Joe Paterno certainly had Jerry Sandusky's back in 2002
I'm heartbroken and perplexed as to why everyone isn't on board with Penn State's decision to fire legendary football coach Joe Paterno. I'm well aware of how beloved he is, but here are the facts: In 2002, Paterno was TOLD by a 28-year-old graduate assistant that he had witnessed Paterno's friend and former associate Jerry Sandusky anally raping a 10-year-old boy in the university's locker room showers. Paterno reported this to the school's athletic director, Tim Curley, but never called the police -- and he never even followed up with Curley to see what was being done. Nothing. Sandusky, a married father of six adopted children and countless foster kids -- God only knows what was going on there -- has now been charged with sexually abusing eight boys over 15 years, but one can only imagine how many others were raped and abused in the intervening years. (New reports claim Sandusky may have also been "pimping out" these boys, who he met through his charity for underprivileged boys.) While I agree that the graduate assistant, Mike McQueary, should also be fired -- not only did he also not call the police, he didn't even scream or stop the 58-year-old from continuing to rape the boy, and he waited until the following day to tell his boss (what a fucking idiot) -- but Joe Paterno IS Penn State football and could have had the attorney general on the phone if he had cared even the slightest bit about that little boy. Paterno has an incredible record and a stellar reputation. But with great power comes great responsibility, and it's impossible not to think that he was putting his team and his legacy before the welfare of a small child, and for that he deserves what he got.
I just wish these football-loving Penn State students -- who have turned violent in their support of their coach -- would stop for one second and think about these young victims, and how they would feel if it were their little brother or nephew who had been sodomized while the most powerful man at their school did the absolute bare minimum he had to. Part of me thinks a lot of them continue to stand by JoePa because they don't know EXACTLY what happened -- and for this I blame the media for tiptoeing around the subject. (Has anyone else noticed this?) Ed Schultz had finally had enough last night, and said, "I'm just going to say it, he saw Sandusky screwing a boy in the shower and didn't try to stop him."
The whole thing is just heartbreaking . Penn State needs to scrap the rest of its season and finally start to do whatever it can to begin to right this wrong.