Thursday, November 10, 2011

Why Joe Had To Go: The Disgrace of Penn State

Penn State has been rocked to the foundation over the last few days. If the allegations are true, then a former coach, Jerry Sandusky, who retired in 1999 and then headed a charity from the university campus, was raping and molesting young children for over fifteen years. What is worse, again if the allegations are true, is that the university knew about this for over nine years yet did nothing to stop it. This is a disgrace.

I will not go into the full sordid details contained in the grand jury indictment against Sandusky, except to say that the indictment does state that, in 2002, a then Graduate Assistant named Mike McQueary witnessed Sandusky raping a ten year old boy in showers in a university building.

What did McQueary do on seeing this? You may well ask. According to reports, instead of intervening or calling the police, he called his father and asked him what he should do. His father, we are told, said that McQueary should tell his boss, the Penn State Head Coach Joe Paterno, a man reportedly revered as a living saint at that institution.

At this point we should all shake our heads in disbelief. Why would any able bodied young man, and while young McQueary was still an adult, not intervene and stop the rape of a ten year old? If he would not intervene, why would he call his father instead of the police? And, why would any father say, “Go and tell your boss” rather than “call the police, now”?

The questions must legitimately be asked: If McQueary had seen anyone else, other than a coach (albeit former) raping a boy or girl somewhere in the community, would he have called his father? Or, would this tall, physically imposing man have intervened or called the police?

In his defense, it has been argued that McQueary's youth meant he knew no better: I contend we are all born knowing better. “What should I do, dad?” is not a question any adult, even a young adult, should ask when they see a ten year old being raped. It allows people to imply that reputation of program and institution came before the welfare of a small child. An implication that can be leveled at everyone involved in this sqaulid tale.

The story however gets worse, according to reports. McQueary did as his father suggested and told his boss, the "legendary" Joe Paterno who, like the young Graduate Assistant, did not call the police regarding the rape of a ten year old. Instead, he called his supervisor and then, it appears, washed his hands of the whole matter. Paterno’s supervisors did not report the matter to the police, they did not call child welfare; they did not even ban Sandusky from their campus.

Knowing that nothing had been done, did Paterno, filled with outrage as any person should be, then call the police? Did he ask questions? Did he ask after the welfare of the raped child? Did he inform others and ask them to ask questions? No. Paterno, it has been reported, did nothing.

Now, at this point there are some, who I would suggest value sports more highly than the well being of a small child, who argue that it was not Paterno’s job to inform anyone other than his boss. This contention is as immoral as it is na├»ve. It was everyone’s job, who had even the slightest scintilla of information, to ensure that information was reported to the police and that action was taken. Paterno, McQueary, anyone with information who knew that Sandusky had not been investigated or even that he was still roaming free on campus had a moral duty to act; they did nothing.

Now we hear today that there have been riots at Penn State!

Was this rioting because there had been a rape on the campus and no timely action was taken against an alleged child rapist? NO

Was this rioting because a GA who witnessed a small child being raped reportedly called his dad instead of the police, and then was told by his dad to call his boss instead of the police? NO

Was this rioting because Joe Paterno had only reported the alleged rape to his boss and, when he saw no action was taken against Sandusky, decided to remain silent rather than go to the police? NO

Was this rioting because no-one checked up on the welfare of the ten year old victim or his family? NO

Was this rioting because an administration’s failure to take action, and their perhaps engaging in keeping this quiet, may have led to other children being raped or abused? NO

This rioting was because a football coach had been fired!

Any students involved in these riots have no business remaining at Penn State. They are a disgrace to that institution. This is not about football, the university president, Joe Paterno, Mike McQueary or the upcoming game on Saturday and they should get that through their heads.

At issue here is the fact that Jerry Sandusky stands accused of child rape on Penn State property.

At issue here is the report that several university employees, including Joe Paterno, knew that Sandusky had been seen raping a ten year old in university showers almost ten years ago.

At issue here is the report that these same employees, knowing none of the others had reported this to the police, themselves stood silent while Sandusky remained on campus and, allegedly, committed his vile acts again.

At issue here are the vile crimes of child rape and child sex abuse and what we as a society should be doing to prevent them. THE ISSUE IS NOT FOOTBALL.

As long as people let their love for sports get in the way of their desire to stop people being raped, abused, and victimized these horrific acts will continue to haunt and corrupt our society.

It’s about the children!


  1. Screw you. JoPa did nothing wrong. He is a f*cking scapegoat and handholding piss ant liberals like you just want to make an example. This is bullsh*t!

  2. It's about money, because people will now be lining up with their lawyers to say they were molested so they can cash in. Joe should have been allowed the dignity of the last game!

  3. Spot on Peter! It is not about football, at all, but about the abuse of an innocent child. This situation sickens me on so many levels. I just cannot understand how these men, who knew what happened, did nothing to stop Sandusky and stop the abuse he was inflicting on these children. To sweep this under the rug just to protect the real money maker for Penn State - the almighty footbal program - is disgusting. I hope Sandusky is convicted and put away for the rest of his sorry life.

  4. You are right with this and thank you for writing it. Any man or woman who knows about child abuse has a duty to report it immediately to the police. Anything else is just enabling!

  5. Very well written. I am a fan of Penn State and have been for years, but when I read about what JoPa knew and when he knew it I KNEW he needed to be fired. He will be fortunate if he does not get sued, keeping his mouth shut put more kids at risk and that cannot be forgiven. Sorry, Joe, you messed up big time!

  6. Any adult who saw a 10 y/o being raped should have picked up whatever was at hand and stopped the son of a bitch doing the raping. Call it as it is, this was cover up BIG TIME!!!! They should all be in jail.

  7. Well written, well said. A lot of people have a lot to answer for and yes, Paterno needed to go. I pray for these poor children, and for those who would not have suffered had Paterno and his colleagues done what morally they should have!

  8. Do you realize that there are now accusations that:

    1) Former assistant Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky was forced by Penn State to retire in 1999 in exchange for a university coverup of his actions with underage boys.

    2) Rumors are being investigated that Sandusky and Second Mile, a non-profit Sandusky founded in 1977 to help children, was pimping young boys to wealthy donors.

    Further, do you also know that similar accusations were heavily investigated, approximately 20 years when political power brokers running another children's nonprofit (Boys Town) in Omaha Nebraska, for operating a nationwide child-trafficking and pedophilia ring in the United States for the benefit of the rich and the powerful?

    I suggest watching the documentary, Conspiracy of Silence, which was pulled the day is was supposed to air on PBS. The documentary can now be viewed online at:

  9. Excellent article Peter. I am very sorry for the first anonymous that made those horror coments. Weak brain...very week brain

  10. JoPa is a great man and does not deserve this. he reported it to his boss and that was all he could do. The liberal press are killing him just like they are killing Herman Cain. Just don't like a success story!

  11. Couldn't agree more with this article. JoPa may be a great person but what he did, or rather didn't do, is how evil can exist. He took an ineffective step and thought that taking that step was enough. It was a pattern of behavior evident at all levels in the school and a total loss of perspective on what it means to be human.

  12. Unfortunately the old quote is so true "all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing". This case proves that point. When people value human life and dignity more thsn money or sports the world will be a better place. Thank you for writing the best piece i have read on this story.

  13. I think the real fact is Joe reported what he was told. He did not see the act. He was taking the word of a former player that was making a allegation of child rape on a man that at the time had a golden reputation and a considerable amount of political pull with in a tightly nit campus community. Sandusky was also a very close friend and long time college of Joe.
    if a Neighbor- hood kid stopped by my house and told me my neighbor was a child rapist it would alarm me that such an allegation was being made, but i know my neighbor to be a good guy and i would not jump off the cliff and start a full scale investigation. We have seen that just an allegation can end ones life. Look at Sandusky, he has not even gone to trail yet.

  14. Surprised to see anyone defending JoPa anymore. Even if you know someone is a "good guy" or has a good reputation, if someone tells you they witnessed him in a shower, raping a 10 year old you should ask questions and it woyld be your duty to tell someone. Either to get to see if what was said was true and get them sent to jail or to see if someone was telling lies about your friend and get them booted. Romary is right, when JoPa saw that nothing had been done and that Sandusky was still on campus (sorry, we do know he had been told not to shower with any more little boys) then it was his duty to take it further and call the cops. I will bet there was a heck of a lot more known then we have been reading so far and I'll bet more people did know this guy was a child raper years before. let's see.

  15. I am definitely not understanding what the comments about liberals have to do with anything, but that is irrelevant to the situation at hand.
    What IS relevant is that he didn't fulfill his moral obligation as a HUMAN BEING. There was an article on CNN earlier that showed the mural in front of the university bookstore that had painted Sandusky out of it and put a blue ribbon in it's place.

    Frankly, I think all involved in the cover-up should be taken out. Realize that not only did Paterno give Sandusky free reign of campus facilities, he ALSO helped facilitate the successful conversion of young boys to victims of heinous sexual crimes.

    Like Peter said...this ISN'T ABOUT FOOTBALL. It's about doing the right thing and not the bare minimum to protect a football legacy. By attempting to leave his legacy at Penn State untarnished, Paterno has done the exact OPPOSITE. It is disgraceful and disgusting what happened and everyone should be held accountable. I find it inconceivable to witness anything like this and not intervene and drag the sick bastard responsible to the police myself. If I were friends with him at the time, it would make my decision EASIER, not harder.

    My moral compass on this issue seems to be working just fine...but there seems to be quite a few people that need to re-calibrate theirs...

  16. Now Jopa is Jo-pimp. Next you guys will be saying he's a black rapper on the weekend. What a pile of crap. Hope no one decides to make a allegation against one of your co-workers that cost you your job for not doing enough........ Mcqueary was there... why didn't he do something then....why is he not being called out?........this is not about the kids, it is about the name....the figure head....Paterno....if he were the janotor he would still be sweeping the floor. of that i am certain.

  17. Robert Cochran, retired Florida LEONovember 10, 2011 at 7:44 PM

    I certainly hope that none of the rioters were administration of justice or Law students! If s they should be expelled along with anyone on the coaching staff, football team or any other teams this piece of garbage ever came into contact with. I am a retired cop. born in Pittsburgh raised in Bloomsburg and have watched Penn State since I was a Kid. It seemed like Paterno had been there forever. . . If in fact he new about this and did not report it to the police, he is criminally negligent as are any of the other people who knew it was going on. Personally I went to and graduated from Mansfield, then worked as a cop in Florida all through the 80s and most of the 90s. I returned a ran a public safety dept at HACC in Lancaster where I personally apprehended five pedophiles using college computers to view "kiddie Porn" Our illustrious new liberal Dean said "We don't know it was child pornography. . . " He has been fired from at least one other college in California. I called the District Attorney for Lancaster County, I had Video of them watching the video and evidentiary discs for use in prosecuting the perp's. . . Lancaster county refused to file charges. Bad for P.R. The collegiate world is one of see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil. . . 3 little monkeys sitting in a row. . . Stupid me I thought that the University was for an education not pedophilia and the abuse of children. This " I don't care just give me my beer & football" attitude is destroying this country. WHAT THESE PEOPLE DID ARE FELONIES AND THEY HAVE KNOWN FOR TEN YEARS.. . . . . And then our '''students, our future leaders " RIOT , not to end the Vietnam war. . . oh yeah that was my generation. . . They riot because their favorite coach was fired. If the allegations prove true, he should also be arrested.

  18. If not wanting my children to be raped makes me a "piss ant liberal", than that's ok with me. You wouldn't be saying that if it was your Little brother in the showers.

  19. I'm a Nebraska fan. I hope we rape State Pen. this weekend.

    It never occurred to JoePa to just once ask "So, what ever happened to that kid diddling thing I asked you to look in to?"

  20. Paterno has an opportunity to call the greatest play of his life.

    He should stand up – admit he made a terrible mistake, a mistake anyone who knows about bystander behavior knows we are all at risk of making and then call for more understanding about what happened. He should ask those who doubt he messed up how they would feel if it were there son, little brother or nephew in that shower. What would they want done and how would that be different from what Jo-Pa did?
    Change the gender of the child in the shower and see how your feelings change about what is alleged to have happened.

    This controversy is not about whether a rape in fact happened, it’s about what was done to find out whether a rape happened.

    I don’t know if the rape happened, and neither does anyone on this blog – but I do know that the right things were not done to find out what happened and nobody - but nobody thought about that little boy…

  21. You took the word right out of my mouth. These are the same sentiments I spoke about with colleagues and my son. There is absolutely no reason or justification for why McQueary, Paterno, and everyone else who knew, did not intervene. To turn a blind eye to this type of treatment is reprehensible. Let us not forget that allegedly the District Attorney also received two complaints about Sandusky and it too was swept under the carpet. I am also willing to go out on the limb and say that all those who worked on the football team knew what was going on. We are all adults and we know that people talk, something like this could not have gone unsaid; the rumor mill had to be working overtime. However, NO ONE was willing to take a stand. Shame on everyone.
    Thank you for a great blog!

  22. I don't understand how this has become about being "liberal". Pedophilia and child rape isn't a political issue, it's criminal. People from all points on the political spectrum have been accused of all kinds of sexual misconduct. This is about moral responsibility - something that all of us should be more concerned about. I'm not really concerned that Paterno was fired - when you're a figurehead and a leader you are often also an example. It goes with the territory.

    What really concerns me is that the graduate assistant who WITNESSED THE RAPE TAKING PLACE did nothing AND IS STILL AT THE UNIVERSITY AND IN FACT MAY BE COACHING THIS WEEKEND! And that the university has placed one person with culpability on administrative leave, allowed another to retire and is paying legal bills for both.

    I think that they should all be treated the same way. If the two administrators are innocent until proven guilty and not fired, then Joe should be treated the same. If he gets fired for not taking stronger action, then they should be fired for the same offense. Neither of the two administrators took stronger action either, and may well have been involved in a cover up. FIRE THEM ALL, including McQuerey. Or, place them all on leave and pay all their legal bills until the investigation is complete.

  23. Just had this exact conversation with my father at dinner last night. It disturbed me that he did not understand the concerns I had for the inaction of school officials in reporting this heinous behavior, alleged or otherwise. My father was a teacher and coach for over 30 yrs and it wasn't until I brought up the words "mandated reporter" did it finally click. School officials, including colleges, are mandated reporters; they are required to report to the proper authorities anything that is criminal in nature. It is then the responsibilities of the proper authorities to investigate. This whole story is sickening and the only hope I have is that the victims can recover and there is new public awareness into such matters. Great commentary, thank you for sharing your views.

  24. Somebody did something wrong or it wouldn't be in the media "today" instead of in 10+ years ago!!! Im sorry but its a political thing where people try to cover their own &*(^ and save their reputation. Instead of a 10 year old boy's security and well-being. The University had an OBLIGATION not a responsibility; but now, they're held responsible and accountable. ALL schools are MANDATED, yes, MANDATED reporters!!!! I hope this brings the dignity of the Unversity upper management to their knees because this is a slap in the face to the parents that seek a good education for their kids, and a good education that kids seek for their future. Now, Penn State will be rembered as a corrupt University with the lack of morals, respect, and dignity. Isn't this what we try to teach our kids? NORALS, RESPECT, and DIGNITY?