Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Penn State Mess

Like most of America, I was shocked when the news broke that one of Penn State’s former Assistant Football Coach’s, a former player, founder of an organization that was established to help “at risk kids”, and one time heir apparent to the Head Coaching job held by his friend Joe Paterno, the winingest coach in college football, had been arrested, along with the Athletic Director and a Vice President of the university, on charges relating to the abuse of preteen and teenage boys.  That was a long sentence; I wanted to take your breath away.  The sentence could be a whole page long and not say everything that the opening sentence in this article should say.

It’s been less than forty-eight hours since I saw the first news blurb about this scandal.  In that short time span, two high level officials have been arrested; the head football coach and the university president have been fired.  The institution is under state and federal investigation and the reputation of the university forever sullied.  To the credit of the Board of Trustees of the university, they wasted no time taking bold, decisive actions in removing people who could have and should have stopped the abuse but chose to ignore it for over ten years.

I read the report of the Grand Jury that investigated the allegations and was as shocked and angered as I have been in my life.

According to the report, on a Friday night, a twenty-eight year old Graduate Assistant, who was a former Penn State football player, and now serves as an assistant coach of the team saw an adult man, who he recognized as an assistant coach, performing anal sex on a boy that appeared to be about ten years old.  Instead of stopping the activity and calling the police, he “left immediately, distraught.”  He then called his father who told him to leave the building and come home.  He and his father decided that he, the graduate assistant, had to promptly report what he had seen to Coach Joe Paterno.  So promptly the next morning, Saturday morning, he telephoned Paterno at home and reported what he had seen.
The next day, Sunday, Paterno called the Athletic Director to his home to inform him that a graduate assistant had seen an assistant coach “doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy.”

One and one half weeks later, the Athletic Director and his superior, the Vice President for some stuff, called the graduate assistant to a meeting.  He, the graduate assistant, retold his story.  The two officials told him they would look into it and determine what further action they would take.

The story goes on and on, but I am going to stop here for my commentary on this small part.

Why would a twenty-eight year old man see an adult having anal sex with a ten-year-old child walk away and call his daddy?  That is the first person I would have arrested, for abetting the adult child abuser in his heinous crime.  He had both a moral and legal responsibility to step in and put an end to that crime against a child.  As of this writing, he is still employed as an assistant coach with the Penn State football team.  I don’t know about you but I will stand and cheer the day they drag him away in chains to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

I have to wonder why, on Saturday, when Paterno was notified; he did not immediately call the police, as is his legal and moral responsibility.  He was right to contact his superior but should have done that after he called the police and had them going to arrest the eye witness who had done nothing to stop the activity the night before.  Now, in my eyes, Paterno had become an accessory to the crime of child abuse.  I have always liked and respected Joe Paterno, both as a coach and a man but he has lost the right to those feelings.  He and the graduate assistant should have to pay dearly for letting a sexual predator continue to damage children for nine more years.

Moving up the ladder, the Athletic Director and Vice President, who have been arrested for lying to the Grand Jury, should also be prosecuted for putting more children in danger by refusing to turn their buddy, the child abuser, to walk free.
The next step shocked me more than any of the rest of the people involved, except for the scumbag child abuser himself, the President of the University failed to take action when he was notified of the situation.

Each of the men, except the eyewitness who allowed the child abuse to continue unabated, involved claim they misunderstood the information or followed the university procedure.


Not once did any of these men, and I use the term loosely, put the safety and well being of the children that had been abused or would, because of their inaction, be abused by the monster they all loved.

One last rant, in 1998 the child abuser had been investigated by the Campus Police after allegations, which he admitted to, of inappropriate actions with children were reported.  The monster could have been stopped that early but the County District Attorney decided that there would be no criminal charges and the police were told to close the case.

I will be writing more about this in the days, weeks, and months to come.  For now, let be just say that these so called men make me puke.  Perhaps the person who should shoulder the most guilt for this affair is the twenty-eight year old man that saw a child being abused and just walked away.  Sickening, they are all trash!


Anonymous said...

I agree, Ken! This could have been stopped years ago, but too often people will "protect the institution" rather than do what is needed. When it is one against many, the one is often the loser.


Mom said...

I don't think I've ever been as angry as I was when I first heard about this child abuse. They never even tried to find the child so he could get some help. I heard, today, that Sandusky is 6' 5" tall. Can you imagine how intimidating he must have been to a little boy? I wholeheartedly agree with your suggestions of jail time for many of those people.