Joe Paterno and Penn State Get the FBI AxePosted by whitecovermagazine
It’s an odd fault of the human race, but we generally tend to need to hear someone else say something before we can utter the words ourselves. It’s not for lack of bravery, but it’s just how we operate. We are so afraid of rocking boats, or crossing lines, or irking tenders, even in the face of unimaginable crimes. Well, unimaginable for most of us but, I guess, not enough of us.
When Jerry Sandusky’s actions were discovered, most of us were met with shock, and most of us wondered who knew what and how long they knew it. When we found out that Joe Paterno knew, and that a graduate assistant saw it, we were a little spooked to say the last. How could that bottle-capped glasses-wearing pinnacle of higher education and Penn State football have let this slide by?
He must have not really known, some of us said. Others condemned him, of course, but that segment of society was surprisingly in the minority. The rest heard his admission, that he “didn’t do enough” and that he thought the issue would resolve itself. Paterno said he told his superiors, and then we were expected to believe that whatever wasn’t done about it was on their heads and theirs alone.
But, today, thanks to somebody else’s report that actually puts it in writing, we can now believe what we always knew but didn’t want to think: Joe Paterno and Penn States showed a “shocking disregard for child victims.”
That’s the most defining line in the Freeh Report, by the former director of FBI who goes by that last name, first name Louis.
Here are another couple good lines, from ESPN News Services:
“Our most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims by the most senior leaders at Penn State.”
“The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized.”
Really, were we expected the let the recently departed Paterno pass on without any kind of public crucifixion or damage to his name and reputation? Were we really expected to believe that this went on for 14 years – 14 years? Are you kidding us? – and all that Paterno should have done was tell a few people and let them handle it?
How about actually physically stopping the issue, or at least getting someone younger and stronger to physically stop it? How about going all the way to publicly out this man? How about not covering up one of the more terrible crimes you could imagine a person committing?
Paterno didn’t just not fix it, but his actions allowed this to continue. At the one time in his life when Paterno’s resolve was truly tested, he essentially tossed his hands in the air and said, “That’s Jerry!”