Didn't see this posted; it's from yesterday's NYT. It's a long article, and I haven't gotten through the whole thing yet (enough to know that it's worthwhile, though), but here's a good quote from the first page:
The trustees also laid out what they said were three key reasons for firing Paterno: his failure to do more when told about the suspected sexual assault in 2002; what they regarded as his questioning of the board’s authority in the days after Sandusky’s arrest; and what they determined to be his inability to effectively continue coaching in the face of continuing questions surrounding the program.
Here are a couple good bullet points now that I've actually read through it:
- “We deal with crisis every day at this university,” they recalled Spanier saying. “We won’t have a problem with this.” Spainer is quoted as saying this during his first conference call with the trustees.
- Spainer did not inform the trustees of the investigation, including keeping his testimony in the dark.
- Garban, the PSU Chairman of the Board of Trustees, did not read the grand jury report for more than twenty-four hours after it was published.
- Spainer altered the first press release out of the university, watering down language and releasing it in both his and the board's name.
- The day of Paterno's presser that wasn't, the board felt Spainer had "lost control" of the university and the board cancelled Paterno's press conference.
In Joe Paterno's latest interview with the Washington Post, he said he knew nothing about Jerry Sandusky being investigated in 1998 by local police.
This article from Sports by Brooks shows newspaper articles from this time period which not only indicate Sandusky's support, but also Paterno's, for a new football program at PSU Altoona. This was pitched after the investigation into Victim 4's time with Sandusky, the infamous victim of the shower incident, but before Sandusky retired. As a refresher, during this investigation was when Sandusky said that that his behavior “was wrong” and that “I wish I were dead.” Ultimately, the new program never came to fruition.
This gives support to the notion that Joe Paterno did, in fact, know about Sandusky being investigated in 1998. Coupled with evidence of the conversation Paterno had with Sandusky in which he informed him that he would not become Penn State's next head football coach (which occured in 1999) , it appears that the two came up with a backup plan: Sandusky would start a new football program at PSU Altoona.
This information seems to indicate that Paterno's role is larger than we were led to believe.
It's official. Ted Roof coming back to Big Ten as DC for the Nittany Lions.
Roof was DC at Minnesota in 2008 - the last year they hit a bowl game, finishing 7-6.
You will remember Roof's defense when Rich Rodriguez and walk-on QB Nick Sheridan shredded the Gophers 29-6 in the anti-septic Metrodome.
When Nikita Khrushchev addressed his fellow Soviets in 1953 following his succession to leadership of the USSR, he delivered what would become known as “the Secret Speech”. Its content sought to unveil his predecessor, Josef Stalin, the mass murderer and ruthless dictator that had maintained public opinion steadily in favor of him, whether by appeal or fear. These methods were captured in the phrase “cult of personality”. Despite Stalin’s horrendous acts (many of which Khrushchev still refused to condemn, as he would need the same actions to retain power) the Russian people continued to veritably worship their leader, something which Khrushchev needed to correct both to fall in line with Party ideology and lead effectively.
Joe Paterno has forged a similar cult at State College for over sixty years. This past week, the curtain has been pulled back. The king is dead.
While Paterno did not doctor photos, order assassinations of rivals, or produce propaganda to keep his job as head coach and de facto autocrat of the small Pennsylvania town, he used his aw-shucks demeanor and commitment to worthy ideals to centralize his authority and mold the football program, in an already tight-knit community, into a fortress. Football coaches across the country have long sought the personality cult that “Joe Pa” crafted for Penn State football. The Nittany Lions were embodied in him so completely that the surreal scenes of students rioting in State College ought come as no surprise.
Jerry Sandusky’s disgusting and unconscionable tale has already been recounted many times, and I have no desire to go into that again. What remains is the fallout.
Before late Wednesday night it appeared that while the university president and athletic director would be immediately removed, the coaching legend would be allowed to retire in a relative amount of style. Before late Wednesday night, he would coach his final home game Saturday and continue leading his team in oblivion towards winning the Leaders division, to the B1G championship game, and yet another bowl. Before late Wednesday, the person ultimately morally responsible for the actions of the football program at Penn State would retain (albeit for a time) at least titular, and as I suspect, quite tangible control of the program.
The board of trustees’ choice to depose Paterno is obviously the right one, and they should be commended for it. The backlash in State College from disgruntled students and bewildered players is amplified by the thousands of PSU alums voicing their support for Paterno on the internet. And it is absolutely despicable, yet absolutely understandable.
When a person of such lauded moral high ground as Paterno fails, it shocks the world, and too often appalls little. Regardless of your metaphysical and religious views, the fact is that any human can and often will fail. It’s cases where the failure shreds the work of a lifetime into scraps of what legacy had previously been taken for granted. The risk of embodiment of a football program in one person, from Paterno to Wooden to Krzyzewski to, dare I say, Schembechler, is inherently risky. Trusting the ruler to tread flawlessly always is what we expect is impossible. Everyone does make mistakes (insert Terrelle Pryor joke here). It’s the degree and management of these mistakes that separates the legends from the ordinary.
And of those names I just dropped, one clearly does not belong with the others any more. Its time to destroy Paterno’s cult of personality. The victims cry for justice and PSU students would rather “demonstrate” outside their leader’s home, rather than look the harsh realities in the face as Khrushchev did. It’s easier that way, but it’s also wrong.
P.S. I am not a Communist nor do I think Khrushchev is by any means a stellar person. Just wanted to illustrate the most prominent reference of the term. Nor are Stalin and Paterno equivalents. Their followers have acted in a similar manner.
This is your Penn State Thread for the next couple of days. The following items should not be posted in a new thread anymore and will be deleted:
1. Any media personality's opinion on the scandal
2. An article about the scandal
3. "WTF this is whack" reactions
4. Basically anything else about the controversy
Here's the deal--Paterno is out at the end of the year. Everyone else is getting fired or "resigning." The accusations are appalling and now that there are rumors of Federal involvement, the sledgehammer that is the criminal justice system is going to exact very angry revenge in the coming months.
As I type this, 40% of board topics are about this topic. The obvious lessons are to never forget and always do the right thing--even when it is incredibly hard. Please do so in your personal life going forward.
I'm not doing this to be a jerk. We just need to try and control the chaos.
How many of you believe in fidelity but once cheated? Or believe in not stealing but have stolen? Believe in honestly but have lied? I could go on with a list of sins that would eventually encompass everyone on this blog and on earth. We have all failed at one point to live up to the standards we champion and would wish to communicate to others.
When we fail to live up to our standards and are caught violating them, does that invalidate the standards themselves? Does that mean our lives have been a lie? Does that mean, as Six Zero wrote today:
"Learning that the ethical standards that went hand in hand with Joe Paterno were not only inaccurate, but has also cost him his immortal job status? Well, it's like waking up one day and finding that the United States is secretly run by a Communist dictator."
Or, as Brian wrote: "Should we forget all the good Paterno has done in our "rush to judgment"? Yes, and yes. This is a failure so massive it wipes out every positive thing about JoePa, of which there were many."
I don't think so. When honorable people fail to live up to the standards they have set for themselves and for others, they don't reveal themselves to be hypocrites. They reveal themselves to be human. And I don't believe they lose the ability to be called a good person. Nor does that invalidate the standards that they tried to live by, despite a massive failure.
Joe should lose his job. He should have this as part of his legacy. He will suffer in private and public, and that is as it should be. His non-action should be condemned.
I can see how many of you are willing to disagree. To say that this wipes out all the good he has done. To condemn him as a person. To say that the standards were a lie. I just hope you have more understanding friends and famiily around you when you fail.
EDIT: After carefully reading every reply, none of which agreed with me, they seemed to all add up to two points. 1- that not reporting this to the police is worse than any other moral failing, and 2- That we should judge Patero harshly for what he didn't do. I had already made the second point explicitly in my OP above. The point is I'm willing to say that reporting it to his superiors but not the police deserves universal condemnation--but that it doesn't erase all of the good he did for literally thousands. But I'm clearly in a group of one there. As to the first point-I agree. But I stand by my greater point.