Monday, November 07, 2011

Time to go, Papa Joe

I like Penn State football, I like  head coach Joe Paterno, I like the  defensive style they play. I wish Rutgers  played like Penn State.

This is ugly:
Sex abuse case against ex-Penn State coach jolts state

Joe Paterno is like those white-haired Catholic Bishops who for decades said to their underlings, "I don't want to hear about it. You take care of it." They thought they could  dodge around the legal culpability, & most of them did, personally. They didn't accept the  moral responsibility. Joe Paterno, himself an old conservative Catholic, was given two chances to do the right thing. But in 1999 he let his assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky, under a cloud of suspicion, walk away into comfortable retirement, retaining his Penn State privileges, an office, parking sticker, access to sports facilities.

In 2002,  with an eyewitness report of a boy  anally raped [allegedly] by Sandusky  in a shower in Paterno's  campus  facilities, his attitude again was, "You take care of it" to Penn State Athletic Director Timothy Curley & University VP Gary Schultz. The latter two now face  serious charges. But Papa Joe? Well, he's not legally culpable. Or maybe he's too sacrosanct in Happy Valley.

This isn't about law, Joe Paterno.  You had all the power & then some to do something & didn't do it. All it would have taken was a phone call, perhaps just buzzing your secretary, maybe only snapping your fingers. Has anyone contacted the police? Who was the boy? Sandusky was my guy, this is my school, my program,   therefore I'm in some way responsible.

Other people are responsible, too. But Joe Paterno  could have stopped it. He didn't know because he didn't want to know.

Nine years too late to make amends. Time to go, Papa Joe. Like now. Go now, explain later.
Penn State has produced many sports journalists. Today, some of them are talking about the erosion of traditional Penn State football events over the past decade,  due not only to Paterno's age & frailty, but also because of Sandusky's continuing involvement with Penn State, as former players tried to distance themselves from him.

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