OUR VIEW: Questions lead to more disgust for incidents at Penn StateFormer Penn State University defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was indicted last week on 40 criminal counts of inappropriate relations with children, leading to the firing of coach Joe Paterno. It’s a story that’s been told and retold in the national media, and little more can be related here today except to recap how this terrible story unfolded.
By: Editorial Board, The Daily Republic
Former Penn State University defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was indicted last week on 40 criminal counts of inappropriate relations with children, leading to the firing of coach Joe Paterno. It’s a story that’s been told and retold in the national media, and little more can be related here today except to recap how this terrible story unfolded.
Although Sandusky is, of course, presumed innocent until proven guilty, the charges against him are equally serious and despicable.
According to the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, Sandusky is a sexual predator who used his position within the elite university and community to sexually prey on young boys.
Most disturbing: In 2002, a graduate assistant coach for Penn State claims he walked in while Sandusky was sodomizing a 10-year-old boy in a Penn State locker room shower.
The graduate student walked back out and sent word up the managerial chain, including to Paterno, who told his supervisor, too.
Yet last week, Paterno — when told of charges against Sandusky — commended that “if this is true, we were all fooled.”
Say again? How can Paterno have been fooled after being told nine years ago that Sandusky was allegedly caught sodomizing a boy in the very facility that Paterno oversees?
If true, this whole thing is disgusting, and the more questions that arise, the more frustrated we become.
Why didn’t the graduate assistant stop Sandusky? What possibly can appear normal about a man in his 60s sodomizing a young boy in a publicly owned shower?
Why did Paterno simply pass word up the chain instead of confront Sandusky, his longtime employee and friend? And although Sandusky has retired from coaching at Penn State, how could Paterno and other university officials have allowed Sandusky to keep an office in the Penn State athletic facilities all these years?
Why didn’t Paterno instantly resign when this scandal broke?
And why are people in Pennsylvania and the rest of the nation gathering in support of Paterno? They are putting football success ahead of the wellbeing of innocent children. What is wrong with these people?
So many questions.
And the following question has been written in other publications already, so we only pass it along: What if it had been Paterno’s grandchild who was allegedly sodomized by Sandusky that day in the locker room?
Would Paterno have simply reported this action to a supervisor, or would he have done something more bold and brash to stop this sick behavior? Would he still allow Sandusky to keep an office in the PSU football facility?
Joe Paterno was hired by the state of Pennsylvania to be not only a football coach, but also a respected leader and role model. He is the moral compass that athletes must read as they set their own life paths.
He failed miserably and deserved to be fired.
We’re talking about children, for goodness’ sake.