Wednesday, November 9, 2011

In defense of Joe Paterno

It is with shock and tremendous sadness that I am following the events coming out of State College, where Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant coach under Joe Paterno at Penn State, is charged with sexually assaulting at least 8 boys.  The grand jury presentment can be found on the website of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette here.  Be warned: it makes for very disturbing reading.  In my decades of historical research, I've read about some of the most brutal atrocities in history, and this document made even me uncomfortable. 

The charges against Sandusky are so disgusting, so vile that it can and does easily become a case of guilty until proven innocent.  For anyone associated with them.

Before I continue, let me tell you three stories from my personal experience:

  • When I was in junior high, there was a gym teacher who was persistently rumored to have ... let's just say an "inappropriate" way of treating male gym students.  Needless to say, I was not happy when I found out that he was going to be my gym teacher for a semester.

    (Of course, I wasn't happy about taking gym to begin with.  Mandatory gym class is stupid, and is usually little more than open season on us who are not athletically gifted.  But that's a subject for another post.)

    I survived that gym class.  Never saw anything that could be considered even remotely inappropriate on the teacher's part.

  • After I graduated high school, a teacher friend of mine was charged with sexual misconduct with a student.  In conversations with me, the teacher always maintained his innocence.  The evidence against him was slim: basically the student's word against hs.  No physical evidence and no witnesses.  But the prosecutor's office, driven by a media frenzy, had to press the case forward by tying it up without going to trial, driving the teacher to accept a plea deal to avoid bankruptcy from the legal fees (remember that ethics rules prohibit criminal defense lawyers from working on contingency).  Guilty until proven innocent.

    The teacher always maintained to me that he had caught the student engaged in a homosexual act with another student at the high school, and that when the teacher tried to report it, the student (and the students parents) instead threw it back at the teacher to avoid punishment, public embarassment and, perhaps, the stigma of being labeled as gay.  Having known the student involved, while I can't say for certainty what the true story was, I believe the teacher's story has credibility.  Nevertheless, the teacher, who was very popular at the high school, was never able to put forth his defense and his career was ruined.

  • One of my friends at my old job was a former deputy prosecutor of sex crimes.  A libertarian type, she was usually tying to curb my anger at criminals like the ones who hurt me, and get me to question my own presumption of the guilt of those criminals.  In one conversation we had in my office, she closed the door, disheveled her hair, unbuttoned a few buttons on her blouse and messed it up a bit.  She then told me she could walk out of my office, say I tried to rape her and everyone would believe her.  It was that easy, she said, to make such an allegation, and thus, to make a false allegation. Same thing with child molestation.  Guilty until proven innocent. 

    That gave me pause and has made me reconsider my hard-line on criminals.  She always had a way of doing that.  That's a good thing.

I bring these incidents up because I am seeing an avalanche of fire and brimstone being hurled at Joe Paterno (see, e.g., Post-Gazette editorial, the Post-Gazette's Ron Cook, ESPN's Howard Bryant, Fox Sports' Jen Floyd Engel, Fox Sports' (excellent) Jason Whitlock, Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan, for starters).  Joe Paterno did what he was legally required to do, they all admit, but, of course, he was morally required to do more.

Is that really true?

There is a reason why the legal requirements are what they are.

Let me first start out by saying that I am not defending the conduct of Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley and Vice President Gary Schultz.  If the allegations are true, Curley and Schultz not only did not investigate the allegations against Sandusky, they tried to cover it up, including lying to a grand jury.  Very, very bad.  You do not lie in a legal proceeding.  Period.  What they are alleged to have done here is inexcusable.

Moreover, I cannot say what Joe Paterno was thinking in taking (or not taking) the actions he did (or did not) in reporting the allegation of Sandusky's conduct to his superiors and doing, apparently, little else.  Perhaps he will say something, perhaps new evidence will come out, that may change things.

Finally, I am not a parent.  The closest I have to children are three cats.  So I can't say I am experienced with the emotions involved in being a parent.  That undoubtedly affects my opinion here.

That said, the case against Joe Paterno is, in my opinion, not nearly as clear-cut as many are making it out to be.

The issue for the media here is "protect the children."  And it is indeed the biggest issue, but it is also a very complicated one, because in what sometimes becomes the mad rush to "protect the children" innocent people can be flattened. Remember the McMartin pre-school.  Remember my story above. Guilty until proven innocent.

The same can be said of rape.  Remember the Duke Lacrose (Non-Rape) Case.  Remember the former deputy prosecutor's statememnt to me about how easy it is to get a rape charge to stick.  Guilty until proven innocent.

So, let's say you're Joe Paterno. ("You're Joe Paterno.")  Graduate Assistant Mike McQueary comes to you distraught and tells you he has seen your former coach Jerry Sandusky do inappropriate things with a 10-year old boy in the shower.  (Precisely what McQueary told Paterno is disputed.)  You've known Sandusky for at least 30 years, probably been friends with him that long.  Assume for the sake of argument he never had a problem of this sort with Sandusky (which is not necessarily accurate, as I will explain below.)  Sandusky founded the Second Mile, an agency that helps at-risk youth. 

You know that if this is made public, regardless of the truth, Sandusky will be utterly destroyed.  Second Mile may be destroyed as well.

Since Sandusky is no longer your coach, he is no longer under your jurisdiction, but under the jurisdiction of the athletic director, yet you have immense influence over the athletic department, even though the director is ostensibly your superior.

Keep in mind that you only have your assistant's statement of the incident.  You did not witness the incident and have not witnessed any such conduct yourself. 

Keep in mind, too, that you are not law enforcement, you are not a lawyer, you are not a social worker, you are not a child psychologist.  You are a football coach.  A very good football coach.

What do you do?

My guess is that Joe Paterno had a second question in mind, one that the media is missing right now: what if Sandusky is innocent?

Paterno immediately told his boss, Athletic Director Tim Curley, who has the actual institutional authority over Sandusky.  As has been pointed out ad infinitum, that was all that Paterno was legally required to do.

According to the presentment, about a week and a half later, Curley and University Vice President Gary Schultz, who has authority over the Penn State University Police, met with McQueary and said they would look into it. You, Joe Paterno, were not at this meeting, but you were told about it.

Later, McQueary was told that Sandusky's keys to the locker room were taken away, he was prohibited from bringing children onto campus, and Second Mile was notified.  At some point, you, Joe Paterno, are told about this. You are told nothing else.  You hear nothing else.  You witness nothing else.

Now what do you do?

You had told your boss, who has access to the investigative, legal and PR expertise that you do not.  You, Joe Paterno, are a football coach.

Your boss can look at the legal ramifications -- university liability for any misconduct on campus, whether alleging Sandusky did anything risks a defamation suit, whether the university can legally sever its relationship with Sandusky.  You cannot.  You are a football coach.

And your boss brought in the guy who runs the University Police.  The University Police has the legal authority and the expertise to investigate such matters.  They can find the truth.  You cannot.  You know what McQueary told you, but you don't know what happened.  Could McQueary have been mistaken? After all, this was one incident.

You are later told that Sandusky's keys were taken away, he was prohibited from bringing children on campus and that Second Mile was informed.  What does that mean?  What happened? What did they find?  Was Penn State just limiting its liability? Enforcing a violation of policy?

You, Joe Paterno, have been told nothing else of the investigation.  But is that really unusual?  Is that even a bad thing?  Protecting the children is important, but not at the expense of an innocent man.  If the investigation got out, even if Sandusky is innocent he would be destroyed.  It's not like the Penn State could announce, "After an extensive investigation, we have found that Jerry Sandusky did not commit sexuual assault on a minor."  Like that would make everyone feel better.  It had to be kept quiet until and unless there was something really bad.

And if it had been somthing really bad, you would have heard something or been told.  You haven't.  If it had been something really bad, there would be criminal charges.  There were none.

So, now what do you do?  Follow up?  That's what the media says now.  But exactly how would you do that?  Check in on how the investigation is going?  How exactly would it look to have Jerry Sandusky's very influential friend of 30 years to be "checking" on an investigation of him?  Can you say "appearance of impropriety?" Your intent may be the most honest and conscientious, but that's not how it would look, especially if Sandusky was exonerated.  That is no small matter.  The media would crucify you, Sandusky and the university.  No, you need to stay as far away from the university investigation as possible, for the best interests of all involved, including the children.

Should you call the police yourself?  You, with possibly the most widely recognized face -- and voice -- in Pennsylvania?   You call and they'll recognize you, even if you call anonymously.  And the story will get out, because it always does (as it did now).  And it will be, "Joe Paterno called the police to report sexual assault of a minor."  Well, on whom was he reporting?  That road leads back to Sandusky.  And even if he's innocent, he's destroyed. 

And the media would still crucify you.  You can just imagine the questioning:
Reporter: So, you reported the sexual assault?

Paterno: Yes.

Reporter: Can you describe what you saw?

Paterno I didn't see anything.

Reporter: What?

Paterno: My graduate assistant told me about it.

Reporter: He told you about it?

Paterno: Yes.

Reporter: But you didn't see it yourself?

Paterno: I did not.

Reporter: Did anyone else tell you about it?

Paterno: No.

Reporter: So you turned in a man for sexual assault of a minor solely on the word of one of your graduate assistants?
The questioning would likely go downhill from there.

How about calling child welfare? The child abuse hotline? Same problem -- you'd be recognized and the story would get out -- further complicated by the fact that you don't know the identity of the child involved.

You see where I'm going with this.  You, Joe Paterno, are damned if you do and damned if you don't.

Look at what I've presented above.  Look at the scenarios.  In my opinion, there is no easy answer for Paterno.  What he did here is understandable, rational and reasonable under the circumstances. 

In this situation, Paterno was in over his head, and he knew it.  He turned it over to people who had the authority and the expertise to investigate it and pursue it as far as it needed to go.  That they did not and instead covered it up is not on Paterno.  He did what he was supposed to do.  If he had tried to go further ... well, you saw above what probably would have happened.

Now, you may say, "The easy answer is to do what's best for the children."  I understand that, whatever that means.  But my question to you is, "What if Sandusky is innocent?" 

Based on the grand jury presentment and the charges of multiple incidents, it looks like the chances of Sandusky being innocent are slim.  But, based on what I've seen so far, that is not what Joe Paterno knew or was told.  He saw nothing.  He was told of a single incident witnessed by a single assistant coach.

The assistant's allegation is obviously extremely serious, but it's also slim on the evidence.  Maybe McQueary was somehow mistaken in what he saw.  What if Sandusky is innocent?

The bosses at Penn State could see if there is more evidence to either prove or disprove the charge here -- question Sandusky, find the child, etc.  But that is not something Joe Paterno could do.  He is a football coach.

That the Penn State administration allegedly did not is inexcusable.  But that is not on Joe Paterno. 

I know I'm probably in a minority position on this one.  But just give it some thought.  Paterno's case is not as easy as it it being made out to be.

There is one major wild card out there: an allegation that Sandusky committed a similar act in a Penn State shower in 1998.  That would certainly have given McQueary's charges more credibility and should have warranted further investigation.  But it's not clear how or if Paterno was involved.  How further inquiry into that incident unfolds could change what Paternos' responsibilities actually were in this scandal.

Finally, a major tip of the hat to Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly for bringing these charges.  This cannot be easy for her.  With the results of her grand jury she has created a firestorm the likes of which we have not seen in a long, long time.  That she was appointed to the office (to replace Tom Corbett, who became governor) and is not seeking election to a full term as attorney general does insulate her somewhat politically.  Nevertheless, it takes a lot of courage for a public official to take on something like this.  Give her credit.  Be proud of her, Pennsylvania and especially Pittsburgh.  Takes notes, everyone else.  Our country would be much better off if more public officials had the courage of Linda Kelly.


  1. Well done sir!

    You have managed to do what 99% of people who read the news cannot. You have separated what are facts and what is crap spun by the media. This blog was well thought-out and well written. I would love to tell you that you could have a promising future in reporting the news but unfortunately you have written what are facts and haven't included enough unsubstantiated reports and opinions. Although people would learn the truth if you reported the news, they wouldn't be shocked or disgusted enough to keep their interest.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your opinion. I whole-heartily agree. The firestorm surrounding this case is the reason why I steer clear of the news. It warps your brain, makes you fear the unlikely, and makes you draw conclusions on very little information.

    The way I see it: Imagine the most famous, most well-liked, well-known man in your small community. Imagine that he is responsible for helping hundreds of local children. Now, imagine that he's your neighbor and you've been friends for 30 years. Now, imagine that the new 25 year-old down the street tells you he witnessed that man doing unmentionable things to a small child. There must be the smallest amount of doubt in your mind that the 25 year-old is correct. Even a jury couldn't convict a man with that amount of doubt. Of course you don't contact the authorities immediately, you have virtually no evidence and you have doubt. Also, if you do contact the authorities, you know that it will become national news in seconds. So, you contact those who would be able to conduct an investigation that would be respectful and appropriate for your friend.

  3. Thank you for trying to shed some light on the complexity of this issue! What no one seems to address is the goodness and decency of Paterno all these years; do you really believe if he knew everything he would have done nothing? It makes no sense. Rather, you point out well that something happened, and he did some thing about it....and now, IN HINDSIGHT, it is not enough. When Paterno used that phrase today in his comments, I sense that your article needs to be read by those who think they know the truth of this story and the mind of Paterno.

  4. Question: Does a Grand Jury report usually contain everything that is known about the story/case?

    If not, is it possible that Joe Paterno's version of the story was left out and saved for a possible testimony against the defendants?

    The poster above states my one BIG problem with the story, that Paterno had been friends with Sandusky, been under his employment for almost the same amount of years, yet he knew that Sandusky had been present on campus as late as the previous weekend. From a public perception point of view it looks TERRIBLE. What could be the circumstances that such a situation would be allowed?

  5. You sir are a complete moron. How is his job more important than the welfare of a child being molested?

  6. The grand jury testimony really disgusts me; If I were on a Sandusky jury and heard similar testimony , I would vote to boil the man in oil.
    I have a lot of problems with holding Joe Paterno responsible for any of this, he had a graduate student who he may have known for as long as a few years but probably not that long, tell him that Sandusky, who Paterno had known for decades was doing something with a boy in a shower.
    A couple of thoughts would have gone through my head at this point, did the graduate assistant really see something, why did not the graduate assistant call the police or try to separate the boy from sandusky, etc... What really happened? These would be my thoughts.
    I have to believe that Joe choose to report to the Athletic director because of the ambiguity or disbelief of the graduate student's account and not out of any desire to cover up. In our current justice system, there is not a lot of practical difference between being accused of child molestation and actually being guilty, and if Joe was not considering this when he was told a story about his friend/assistant coach of thirty something years, Joe would be very hard hearted indeed.
    Perhaps Joe Paterno should have done something different, but no one should judge him unless they fully understand the exact situation. I'd also consider the actions of the grad student, he tells the story to his dad, he tells the story to Paterno, he tells a story to the AD, but he does not call the police himself.
    Sorry for the rambling, but only complete morons can view this situation as Joe making a decision in terms of "the welfare of a molested child" verses keeping his job as Penn State coach. It is a lot more complicated than that.

  7. For the most part, very well written. But a few points of disagreement: Coward McQueary first talked to his father, a local physician and therefore mandated reporter. This father knew exactly what was done to the child yet didn't take his son directly to the police (state, not Mickey mouse campus police) for the son to file a report. Paterno could have been called
    afterward. Also why didn't Coward McQueary help the boy. The boy could have been KILLED by Sandusky because he got caught. Instead the Coward left.
    As for Paterno he is not just a football coach. He was a faculty member in the p.e. department early in his Penn State career. He helped prepare future teachers. He KNEW that reporting abuse is mandated. You do not forget that.
    Paterno at one time was also the A.
    D. Curley was one of his players before becoming A.D. Joe had more power than Curley.
    Schultz was the business director of the campus police, not an experienced or competent investigator. Joe had more real power at PSU than his A.D. and his business manager.
    After he made sure that Coward McCreary directly met with state police, not Mickey mouse campus police, THEN he should have called Curley, Schultz, and President Spanier. Spanier's background is in family studies and therapy: another mandated reporter who knew better and did nothing. And Coward McQuery is now promoted to director of recruiting as a payoff.
    Your "Joe was only the football coach" argument is false. Maybe at tiny Podunk U. but not at Paterno's PSU!

  8. I like how you threw 1998 out there as a "wild card". It happened, and if you think there was anything going on at Penn State in the football program that Joe Paterno didn't know about in 1998, well...ok, there's no way you believe that.

    Also, there's a small matter of a complaint in 2000 as well.

    These are all nice tries, but everyone knows Joe Paterno knew Jerry Sandusky was a monster, and he didn't do near enough to stop him. That's a bottom line.

  9. Anonymous 7:39,

    Your comment will not be published. Comments that constitute death threats will not be tolerated here.

  10. Mike,

    The 1998 incident constitutes a wild card, a wild card the size of the USS Carl Vinson, to be sure, but a wild card nonetheless because it's not clear what happened or who knew what when. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article I read said that an investigation "exonerated" Sandusky. But the very fact that the investigation took place should have given McQueary's allegations more credibility and thus more cause to investigate. Plus, Sandusky's retirement in 1999, so close after the 1998 investigation, now looks more like a cover up, to be sure, but not necessarily by Paterno. I don't grant that Paterno definitely knew Sandusky was a monster. Psychopaths have a way of fooling people.

    Allegations from 2000? Are you referring to Victim No. 8?

  11. Anonymous 8:28,

    Paterno's status at Penn State was indeed much greater than that of "just a football coach." That does not mean he was capable of handling a case like this. He is not a law enforcement officer with the training, expertise and authority to investigate something like this. He is not a lawyer trained and paid to figure out what can and should be done about it. He is not a child psychologist trained to get information from young, frightened, traumatized witnesses. And he is also a friend of the accused, which could taint anything he touches with this investigation.

    Status does not necessarily equal ability.

  12. Mike - not every knows that, because only Joe and a few other people (right now) know whether Joe knew that or didn't. You have latched onto the media shitstorm, and it's as simple as that.

  13. Anonymous 7:13 and Anonymous 8:28,

    McQueary bears far more "moral" culpability than Paterno does, because he witnessed the actual incident.

    That said, keep in mind a few things.

    First, remember that McQueary was just a graduate assistant. Sandusky was a legend on campus. Major perception of power disparity there. McQueary may have felt Sandusky could squash him like a bug and nothing would be done about Sandusky. That's why he went to Paterno first. To make sure he had poliitcal cover. A perfect reaction? No, but a human one. Cowardly? Maybe. But would you act differently? Be honest.

    And also consider the following, again from my own experience:

    In my lifetime I have had a gun pointed at me, been present for an attempted shooting, been burglarized, had my car stolen, been surrounded by muggers, been physically threatened and narrowly escaped a car jacking.

    In each of those cases, my immediate reaction was not anger or fear but bewilderment. "What? What's going on here? What the Hell was that?" What I witnessed or experienced was so out of the ordinary that I had trouble registering it at first. Making sense of it.

    "Did he just point a gun at me?" "Some construction worker must be using a nail gun out in the Columbus City Center atrium, because that was REALLY loud." "Why are those two big men running at my car while I'm at this red light?" "What did that guy say to me?" "Why is the back door to my house open?"

    It typically took a few minutes to register. You may see it on CSI: Miami or something and say you'll react this way or that if you experienced it yourself, but until you actually do, you don't really know. And seeing it in person is A LOT different than seeing it on TV.

    So, if McQueary's response was anything like mine, when he witnessed the incident, he may have been more shocked and bewildered than anything else. Might have walked away in shock thinking "Did I just see that? What the HELL was that? What was he doing with that boy? He wasn't doing what I think he was doing? Was he?"

    It may have taken a few minutes to register, for what he saw to sink in. Only after he realized what he had actually witnessed did he become upset. By that time he had probably left the building. And he may not haev even been sure of what he saw hours later.

    A perfect reaction? No. But a human one. I don't know that you can expect anyone to react perfectly in this situation. Even those trained to deal with it can have problems.

    I don't know that that's what actually happened with McQueary -- I could be totally off base with it -- but just give that scenario some thought.

  14. Did you even read the grand jury report?

  15. JonG,

    Um, yeah. Remember when I said, "In my decades of historical research, I've read about some of the most brutal atrocities in history, and this document made even me uncomfortable."?

  16. Um yeah except that rape is the hardest crime in reality to get a guilty verdict for. Only 16.3% of reported rapes result in a guilty verdict. That is out of only an estimated 40% of rapes ever reported.


  17. Anonymous 10:32,

    I'm sure the statistics for rapes of males by other males are far, far worse. Unfortunately.

  18. Doesn't matter if he knew the accused man forever, doesn't matter if he had a detailed description of what the grad student saw, doesn't matter if he reported it to his superiors. All you need to know is that a man that age has no business being in the shower with a child. You report it to the police. You encourage the grad student to go to the police and give his statement. You follow up with your superiors on their action. You protect the children, not your job, not your school, not your football program. Shame on all of you for letting your love of a game cloud your judgment. BTW, the word you're all forgetting to use here is rape.

  19. Anonymous 11:10,

    And what if Jerry Sandusky was innocent? What if Mike McQueary had been mistaken in what he saw? What if, despite McQueary's statement, it was not Sandusky in that shower, but someone else? You would destroy an innocent man to "protect the children?"

    That's the problem with guilty until proven innocent. It's more like guilty even if proven innocent.

  20. Wow thought I was alone in thinking all these angles especially when friends and family tell me that they are concerned that I am more concerned about Joe Paterno than abused children.

  21. This is a very uninformed article. You say there is a reason the laws are written in the way they are, and you are correct, but it's not the reason you infer it to be. There is a longstanding legal history of NOT establishing criminal liability for failure to act,almost every crime involves some overt action. There are many reasons, none of which are that people who don't fail to act are all moral. The primary reason is that having crimes for failing to act can easily create a 1984 Orwellian type police state where people are punished quite literally only for bad thoughts along with inaction. Even when we do punish for failing to act, which is rare, the laws are typically very lenient and narrow in scope. There is however, no illusion that no immoral inaction goes unpunished...we know it does, the system was created hundreds of years ago knowing that. We simply made a decision hundreds of years ago to prefer avoiding the danger of allowing extensive criminal liability for inaction even at the cost of immoral people escaping the hands of the law.

  22. Bottom line:
    You witness a man being shot on campus, you have witnessed a crime. You do not call your supervisor the next day, you call the cops immediately.

    You witness a 58 year old man raping a 10 year old in the shower, you have witnessed a crime. You do not call your dad. You don't report it to your supervisor in the morning. You call the cops immediately.

    I hope if I am ever a victim of a crime, and if someone comes upon it when it is happening, instead of saying" Well statistically, these crimes have a 30% conviction rate so I should just keep walking." or "Am I really seeing this?" or "What will this do to my career?" they simply CALL THE COPS!

    Mike McQueary needs to go too. He was 28 years old when he witnessed the crime. He knew better. He should have called the police immediately. It was his cowardice that set this whole chain of events in place.

  23. Jeff you need to reexamine your priorities. If it was a damned if you do damned if you don't situation- I'm using your words here- then whatever action he did he was toast...why then didn't he choose the action that could potentially prevent a predator from raping boys? And to answer your question from earlier, you are damned right I would risk destroying an innocent man to protect the children. If I'm faced with a choice between risking an innocent man gets ruined and risking children being raped...I'm choosing the former and shame on ANYONE for not making the same exact choice without a moment of hesitation.

  24. Here are the facts post 2002 per former players: Sandusky was an omnipresent figure around the football program; he was observed in the presence of children around the football program; players were encouraged to work with him, if they wanted to get involved in charity.
    Joe Pa and the rest of the guys "in the know" were enablers; they knew he was a monster; they had the power to act, but did not. All who were "in the know" are culpable. Joe Pa's legacy does not trump the evisceration innocence. The board did the right thing.

  25. Very Well Said! I will pass this on!

  26. PA state law requires that the incident be reported to the head of the institute. It is the head of the institute's responsibility to report it to authorities for investigation. That is what our elected state legislators mandate. I would think the Paterno's "moral obligation" was tied to this legal obligation and had powers that be done their job and followed through, Paterno's moral obligation would have also been discharged. If Paterno was not privy to the results of the investigation, I fail to see how he is culpable. If the charge was substantiated and no action was taken by the college, IMHO, they assumed Paterno's moral obligation as well. Without knowing the results of the investigation, I would have thought that the charge was unsubstantiated, not that the college failed to act.

  27. That i why you report it right away no matter what, bad publicity be damned. This really isn't complicated, sometimes other people, especially childern are more important that our selvves. That is what you and defenders of Joe Pa like you forget. Those kids where re-victimized by not be important enough to shake up their football program for. You have just defended football over basic human decency. You should be ashamed of yourselves all of you. What if it was your kid? Or your friends kid?

  28. Anonymous 3:22,

    You are correct except you are looking at it backwards. Laws requiring reporting of child abuse are an exception to common law, were themselves not even found at common law. In some cases (not sure if it was in PA), those laws tried to take into account the devastating effect of the charge itself, never mind the conviction. Head of an organization is presumed to have some ability to protect identity of potential suspect until police can investigate.

  29. Anonymous 5:09,

    Not an unreasonable opinion.

  30. Anonymous 8:06,

    I would have (or at least I like to think I would have; having not been in that position I don't know for sure) chosen to try to handle it in such a way that it protects the child and other potential victims while minimizing the possibility that these devastating charges could be brought against an innocent man. That is, I think, what Paterno may have been trying to do here.

  31. Anonymous 8:30,

    Your first paragraph is entirely consistent with what I have read and heard from the media reports.

    As for your second paragraph, I don't know what Joe Paterno knew and neither do you. There is a reason psychopaths are so dangerous -- they can fool a lot of people for along time.

  32. Anonymous 10:55,

    No, I have defended a presumption of innocence of charges that are by themselves devastating, even if false. Attitudes like yours are part of the problem. If there is a way to do it in such a way that innocent children are protected fropm predators while innocent adults are protected from false charges that would ruin their lives, it should be done.

  33. Paterno was just a football coach? Really. I highly doubt the State Police commissioner would be out to destroy a reputation based on no evidence whatsoever. What he did say though was that a culture existed that not only allowed this abuse to continue but in some ways encouraged it. This from someone who is able to discern an accusation from a crime. This whole mess didn't just stem from a he said, he said incident and in your assessment you are trivializing it to being nothing more than rumor and innuendo.

  34. If I am trying to cover something up. Something I know could have criminal implications. I would go to incredible lengths to keep the cause off my campus. Incredible lengths.

  35. Joe Pa trying to hide behind the "I told my bosses, not my prob" excuse is a COMPLETE AND UTTER SHAM. Lets review:

    1999 - Joe Pa already knows, he has Sandusky step down. "Don't worry Jer, we won't tell anybody, but you gots to go."

    2002 - uh oh now mcQueary knows. I'll report it to my forgetful "bosses" after all Im just a lowly coach with no power, its not like I RUN STATE COLLEGE OR ANYTHING, har har har!

    2011 - this is kinda bad huh? well time to retire, I'll quit at season's end. Don't worry about ME board, I run state college and I retire when I SAY I RETIRE!

    BOT - wow whatever support you had on this board just evaporated. We call you bluff, buh bye

    Students - rawr, football, yay

    Is that about it?

  36. Jeff, Thank you for writing this. When I look closely to the series of events and Paterno's actions, I keep thinking to myself: When I hand something over to my boss, I have 100% trust that it is being professionally addressed and taken care of. I keep thinking that Paterno told Curly and Schultz and let it go. Not because he's a bad man who doesn't care, but he had FAITH in the wrong men. I hear the naysayers say, "Well JoePa would have seen Sandusky still around with Second Mile boys..." Yeah, he did, and perhaps thought, "Oh, that scenario fielded by Curly must have been a misunderstanding..." I mean Sandusky was investigated by the Centre County DA in 1998 and it was written off, in Sandusky's words, as more or less some inappropriately looking horsing around. Or maybe JoePa thought they found and interviewed the boy, or they handed it over to police, etc. Who knows what he thought...he trusted it was being taken care of. Again, Jeff, Thank you so much for writing this.

  37. Anonymous 1:45,

    Except as far as Joe Paterno knew (again, based on the grand jury presentment) it actually was nothing more than rumor and innuendo. He had witnessed nothing himself. He was told about one incident by a young assistant coach. Serious allegations that needed to be investigated, but not by a football coach. He told it to people who could have and should have sorted it out. They didn't. That's not on Paterno.

  38. Anonymous 2:54,

    I think your perception of Paterno's power is a bit warped. Paterno did have power in Happy Valley and he knew it ... and he tended to be humble and restrained in his use of it. When he did use it, it was almost always to benefit the school. Until now there were no allegations that Paterno abused his power, institutional or otherwise, at Penn State. The complaints I am hearing is that Paterno did not use that power to investigate Sandusky; Paterno may have believed that using his power in such a way was in itself abusing it. Which brings me to my second point.

    Just because Paterno was The Most Powerful Person in Happy Valley does not mean he was omnipotent. It does not mean he knew what was going in under every rock, puddle and sewer in Happy Valley. It does not mean that if someone gets shot in Happy Valley Joe Paterno has the ability to perform life-saving surgery. It does not mean that if there is a dead car on a street in State College Joe Paterno can recondition the engine or fix rhe axle. It does not mean that if someone plants a dirty bomb at Beaver Stadium Joe Paterno has the ability to diffuse it or shield everyone from the radiation.

    And it does not mean that Joe Paterno can get to the bottom of allegations of child molestation. He knew that. That's why he turned it over to people who could. They failed him. They failed the victims. They failed all of us. But that's on them, not Paterno.


  40. To respond to Anonymous 4:19
    In like manner, if this same set of circumstances happened at a small time school, the football coach would not be fired and the press would care less about it and especially the victims. Its all about a media witch hunt, fueled by disgust of the crimes, and headlines. Negative emotions cause people to act them, or voice them, out; and those emotions set aside their ability to reason.

  41. A few extra items which should be considered...

    1. McQueary wasn't some nobody grad assistant. McQueary grew up in State College and had played quarterback for Paterno at Penn State.

    2. McQueary's father was friends with Sandusky.

    3. It was fairly well known at Penn State and throughout the college football world that Sandusky had resigned under a cloud. He was 53 at the time he retired, which is a prime age for a coach who had been considered the architect of Linebacker U. And yet there was no demand whatsoever for his services as a head coach or a coordinator when he quit. That meant he was radioactive in the coaching profession. The idea that Paterno had no reason to suspect Sandusky's guilt in 2002 won't fly. What might be a mitigating factor in Paterno's favor is the exact substance of what McQueary, who comes off as a weasel of the first magnitude in this story, may have told him after his story had been washed through his father. If it sounded like some inappropriate horsing around, then Paterno was badly served by his people. But if it's what turned up in the grand jury testimony, Paterno looks far, far worse.

    4. And then there's this fresh level, in which Sandusky may have been using Second Mile as a front for a child prostitution ring involving some well-off Penn State boosters. Plug that into this equation and Paterno begins to look like a fraud of large-scale - but worse, he might have willingly allowed himself to be carried along as a facade of legitimacy for an entire institution possessed by evil. Even if he didn't know the particulars but found himself strangely unable to scrape Sandusky off, Paterno should have gotten uncomfortable enough to decide he'd had enough.

    5. Lastly there is the matter of the DA, who decided he didn't have enough with which to charge Sandusky in 1998 but took a very jaundiced view of Penn State ever after the case, and who apparently had continued to probe the case until he disappeared into thin air in 2005. His car was found in a nearby town and his computer was found in the Susquehanna River sans hard drive.

    I would say that we should attempt to treat Paterno charitably if possible given at least the image he attempted to portray to the public; even if it was hypocritical there is value in that. But the more tumbles out of this case, the worse he looks - and the more evil is appears has lived in Happy Valley.

  42. Very well said. Thank you for posting. You put alot into this article and as a believer in innocent until proven guilty, I appreciate your words. I asked the same question about Sandusky possibly being not guilty myself.
    The bottom line is the media got the story they wanted and the board got the head start of recouping lost money 3 football games early which is what they wanted. All I want is the court of public opinion to admit they were wrong if Joe Pa's firing was haste.

  43. Very well said Mr.Cox. Thank you for saying it. I am so sick of people thinking that - 1. Because you feel Joe Pa was treated unfairly that means you are ok or NOT even thinking about the kids - some of us can be fair minded and not be absolutists about it - ie, we can separate out different situations, people and even consider being in various positions. Maybe that's a function of age and experience 2. McQueary is THE biggest problem SECOND only to Sandusky. He saw this alleged (another key word) act and just walked out. Shock? Maybe. I don't know. Some things are beyond just walking away from but still..HE is the one who should've gone to the police. Why are people NOT getting that? 3. JoePa is not some judicial God who can wield power over everyone and be omnipresent and, "solve the problems of all of Happy Valley - heck even know about them"

  44. I think this does bring up a good alternative perspective.

    I don't know enough of the facts to say for certain about how Paterno should be handled. I doubt many others do either.

    I think what people are failing to recognize is that this type of terrible violence is truly devastating. Like war, it has casualties. It is destructive.

    Paterno recognized this by announcing that he was going to step down at the end of the season. He knew that this would forever change his career, whether he was at fault or not.

    This is the consequence of something terrible. It doesn't matter if it is fair to Paterno. Paterno seems to be dealing with it peacefully with respect for the victims. I just wish everyone else would as well.

  45. I agree whole-heartedly! Thank you for your calm analysis! I'm glad to see I'm not alone. I would make one more comment. Regardless of Sandusky's innocence or guilt, who do you tell that actually "helps the kids"? tipping off the wrong individuals could very easily hurt a case against Sandusky or lead to a mistrial. He didn't see it, he has no position to be the one to call the number 911 upon talking to mcqueary, and calling after he alterted schultz (who directly oversees them) is blatant insubordination and he risks getting fired quitely and this gets buried forever. And what of the district attorney whose presumed dead and whose hard drive was found in a river who, in 1998, said no criminal charges would be brought against sandusky??

  46. facts are facts. It's time to take the garbage out.

  47. Something I have wondered and this is total speculation, is the credibility of McQueary. It has been presented that McQueary knew Sandusky and apparently his dad did too. That does not mean the McQuearys and Sanduskys like each other. Or maybe they were friends and had a falling out. What better way to bring Sandusky down than to revive that 1998 allegation with another one. Maybe Joe Paterno knew McQueary and Sandusky were not friends, or perhaps McQueary was known as an over exaggerating everything type. When Joe Paterno hears McQueary's story, he doesnt react with the knee jerk reaction the media feels he should have, and turns the issue over to those in authority to handle it. Instead of hitting the panic button, he felt whether McQueary is lying or not will be effectively sorted out and addressed by those individuals the university has endowed with leadership roles. This could be totally off base, but interesting nonetheless.

  48. Thank you for this thoughtful and reasonable analysis.

    If Paterno "had to be fired" because he didn't call the police (when university policy required he report the crime he heard about but DID NOT WITNESS to the athletic director, which he did), then why, why, WHY is the person who actually SAW THE CRIME AND ALLOWED IT TO CONTINUE still employed by the University?

    Why is Mike McQueary's father, a physician and therefore a mandated reporter for child abuse, not being questioned about why he didn't call the police when his son told him what he'd seen? Doctors are required by law to report any suspicion of child abuse - and since Dr. McQueary never worked at Penn State, he wasn't bound by University policy to report a suspected crime to his supervisor. So....what kind of DOCTOR hears about a hideous incident of child abuse and does NOTHING? Ah, wait....a doctor who is a friend of Sandusky's....

    People are complaining that Paterno "knew" about Sandusky for years and didn't do more, but NO ONE knew Sandusky better than Mike McQueary, who saw him raping a child, did NOTHING to stop it, didn't call the police (he actually followed university policy of reporting it to his superior - JUST AS PATERNO DID), and kept his mouth shut about what he'd seen for NINE YEARS. (Need we mention the promotions he got during that time?) And now, McQueary is being hailed as a "whistleblower?!?!?!?" "Coward" and "rape enabler" are far more accurate.

    This 28 year old six foot four 240 pound hulking former football player SAW Sandusky raping a child and didn't stop it. Everyone else in the chain of those condemned and fired only HEARD ABOUT as much of what happened as McQueary decided to tell them (and we still don't know exactly what he DID tell Paterno or anyone else.)

    Someone should drag Mike McQueary in front of a bunch of hostile reporters, to explain why he let a disgusting old man FINISH raping a defenseless child instead of doing something to stop it - or at the very least, dialing 911 to let someone with some balls stop it.

    McQueary must be SO proud of himself for coming forward nine years later.....since he is directly responsible for every child Sandusky abused from that date forward. As the only viable eyewitness to Sandusky's perversion, it was HIS responsibility to stop it right then and there - which he could have done by dialing three little numbers. But the 28 year old "man" chose to run home and call his daddy instead, leaving that defenseless little boy pinned up against a wall by a monster in the locker room shower. Nice job, McQueary.

    Oh, and nice job, Penn State trustees, for deciding to keep THIS cowardly piece of crap on the Penn State coaching staff.

  49. To respond to Anonymous 12:42 AM:

    The problem is WE DON'T HAVE ALL THE FACTS. That's the whole point of the original post. There are some very important details that we still are unsure about, and some of those missing facts can change the entire scope of the case and the degree to which certain parties are culpable (if they are indeed culpable at all).

  50. That's the point of the article - we DON'T have all the facts. Making judgements and participating in a witch hunt based on assumptions is wrong. Reading comprehension isn't one of your strong suits Anonymous 12:42.

  51. To Donna Baver Rovito, my sentiments exactly. Paterno getting fired vs. McQueary protected is a double standard by the school, although perhaps more will surface as to why that occurred. For me, McQueary loses credibility by the course of actions he chooses after witnessing a rape. If Sandusky really was witnessed by McQueary, how would McQueary feel if he woke up the next morning and on TV was a breaking story of a murdered 10 year old boy in the Penn State shower room. I wonder if he and dad thought of that as the decided what to say to Paterno and Penn State after he allegedly saw Sandusky. Dont get me wrong, I think he did see something but consulted Dad about what to say he saw and to whom (PSU or cops).

  52. OUTSTANDING. We don't know everything yet, the media always rushes to play jury (except when one of their own gets in trouble, e.g. Marriotti, any of the ESPN womanizers, etc.). If the fact are true, fry 'em. But let's find out all the facts. The mainstream media remains a bigger problem and kudos to those who overturned the media van; no one was hurt, but that was an important statement that needed to be made to the talking bubbleheads that they better start to watch what they say and do. They are accountable to no one.

  53. Thank you for providing rational thought within a travesty.
    I too am sickened by these allegations and yet am angry given the mob mentality and the media and moral right passing judgement. No doubt about it, even Joe Pa is not afforded the benefit of the doubt so the media and their cowardice have passed judgement for all concerned...nothing short of the lynch mob mentality...nothing short of "to kill a mocking bird"...nothing short of guilty until proven innocent. With odds stacked against honorable people, I am not surprised no one goes beyond the "legal requirements" of reporting. Besides who are we to judge and cry "coulda, should, woulda".

    Makes me sick...and yet now I know how Christ must have felt.

  54. I mean no disrespect to any victims in bringing up money and this topic, but people want to hold Paterno accountable for the ineptitude of his supervisors. When this is over, the end result will be financial settlements and criminal convictions, all at the cost of PA taxpayers who will foot the bill for the prosecution and Penn State's (a state run university who is losing donations) liability to victims. So those PA residents who feel Joe Paterno should be accountable will be held to the same standard, as they will be accountable through their taxes in funding the justice (i.e. give me money to feel better) outcome. The whole judge not lest ye be judged will not run through PA residents minds until it directly affects their lives (i.e. bank accts)

  55. Your argument is based on the false premise that Joe Paterno couldn't have gotten the AD and the President to report this if he wanted. Joe Paterno is not subject to these two individual's authority. They tried to force him out in 2004, and he laughed them off his doorstep. If you honestly believe that Joe Paterno couldn't have gotten Spanier to report the incident if he wanted, then you are truly ignorant my friend. This is what every sports commentator in the nation is saying. Everyone knows how much power Paterno had. He was Penn State; anything and everything related to football goes through him. He had responsibility, and he failed miserably.

  56. As stated by an earlier poster, you are clearly delusional. Paterno and likely half the University staff, players, administrators, as well as ADs at other universities, all knew what was going on. It's just like at the office.... conjecture or fact, everyone knows everything about everyone else. Demonstrating your ignorance by defending Paterno simply perpetuates the tragedy. This case is about the rape of eight or more young boys and the COVER UP by PSU officials. McQueary was suspended this afternoon but it won't end there. The ensuing investigation will net every University official who had knowledge of the reported 2002 incident but failed to take action. This includes current members of the Board of Trustees.

  57. First, Paterno was more than "just a football coach". he was Penn State. The president of the university went to his house a few years earlier and asked him to retire and he told him to get the hell out.

    Second, all either one of them had to do was CALL THE POLICE. They could have found out what child Sandusky was with and tested him for sexual abuse and gone from there.

    They are ALL guilty of a cover up. All of them and they all should be fired.


  58. Anonymous 6:30 PM
    Your argument is based on the false pretense that Joe Paterno exercised power over the administration of the school. So, his disagreement with retiring in 2004 means he calls the shots? Yeah, the administration could not tell him when to retire just like he could not tell the administration how to do their jobs. He had "power" over the football program. He had responsibility and never failed it. Wow, he was Penn State, as an alum of the UNIVERSITY and not the FOOTBALL program I am glad you enlightened me of this fact. I never noticed the Joe Paterno U on the diploma til just now

  59. According to the report, the GA witnessed a grown man having anal sex with what he thought to be a 10 year old boy. They saw him. I have not heard any dispute of that matter. The GA's immediate response should have been to do whatever it takes to stop it, then call the police. There is no way for a 28 year old person to rationalize what he saw. It must be stopped.

    Instead, he went home and talked to his father, and the next day talked to Paterno. From the report, Paterno was told what the GA saw, involving sexual conduct with a child. Paterno did not forward it immediately, as you say. He waited another day.

    So, what should Paterno have done? From a legal standpoint, I don't know his liability. But, from a moral standpoint, which is the point of your blog post, he most definitely should have done more. At any point up the chain of command, a reasonable person's response would be to tell the GA to call the police. Joe did not do that. This was not a report of possible sexual harassment between two adult co-workers, this was an eye witness account of one of the most immoral acts an adult human can do.

    Joe thinking of his long-time friend's possible innocence is not valid, nor is it his call. Much more likely, he was protecting his own.

  60. Mr. Jeff Cox........

    Please, you have to be kidding. How can "You" not possibly see responsibility on the part of Mr. Paterno to act in a manner befitting his position. Even the president of Penn State had less influence than Mr. Paterno.

    The long and the short of this is his own fear of what this might do to his reputation relating to his career. He was hopeful the problem would go away but instead more children were abused and sexually assaulted because of his lack of influence (which he could have brought to bare) on this situation. Did he cause the situation? No! could he have made a difference? Yes! And this is why he is held accountable, and rightfully so in any rationally thinking mind. These are children and everyone has a responsibility to protect them under these types of situations.

    One further note: Did he ever bother to find out the end results of any investigation? After all it did involve a person who at one time worked for him. Your positions are not debatable because you can not debate an inaction that always requires an action in a civilized society.

    Forget Football and come back down to reality and you will be able to see what responsibility and power really mean from a "character" point of view, because character counts.

    H. Fischer

  61. "Now, you may say, "The easy answer is to do what's best for the children." I understand that, whatever that means. But my question to you is, "What if Sandusky is innocent?"

    Really? I'm wondering if the line of questioning would surround this "moral dilemma/culpability" had one of the MANY victims been one of your kids or JoePa's grandkids. My guess is that we'd be questioning the choice of a .45 over a .38.

    All 6 of them saw Sandusky nearly every freaking day. No one did anything or followed-up in any way for one of two reasons: to either bolster or protect their own self-interest.

    In the meantime, more boys were destroyed. How in the hell is that success with honor?

    Leaders can compartmentalize a loss or bad play call...not life-threatening issues like this.

    No wonder our children are a mess...when given the choice, not even a strapping young 6'5, 28 yr. old man will step in to save them from an old disgusting pervert with an erection. Nor will Grandpa Joe or anyone else follow-up to make sure it doesn't happen again (which, is in the best interest of the children since you're having trouble with what that means).

    After all, big game's on Saturday and another win might mean a bonus. Now we know what success without honor looks like.

  62. For discussion, let us say Sandusky is guilty, and assume Penn State officials knew of improprieties but did not go to police. Why might they do that? Perhaps a large lawsuit may be a deterent.
    Lawyers do not stop at punishing the offender. They go after the institution that hired the offender. Very few pedophiles have the money that an institution has.
    So Penn State is faced with "big lawsuit in 2002, or maybe a bigger lawsuit if the offender is caught in the future, and their silence is discovered". That may be why silence continues, Pedophiles benefit, and children are abused. (Catholic Church, Boy Scouts, Second Mile, Penn institution?)
    If we change the law such that the institution that comes forward is not held culpable, then the next institution faced with this issue will have the choice of "no lawsuit now, but big lawsuit later".
    Pedophiles will continue to infiltrate good institutions that help children. If we extend whistle blower protection to the institution, incentive will be given for the next institution to come forward early.
    Who would lobby against this law change? Pedophiles might, but I doubt they would come forward.
    Would attorneys that benefit from the current system lobby against this change that will protect children? I hope not.

  63. Joe Pa is not guilty. And he is still respected my everyone

  64. Like you, I personally know two teachers who were accused of illegal sexual behavior with students and subsequently exonerated. However, they both were out of work for over a year and had to take out a second mortgage on their home to pay their legal bills. Further, the stigma never goes away. One of the teachers left the district and they other took early retirement, at considerable financial cost. I also remember the McMartin case and a number of others in the 1980s in which the accusations were later found to be false. As a result, I would hope that everyone would fight the impulse to rush to judgment.

  65. Bravo!!! Finally an article without all the emotional baggage. Joe did exactly what he needed to do, as far as the facts as we know them. Unfortunately a good man who has spent a lifetime helping young men and women start life on the right foot was destroyed by a media gone wild. Until all the facts are know, we have to give Joe the benefit of the doubt. He earned it. 50 plus years of service ruined to sensational journalism. I'm truly disgusted by the media. A good man, and all that he has done in his life, ruined. May God be with you Joe, and thank you for all that you have done. A true BLUE fan. Jy

  66. I have yet to meet a single person who said Joe should have been fired. Sensational journalism may sell papers, but what cost? A damn good man's career and reputation. Go Blue

  67. How does Joe go 50 plus years without a single NCAA violation and turn out to be criminal, monster, and everything else the news media is making him to be. Espn and the rest of the so called free press should be ashamed of themselves. STOP IT!

  68. Joe Paterno was not the most powerful man in State College. By 2002 he was only one of several powers in the football program. I really wish people would stop claiming he was all powerful like its some sort of quantifiable fact

  69. Excellently done. Although at this point it's near impossible to argue innocence for Sandusky, I do entirely agree with you on everything you've said on behalf of Paterno. I couldn't have put it better myself, so I won't try and reiterate. Brilliant article though. One way or another, let's hope justice is done, and may Joe rest in peace.

  70. Enough time has passed and yet old allegations are being cast as if they were new. Yet the frenzy to bring down someone much larger than Sandusky is refueled. It isn't bad enough that the shock of these allegations served as a major impetus to end the life of Joe Pa, let's dig him up and cast old aspersions upon him.

    Media are at fault for not pointing out that incidents after Sandusky's departure in 1999 such be referenced as "former" defensive coordinator. But they blow right past that. Most folks will not stop to think about that abd veleive he was always at Joe Pa's side. And they want would Joe Pa to stalk Sandusky's every move as if Joe Pa were the police, the judge, the college President. But Joe Pa was in his 70's and is not even a reasonable request.

    It should be noted again that McCreary did not physically intervene to stop the incident he reported. What does that say? A young powerful coach cannot stop a 58 year old man? The most humane thing to have done would be to react by shouting "Stop that right now! What the hell do you think you are doing?" And then proceed from that point. But to shirk from his civic duty and later go tell Joe Pa after a long series of events is simply inexcusable.

    Now Joe Pa did what was required of him by law even if it involved his long time coach and he had only hearsay evidence. So if what Joe Pa says is the law at Penn State, why does everything seem to sputter apart from that moment on? You have to look at McCreary as one who was concerned about his career rather than the child's well being. He could have done oh so much more than dawdle. Most of us would have reacted against Sandusky and that is why one might tend to disbelieve McCreay after knowing he first sought permission to tell his story.

    The fact that Joe Pa is no longer with us means that it is easy to blame him and hide other people's resposibility behind him.

    I remember Joe Pa as a coach who wanted his players to graduate and become somebody. I very often rooted against his teams which invariably smashed my teams.

    What we have assembled here is a group of people who remember the original story. Hang on to it for dear life. I remember when 9/11 first happened and how there were 4 buildings (sic!) that fell that day. Two had rather obvious reasons why. Two not so much. Since that time there has been a coverup as to why the other two buildings fell and perhaps over a trillion dollars spent in the hysteria and war that followed, but when we say two towers fell, we are being stupid and manipulated. Let's not let it happen anymore. Let's remember it as it was.

  71. So you are still defending someone who assisted a pedophile for over a decade? Classy. As he was laying in bed dying he still didn't take the chance he had to finally tell the truth, he sat like a coward and said nothing therefor losing his last chance to do ANYTHING for the victims. You can remember "Joe Pa" for whatever you want but most of the world will remember him as what he really was. A win at all costs coach who was more interested in his football program and his pedophile buddy to protect innocent children from being raped. Paterno is disgusting. And no one was asking him to "stalk" anyone as you put it, we only wanted him to inform the police which he never did. Being 70 is no excuse for helping a sex criminal. He was still mentally there enough to run a football team. I know some 90 year olds who would have reported him in a second. You fail in your defense of this disgusting creature, and if you honestly believe the garbage you are spewing you also fail at life.

  72. Anonymous 7:54,

    Before telling me how much I fail at life, you might want to try looking at the date of the post for which, on July 20, 2012, you accuse me of "still defending" Joe Paterno. Might also want to look at my post from July 16, 2012, titled A question for Joe Paterno.

  73. hey everyone lets remember who actually raped the boys, as i remember hearing joe pa passed the information he had to higher people in the university so leave this man alone its insane how he went from a legend to a villian after he died you people are disgusting this man gave his life to a university that just threw hin up as a guy to take the fall then he dies and ass holes that know nothing about the man his life and his career jump all over him, hey lets remember this man was a football coach not a investigator he was doing his job which he did better than anyone EVER and just so happens all this happens and he is a monster. great message to send all the kids in the world "whatever you do don't give your entire life to one thing because when you die they will shit all over you" what are you doing to stop it?? hiding behind your computer like a wuss ha nice job idiots in this country your not guilty until you stand trial but hey since he is dead and can't say anything he must be guity oh thats right his name is jerry sanduscky NO it was JOE PA grow up