The elephant in the room. Everyone else feels compelled to write something on the events unfolding at Penn State, and I do too. I don't have much to add to the universalrevulsionandcalls for firing:
In response, Penn State did not call the police. They did other things, but they did not call the police. Joe Paterno did not call the police, and Tim Curley did not call the police, and Gary Schultz did not call the police. The graduate assistant who witness the act did not call the police. Penn State President Graham Spanier did not call the police. A reported child molester and rapist was living and working in their midst, and working in a program that brought him into contact with boys, and not one person called the police.
Co-sign. Penn State fans are right there, too, FWIW. There's a small band of holdouts but it is a distinct minority.
The reason I'm writing this bit is not the actions in question but the reaction of the major players once they became public. While the actions themselves are terrible the ass-covering reaction of the school's president and Paterno are at least 341st on the list of terrible things that have transpired. This is part of Paterno's statement:
If true, the nature and amount of charges made are very shocking to me and all Penn Staters. While I did what I was supposed to with the one charge brought to my attention, like anyone else involved I can’t help but be deeply saddened these matters are alleged to have occurred. …
As my grand jury testimony stated, I was informed in 2002 by an assistant coach that he had witnessed an incident in the shower of our locker room facility. It was obvious that the witness was distraught over what he saw, but he at no time related to me the very specific actions contained in the Grand Jury report. Regardless, it was clear that the witness saw something inappropriate involving Mr. Sandusky. As Coach Sandusky was retired from our coaching staff at that time, I referred the matter to university administrators.
No. When you heard the sad thing about your former DC, knew goddamn well this was a second offense after a 1998 incident that is likely the reason for his sudden retirement, and decided it wasn't worth talking to the police because your mind rearranged it into something "inappropriate" instead of evil, you gambled. When a kid was raped after you gambled, you're done. You did not "do what you were supposed to." You were supposed to call the police.
"Unconditional support"? "Complete confidence"? "Highest levels of honesty, integrity, and compassion?"
Seriously? It was appropriate that these things were investigate thoroughly a decade ago. Regardless, this is a completely abominable response to any crisis, most especially this one.
These are obviously vetted and carefully chosen words, which have the added effect of making Graham Spanier look like an idiot -- and that is casting Spanier in the most favorable light. I don't think he's an idiot, for the record, but the remaining alternatives are much more sinister.
Even after it is crystal clear huge chunks of PSU's athletic department were complicit in Sandusky's activities they still go this route:
Who do you think you're kidding? At least own up to your massive, incomprehensive failure. Or cancel your press conference an hour before it is supposed to happen. Is there an athletic department in the country that can say "we were wrong"?
Paterno's apparently gone, as was inevitable the moment the grand jury report was released. His name should be off the Big Ten championship trophy. Either that or I want one of the post game interviews to go like this:
Q: You've won the Big Ten championship! What are you going to do now? A: Spend a decade enabling a child rapist!
If they could stop running that Big Ten ad where Paterno says "we believe in people" (except when they are reporting serious crimes) that would be cool, too. His legacy is now Pedobear wearing JoePa's glasses.
Is this fair? 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.
Forget with consumption. Now that we've talked about horrible crimes you're probably in the mood to buy a shirt. I know I am. You are in luck, as three fabulous options have been added to the MGoStore:
I find it odd that people want to commemorate a concept that means Michigan's quarterback is throwing the ball five feet over his receivers' heads, but commemorate away. Also I'm going to pitch Underground that all MGoShirts should feature someone pointing at something.
Good news for people who love bad Seinfeld references. I just wanted to type that header. Now I've done it so I guess I have to say something about the unexpected commitment of Pioneer RB/WR Drake Johnson. That thing is: reminds me of James Rogers. Instate sleeper with excellent straight line speed but reputed to be more of a track star than a football player, recruited as a RB, may actually end up at WR (or, you know, in the secondary after a five year sojourn across every position on the depth chart).
Weird commit to take before figuring out where Bri'onte Dunn is going to end up, but my moles tell me Fred Jackson says he can transform into a helicopter. That will be helpful on short yardage. But seriously folks, it'll be interesting to see how Johnson and Thomas Rawls work out as the first of the Hoke tailbacks. Both are major sleepers, but running back is a spot where sleepers seem to do better than they should at a position that prizes athleticism—Hart, Le'Veon Bell, Wisconsin person du jour.
All 22… [Homer noise]. Dedicated NFL followers are peeved at the league's implausible reasons for not releasing the endzone camera angles that show every player on the field ("fans would jump to conclusions after watching one or two games"). Smart Football:
The proffered reason — that it would result in too much criticism — is so silly that it can’t possibly be true. But if it’s not true, then what is the real reason? … two possibilities: first, either we really would fail to comprehend the complex array of movement on the field by twenty-two supremely athletic but human men, and thus we need the gentle paternalism of the cameraman and producer to show us, in a kind of cinematic baby talk, “See, with this close-up the quarterback throws a pretty spiral to the receiver”; or, second, football isn’t even a game so much as it is a product to be branded in a particular way, and by restricting the All-22 the NFL can by Orwellian imagery of extreme close-ups and slow-motion shots emotionally convey to us the narratives solely how they want to in the way they want to. In either case, there it’s control of the message; the only question is why, and all the answers are depressing.
This is the same attitude that leads to the Paterno reaction (not the action, the PR): belief that enough people will be snowed that you don't have to care about the ones who aren't. It works enough to be the default strategy even when no one in the world is going to believe you, like in the recent OSU and PSU cases*. That's the only play in the playbook.
On the other hand, it's not like anyone's offering views of the whole field to me. I asked the SID about it a few years ago and got a polite, expected rejection. I think the thing the NFL fears is fans making criticisms that aren't ignorant.
*[Because I don't want to find @ramzyn leaping out of my mailbox with a machete tomorrow, let me clarify that I'm not comparing the two actions that led to the PR blunders, just the PR blunders themselves. The reaction to both the Gee/Smith circus and the Spanier stuff was "who do they think they're kidding?" The PSU stuff has an order of magnitude of extra rage on top of it, obviously.]
"I thought Junior made a catch," Hoke said Monday during his weekly news conference.
"Oh, yeah," he said. "I thought he caught the ball (and finished the play)."
Hoke downplayed the significance of it after making that statement, FWIW, and that's about what I want from the coach: an honest opinion delivered calmly.
Anyway, this section is not about that. It's about what constitutes a catch these days. It used to be, sonny, that if the ball hit the ground it was not a catch. Nowadays there's the whole control-to-the-ground, ball-not-moving, is-it-or-isn't-it-thing. And I don't like it. Back in my day, these things were clear. Now anything close gets sent up and then sent back inconclusive.
I'd prefer it if a ball that hits the ground before the receiver has the opportunity to make a football move with it was just incomplete. That's clear. If that was the rule we wouldn't be talking about the Hemingway non-catch because it would have been obvious.
Iowa skill position coveting update. Patrick Vint of BHGP relates that McNutt was an athletic quarterback until year two at Iowa, when it was discovered his hands are covered in a mild adhesive and he is pimp. Also he explains the Coker recruitment:
…he committed to Iowa between his junior and senior seasons at Dematha. You were right on the offers, but only Minnesota and Iowa were recruiting him as a full-time halfback; everyone else saw him as a fullback/h-back. Obviously, we know how that works out. But the other thing is that he wasn't necessarily "missed" as much as completely under the radar. He was injury-prone as a sophomore and junior, and his numbers weren't that impressive. Both Rivals and Scout had him as a low-3*. His senior year was monster, though, getting him the fourth star and some late attention from VT/Miami/Auburn (IIRC on war eagle), but Iowa had an ace in the hole: Dude's an astrophysics major, and Iowa's been all over that s--- since Van Allen in the 50's.
Yes, our beast of a starting halfback is an astrophysics major.
Must be nice to watch your meh tailback recruit hulk up during his senior season.
Fab Five: Coleman described what happened as "wrong, plain and simple." She also said, "I am determined that nothing like this will ever happen again at Michigan."
Compliance/practice hours violations 2009:
“As we have said all along, we take full responsibility for knowing and following NCAA rules, and we will address concerns, quickly and head on. We believe the sanctions we have imposed fit the nature of the violations.”
1901: UM outscored opponents 550-0. In the first ever Rose Bowl, UM was up 49-0 in 3Q when Stan forefited. Until 1918, Pasadena staged ostrich races instead of football because of the blowout.
Exactly, Brian, exactly. I was upset because the interpretations of catch have changed...if the Michigan intereception against NW (I forgot who got it) was a catch, then this Hemingway one should be a catch. Then again, in both cases replay defaulted to a call on the field.
Basically, college needs to do a better job defining a catch then. Because no one knows how to really interpret the rule...in my mind Hemingway had clear possession of the ball well before he hit the ground, and maintained clear possession despite the nose of the ball hitting the ground. If that isn't conclusive, then I agree just revert to the exceedingly simple rule - ball touchy ground = no catch.
It reminds me of "intent to blow" in NHL. Not as maddening as that NHl rule, but it's up there. Because teh call basically comes down to how the ref interprets the catch before his eyes. And it opens up possible biases...I bet you at least half of all Big Ten refs would have called that a catch on the original play, hence a TD. Which would have reversed the call, because replay would STILL be inconclusive.
PSU is totally f-cked. The school name is all over that flyer, their paid athletic department employees contributed to the camp, they used athletic department facilities and fields, not to mention the fact that they charged admission fees. Someone needs to do some research to find out where payments were made out to (legal name of payee) in order to attend the camp. Were they made to "Sandusky Associates" or to the school directly? Man, the in-house lawyers at PSU must be freaking out!
And no matter the organization, PSU is going ot have a hard time getting out of that one. Because every school in the nation endorses a camp run by the coaches, and even if they take some "rent" for using the facilities, that doesn't remove them from liability.
Sandusky's parading the kids through PSU facilities
AFTER the incident in which he admits to a mother, in the presence of the police, that he has played around with her son naked in a shower. His camps and charity are PREMISED on the use of PSU facilities. He is with the same boy several years running at PSU end-of-season bowls. Rumors have swirled for months that charges were coming. And PSU officials, Paterno, profess to shock?
The declaration by the Pres that he's sure his employees are innocent, the decision to pay for their defense, have to rank among the most a**-bitingly stupid decisions ever made under like circumstances. Gee's teehee don't fire me pales in comparison.
I can't believe that a head football coach would use the rationale that he had done "what was required legally". That is, the bare minimum.
JoePa would kick any kid off the team that only did the bare minimum.
Life should not be a journey to the grave to arrive safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What A Ride!" HST
He's Joe fricken Paterno. He could have picked up the phone and had the University police chief in his living room within an hour to take McQueary's account. Simply running it up the flagpole to his AD is just ridiculous. He IS the flag!
You are both correct - if I had been intending to say "hear ye, hear ye" then I would definitely have exhibited poor grammar. However, I was actually hailing my friend who wasn't looking so I had to yell to him. Thus, "here, here" was used.
Paterno and the PSU admin sold their souls to protect the program from a scandal. Everything they have coming is overdue and I dont know if its even enough.
A reporter on Mike&Mike this morning shared a story where Sandusky showed up to a PSU practice with a child as recently as 2008 and even though McQuery and Paterno were there, nothing was said/done. I dont want to hear any more crap about McQuery or Paterno fulfilling their obligation. Their obligation is now to rot with the knowledge of what they didn't do.
Even tempering my emotions (trying, anyway) and maintaining perspective that JoePa wasn't the actual molester, and keeping in mind what he meant to PSU. . .
Nope. Still unacceptable. And I flat-out dismiss anyone calling it a "mistake".
JoePa didn't make a mistake. He wasn't complicit, either, or he would've done nothing. No, he's no monster, or a villain. He didn't hurt anyone, at least directly. Nor is he some impeccable legend tragically tarnished by a betrayal of his grandfatherly trust. What he was, mainly, was a coward. Useless. Pathetically irresponsible, like a loser from a "Dilbert" strip. Not my job, so I'm just gonna pass the buck. A failed leader. There are two revealing actions he took AFTER this blew up:
1) In reporting it to a superior, he treated it like an ADMINISTRATIVE matter. You don't report CRIMES to your damn boss; you have the witness call the police. I don't know anyone crazy enough to say something unbelieavably stupid like, "Hi, boss, um, one of the guys in my department says he saw someone RAPING CHILDREN, uh, is that OK? I mean, is it cool with HR internal policies?" This is why we invented 911 you worthless -- RRARRGH!
2) He justified his own actions, even after realizing the results of his inaction.
What the hell, JoePa. There are some things that way, way, WAY transcend college bureaucracy. One time while waiting for a train to work I saw a kid get hit by a car. I dashed over there and did what I could (not much, unfortunately); I didn't call my boss for permission. Work was the LAST thing on my mind. And you expect me to eat this bullcrap that simply telling your boss was the right thing to do?? Well. . . OK. It wasn't wrong, but it's one of the most inexcusably irresponsible and morally cowardly actions I can imagine someone of his influence could take. As others have said, this guy is such a legend in PA he could get the damn Governer on the phone any time he wanted. And their story is that calling the police wouldn't have started anything? The police are going to ignore JoePa??
And I'm sorry, but loyalty isn't an excuse to enable child rape in ANY way shape or form. Let's assume I discovered a friend of mine, a friend I trusted, had raped a child. I'm hurt, I feel betrayed, I don't know what. . . wait just a goddamned minute, why am I the victim now?? No, the victim is the CHILD for eff's sake; you don't get to wallow in your own damned self-pity. It sickened me that the same thing happened when the Catholic Church scandal blew up in New England. All the Catholics I knew in the area could only talk about how hurt THEY were. And I'm like, what, you're saying you reading something upsetting in the papers is worse than some stranger much bigger than you reducing your dignity into a pile of ground meat??
Calming down, I'll at least be fair and say JoePa was only just as cowardly as any cubicle monkey, staying out of trouble by keeping his head down. Which doesn't make him a bad guy or a villain. He didn't do anything evil or malicious.
. . . but it COMPLETELY wipes out his legacy as a leader, a man of integrity and father figure to PSU. It completely and permanently reduces him to just another shameful loser in a world full of losers, who doesn't have the honor to look in the mirror without feeling shame. Because when he was given a situation where the right thing was emotionally painful yet good men do the right thing, he punted and left children to their tragic fate.
This is I think the best summary of how we should see joe pa. I was still kicking everything around in my head about what to think about him. Thank you for giving me a coherent argument about why I should be upset with him even though technically he did nothing wrong.
"Is this fair? 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."
It does not wipe out everything good he's done--he has literally directly benefited the lives of thousands of kids over the years. Perhaps if he had assaulted kids himself this would be true. But failing to report something like this, while an awful lapse in judgement, doesn't even come close to wiping away the massive good he has done.
I co-sign everything else. It is entirely correct that Paterno be fired over this. But I and most others will still remember all of the good he did, particularly for the poor.
"Before I could pull the trigger, I was hit by lightning, and bitten by a cobra."
It doesn't wipe out the reality of the good he did, no. Someone who benefited from meeting JoePa is certainly welcome in my book to continue to be grateful to him. I think that's what you mean.
However, when judging the man, it easily wipes out everything he did. It is a tragic fact that most people as powerful as JoePa usually use their influence selfishly, so it's relatively commendable that he took the high road. But honestly, I've done good things that were easy. If half a state worshipped me and I could change a young man's life with a little guidance, I would be doing it daily. It's commendable, sure, but not difficult.
Reporting a serious crime committed by someone you know is difficult. It calls for courage. When JoePa was finally faced with a moment where his courage was tested and the stakes literally couldn't be higher, he failed miserably.
He can deserve our gratitude while still deserving our disrespect. There's nothing contradictory about that.
There are hundreds or thousands who can thank him. There is one kid who was already assaulted but who could have been helped if someone called the police. Paterno did what people of his generation commonly did (I am NOT excusing him, he shoukd have called the police) about sexual things like this. I blame the AD far more. I'm not reducing this to math, but the math is strongly in Paterno's favor. Not reporting something to the police in a case like this is terrible, but it still does not equal an explicit act of horror, nor does it erase all the good he has done.
"Before I could pull the trigger, I was hit by lightning, and bitten by a cobra."
I thought this was going to be a bounch of nothing, but when PSU AD Tim Curley and the PSU Senior VP of whatever, Gary Schultz... both take a leave to coordinate their defense against purjury charges.... that's when I knew that this was going be big BIG. Now JoPa is heading out...this is VERY BIG.
Rumors in State College according to the Centre Daily that PSU is planning JoPas exit...this is not good for "Happy Valley," college football, the Big Ten, or anyone between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
My faith in sports humanity took a hit after golden boy, Eldrick Woods, hit a fire hydrant, but this is going to turn me into a flat out cyncial individual.
He claims McQueary told him - but didn't tell him the specifics. You are either a fucking liar or a shithead.
So, your "distraught" grad assistant told you something funny was happening b/t your 32 year coach, and you don't ask, "tell me exactly what you saw." - several times until you get the full story from your G.A?
I haven't heard anyone ask this question and it bothers the hell out of me. Assuming Joe Pa is telling the truth here (I dont' believe him), why didn't he fucking repeatedly and forcefully for McQueary to tell him all the details? If true, it can only be because he didn't want to know.
The most winningest football coach in NCAA history is a LOSER.
Streaming UM games early Sunday morning from Korea, since 2007
It's true that maybe he just didn't want to know. My personal feeling... he already knew. Not about the specific incident, but he knew who Sandusky was at that point, and didn't need to ask McQueary for details. It smacks of people who get arrested and don't bother asking the cops why as they're being handcuffed. They're the people who know exactly why. They don't need to ask.
"You know, for a bartender/bookie, you're pretty judgmental."
At no point should anyone hear about an adult showering with a child who is not their own and not immediately become suspicious. JoePa knew he had a monster on his hands, even if he didn't know the specifics. And so did that charity. They are all complicit with the destruction of innocence in those children.
Please understand that the disgusting acts perpetrated are mind numbing in their level of abhorrence. So, part of this line of thought is due to trying to parse other things instead of Sandusky. The other part is due to the fact that when I was talking to someone about the cover up and the "just don't bring kids from that school" line, I said "...it had traces of..." and the person I was talking to tried to finish my thought with "Ohio State".
I could not jump to correct that fast enough with "no, the Catholic Church". Keep in mind that I consider myself a fairly devout Catholic and have no issue with the religion itself. The same attitude of "shuffle things around to keep it under wraps" seems to be prevelant in both cases.
Anyway, my point is this: I think any sane person would agree that what transpired at OSU and Miami is so far below (above?) the happenings with Sandusky & Penn State, that it really puts so much in persepctive.
That being said, in my attempts to think about other things, a singular thought keeps popping up in my head of the self-righteous indignation leveled at Rich Rodriguez for practicing a few hours extra and looking to bring in a kid with some black marks on his record. I hope all the people who got upset and unleashed so much vitriol will finally realize how ridiculous that reaction was.
In the grander scheme of things, I have a thought to ponder: Hoping beyond hope that this is isolated to a single program, when combined with all the other bombshells that were dropped, this past year, is this finally the straw that breaks the camel's back in college athletics? I mean, we put a bullet in amateurism's head already in the quest for success and pretending that all was well. Now, we've seen at least 8 children's lives ruined and justice going unserved for far too long due to a cover up. And, the only plausible reason for covering it up was to maintain the program's level of success as a standard bearer & destination for recruits.
So yeah, consider this a sign off on the 1st portion of Brian's post.
Re: My Avatar - It's Guy Gardner. If you're a nerd like me, you'll get it.
There is a deep divide between criticism of RichRod and the moral doubt in PSU's athletic department. I don't think we can properly run a football team, or even a society, when everyone's bar is set to "at least so-and-so is not a child molester". Frankly, it's rather inappropriate and petty of you to use this tragedy as a barb to throw at RichRod's critics.
For all the intensity in some of my posts, my overall emotional state doesn't depend much on football to begin with. I argue about football here because it's fun. Bantering about Denard's performance under RichRod or the effectiveness of Mattison's blitz packages? Fun. I'll call someone and idiot and someone will call me a troll. . . I think it's fun. But I've also counseled troubled teens, some who were very scared, and when I read about someone sexually abusing children, you're going to hear from a completely different side of me. A side that reacts to "hey, if PSU has child molesters then RichRod wasn't all that bad right?" with SHUT THE HELL UP.
The person who needs to learn some damn perspective is you. This is NOT the moment to try to use child molestation as a means of winning a tired argument; it's a time to realize that winning football threads is completely meaningless to begin with.
I think we all hear what you're saying. However, in defense, I don't think the poster was attempting to compare anything to this PSU tragedy. I think he was simply trying to shift the discussion a bit. Everyone is a bit injured by this whole tragedy for their own personal reasons - no reason to jump down the poster's throat.
Also, personal attacks (like calling someone an idiot) on this Board are not properly deemed "fun." Not that you did so in this post - I'm just stating for future reference.
Yeah, it was probably an "oops", no harm intended. You're handling this better than me.
[redacted -- better follow-up below]
Technically this is one giant digression, anyway. In my mind this scandal really has very little to do with football, but the moderators seem to be understanding that some things are indeed more serious than others.
I'd take my thoughts elsewhere but I'm shocked to find it's not being discussed anywhere else I'm on. I know some PSU alumni and they won't even mention it on FB, for example. I hope I don't get pwned by MGoBlog moderators but I don't have anywhere else to go and I really don't feel like talking about football today.
You're making sense now, and I can accept that's the point you intended. OK. But here's what you said: "I hope all the people who got upset and unleashed so much vitriol will finally realize how ridiculous that reaction was." You see what's different about that statement?
But whatever; I understand now so I'm done. I guess, having gone a bit deeper into these sorts of things, I've developed some mechanisms to parse my thoughts. I'll get worked up over every UM-OSU game, sure. It's football! But I could also watch UM lose to OSU for twenty straight years and not once scream at the TV. It's football. Unfortunately, the one thing I suck at is denial. So when it comes to stories like these, I vent instead.
I do understand that enough shock can damage one's very sense of perspective. Does anything matter anymore? It's a fair question; everyone should ask it once in a while. I remember one MLB pitcher, shortly after the 9/11 attacks, openly asking the media if what he did for a living was socially acceptable. Of course I'm just a dude on a computer, but here's my answer to him: "Of course. There's nothing wrong with playing baseball; no one will criticize you for it. The only thing that's changed is, for the first time in your goddamn life, you've realized just how meaningless your existence is."
I think you missed it. So I will presume to try again for him/her:
The people who frequent MGoBlog and similar venues are passionate about college athletics and get really upset about sports-related stuff that happens, including violations of NCAA rules on practicing and player compensation and whatnot. A extreme child abuse incident--or series of incidents--as apparently occurred at Penn State makes that upset seem kind of petty. Put another way, when I think about a child suffering this kind of abuse I get so angry and disgusted that I can't help but chill out a little about tat-gate and Borges' playcalling.
The larger issue here is that Joe Paterno, who is probably a basically decent man, and at least a few other people at Penn State evidently were more concerned about the status of their football program than the welfare of children. As I took it, WolverineRage's point is that these abuses were so egregious that they cast doubt on an entire system of college athletics that would cause decent people to look the other way and accept evil as the price of success.
Supposing he knew about this at all (which seems probable), and that there was substance to what he was told at the time (which it seems like we have to assume), "figurehead" doesn't cut it.
Paterno has the weight to throw around that he could walk into the AD's office, or the college President's office, or probably even (as others have said) phone the state governor and, without even doing anything himself say, "I heard this and I demand we investigate or I resign".
Yes, in some ways that's even more extreme than just calling the police.
Actually I find the "figurehead" argument more damning, assuming he knew about this as is alleged, because in his case "figurehead" means (meant?) "institution". It meant his position was absolutely safe almost no matter what he did.
I'm stunned by this: my grandfather is a PSU alum and life-long Penn State fan, and JoePa's one of his heroes and sort of by osmosis one of mine, odd as that seems. This story simply feels like an outrage against the world as I thought it worked.
"When you absolutely don't know what to do any more, then it's time to panic." - Johann van der Wiel
I have avoided posting anything about this until I had time to think about it. There are two conflicting ways in which I personally view it:
1) I consider myself a Christian (following the blog rules, this will not be a religious post, hear me out). I have spent many years studying Christianity and teaching its principles at church. Through this view of my life, I can only say that everyone involved with this sad reality has not lived up to what they are expected to do for their fellow human. For this I am deeply saddened. For this they will need to deal with this in their own way.
2) I work for a fortune 500 company. It is very clear to me, what my actions should be if one of my employees were to come to me with this situation. First step, clearly understand what my employee is telling me about another employee (either direct report or not). Second step, contact HR and let them take ownership and fulfill my duties as directed by HR. I am not to call the police unless I personally witness the act and do so in an effort to directly protect someone.
So this leaves me torn about JoePa. I do not believe he lived up to his human responsibilities. I do believe he probably lived up to his work responsibilities. Judge as you see fit.
"Anyone who isn't confused, really doesn't understand the situation." - Edward R. Murrow
Your company may have a policy stating that you are too report to HR and not to the police. However, these sorts of policies are almost uniformly designed to prevent the company and police from dealing with issues of inter-office theft and/or embezzlement. Violent acts committed against third-parties (i.e. not either employees or clients) are largely outside their intended purview--- although I'm sure the policy itself is written in the most broad language possible, because the company wants maximum control over the employees.
Anyway, my point is that it's very unlikely that you would be penalized for violating that policy in an incident such as child rape in the company's building. If you were, I promise you could find an attorney to take your wrongful discharge case. And even if you were guranteed to be fired, I just don't see how the "work responsibilities" can over whelm the force of your moral obligation.
Comeuppance! (Not just because that's a fun word to use.)
Why? Because for 27 years, PSU employed a women's basketball coach, Rene Portland, who openly and unabashedly discriminated against lesbians on her team. She threatened women she thought were gay to the point that their careers were destroyed and some considered suicide. The administration at PSU knew about the behavior and did nothing for decades-- and Paterno, along with the same Athletic Department officials implicated here, backed her up.
Clearly, the university needed to clean house a long time ago. Had they employed people who have a moral backbone, this scandal might never have happened and likely, a bunch of kids wouldn't have been abused.
And Paterno needs to go. What he did may not have been illegal, but it was totally immoral. As a parent, how could he have known this was going on and chose to do NOTHING? I honestly don't know how any of these people slept at night. Haven't they seen Law and Order SVU?
I'm a parent, and the last fight I was in was won by hitting a kid in the head with a lunchbox. But if Sandusky had been anywhere near my son, it would be hard for me to forego letting my rage take over and obviate any need for a trial.
That said, only Paterno and McQuery know what was said. If it was "Coach something bad happened with Sandusky and a kid" (in a context where "kid" == "player") there's a difference between that and "Coach Sandusky is in the showers with a screaming 10-year-old".
The Paterno whose players would walk through Hell for him, the one who's amassed the reputation he has, is more congruent with the first version. That Paterno, having heard something like the second version, would have booted Sandusky into the parking lot without bothering to open the door.
Now, people aren't always of a piece. We aren't consistent in all things, and even those who are can have lapses in judgement, horrible "What were you thinking?/I wasn't" moments. But saying that Paterno willfully blinded himself to what was going on seems a bit of a leap to me.
As far as whether or not Paterno should resign ... no matter what was said, and what Paterno did or did not do, there will always be doubt now. There will never be certainty about whether he let it happen, was snowed like everyone else, or just made sure he didn't look too closely.
Were I his employer, that doubt would be unacceptable from both a moral and practical standpoint. I don't want to have to deal with "Paterno covered up pedophilia" rumors in recruiting, funding, or governmental relations.
I wouldn't fire him, but I would be strongly urging him to resign and hammering out a timetable to make that happen. It's unfortunate that it has to end like this ... but shorn of everything else, one phone call to the law could have made things very different 13 years ago. I want my coach to be the guy who would pick up the phone.
It's 2002, and the GA who had just given him disturbing news has just left his office. Taking JoePa at his word, at that moment, here's what he knew.
Paterno knew that one of his GAs was claiming he witnessed something concerning Paterno's former long time DC that could only be described as highly inappropriate at best, and truly abhorent at worst. He may not have know how much truth there was to that claim, but he knew anything that involves the words "grown man" and "naked in a shower with a minor" was something serious enough to report to the administration. He also knew that calling the police would have brought a lot of negative public attention to the institution. He knew that even the allegation of sexual abuse by a former coach would tarnish the program, true or not.
Most importantly, he knew that he was facing a choice. He could err on the side of protecting the university from embaressment and scandal, or he could err on the side of protecting defenseless minors from a lifetime of emotional scars.
He chose not to err on the side of defenseless minors.
And this is the BEST CASE version of history.
Here's what I know. Child molestation is not a game, while college football most certainly is. Anyone who needs to spend 8 minutes (much less 8 years) debating that is not worthy of an ounce of my respect. In that regard, I'm in total agreement with Brian.
...ever again. Ever. Can you imagine his reception in Columbus? If I am a PSU admin, him taking the field to wild cheering and support would be just as crushingly humiliating - i'd be embarrassed by all the non-parents in the student section screaming we love you joe. I just don't see how he ever ever takes the field again.
PA Announcer: "Carry by number forty one, Rob Lytle" Crowd: "R-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-b Lytle!"