Joe Paterno Fired

Late Wednesday, the Penn State Board of Trustees did the right thing. The board members voted to fire head football coach Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spanier for mishandling allegations of child molestation against former PSU assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. In Paterno’s case, his actions — or lack thereof — specifically involve a 2002 incident between Sandusky and a 10-year-old boy witnessed by a graduate assistant. It still sounds surreal: Joe Paterno Fired!

Announcing the decision, board vice chair John Surma said, “The past several days have been absolutely terrible for the entire Penn State community. But the outrage that we feel is nothing compared to the physical and psychological suffering that allegedly took place.”

In the course of its investigation, the Sandusky grand jury discovered the young assistant — now known to be current wide receivers coach Mike McQueary — immediately left the locker room after finding Sandusky engaging in sexual activity with the child, and called his father for advice.

The graduate assistant and his father decided that the graduate assistant had to promptly report what he had seen to Coach Joe Paterno (“Paterno”), head football coach of Penn State. The next morning, a Saturday, the graduate assistant telephoned Paterno and went to Paterno’s home, where he reported what he had seen.

Joseph V. Paterno testified to receiving the graduate assistant’s report at his home on a Saturday morning. Paterno testified that the graduate assistant was very upset. Paterno called Tim Curley (“Curley”), Penn State Athletic Director and Paterno’s immediate superior, to his home the very next day, a Sunday, and reported to him that the graduate assistant had seen Jerry Sandusky in the Lasch Building showers fondling or doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy.

Paterno did nothing more. And tonight, Joe Paterno was fired.

He didn’t report it to law enforcement, or other appropriate state authorities. Curley and Gary Schultz, senior vice president for finance and business, have since been indicted for lying to the grand jury, in an attempt to cover up the incident. As a human being, more should be expected of Paterno. As a community, state and national leader, even more so.

In arguing for Paterno’s ouster early Wednesday afternoon, Allen Barra wrote in The Atlantic:

The grand jury decided Paterno had “fulfilled his legal requirements when advised of the incident,” but state police commissioner Frank Noonan bluntly said, “Somebody has to question about what I would consider the moral requirements for a human being that knows of sexual things that are taking place with a child.” Spanier was not indicted, but state district attorney Linda Kelly has not ruled out that he might also be charged for failing to alert authorities of the accusations against Sandusky.”

Many people share responsibility in not doing what they should regarding Sandusky and his years of allegedly abusing young boys entrusted to him. McQuery, Curley, Shultz, Spanier and presumed-dead former Centre County, Pa. district attorney Ray Gricar are a few.

But Paterno needed to go, and needed to go immediately. And a few hours ago, The Board of Trustees as Penn State did the heretofore unimaginable: Joe Paterno was fired. It’s encouraging to see the PSU board doing the right thing, when no one else at the school evidently would.

Of course, it’s 1:30 AM and I am watching videos of enraged and most likely inebriated  Penn State Students turning over a Police Truck and running rampant around the campus in protest, so my opinion is certainly not shared by everyone. What about you?

 by J.L. Mann Cromer, Jr., an Attorney licensed to practice in South Carolina, California & The District of Columbia. He received his BA in 1985 from Clemson University and his JD in 1988 from the University of South Carolina School of Law.

with Wes Wolfe. He’s written for 11 publications in five states, and is the proprietor of The Five Points Flood.

Posted in Legal Advice

60 thoughts on “Joe Paterno Fired

  1. Justin Swearingen on said:

    You don’t consider the head of the Penn St Police Department law enforcement? Part of Schultz’s duties was oversight of the Penn St Police Department. I would say that qualifies him as law enforcement. But if you want to neglect facts in order to get your point across then be my guest.

  2. Amanda on said:

    I think PapaJo’s problem is more along the lines of he only did just what was required of him, instead of doing above and beyond what he had to do…. There was A LOT of things he could have done, but didn’t… I almost wonder if he hoped it would just go away if he ignored it, or if he was really naive enough to believe it when he was told it had been taken care of…. In the end, everyone looses; children were violated in the worst way imaginable, a long honored institution is scarred beyond repair, a legend looses his status, and innocence is once again dealt an unrecoverable blow.

  3. Justin Swearingen on said:

    What could he have done to go above and beyond? If I tell a law enforcement officer and my immediate supervisor about something as serious as this I would think that the proper actions would take place, just like anyone else in that situation would. You assume he knew in 2002 what he knows now in 2011. The president, athletic director and vp of business and finance were the ones who did nothing. I would say that if Joe Pa did anything more he would leave the university and himself open to a lawsuit from Sandusky.

  4. Amanda on said:

    Unless you have ever been the victim of sexual abuse, as I have, you can never understand what “above and beyond” means, but I will try to explain for you. When one LE agency fails to do anything (which would have been overly obvious when the perpetrator was not arrested) there were plenty of others to go to (city, county, state). There are many different things that could have been done. However, I have a feeling that PapaJo, a product of a different era, fell victim to a thinking that ‘higher ups’ would handle it, and left it at that… As has become apparent in the past few decades, sometimes that is not enough…

    • L. Howard on said:

      Joe Paterno is being made a scapegoat for the University. The man who observed the act and went to the coach instead of the police is the coward and the culprit. The emotional arguments about children’s lives being ruined do not really speak to the facts here. Some want to hold Paterno responsible for not “going above and beyond” the call of duty. Well, what about this…all of us have heard about someone breaking the law across town or down the street…why haven’t we gone to the police? Because when you go to the police to file a report about something that you do not have actual knowledge of, the report itself is suspect and the question becomes “where is the party with the actual knowledge.” It is not much different here. Why are we ignoring the person who actually observed the criminal actions? Why aren’t we focused on his responsibility to report the crime that he actually observed? If Paterno did not witness the act it is nothing more than an allegation. Yes, the allegation may prove to ultimately be true, but it is an allegation none the less and within the University setting he passed the word up the chain, just as the person who actually observed it passed it to Paterno. Why then, is the University any less to blame for not going to the police? Bottom line is Joe Paterno is being used in an attempt to lessen the blow on the university and that is not right. If Joe knew and had actual knowledge there is no question, he should have taken it to the police. But there is no allegation that Paterno hid the information and did not report it. What if Joe Paterno was told that someone in the finance department was stealing money? Would it be his responsibility to go to the police? I think not. If Joe Paterno has to be fired, so should everyone who worked at the University, received the report from Joe and failed to race down to the police station immediately.

  5. Bilenda on said:

    The University and Paterno himself knew in 1998 that Sandusky was a sexual predator. That is why he “retired” in 1999. So in 2002 Paterno knew already about Sandusky and did not call the police. As Amanda said if one law enforcement agency does nothing go to another one.

    Penn State truly is the Catholic Church of the NCAA. Regardless of what era Paterno is from, the reality is they all knew about Sandusky and they allowed him to have the use of their shower room to commit the worst of crimes- the rape of children- telling themselves it was not their responsibility to do more or the news would distract from the chance for a good football season or whatever. How tragic for those children.

    As an attorney I have represented children who have been sexually abused by those they trusted and I can tell you they will never be okay. That is the real tragedy in this.

  6. Casey Estridge on said:

    This is the saddest of days for NCAA college football. JoePa only did the minimum to protect the children that were sexually abused and future abuse victims. Nothing about these acts should have been taken so lightly. I want to think that JoePa has just been senile for the last 10 years but I don’t think that’s the case. These PSU students that have acted in such a boorish fashion should find another rallyng cause to show such a display…they should be embarassed for their reaction to the firing of a football coah. What about the victims and the families who have to deal with the mental anguish of what this predator put them through? The whole thing is disgusting.

  7. Phillip Moore on said:

    It sounds like Coach Paterno tried to alert people about this problem, but when nothing was done, he should have been more insistant. I feel bad for him, because he was forced into a situation that he had nothing to do with. All I can say, is GOD help anyone who does ANYTHING to one of my sons. They would beg for death!

  8. Terri Mostiller on said:

    Coach Joe reported the incident but when nothing was done, he should’ve taken it a step further. Why were the police not called? That is the question that sticks out in my mind. I hate Coach Paterno was fired for this, but when something like this happens you have to sometimes take matters into your own hands to protect the children. If this man had done this to my boys, God would have to have mercy on me for what I would do to this man. Think of the children’s lives that were ruined because this was not stopped at the time this man was caught red handed. My prayers to those boys and their families for what they’ve had to endure over the years because of nobody followed through.

  9. Jason on said:

    I hate it for Joe Paterno but I feel Penn State did what it had to do in such a tragic situation. I think he did what was required of him should he have done more probably but that’s a touch call for anyone to make when you look at it from his perspective. A legendary coach ruined by the actions of those he trusted. A sad day for everyone.

  10. Mike on said:

    How is firing this coach going to make anything about this case better? Why does the blame game have to be spread out among so many people? There is only one person responsible for all of this, and we know who that is. Joe is the football coach, nothing more. He reported what he knew, he doesn’t run the college. It was out of his hands.

  11. Kelly on said:

    Not to side with anyone, but if patents knew and even gained confessions, why did they not push the subject to get action taken? Where they taking hush money? If a parent knows and allows the situation to continue, why arent they being questioned and possible charges put against them? I’m not a lawyer, but I would think there is some type of suit the other victims could bring up against the parents that knew and did nothing but deal with the school. We all know the reason this continued and it was because no one wanted to tarnish one of the greatest football legacies in college. From cover ups to potential pay off, they should clean house, make a point that football is not higher than the law! Now to take a side, some one should have kicked Sandusky’s ass a few times and hung him out to dry…Frankly, coach P was the most decorated icon at the school and could had easily stood up for these children, immediately fire Sandusky, have him arrested by the city police, and no one would have blamed him, they would have praised him for protecting our innocent children. The shame come with him trying to protect himself, the football team and the School before the innocent children.

  12. Andrew Williams on said:

    Good, he deserved termination, and deservbes more punishment. There was NO excuse for not reporting to the police, what his subordinate was doing to young children in a Penn State football locker room. THE END.

    • Polly on said:


  13. Andrew Williams on said:

    (There was no other alternative to this!)

  14. ACE on said:

    I’m not a fan of the NFL, but who hasn’t heard of legendary Coach Joe Paterno? As a parent of a son, I cannot imagine the horror and anguish these children and their parents will deal with for the rest of their lives. Anyone who molests a child is not a human being in my book. They should be strung up in public and tortured to death. I do not believe Coach Paterno should be held to the fire on this one. He received the report from his assistant (kudos to the assistant for coming forward) and took immediate action by notifying who he thought were the proper authorities to handle the situation. If I had to guess, he followed the “chain of command” that was set in place. If the school had taken the incident as seriously as they should, they had the obligation to follow through and make sure the proper consequences were set in motion. But, like most public groups out there, I’m sure they didn’t want their name or reputation at the time to be tarnished. To have Coach Paterno FIRED under the heat of these allegations will certainly leave the legacy of his fine coaching career under considerable darkness. In this case, I think the school is making Paterno the fall guy.

  15. Polly on said:

    Well Well Well, how the mighty have fallen. I have never been a Penn State fan (GO OHIO STATE!) but I don’t wish this on anyone. Having said that. I do hold Paterno responsible for not “shaking the trees” when he was informed of the abuse. Everyone in that chain of command is culpable because they failed to do anything.

  16. Cooter Brown on said:

    I’s jest a nat’url born fool frum south carolinie, but I knows one thang– dont be a messin’ wit da yung’uns or yer axin’ fer an ass whoopin’!

    Dat doy iz luckie he jest got fired. If’n heed turned a blind eye an’ let dat happen t’ one ov mine, he’s bee takin a long walk on a short rope wit hiz frien a swingin’ next t’ him an’ dat, folks, would bee da case if’n I wuz in a gud mood!

    My Lord, hab mercie on dis wicked an’ perverse generashun!

  17. Stephanie on said:

    You can’t and shouldn’t use hindsight to say… “oh he should have done more”. What if he did go to outside authorities and they did nothing? Would it have made the situation better for him now? Or is the public so outraged (and rightly so) by what happened on campus that no matter what he did would not have been good enough. Exactly how far should he have taken it? Should he have taken it to the media? I feel it is a bit unjust to stand here in 2011 and judge what “should have happened” in 2002. A lot more should have happened in a lot of areas in our history, but we can’t rewrite the past and we can’t continually place blame now for actions that “should have happened”.

    I think Joe did what he thought was right. I think he did feel that he reported the incident to his superiors and as most would do, he felt it was being handled. At least for that 10 year old, it was brought to light and hopefully the abuse stopped. As a 7-8 year old, I never knew what was happening to me was bad. You did not talk about it and you certainly did not discuss those sorts of things with your kids. Therefore, no one ever knew what was happening to me.

    If Joe had turned to the assistant and said, “just leave it alone”, I would be extremely upset. Joe did not do that. He went to his authorities and supervisors. He did what he had been trained and told to do (if he had any training on the issue at all!). I had hoped he would have been allowed to retire, but sometimes, the public, without full facts of what exactly transpired, will use use their emotions to condemn someone rather than logic.

  18. walter carr on said:

    Let’s drill down a bit into this, doing so could be especially helpful for those of you who seem to be well qualified for lynch mobs. What we know is that the asst. couch witnessed what he interperted as being a sex act involving Sandusky and a minor taking place in a shower room. He reported it to Paterno. Paterno reported it to his superiors thus fufilling his legal obligations. Whatelse did Paterno do? We don’t yet know. The timing of events are such that he had plenty of time to question Sandusky and others about the asst. coaches alligations. I would suggest that he spoke with Sandusky and Sandusky denied all while offering that the asst. coach misinterperted what he witnessed and that the alligation that he would sexually abuse a minor was an outrage. Who would Paterno give the benifit of the doubt to, his long time friend or the asst. coach? It is reasonable to beleive that Paterno’s superiors interview Sandusky, he denied all and lacking a supporting witness did not have enough evidence to go proceed further. This would be especially so if they intervied the youth and he denied all. If the Sandusky allegation was the only such alligation that Paterno was aware off then he did all, both leaglly and morally that could reasonably be expected of him. However, if he knew more than has presently come to light then I would need to reevaluate my present position, Paternio is being shafted, in light of that information.


  19. John on said:

    Growing up in Pennsylvania I always heard what a legend this guy was but my dad always turned off all the games on TV because “he couldn’t stand the greasy dago”. So I’ve never like the guy either. This entire situation is one big cover up. They knew that the assistant coach was a predator and he was shown the door earlier so the university could have clean hands and then the guy has the audacity to start a program for at risk kids in the assumption to satisfy his urges. Paterno was on the board of this organization so his hands aren’t remotely clean either. Knowing a person is a pervert and supporting an organization that will inflict harm to children or make them more at risk is appalling. My question would be why was this guy allowed to molest children on school property after leaving the football program. I also find it interesting that the graduate student that brought the entire situation to light was given a full time job at the university and a promotion… could this be seen as hush money? I am sure if the graduate student would have walked into the shower and seen Paterno’s child being abused the situation would have turned out differently, we all know that. To look the other way or to just make it someone else’s problem to fix is not enough, he should have followed up since it reflected on his university, his football program and society. Shame on them all. No one involved has clean hands!

  20. Mary on said:

    Me personally, I would have kept making some noise until the matter was handled in a manner that I would want someone who knew my child was being molested to handle it. It’s really sad that this was not resolved IMMEDIATELY, damage is done now and the crap is finally rolling downhill and scooping all the ones who didn’t do enough! Good!

  21. Laura Valtorta on said:

    Paterno should have called the police when he saw that nothing was done to stop the abuse or punish the abuser.

  22. ben Moise on said:

    Heads should roll. Heads are rolling. Nuff said.

  23. Michael on said:

    All of this “he did everything that was required of him legally” banter is ridiculous. Was he supposed to go above and beyond ? Yes isnt that what was the trademark of his alleged illustrious career how he always went above and beyond what others did or could do. A supposed great man should have been Capable of doing great things for more than his team. He could have been the hero these children needed if he would have used his great influence for good rather than his negligence for evil and that is what this is. Harming an innocent child is evil. The fact that people see any gray is a testament to the broken sense of morality that exists in this country. How far should the blame go? Anyone who had a suspicion is guilty in my opinion. I am not religious but I am a father and I know that children are as pure and innocent as anything that exists and an entire community failed to protect these. With attitudes like some of those being expressed about this subject I fear for the future

  24. Margie Heggie on said:

    My heart is breaking for those children. The whole sordid saga brings tears to my eyes. As the mother of a soon to be eight year old I cannot fathom the evil and the silence that surrounded it.

  25. James Hartman on said:

    It’s simple. Whether we like it or not college is more than football. What happened was unacceptable. The response of those in charge was even less acceptable. The Board of Trustees did the right thing. How can anyone, especially Joe Pa allow such evil by taking the position “I did what I was supposed to do” knowing that it was not enough and that the evil persisted. Maybe, Joe, you were overage in grade.

  26. mikeG on said:

    Some of you people are f’n nuts!! Joe Pa didn’t do sh*t about this other than “let somebody know” about what the grad asst said. Obviously they didn’t doubt what the grad asst told them as he is a current coach there. After this was reported by the grad asst, this perverted F’er still had an office there, was still on campus all the time, still bringing young underprivileged boys there…WTF, you think JoePa and these other people didn’t realize that….They looked the other way!! They didn’t want to “deal” with something “uncomfortable”…all the while this sick F’er kept sodomizing young boys while they looked the other way! I hope that bastard gets what’s coming to him in prison…personally, I would torture him to death….the least that had to happen to Joe Pa was to fire him…Quit complaining about him being fired….he didn’t do what he was supposed to do, and inncent children suffered for it!! Sandusky, burn in Hell!!!

  27. Pat Chisum on said:


  28. Reid Treadaway on said:

    I work for residential treatment centers for adolescent girls and young adult woman that suffer from severe depression, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders and chemical dependancy. Many of them have thoughts of suicide and some of them attempt suicide and self harming behavior like cutting and burning themselves.Most of these girls have experienced trauma in their lives, usually at a young age. Much of the trauma is sexual abuse. Many times this comes from a trusted freind , family member or friend of the family.
    They do not just get over it. Everybody is talking about Paterno. Where are these young boys? What are there lives like.

    Paterno failed them when they needed help the most. He let it continue by keeping silent. He may as well have been molesting them himself. It is sad. He lost his job and they lost their childhood and maybe their whole life.

    I cannot imagine someone taking up for him so that they can win a football game

  29. Stephen Cromer on said:

    Read the grand jury findings of fact:

  30. b.bugswatter on said:

    Once upon a time the mighty Gamecocks were scheduled to play the Nittany Lions. Joe Morrison was the USC coach. The event was touted as “Joe Paterno vs Paternity Joe”

  31. Thomas on said:

    I’ve never been a big Penn State fan, but this is not what anyone wanted to see happen. I will say this though. It is unfortunate that all of this is happening to Paterno, but where is all of the media sympathy for the kids? I’ve heard only one person bring up how we should feel bad for the kids too, but it was merely an afterthought. Football is great and all, but let’s put things into perspective here

  32. Debbie on said:

    I think that he reported it the proper chain of command back in 2002. It should have been addressed by the school’s athletic department and the athletic director should have been the person to call the authorities. At that point, the authorities would have investigated all allegations.

    I disagree with the school firing him over this. I think they should have at least let him finish out the season and retire with some dignity.

    I think the athletic department and the school should be held more accountable, as it was probably their attempt to coverup such an awful incident. Since Paterno didn’t actually witness the incident I think that he handled the situation properly.

    Additionally, my heart really goes out to the victims and all the anguish they have had to endure as a result.

  33. Andy on said:

    This entire child molestation Penn State saga is quite disgusting. I wonder if Paterno just gave it to administartors and ASSUMED it was handled. I guess you should not assume anything as both he and the Penn State President was fired. I expect we will hear more and more details regarding this terrible story.

  34. Charles Saverance on said:

    It was the right move for PSU. Mike McQueary should have kicked Sandusky’s ass – as he called 911. There is absolutely no excuse for McQueary’s (in)actions! Look for that BILLION dollar endowment at PSU to dry up as claims are filed.

  35. cromeradmin on said:

    Lordy Lordy thank you B.Bugswatter for pulling that old joke from the ARCHIVES! Priceless.

  36. Tummy the Giraffee on said:

    This situation is gonna get much worse before it gets better. Reports I’ve heard is there is some validity to Sandusky pimping out kids for contributions to The Second Mile.

  37. Mary Alexander on said:

    My first question would be, where is Pennsylvania? I know it’s north of here and not out west. My second question is, when did all of this happen? I keep seeing 2002 and that was about 9 years ago. Third question, football is still a game right? Last time I heard, sexual abuse is real life, unfortunately.

  38. Lib Tucker on said:

    Bravo to the Penn State Board of Trustees for firing everyone involved in the cover-up of the sexual abuse that has been going on for years with small boys. The assistant coach who witnessed the rape in the showers should have body-slammed the rapist and sat on him while he called the police. The fact that this university put the football program before the safety of children is reprehensible.

  39. John on said:

    After watching sports center and Fox news I believe the entire coaching staff should have been fired and the building decontaminated as well as their season halted. The rest of the coaching staff are long term too and also did nothing, especially the witness that was promoted most likely for his silence. His inaction should have removed him from the field, he should have called the cops right then and should have come to the aid of the child that was being sodomized. Also, this occurred in 2002, why now are we doing something, that is what I would like to know. I understand that it is not the fault of the players there and they shouldn’t be punished by having their season cancelled but if PSU is real about protecting children they should lock the doors, fire all of them and not start back up until the truth is found. Could you imagine if Brad Scott was found in the shower with some kid? What would happen in Cow town? It’s all about money! Not about the protection of children but about the protection of perverts on staff.

  40. John on said:

    Seriously, how could anyone ever take a shower there again and heaven help you if you dropped the soap..

  41. Ed on said:

    46 seasons, big time donor, and what did he do? What did he see? What did he know first hand or otherwise?

    I know friends who were sexually abused as children but none reported it to authorities and they were the victims. One has had their own children abused by the same perpetrator. When we strongly suggest action, every time nothing is done.

    I am tired of people being tried in the public arena. If Jerry was carrying on for decades, Joe was not the only one who knew. Many other people (law enforcement, the district attorney, Penn State officials banned Jerry from bringing boys to the stadium, had him promise not to be in the showers with boys).

    So what is just and true? We have more evidence concerning stains on dresses in the oval office, politicians playing in the woods in northern California, limousines over bridges, a bullet the travels miraculously and kills a president and more over the devaluation of the dollar, which is now only worth pennies compared to it’s value on the day I was born but we are more vocal over what we know least about.

    But I only know what is published however close or far from the truth. I only hope juries will use wisdom and not hype to weight the evidence. Then sentence the guilty with the maximum penalty.

  42. George Ritter on said:

    “Just win baby” even if you destroy the lives of the innocent. After all, “Winning is the only thing” isn’t it?

  43. Donna Givens on said:

    As I understand the issue presented by the blog, the question is whether a person in Paterno’s position should do more than merely report a situation such as this to his supervisor. Regardless of your position, be it one of power and privilege, or whether you are punching into the shiftwork job you are darn lucky to have, you must do more than the minimum in a situation such as this. Always, in matters involving those who are in a situation involving some weaker state, we are, each and every one of us obligated morally to do more. How much more? At least enough to insure that the situation, where it is as egregious as that alleged here, is addressed in a manner such that the wrongdoer is called to account for his/her actions, and that there exists a decreased potential for these actions to occur again. In general, we all tend towards complacency. We rationalize our minimalist efforts by whatever means necessary. That is what rationalization means. We are all human, and fallible. But being human and fallible does not afford us a ready excuse. We may be human and fallible, and still accountable. Joe Paterno has behaved in a manner which is human and fallible and now, because he did not do what he should have done, he must be accountable. And I dare say, he knows he should have done more. He has known it since it happened.

  44. rick s on said:

    There are momentary lapses of reason, and there are transgressions against morals, and then there is abject disregard for human decency. This is heinous disregard for human decency. To hell with the entire complicit PSU organization.

  45. Bob on said:

    It’s taken me a long time to fully grasp all that has happened. Suffice to say a horrible crime was perpetrated on innocents who were exceptionally vulnerable. However, there is a much bigger issue here. Pedophilia is unfortunately NOT a new thing. Heck, there is even a group called “NAMBLA” (North American Men Boys Love Association” that feels “justified” in their support of it! Lord knows how such an organization can exist without being knocked off the face of this earth! The problem I see is that ONCE AGAIN a pedophile got into a position of power to manipulate boys without knowledge of parents or authorities. The Boy Scouts, youth organizations, youth sports organizations, even church ministries take great pains to “weed” these guys out with questionnaires, investigations, etc. Even so, a few of these creeps get by. However, it’s tougher than it used to be (Thank God). What I see here is a pedophile who set up his OWN organization (and obviously had not “written” record of child abuse….but you know he probably had “victims” all throughout his life). Who is going to “police” the head of his own organization, ESPECIALLY a “revered” football coach? Does anyone realize the power Sandusky had, not just because of his position but because of the magnetic personality he probably has to accomplish the things in football he did? I didn’t know this guy at all but the description of his work (“Linebacker U?”), is pretty outstanding. The power of his personality to build athletes into such football players must have been way beyond average. So, WHO would question him, plus, WHO could do anything against him! My point here is that we still don’t have a good way to raise concerns to authorities without risking the destruction of the name of good people. Let’s face it. If anyone falsely accused any of us, and it was common knowledge, there is NO way to remove that stain from you. Even if it was the ranting of a maniac, there would still be some people who might still believe it. I don’t condone the “silence” of the people at Penn State who knew about Sandusky. However, I wonder how the “power” of Sandusky, even among the people who worked with him, led to them doing only the bare minimum of what should be done in this case. Personally, I think they were all disgusted by what they saw/heard about him, but didn’t know how/didn’t want to do more to malign what many saw as the “heir apparent” to the great Joe P. I don’t think they were about winning football games. I think it was a matter of being in awe of a man they regarded so highly, not wanting to think him capable of such things. In that regard, Sandusky must have thought him very safe to do the things he did. Isn’t that what all pedophiles do anyway? Don’t they get into positions of power so they won’t get questioned/found out? Don’t they put themselves in positions to “help” or “work with” young boys, especially on a one-to-one basis?
    I remember a teacher in middle school who worked with the “slow learners” and “juvie” kids. He taught all subjects. A friend of mine told me he was hoping he’d be “picked next” to go with him on a summer vacation. When I asked what he was talking about, he told me how a friend, a year older, got to go away with the teacher for a whole summer, touring the U.S. I met the teacher once before school He showed us his photo album. In it, was an older boy I knew in my neighborhood. What “creeped” me out was that ALL the pictures from that summer were of the boy. There were no “compromising” photos in it. But I remember thinking, “What? No pictures of scenery?” There must have been 30 to 40 pictures, nearly all of the boy doing things like climbing a fence, walking, standing, a lot of close ups. I never said anything to anyone but I secretly was very bothered by it. Yet, what could I say? Who could I say it to? How could I question something when the boys own parents gave their permission for him to go? How could I accuse a teacher, possibly get him fired for something that was purely innocent? Sure, I’d raise the issue now, but even now, wouldn’t I wonder the same things without having more direct proof? My point is not that the Penn State people didn’t have that proof. They did. But, even in their case, to accuse someone who was so powerful a personality in that community, I have no doubt created a lot of turmoil (and I’m thinking about the grad assn’t). I just think we need to do better to get the real pedophiles out of our communities and not fear harming “innocent people” just because we want someone to make sure nothing wrong is going on.

  46. John on said:

    What else was Paterno supposed to do? Track down Sandusky and murder him? He told the HEAD OF CAMPUS POLICE! He told his superiors. Some of you are idiots and don’t have your facts straight. He knew nothing until 2002 and he was TOLD the day after it happened. Read the documents before you start posting the same crap over and over again. He should have done more? Read what I just said and please give me three more examples og what he “should have done”.

  47. John on said:

    By the way, if any one of you were TOLD of a crime. I net none of you would call the police…because it’s heresay. It’s easy to be the hero in a hypothetical situation though, isn’t it?

  48. Joseph Maxberry on said:

    Working here in PA, just a few hours away from State College, the events of the past weeks touches on a number of subjects and number of raw emotions. I submit to you the following link for your reading, because it brings home the genesis of these events (this link describes some graphic events, therefore, this link is not for children or those with weak stomachs to read):

    I particularly encourage those bloggers who have posted to read this 23-page report.

  49. JeffS on said:

    This whole situation is tragic, especially for the victims and their families.

    What I can’t grasp is the public assertions that Paterno should have done more, like he has some supernatural, superhero powers to force others to live up to their responsibilities.

    Both he and McCreary reported what McCreary saw, and said he saw, to the Administration of the University, following the defined reporting procedures in PA law. If you follow the law to the letter, I don’t see how your actions can be ‘morally corrupt’ unless the law itself is immoral. I don’t think anyone believes that the laws regarding the requirement to report child abuse are immoral.

    I do think that the public statements made by the head of the PA State Police regarding people having a moral obligation to go above and beyond the law were totally irresponsible. I feel that his grandstanding only served to fan the flames of public outrage (as justifiable as the outrage is). Who knows if any future instances of suspicions of child abuse will now go unreported due to someone not wanting to take the chance of opening themselves up to public scorn and outrage, due to being judged of not having done enough.

    Law enforcement and child welfare works alike will tell you to follow the law in order to maximize their chances of forming a case that will stick and remove the violators from society.

  50. Bob on said:

    I read the 23 pages too. Utter disgusting! Sandusky was having free reign to perpetrate his crime on those boys. What bothers me is that many in the public and the media are looking at McQueary as if HE was the worst of them for doing nothing more than what he had to do. Fact is, ANYONE who works in government or large public institutions knows that in situations like these, you call in personnel and legal immediately to get counsel as to how it should be handled. Schultz and Curley “played dumb,” saying they didn’t know it was anything sexual but merely rough-house wrestling between Sandusky and a minor. That a grad student witnesses something so distressful and that they didn’t ask the student to retell that story? Come on, people! They DIDN’T want to hear it and obviously wanted to sweep it under the rug. To finally act by taking away the keys to the gym (or worse…”just don’t bring any boys around here”), is almost aiding and abetting! Now, IF it were 1970 when people just didn’t know what to do about these things, perhaps I could understand their reaction. However, in the 21st century, with all the training on sexual harrassment both Schultz and Curley had to take as state employees??!!! They KNEW better! So, they covered it up. That people expected McQueary to have “done more” or even Joe Paterno, I just don’t agree. The gross negligence, even cover up, falls squarely on Schultz and Curley, and yes, the University President. NO where have I heard of the school’s counsel being brought in. Come on, people, this is Bubba’s blog. Any people who commented not wonder where legal was when this came forward???!!! It’s obvious! They knew it was trouble and getting legal involved and personnel meant that serious actions would have to be taken. They didn’t want the attention for the university and probably for Sandusky. No doubt, they were just as enamored with him as the other people at Penn State.
    Like I said before, we have to have a better way of identifying these pedophiles as soon as there is ANY suspicion about inappropriate activities. BTW, with Sandusky bringing these boys with him everywhere, even staying in hotels with them, surely there were other people finding that odd. But like it was for me with that middle school teacher whose actions I thought were “odd,” who do you go to when you think something is not “quite right?”

  51. Chris on said:

    Hmm…dont think I can top any of what everyone has mentioned because it would all just be repetative. Not a big sports person so really wasn’t paying attention to this until others were mentioning it at work. He should of went above and beyond to have it stopped.

  52. Michael on said:

    John I guess so of us don’t live our life hoping to fulfill our “legal obligations” in every situation. As you encourage everyone to read the 23 page report I encourage you to look a any children in your life and then think about these things being done to them. Imagine someone wih he power to stop these things from continuing to happen and not doing so. If you can do that and feel good about the situation then you are worse than not too bright. I really can’t comprehend your attitude at all. It’s like in a few good men where he simpleton doesn’t understand what they did wrong and his superior officer says “we are supposed to protect people who can’t protect themselves. We were supposed to protect people like Willie” Yes he followed the chain of command but he reported it to university police. It seems obvious that you should reach farther than the ring of corruption in which the crime is being committed if you wan it to stop. Not a legal perspective just a human perspective

  53. Bob on said:

    I just read the online AP article about the thought that Sandusky used his foundation to find boys. It sickens me to think that I was totally right about the guy, that he was so much “in control” of the people in his world that he repeatedly modified his approaches to maintaining his contacts with vulnerable boys. One story, a boy in the 2nd mile program (now a man), alleges that while nothing sexual happened to him, there were too many instances of touches that made him feel “uncomfortable.” Lucky for him, he had enough confidence in himself to prevent things from going further, had enough mental fortitude to understand that an adult male was “crossing the line.” No doubt, Sandusky “read” that and “moved on.” Pedophiles are beyond clever, beyond crafty, taking chances when they think they can get away with it. It’s really terrible that you have to question the actions of just about anyone around your kids. But, I learned that long ago from a mother who did just that. Heck, she wouldn’t even let me be an “altar boy” in the 60s because she said “I don’t wan’t you where I can’t see you….how do I know what goes on back there (meaning in the changing room)…I want you with me!” Frankly, I was shocked…even told her so, shocked that my mother could say something about a priest. After all, she had no personal experience in her family, in her parish growing up, nor in mine. Yet, she was a women who always had “premonitions” (a really BAD thing when you want to have some “fun” with your buddies growing up!!!!….I got away with NOTHING!). Yet, it was that lesson and many others that made me “uncomfortable” around a middle school teacher and also made me aware of the people who were serving as “mentors” in the lives of my children, whether in school or in sports.
    Many years ago, there was a LI pediatrician who was arrested for pedophilia. The story was that he served a VERY affluent population where many of the ladies were divorced and dealing with rebellious teenage boys. Too often, he offered to take those boys “off their hands” for the weekend, claiming they were in need of a “strong male figure” in their lives (obviously, their own fathers took off for other lives with GFs and the mothers wanted their freedom to pursue their own love lives). I recall at least 5 boys that were identified as being abused. Now I ask, WHAT parent would allow their teenage son to spend the weekend at a man’s house???!!! I know that MY mother would have told him to “forget it!” and I would NEVER have seen that pediatrician again.
    I KNOW people are angry and want to strike back at someone, ANYONE in this situation. However, we need to be sure that we focus on those who truly were wrong and for God’s sake, make EVERY effort to learn from this example. While it is a big deal because it is a big football coach and a big football team, there are instances of pedophilia going on, EVERY DAY, where children are hurt and the men involved still getting away with it! We HAVE to do better, not just in these high profile cases but the ones we all know NOTHING about…..situations that may be happening right now…even to the children that YOU know!

  54. Spencer Hill on said:

    Most college football fans held a high reverence for Joe Paterno. He ran a clean, game winning program without negative news. He let us down when all he did was the minimum required reporting to the AD. We all know the power a coach like that holds in the university, community, and state. If he had told the AD to turn Sandusky other to authorities it would have happened, except he chose to turn a blind eye to the situation.

    Having down nothing -he let us down, broke our hearts, and lost our respect.

  55. Cadillac Barbie on said:

    The whole situation at Penn State is shameful. The Coach did the minimum. Come on – telling campus security about something is like telling a “mall cop” – they have no real authority. He should have gone to the local police immediately when he saw that the campus police and University administrators did nothing. Paterno knew it was wrong. Yes, I believe that the University like most universities tried to cover it up and shove it under the rug – they are so scared that Penn State will get a bad reputation and alumni won’t send in dollars to support their precious football team.

    Football is the University – I know I graduated from Clemson University in the days when the football coach made a lot more than the University President.

    This is not about going “above and beyond” – it is about doing what was right for the child involved. The fact that nothing was done after Paterno told the university authorities, should have been enough to make him realize as a leader, as a coach, as a supervisor, he had a responsibility to protect that child. He failed. He should have been terminated years ago. He knew it – telling the Trustees that they didn’t need to spend time talking about him and offering to resign the end of the season. He tried to control the situation and save his reputation.

  56. Kim Watson on said:

    I say let this be a leason to all those that have any knowlege of a crime against a child and do not make it absolute and possitive that
    the child is out of danger. They to are as guilty as the mentaly ill sexual predator that has destroyed a childs lively hood.
    Sometimes an example and a fall has to be set by someone of greatness to save those with no voice.

  57. Bob on said:

    Brace yourself, people! I just read that another victim came forward. The number was first “8 boys in 15 years.” I knew it was the tip of the iceberg. I fear that the number will be muich higher, maybe 5 times higher. No way this guy did these things as an older man. I have no doubt he had been doing this kind of thing for decades. He only got caught late in life, probably because he was getting farther and farther from his “glory days” of being a Penn State coach. He moved from “god” to ordinary man, and that “lustre” around him started to fade.

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