Skip to comments.Paterno Speaks, But We Still Lack Answers
Posted on 01/15/2012 6:40:40 AM PST by Scoutmaster
On Saturday, The Washington Post published Joe Paterno's first interview since the Jerry Sandusky scandal broke in November. Those who were hoping for solid answers on how Penn State could have harbored an alleged child sex-abuser under Paterno's watch probably came away disappointed.
In the interview with Sally Jenkins, Paterno sounded many of the same themes we have heard from his issued public statements and from his sons: that he reported what he knew about Sandusky to his superiors and that he was unaware of his longtime assistant's alleged abuse until Mike McQueary brought forth an allegation about Sandusky in the shower with a boy in 2002.
The story paints Paterno as being in much worse physical condition than when we last saw him in public, the day before his firing Nov. 9. Since then, it has been revealed that the winningest coach in Division I history is dealing with lung cancer. Jenkins writes that Paterno is using a wheelchair, is wearing a wig because of chemotherapy treatments and labors to speak. He has experienced fogginess from the chemo and has had trouble eating. Paterno finished the interview Friday and was admitted to the hospital later that day for further observation.
Paterno seems aware that time might be running out for him, but he hopes he has enough time left to restore his tarnished legacy.
(Excerpt) Read more at espn.go.com ...
The story, while lacking many bombshells, adds to our understanding of how Paterno says he handled the allegations McQueary brought to him.
"He was very upset and I said why, and he was very reluctant to get into it, Paterno said. He told me what he saw, and I said, what? He said it, well, looked like inappropriate, or fondling, Im not quite sure exactly how he put it. I said you did what you had to do. Its my job now to figure out what we want to do. So I sat around. It was a Saturday. Waited till Sunday because I wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing. And then I called my superiors and I said, Hey, we got a problem, I think. Would you guys look into it? Cause I didnt know, you know. We never had, until that point, 58 years I think, I had never had to deal with something like that. And I didnt feel adequate.
Many have wondered why Paterno, the most powerful figure in the Penn State community, didn't personally do more instead of merely reporting the accusation up the chain of command.
"I didnt know exactly how to handle it and I was afraid to do something that might jeopardize what the university procedure was, he said. So I backed away and turned it over to some other people, people I thought would have a little more expertise than I did. It didnt work out that way. ...
"I didnt know which way to go, he said. And rather than get in there and make a mistake ...
Paterno also portrayed himself as being too much from the old world to really understand what McQueary was telling him. McQueary, the former Penn State assistant coach, testified to the grand jury that he witnessed what he believed to be a sexual encounter between Sandusky and what appeared to be a 10-year-old boy in a locker room shower at the school's football complex. McQueary has said he was reluctant to get into too many details with the then-78-year-old Paterno but that he later described in more detail what he saw to school administrators.
You know, he didnt want to get specific, Paterno said. And to be frank with you I dont know that it would have done any good, because I never heard of, of, rape and a man. So I just did what I thought was best."
To me, that defense rings false. There's no question Paterno is from a different generation, one in which certain types of sexual behavior were often not spoken about. But no matter what age you are, you should be able to quickly ascertain that any sexual activity between a man and a child is both wrong and illegal. There aren't many ways to go when it comes to that, except to do everything in your power to stop it.
Agree. He might have been telling the truth, but I believe he left out many details. The one question I would ask JoePa would be: “When McQueery came to you about the shower incident, was that the very first time you had heard any disturbing report about Sandusky that related to children?”
“I never heard of rape, and a man”.
Calling shenanigans on that quote. Child rape is nothing new. It isn’t something “invented” by our generation. My FIL (if alive would have been 100) knew this existed. My Dad (if alive would have been in his 80’s) knew it existed. Ask any elderly man you know if such a thing exists... he will tell you yes. The “old world” defense is very hollow. IMHO.
Since he never was actually fired by Penn State as they led everyone to believe, but is in fact negotiating his retirement benefits, I’m sure he will be getting the best of care. However the doctors may be surprised at the shriveled-up thing they ultimately find where his heart is supposed to be.
When you work with kids you have a duty to protect them from crap like this, and there is no way this went on for so long without at least some suspicion!
Bull squeeze unless he grew up in a convent! No adult can be this naive.
Just note. His wife, Sue Paterno (from the WashPo interview article): I had no clue, she said. I thought doctors looked for child abuse in a hospital, in a bruise or something.
I can't understand a kid meekly submitting, but some kids just aren't raised right.
If people actually shelter their kids enough that they don't know what to watch for it is a form of abuse.
rather than try to jump to any conclusion here, I'm just going to ask if you'd clarify what you meant by the sentence above when you referenced kids not being raised right.
You can’t be with your kids 24/7. You’ve got to prepare them for everything they may have to face and you can’t mince words. You can raise little ladies and gentlemen but you need to include a streak of badass with the ballroom dancing lessons.
My father was born and raised a backwoods West Virginia boy. He was not quite 10 years older than Paterno. He warned me as a child to be wary of men becoming friendly in public places. Especially public restrooms. I recall a case when a young boy needed to urinate in a public restroom, and asked my father to hold him up to a urinal as they were too tall for him. My father refused, but hustled a man out of a stall so the boy could go in a toilet that he could reach.
My father explained his actions to me as it not being proper for a man helping an unfamiliar boy in that way and would likely be seen as him molesting the boy (this was in the late 1960's).
My father -- of approximately Paterno's same age -- was a cautious man in that regard. When he heard of a child -- male or female -- being molested or raped by an adult, he was ready to exterminate the adult.
I think my father's awareness and actions were common for that generation. I don't believe Joe Paterno.
85 last December (born December 21, 1926). One of grandfathers was born in the Indian Territory in 1902. He could have been Paterno's father. When I was a boy, he warned me about 'friendly' men on more than one occasion.
When I was a kid in Newark, N.J. in the early fifties we had a perv preying on young boys. (Me & my friends) Some of us told our fathers. All of a sudden the perv was not around any more. We don’t know what happened to him. It was like he disappeared one day. I never asked any questions nor did my friends.
I get all that but it’s not realistic to assume a kid after he’s been ‘groomed’ by an adult, to understand at age ten that he has options to report the guy or kick him in the nuts.
Well, I here and I'm only 65 and I'm pretty sure that raping of young boys is something that never crossed my radar screen until maybe the 90s, or whenever it was that the "gay agenda" blossomed. I know the Greeks and maybe others engaged in supposed consensual homosexual acts between adults and children, but the whole idea is just so alien to me that it might be as if someone suggested that some like to eat dogsh*t.
You can’t shelter them to the point they don’t know this is a dangerous world. There are snakes that will bite you and alligators that will eat you and humans who are even more dangerous.
I wasnt suggesting sheltering kids. I was arguing that when an adult rapes a kid, being twice the size of a ten year old and being their supposed friend before that isn’t easy to see coming. And no matter what, no ten year old deserves having a man shove his penis in his rear end. So onve the rape occurs, then what?
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