Thursday, November 10, 2011

What the Penn State Scandal tells us about Society

"Paterno told Penn State athletic director Tim Curley that McQueary had seen Sandusky "fondling or doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy." About two weeks later, Curley told McQueary that Sandusky's keys to the locker room had been taken away." -The Detroit Free Press

Really? That's it. Are you kidding me? Paterno and the Penn State brass are told about a young boy being sexually abused and they treat it like some underage drinking offense? Whether or not this quote is fabricated,  the fact is Paterno did not do enough. In this case it's not enough to just play by the book. Paterno backers and Penn State Alum will defend Paterno to the death and I guess I can understand that. He is Penn State.  At the same time don't for one minute think they would be defending any other coach from any other school if they did the same thing. Sports fans have blinders on especially when it comes to the college they went to.

In case you've been living under a rock for the last week you know about the heinous acts committed by former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky to 8 (probably dozens more) young boys during his tenure at Penn State. The acts are the most despicable you can imagine. The fact is Paterno knew that it was happening and didn't put a stop to it. Taking away someone's keys to the locker room? What a joke.

The riots at Penn State are microcosm of what is wrong with society. We treat our sports figures as larger than life and put them on a pedestal. The backers are all talking about how Joe didn't deserve to go out like this or they should've let him finish the season. Why? First off Paterno stopped coaching the team about 6 years ago but that is besides the point. If this happened anywhere else the person would've been fired. Did Joe commit a criminal act? No. At the same time he knew a criminal act was going on and just filed a simple complaint. That isn't acceptable. This isn't someone cheating on a test. This isn't someone getting a free ticket. This is knowing one of your coaches is having sex with young boys and ruining their lives forever. Yes, these kids lives are ruined forever and I guarantee he did it to more boys because not enough was done.

I saw riots at Umass after Red Sox wins and didn't understand them.  In fact I don't really understand riots and breaking stuff in general. This isn't just a Penn state thing it's a society thing. I love sports as much as anyone but why are we so passionate about relatively unimportant things like sports and not about moreimportant matters like a child's well being? There were more people rioting against Joe Paterno's firing than rioting against the the Penn State leadership and everyone involved with these crimes. It's sickening.

Did we forget about moral code? Why is selling a jersey more of an offense than not following up on sexual abuse to a child? Sometimes it's not enough to just play by the book when their are young kids lives at stake. These kids are tainted forever and so are there families and so are there families families. Sure, Penn State is in chaos now, but it will bounce back. Unfortunately the victims will never be the same.


  1. I completely agree with all of this. I'm probably going to hold my judgements until all of the facts come out. The media does such an amazing job of fabricating everything.

    From what I'm reading (The indictments, the news articles, etc) everyone on the staff, including joepa, should go despite the loyalty that comes with having such a successful college football program. There really is no excuse for letting this coach hang aroud the university after all the allegations took place. Whether they were true or not, they should have taken precautionary measures due to the severity of the accusations and banned him from the grounds until all the charges were cleared.

    Penn State sets an example for what not to do in a child molestation/abuse case. The grad student, the athletic directors, the coaches, everyone did the wrong thing. The grad student should have gone straight to the police. The fact that the police weren't immediately involved is pretty shocking.

    As far as the rioting comes, if any sports/political/public figure did something of a negative nature, no matter what there will be loyal rioters defending them. JoePa of all people is a legendary coach to say the least. Take Bill Clinton, he cheated on his wife and there were still Clinton supporters out there that say yeah, he majorly screwed up, but he was a great president and we still commend him for that. JoePa is Penn State football and he majorly screwed up, took the wrong measures, but he is a great football coach and has done everything for that program. Yes, he should not be able to finish the season and should be punished for those actions, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't still be recognized for his lifetime of achievement and what he did for that program.

    If all of this ends up being true, then it really is a shame that anything like this could happen and be kept under wraps for such a long period of time.

  2. I agree with both of your sentiments. JoePa may have fulfilled his legal obligations, but he sure as hell didn't fulfill his moral obligations. As a Penn State fan, I respect him as a football coach, but couldn't be more disgusted with his conduct as a human being. He, along everyone else who knew that something was wrong but made the choice not to continue up the chain until something reasonable was done about it, should be held accountable for their lack of action. God only knows how many other tragedies they could have prevented.

  3. What about the grad student who witnessed the act and didn't do anything to stop it? There is alot more coming out about this and I think there are going to be alot of people hopefully going to jail.