Thursday, November 10, 2011

Who (or What) Will Be Next?

Lester Munson of ESPN feels that the Lynch Mob in Old Main has more work to do.

But who's left?  Mike McQueary?  (He's actually not going to be at the game because of death threats.)  But a good point, but he's thinking bigger.

Tom Bradley?  Not big enough.  Think BIGGER.

With Spanier and Paterno gone, who is left that is bigger?

The Board of Trustees?  Good idea--GREAT IDEA--but think BIGGER!

Mr. Munson, bless his little heart, thinks that Penn State should stop playing football for a couple of years.

That's right.  Let's just kill the football program, which coincidentally will kill the ENTIRE sports program at PSU since football pays ALL the bills.
As the trustees attempt to reset the priorities of the university and its football program, here are some things they must do:

Consider the cancellation of the football program for a period of at least two years. It might not be possible to establish a new culture without the total elimination of the old one. A two-year hiatus might be the only way to eliminate a systemic problem. How important is football to an institution of higher learning that serves 95,000 students and is supposed to be dedicated to the pursuit of excellence? When Tulane University was caught in a basketball point-shaving scandal in the mid-1980s, the university leadership eliminated the sport for several years to allow a complete renewal of values. When the U.S. Congress discovered a series of abuses in 2008 in its page program, which was designed to offer opportunities to young people, the members of Congress agreed to eliminate it altogether.
I already "suggested" that we should just close down the whole University, so I've got dibs on that one Lester. 

But then, Lester praised the Board of Trustees for their exemplary action of canning the 84-year old Paterno.  Not everyone sees this action as exemplary.

To wit, we have Dan Vecellio writing on The Huffington Post about why the media has missed the mark:
Quick. Don't think. Who is prime suspect number one in the scandal involving Penn State right now? If you were to read 95% of the stories put out by the national media since Sunday or gone on Twitter or (from stories I've heard) spoken with any of the national talking heads trudging through State College right now, they would tell you that the villain in this horrible, horrible incident is Joe Paterno.
Tell me, when was the last time you heard Jerry Sandusky's name? When was the last time you heard about the charges brought against athletic director Tim Curley and former VP of Business and Finance Gary Schultz? I'm fairly certain that these three men have been the ones charged with crimes in this on-going investigation.

This was the first of many "facts" that was made up by the national media. If you've read the Grand Jury testimony, I commend you. Now go read it again. Pick out the part where it says Joe never went back to Tim Curley or Gary Schultz to see what was happening in the process. It never says he did, but it sure as hell doesn't say he didn't either.
Once again, go back to the testimony. Nowhere does it say that Joe knew about any allegations before 2002. In fact, one person I know sat in a class on Tuesday and listened to Patriot-News reporter Sara Garim, who has been the point person for all of the investigative stories dealing with this case, say that Joe testified he did not know about the 1998 allegations, going as far to say: "I think it's fair to say, as far as you could possibly say, that Joe Paterno didn't know about [the 1998 investigation]." If some real investigating had been done by the national media, they'd probably know that too.
Use your words better. I understand your need for emphasis to sell, but using the word enable makes it seem like Joe hand-picked the boys for Sandusky.
Many columnists have brought this point up in regards to Joe pushing Mike McQueary's information up the chain of command. Since Joe runs everything there, he is to blame. He is the head honcho. Find other columns these men and women have written. Look at their Twitter feeds over the past year. Look at them from the past week! They'll tell you that he doesn't even run his own football team anymore and hasn't for 15 years. For an 84-year old man to not be able to look over 85 players and a coaching staff, but yet control 44,000 students on the University Park campus, plus the administrators, plus the faculty, plus the staff and handle day-to-day operations of a university seems unimaginable to me. But you know, whatever argument works at the time, guys.
When Joe Paterno released his retirement statement Wednesday morning, he said that he would finish out the year coaching. A large majority of the people I follow on Twitter and TV commentators said it wasn't enough and were adamant about it. He needed to resign now or be fired by the Board of Trustees. A huge, HUGE backlash for a man who just wants to coach four or five more football games. Later on in the afternoon, Ben Jones of Black Shoes Diaries and tweeted that he was told Jerry Sandusky was spotted working out in a gym with his wife this morning. The reaction? "Wow." "Geez." "Welp."
This story has become so twisted that negative emotion about a man coaching a football game exceeds that of an accused chlid molester walking the streets of the town where he committed his crimes by what it seems to be millions of percent. By focusing on the tear-down of the most notable figure involved in the case, people have become numb to the man who did the most damage and those who have been accused to covering up that damage.
Sensationalizing a story led to Joe Paterno being the first man to lose his job in this fiasco. And while I have no qualms about saying Joe had to step down after this mess blew up, when looking back at the facts, is he really the first man who should have gotten the axe?
Now, since the media has completed Objective One: Bring Down JoePa, I hope they do what I always believed journalists did: find the facts, dig through the sources and tell the people the real stories happening in State College.
AMEN!  My God!  Someone IN THE MEDIA with a freaking clue!

And then there is TOM IN PAINE who posts about the railroading of Joe Paterno:
That is exactly what is going on now with the phony moralistic and imbecilic calls by factually challenged sportswriters and other journalists, not exactly known for their ability to think in the first place, for Joe Paterno the coach of Penn State football, to resign or be fired over a child abuse scandal involving a former defensive coach at Penn State.

The fact that, based on all the facts presently known, Paterno did nothing wrong, not in any imaginable way, doesn't stop the sanctimonious, self-righteous pseudo-moralistic members of the press from piling on over an issue for which they feel safe in piling on.

Based on all the facts at the grand jury's disposal Paterno did nothing wrong. And the Pennsylvania State Attorney General said as much as well.
But if you want to pretend youre a moral hero, if you are self-serving and sanctimonious and looking to beat your chest about something, that isnt good enough. That also wont sell newspapers, get TV ratings, or get website hits the way going after a figure like Joe Paterno would. And the justification by these factually challenged journalists who are trying to do something journalists have proved they are incapable of doing in the first place -- think -- is that while Paterno did nothing criminally wrong he was morally wrong in not reporting what he heard to the police.

The incident in question was witnessed by an assistant coach who actually saw the abuse take place. This coach - an eyewitness -- did NOT go to the police with what he saw but the press is giving him a pass anyway. Why? Because he is not a big fish. Because he is not going to embellish anyone's reputation. Because pointing the finger at him is not going allow sanctimonious journalists to stick out their chests the way the morally sanctimonious always do.

The mother of the boy who was sexually abused by Sandusky issued a public statement yesterday. In it she said that Sandusky in 1998 "admitted to my face - he admitted it", that he had sexually abused her son. She said in the same statement that Sandusky admitted the abuse to her again in 2002. What did the mother do? Nothing. Did she go to the police with this specific admission? No. But Paterno was supposed to with none of the facts the mother had.
So we have an assistant coach who actually witnessed the incident but didn't report it to the police and the mother of the victim who was told twice over a 4 year span by the abuser himself that he had abused her son and neither went to the police. But Paterno, who didn't have a fraction of the information those two had, and didnt have a fraction of the moral responsibility of the boy's own mother,was supposed to do more than the boy's own mother did. And should be fired for not doing so.

I still can't believe they fired Paterno.  My wife went to bed early last night so I had to tell her about it the following morning, like she couldn't read it on the front page of the paper.  I pulled a Matt Millen and ended up crying and leaving the room to compose myself.
I hope that justice will find its way to each and every member of the Board of Trustees.


Anonymous said...

I have a good friend of mine who played for a current top 10 team back in the early 80’s. Although he didn’t go to PSU he has expressed a level of emotional distress over the Sandusky proceedings that rival only those that either go to PSU or have graduated. He even went so far as to call the Board of Trustees to express his anger at the current administration (now the old administration) and his opinions on how they should handle the matter. You see, he too experienced something very similar to what has happened at PSU. When he was a freshman he returned to the athletic dorms one weekend night to find a group of upper class football players’ gang raping a girl who was clearly passed out from drinking too much. As he explained to me the actions he took that night were possibly the hardest things he’s ever had to do. He told me that he had to literally wrestle a 300 lbs lineman off the girl and then keep the other players who were waiting their turn away from her. Once he was able to calm the situation down to where the girl was no longer in danger he called the campus police. When the police arrived, they took his and the girl’s statement (she had woken up by the time they had gotten there) and they told him that they would be in touch. After not hearing from the campus police for a number of days he took the matter to his coaches and explained what he saw and what had happened. He knew when he was going through his story that the coaches already knew what had happened. They told him how much they appreciated his coming to them and that the matter was now in their hands and that that they would handle it. That he should go back to concentrating on his football and class work. Although, as he says, he was very young and naïve at the time he knew that he was being dismissed. When nothing did happen to the players that were involved in the incident (he doesn’t know to this day what ever happened to the girl) he decided he didn’t want to be associated with a school or a football program that would tolerate such deviant behavior (not to mention that he was also ostracized by many of his teammates for reporting the incident) and transferred to a Big Ten School. As a minor consolation he and his new team went on to play in the Rose Bowl the year he became eligible again.

Anonymous said...

Munson is a hack of a writer with limited talent. The fact that ESPN even employs him dispalys their Entertainment Tonight mentality. At least ET knows there what they do.
It is well-documented that Joe Paterno does not run the program and hasn't for years. It would take an IDIOT to even believe that he runs anything. I have an 81 year-old father and even though he is active and aware, there are parts about his life that I recognize he is not fully aware of. If I look at other elderly people (75+) I deal with, they too are diminished in many ways.