I’m not sure I’ve ever been more horrified and saddened by what has transpired at Penn State this week.
First and foremost, my thoughts and prayers are with the victims. I can only hope the case becoming national news helps them in some way.
As to Penn State, shame on the school for how it responded to the initial discovery of information about former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky’s actions in both 1998 and 2002, which allowed the child abuse to continue for years. And shame on the school for how it responded this week when all the news went public.
-Shame on Sandusky for his actions. I can’t write on this blog what I really think of him.
-Shame on athletic director Tim Curley and vice-president Gary Schultz, accused of covering up the 2002 incident and lying to the grand jury.
-Shame on president Graham Spanier for his response to the charges against Curley and Schultz, saying they have his full support.
-Shame on head coach Joe Paterno, for his failure to act years ago and then acting now as though he shouldn’t have known to do more then.
-Shame on Paterno for his hideous press release Wednesday morning which contained such sickening statements as:
“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 right, he served the best interests of the university and the football program instead of the best interests of the young boys he allowed to continue to be abused by Sandusky by not speaking out.
“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.”
Forget hindsight, you knew at the time you should’ve done more. You were told about a grown man on your football staff having sex with a minor in the shower. That doesn’t just go up the chain of command. You were Joe Paterno, King of State College, your voice carried more weight than anybody, you had to act, you knew it, but you protected your program and your friend. And don’t tell me it’s a great sorrow of your life. You still don’t want to accept it’s not about you, it’s about the young boys.
“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.”
There was no admission of guilt and no apology to the victims. He made sure he didn’t open himself up to lawsuits, because it was still all about him. And the thought that he would continue to work for the school if he actually was allowed to finish out the season was just delusional.
“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 one is the worst. If he wanted to make it as easy as possible, he would’ve resigned effective immediately. Instead, he forced the Board to continue to debate the issue by insisting on staying the rest of the year. He knew it would make the Board look like the bad guy and himself a victim and it worked, as students actually protested and rioted on campus.
-Finally, shame on the students for being duped by Paterno and the rest of the school. Somehow, they also amazingly ignored the fact young boys were the victims, not an old man. Here’s what one of the protesters said,
“People on the outside probably think we’re just a bunch of crazy kids acting stupid,” junior Andrew Ezzart told ESPN.com. “But for us, it’s so much more than that. We definitely don’t like the way they handled the situation. Everybody thinks they made Joe a scapegoat and this was all pinned on him.”
Let me help you here, Mr. Ezzart. Scapegoating is the practice of singling out any party for unmerited negative treatment or blame. First, the treatment and blame for Paterno wasn’t unmerited at all. Second, Paterno wasn’t singled out, he was one of many fired for this despicable situation, including the university president, the athletic director, a vice-president and hopefully soon receivers coach Mike McQueary, who witnessed the 2002 incident, didn’t try to stop it, told Paterno and then also ignored it.
Penn State clearly isn’t an institution of higher learning because these kids haven’t learned anything, sadly because the adults in charge haven’t taught them anything, except how to do the wrong thing over and over and over. Shame on them, shame on them all.
THERE IT IS!