As more and more graphic details come out in this trial, the more and more I am absolutely sickened by the fact that so many people did nothing to help these little boys. This man was an absolute monster. He is a predator who deserves to go away for life. Read this ABC article to learn more, though it is very disturbing…
This is a really good opinion piece for CNN by LZ Granderson:
Grand Rapids, Michigan (CNN) — I am sitting here in front of my computer, looking at the headline that former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno has died, and I honestly don’t know how or what I should feel. If he had passed a year ago, it would be a no-brainer. For a World War II soldier who dedicated more than 50 years to one institution and one wife during a time in which examples of both grow rarer by the decade, it seems flags should be flown at half staff.
But then there’s Jerry Sandusky.
And then there’s Paterno’s silence and then … well with all due respect to the Paterno family, his loved ones and the Penn State community, uninterrupted mourning becomes difficult.
Now for those reading this column expecting a glowing obituary for a renowned coach who truly deserves one, you may want to click elsewhere as this is not that kind of a piece. And for anyone hoping I rip Paterno to shreds, again you will need to look elsewhere.
I am writing for those of us trapped in the middle — for those who watched the Penn State story unfold without the ability to see the world in black and white.
I am genuinely saddened to hear a wife has lost her husband and children have lost their father. But that mourning for the Paternos subconsciously shifts to mourning the innocence of the little boys that could have been saved had Paterno fought to protect them with as much vigilance as he used to protect his good name in the aftermath of the scandal. It’s unfair to blame Paterno for what Sandusky is accused of doing, but it’s impossible to accept Paterno did anywhere near to all he could by simply alerting two university officials to one incident. Years passed and the coach didn’t utter one word about what he knew about Sandusky to the media but he managed to address the media on his front porch within hours of his firing.
If you’ve ever held a crying child in your arms, it’s hard to see Paterno as a victim of the media.
But if you’ve ever made a mistake, if you’ve ever mishandled a difficult situation, if you’ve ever done something you’ve regretted, then it should be hard to characterize JoePa– a man that has done so much good outside of football — as a pariah.
And therein lies the rub: What do you do when a wonderful man who made a terrible mistake dies? How do you properly honor an admirable life without whitewashing the egregious shortcomings that ruined the lives of others? I see the Penn State students paying tribute to Paterno in front of his statue on campus and wonder how many would still do so if they had young children of their own to protect. How many would do so if they were one of Sandusky’s alleged victims.
I am not directly tied to the scandal at Happy Valley so I wasn’t among those who was wronged and thus it’s not really my place to judge or forgive. But who among us can forget?
Though the coroner’s office will say cancer was the cause of death, those who know the story well will say Paterno died of a broken heart, a sad ending for a man who truly deserved better. And then you think about the children who allegedly grew up broken because of Sandusky’s acts and Paterno’s silence and you wonder who deserved better than them?
But this kind of conflict is not unique to Paterno.
I look at the way people lionize President Ronald Reagan and I wonder how they feel about Reagan letting years go by without publicly addressing the AIDS epidemic (possibly because the disease initially was seen as primarily affecting gays) or that he vetoed a comprehensive anti-apartheid act that would have placed sanctions on South Africa.
I watched the response to the manslaughter verdict against Michael Jackson’s doctor and marveled at the passion people had for justice for a likely drug addict who was twice accused of child molestation. If Jackson wasn’t such an amazing artist, would the people outside of the courthouse decked out in glitter and holding signs be so forgiving? And did they really forgive Jackson for his alleged trespasses or did they simply chose to ignore them because they got in the way of their neatly packaged narrative?
Paterno has died, and I do not know how to compartmentalize the good from the bad. Just as I am incapable of thinking about Reagan without seeing the thousands and thousands of ailing Americans he didn’t even try to help. Or how hard it is to listen to a Michael Jackson song and not wonder about the boys he was accused of molesting — or how hard it is to watch reruns of “Seinfeld” and not recall the racist rant from the actor who played my once favorite character, Kramer.
That’s the good thing about 24-hour media: it hard to keep dirty little secrets. But this is also the bad thing. In a lot of ways, life was easier when we didn’t know as much. We could have mourned a hero like Paterno and not feel conflicted.
If you do.
Some people can see the world in black and white.
I’m not one of those people.
First it was Sandusky & Penn State.
Now there are two other university sex scandals going on at Syracuse & the Citadel.
First, at the prestigious Citadel military college in Charleston, SC, Louis “Skip” ReVille — a former coach,cadet, and camp counselor — was just arrested for child molestation. May I add that he was arrested in Mount Pleasant, SC (my hometown… probably the most exciting/worthwhile thing that police force has ever done…).
ReVille hopped around to different places in the Charleston area, preying on young boys while working as a teacher, volunteering as a sports coach, running Bible studies, and even acting as a foster parent. Here is a glimpse of the massive scandal that has erupted:
And today the media is reporting that an assistant coach at Syracuse is now being investigated for molesting ball boys. The details, from NBC Sports, can be found below.
Longtime Syracuse assistant coach Bernie Fine is the subject of a police investigation into allegations that he molested a team ball boy for more than a dozen years, starting in the mid-1980s, according to an ESPN report.
The alleged victim, Bobby Davis, told ESPN that Fine began molesting him in 1983 just before Davis entered seventh grade. According to the report, Davis says the abuse happened at Fine’s home, at Syracuse basketball facilities and on road trips, including the 1987 Final Four. Davis spent six years at Syracuse’s ball boy. There are graphic details about Davis’ allegations in the ESPN story and can be found here and here.
Fine is in his 35th season as a Syracuse assistant to Jim Boeheim. He has been placed on administrative leave.
Davis, now 39, says the abuse continued until he was 27 and reported the abuse to Syracuse police in 2003, but detectives told him the statute of limitations had expired and they would not investigate. ESPN investigated the story in 2003, but decided not to run the story because Davis was the only person willing to talk. The Syracuse Post-Standard also investigated the allegations in 2003.
The news is emerging now because another alleged victim says he was sexually abused by Fine and is coming forward now because of news coverage of the Jerry Sandusky sexual-abuse scandal at Penn State, according to ESPN’s story.
Kevin Quinn, Syracuse’s senior vice president for public affairs, issued a statement Thursday night on behalf of the school:
“In 2005, Syracuse University was contacted by an adult male who told us that he had reported to the Syracuse City Police that he had been subjected to inappropriate contact by an associate men’s basketball coach. The alleged activity took place in the 1980′s and 1990′s. We were informed by the complainant that the Syracuse City Police had declined to pursue the matter because the statute of limitations had expired.
“On hearing of the allegations in 2005, the University immediately launched its own comprehensive investigation through its legal counsel. That nearly four-month long investigation included a number of interviews with people the complainant said would support his claims. All of those identified by the complainant denied any knowledge of wrongful conduct by the associate coach. The associate coach also vehemently denied the allegations.
“Syracuse University takes any allegation of this sort extremely seriously and has zero tolerance for abuse of any kind. If any evidence or corroboration of the allegations had surfaced, we would have terminated the associated coach and reported it to the police immediately. We understand that the Syracuse City Police has now reopened the case, and Syracuse University will cooperate fully. We are steadfastly committed ensuring that SU remains a safe place for every member of our campus community.”
Police are now reopening the investigation.
What is going on at our universities?? Better yet, what is going on in our culture??
Why is this all coming to light now? Why hasn’t anyone spoken up until now? Why didn’t witnesses come forward when they first realized something was wrong? Why were sexual abuse reports hidden and ignored by school officials? I just have so many questions and am at a complete loss for words…
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Mike McQueary, under a barrage of criticism for not doing enough to prevent Jerry Sandusky allegedly raping a boy in a locker room shower in 2002, claims he did stop the former Penn State defensive coordinator and then contacted police.
His claims, which appeared in an email to a former classmate obtained by Lehigh Valley’s The Morning Call on Tuesday, contradict a grand jury report that states a graduate assistant — later identified as McQueary — witnessed the abuse then left to ask his father for advice.
The report adds it was not until the next day that he told Penn State coach Joe Paterno about what he saw.
In the email, McQueary wrote, “I did stop it, not physically, but made sure it was stopped when I left that locker room.
“No one can imagine my thoughts or wants to be in my shoes for those 30-45 seconds,” he added. “Trust me.”
McQueary also wrote he “did have discussions with police and with the official at the university in charge of police” following the alleged incident and added that it was unfair he was “getting hammered for handling this the right way or what I thought at the time was right.”
The email builds on reports late Monday that McQueary had said he made sure the abuse ceased.
CBS had promoted an exclusive interview with McQueary for Tuesday evening, but the report revealed little.
“This process has to play out. I just don’t have anything else to say at all,” McQueary said.
Penn State police deferred questioning from The Morning Call to its public relations office, which had not responded to the newspaper as of Tuesday afternoon.
The 67-year-old Sandusky, who is accused in a 40-count indictment of sexually abusing eight boys over a period of 15 years, told NBC News’ Bob Costas Monday night that McQueary’s account of what he saw was “false.”
Sandusky admitted he “shouldn’t have showered with those kids” — but maintained he was innocent of the charges that have rocked the university.
This whole Penn State debacle is absolutely devastating and the decisions that have to be made after these allegations have come to light are not going to be easy. As much as I would love to say, “Joe Paterno made this university what it is today. More than 50 years at PSU shows that he is devoted and hard-working and a true inspiration. He is the face of Penn State football and should remain with the team for the rest of the season” … I just can’t. No matter how much love or respect I have for the man, I cannot forgive the fact that he did not step in and protect children against a sexual predator.
I don’t think anyone in their right mind should put Paterno (a symbol of the university, an integral part of the institution) ahead of the lives and innocence of at least 8 little boys. These boys are the victims — not Joe Paterno. In my mind he dug his own grave. It’s sad and it’s unfortunate and I don’t want the “JoePa era” to end this way, but he should have handled this situation differently.
This is why, as much as I feel for the PSU students, I am angered over their reaction to Paterno being fired. I understand that you love him and support him — but personal responsibility and moral obligations should still be a priority, no matter how famous and popular you are. I don’t care how many great things Paterno did for the university… his time is up. He should not be on the football field anymore. His reputation is tarnished. No one will be able to look at him the same.
What message are you sending if you allow Paterno to continue coaching? “Yes, Paterno knew that Sandusky was raping little boys, but he’s a great figure at PSU and we are loyal followers.” If that’s not idolatry then I don’t know what is.
Students destroying parts of campus and flipping over news vans is ridiculous. These kids need to sit down and straighten out their priorities. Football …or protecting children from sexual abuse and rape?
Additionally, I want to say one more thing. Everyone that has been fired from the university has deserved it, in my opinion. Paterno, the University President Graham Spanier, Athletic Director Timothy Curley, Vice President Gary Schultz — they all deserved to go. But another person needs to be fired: Mike McQueary. He is the graduate assistant who walked in on Sandusky raping a 10-year-old boy. Yes, he told Paterno. But that’s IT?
How can you walk in on something like that and not try to stop it? If you walked in on Sandusky beating up a child, wouldn’t you intervene? If you came across someone raping a woman, would you not try to help? I don’t care if McQueary “reported” this incident to someone… he didn’t do enough.
How can you walk in on THIS…
According to a grand jury report, the graduate student entered a locker room on a Friday night in 2002 to stow away some sneakers.
“As the graduate student entered the locker room doors, he was surprised to find the lights and showers on,” the grand jury report stated. “He then heard rhythmic, slapping sounds.”
The assistant looked into the shower and “saw a naked boy … whose age he estimated to be 10 years old, with his hands up against the wall, being subjected to anal intercourse by a naked Sandusky,” the grand jury report stated.
…and not do anything??? It should also be noted that McQueary, after basically doing nothing asfter witnessing child rape, was then promoted and now holds a prominent coaching position at PSU. This Bleach Report article is 100% correct, in my opinion:
A lot of blame has been placed on Paterno [...] But McQueary deserves just as much blame.
This was essentially a cover-up by everyone involved that knew of Sandusky’s alleged wrongdoings. Sure, Paterno didn’t alert police of the matter after administration swept it under the rug. But McQueary also stood idly by when Sandusky continued to roam the campus.
If anything, McQueary was even more to blame than Paterno because he allegedly saw it first-hand, and Paterno only received the story from McQueary.
It all comes down to the fact that everyone knew something was up, but didn’t want to be the first to disgrace Penn State’s “clean” record or lose their jobs. In reality, they were disgraces themselves for allowing such unfathomable things to happen right in front of them.
I’m hoping we see McQueary ousted in the next day or two.
For now, let’s just pray for the true victims — the little boys who no one at PSU stood up for, whose innocence was stolen.
This story about Jerry Sandusky is absolutely deplorable. For those who don’t know much about the situation, take a look at the CNN clip below.
So Joe Paterno apparently heard from a graduate student that Sandusky was engaging in innappropriate acts with minors in the Penn State showers. He reported it to his superiors, but then it seems he forgot about this little issue all together. He is now claiming to the press that he is “shocked” and “saddened” by this story, but he did, in fact, do everything he was “supposed to” when he heard about Sandusky. He told someone about Sandusky’s actions, so he is innocent.
Now I understand that Joe Paterno is a football legend. And yes, he did report to his superiors when he heard about Sandusky’s actions. I understand that he is not morally corrupt (unlike athletic director Tim Curley and university vice president Gary Schultz) because he did not help with the cover-up of this disgusting crime. But by claiming innocence because you “did your part” and reported this illegal activity to University officials is ridiculous. “Doing your part” would be taking this accusation seriously, reporting it to officials and police, and following up until something was done about it. I have always had a lot of respect for JoePa, but now he is just a disappointment to me.
I found this NBC blog article about the subject, and I think the author is 100% accurate in everything he writes:
This has to be end for Paterno
Until all the facts come out and the legal process reaches a conclusion, I don’t know if it’s fair to yell “Fire Joe Paterno” in light of these recent sexual abuse allegations leveled against one of his former assistant coaches. That would suggest that he is largely to blame.
But I do believe this has to be the end for Paterno at Penn State. And it’s sad, because his legacy is not only tainted, but in the worst way possible.
If Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and university vice president Gary Schultz are eventually found to be guilty of felony perjury for lying to a grand jury and failing to report to law enforcement what they knew about the behavior of Jerry Sandusky, the alleged predator in question, then they need to be punished severely.
Paterno’s culpability hinges on his claim that when then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary came to him in March 2002 and said he witnessed Sandusky sexually assaulting an underage boy in the showers, Paterno said McQueary had not been specific with him about what occurred. Paterno said he then “referred the matter to university administrators,” because by that time Sandusky had been retired as an assistant coach.
This is an example of how difficult it is for a coach from another era to be the CEO of a major college football program in the modern world. Maybe Paterno – who was 75 at the time this took place – thought it was enough to pass this highly disturbing information up the chain of command and not follow up. Maybe, because he was 75, he thought he was following proper procedure.
I don’t know about you, but if somebody told me that an individual had sexually abused a child, I think I wouldn’t be able to rest until the matter was fully investigated, and the accused in question was either punished, or exonerated if the allegations proved false.
In the case of Sandusky, there should have been an urgency on the part of Paterno to follow up, because Sandusky could have kept doing it. There was a moral obligation to follow up, to prevent more abuse and more damage to children.
The fact that Paterno didn’t follow through was, at the very least, an indication that he wasn’t sharp enough at his age to handle a crisis like that. At the very worst, the possibility exists he could have been covering up for a long-time assistant by wishing it weren’t true and hoping it would all go away – much like Curley and Schultz are alleged to have done.
It’s terribly sad that the Joe Paterno era should end on such an ugly note. But end it must.
Michael Ventre is a regular contributor to NBCSports.com; follow him at http://twitter.com/MichaelVentre44.