JoePa does not go gentle into that good night.

I understand that Paterno thinks he needs to fight to redeem his legacy, but I don’t think he does himself any favors when he says stuff like this:

“I didn’t know exactly how to handle it and I was afraid to do something that might jeopardize what the university procedure was,” he said.

We are evidently supposed to believe that the most powerful man at a major public university, a man who was used to dictating what he wanted and getting his way, suddenly was uncertain and deferential.  Sorry, but that doesn’t pass the smell test for me.

And the question that remains is how timid his response would have been if the incident had involved a Paterno family member as victim.  Somehow I doubt JoePa would have been wracked with the same doubts.


Filed under Big Ten Football, Crime and Punishment

37 responses to “JoePa does not go gentle into that good night.

  1. NCT

    I’ve said all along there’s been a distinct very-old-school stank on this whole thing: it was the pool of victims from which Sandusky allegedly drew that made the cover-up possible and attractive to those in control. A “higher class” of boys would’ve been thought of as deserving appropriate action on their behalf. But that would not have happened, because Sandusky knew what he was doing from the get-go. Sickest on the most obvious level: further sick on other levels.

  2. ChicagoDawg

    Ok, let’s take him at face value. He was confused. He was wracked with concern about “jeopardiz(ing)… university procedure”. If those are the issues that truly prevented his action on the matter then we have yet more evidence that he was emotionally and mentally ill-equipped to be the head of a major college program.

    Sorry Joe, either way you got the fate you deserve and you should be thankful that there is not a way to pull your ass into a criminal charge.

    • Scott

      You guys need to read his statement more closely. Paterno said: “I didn’t know exactly how to handle it and I was afraid to do something that might jeopardize what the university procedure was,” he said. “So I backed away and turned it over to some other people, people I thought would have a little more expertise than I did. It didn’t work out that way.”

      Paterno did not say he didn’t want to “jeopardize the university.” The key word you guys want to omit is “procedure.” If you worked at a big company and there was an allegation of sexual wrongdoing, you can bet you would be concerned about following the company’s strict procedures set by HR. Respecting those procedures wouldn’t mean you were placing your company first in importance or that you were “mentally ill-equipped.”

      This sentiment that Paterno deserves a criminal charge is absurd. He broke no laws. You guys are so self-righteous that I am surprised you have time to post on this board this morning. I assumed you would be preaching in a pulpit somewhere.

      • gastr1

        + 1, Scott. The thing Paterno did wrong was not follow up, then demand an investigation and/or inquiry take place. You can’t turn simply hand it over and trust others in this kind of situation…you have to follow up, especially if you’re in charge of the anything.

        • gastr1

          Make no mistake, though–Paterno deserved his fate with the university for not acting appropriately when he was in fact culpable (if not legally, then certainly institutionally).

      • Dog in Fla

        Bless you, son

        Throw three Hail Mary’s and take a pass at this movie on institutional procedure or lack thereof now showing at the Toomer’s Corner Updyke Memorial Theater

      • ChicagoDawg

        Who gives a damn what the University procedure was or is? A kid was being sodomized in his locker room by one his ex-coaches and he is contemplating University procedures vs calling the cops. If that makes me self-righteous to recognize that as BS and morally bankrupt then so be it – guilty as charged.

      • ChicagoDawg

        One other note, if I walked into a restroom at my office and a retired associate, or the current CEO for that matter, was sodomizing an 11yr old I can promise you company policy would not be top of mind.

        • Scorpio Jones, III

          It is easy to rise up in righteous indignation about the way somebody else handled something. I do not doubt there was nothing in Paterno’s history or education that prepared him to deal with this situation in any way other than doing what he did.

          Don’t forget, he is 84 years old, same age my father would have been. One way folks of that era stay at a place as long as Paterno did was by following the rules and chain of command.

          I can believe Paterno had no experience that would have helped him understand the situation.

          It is easy to say, with the benefit of youth and hindsight, what he should have done.

          The fact Sandusky had been behaving this way for years, and nobody knew it is a comment on a whole generation of leaders, and the reason a lot of people have suffered and fought to educate about this perversion.

          It is not that Paterno WAS the most powerful man at Penn State, it is whether he thought he was.

          I believe at the time Paterno thought he had done the right thing. Time has proven he did not do enough, and he has admitted as much.

          • ChicagoDawg

            Fair point. We all would like to cast ourselves as taking heroic actions when confronted with such scenarios. So, I am not suggesting that I would have done anything unusually noble. However, all that was called for in this circumstance was for one person to do the ordinary. This is not some abstract law school discussion, there was a flesh and blood 11yr (+/-1 yr) who was being sodomized and several adults chose to rely on “policy” and “procedures” of the University. Clearly there was more concern over brand and legacy than there was for a kid that no one thought worthy of following up on. That to me seems outrageous.

            • gastr1

              Please don’t take thus as an excuse for Paterno, but you might want to consider that “sodomized” was not the language McCreary claims to have used and that charging someone who turns out to be innocent will result in the accuser’s dismissal and lost reputation. I’m not saying he handled it correctly–procedure would be to follow up!!!–but there are in fact rather strict procedures about how these cases are to be handled and fucking them up by rushing to judgment will result in accusational asses in slings. Not to mention lawsuits.

              • ChicagoDawg

                From the indictment:
                “Victim 2: In March 2002, graduate assistant Mike McQueary walked into a locker room one Friday night and heard rhythmic slapping sounds. He looked into the shower and saw a boy of about 10, with his hands up against the wall. A naked Sandusky was having intercourse with him.”

                Are you really suggesting that sodomy is not being described in the indictment? Really?

                • Scorpio Jones, III

                  It has been widely reported that what McQueary told Paterno was different than what he told the AD and the grand jury.

                  I don’t disagree with the idea that Paterno should have done more, and in hindsight, neither does he…I do believe it is possible that at the time, Paterno thought he was doing the right thing.

                  The two people who were responsible for doing more are under indictment because they did not, and the ultimate authority at PSU, the president, got fired, too.

                  Look, nobody at Penn State is without stain here, I am just trying to get my own mind around Paterno’s handling of the situation at the time.

                  Paterno is the easiest shadow to bark at.

                  • ChicagoDawg

                    Yeah, but he is the easiest shadow for a reason. Not to go all conspiratorial, but it doesn’t take a big imagination to conclude there was a known history. A long-time assistant head coach, who was considered as a viable successor, inexplicably is asked to resign after picking up the Assistant Coach of the Year award? That same coach is then provided emeritus-style status and enjoyed unfettered access from then on?

                    • gastr1

                      Good point.

                    • gastr1

                      Also, something I hadn’t thought about before in my comments re: university procedures–they don’t apply here: SANDUSKY WAS NOT AFFILIATED WITH OR EMPLOYED BY THE UNIVERSITY. Which means that all Paterno had to do was say “Next time you see him here call the U-cops and have him escorted away.” And basically tell the higher-ups that that was how it was going to be.

                      It’s much easier to get rid of someone who has no official reason to be there.

          • Biggus Rickus

            Bullshit. There is no excuse for Paterno not taking action, and I don’t believe his statements at all.

          • Scott

            +1. good perspective and I agree.

      • South FL Dawg

        This is laughable. If you worked in a big company both accused and accuser would be adults. No one at PSU stood up for the boy, not even to find out who he was. Whatever procedures they were following allowed Sandusky to continue to come and go. The moral failure is obvious and I don’t even go to church. Your own self righteousness is showing.

  3. The Story the other day from a former player was that Sandusky was in the President;s box THIS year for a game even after the March ’11 articles exposing the grand jury proceedings and several of the incidents. This whole thing is foul. Really disgusting. Question becomes what did Sandusly know about the bigger picture that allowed him so much access and cache like this? NOTHING else makes sense. These other men, Paterno, the president etc. are not into abetting child molesters, UNLESS they needed to keep him quiet otherwise. Then both parties looking the other way makes sense.

    • NCT

      You may be right, but I don’t think it’s necessary to have the element of some kind of leverage in Sandusky’s hands to balance the cover-up. It’s possible that what Sandusky knew (or correctly believed) is the extent to which his alleged actions would be overlooked as long as he stuck to appropriate victims. I think there were misplaced moral distinctions being made. Never underestimate the capacity of some haves to treat the have-nots as a different species, even in this day and age.

  4. Dog in Fla

    “Coach Paterno would rather we NOT inform the public when a football player is found responsible for committing a serious violation of the law and/or our student code,” she wrote, “despite any moral or legal obligation to do so.”

    • Vindexdawg

      Exactly so. When all this first broke, we saw a sad picture of an elderly legend who had achieved much but stayed on longer than he should have, being tragically pushed out the door although there was really no other choice. Then when this story came out, I began to see a ruthless, selfish old man, determined to cling to his position for as long as it took to attain the record of coaching wins that he had set his heart upon, and equally determined to suppress or ignore anything that might be a distraction. And his assertion that he did not know that male rape was possible is simply an insult to the intelligence of anyone that he expects to believe that rubbish.

      • gastr1

        And there is no way to prove or quantify it, but by appearances at least this self-interest affected his (tepid and insufficient) reaction to the Sandusky-in-the-shower incident.

  5. G Marmalard

    You might be surprised how much of this type of behavior gets swept under the rug. I guarantee you don’t have to look as far away as psu.

  6. G Marmalard

    Ammendment: “type of behavior” should read ” sociopathic criminal activity”

  7. Comin' Down The Track

    PSU alumni, spokespeople, administrators Joe Pa and their fanbase, at large, would all do themselves a favor by shutting the @#$! up for several weeks and stop trying to justify and dismiss questionable behaviors on their own part. Much like one does not get to choose one’s own nickname, these folks do not get to say which parties did or did not do the right or wrong things.

    The rest of the world gets to say when their wearing of the hairshirt is completed from a public standpoint. They, themselves, do not. I hate it for them because 99.99% had nothing to do with the actual crimes, but as long as they condone the cover-up and continue to try to cover-up the cover-up then they are making themselves complicit.

    I thought that they should have done as Miami did and declined bowl invitations, if for no other reason than to remove themselves from the media spotlight. That game was far less about how much tenacity with which PSU played and more about the circumstances spawning that tenacity.

    In short, how can we miss you if you never go away?

    • 69Dawg

      +1 I think PSU should just go about it’s business as quietly as possible and clean house. The fans will get over it. Every time PSU defends Joe Pa they just pick the scab and the wound keeps bleeding.

  8. Lrgk9


  9. E dawg

    Scott: What would you do?

    • Scott

      Sorry for the late reply. I probably would have done what Joe did, except that I would like to think that I would have followed up with the higher ups weeks or months later. There is no evidence that he did follow up, but he also hasn’t been asked the question about whether he followed up. The university has a police department, and maybe Paterno assumed the AD and President would involve them. Paterno did follow state law which required him to report it to the university staff member charged with such responsibility, I doubt McQueary was graphic in his description to Paterno of what he actually witnessed. Can you imagine going to your grandparent and detailing gay sex acts? Also, It was the next day when McQueary went to see Paterno, so its not like he called Paterno as the crime occurred. So Paterno deliberated and decided to involve those in at PSU tasked with such responsibility. That doesn’t seem unreasonable.

      There is certainly a culture or attitude among those of Paterno’s generation about gay sex abuse that most likely factored into this. In the 1980’s, my church in Cobb County (with the knowledge and support of victim’s parents) shipped off a youth minister who was molesting numerous teen boys. No criminal charges were pressed, and the scandal was covered up to “spare” the involved boys from the “shame”, “embarrassment” and publicity. Pretty outrageous, huh? I think if the victims had been girls, the church members might have gone to the police. But that was 1985, and the church members were unanimous in not involving the authorities and just getting rid of the minister. I do think this mentality is still present among those of Paterno’s generation.

  10. Macallanlover

    This incident didn’t come to JoePa’s attention this fall, it was almost 10 YEARS ago. How long did he trust that his superiors were handling this? When did he expect that answer? One month wasn’t long enough? Six months wasn’t enough? Five years? More? Come on man!

    In the meantime, the graduate assistant who accused his long term friend, and top assistant for DECADES of sodomizing a child, on JoePa’s home turf, to not only remain in his employ….he promotes the Graduate Assistant while allowing the pervert to continue romping nekkid in the shower. You mucho understanding guys are cut from a different cloth from me. I am going to get to the bottom of this conflict and get rid of the culprit, which ever one it is, and throw his ass off my turf. And I don’t need a DA to do that investigation, nor do I need two administrators, both of whom owe their jobs to me anyway, to spend years trying to kick this turd under the carpet all the time hoping the stench will go away, or be unnoticed until I am drawing my retirement. A man, a leader, would/should have handled it.

    Like OJ Simpson, I would always hope my jury would always be filled with you Kum Ba Yah folks. Rationalize anything all you want, stick your head in the sand, anything but stand up straight and tall and handle a damned problem.

    • gastr1

      Your first paragraph is fine. Your second just shows you no idea what you’re talking about, either in the evidence as reported or in how any kind of after-the-fact crime is handled. You don’t need a DA? You don’t need to tell the top of the line? What would you have done, Mac, go kick the guy’s ass? Please. Dirty Harry was a movie character, friend…get a grip.

      • Macallanlover

        My comment about not needing the DA, wasn’t to undermine authority to protect society through the legal system, my daughter is an ADA, I am a fan. What I was attempting to convey was I would have taken action to protect my program, my athletes, my turf, my integrity, etc. without needing the legal process to grind. Some legal guys might defend the right to use inappropriate language, or to burn a flag, but not in my business environment or on my property. I am perfectly capable of determining the rules that apply there, and I don’t need Big Brother’s help.

        As to an ass kicking, that was the McEl-whatevers role, he should have done that, not JoePA. I have a great grip, but don’t go minimizing Dirty Harry or Sheriff Joe now…..there are lots of us. I don’t see the relevance though, as I said before, men ought to stand up against wrong. Do you really think we have to let the gubment make all the rules for what you will, or will not accept?

  11. Biggus Rickus

    How can people still make the walk-a-mile-in-his-shoes argument? This is not a guy whose son died at age 7 so he became an alcoholic waste due to the pain, or a sixteen year old pregnant girl who was scared and had an abortion. It’s a very powerful football coach who got whatever he wanted in State College not reporting a child rapist. He was instrumental in a cover-up that lasted at least a decade and probably longer. If you buy his line of shit that he was going through proper channels and regrets not doing more you’re gullible.

  12. hoppe

    I have a 12 gauge wire brush that I suggest be used to check the healing on Joe Pa’s fractured pelvis- the shortest distance is thru the service exit so lets get started.

    If he doesnt like it he can report it to someone in authority and wait a few years to see what happens.