Home / General / The many lies of Joe Paterno

The many lies of Joe Paterno


In the winter of 2002, Joe Paterno’s 36-year tenure as Penn State’s head football coach (he had been a member of the coaching staff since 1950) was in potentially serious trouble. A series of embarrassing incidents were beginning to draw Paterno’s reputation as a man who ran an unusually disciplined and “character-building” program into question. In 1997, Paterno suspended his two biggest offensive stars, Curtis Enis and Joe Jurevicius, for relatively minor infractions. In 1998 he defended LaVar Arrington, his all-American linebacker, after he brutally assaulted a defenseless Pittsburgh punter in the middle of a game. Then in 2000 he allowed his quarterback Rashard Casey to start every game despite being charged with assaulting (this time off the field) a cop. (Update: A grand jury subsequently declined to bring charges against Casey, although his companion that evening ended up pleading guilty to the same charge brought against Casey. Casey later sued the police department and received an undisclosed cash settlement).

These incidents were beginning to put a bit of a dent into Paterno’s previously squeaky clean image. Still in regard to job security, Paterno faced a much bigger problem. Big time college football is, despite the ridiculous battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton nonsense trafficked in by sportswriters who lionize men like Paterno, all about winning. And PSU wasn’t doing much of that at the moment — the team was coming off the worst two-season record the program had endured in 70 years.

Paterno was 75 years old. In the winter of 2002, he was for the first time dealing with genuine discontent in the PSU fan base about the state of the program. There were rumblings that, if he didn’t get things turned around soon, the administration would put serious pressure on him to quit. Then, on March 2nd, he got a phone call from a member of his staff, informing him that he had seen his former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky sodomizing a ten-year-old child in the football locker room (the staff member’s version of the conversation) or “fondling or doing something of a sexual nature” to the ten-year-old boy in the otherwise empty, locked building, at 8:30 on a Friday night (Paterno’s version, which he gave as sworn testimony before a grand jury).

It’s hardly speculative to conclude that, in March of 2002, Joe Paterno was well aware that, if what he had just heard about Sandusky became public, it would likely cost him his job — especially since a full-blown criminal investigation of the matter would probably reveal that Paterno knew about an earlier investigation of Sandusky in 1998, which was inexplicably dropped, shortly before Sandusky’s all-too-convenient “retirement” from the PSU staff. And Joe Paterno has always been better at holding onto his job than anything else.

It’s now clear Paterno did what he had to do to ensure that Mike McQueary’s revelation to his coach and quasi-father confessor, whose team he had co-captained a few years earlier, disappeared down the memory hole. And here we are today.

Today, Paterno released the following statement:

I am absolutely devastated by the developments in this case. I grieve for the children and their families, and I pray for their comfort and relief.

I have come to work every day for the last 61 years with one clear goal in mind: To serve the best interests of this university and the young men who have been entrusted to my care. I have the same goal today.

That’s why I have decided to announce my retirement effective at the end of this season. 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.

My goals now are to keep my commitments to my players and staff and finish the season with dignity and determination. And then I will spend the rest of my life doing everything I can to help this University.

Here’s a photo of the “devastated” Paterno, from last night:


Paterno has known for at least nine years (realistically, at least 13 years, and probably longer) that the PSU administration — which for all practical purposes meant Joe Paterno — was covering up the crimes of a serial child rapist. The only “developments” in this case are that now everybody else knows it as well.

Everyone associated with that coverup, from university president Graham Spanier on down, should be fired immediately by PSU’s Board of Trustees. That, under the circumstances, would be an act of “dignity and determination.” Anything less would be an extension of a disgusting travesty — one which was created and maintained by, above all, Joe Paterno’s decision to cover up a long series of atrocious crimes, and to allow those crimes to continue, so as to save his job and reputation.

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  • 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.

    • Maureen Heim

      JC – I agree completely. By allowing these people to “retire” and go on “administrative leave”, most people probably don’t understand that will legally allow them to collect any and all retirement benefits for the rest of their lives. Who knows what Paterno has in his contract (full salary and health for life, percentage of sales from Penn State stadium sales… it could be in the mult-millions). It’s disgusting!

      • Disposable Underling

        A friend works in private wealth and his office discovered one of the big cheese rainmaker was stealing from clients by upping the percentage fee and pocketing the difference. (Company charges 8%, he writes 10%, pockets 2%) To me this was clearly a crime. His office allowed the thief to resign quickly and with no accusation and documentation, the guy is no doubt out there still working in finance. I don’t know if the victim was ever told or restitution made. If you handle people’s money you probably don’t want them to know you had a crook working at the store. The company was complicit, my friend too. I said that the case should go to the police, my friend, a Disposable Underling just like me said he’s not privy to the details but legal is working it out, and that was that. Nobody wants to rock the boat, we’re all cowards in the dark. The system grinds us all down. If my friend had gone to the police, it’s a sure thing he would have been politely asked to leave if not fired and sued for breaking confidence. I hope I’m never in that position, I hope I can do the right thing, but I think it’s very hard to do right when the cost is personal and high and the outcome not so clear.

        Not making excuse. Theft isn’t the same as child rape, I know. We’re still friends.

    • Part of my thinking with respect to McQueary’s reaction is that sexual abuse in kiddie football is not be limited to Penn State’s coaching staff, that he froze because he himself might have been a victim at some point.

      • BobS

        That thought crossed my mind. I thought with a name like McQueary that maybe he was an ex-altar boy, but given Sandusky’s length of stay in the football program at Penn State and having now learned that McQueary grew up in town, maybe him and Sandusky had a previous ‘relationship’ and McQueary had to overcome some form of Stockholm Syndrome before he could betray Sandusky to Paterno.
        It’s the only thing that would explain (in my mind, at least) McQueary not beating Sandusky senseless when he caught him raping a child.

        • This has, sadly, some plausibility.

        • Njorl

          McCreary was a friend of Sandusky’s son from childhood, and knew Sandusky almost all his life.

          • Njorl

            McQueary, not McCreary.

          • …and ended up getting a football scholarship to the school where Sandusky worked.

            I wonder how he got that. Was he widely recruited?

            • imjon

              McQueary was from State College and he was good enough to be the starting QB on a nationally ranked team you dope.

        • John

          Do people really think there needs to be some extraordinary explanation for why somebody wouldn’t immediately turn to physical violence in a situation like that?

          • BobS

            Yes, I absolutely do. As the father of two (now grown) children, it would take a lot less than that for me to forcibly intervene should I see any child being abused or battered by an adult. That someone didn’t intervene to stop the rape of a child is puzzling to me, and so is someone attempting to explain it as normal behavior. The only thing that would make me change my opinion that McQueary is a monster would be to learn he was a victim.

            • John

              Well, you, sir, are a great hero, and all of the rest of us must bow before your hypothetical great physical and moral courage.

              McQueary should absolutely be criticized for never going to the police and letting the thing be buried – it was a horrible, cowardly thing to do. But I’m not going to condemn anybody for failing to behave ideally in the moment while in what must have been close to a state of shock. Especially when I’ve never experienced anything roughly comparable, and have no real idea how I’d act. I’d like to think I’d have tried to use my not particularly considerable physical abilities to try to stop the rape, but I really have no idea if I’d actually do that, especially if the person I caught doing that was someone I knew and respected who had fairly recently been in a position of authority over me.

              • I see what you do there.

              • BobS

                As I described in a previous thread, I did intervene 25 years ago when I witnessed a (drunk) guy assaulting his wife. Nothing’s happened in the ensuing years to make me think I’d do anything different today – preventing a large person from harming a smaller person was the right thing to do then just as it would have been in 2002.
                I don’t really buy the cult-like mind control that you and others in succeeding comments (and by the way, Sandusky had been long relieved of his coaching duties and therefore his place in the Penn State football program hierarchy by 2002) seem to be suggesting prevented him from acting a little more…human?
                However, since you seem to be impressed by even hypothetical physical and moral courage, you may bow even deeper and longer to me for my real life heroics (although frankly, it wasn’t all that).

                • Henk

                  I once disarmed a coworker who was threatening another coworker with a handgun another time I disarmed a man threatening ME with a knife. One with words the other physically, in each of these cases I reacted without thinking still I have no idea how I would react if I was in this McQueary fellow’s shoes, I’d like to think that I’d intervene but you don’t know until it happens. And who knows how the kid would react, I have no idea, but maybe attacking Sandusky would have been traumatizing as well. The point is we are in no place to judge.

            • Adam

              Supposedly a janitor also witnessed some sort of inappropriate conduct as well and didn’t immediately intervene. He was a Korean War vet, so no stranger to violence. Yet he froze. And supposedly (again), his failure to act drove him in depression, substance abuse and eventually death. So I’m not going to judge too harshly on someone freezing in shock, stumbling onto something like this.

            • Dave J.

              Football teams are insanely hierarchical, and the big programs like Penn State are even more so. Don’t forget that McQueary was just a graduate assistant at the time, not an assistant coach as he is now. The defensive coordinator is in the top 3 on the team in terms of power–and in 2002, Paterno was already on the downside of his career, and Sandusky was an absolute legend to the Penn State faithful. I can completely understand McQueary being freaked out and unsure of what to do. It would be like a newly enlisted private ratting out the baddest drill instructor–fine in theory, but more difficult in practice.

              • While this isn’t a perfect parallel (after all, a graduate assistant can’t be court-martialed for accusing a higher up), it does speak to the almost militaristic environment that football teams in general operate. That George Carlin commedy bit wasn’t far off the mark.

              • imjon

                Nice theory except Sandusky was forced out in 1999.

            • Ed

              That someone didn’t intervene to stop the rape of a child is puzzling to me, and so is someone attempting to explain it as normal behavior. The only thing that would make me change my opinion that McQueary is a monster would be to learn he was a victim.

              He’s not a monster, only a coward. I wonder what, if anything, the boy thought when he saw McQueary and saw him flee. Did he hope McQueary was at least going for help? That he wasn’t just leaving him? Poor kid. Bad enough to have that happen to you, but to see an adult witness it happening and know that man did nothing to help – horrible.

              • “Nothing to help” isn’t quite accurate, he _did_ do the bare minimum required by law and notified his superior. Give the coward some credit.

        • muddy

          I thought of this as well, if he had been abused he might have been triggered and this effected his actions.

          But then I thought about his home situation and thought it was less likely. Sandusky started that troubled youth program specially to have a pool of victims. From what I have read these were under-privileged kids, many from single parent families.

          McQueary was in a 2 person family, close relationship with his dad, and the dad was a professional, well-known in the community. Not really the type Sandusky went for. Or that most child rapists go for.

    • CJR

      They need to fire Paterno and then fire everybody else all the way down to the guy who waters the grass and the kids who sell Cokes in the stand. Level the fucking thing to the ground and blanket it with salt.

      • commie atheist

        Nuke it from space just to be sure?

        • Marek

          It’s the only way to be sure.

      • The trustees are rumoured to be looking into getting rid of Spanier today.

        I don’t mean looking today, I mean he’s out.

    • I don’t know anyone who hasn’t made a mistake in his life. Admittedly, this one was big. Sucks for the kid.

      But this is a roadbump is what was otherwise a great life.

      The Political Blog of Pure Win

      • There’s a saying in the Army: “One ‘Oh Shit!’ wipes out 10 ‘Good Job!’s”. I can only imagine how many “Good Job!”s are canceled out by a single “You helped cover up a child’s rape”.

        • Njorl

          It’s not just one “Oh shit” either. Every time Paterno saw Sandusky with a kid, every time he was reminded of Sandusky’s work with children, he chose to do nothing. Every time it was a moral failure.

  • He’s resigning.

    • JC

      Maybe semantics, but are you sure?

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

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

    • david mizner

      Is he going to enter the GOP presidential primary?

      • I don’t think he can beat the frontrunner.

        • david mizner

          Heh – funny.

          But come on, Cardinal Paterno has it all. As young as Ron Paul, as clean as Cain, as smart as Perry, as principled as Mitt.

          • As stoic as Santorum.

            • commie atheist

              Speaking of Santorum, just when you thought this couldn’t get any worse:

              Then Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum thought enough of Jerry Sandusky nine years ago to sponsor the former Penn State defense coordinator for a “Congressional Angels in Adoption” award, citing his work with a non-profit group he founded to provide care for foster children.

              “Its philosophy is simple: it is easier to develop a child than to rehabilitate an adult,” read the citation from Santorum in the awards dinner program from Sept. 24, 2002.

              • Jay B.

                To be fair, this won’t hurt Santorum’s poll numbers a bit.

                • Hogan

                  Not that we could tell if it did.

              • Santorum now appears to be both Man-on-Dog and Man-on-Boy

              • All joking aside, this goes to show how effective these people can be at covering their tracks, and at actually coming across as someone who cares deeply for young people.

                • commie atheist

                  What’s interesting is that Santorum is a Penn State alum, and apparently was fairly tight with Paterno, and yet still gave Sandusky the award six months after the incident in the shower was reported to Paterno. They (meaning Penn State) really did just try to pretend nothing whatsoever happened.

  • MacGyver

    Arrington didn’t “brutally assault” the punter. It was two players with pads on a football field playing a game involving contact. It was certainly cheap, and borderline dirty, but by no definition of the word “assault.”

    The clip is here at the 2:02 mark: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83w4SRzSg7c

    • That can’t be what Campos was talking about.

    • The clip is here at the 2:02 mark: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83w4SRzSg7c

      No, it’s at 2:17. It was a flagrant penalty. Arrington should have been suspended.

      • ollie

        It was borderline as the punter’s foot had come down and was on the ground; he was through with his kick.

        After the kick, the punter becomes a defender and is eligible to be blocked.

        Number 11 should have waited a count or two longer so it would have been crystal clear that the punter was now a defender.

        • The ref seemed fairly adamant it was a cheap dirty hit. He didn’t just toss a flag, he threw a pretty decent spiral. If he’d have been Pitt’s QB, I’m thinking they wouldn’t have had to punt.

          • Furious Jorge


      • Huh?

        There isn’t even a single solid hit in that entire sequence.

      • calling all toasters

        Actor is correct. Someone not under Big Program Protection would have been suspended for a year for those two flagrants.

    • John F

      Ummm, he didn’t block the punter, he tackled him- well after he’d kicked the ball- Ok, maybe I could see that, He’d been hit from behind and knocked a bit himself, maybe he didn’t see the punt get off… but then he gets off and jumps on the punter again?

      Granted it wasn’t the most brutal Football hit, but something was going on there…

      • MCA1

        Clearly, he went out of his way to cheap shot the punter. I don’t know what kind of hyperbolic imagination it takes to say that Arrington “brutally assaulted” him, however. Campos is doing good work on this subject, but his grudges are showing, too.

  • david mizner

    In light of this scandal, Paterno’s dismissive words in 2006 about the sexual assault charges against one his players look even worse.

    “I think it’s so tough, there are so many people gravitating to these kids. He may not have even known what he was getting into. Somebody may have knocked on the door, a cute little girl knocks on the door. What do you do? Geez … thank God they don’t knock on my door. I’d refer them to a couple other rooms. But you hate to see that. It’s just too bad, that’s all I can say.”


    • commie atheist

      Actually that was a player on another team. You’re right, though, that “boys-will-be-boys” kind of attitude is pretty telling, in light of the current situation.

      • david mizner

        Ah — you’re right, sorry about the misinformation.

        • cer

          That fact kind of makes it worse. It’s not just excusing rape in order to win a football game, it’s just a blanket attitude of rape apology.

          • calling all toasters

            Dude, at least it’s an ethos.

  • c u n d gulag

    I’m starting to wonder if Paterno doesn’t have pictures of the Trustees schtupping boys with Sandusky?

    How can they think that keeping him around and letting him finish the season will do anything but harm to the university?

    Penn St will never, never recover from this. Certainly not the football program – or not for decades (but I think never).
    But it will be affected academically, too. How can it not be? Penn St was built up largely around the football team in the last 40+ years.

    It’s still a fine academic institution, and my Nephew was looking to go there next year for a Bachelor’s in Engineering.

    I’ve already told him my feelings about that – go somewhere else. Because for the next few years, if you tell someone you’re going to Penn St they’re going to ask “Isn’t that where…”, and you’re going to have to say, “Yes – but…”

    The Trustees have to to fire Paterno, and sever ties with him. I’m not advocating him losing his pension rights, like JC above suggests, I don’t think that’s in order, but I think minimizing his future role at the school will only help the school.

    • JC

      Like I said, 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.

      Pedophilia isn’t something that arises suddenly (e.g. in 1998 for Sandusky). It’s a behavior pattern that persists for years or decades, and Sandusky has had access to young kids for at least 45 years.

      All that’s come out in this scandal is the most recent behavior.

      • c u n d gulag

        Yeah, that’s a valid point. It’s not like he awoke one morning and decided that this was how he was going to spend the rest of his life.
        If they find more evidence, then covering-up for him may be a justifiable offense.
        In the meantime, fire everyone in contact with the Football program, including the President, and anyone that had access to this information, but did nothing with it.

        Think about that poor, poor, abused and very, very, alone little boy. And he wasn’t the first, or the last.
        And as I said yesterday, no one gave enough of a shit to even find out his name to tell his parents so that if the school officials didn’t have the moral courage to tell the police, at least give the parents that opportunity.

        There will be so many lawsuits over the next few years, that Penn St will never recover its reputation.

        And to think, if someone had said at that time, “Hey, this is wrong, let’s do x-y-z,” at least they could say they knew about something and decided to do something about it – and not turn their heads hoping it would all go away.

        This story makes me sicker by the day.

        • BradP

          I can’t comment on what is the worst part of this story, but what disturbs me the most is just how practiced and enabled Sandusky was to confuse the hell out of these kids.

          He would start out as a football expert to draw in victims, then move on to giving gifts, even promising walk-on spots on the football team. He would start the physical abuse in seemingly (at least to young minds) innocuous ways like massaging.

          The discription of the events portrays a rapist who farmed his victims, working on their heads until it became very difficult for a child to maintain a clear perspective on what is appropriate or not.

          Paterno couldn’t have stopped a monster like Sandusky from getting his hands on children in some way. But Paterno assisted in the most aggravated part of these crimes: the breaking down of the psychological defenses of the children who became victims and may remain confused and ashamed victims their entire lives.

          • brenda

            Paterno couldn’t have stopped a monster like Sandusky from getting his hands on children in some way.

            He’d have had a harder time of it from prison.

            • At the very least, he’d have been a known sexual predator and posted as such on any number of sites.

          • judybusy

            Classic grooming behavior, used by many a pedophile. I worked with this population in grad school, and they all did it this way. They go after kids they know, who are vulnerable and who be intimidated by the lie, “No one can know our little secret.”

          • AYC

            It’s called grooming the victims and pedophiles are exceptionally good at it.

            • muddy

              And having the backing of a revered local institution certainly helps.

      • mark f

        I agree it probably started much earlier than 1998 (2nd Mile was founded in 1977 IIRC), but it’s hard to say when. I assume it’s different for every pedophile depending on factors like access to victims, self-awareness, impulse control, etc. Once he gave in it was probably like a dam breaking and it’s been nonstop ever since, but we don’t know if actual physical contact started when he was 16 or 40.

      • Njorl

        Actually there are cases of pedophilia arising suddenly due to damage to the brain. It is extaordinarily rare, though.


        • You beat me to it. Brain injury can actually make a sociopath of someone who previously had a conscience. Everything we are is the architecture of our brain.

    • PeeJ

      It is indeed a top Engineering school. I don’t think the value of a Penn State engineering degree will be highly diminished.

      • As more and more people come to refer to it as Pedophile State University, quality candidates will not consider it (or will make it their safety school.)

        This will, over even a short time, reduce the quality of graduates (including engineering graduates.)

        And that is how PSU will be damaged. It’s inevitable.

  • That’s why I have decided to announce my retirement effective at the end of this season. 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.

    Whistle past the graveyard much, JoePa?

    • At this moment the Board of Trustees should not spend a single minute discussing my status. They have far more important matters to address.

      Like that massive wave of lawsuits approaching at speed courtesy of your cowardice. Sure. Like the school’s entire legal counsel isn’t at this moment discussing how to drop this in your lap.

      I swear to God, this bag of fox crap’s attempts to sound humble and self-sacrificing are seriously fucking with my inner harmony.

      • c u n d gulag

        Lion crap. It’s the Nittany Lions. :-)

        My inner harmony disappeared when Ford pardoned Nixon.

        No, make that MLK’s and RFK’s assassinations.

        I was 5 when JFK got shot, so the only thing that affected me then was the shock and sorrow of the adults around me, and that they took off the cartoons on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

      • Like the school’s entire legal counsel isn’t at this moment discussing how to drop this in your lap.

        Remember when William Casey died, and we immediately learned that he invented herpes?

  • I am absolutely devastated by the developments in this case.

    Finally, a wholly honest statement. If only this had stayed hushed up until he was in his grave.

    I grieve for the children and their families, and I pray for their comfort and relief.

    Jesus. What if their comfort and relief involves you laying down in front of a speeding train?

    It is at times like these that a loud Fuck You! from above, followed by a well-aimed bolt of lightning would fill all places of worship to overflowing.

    • Bill

      If anyone doesn’t have the moral authority to punish Paterno for doing nothing, it’s an omniscient, omnipotent God.

      • SeanH

        Hi, I’m here to deliver an Internet to, ah, Ivan Karamazov?

      • commie atheist

        If this were Alicublog, I’d be using all kinds of improbably risque terms to show how much I like this comment, but considering the topic, I’ll refrain from doing so.

  • BradP

    Paterno has known for at least nine years (realistically, at least 13 years, and probably longer) that the PSU administration — which for all practical purposes meant Joe Paterno — was covering up the crimes of a serial child rapist.

    He was also knowingly providing said serial child rapist with his greatest tool for accessing and raping young boys.

    Sandusky raped a 10-year old in the Penn State locker room a full three years after he resigned amid accusations that he had molested another child. Sandusky was having overnight football camps on campus as late as 2009.

    Paterno isn’t an accessory to a cover-up. He is an accessory to child rape.

  • Nice closing argument, counselor.

  • Everyone associated with that coverup, from university president Graham Spanier on down, should be fired immediately by PSU’s Board of Trustees.

    That I could agree with. But it means the entire coaching staff (including McQueary), so they would pretty much have to cancel the rest of the football season.

    Which is, for all the masturbatory excretions here, Not Going to Happen.

    As I said below, the Best Case Scenario is that they announce they will finish the season–no Bowl Game–and replace the entire coaching staff for next year.

    • Paul Campos

      Is there any evidence that anybody on the current football staff besides Paterno and McQueary knew of the 2002 cover-up?

      • Big Al

        Not in anything I have read.

    • commie atheist

      “Masturbatory excretions”? Really? Talk about being tone-deaf.

      • todd.

        Lulz. Yeah.

    • JC

      Is that you, Hermanator?

    • JupiterPluvius


      Well, that’s serious. Not like covering up the rape of children.

      Holy fuck, there are probably plenty of high school coaches who would love to fill in for whoever needs to be fired.

  • Mudge

    The 1998 and 2002 felonies were swept under the rug and alone should lead to the dismissal of Paterno, Spanier and McQueary. But, Sandusky has been the subject of a grand jury for 3 years. Paterno has testified. Yet Sandusky has had contact with boys, and access to Penn State facilities, throughout. I saw Matt Millen yesterday and he stated that he was a board member of 2nd Mile. Why didn’t Paterno call Millen and warn him about Sandusky? Or did he? This whole situation is entirely too complicitly murky.

    • BobS

      As a Lions (Detroit, not Nittany) fan, it’s no surprise to see Millen’s name attached to this fucked up story. It also wouldn’t surprise me if there was a Millen on Kennedy’s Secret Service retinue in Dallas or scouting for Custer at Little Big Horn.

      • markg

        first laugh I’ve gotten out of this. thanks.

  • Jay B.

    I am absolutely devastated by the developments in this case.

    Which I was mostly aware of when they occurred nine years ago.

    This is exactly the Catholic Church writ small. Old, venal, corrupt men lying to the world, lying to themselves in the name of “compassion” when it’s really just a craven desire to protect themselves in the service of evil.

    It’ll never happen, in a million years, but up until today I hadn’t wanted this fraud to spend the rest of his life in jail. Now I do. What a disgusting, ass-covering, fake statement.

    All that’s missing is his vow to find the real killers.

    Guess: It’ll be good enough for the spineless lackeys in the Penn State community and the Board of Trustees.

    • JohnR

      Your guess sounds like a pretty good prediction to me. All this stuff about ‘honor’ and ‘integrity’ at Penn St (and any other ‘ESU’, for that matter). It’s all just as real and substantial as the honor and integrity of the GOP. The louder the trumpet, the smaller the cause.
      Stonewall it as long as possible, see if a scapegoat will serve if everything else fails, and then just ride it out and hope it gets forgotten soon. SOP in situations like this. They must be really praying up there that the GOP primary churns up some new muck for the press Chihuahuas to go wildly yapping off after.

    • Bart

      He is devastated by the developments; not the years of abuse, which he knew about.

  • Froley

    I was going to excoriate/make fun of those college kids in the photo, but most of them will eventually regret their decision to support Paterno (especially if they become parents). I grew up worshipping Bobby Knight, but came to loathe him when I matured (i.e., when I got my adult, fully-connected frontal lobe). Bullies shouldn’t be admired and people who have power to defend the defenseless but choose not to deserve an extraordinary level of contempt.

    • JupiterPluvius

      You think? Because I think a lot of people are very comfortable with the cognitive dissonance that only other people’s children get abused.

      Especially when the “other people” are members of socially underprivileged groups. Which is why Sandusky is so particularly evil in his choice of victims.

  • West of the Cascades

    It’s ironic, but after re-reading Paterno’s pathetic retirement statement, I think he just wrote himself his pink slip for this week.

    It is so utterly self-serving, and such a slap in the face to the Trustees (“don’t worry about me, I have made the decision to take appropriate action”) who have been meeting frantically this week to figure out what to do, that he has made it much easier for them to fire him and prevent him from being at the stadium this Saturday.

    In effect, Paterno has said “my status is more important for the next three weeks than what might be best for the University.” He’s made it crystal-clear whose interest the manner and timing of his resignation is in. And the Trustees should see fairly clearly that Paterno’s interest is no longer the interest of Penn State University.

    So I expect him (and McQueary) to be fired this week, and the remaining coaching staff to be asked, one-by-one, who knew about the cover-up, before they step on the sidelines again. I would say at this point there’s a decent chance Penn State doesn’t play football this weekend.

    If so, good riddance.

    • I think the hit to the contractual obligations, not to say the financial ramifications, that would come from canceling a PSU football game would be too much for the Trustees. And I think an outright firing of Paterno would be too big for them to do. But a suspension, pending the outcome of the investigation? That might be possible.

      • Uncle Kvetch

        I think the hit to the contractual obligations, not to say the financial ramifications, that would come from canceling a PSU football game would be too much for the Trustees.

        Without football, education itself would be impossible.

        NB: My snark isn’t directed at you, JP…I have no doubt your assessment is correct. But as someone with no interest in sports, I’m a bit gobsmacked at how it’s taken for granted that the university exists to serve the team, and by extension the team’s fans. It’s just so breathtakingly fucked up when you stop and think about it. Isn’t it?

    • Barry

      “I would say at this point there’s a decent chance Penn State doesn’t play football this weekend.

      If so, good riddance.”

      That would be an excellent move by the Board, in an ethical and self-interested sense. Work the current crisis hard, and make sure that the situation is cleaned up.

      • Jim Lynch

        Twenty years ago, the president of the University of San Francisco abruptly cancelled its basketball program after some skullduggery came to light. It was a big deal hereabouts, as the program was storied (Bill Russell, KC Jones). Still, he did it, and in doing so, did the right thing. I remember at the time thinking he should have been acknowledged with a major award/honor (Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the year, or an NCAA award). The program was re-instated year’s later, and today walks the straight and narrow.

        “Everyone associated with that coverup, from university president Graham Spanier on down, should be fired immediately by PSU’s Board of Trustees”.

        And if PSU’s Board of Trustee refuses to do it, THEY should be fired.

  • West of the Cascades

    Report from a Lehigh (PA) newspaper that President Spanier will quit or be fired today (http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/breaking-news/index.ssf/2011/11/penn_state_president_graham_sp.html)

    and the first domino is pushed …

    • The citizens of Pennsylvania are advised to wear protective gear when they venture out doors due to the intense amount of shit flinging that will take place over the next few weeks.

    • catclub

      I still think there is zero chance of no football this weekend. Fire the President, no problem. Stop football? No way.

      • West of the Cascades

        I agree with you that the Trustees won’t stop football based on what they know now. But if this investigation they’re beginning starts talking to the coaching staff, and it comes out that everyone on the coaching staff has known about this for years, it puts them in the remarkable position: they may have to decide between playing a game with an entire coaching staff who knew about, protected, and even continued to welcome a child rapist on campus for nearly a decade after one of their fellow coaches saw him raping a 10 year old boy in the showers in their football facility and cancelling the game.

        I am not — repeat NOT — suggesting that there is any evidence the other coaches knew of this, or that this is a wide-spread cover-up. But it is possible that if the Trustees fire Paterno and look for an interim coach on the current staff, they will find that no one is able to say they were not aware of what had happened.

        This sounds a lot like “it would be irresponsible not to speculate” – and that’s not my meaning. But someone raised a variety of scenarios in another post and suggested that it might be difficult to find anyone to coach this weekend who is untainted by this … and it seems like that may be right.

  • 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.

    Is there an emoticon for having a stroke?

    SHUT UP, you filthy, self-serving, depraved old man.

    I would say at this point there’s a decent chance Penn State doesn’t play football this weekend.

    Dream on.

    If there’s anything that will prove the point that “Big College Football must be protected from anything, even the consequences of child rape,” it will be the fact that Penn State will take the field this weekend and people will not be ashamed to cheer for them and make “fair-minded” remarks about the fact that The Team is out there just as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as ever in spite of the personal shortcomings of a couple of their coaches.

    • catclub

      Beat me to it.

      And that sounds just like the Catholic church coverup. ‘What we do is too important to be changed by mere legal requirements.’

  • Corporate Lackey

    I want to know what Penn State’s Paterno Family Professor in Literature has to say about all this.

    • If Joe Paterno had thirteen years to gather his wits about him, I think we can give Berube the chance to hash out privately his position. After all, the chair is endowed by the family, and the family is more than JoePa.

      • Corporate Lackey

        What position does he have to “hash out”? Is their any acceptable response to this other than outrage?

        • Malaclypse

          I used to be a liberal, but Berube’s job title makes me realize that America needs a flat tax.

          • Corporate Lackey

            What does politics have to do with it? Berube works for a corrupt institution that enabled child rape (and yes, his title is named after one of the enablers). I want to know what Berube has to say about this.

            • Hogan

              Have you tried asking him?

          • Hah! I used to be a liberal but now I think life begins when a man and a woman hold hands!

            • I was a liberal until the 7-11

          • TKK

            Damn that’s good.

        • mark f

          How the fuck is it your business? Are you “researching” a sequel for Horowitz or something?

        • Malaclypse
          • Corporate Lackey

            Thanks, Malaclypse. Glad he’s horrified. I’d rather have heard what he had to say about Spanier, Curly, and Paterno, though.

            • mark f

              WTF? I bet he invited them to Thanksgiving.

              • Malaclypse

                Damn you for being both more topical and quicker, Mark F. Damn you to hell.

              • Corporate Lackey

                Oh, he’s not “friends” with them. Well, heck, that’s good enough for me, mark f. It’s not as though he’s a prominent professor. It’s not as though those in prominent positions, who gain from a corrupt institutional culture, have a responsibility to denounce that corruption when it is discovered.

                • Hogan

                  Truly Michael Berube’s first responsibility must be to disingenuous douchebags like yourself. I’m sure his family and the school where he works have no particular use for him at this time.

                • Malaclypse

                  Just out of curiosity, does the fact that there is a Martin Heidegger Professor of Philosophical Theology fill you with outrage? I mean, we have known Heidegger was a fucking Nazi for 78 years, while we have known Paterno was a child rape enabler for what, a week?

                • Sounds to me that, based on that quote, that’s precisely what he’s just done.

                • Heidegger…Heidegger…was he that boozy beggar who could think you under a table?

                • Hogan

                  My school has a Donald Regan Chair of Literature. It fills me with impotent rage whenever I think about it, which isn’t all that often. The first incumbent was Paul Fussell.

                • mark f

                  He hasn’t been blogging because he’s been busy crossing “Paterno” off all his letterheads with his own blood.

                • mark f

                  He hasn’t been blogging because he’s busy crossing “Paterno” off all his letterheads with his own blood.

            • Malaclypse

              Yes, without that blog comment, one might well imagine that Berube, whose perfidy knows no bounds, was even now planning on feting Paterno, perhaps even offering sanctuary at Berube’s underground lair. It would be irresponsible not to speculate.

              • At this point, Berube is like private space station dangerous. I mean Sauron is merely his lieutenant.

                • Berube once shot a man in Reno, just to watch him turn liberal.

                • Malaclypse

                  Who controls the British Crown?
                  Who keeps the metric system down?
                  We do, we do. Berube, Berube.
                  Who keeps Atlantis off the maps?
                  Who keeps the Martians under wraps?
                  We do, we do. Berube, Berube.
                  Who holds back the electric car?
                  Who makes Steve Guttenberg a star?
                  We do, we do. Berube, Berube.
                  Who robs cave fish of their sight?
                  Who rigs every Oscar night?
                  We do, we do. Berube, Berube.

                • Hogan

                  He sank the Titanic and kidnapped the Lindbergh baby. Truly he is the Napoleon of Kantian nihilism.

                • When Berube is in Rome, they do as he does.

                • Hogan

                  Who makes Steve Guttenberg a star?

                  This is the one I really can’t forgive.

                • commie atheist

                  He is the most interesting liberal English professor in the world.

                • Bart

                  At the least, he should be made to lose his three Frenchy accent marks.

              • Incontinentia Buttocks

                Is that where he keeps his cruise missiles?

            • l blissett

              Your concern is fucking noticed. Now fuck off.

              • witless chum

                Agree. Can’t fuck off quick enough.

        • Would resigning his chair suffice for you?

          Because perhaps that’s what he’s contemplating, but he’s certainly under no obligation to tell you or anyone else that, except those he feels would be affected by any decision he might make.

          SHORTER ACTOR:
          Shut up, idiot, and let the man have a chance to speak.

    • I want to know what Penn State’s Paterno Family Professor in Literature has to say about all this.

      I want to know what other handles the person posting from this address has used over the past year or so.

      While we’re being all transparent and stuff.

      • meh

        He formerly used the handle Joe Boyle.

    • I don’t think either of the two Paterno Family Professors have any obligation to weigh in publicly on an unimaginably horrifying situation. Neither do the many undergraduate Paterno Fellows.

      But for the record, I last blogged on Friday, on unrelated matters, and wrote something on Libya that also went up on Friday (total coincidence) that will finally once and for all realize my dream of destroying The Left forever. Stay thirsty, my friends.

      • shah8

        At the end of the day, you’re just kind of unlucky. My sympathies. Hopefully, they will change the name…

  • Njorl

    I agree that Paterno should be fired. There are plenty of facts available to support that action.

    You should be careful, though, about some of the other things. The charges against Rashard Casey were not only dropped, he received a cash settlement from the Hoboken police department for their actions in the incident.

    Casey did not assault a police officer, and Paterno would have been in the wrong for punishing him just because he was accused.

    • Paul Campos

      Thanks. OP updated to reflect disposition of the case.

  • the most fitting exit strategy would involve a hand car, a barrel full of hot tar, a wagonload of feathers and enough litigation to completely dissolve whatever resources paterno has managed to aquire during the time he wasn’t enabling child rape.

    • oops. acquire.

      • Bart

        I did not notice the error. Is that C really necessary?

        • Hogan

          It’s people like you what cause unrest.

  • Joshua

    I wonder what the students at that “rally for JoePa” will feel about their attendance as they get older and raise kids themselves.

    • Malaclypse

      Just as far more people claim to be at Woodstock than actually attended, in fifteen years, everybody now praising the child-rape-enabling Paterno will remember how outraged they were, and be sure that the only people praising him were the dirty, smelly hippies of Occupy State College.

  • Dana

    Read this statement.

    “There’s been some criticism of the way we’ve handled some of the poor victims. You know, my wife and I, we have 17 grandkids from 16 to three, and we pray for them every night. We’re gonna start praying for those kids that got involved with some of the problems that were talked about.”

    Those kids that “got involved with some of the problems that were talked about”?

    This statement says everything you need to know about Paterno. WOW, just WOW. I’m sure his prayers are going to help the “poor victims”.

    • Joshua

      Was his family praying for them in 1998?

    • Prayers speak louder than words. And actions. And everyday behavior. And having a soul. There were some interesting stories around the web that really took notice of how CBS/ESPN pretty much dialed down their reporting during football Saturday and that outrage all over the web outstripped the appearance of stories about it. In addition, someone posted on an ESPN blog about how “Penn St. recruiting might be affected” before any single story about “Joe needs to go” was posted. These guys are totally pathetic.

      • LKS

        If anything, ESPN has ratcheted up the Joe Can Do No Wrong rhetoric the past couple days. Ivan Maisel has his head inserted all the way into Joe’s ass.

      • Jay B.

        SI has been excellent on the topic, however. They don’t have to broadcast PSU this year.

    • JupiterPluvius

      The kids that got involved in BEING RAPED BY MY ASSISTANT, you mean, Joe?

  • The media only cares about this scandal because it will hurt Herman Cain.

    No. Seriously!

  • O.K., for the sake of argument, let’s say that there are two extremes in the prosecution (or lack of prosecution) of the sexual abuse of prepubescent children— one extreme on the end of the scale would be Sandusky. He raped children for who knows how many years, and his community colluded with him to cover it up and to allow him to continue raping children. On the other end of the spectrum is the accusations made against the McMartins.

    The McMartin preschool trial was a day care sexual abuse case of the 1980s. Members of the McMartin family, who operated a preschool in California, were charged with numerous acts of sexual abuse of children in their care. Accusations were made in 1983. Arrests and the pretrial investigation ran from 1984 to 1987, and the trial ran from 1987 to 1990. After six years of criminal trials, no convictions were obtained, and all charges were dropped in 1990. When the trial ended in 1990 it had been the longest and most expensive criminal trial in American history.[1] The case was part of day care sex abuse hysteria, a moral panic over satanic ritual abuse in the 1980s and early 1990s.

    I was working in a day care center while this hysterical witch hunt was going on. The parents were horrified and terrified and the corporate media did everything in their power to stoke that fear. Even after an in-depth article was published in Harper’s with transcripts of the ridiculous interviews those child psychologists had with the children (one girl said the teacher had taken her up in an airplane and turned her into a mouse), an explanation of the manipulation they were using to get the children to say they were sexually abused, and a picture of the large, uncovered window facing the street in the room where the accused allegedly carried out Satanic rituals of sexual abuse on all these children—well the press just kept pumping it for all it was worth. Parents walk in and out of day care centers at all times, unannounced. They are public places. This does not mean that a child can’t be sexually abused in a day care center, but that it’s an unlikely site for Satanic rituals by day.

    So how can parents explain the threat of sexual abuse to children who have no concept of what is sexual? The McMartin allegations started because the teacher had put a band-aid on a boo-boo on a child’s hip. The child non-nonchalantly told his mother, the mother inferred sexual abuse because she heard that the teacher touched his butt, and it was off. Not only were those poor people with a lifetime of experience taking care of other people’s children and a passion for it accused of what probably is the most horrible thing they could imagine being done to a child, but the cause of prosecuting the sexual abuse of children was tarnished.

    • Wiley, here’s the thing: your post is valid in a general case, to be sure, but the boys in this instance were pre-pubescent, not kindergarteners or younger. 10, 11, 12 year olds. By that age, they’re able to discern reality from fantasy so they’re less likely to make up stories about being turned into a mouse.

      Plus, in this instance, we have the adult eyewitness.

      To answer your specific query about the how, NY has a pretty good website on this very topic

      • I know about this specific case. Parents don’t generally need to warn their children about Sandusky but about the threat of sexual abuse in general. Even children as “old” as ten or eleven may be naive enough not to recognize sexual touching as that to the degree that they would alert their parents or other people in authority. Of course, as has been previously mentioned here, to a child who is the victim of sexual abuse by a family member and is caught up in the dynamic of a dysfunctional family in denial, sexual abuse would seem normal. (That is so fucking sad, I feel like I’m going to burst into tea— oh shit—gonna go do some housework while I cry. For a country that campaigns on its love of children, we sure are quick to throw children to the wolves.) I suspect that predators like Sandusky can spot those kids a mile away.

  • PJ

    And then there’s the nuance-laden comments from the upholders of moral virtue over at the Eternally Self Promoting Network. Joe Pa has been prejudged as a willing participant in a heinous coverup, so they look dewy-eyed into the cameras while they plead their own ignorance.

    • Joshua

      Whatever you do, don’t read the comments. Thousands and thousands of people sticking up for Paterno.

      ESPN commentators don’t live on Planet Earth. I am convinced of this.

      • wengler

        They live in the same place as Yahoo, youtube, and local newspaper commentators live.

        The place that will make you bang your head against the wall violently and repeatedly.

        • elm

          The real world?

      • LKS

        They’re not human. Why should they live here?

    • wengler

      That must’ve been today. Because yesterday and the day before it was all Matt Millen declaring how “we don’t know anything”.

    • pete

      Yup. And I cannot help thinking that we all do a bit of that. Not literally — I have no connection whatsoever with that university, or any football program — but in the sense that I truly do not want to know the horrible stats about the rape of minors (mostly girls, actually, but including an extraordinary number of boys). I made myself go Google them. I’d like to yell at the coach and university president and the assistant, and they do all deserve punishment (in my view, the assistant less than his bosses), but this is a large problem in many institutions, and families. No, it’s not just priests and football people..

  • Taylor

    Here’s a story no-one’s covering:

    The silence of the Chronicle of Higher Education on this.

    Spanier has been a frequent contributor.

    On ethics, of all things.

    • Malaclypse

      The silence of the Chronicle of Higher Education on this.


      • Hogan

        Did I say Chronicle of Higher Education? I meant lambs.

      • SeanH

        Well, it remains true that nobody’s covering the story of CHE’s silence.

      • commie atheist

        After reading the grand-jury report about the child rapes at Penn State and the resulting coverup, Lesboprof has a few things to say…

        Lesboprof? That. Is. Awesome.

    • Anonymous

      Yes, he has been known to opine on the immorality of downloading pirated music.

  • Jim Lynch

    Upthread, I mentioned that years ago the University of San Francisco canned its basketball program after a (relatively) minor scandal.

    I tend to think that would the single action that Penn State might take with its football program that might possibly lend itself to restoring its reputation. That it’s not going to happen doesn’t mean it shouldn’t.

    • At least take it down for the season, possibly two. I’m sure the NCAA will investigate this, since it’s possible players themselves may have been complicit in it at times (McQueary couldn’t possibly have been the only person to come across this perv). If they get their hands on it, it could be ballgame over for a very long time.

  • PeeJ

    I had completely forgotten that Sandusky wrote a book. No kidding, Touched: The Jerry Sandusky Story.

    • Hogan

      Man, those reader reviews are a tad on the acerbic side.

      • It’s sort of a testament to the public that they’ve minimized the comedy at Amazon and focused on expressing the anger.

    • Malaclypse

      I think the fact that it is available in leather is what really completes the picture.

      • There’s only one review from before the scandal broke From 2005:

        Whe you finish this book you wish it was longer. Like a good movie you do not want it to end. It describes a man who has done some great things to help others. How many college football coaches would turn down 3 head coaching opportunities at big-time schools to stay in “Happy Valley”. A couple who could not have their own children. Then adopted 6. Not all in infancy. A man who took in foster children and at the same time ran the defense for one of college football’s elite teams for 23 years. A kid who never grew up. Yet a person who is so selfless it defies human ego. Everyone reading this should do themselves a moral favor and contribute money to the Second Mile. (…).

        Apparently, he’s in marketing. Wanna bet he’s somehow involved with the book?

        • Ed Marshall

          Oh, Christ, I didn’t know that he adopted kids and was a foster parent. “Not all in infancy”, Jeeeeesus.

          • This just keeps getting worse— like foster parents aren’t maligned enough. Jesus fucking H Christ in a flaky crust, this man is the criminal of the century—good riddance. Who knows how many hundreds of children will not be raped because this man is behind bars?

            Our society must pay a pretty penny to help his victims, as well. Anyone hear yet about a class action lawsuit against Penn state by parents of children raped by Sandusky on University property? It makes me sick to type this, I feel like I’m on the verge on an anxiety attack. The news that he has been caught should be a relief, but his whole child-raping career has been supported and enabled by an institution of higher learning.


            • Ed Marshall

              “could not have their own children”, oh, I bet I know why. I bet his wife knew what was going on to.

            • mark f

              Goodness, you think this stops at football? This goes to the heart of capitalism itself.

              • mark f

                Actually, make that “humanity.”

              • Does who think this “stops at football?” I can’t believe the condescending garbage that comes out of some people’s mouths sometimes. It is as if some people see themselves as the only ones who truly inhabit reality to such a degree that their mere comments are weighty, while others miss points by not writing an entire fucking thesis, so let’s insult them because…

            • mpowell

              I went back and forth on this. And ultimately I don’t think you can blame college football anymore than any other hierarchical institution. I’m not sure that getting rid of college football would really help any.

              • cer

                I think there are certain things about the culture of football and the hero worship that make it particularly prone to abuses of power (and sexual violence) but there is something generally to hierarchical institutions including the institution that enables the most common forms of sexual abuse–the family.

    • commie atheist

      When I saw that title, I almost started believing that there was a God, and that he was one sick, twisted son of a bitch.

  • Steve S.

    I know it’s more fun to obsess about a single personality in this complicated story than to shed light, but there is something about this that has been bothering me for about a day now, and I’m not sure where to ask this question so I’ll ask it here.

    According to this timeline one of Sandusky’s alleged crimes was first reported to a proper authority (excepting campus police in the 1998 incident) in the spring of 2008. In early 2009 the state attorney general began an investigation. Sandusky was finally arrested a few days ago.

    So unless some big piece of the puzzle is missing here the proper authorities knew about Sandusky’s alleged behavior for a period of several months to three and a half years before arresting him.

    If somebody can shut down the Paterno mania for a few minutes and explain that part of it to me I’d appreciate it.

    • You can’t really arrest him until you have sufficient evidence to take him to trial (note the grand jury involvement in 2009)

      He is entitled to his Constitutional protections, after all.

      • Steve S.

        Really? It takes three and a half years to gather enough evidence on a serial abuser, with victims coming forward left and right, and who, according to pretty much everybody on this blog, was an imminent threat to children that whole time? Really?

        • Since I’m not a lawyer, I can’t speak beyond this: all the prosecutors had to go on initially was the word of one (or more) children.

          Would you want to go to trial with only the word of someone and no corroborating evidence?

          • Steve S.

            I don’t care about the damned trial, I’m asking; is that how the proper authorities work in Pennsylvania? You have someone who is suspected of being an imminent threat to children, so you meet every Friday for coffee and donuts, listen to a couple hours of testimony, and call it a week? Is that how it works?

            • Steve, you can’t arrest someone and hold him indefinitely. That’s in the Constitution.

              • Steve S.

                You’re not remotely answering the question I’m asking.

              • Richard

                I dont know what the speedy trial rules are in PA but theyre probably like most states – 60 days. so that means if you arrest the perp and can’t bring him to trial within 60 days and he doesn’t waive his right to a speedy trial, the case is dismissed. Thats why a prosecutor has to have his case ready before he files and arrests the guy. We don’t know what victims they had spoken to three years ago and how convincing that victim was. My understanding from news reports is that multiple victims have only come forward recently. Maybe the prosecution didn’t give this enough attention during the last three years, maybe they did but had proof problems (reluctant witnesses, lack of corroboration, etc). No way to know based on what has been revealed so far. Way to early to criticize the prosecutors here

                • Could have labeled him a terorist then you could have held him indefinately.

                  Also, I think the point is that he could actually really have been very limited in his contact with kids during this period without locking him up.

              • herr doktor bimler

                you can’t arrest someone and hold him indefinitely. That’s in the Constitution.

                Go stand in the corner, actor.

            • Hogan

              There’s this advanced police technology called “surveillance,” in which guys follow a suspect around and watch what he does and can intervene if he does anything untoward. I imagine even those lazy doughnut-eating yokels in Central PA have access to such technology.

              • Richard

                Do you know that that didn’t happen here (from the time the grand jury first convened to the time the indictment came down)? Since the allegations in the complaint all concern incidents before the grand jury started hearing witnesses, I assume that this may have been done (or Sandusky, aware of the grand jury proceedings, finally stopped his vile acts)

            • Having been a live-in nanny for two special needs children, I can assure you that a phone call from anonymous or a neighbor is no reason to arrest someone. I’m not judging whether or not the Attorney General acted in a timely manner in this case, or what that would look like; but having been a nanny to a four year old with ADHD and a hearing impairment, I know that Child Protective Services has to show up every time someone calls with a complaint. (Before I became his nanny) the boy would go absolutely ape-shit every time he was overwhelmed. He was often overwhelmed crossing a street. Neighbors called the services almost every time he had a screaming, head-banging episode and the caseworkers had to show up. They knew her and knew her child and his condition. They knew she was a responsible parent, a single parent working to support herself and her son, and a parent who would not hit her child. She’d make a pot of coffee, and they’d sit down and talk, write a report, and that was it. That doesn’t mean that they just met up for coffee and conversation.

      • Sean Peters

        You don’t need “sufficient evidence to take him to trial” to fire his ass. Or at least suspend him. The real issue here is why PSU didn’t do something about this.

        • Joshua

          Penn State did “fire him” in 1998. That’s why he stepped down as DC, even though he was still relatively young, well-regarded, and on track to be the next head coach.

          Of course, what Penn State did not do was take away his access to young children.

  • Steve S.

    Have any of you looked at the grand jury report? A large portion of it is not directly relevant to the alleged crimes against the children. It’s about what various other parties knew and when they knew it. That is, some portion of the grand jury’s time was not spent on determining whether Sandusky could be charged with sex crimes, it was spent on what other people were doing. All the while, Sandusky is free.

    Suppose someone is offing prostitutes. Suppose you have eight credible witnesses who say it is Joe Blow. Suppose that you suspect Joe Shmoe knew about it all along but failed to report it, so you convene a grand jury to determine if you have a case against Joe Shmoe, but you wait until the grand jury is done a couple years down the road before you arrest Joe Blow.

    That really doesn’t strike anybody else as odd?

    • Richard

      As i point out above, Steve, if you arrest Sandusky three years ago and your case isn’t ready for trial and the he doesn’t waive his right to a speedy trial, then the case will be dismissed (Whether it can be refiled later depends on a number of factors in most states).

      Also if you arrest Sandusky immediately, you are likely to have all the witnesses take the fifth before the grand jury.

      I agree with you that it doesn’t look good that they waited two to three years to arrest him but the most probable explanation is that the child witnesses they had back then had recollection problems and they were waiting to gather more evidence. I think its too early to conclude that the prosecutors didn’t arrest him because they were lazy or corrupt.

      • Steve S.

        Dammit, pay attention. They used the grand jury process in this case, which ain’t exactly the express train to justice. Why is the grand jury spending weeks or months pondering the question of Joe Paterno’s reporting responsibilities? You really can’t come back to that one somewhere down the road while a serial abuser is on the loose? I see a lot of people on this blog who are very sure about how they think a graduate assistant should have acted in a split second when confronted with an unexpected situation, but if it takes the authorities three and a half years to arrest Sandusky, well, no bigee.

        • Richard

          I’m paying attention. You don’t seem to be reading what I am writing. You assume that it was a slam dunk, ready to try case against Sandusky three years ago and the prosecutors just fucked around with all these other witnesses and the question of who knew what and who failed to report because they were incompetent or worse.

          Its more likely the case that they had only one young victim then, that there might have been recollection/credibility problems with that witness and they didn’t want to arrest Sandusky, have him insist on a speedy trial and then have to drop the case. Instead, they decided to simultaneously investigate the failure to report/perjury problems (the latter only prosecutable if you have someone lie before a grand jury) while trying to build up the child molestation.rape charges against Sandusky. I don’t know that this was the reason but it makes sense to me (a former criminal defense attorney). What about this doesn’t make sense to you?

      • Ed

        I think its too early to conclude that the prosecutors didn’t arrest him because they were lazy or corrupt.

        It may not be so much outright laziness or corruption as the habit of deference – analogous to the way in which the secular authorities deferred to the Church all those decades.

        • Richard

          Thats a possibility. Its also a possibility that they thought that the evidence they got from Victim 1 was not sufficient to go forward with and they waited until more victims testified before the grand jury. The grand jury report doesn’t indicate when the witnesses came forward and testified but it appears that it took a couple years to get the testimony of all the victims mentioned in the report.

  • Fredd

    Why are people acting like this is something out of the ordinary?
    School football coaches molest children more often than Catholic priests do.

    • Mrs Tilton

      Evidence, please; or else we will be forced to conclude you’re just another Bill Donohue-like apologist for the Roman child-rape conspiracy.

      • NHJ

        It is all about authority and access to boys be it coaches, priests, scout leaders or politicians.

      • JupiterPluvius

        Wait, what? “Football coaches also rape children a lot” is hardly apologism for Catholic priests or any other clergy who rape children.

        Not to mention teachers, Boy Scout leaders, camp counselors, etc.

    • Anonymous

      its the steroids………

  • Anonymous

    Graham Spanier is to resign tonight.

    • Anonymous

      Well, that link didn’t work.

  • Oscarbob

    The real show will begin when the winner of the plea bargain race between Schultz and Curley begins giving a full and honest statement as to what McQueary actually reported. Then the full back story of the cover up will unfold, and Paterno’s complicity (or lack thereof) will be known.

  • David Nieporent

    Paterno and Spanier are out. Apparently covering up child rape is just a bit too much for people, even when you’re a football coach.

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  • Anonymous

    all i know is what happened at P.State is bad ,real bad…they will get whats coming to them and that universiyies past track record has finally caught up with them………now , i personally can not wait to see the first game on tv…any college student body is going to have a field day with this mess…..half the students will be at the game taunting the university and coaches and god help those players that try and defend paterno……a three ring circus in a three ring circus…..i wonder to myself,what freakin ‘ college is next and what the hell is wrong in college sports….not so much sports at u.of colorado they just seem to draw serial rapist here and incomptent campus/and local police force that could’nt catch a criminal if they turned themselves in…..they all have something they’re trying to hide…usc,ohio state,penn state now…hmm maybe i’ll send my granddaughter to a college in europe…..no wait, maybe straight into politics ….., oh that will not work either…….so i guess she is screwed before ahe even gets into college…what a mess…everywhere…! signed by an embarrassed american……..p.s. we are so messed up for being the greatest country in the world…moving to antarctica………..

  • Anonymous

    in defense of joe paterno: i’m not going to defend him because of all the amazing things he’s done over the course of his career. that would be like giving him an excuse to do something bad now. he wouldn’t have it that way. the reality of the current situation is that joe DID do the right thing in every ethical, moral, and legal sense. he took a second hand allegation that he got 12 hours after an alleged rape and moved quickly to follow state and university protocol by reporting that to his boss. beyond that, he took the extra effort to make sure that gary schultz was alerted of the situation. why is this so important? because schultz oversees campus police, a 250 officer operation with its own investigative and enforcement powers that are on the same level as the pennsylvania state police.

    so for all you who keep hearing that joe didn’t tell police… it’s a lie. remember that. repeat that everywhere. the media doesn’t want you to know that because it doesn’t fit their beautiful narrative of penn state pride before the fall.

    it was up to schultz to investigate this crime. joepa has no purview in this arena. schultz has the powers of a medium sized city’s police commissioner. and he did nothing. he neglected to even question sandusky. he neglected to attempt to locate the victim (who still has not been identified 9 years later). he even refused to restrict sandusky’s access to campus buildings — the minimum that could have been achieved. none of these decisions were joe paterno’s decisions. they all rested in the office of the de facto commissioner of campus police.

    now you can ask all sorts of questions about why schultz did this. was he covering for a friend? was he instructed to do so by someone else? i’m not sure why he did it. but he did it. and the fact of the matter is that if joe wanted to execute a cover-up, he would have never gone to curley and schultz in the first place. it makes no sense otherwise. so this all rests on schultz. furthermore, schultz took the step to talk to president spanier, who agreed that there was nothing worth investigating on a criminal level, so the book was closed.

    at this point in the story, there’s only one good guy and a whole lot of bad guys. and that good guy is joepa.

    some people are asking why joe didn’t do more to follow up on this after the fact. the bottom line is that he had no idea if talking to sandusky or confronting him would threaten an ongoing investigation. so he stayed quiet and moved on with life. when after several months nothing was found regarding sandusky, what was joe to do? decide to be insubordinate and go above the president of the university’s head? call the FBI? put on a batman suit and seek vigilante justice in the dark of night? what if he went after sandusky himself and it was found that there was no crime, there was no string of rapes? do you think joe would have done the right thing then? how would he have been able to see that?

    people have decided to victimize joepa in this case, and doing so is a moral crime much worse than anything joe himself committed. after all, the media’s rush to blame joe for this sets an awful moral hazard. what is the point of doing the right thing if you get punished for it anyway? why should those like spanier, who sits by silently, let joe — the football coach — take the heat for a massive institutional failure? it’s cowardly to blame joe for this, yet that’s all we are seeing in the media and in water cooler talk across the country.

    the other thing to keep in mind is that of all the people who had information that could have led to sandusky’s exposure in the last 15 years, joe paterno is the ONLY one who did the right thing with it. mcquery cowered. schultz ducked. curley played the stooge. spanier gave all the milquetoast solutions the rubber stamp. second mile continued to enable sandusky. ray gricar, the DA for centre county, refused to call a grand jury based on allegations in 1998. campus police refused to arrest sandusky after the 1998 incident too. a janitor who supposedly saw something happen in 2000 didn’t announce it until the grand jury trial, 10 years later. even some of the mothers sat on information for the better part of a decade! only joe took information that could have incriminated sandusky and handed it over the authorities. only joe. don’t forget that.

    just please remember: do not defend joe with an asterisk. do not defend him half-heartedly. do not give in to the mob. joe did the right thing in all of this, both legally and morally. defend him in full voice, and defend him forever.

    please repost this across to your friend lists if you agree. if you got this far, thanks for reading.

    • Richard

      You’re wrong. Paterno was told by his assistant that a rape had occurred. Paterno went to the A.D. althouugh seems to have told the A.D. that something less than rape occurred. Paterno had a lot more clout on that campus than the A.D. Paterno and the assistant were told that, as the result of the investigation, Sandusky’s keys to the locker room had been taken away. No further discipline. No referral to law enforcement. Paterno does nothing further even though he could have easily talked to the Presidnet of the college or the Board of Trustees about the failure to do anything more. Sandusky contiues to bring kids to the sidelines for Penn State games with no comments or disapproval by Paterno. Paterno did not do the right thing. It would not have been insubordinate to go to the president after the A.D. did nothing. It would have been the right thing to do. We’re not talking about the military here with a rigid chain of command. It was a public university for gods sake where the idea of a chain of command is laughed at, where professors vent their complaints all the time, where Paterno was revered as a god. Are you telling me that Paterno was afraid of what the A.D. could do to him if Paterno raised this with the President? Come on. Paterno failed to do the right thing and being deprived of the chance to coach three football games is pretty minor punishment.

      • JupiterPluvius

        It would not have been “insubordinate” of him to call the police, or child protective services, when he was notified that a child had been raped.

        Even taking out the question of whether “insubordination” should be a factor at all in a matter like this.

    • Cugel

      Sounds like a highly selective presentation worth of Paterno’s lawyer’s opening argument. And as full of holes as a Swiss Cheese!

      By his own sworn testimony, Paterno heard from his assistant that said assistant witnessed what would be a class 2 felony sexual assault on a child — or possibly class 1 if the assistant’s Grand Jury testimony is to be believed.

      And again it is undisputed that he reported it, nothing was done. NO investigation was ever held and Paterno was perfectly fine with that!

      And whether someone else “should have done something” or not, Joe Paterno had the power to make sure that Jerry Sandusky never set foot on the Penn State Campus again. As for the B.S. of a potential “lawsuit” by Sandusky that is beyond absurd. Sandusky suing Paterno because Paterno was using his power to keep Sandusky away from the Penn State program? Or for reporting the incident to State Police for investigation when Schulz failed to take action?

      Sandusky could NEVER had done anything to Paterno without the whole mess becoming public — the last thing he would ever do.

      I don’t know why there are so many Paterno apologists desperately trying to cover up for him, but the Whitewash isn’t going to work.

  • Michael Green

    I am not a Paterno apologist–I don’t care either way. But to say that he WAS told that sodomizing took place is different from what he said he was told. Is he lying? He may be. But I do believe we have a legal system in place for evaluating the veracity of testimony.

    • nrml

      If McQueary would have said “sodomizing” Paterno would have taken decisive action. However, fondling is a typical part of the naked horsing around with young boys at Penn State so JoePa only told his boss.

      • McQueary testified to the grand jury that he told Paterno the boy was anally raped.

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  • janet

    Paterno reported the abuse to Gary Schultz, the head of PSU Campus Police, a full time, armed, municipal police force for a community of 45,000, what else was he supposed to do, launch his own investigation? What other private citizen is expected to follow up on a police report and ensure a vigorous investigation?

    I think everyone’s vitriol should be aimed at law enforcement, and the Centre County DA who declined to press charges in 1998.

    • Scott Lemieux

      Seriously, are you arguing that Paterno — a substantially more powerful figure than Curley or Schutlz — is just another “private citizen” with no particular obligation to ensure that someone he knew to be a child molester was stopped? That’s absurd.

    • mark f

      what else was he supposed to do, launch his own investigation?

      Tell the guy to get lost? Call the state police or Child Protective Services? Ask the cop on detail or an intern or a player to escort whatever children Sandusky brought to his facilities to a safe place while Sandusky was removed and police were called? Not be satisfied with “we took his keys and told him not to fuck kids on campus”?

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