Thursday, November 10, 2011
Joe Paterno out at State-College
In an effort to preserve their already damaged institution, Penn State's board of trustees fired by phone, head football coach Joe Paterno and the president of Penn State. Students rioted in support of Paterno but did he have it coming?
According to reports, a current assistant coach who was then a graduate assistant, witnessed coach Sandusky "sodomizing a 10 year old boy in the locker room showers". The term "sodomy" can mean several different things, all of them bad if you're a 10 year old boy. Instead of beating the coach to a bloody pulp and then calling the cops, this coward went to Paterno's office and told him. Then Paterno apparently told his boss the athletic director who apparently did nothing, resulting in as many as 17 boys being molested by Sandusky.
So who dropped the ball(if you'll pardon the football expression)? Much like the Catholic church, there is a culture of protection of the bigtime, Division-1 football institution at all costs. Every problem is handled "in-house" rather than involving outside authorities. But this wasn't a case of a 4-eyed nerd taking tests for stupid athletes. That's an in-house issue. This crime required nothing less than the immediate stoppage of the crime followed by an immediate call to the cops. Everybody in the Penn State chain-of-command passed the buck up to the next guy until it eventually got ignored.
I admire and respect Joe Paterno for his football and ethics record at Penn State, but his kicking this crime up the ladder for someone else to handle made him complicit in the crime and in the interest of Penn State, the board of trustees was probably wise to act quickly.