The “downside” to Jerry Sandusky

It’s getting harder and harder to give anyone in Penn State management a pass for Jerry Sandusky.  Including a certain former head coach:

According to CNN sources, e-mails show that vice president Gary Schultz, athletic director Tim Curley, and president Graham Spanier had initially settled on a plan in which they would speak with “the subject” — Sandusky — as well as his Second Mile charity and the Department of Welfare.

Those emails took place 16 days after McQueary offered his account. But Curley backed out of that plan in a second e-mail exchange.

“After giving it more thought and talking it over with Joe [Paterno] yesterday,” CNN quoted Curley from an obtained e-mail, “I am uncomfortable with what we agreed were the next steps. I am having trouble with going to everyone, but the person involved.”  [Emphasis added.]

And how prophetic is this?

“I am supportive,” Spanier was quoted as writing. “The only downside for us if the message isn’t heard and acted upon, and then we become vulnerable for not having reported it.”

Yeah, that would be a bummer.  Some people really need to fry over this.  Or perhaps be taken off a pedestal.

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UPDATE:  And don’t think Spanier didn’t keep worrying about it.

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18 Comments

Filed under Crime and Punishment

18 responses to “The “downside” to Jerry Sandusky

  1. Vindexdawg

    I seriously doubt that this will be the last mention of Paterno in the contemporaneous evidence, e-mails and other documentation, that are gradually being released. His autocratic, hands-ON posture with regard to anything related to the football program he built is simply indisputable. That is why his attempts last fall to assume a befuddled, someone out-of-it posture were so dishonest and downright sleazy. Forty years ago he was a model coach and personality; but finally he became just a selfish, willful old man, fatally corrupted by decades of universal adulation, and obsessed with chasing records left by Bear Bryant and then Eddie Robinson – anything that might remotely distract or interefere with that be damned. He reached his final record last October, PSU had a special ceremony to observe his 409th win. He did not have long to bask in the “glory” of it. The following weekend saw the release of the grand jury’s report on Sandusky’s evil doings and then his position there began to putrify with amazing speed. At least now Penn State can say that they fired him instead of letting him leave under his own steam. That my not seem like much, given the collaboration of their other officials in this sordid mess, but it is something.

    • gastr1

      The irony of that is that you’d think an autocrat hyper-protective of his legacy would expose, excoriate, and be rid of Sandusky as soon as he had the chance. But Paterno’s actions speak of a different kind of autocracy: one where problems—like, say, bad grades, bad behaviors, criminal mishaps–get brushed under the rug rather than dealt with swiftly and appropriately.

  2. Heathbar09

    Wonderful. Even 11 years ago they were more worried about covering their own asses (no pun intended) instead of worrying about the little children.

  3. Hogbody Spradlin

    Joe Paterno is going to become the William Casey of this tale, the deceased who everybody blames for everything. This is not an opinion whether it’s justified, but an opinion that it’s easy to write about dead people.

    BTW is there any upside to Jerry Sandusky?

  4. Scorpio Jones, III

    Well, Sandusky gets to keep his 60K pension whilst in jail….I guess thats an upside for somebody, like the civil litigators?

  5. Joe

    LOVED JoPa, everything that was right about sports and humanity. That was all a myth. He is the worst person in this entire situation as he had the power to stop it with one call to the authorities, yet chose to cover it up. I think he is more culpable in my mind practically than even Sandusky, who is simply incredibly ill.

    Talk about “the only thing for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing”

    Jo Pa met evil, had the power and did nothing. He stank before he died.

    • gastr1

      Any of those people could have stopped it with one phone call–Curley, Schulz, Spanier. Curley and Schulz and going to the pokey now too because they clearly perjured themselves.

      It takes a widespread lack of courage to allow a scandal of this magnitude to fester and cast this wide of a shadow.

      • Mr. Sanchez

        Yeah, if Paterno said keep this in house, and one of them let it out, he’d have been the one getting burned, not the whistleblower. So anyone could have stopped it.

  6. Always Someone Else's Fault

    Stunner: people with big salaries and power protected their own interests even at the expense of children being raped. I am not saying it’s “human nature” to do so – it’s just something we’ve hard-wired into our “I got mine” cultural DNA. How addicted to prestige and a lake house must you be to look the other way on something like this?

    It was one of these – Spanier, Curly, Paterno, Shultz – who had to do something. Once they locked in on cover-up, they communicated clearly to everyone else in the mix that PSU would fight them and discredit them if they attempted to go public. And Sandusky clearly got that message as well, as evidenced by his behavior moving forward.

    • gastr1

      Consider also that if these charges were not crystal clear and Paterno were not on board, Curley, Schulz, and Spanier would have been Public Enemies 1, 2, and 3 in the state of Pennsylvania. This is the problem with the culture of Hero-Coach. He’s the most recognizable representative of an academic institution that has the state’s name in it, the flagship school of the state. For how many people, both in PA and elsewhere, did Paterno literally equal the state of Pennsylvania?

      This is why academics, for all their flaws, worry about the size, scope, and importance of athletics. The fact that the school was so heavily represented–equated with, even–by one person for so long made any change to his regime a matter requiring the support of the 12 million people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. (And yeah…regime. Reign, maybe even.)

      We owe it to ourselves to think about this in relation to our own institution. What if Mark Richt stays for 40 years, wins national championships, becomes a legend, and doesn’t want to leave? Who is going to remove him? Mind you, I don’t think Richt would do this. But Vince Dooley kinda did…

    • Biggus Rickus

      I think it IS hardwired in our DNA. Power does tend to corrupt.

  7. El Dawgo in El Paso

    And to think that for years the Penn State-State Pen jokes had no basis in reality.

    All involved should share a cell just as they shared in an enabling cover up of a predator’s actions.

  8. E dawg

    Well said vixen

  9. WarD Eagle

    Thinking about the power to do something competing with the power of self preservation – which I presume is what these people were driven by when making these decisions.

    There’s a short-sightedness to self-preservation. A good example would be when one commits, in secrecy with others, an act of self-preservation that is at least an amoral act but more likely a crime all the while thinking the others will be around to defend and/or take the heat with you. But then, one or all of them dies. And you’re left holding the bag while defending yourself against the law, victims, and your partners in crime who are again focused on self-preservation.