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 ...
Would it be mean-spiritied to say "Karma"?
I’m not buying the “I didn’t know it existed” defense. Big towns, small towns, cities, country... it has existed and always existed. It is more “out in the open” and discussed nowadays but my own parents knew such horrible things happened. They were both raised in a very small town and it was known in those days.
Not to judge you but this is not a new concept. Perhaps it is something discussed more openly. Perhaps we do read about it more. It definitely is on television more. However, child predators have always existed. Joe Paterno didn’t live in a bubble. He lived during modern times and I don’t believe for one second that he didn’t know such atrocities could happen. Could he have possibly thought that they were more rare than they are? Yes. I will give you that but not that he was completely unaware.
My parents were born and raised in a small coal mining town in Pennsylvania and they knew such things existed. My FIL was born on a farm in rural Indiana and knew those things existed. Now, I will admit that such things weren’t in the media or openly discussed is public. However, people of older generations had the same fears/worries/about deviancy as we do today.
I yelled, and he let her go. I heard footsteps going towards the door and the door slam open. I imagined and maybe even heard the first step or two of her running down the hallway.
I finished rinsing my hair because if I had any trouble, I didn't want soap running into my eyes. At that time, I had more hair and rinsing took a few moments. I went to the edge of the shower area and looked out. One of the dorm floor jerks was standing smugly at the urinals relieving himself. I could tell by his posture and body language that he was all proud of himself for having bullied a girl.
That kind of stuff isn't all that uncommon in dorms. Frequency doesn't make that behavior right, but no one can stop that stuff. Idiots will be idiots, and too many stupid coeds will hang out with idiots. As I thought about whether to make a report, I realized that nothing would happen to the guy. I could hear a defense attorney asking, "So, the angle of your view meant that you could only see a slice of their bodies about four inches wide? You admit that you had to wipe shampoo out of your eyes to see at all? Would you say that the hard tiles of the shower room create many echoes and a great deal of noise from the running water? Would someone have had time to leave the bathroom and someone else go to the urinals while you were rinsing your hair?" I realized that making an issue of what I had seen was pointless.
That experience makes me wonder many things about Mike McQueary and what he saw or didn't see. He had the advantage of not having shampoo in his eyes, but what did he really see? Did he dimly see figures moving in a steamy shower and just make assumptions about what was happening or did he really see a rape? He has said since that time that he made sure that contact was stopped before leaving the room, but if he really saw a rape, why didn't he remove the victim from the presence of the rapist? I was not in a position to be sure of who was involved with what I saw. He could have been sure if he'd acted. The victim I saw was a legal adult and bears at least some responsibility for her company. I'm sure the guy would have argued that they were just joking. If there was anal sex in the shower at Penn State, no one can argue that anyone was just joking, and the victim's being a minor means that he wasn't responsible for hanging out with idiots.
Because Mike McQueary's story has so many problems, I can understand Joe Paterno not pushing things farther than he did. I can understand turning the investigation over to the university and assuming when no action was taken that they found too many inconsistencies in that story to believe that McQueary really saw anything. In spite of what everyone says about Joe Paterno's power, I can see him as a guy who didn't exercise that power but tried to keep things within proper channels. I can believe that he trusted those channels to do the right thing and is primarily guilty of misplacing his trust. We live in a society where "privacy" dictates that all kinds of things not be disclosed. If Joe Paterno didn't hear back, I can see him thinking that he wasn't told because he wasn't supposed to hear the outcome.
How very convenient when in the heat to claim being graveley ill.. John John Edwards too. Must be contagious. Jo... I guess if it would have been your ten year old, maybe winning would have been less important. As long as it was someone elses baby boy. What a bassturd.. God forgive you all.
We all know what we know. Some of us know more about some topics than others; and some apparently think they know more about what others know than these others know themselves. When I was a child, even at age ten, the whole idea of normal sexual activity was very alien to me. ("Why would anyone want to do THAT"!) To say that it's on television more misses the point. It wasn't on television AT ALL in the 50s. We had the Donna Reed Show and Father Knows Best. Now even the teasers for TV shows are disgusting and undoubtedly influential upon society. Maybe my parents were stupid too? I learned to trust adults. It came in handy sometimes when I was allowed to tour cities, and not just nearby NYC, by myself starting from about age ten.
I'm not Catholic, and I hope Catholics will not be offended by my bringing this up. I always thought a Priest was someone you could always trust. Somewhere along the way that perception changed. I think the same is true of all men. Color me naive, if you want to.
This allegation would have been he final nail in the coffin. He was 26-33 over those 4 years [his worst] All he was he was thinkig was how do I save my job and legacy.
He´s an enabler. We ought to be hearing his pathetic hand-wringing from prison.
Two possibilities: (1) your fathers exercised self-help; or (2) he moved to Happy Valley.
The more I learn about Paterno’s handling of this, the angrier I get. He treated this heinous act like some low level DMV bureaucrat. Pass it along, and it's no longer my problem.
Paterno was a campus god, he could have demanded action.
Do you know who was the head of the FBI during that investigation? Louis Freeh. Do you know who the Penn State Board of Trustees selected to conduct the 'transparent' internal investigation of the Sandusky cover-up? Louis Freeh.
Freeh has a few other 'blips' on his resume.
He personally leaked Richard Jewell's name and led the crusade to convict a man who essentially was the hero of the Atlanta Olympic Park bombings. The Justice Department recommend his censure for Ruby Ridge. Khobar Towers? That was Freeh. Wen Ho Lee? Freeh. Chinese political contributions, and the decision not to pass information to the White House on Chinese attempts to influence the election? Freeh (not that it would have done any good). Freeh was forced out as FBI director because of Robert Hanssen's spying. When Freeh became FBI director, he removed the computer from his office. If he uses email, that's a new development (doesn't believe in it). He didn't let the FBI update computers for eight years, because Freeh's not a 'computer' guy.
Freeh's the man for the Penn State job, I suppose. He has experience in looking the other way, fingering the innocent, and covering things up.
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.
I want so badly to believe JoePa's version, but logic tells me I can't. He knew that McQueary caught Sandusky showering with a boy and touching him at a minimum. Wasn't that enough? While this was a topic that wasn't discussed in polite company, it was talked about to the extent that every grown man and grown woman knows it exists. He told the Grand Jury that "fondling" or "something of a sexual nature" was what he inferred from the brief description that McQueary gave him.
I still think that he could have done something more, and surely if this was one of his own grandchildren, he WOULD HAVE done something more. University procedure be damned. Too many people were more comfortable looking the other way, and pretending that Sandusky was an upstanding citizen, when the fact is, there were at least rumors of his deviant behavior.
You know how JoePa said of Nixon, "How could Nixon know so much about college football in 1969 and so little about Watergate in 1973?". Well, I want to know how JoePa could know so little about Jerry Sandusky, especially in 2002 and beyond. Is that too much to ask?
I can imagine how my own dad would have reacted: with dismay, and disbelief, and totally unprepared....
in a sense,I can understand Paterno's predicament...maybe he did feel others were handling the case, maybe he himself felt totally impotent to handle it....
there is one long standing school of thought that these perverts need forgiveness, because their perversions were "sins" afterall..and everyone sins...
this is one reason why that tiny minority of Catholic priests who have proved beyond doubt to have been abusers, were shuffled away, not turned into the cops, given "treatment" etc...some misguided thought that prayer and treatment was all that was needed....
now we know that perversions can not be easily overcome, that pedophlia is not curable, only controlled, restrained...
I had Aunts who were born around 1900 who in their 80s didn’t even know there was such a thing as homosexuals. They grew up in New York but society was very different then and ladies (and they were proper ladies) were protected from such nastiness. Most nice families didn’t even say “darn.”
I’m getting close to 50, and I think I was in high school before I heard the word “gay” or even learned that there were such people as homosexuals.
(That said, I knew what a “perv” was from an early age - in terms of adults who prey on children - and if Paterno is claiming ignorance at his age, that’s ridiculous. He just didn’t want to roil the waters, especially since the guy involved was someone he knew.)
You message is possibly more apropos than you know.
First there really wasn't any FBI investigation of the Foster matter, despite what some will claim. Clinton saw to it that the Mighty Park Police were the sole "investigators" for quite a number of months.
Maybe you've seen some of my posts where I speculate about the Government Law Enforcement folks knew and when they knew it about Sandusky (assuming he is what everyone is making him out to be). If they (like the Governor and/or the State Attorney General) knew around the same time Paterno did then Paterno would look much less guilty, or at least no more guilty than all the people who stood silent when Vincent Foster was murdered.
Think about the conflicted motives of a Pennsylvania politician who might bring to the surface a scandal which would rock one of the State's most beloved institutions. (I'm thinking of Penn State Football here.) It might have unpleasant repercussions for that politician. Maybe better to find some way to contain the scandal?
And so who better than Louis Freeh who was appointed, maybe for a similar purpose by Bill Clinton, a month and a half after Vincent Foster was murdered?
The problem is, Sandusky was still allowed to hang around. he was still allowed to bring boys over. He was still tied to Second Mile (as was Paterno). It was obvious that nothing was done about him. Ever think a follow-up might be in order? Did Paterno not have the power to at the very least kick Sandusky off the campus?
If the university investigated and decided that Mike McQueary was mistaken in what he saw, then nothing would have happened. Knowing what we do today, we have every reason to believe that Mike McQueary saw what he claims, but Joe Paterno wouldn't have known that at the time. If he saw Sandusky still using the facilities, he would have assumed that the accusation turned out to be wrong. If the investigation turned up that McQueary had lied about the whole thing, then the only disciplinary action may have been against McQueary and again, no one would have told Joe Paterno.
Until last fall, Second Mile was a respected charity in Pennsylvania. The university would have wanted to work with a respected charity that was doing good things for disadvantaged kids. If McQueary's story was so full of holes that they still didn't suspect Sandusky, then they wouldn't want to dump a respected charity on the basis of what seemed at the time to be a flimsy rumor.
No, I don't think Joe Paterno had the power to kick anyone off the campus. Why would any school give that power to a football coach? Even if Joe Paterno had the prestige to bend the rules and have things done the way he wanted, his history shows that he wasn't the type of guy who always wanted to bend the rules to exercise personal power. He had hearsay testimony about something that happened. He never pretended to be a criminal investigator. He turned over the information to those who were supposed to be qualified to investigate.
The story that Mike McQueary brought to Joe Paterno was weaker than the accusations that Anita Hill made against Clarence Thomas. We've now learned things that suggested that McQueary may have been right while most of us believe Hill was lying, but at the time, Joe Paterno had no way to know these things. Do you go on crusades against individuals based on such poor evidence? I don't.