Chicks Dig Scars: Evil Prevails When Good Men Fail to Act
Last night, students at Penn State University staged a rally on the front lawn of Joe Paterno’s home. They held signs and chanted for the coach. They sang stadium cheers. They showed their support for the man whose name is synonymous with their school and whose name appears on the Library. The man who has coached their football team for 46 years under the guise of doing things the right way. The Penn State way. Let’s stop kidding ourselves. He is the most powerful man on that campus.
Now imagine being the one of the boys that Jerry Sandusky abused. They are now young men. Imagine them turning on their televisions and seeing the “pep rally” at JoePa’s last night. Seeing those students cheering and backing a man that could have stopped what was going on, BEFORE Sandusky got to you. It was bad enough to relive the events on television before that, but seeing support for the one person who could have put a stop to everything, probably makes any kind of therapy and resolution you had come to the past few years, worthless. It brought all the pain that you thought you had buried, back into the front of your mind, in your gut and into your dreams at night.
I guess I can kinda of excuse the immature, ill advised students who thought that they were supporting the Old Man at his house last night. They’re not parents (they’ll “get it” when they look into the faces of their own child and wonder what they’d do if someone ever touched them that way), and they’ve obviously never been inappropriately touched by someone in their lifetimes to be able to ignore what is in front of their faces. But I can’t imagine what it was like for Sandusky’s victims, seeing their pain reduced to a pep rally and a rowdy chorus of Seven Nations Army.
Now, these students and supporters seem to be the minority. Anyone who does not reside in the geographical location of State College, Pennsylvania seem to be overwhelmingly repulsed by the events which unfolded and at least in the court of Public Opinion, Joe Paterno has some big time explaining to do. Sure, he LEGALLY did what he was supposed to do (see Pocket Doppler Kelly’s latest blog entry for explanation), but did he do the morally correct thing by not going to the authorities. Did he protect his program, his legacy and his “guy” at the expense of protecting innocent children? For me, personally, his latest statement that he will be retiring at the end of the season is not enough, and believe me, my eyes rolled into the back of my head at the sheer hubris and gall of the condescending statement that the Board of Trustees should “not waste a single minute discussing my status,” as if there is any other business that the BOT would discuss at their emergency meeting, now that they are “free” from having to discuss JoePa’s employment status. He also stated that in hindsight, he “wished he had done more.” Well, to me, that is an admission that he knew, and he basically did NOTHING. Oh, sure. He told his boss, and then shut his mouth. What happened to calling the police? What about the graduate assistant, Mike McQueary, who witnessed a 10 year old boy being raped by a 60 year old man and went to his father and then to Paterno, and then…crickets. But, he did manage to climb the ladder of the Penn State coaching staff, now serving as their recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach. Was it a reward for his loyalty to the program, i.e. his silence?
And what about the selfishness of Paterno, wanting to hang on and stay until the end of the season. Does anyone really think he is “doing it for his kids?” Hell to the NO. This is all about Joe and his coaching legacy. How is subjecting 85-100 student athletes who had nothing to do with this situation, who came to Penn State to play football, to a media circus on Saturday if Joe steps on that field? Let’s not forget the 100 student athletes and coaches on the sidelines across the field. Do you think Nebraska wants to be a part of this shit show? There is a Big Ten divisional title at stake. Having Joe Paterno watch the game from his living room, returns the focus to the football game at hand and the players on the field. Oh, and I can’t wait for the greeting the man will get in Columbus and Madison when he shows up for road games in the next few weeks. Two of the loudest, drunkest, most verbally obnoxious fanbases in the Big Ten? Now that I think of it, I might enjoy that.
I actually saw this argument made in support of Paterno: If it was your kid would you have waited all these years? This comes out at the end of the year because the timing was perfect. They didn’t know how to get rid of him so they waited until they had a great reason. Point all the fingers you want at him but as a parent and grandfather I’d go after the guy that did it and I would have done it a long time ago.
Really. After I shook the cobwebs from between my ears and wondered how an adult, let alone a parent or grandparent, could possibly think this way, I answered him.