The Penn State Pedophile Controversy Is All About Protecting The Athletic Program At The Cost of Protecting The Kids

This video below presents the mother of the youngster who was raped by Sandusky in the shower room that a graduate football coordinator now assistant coach witnessed.

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Over the last few days, watching the evening news programs unfold, I have failed to see a good reason why the students of Penn State are rioting over the firing of Joe Paterno.

Oh, yeah.  They’re football-mad from a football-mad university.  An easy excuse that doesn’t quite cut it this time.   Don’t they know what the word “ethics” means?  It certainly doesn’t mean winning at any cost.   Unfortunately, these jocks don’t get it.

This is a criminal investigation involving not only Paterno, but the entire football athletics program and the college administration.  Even “Judas”  Mike McQueary, who is currently receiving death threats for reporting that he saw Sandusky sodomize a 10-year-old boy, may be brought up on charges because he did not immediately report what he saw to police.  Sports icon be damned.  Paterno should have retired when he hit 70.  At this late stage in his life, Paterno is probably not a hands-on kind of guy.  I’ll bet that he dictated a lot to others who made decisions for him or in his name.

Moreover, Paterno was ill-equipped to fully understand what a pedophile is and what he does.  Paterno failed to act decisively to safeguard the children involved and the program he built.   When trouble came, he was mostly concerned with protecting his people–and himself.  Like nuclear families and Catholic clergy, Penn State and the athletics program is a closed society.  And just like within closed societies, the culture within the athletics program was that of secrecy and self-preservation  (and buck-passing).   Paterno and his people enforced this culture.  Like sports journo Mark Madden said, it’s a fiefdom over there.

Therefore, to go outside of the culture and report on what was clearly unethical and criminal behavior by a member of the program was breaking internal rules and was asking for trouble.  This is why McQueary is possibly facing criminal charges because after he called his father, he brought it to Paterno’s attention, to the top guy in the chain of responsibility in the program, but not to the immediate attention of the cops.   He’s been placed on indefinite leave, but he’s both witness as well as accused in this situation.

What gets me is why in the world didn’t McQueary intervene while the rape was occurring?  Revulsed he may have been and even scared, but why didn’t he get in the middle of such a horror?   Don’t tell me it was none of his business.  Why didn’t he call the cops?

Even when a janitor saw Sandusky messing with another boy, and he was encouraged to file a report, he did not report it, fearing for his job–and fearing Sandusky and his power.  Indeed some whistle-blowers have found themselves without a  job for months, perhaps years, because they did the right thing in calling the cops.  And I am not referring to campus police; I am referring to the police department in the city where Penn State is located.  But hey, even they knew something was up with Sandusky.   Instead, it was swept under the rug and covered up.   Remember, Sandusky’s behavior has been allowed to go on for over a decade.  Even after he left the program under a cloud, he had the keys to the Penn State facilities where he could continue to rape boys.

If these Penn State students–or their younger brothers–had been sodomized by the likes of Jerry Sandusky, there would be no one milling in the streets, turning over satellite trucks, or standing in front of Paterno’s house with homemade posters proclaiming their support.   A lynch mob would have developed instead.  When I saw those kids on TV marauding around Penn State in Joe Paterno’s name, I said that there was something dead wrong with this picture.   Was his ethics their ethics, too?

Hardly anyone has evinced any sympathy whatsoever for the at-risk boys who were the subjects of Sandusky’s sickness.  Well, I guess they are expendable enough to these mostly middle-class Penn State students (and the Penn State athletic faculty and administration).  And I predict that these youth could be victimized once more if people keep calling Joe Paterno a hero.  I imagine these kids from Sandusky’s Second Mile foundation are poor and low-income, probably with a single parent, have education deficits, and have been in trouble with the police a few times.  And dare I say it:  they could be Latino or black as well as white.  There is an unconfirmed report that has surfaced that Sandusky may have pimped the youth from Second Mile to wealthy donors who also have a thing for young boys.

Like the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal, like the Bishop Eddie Long case, in no way this scandal can be said to be over.  Sandusky is going to trial.  Civil cases will be filed in which Penn State will have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Heads are going to continue to  roll from the highest to the lowest on the rungs of power in the Penn State community, and it could go on to envelope other campuses where Sandusky coached, and even touch alumni, judges, and law enforcement officials.  All because Joe Paterno decided to run everything his way, and make it easy for underlings like Jerry Sandusky to evade justice.  When it finally is over, the mythology surrounding Joe Paterno may be dead by the time he goes to his grave.

~ by blksista on November 11, 2011.

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