Paterno and replacing him with another collaborator would be worse.

    • mpowell

      Yeah but firing Paterno and making it clear that the internal replacement is only there so the players can finish their season (and I think that’s worth something) would be a reasonable step.

    • Chris

      (1) looks wrong to me — responsibility here increases as you move up the chain of command. Removing Paterno sends the right message pretty much no matter which underling (save McQueary himself) you temporarily replace him with.

      (5a) and (5b) are in the ballpark of correct responses. You’re right though, I doubt anyone around there has the courage to make it anything except (5d).

      • BradP

        He does have a point as far as it applies to the most likely successor, Tom Bradley. He coached on Sandusky’s defense and succeeded him upon his retirement. Penn State has a pretty insular and close-knit coaching staff (making this even worse), and it would be hard to find someone on the staff that doesn’t appear as knowledgeable of Sandusky’s behavior as Paterno.

        • Chris

          In that case, I guess I’d have to say that the truly correct and courageous response would be to simply cancel the remainder of the football season. Like hell would that ever happen, though.

          • witless chum

            I’d settle for them being coached by anyone whose name isn’t in the grand jury report as having known about this and done nothing, at least for this Saturday.

            I haven’t read it all, but there’s no mention of anyone but Joe Pa and McQueary, right?

            • Chris

              That’s right.

            • djw

              This seems right to me. There’s an actual, concrete investigation going on, and according to that investigation, Paterno and McQueary are tainted in a way the rest of the staff isn’t, at least not yet. That’s good enough to fire Paterno now and play the game Saturday.

              • BradP

                I agree with you on this, but the investigators have gone out of their way to state that they are not investigating Paterno, and I believe they even stopped short of questioning his conduct.

                • Barry

                  Is the investigation that compromised?

    • Anonymous

      Their offensive coordinator, Galen Hall, joined the team in 2004. That would seem to imply he is far less culpable.

      You don’t have to fire Joe Paterno straight away to make sure he isn’t on the sideline.

      • Furious Jorge

        He has head coaching experience too, with the Florida Gators back in the 1980s (before they were any good, though).

      • Big Al

        Galen Hall was tainted in his own recruiting scandals at UF – one of the reasons why he never made the ascent back to head coaching. Savor the irony.

    • ajesquire

      I don’t know anything about the Trustees. The announcement about “forming a committee” certainly doesn’t instill confidence.

      5(b) and 5(c) would hurt innocent players who would’ve had no idea about Sandusky.

      But given the magnitude of the shit-storm here, I won’t rule out 5(a) until the Trustees make that announcement.

      IMO, today’s leak was a trial balloon. My guess is that the balloon is going to draw such fire that Joe will not be anywhere near the Stadium on Saturday.

    • I’m not sure (d) is the outcome.

      Remember, the Trustees are the ones who have to go out into the real world and make rain for the University. This can’t be sitting well with donors. The Trustees will probably want to make SOMEone take a fall here.

      • Hogan

        There may even be some PA state legislators who will suspend their deer hunting to make some noise about this.

    • McKingford

      I wouldn’t assume this was a widely known secret within the PSU coaching staff. This is the kind of thing that JoePa, after having passed up the chain of command, would have precisely zero interest in ever repeating again to anyone. I think it’s entirely conceivable that nobody (other than McQueary) *under* as opposed to above JoePa would know about this.

  • JC

    Paterno should be immediately fired & stripped of his pension & other retirement benefits, not allowed to retire. So should everyone involved with this coverup. I’m not much of a sports fan, and this makes me even less so.

    Does anyone really think Sandusky’s behavior began in 1998 & not in 1966? I’d wager that the number of victims numbers at least in the hundreds.

    • Richard

      I’m sure Paterno’s contract and the university work rules don’t allow him to be stripped of his pension and other retirement benefits when he (it appears) complied with university rules. I think Paterno behaved horribly but it appears that he didn’t violate any criminal laws or even university rules. It would be wrong and almost assuredly illegal for the university to scapegoat him and deny him pension and benefits (or, at the very least, forego the university procedures, which would give him rights to a hearing, etc, before taking such action.

      • JC

        One would hope there’s a morals clause in there, much like many professional athletes.

        • Richard

          A morals clause is highly unlikely to give the university the right to cancel pension and retirement benefits. And since it seems that Paterno violated no state laws or university rules, I don’t see how you could invoke a morals clause for any purpose. Morals clauses wouldn’t cover this type of behavior (failing to report to law authorities when the law didn’t require such reporting by Paterno)

  • Paterno is resigning.

    • Whoops, false alarm. I though this was a new story.

      He’s still just retiring at the end of the season.

      • JC

        Maybe semantics, but are you sure?

  • Barry

    “As far as I can tell, most media outlets seem to be framing this as “Paterno will be leaving at the end of the year” rather than “Paterno is still coaching the team despite having knowingly allowed a child rapist to remain free.” I don’t understand this.”

    Because they Support the Team. Remember, the normal thing is for the MSM to cover for systematic corruption, and treat discoveries as the rare exception which proves overall honesty.

    And in sports the reporters are probably well used to this – just think of the (heterosexual, victim age 18+) rapes that they must find out about every year.

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