Not with a whimper, but a bang.

So JoePa is gone.

I don’t really see where Penn State’s board of trustees had a choice, especially after being challenged by the man in his retirement statement not to spend a minute debating his fate.

Somehow I doubt the victims and their families agreed.

************************************************************************************

UPDATE:  The best way I can describe much of the Penn State student population today is detached from reality.  Here’s a comment made by one of them after a quasi-riot broke out in response to the announcement that Paterno’s coaching career had been terminated:

“They let him go by calling him on the phone,” said Downs, a 21-year-old senior from Baltimore, noting that Paterno’s home was a short walk from campus. “I think that’s just an awful way to treat a man.”

As awful goes, it sure beats anal rape.

****************************************************************************************

UPDATE #2:  Sad to say, I have to wonder if this wasn’t in the back of Paterno’s head when he made the offer to retire after the season’s end.

… Had Joe Paterno led the 8-1 Nittany Lions this weekend against Nebraska, he would’ve set another record, for most games coached in a career.  Instead he will remain tied with Amos Alonzo Stagg at 548.

It wouldn’t be inconsistent with what went on.

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83 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football, Crime and Punishment

83 responses to “Not with a whimper, but a bang.

  1. The sign held up there is absolutely right. Paterno is in no way a victim.

  2. SleeplessDawg

    Sandusky, while still PSU DC, admitted to showering with young boys when he was investigated in 1998. The county DA at the time didn’t file charges. Charges should have been filed then. Even without charges being filed Sandusky still admitted to showering with boys. PSU Athletic Dept. & University Administration should have fired Sandusky & barred him from campus then. This could have been stopped in 1998 if people had stood up for the kids then.

    • TennesseeDawg

      JoePa should have known that after he reported it to his superiors that within a day or so DFACS or the police would have been coming around and investigating. Paterno just want his butt covered and didn’t want it reported so as not to sully the program or Penn State. Penn State has done what need to be done, cleaning house.

    • No One Knows You're a Dawg

      I don’t think Sandusky’s alleged activities started in 1998. A former Penn State player from the late 80’s was on 680 the Fan yesterday and said there were rumors about Sandusky’s behavior even back then.

      Sandusky set up his “charity” for disadvantaged boys in 1978. My guess is he began molesting children involved in it shortly thereafter. My further suspicion is that during the charity’s first twenty years, Paterno and Penn State officials made a decision to look very hard the other way when rumors about Sandusky began popping up. That’s why no one in the Penn State administration went to the police in 1998 or 2002. Reporting it would have meant revealing their complicity in Sandusky’s abuse.

      • The Lone Stranger

        The impending civil lawsuits are going to make this institution wish Walter Camp had never popularized football. PSU will be crippled for a decade — and with good reason.

      • Darrron Rovelll

        +1,000 – there is no way that Jerry Sandusky woke up one at at age 55 and said I think I will start molesting boys. He may not have acted with the same savagery but Sandusky had to been involved with this his entire adult life.

        The story will get uglier and uglier. The timeline will extend back further than 1998. I predict when it is all said and done (I pray to God that it is not true) that the list of victims will be longer than the number of scholarship players on Penn State 2011 roster.

  3. Spike

    I just can’t believe nobody ever called law enforcement.

  4. Boz

    Literally 12 months ago, the perceived brightest stars in the Big 10 were OSU and PSU, and they thumbed their noses at the SEC and their football factories.

    Today, not so much.

  5. Biggus Rickus

    I’m still stunned that so many PSU fans are supporting Paterno in this. I would hope that if something similar were to come out about a longtime Georgia assistant receiving cover from the administration we’d respond like sane human beings and not let our admiration for Richt or whomever blind us.

    • Fuelk2

      Absolutely. The conduct of the Penn State students has led me to wish nothing but the worst for that program. Idiots. Same goes for the local media.

      • HahiraDawg

        Concur…I hope that after years and maturity (and maybe children) these idiots will think differently about their misplaced, irresponsible and stupid indignation.

      • The Lone Stranger

        It’s all about Ws and lording your PSU sweatshirt over the guy next to you. Sad, really.

    • Hackerdog

      I don’t think a large percentage are supporting Paterno. There are 40k students at PSU and 200k citizens in the county. Finding 500 idiots to stage a rally supporting someone who protected a pedophile is a tiny fraction of the overall population. A much larger percentage of the population believes in Bigfoot, that Elvis is alive, or that 9/11 was perpetrated by Bush/Cheney.

      • Biggus Rickus

        I’m also going by comments I’ve seen on the internet. I’m sure a vast majority of PSU fans are appalled, but that any are defending Paterno is amazing to me.

        • I live in NY, where there is a large Alumi population, and I was holding my tongue on asking them about all of this. Mainly because i know the typical PSU fan and I know they would stick up for Paterno and I didn’t really feel like having to punch anyone in the face the past few days.

          Well this morning I’ve been asking around and, unfortunately, it’s true – they are all fucking delusional and quite defensive.

          • I’m not sure if this is my first post to this blog, which I read every day. I’m UGa ’85 and live about 40 miles outside of Philadelphia.

            I don’t believe anyone should be tried in the court of public opinion but I’m totally on board with the observation that many of the PSU fanbase is irrationally defending Paterno. They seem to be bending over backwards to absolve him of culpability. They can’t believe that the man who led their program to national prominence would be at all complicit in this scandal.

            I don’t think any of us went to these lengths to absolve Damon Evans of his behavior, neither did we condone it nor the behavior of any Georgia players who have run afoul of the law or the NCAA.

      • David

        Dude, Bigfoot is real.

      • The Lone Stranger

        Reports put the number of protesters/rioters in downtown State College at 10,000 goons.

      • Darrron Rovelll

        It is not a large part of the student body, but it is large enough to make people wonder what is matter with the value system at Penn State.

        But then I listen to Matt Millen (former LB coached by both Sandusky & Paterno) who says this was the right thing to do and Joe had to go.

        I heard Todd Blackledge (former QB for Paterno) who said that this was the right thing to do and Joe had to go.

        Lavar Arrington said the same thing and so did Paul Posluszny. These were guys that played for Paterno and as football alumni they are held in high regard by TPTB at Penn State. They all agreed this was the right decision and you can see how disconnected Paterno was from gravity of the situation. He was Nero playing a fiddle while Happy Valley burned!

        One other thing – Posluszny mentioned this AM that during his four years at Penn State (03-06) the players were encouraged by the coaching staff to do their charity work with the Second Mile Foundation and that Sandusky was always around the football team, the players and the charity. This was after the 2002 incident when Paterno was made aware.

        They should take his name off EVERY building at Penn State. Every single penny that that man donated to the University is going to be lost multiple times over in the civil litigation settlements.

  6. Biggus Rickus

    Another thing about this whole mess is that it makes you wonder how many other things were covered up during Paterno’s tenure. He had the reputation for doing things the “right way”, and I always assumed he was among the cleaner coaches in the game. Now, I just think their culture allowed players and coaches to get away with things that would have gotten them kicked out of school or fired at most schools.

    • The Lone Stranger

      I’m in Pittsburgh and I’ve been suspicious of this very possibility for years and years. Always been a PSU detractor, but can’t stand to see everything go up in flames like this.

  7. Irishdawg

    Biggus, Richt would never do something like what Paterno did. If he had an assistant abusing kids, I’m sure he’d pray for the man, as he was dragging him by his hair to the cops.

  8. Scorpio Jones, III

    Perception is always interesting….I, for one, did not think Paterno’s statement was a challenge to the Trustees. My take was that he meant they should concentrate on more important things than the football coach.

    The firing of Paterno and Spanier is a a desperation move to get in front of the flurry of civil suits that will come from the parents of the molested kids.

    It won’t work because, apparently, the whole Penn State administrative leadership has been asleep at the switch for decades, or maybe the cool aid was just too potent.

    As Paterno was going back into his house, all he needed to do was declare “I am not a crook.” An ignominious end, and deservedly so.

    • The firing of Paterno and Spanier is a a desperation move to get in front of the flurry of civil suits that will come from the parents of the molested kids.

      More like a move to get in front of what would have been an absolute clusterfuck if Paterno had been allowed to coach on Saturday.

      They really had no choice here.

      • Scorpio Jones, III

        Is what you said different from what I said?
        But the most important thing is that Penn State should absolutely, without question forfeit their 1982 national championship…..:)

        FWIW….someone sent me a column out of the Beaver County Times questioning the situation. It was written in April.

        • Cojones

          By “the situation” you mean……? If it alluded to pedophilia, I would say this story has yet a long journey. Oh! I guess it could be leaked Grand Jury info. Hadn’t thought of that.

  9. Yet another example of why it is best to wait until death to honor someone by naming buildings, monuments, awards etc. after them.

    • SCDawg

      They named a government building after a guy in Columbia who later shot and killed his wife. I believe he had severe dementia, and he really wasn’t with it anymore when he did it, but it well illustrates the point.

    • Cojones

      Or build statues to them. Or lionizing sophomoric words in bronze.

      Or in Cheney Griffin’s case, name a Bainbridge city park for him after conviction and serving time for defrauding the State of Georgia. After his brother, Gov Marvin Griffin, under whose tenure as Gov that it occurred, stated,” Momma always had a hard time with Cheney” when questioned about the fraud happening as Marvin campaigned for another term.

  10. Go Dawgs!

    Despite the love we have for the game, in the grand scheme of things, football doesn’t really matter. Not when it’s put side-by-side with true atrocities like child rape. I understand that these people, and the students specifically, have loved Joe Pa all of their lives. He’s always been the grizzly old grandpa of their family, and they defended him staunchly when people wanted to run him off for losing. This is different.

    I heard a kid last night ask the Vice Chair of the BOR at his press conference what comment he had on the perception that the board had been “gunning” for Joe Pa ever since 2004 and this was finally their chance to get rid of him. The Vice Chair is a lot better than I am, because I would have told the kid to go F himself. That idea is so far detached from reality that it’s laughable. The consensus is that this was probably Joe’s last year anyway, considering the health problems he has endured. Now come revelations that Paterno may have known as far back as 1998 that something was up with Sandusky? The idea that Sandusky’s 1999 retirement may have been leveraged or forced? In 2002, a GA witnessed a child rape and did nothing to stop it, and then he reported it to Joe Pa who did the bare minimum to investigate or report it. Joe Pa paid the price for that lack of vision last night.

    When I was a college student, I used to get so angry when people would say that I was just a college student and didn’t know how the world works. Dammit, I was an adult. Well, ten years removed, I know that I don’t know everything, but I do know that very few college kids have a clue. Including me when I walked around North Campus to protest the self-imposed postseason ban that Vince and Adams slapped on the men’s basketball team. Sure, it wasn’t Jarvis Hayes’ fault that the Harricks were dirty. But it had to happen, and I understand that now. And that’s just a silly NCAA rule compared to what’s going on in State College, PA. Penn State couldn’t allow Joe Paterno to coach a football game with the cloud that now circles his head. Even if he didn’t know what was going on as far back as 1998, even if his only offense is myopia, they couldn’t allow the perception that football is more important than the safety of these boys, and they couldn’t allow the perception that the football coach runs the University. See ya, Joe. You could have coached until you dropped dead. All you had to do was take away the pedophile’s key card.

  11. Irishdawg

    I’m not sure anyone in this mess acted honorably. Paterno and the athletic department sure didn’t, but if the board fired the man over the phone, that’s passive-aggressive and dishonorable, too.

    Go Dawgs! is right; college kids don’t know shit. I didn’t either back then, but at least I was self aware enough to know I didn’t know shit and joined the Army rather than stage sit ins and protests like a jack ass.

    • As far as firing the man over the phone, you had a riot after the announcement was made. The media was camped out with Paterno. There’s no place to hide, in other words.

      If he’s called in, it’s going to be bad when he comes out. And if you go to his house to deliver the news, do you really want to face the crowd in the aftermath?

    • As far as I am concerned, he doesn’t deserve a phone call. They should have just locked him out and fired him through a press release. The facts of this case make it clear that he ignored a child being molested and that is just the one time that can be proved.

      Maybe JoePa should have taken this to heart…

      “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” – Warren Buffett

    • wnc dawg

      I say sincerely, thank you for your service, Irishdawg. Also, all the people who now have equal Constitutional rights because of the power of protests and sit-ins should thank you, too.

    • Doug

      Sorry, but when I hear Paterno’s supporters complain about the guy being cut loose with a phone call, I get my “smallest violin in the world” gesture ready.

      They’re mad that all Paterno got was a phone call? He should be happy — Sandusky’s victims didn’t even get THAT much.

    • Cojones

      I did that AFTER I got out of the Army. And resigned my commission as a Captain in the Reserves in protest. And the “shit” I knew then is still pervasive in our society.

  12. Not surprising the fans want to defend their legendary coach. People have a hard time being objective about emotional issues. They look like jackasses defending him to the rest of the world.

    As far as I am concerned, this is the only choice for PSU to move forward. Everyone involved in this must live with their choices and ask for forgiveness from the victims and their families. It’s nice to see that at least someone at PSU realizes the magnitude of what happened.

  13. Sanford222View

    “As awful goes, it sure beats anal rape.”

    I’ll have to put that in my back pocket for a rainy day.

    On a serious note I was happy to see the administration at PSU finally do something right in this whole mess last night by letting Paterno go now. I was extremely disappointed in Paterno not doing the right thing and stepping down immediately himself after here already failed tragically in this horror story years ago by not doing more to get to the bottom of what was going on with Sandusky and those boys.

  14. Just Chuck

    I probably can’t add anything to the insightful comments that have already been posted here. He needed to go. Score one for the rule of law and the notion that principle is important no matter how powerful and influential you are.

  15. Normaltown Mike

    The thing that strikes me is that the victims are now the age of these same students.

    These students are so myopic that they can’t identify with the victims (whom they have far more in common with) than an octogenarian football legend bitterly clinging to his Fiesta Bowl victory from a quarter century before.

  16. Doug

    Pardon me for getting up on my journalism-degree soap box here, but were y’all as appalled as I was with the conduct of the media at the Board of Trustees presser announcing Paterno’s immediate firing? The guy behind the mike handled himself admirably, but the people barking questions at him might as well have been members of Paterno’s family or PR team, their “questions” were that loaded and inflammatory. I heard from someone that students had been allowed into the room to ask questions — if that’s the case then it’s just another example of how miserably PSU has mishandled this situation from day one.

    • Agreed. Sadly, Spencer’s parody wasn’t too far removed from the real thing.

    • The Lone Stranger

      It’s how that entire culture over there rolls. We call it the Vatican of Pennsylvania and Joe Paterno had been riding herd over Centre County perhaps since 1975. Those howls you heard immediately after the firing was announced were likely those students (Hopefully not accredited reporters, but that would not wholly surprise me either).

  17. Irishdawg

    It wouldn’t surprise me; PSU’s PR people have been so thumbless on this thing that John Edwards could gloat over it.

    I’m in my mid 30s now, and I’ve got to say that this might be the saddest and most sordid thing I’ve ever seen play out in public like this.

  18. DA man

    Teachers are mandated reporters – at least, in Georgia. They are required to report child abuse to law enforcement. He should consider himself lucky that he is not a defendant.

    • Dog in Fla

      “He should consider himself lucky that he is not a defendant” in a criminal case. He will be a defendant in multiple civil cases.

  19. The General

    Regarding Biggus Rickus’ post above about this raising the question of how many other dirty deeds were able to be covered up because of the reputation of “JoePa would never..,” the <a href="http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/7214753/joe-paterno-firing-was-only-decision-penn-state-nittany-lions-make&quot;. Schlabach column today says Paterno “was never accused by the NCAA of breaking its rules in 46 seasons.” Isn’t NCAA compliance based almost entirely on self-reporting violations? You can’t tell me in 46 years, an assistant of his never made one-too-many phone calls or visits to a recruit. His desire to finish the season tells me he doesn’t get it. He certainly didn’t get it in 2002. For how long before that had he lost his moral compass?

    Sorry, rioting students. You have piled shame upon shame. I have to believe that a silent majority of your classmates knows that termination was the right call, but they stayed home to avoid your rocks and bottles.

    • Biggus Rickus

      Exactly.

    • W Cobb Dawg

      I’m surprised most by how self-serving JoePa appears to be. First, his statement assumes he should have the right to finish the season on his own terms. And when the crimes were being perpetrated it was at a time when the pressure was very high for a person of his age to move on. The last thing he’d want is public scrutiny, which would’ve brought the pressure for him to retire to a fever pitch.

    • Cojones

      No. Almost all of NCAA compliance issues are NOT self-reported. Think Cammy and Auburn self-informed all the way back through the trail to issues at FU? Hell no. Does tOSU ring any bells? Ala via Fulmer crank up “self” in your mind? Self-reporting has been the LEAST vigorous path to enforcement. “Informant” may be the word you are searching for.

  20. Irishdawg

    That’s an interesting point. Apparently the omerta over at PSU was tighter than the Russian Mob.

    • The Lone Stranger

      A guy on local radio, who I suppose happens to have an ancestry similar to Paterno, brought up just that theory yesterday. He supposed that, having been raised in Brooklyn in the 30s-40s, Paterno could well have fallen back on older traditional codes of ‘moral’ conduct. Similar to the “The Godfather”, and all that, about settling conflicts internally and outside of the prying glare of the police force, or frankly, any other authority other than his own. Of course, when you approach conflict this way what’s to stop you from also settling scores and running amok.

      • Normaltown Mike

        When you started in on “older traditional codes…” I thought you were going to say that the abuse of children by grown men has existed for millenia and is obviously overlooked, if not tolerated, by many people that know better, albeit behind closed doors.

        But if the “older traditional code…” is to say that Joe Pa “dealt with it” behind closed doors, I’m skeptical. The documented stories begin in (at least) the 90’s and yet the guy was kept around the facilities like some venerated veteran. No way Joe Pa “dealt with” anything.

        • The Lone Stranger

          In the context of this radio host’s opinion, my thrust is that perhaps Paterno was handling these heinous issues in a way that shouldered out any outside influences. Clearly, as it appears now, the campus AND town police departments were so far out of contact on these matters as to be invisible and impotent. At the bitter end the only authority that had any effect was CYS, which responded to one of the latest reports of abuse.

  21. Zdawg

    An awful way to treat a man? Well, mr student, I’ll have you know that the administration actually talked only to his wife about the dismissal. She’ll take care of it from there.

    When Joe shows up on the sideline on Saturday, they’ll just shrug their shoulders an move on. They reported the information to the authority. Thats all that needs to be done right? No need to push the matter. Think about how uncomfortable things will get.

  22. Irishdawg

    Paterno didn’t “handle” shit, though. If he had had Sandusky whacked, well, I’m OK with that. Nobody did a thing about this animal, though, other than tell him not to bring his victims to the PSU field house. Jesus.
    (Retches in office waste basket).

  23. Zdawg

    I had to pass this along from the Superficial:

    “If holding every complicit motherfucker who let kids get raped to protect the reputation of a sports team accountable is a witch hunt, give me a Pilgrim hat and call me Miles Standish.”

  24. Biggus Rickus

    Oh man. I heard a snippet of an interview with the Beaver County newspaper guy who wrote about this potential cover-up back in April. He expects the next big news coming out of this to be that Sandusky was pimping kids to big charity donors and that his retirement in ’99 was in exchange for the administration covering up his behavior.

  25. Irishdawg

    Dear God, I hope that’s not true. If so, federal agents need to be crawling over the campus by Monday and Sandusky should be airdropped onto Monster Island by this afternoon.

    Sweet Jesus, this has turned into an Andrew Vachss novel overnight.

    • Cojones

      They have already taken the assistant coach(who initially reported Sandusky to Paterno) from Sat’s game due to violent threats. Due to the roiling emotions, one would think the game should be canceled. What a great place to get 100,000k plus people together for a riot, before or after the game. How far does the stupidity go in the name of innocent victims including now, the football team?

  26. PNWDawg

    Geez, you would think at least some of these fucko’s saw the final episode of Seinfeld.

  27. Dog in Fla

    “Update #2:….It wouldn’t be inconsistent with what went on”

    This too

    “Let’s not ignore the timing of the release of the grotesque and shocking grand jury report/indictments, conveniently revealed a week after Paterno surpassed Grambling’s Eddie Robinson on the all-time wins list.”

    http://sports.mobile.msn.com/en-us/articles.aspx?aid=1074281&acid=2&afid=0