From Piers Morgan:
“You had somebody who’s given six decades of service to the university and done such an incredible job. Somehow, you have to let – something has to play out and respect the fact that you’ve gone through all these experiences for six decades,” he insists. “It doesn’t just go out the window right at the end. I thought it was a real mistake by Penn State’s leadership.”
I am still amazed at the number of people who want to tear apart Joe Paterno’s reputation over this scandal. It is quite clear from all the evidence that surfaced to date that Joe Paterno did not try to cover this up. HE REPORTED THE INCIDENT TO HIS SUPERIORS. A cover-up is when he promotes McQueary to assistant head coach with the stipulation that Mike “forget” about what he saw. I have not seen or read anything to date that suggests Paterno ever omitted anything he knew or failed to report what he knew to his superiors.
But he didn’t do enough.
Bull shit. The world is appalled at what happened (dare I even suggest allegedly happened) and is looking for excuses. We need someone to blame.
It’s not the parents’ fault. Certainly not. It’s common for kids to stay overnight at other adults houses multiple times.
One messageboard poster wrote:
A message for parents that allow their kids …to sleep over at another adult’s house more than 100 times: Don’t do it. This is not normal behavior. Trying be [Try being] a good parent and look out for your kid’s safety.
I really wanted to post a rebuttal: It’s not the parent’s fault. It’s the fault of their kid’s football coach! But I didn’t bother, because the sarcasm would probably be lost amidst the self-righteousness of the masses.
There was a systematic failue of society to do anything in this case, from the original DA Gricar, police who investigated the 1998 incident, parents of kids who should have been suspicious about invitations and gifts, school counselors, The Second Mile, Penn State administrators, and even guys like Lavar Arrington who–with the benefit of hindsight–wished they had done more.
Here’s what Lavar had to say in the Washington Post:
So it’s mind-blowing to realize that a kid I took an active interest in during my time at school was suffering right in front of me and I had no idea that the pain allegedly came from someone in my own football program.
Now I can see it with so much more clarity, but at the time I thought we were his place of refuge from what he was going through at home or in school. As much as I saw and talked with him, I felt, in my own way, I was making a difference in his life.
It is mind blowing. And it’s outrageous. It’s normal to be indignant. These were innocent kids for crying out loud.
But to blame Joe Paterno? To blame Penn State University? Grow up. Get over yourself. Maybe you are holier than the rest of us, but Joe Paterno did more than most human beings would have done in that same situation.
And you know what? Blaming Joe doesn’t help those victims one iota. Maybe it makes you feel better, but that’s just kind of sad. Two wrongs don’t make a right, and throwing out a six decade career like it never happened doesn’t solve any moral dilemma here.
Firing coaches like Vanderlinden and Larry Johnson Sr. won’t accomplish anything either. Some are suggesting that. Why should their careers suffer because of the actions of a man they had no control over? If it comes out in evidence that they participated in some cover-up, then fire their asses. But until then, what good comes of destroying their careers? Is not the careers of McQueary and Tom Bradley–well, any assistants not named Vanderlinden or Johnson–not enough of a sacrifice for you self-righteous bastards? I’m all for punishing the guilty. But I’m very leery of living in a country where we punish first, and then determine truth later.
Should we fire anyone employed by the University, from the janitors up to the Board of Trustees? What about professors? Did any of them know/suspect this? One former BOT member insinuated that all the secretaries knew to keep their boys away from JS. Maybe everyone in State College is to blame.
Do you see what has happened here?
There is one man to blame for all this, and he is currently on trial. Our judicial system will judge his fate.
If you see someone speed by you on the highway, do you pull your car over and call the cops? I doubt it. But what if that speeder loses control of his car and kills a child. An innocent child! That can’t protect him or herself! And YOU could have done something to stop it. Is that child’s blood not on your hands? Did you not have some moral responsibility to protect defenseless children?
As Phil Knight so eloquently said at Joe’s memorial, there is a villain in this tragedy, and it is NOT Joe Paterno. Direct your anger and righteous indignation at Jerry Sandusky or at the system in general. But let’s leave Joe to Rest in Peace.