Friday, November 11, 2011

Penn State Still Clueless in Happy Valley

The Penn State Board of Trustees has just replaced football coach Joe Paterno with a guy named Tom Bradley.  He's been a Paterno assistant for over 30 years, and apparently idolizes the old man.  That's the Penn State way of cleaning house.  Faced with what will likely be the biggest scandal in its history, 15+ years of child sexual abuse and its enabling and cover up by university staff and officials, the University remains blinded by the Paterno glow that is no longer seen by anyone else. 

If one reads the grand jury report (link) and then constructs a simple timeline, one quickly sees that the first clear point on the public record is the 1998 investigation of defendant Sandusky by both Penn State police and the county prosecutor for allegations of child sexual abuse.  For reasons as yet unrevealed, the local county prosecutor, in a rural area dominated by the University, declined to files charges against Sandusky, the well-known, prominent football assistant coach and Paterno protege.  Hmmm. 

Shortly after that, Sandusky unexpectedly retired at the very young age of 55.  Hmmm.  He was allowed by Penn State to keep all privilges of a retired coach, including access to athletic facilities.  At that point he also had been for years the head of his own charity for troubled young boys.  Hmmm.  Of course this looks all the world like people at Penn State made a deal with Sandusky -- retire quietly and don't embarrass the school and football program and we'll keep quiet about you and let you keep your perks.  This certainly looks like a cover up began no later than 1998.

Four years went by during which Sandusky continued as head of his charity for young troubled boys and was seen with them around the school.  Then, in 2002, a young assistant coach named McQueary comes upon Sandusky raping a young boy in the Penn State athletic facilities late one evening.  He didn't stop it, he didn't save the boy, he didn't call police.  Instead, he told Paterno the next day, who in turn yet another day later told the athletic director Curley and senior adminsitrator Schultz, who in turn later told university president Spanier.  None of these four called the police.  They all now, of course, deny being told the specific nature of the act, and now assert they thought that the naked Sandusky was engaging in some kind of innocent horseplay with a naked young boy in a Penn State shower.  Just before he was fired the other day, university president Spanier expressed support (link) for Curley and Schultz, who are now under indictment for perjury about this whole matter.  However, not one of them has yet to explain publicly his 2002 inaction in light of the 1998 Penn State university police investigation and report on Sandusky.

It is absolutely unbelievable to think that Paterno did not know, in 2002, of the 1998 child abuse allegations against Sandusky and the report of the investigation by university police.  After all, who if not Paterno would know why his chief assistant coach suddently retired in 1998.  In fact, it seems probable that, given his status at Penn State, Paterno played a central role in a likely cover up deal in 1998. 

Because Sandusky's alleged rape in 2002 of a young boy in a Penn State shower was not reported to police, and because of earlier inaction in 1998, he remained at large with full access to Penn Sate facilities, during which time he allegedly continued to molest young boys for years after that.

Now, with the scandal finally breaking out into the open, Penn State has just fired Paterno and university president Spanier.  Many more departures will follow.

Yet despite all that we now know, thousands of ignorant and misguided Penn State students have just protested Paterno's firing.  And yesterday, new interim football coach Bradley, reportedly a Paterno assistant for 33 years and the man who got Sandusky's specific senior coaching job in 1999, said this (link) about Paterno:  "Coach Paterno will go down in history as one of the greatest men...." 

From the University president, to the coaches, to senior administrators, is there any adult at Penn State not involved in the cover up?  The Board replaces Paterno with one of his acolytes who now praises him as a great man.  If the Penn State Trustees can't find responsible, sensible, and uninvolved adults to take over and clean house, then they should all resign themselves and let the state take over. 

As I said in my first post about this horrific scandal (link), "my guess is that when all the facts emerge this will come out as a 15 or so year conspiracy of silence involving Paterno and many others to cover up ongoing homosexual rape and other sexual molestation of young boys at Penn State, practically in plain sight. This whole scandal looks ugly now, and will likely look many times worse before this is all over."

John M Greco

Other Posts:
Paterno & Penn State Look Like Burnt Toast

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