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Joe Paterno Gets Due Process of Us

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Posted on Nov 10, 2011
AP / Matt Rourke

Penn State coach Joe Paterno watches his football team practice Wednesday. He was fired later that day.

By Mark Heisler

Of course, this is still a nation of laws in which you’re innocent until proven guilty.

It’s just that these days you don’t get due process of the law until long after you have gotten due process of us ... and the “us” isn’t our rational side, but our bloodthirsty one, as presented by media.

It’s especially unfortunate when one of our intensely mediated pastimes intersects with real life.

If the actions of, and/or charges against, former Penn State assistant Jerry Sandusky constituted a full-blown tragedy, it took a millisecond for the media to turn it into something it could get its teeth into ...

A Joe Paterno story.

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Sandusky was nobody. Paterno was famous, long held up as a role model (sometimes by JoePa), still coaching at 84, even if now from the press box, as the program took its lumps and, whether he was haloed or not, alumni yearned for his departure.

Paterno’s inaction was indefensible, informing the athletic director of the 2002 incident but failing to report it to police. In the absence of actual knowledge of what went on between the two men, it may also have been human and understandable ... not that many humans were trying to understand.

It’s not hard to imagine a contrite Sandusky assuring Penn State people he would seek help, a common pattern in sexual abuse cases like the recent one in which Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny threatened to jail 15 Catholic priests who heard peers’ confessions but refused to cooperate with authorities.

The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network says 67 percent of assaults are by someone known to the victim, 38 percent are by friends or relatives, and 60 percent go unreported.

On the other hand, it’s not a Judge-Not-Lest-Ye-Be-Judged world anymore.

“Penn State Students Rally in Support of Incompetent, Morally Complicit Old Relic,” went a Deadspin headline the day after the story broke.

With Paterno announcing he’d retire after the season, ESPN columnist LZ Granderson called for his immediate firing for “allowing that animal to stay on campus.”

And that was the professional perspective.

For the pure hate that bubbles under the cauldron, super-heating the process—no matter what the press discusses—talk show hosts took their usual role as elevator operators on the descent into hell, and the listeners and readers, safe in their anonymity, posted their rage.

Wrote “Disgusted” on Business Insider:

“The best you can say of [Paterno] is that he’s so drooling old that he’s innocent by ignorance and addle-mindedness. … FUCK PENN STATE! YOU ARE … MOLESTERS!”

Retaining a balanced perspective, “Spencer096” wrote on The Big Lead:

“Fuck Ohio State. fuck penn state more.”

Announced former wrestling commentator and defrocked ESPN reporter Mark Madden on Boston’s WEEI:

“There’s a rumor. … Jerry Sandusky and Second Mile [his charity] were pimping out young boys to rich donors. That is being investigated by two prominent columnists even as I speak.”

Tweeted Sirius’ Opie and Anthony, insulted at having their integrity questioned:

“To the CUNTS that think this is a bit, FUCK OFF! Joe Paterno failed as a human being. Go defend football over a kids innocence somewhere else.”

Of course, this was the worst of the worst, not that it was hard to find.

I Googled “Fuck Joe Paterno” and “Fuck Paterno” and got 498 hits.

With “Paterno sucks,” Google came back with 2,890 (in 0.21 seconds).

Since that’s hardly the full spectrum, I’d guess hundreds of thousands typed out profane or obscene condemnations of Paterno. Counting all the other languages of the wired world, it may have been millions.

Paterno had been at Penn State for 62 years.

Of course, the demographics of today’s instantaneous process are such that he had been there 40 years before most of this audience was born.

Having tearfully informed his players that he would resign, Paterno, who turned down multimillion dollar NFL offers and raised $14 million for the library wing named after him, was summarily fired.

University President Graham Spanier went too, adding to a list that is sure to get longer.

With the university’s future at stake—in other words, looking at the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars—the trustees didn’t have time for niceties like telling Paterno in person.

Instead, they told him by telephone, 15 minutes before announcing it in a news conference.

A downtown riot ensued, which wasn’t as heartwarming as it sounds.

Surprising everyone with another of Paterno’s latter-day comebacks, the Nittany Lions, who went 7-6 last season, were 8-1, 5-0 in the Big Ten, about to host new conference member and No. 19-ranked Nebraska.

At 7-6, there would have been fewer students in the streets, overturning fewer cars and requiring the police to use less pepper spray.

Saturday’s game is now one of the most anticipated in college football history, as the Nittany Lions try to win one for JoePa.

After Paterno resigned, but before he was fired, Rich Mauti, a ’70s wide receiver, went on “SportsCenter” in his campaign to get former players to the game in support of their coach.

That was another thing about Paterno. His players loved him, even ESPN’s Matt Millen, who choked up on the air, despite having played James Dean to Joe’s Jim Backus when he was there.

If you’ve heard that one before, it’s not like the awe and fear Bob Knight inspires.

In Paterno’s first bowl appearance at the Gator in 1968, when he went for it and missed on fourth-and-1 at his 15, the Lions, who had Florida State 17-0, wound up settling for a 17-17 tie.

Paterno told Sports Illustrated’s Dan Jenkins that a player came up to him afterward on the flight home.

“Joe, the guys wanted me to tell you something,” the player said. “You blew it.”

Of course, Mauti still thought Paterno would be coaching when he made his appeal to former Nittany Lions.

On the other hand …

“Rich, you mentioned the kids that are still there,” said anchor Robert Flores. “They’re vying for a conference championship. They’re off to a fine start and there’s still a lot to play for on the field.

“Do you think it’s fair to them to have Coach Paterno coach this game Saturday in light of all we’ve heard, in light of this awful story?

“Is it fair to the players?”

If other distractions are inevitable before The Big Game, at least the players won’t have to worry about that one.


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Gulam's avatar

By Gulam, November 28, 2011 at 11:08 pm Link to this comment

Those still following this thread might find this of interest. I cannot recall a more
bitter undertone to their humour.

http://www.onionsportsnetwork.com/articles/sports-media-asks-molestation-
victims-what-this-me,26609/

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, November 27, 2011 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

All vulture advertisers who invade Truthdig are reported to the
Webmaster for removal.  Anyone else offended by these
encroachers ought to click the Report this hotlink.

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drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, November 26, 2011 at 11:46 am Link to this comment

Subsequent related articles elsewhere tend to explain the disappearance of the Centre County District Attorney, Ray Gricar,  and the assassination of Jonathan Luna, a U.S. prosecuting attorney.  Luna was pursuing a federal case, I.A.W. established legal procedure.  Subsequent court testimony of which would have revealed USGOV “elites” behind an illegal drug operation.  Thus, Luna was seduced into a “midnite ride,” at the terminus of which he was assassinated with 36 stab wounds.  MSM puppetry was cued to publicize the murder as a suicide. 

Joe Paterno could have been “released” by Penn State administration at any time, but was retained in his position as a cover-up.  Recalling similar situations in the USGOV of elite pedophiles and illegal drug-dealing, Paterno was hemmed in by threats on his family.  To have “gone public” would have extracted the life of a loved one, and additionally placed him on a secured mental ward, ultimately of a USGOV hospital, where he would ultimately have died of “suicide.”  He was set-up by Penn State administration, and ultimately scape-goated, which he did not deserve. 

Altruistic journalists and USGOV agents, will provide additional info in this case, as time goes by.  The cooperative, diabolical enterprise of Penn State and Centre County administrators will be revealed to be a local web of the larger web of “elite”, USGOV pedophiles and drug dealers.  http://www.whale.to/b/tatum.pdf
The Penn State, local web continues to exist, and may never be completely unspun.

Report this

By elisalouisa, November 25, 2011 at 7:49 am Link to this comment

News reports as to Sandusky are beginning to chill me to the bone.

What a bonanza of boys his “charity” provided for who knows? People in high places?

Thanks for your links drbhelthi. Another link:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/11/ray-gricar-missing-jerry-sandusky-pennsylvania-da_n_1088950.html

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drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, November 25, 2011 at 4:20 am Link to this comment

TruthdigJoePaterno25Nov11#1
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/joe_paterno_gets_due_process_of_us_20
111110/Joe Paterno Gets Due Process of Us

@Shenonymous
“—it seems corrobative evidence is piling up like a ziggurat, and that the
malefactor has been bagged.”

Corroborative evidence has been on record for over fifteen years.  That is one
reason the harddrive of the laptop computer of Centre County DA, Ray Gricar
was removed.  Also interesting that the laptop was “caught by fishermen,”
under-the-bridge, days after the under-the-bridge-area was thoroughly
searched by experts.  A detail that suggests that the computer was tossed
after the police had searched the area.  That a copy, of the convicting
evidence on the hard-drive of the laptop computer of DA Ray Gricar, has not
surfaced, is another question.  Corroborative evidence has been suppressed
by the malefactor-types, some of whom will never be identified.  Thus, the
actual “bagging the malefactor” is another issue.  Especially, since they are
legion.

It is my experience that local attorney groups and courts are contaminated
with the malefactor-types.  The American Patriot, John W. DeCamp carefully
displayed verified information >proving< this fact, in his volume, “The Franklin
Cover-Up Child Abuse, Satanism, and Murder in Nebraska”.  Which volume, in
my opinion, should be required reading for graduate students in Criminology,
Psychology and Sociology.  The updated volume of attorney DeCamp is even
more revealing.

It is also my opinion, that the same “elist group”, have roots in the presidential
level of USGOV in D.C.  They either contaminate the membership of “Second
Mile”, are “ass-hole-buddies” of this group, at the very least, have their hands
on the steering wheel.  A few of which NAZI-societal-misfit-types have formally
retired, some of whom are identified members of “Skull and Bones” and who
participate in Bohemian Grove, which is easily traced to the GHWBushSr
entourage.
http://www.scribd.com/doc/58711902/Bohemian-Grove-Fact-Sheet 
Their self-protection society appears to have overtaken the American judicial
system.  They murder without fear of being held responsible for the millions of
innocent folk they have quasi genocided.  The obvious “hiding in the
shadows” by the alleged “World Court”, calls forth the Truthdig blog of Peter
Z. Scheer, November 12 at 8:46 pm.

The disappearance of the Centre County District Attorney leads to the story of
the assassination of Jonathan Luna, partially uncovered by, “The Midnight
Ride of Jonathan Luna”, which reveals the diabolical role of the F.B.I. 
http://www.yardbird.com/midnight_ride_excerpts_pt3_chap11.htm
There is even evidence on the internet of an attempt to diminish access to this
book, initially after its publication, the publication of which initially placed the
life of the author in danger.  The few instances of application of diabolical
methodology by J.E.Hoover, in the 1960s, has become the modus operandi of
the F.B.I.  While the cooperation of foreign intelligence services also played a
role, the alleged “Christmas Bomber” of 2009 displays the role the diabolical
element of the F.B.I. has adopted as its modus operandi.  Nor can an
incendiary device that cannot explode be classified as a “bomb.” 

Cheers for the USGOV agents who do their best to uphold the precepts of the
United States of America and the Republic for which it stands.  Especially
those who continue to do the same, in spite of the putrid oath to support the
U.S. President instead of the U.S.Constitution.

Report this
John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, November 24, 2011 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment

I don’t think there’s any chance Sandusky will go free (I almost said ‘get off’) but the trial will be amplified in such a way as to keep attention from Second mile fund-raising efforts and PSU alumni association/PSU books. 

PSU is a quasi-private corporation, tax free, a big private club, a place for nepotism.  I don’t know what the best in roads would be, but It’s original mission, to educate farmers kids for a better general welfare in Pennsylvania, has been supplanted with a function of indebting the next generation in such a way that they are in financial servitude to the privileged class.  The worthless degrees they sell are wasting our ability to build a better future for all.  Really, the OWS people should study this. 

This is also way, way to complex to describe here.  IF I could state it in a nutshell, perhaps people should ask how sports culture and entertainment have been used to obscure the fact that we’ve been neglecting those foundational issues (like equal opportunity via good eduction regardless of class) which provide for the greater good, the common good, which multiply the common wealth, instead of eroding it for the pleasure of a few.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, November 24, 2011 at 1:12 pm Link to this comment

You are preaching to the choir, What Is Progress, November 24
12:49 pm.  If you are going to spend energy on this, you need
to find a way to convince those who can do something about it. 
Do you even know who they might be?  How can the general
public do anything?

With the latest news that a family member has come forward to
testify against Sandusky, it seems corrobative evidence is piling
up like a ziggurat, and that the malefactor has been bagged.

Report this
John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, November 24, 2011 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment

Paterno’s a red herring, a smokescreen, a sacrificial lamb.  If we don’t get past Paterno real quick, the real shits will have their tracks completely covered.  Already, 2 years of Second Mile documents are missing, and the books of PSU’s and the alumni clubs may or may not become open to the public. 

Keeping PAterno as the ‘face of evil’ is so, so letting the bad guys live to rape another day…..

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/14/penn-state-scandal-judge-sandusky-volunteer-second-mile_n_1091461.html

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, November 24, 2011 at 11:57 am Link to this comment

PH, I’ve made no statement of belief. I’ve only reported what
has been reported.  There is too much that is unknown, so I’ve
no opinion not think there is a conspiracy.  Whatever implication
attaches to Paterno will be sorted out in the courts.  The court
of popular opinion is another matter, but I am not a football fan,
nor a fan of any sport, except making sport of the egotists who
show up on blogs or in the halls of academia! I tend toward the
visual and music arts in fanship.  So whatever is the climate in the
world of sports is not something I would know much about.  I hope the
practice of sexual predation is brought to a halt.  Don’t you too?  How do
you think it can be?  The habit of coverup by institutions on account of
the financial donations they get needs to be stopped as well.  Do you
think this scandal will put an end to it?

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, November 24, 2011 at 11:00 am Link to this comment

She,

You’re starting to sound like a conspiracy theorist.  Join the club.

It will takes years for all the facts to unravel and then and only then can the ‘theorist’ misnomer can be dropped.

Much like 9/11.

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By adsfwfw, November 23, 2011 at 10:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

fuck paterno!!!

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, November 22, 2011 at 1:48 pm Link to this comment

Ray Gricar, Missing Pennsylvania DA, Opted Not To Prosecute Jerry Sandusky
11/12/11 06:06 PM ET
The article and reader comments show opinions are uneven, just like everything is.
http://tinyurl.com/7rkrm8h

Also Bill Keisling’s journalist April 2005 piece on the disappearance of Ray Gricar
does some sleuthing.  He did a thorough write-up of the drug bust Gricar successfully
prosecuted not long before his disappearance. It is theorized that it could have been a
drug hit but because of Sandusky’s history of heinous behavior and a possible child sex
ring with hot links, could be implicated.  The fact that Gricar was scheduled to retire just
eight months after he went missing, it’s a real mystery why he’s disappeared.  The article
speaks about all of the speculations.
http://www¬.yardbird.¬com/midnig¬ht_ride_an¬other_miss¬ing_PA_pro¬secutor_2.¬htm

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drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, November 22, 2011 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment

For all who were trumpeting against the alleged prejudice, and the much
confusion that was being shown toward Joe Paterno, and “Second Mile”, a bit
of current news.

Sandusky was indicted on Nov. 4 on forty counts of sexual crimes against
male minors, which had occurred over a ten years period.  Decent coverage
is provided at : http://sportsmockery.com/?p=3184

Former District Attorney of Centre County, Mr. Ray Gricar, was in charge of an
investigation of Sandusky in 1998, and declined to press charges.  Gricar
becama a “missing person” in 2005, and his daughter had him declared
legally dead, adjudicated April, 2011.
http://deadspin.com/5857966/the-mystery-of-ray-gricar-the-prosecutor-who-
failed-to-prosecute-jerry-sandusky-and-who-might-be-dead

This story will continue, and books, similar to “The Franklin Cover-Up”  will be
written about it.  Hopefully, some of the rich sodomizers associated with
“Second Mile” will also be adjudicated.

Report this

By Lisa Simeone, November 15, 2011 at 11:21 am Link to this comment

Gulam, as it happens, that nexus is thrown into stark relief by an
article in today’s Baltimore Sun, “Maryland commission recommends six sports be eliminated.” Excerpt:

It said Maryland invests $67,389 per athlete, which
ranks it 13th out of 14 schools in the newly reconfigured ACC, and
that conference-leading Florida State spends $118,813 . . .
The athletic department’s cumulative deficit is anticipated to rise to
about $8.7 million by the end of the 2013 fiscal year without action
by the school, according to the report.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/terps/bal-maryland-sports-
cuts-1114,0,5208733.story

And how much do we invest per scholar—you know, scholars, remember them?  Ya know, as in learning??  But oh, how quaint.  And god forbid the football or basketball teams should be cut.  Just punish the non-asshole athletes, the ones who don’t riot, rape, vandalize, assault, etc.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, November 14, 2011 at 8:26 am Link to this comment

And while we’re fixated with Paterno, at least somebody is focussed on the nexus of the problem, Second mile.  The following is from a USA today article by Brad Heath:

“According to the grand jury’s presentment, in 2002, Penn State told Second Mile CEO, Jack Raykovitz about an incident in which a graduate assistant had seen Sandusky sodomizing a boy in a locker room there.

Raykovitz said in a statement last week that college officials had told him only that they received a report that an employee was “uncomfortable” seeing Sandusky in the shower with a young boy. “At no time was the Second Mile made aware of the very serious allegations contained in the grand jury report,” the group said.

Four years prior, two detectives listened as Sandusky told the mother of another of his alleged victims that he had showered with young boys. Sandusky was never prosecuted. But the grand jury investigating him said the report was referred to Penn State’s lawyer, Wendell Courtney, who also represented The Second Mile.”

Report this

By Deborah Newell Tornello, November 13, 2011 at 5:58 pm Link to this comment

Here is a clear and well-written post that sets forth what reasonable, ethical people
should do—and shoukd have done—when confronted with the horrific scene of an adult
raping a child:

“These things should be simple:

1. When, as an adult, you come come across another adult raping a small child, you
should a) do everything in your power to rescue that child from the rapist, b) call the
police the moment it is practicable.”

The whole piece is excellent; here is the link:

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2011/11/10/omelas-state-university/

I strongly encourage reading and sharing it, as it would appear far too many adults—
most saliently those in the employ of college athletics or otherwise unduly influenced by
the nexus of sport and money—are so besotted with football and its American-ness,
they can justify the staggering cowardice and failure of conscience that led to no-one
reporting a capital crime against a child (forget having the balls to intervene and rescue
said child! )  

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Gulam's avatar

By Gulam, November 13, 2011 at 5:55 pm Link to this comment

Deborah, Lisa, Kay, welcome aboard.

It has taken a while for this thread to finally roll
on to the main problem: what connection is there
between these public spectacles and higher education?
The whole big-time sports-money power game is a fraud
and a waste. The Ivy League got rid of athletic scholarships ages ago, didn’t
they? Since nobody else on earth finds this an essential part of college, with the
possible exception of Australia (just guessing), why not come to the common
sense conclusion that this just might be the root problem that this incident has
brought to light. Poll the faculties, with ballots, not a show of hands. Millions
are spent on huge arenas and flying sports stars back and forth across a huge
country, when the money could be better spent on education. It is not the
football players who gave Americans their premier position militarily but the
geeks from the university labs; there are always enough thugs to carry guns. Go
poll the top students and see how much they resent the whole sports spectacle
business. Most of them will say that they have had no athletes in their classes
since freshman year.

Report this

By Lisa Simeone, November 13, 2011 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment

I urge everyone to read Deborah Newell Tornello’s comment (at 9:23
am) about “THE CLIMATE IN UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS DEPARMENTS.”

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, November 13, 2011 at 4:23 pm Link to this comment

Kay, compare that experience with Paterno’s influence on the PSU program.  The irony here is incredible.  I’m not saying Paterno didn’t screw up big-time vis-a-vis Sandusky. 

This Paterno thing proves something my Grand-Mother told me as a boy: “you can work a lifetime building a good reputation, but all it takes is one mistake and it is all gone”.

On a related topic to ‘not giving a pass’, if the police and DA’s would just do their job in a ‘blind justice’ fashion, would there be such a problem?  Oh, wait, Ray Gricar, the DA who interviewed Sandusky back in 1998(ish) for some mysterious reason failed to prosecute.  Anyone thing a little failure analysis is in order?  And, related to that, I heard the current DA is ‘reviewing’ (read that purging) Gricars notes from that period.  Gotta love a system that makes a DA dependent on campaign financing and the political system.  Pay to play, and buy the DA?

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, November 13, 2011 at 3:52 pm Link to this comment

You illustrate the problem.  When you say “You have to start by
acknowledging that it exists,...” you are speaking to the individual,
but then you say “...something millions of people aren’t willing to
do,” which speaks about a collective.  The collective can only change
as individuals change.  We don’t know if millions are not willing to
acknowledge that a change is needed.  A survey needs to be done to
gain that kind of informed opinion.  So by these lights, here is an
ideal protocol for change:

1.  Get enough privileged individuals to admit a change is needed and
that they are the ones needing to change, and will change, giving their
program for change.
2.  Athletes do not get a pass when they fuck up, i.e., missing class,
flunking classes, drunk driving, vandalizing property, assaulting others.

Yes, you are more realistic when you say you think you won’t see that
happen anytime soon.  I would go farther and say it will never happen. 
So what then is the next best thing?  What can ordinary, non-privileged
people do?  We have power, we just don’t know how to harness it.  Surely
there are some brilliant minds on the forum that have some feasible
remedies and solutions?

Report this

By Kay Johnson, November 13, 2011 at 3:49 pm Link to this comment

I’ll add the University of Nebraska to the list of schools that let athletes off the hook for their off-campus and on-campus behavior.

http://grg51.typepad.com/steroid_nation/2007/02/frank_solich_un.html

The above link concerns Coach Frank Solich who went from Nebraska to Ohio, and is a short list of misbehavior and crimes that took place in both Lincoln, NE and in Athens, OH.

In 1983, I spent one summer volunteering at the police department with the Victim/Witness Unit, a separate entity, and actually saw the police reports about Irving Fryar committing crimes/assaults against a couple of different women. Nothing happened to Irving—he was the star of the football team—with Tom Osborne as coach. Yes, the police reports, at that time, actually existed. As I recall, he went on to be the #1 NFL draft choice in 1984.

The Nebraska football dynasty was built by Bob Devaney, whose name now adorns the football stadium in Lincoln. I moved to Lincoln in the fall of 1970, just as Nebraska was about to be
crowned the #1 team in college football. They also won the title/prize for 1971. Working in the restaurant business, for me,
was a real education about football and its status in the city. Quite literally, Devaney was a falling down drunk, who passed out in restaurants and was carried out by his close compatriots to protect his reputation. As far as I know, the Lincoln Journal and Star didn’t ever report on any of his antics. The “running” joke in Lincoln was that the star of the team, Johnny Rogers, learned to run while committing robberies at gas stations—running from the cops. Elite men seemed to find the joke quite amusing for some reason. Johnny Rogers went on to win the Heisman trophy.

In 1973, Tom Osborne took over as head coach at UNL. Today, Osborne is Athletic Director at UNL. Like Paterno, Osborne is regarded as a “decent” man, but he has, more often than not, let matters slide at the University when it comes to his players. The Lawrence Phillips scandal—beating up his girlfriend—did catch up with Coach Osborne to some extent. Lawrence was
penalized/suspended, and couldn’t play several games at UNL. However, he was eventually reinstated as a full member of the team. Supposedly, he completed his rehabilitation work—meetings, etc. However, when he was drafted into the NFL, his issues surfaced, again.

Coaches, in Lincoln, lived like royalty! In restaurants, they were catered to, and if you were a woman—a manager, a hostess/host, a waiter, etc.—you were simply supposed to take it if they patted you on the ass, etc. When I worked at the Tam O’Shanter as a bartender, a popular Lincoln hangout, Lance van Zant, defensive coordinator for the Huskers who went on to coach for the New Orleans Saints, one Saturday night after a big win, when he was very drunk, came back behind the bar, twisted my arm behind me, and asked in a very drunken voice, “When youz goin’ out with me?” I replied, “NEVER!” My reply startled him enough that he loosened his grip, I stepped away from him, and he moved out from behind the bar. The men sitting at the bar saw/heard it all and did NOTHING! Maybe, van Zant was used to being able to intimidate women. He towered over me. I will add that he was also a married man! For some of my colleagues, to be noticed meant to be envied by those who weren’t noticed. The whole scene, though, is repugnant, especially if you have an inside view! In fact, having an inside view can be quite shocking! Many people knew that rules were broken, and regulations were not followed, but no one was supposed to talk about it. If Devaney, or any of the other coaches, were drinking at your restaurant, the crowds would follow!

Capital/sports/power/money/patriarchy and hierarchy all combine to taint the systems that are supposed to be about education. But, the reality belies the myths that are built to support the systems. It’s all circular! And, all of these issues are connected!

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By Lisa Simeone, November 13, 2011 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment

Besides what is realistically suggested to change the “culture of
privilege” in the entire society?

You have to start by acknowledging that it exists, something millions
of people aren’t willing to do.  Then the basics:  stop giving athletes a
pass every time they fuck up—when they keep missing class, when
they flunk, when they drive drunk and hurt somebody, when they
vandalize property, when they assault someone, etc.  This culture of
privilege has been deliberately nurtured.  It can just as easily be
starved.  But, again, I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

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By elisalouisa, November 13, 2011 at 11:02 am Link to this comment

You comments tell me of your experiences Lisa, your personal experiences. In no way do they reflect any contact with football, first hand or by close association.
Football cannot be intellectualized. It is something basic, in the gut of many Americans so to speak. As American as apple pie. The whole character of America must be altered in order to stop the veneration of this sport and the coaches whose efforts result in winning teams.

The odds for this happening?  Zero.

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By Shenonymous, November 13, 2011 at 10:30 am Link to this comment

What Is Progress, Nov. 13 9:09 am by the same token we, all of us,
by evolution’s door, are responsible for breathing.  To cry that we
are all complicit in the violations men commit is beyond the edge
of reason.  If we were, none of us would ever be outraged. 

I suspect that in the Sandusky case, there will be lots of culpability
to go around.  But those of us, perhaps in other (unspecified) ways,
who do not subscribe to the sports culture are not complicit (and if
we are, then do include yourself).  As inclusively rampant as deviant
behavior is claimed, the entire sports domain is not guilty, as
eloisalouisa rationally maintains.  Although to turn a blind eye when it
does happen is an egregious error of judgment, but to use the inclusive
“all” is the common practice of fallacious reasoning.  ”I would hope
people would start to become forthcoming down to this level and not
become part of the ‘circle the wagons’ group.  This is where public
pressure and outrage needs to go.  To those who come clean, we
somehow must offer protection and absolution.”
  Indeed!  Ought you
not to start with yourself?  What are you doing other than expressing
yourself on this blog to reconstruct the larger public?

I do not believe the public learns the way you and Lisa are picturing it.  I
believe it is a slow evolution, a seeping into the mentality, unless there is
a cataclysm such as this scandal that is exposed and gory details
lasciviously fed on all the media possible.  But still for it to mesh in
individual mentalities, it will take some fermenting to become indelible. 
That is the nature of the human mind that takes time to assimilate new
beliefs and actually transform opinions.  Notice the OWS is taking time
for it to permeate the consciousness of the American public nationwide. 
Still it is fairly rapid compared to historic other population-wide changes,
i.e., environmental changes, food disorders such as obesity and its
detriment to physical health, the bad effects of drugs, smoking, and
alcohol, population growth, egalitarian status of all people, a steady
withdrawal from religious beliefs as attributing all human events and
behaviors to a deity.  In contemporary moral psychology, it is only
through personal development that morality is considered to change.  We
are 6 billion and climbing worldwide.

The colleges I attended had sports programs.  Some of the sports
programs were done away with, i.e., football.  Over a hundred college/
university campuses discontinued its football programs in the early
20th c., mainly due to statewide budgets cuts and the increasing costs
of maintaining such a program.  Academics did not suffer because of the
sports involvement.  Athletes had to keep up a C or better grade or had
to leave their sport activity.  Morality, well, we never saw any scandal at
my graduate school, and whether there was and if it was hushed was
never a question.  Scuttlebutt like that spreads like wildfire.  Sports does
not have to be tainted with nefarious behaviors then covered up. 

Besides what is realistically suggested to change the “culture of privilege”
in the entire society?  The only place to start is in pre-K and reinforced
throughout the student’s entire education. Also the media has to become
partnered in such a program.  That would be a huge project and
convincing the powers in charge of education to put it in textbooks and
teachers’ curriculum.  It is being tried with commercials to build a better
society.  But it is minimal at this point.  When they take on deviant sexual
behaviors will be a monumental step forward.

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By John Drabble, November 13, 2011 at 10:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The link Scheer provides is to a writer who makes, basically, the same argument that this writer does in support of good ole JoePa.

Truthdig has a history of tolerance for folks involved in the sex abuse of minors. Some of you may recall that Scott Ritter wrote columns here while making his way through the American Court system.

From Wikipedia:

“Arrests and conviction

Ritter was detained in April 2001[33] and arrested in June 2001[34][35] in connection with police stings in which officers posed as under-aged girls to arrange meetings of a sexual nature. The first incident did not lead to any charges.[33] He was charged with a misdemeanor crime of “attempted endangerment of the welfare of a child” after the second, but charges were dropped after he completed six months of probation[36] and the record was sealed on condition that he avoid further trouble for a period of time.[33][37] Ritter said that the timing of the leak was politically motivated.[34][35][38]

Ritter was arrested again in November 2009[39] over communications with a police decoy he met on an Internet chat site. Police said that he exposed himself via a web camera after the officer said she was a 15-year-old girl; Ritter said he was not made aware of the ostensible age of his correspondent before the act. The next month, Ritter waived his right to a preliminary hearing and was released on a $25,000 unsecured bail. Charges included “unlawful contact with a minor, criminal use of a communications facility, corruption of minors, indecent exposure, possessing instruments of crime, criminal attempt and criminal solicitation”.[40] Ritter was found guilty of all but one count against him in a Monroe County, Pennsylvania courtroom on April 14, 2011.[41][41

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By Lisa Simeone, November 13, 2011 at 9:29 am Link to this comment

What Is Progress, I’m not optimistic about society’s learning
anything from this or connecting the dots.  There’ll be a lot of tut-
tutting for a while—just as there is now the “I’m shocked, shocked
I say!” response to something that is in no way shocking except
insofar as it’s actually getting publicity and it looks like people are
being held responsible.

Bernard Lefkowitz exposed this culture of privilege in OUR GUYS. 
The hideous abuse of boys by their fellow teammates in the
Mepham High School football scandal supposedly woke people up. 
My files are stuffed full of similar stories; it would take pages to list
them all.  I don’t see anything changing.  You still have the same
willful ignorance on the part of parents, teachers, coaches,
administrators, fans, and, god knows, the media.

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By Deborah Newell Tornello, November 13, 2011 at 9:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I continue to be amazed—nay, gobsmacked—by the intricacy of the knots into which
child-rape apologists will tie themselves, all in service of defending the God of Football.

As someone who attended a large state university—one whose top-ranked football
team was the be-all and end-all of campus life, one whose football players were
usually recruited via some combination of alumni “gifts” (luxury condos to live in as
opposed to the Spartan dorms; flashy sports cars to drive around in; their very own
attractive female “Gator Getter [yes, they called them that in the late 70’s] ” to “escort”
them around campus while they were still considering; top-drawer legal representation
to keep their touchdown-scoring butts out of jail and keep their accusers quiet, terrified,
and/or vilified as need be when they ran afoul of the law, which happened often)—and,
furthermore, as someone who experienced what that ten-year old boy went through,
only as a ninetneen-year-old, with four team members attacking me, I can honestly and
forcefully say that THE CLIMATE IN UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS DEPARMENTS is an
enormous part of why crimes like this happen in the first place; why perpetrators so
seldom receive justice; and why victims so rarely come forward.

The climate.

This is why I believe the Penn State football program should be terminated, full stop.  Burn it down and salt the earth upon which it stood.  When a cancerous rot is this far gone, radical
measures are called for.

Football, like lacrosse or basketball or baseball or any one of a number of games, is
just that: a game.  Its players are not heroes; they are athletes.  Yes, being an athlete
is hard work.  Should being a college athlete mean one can get the same Bachelor of
Arts in journalism degree that another, non-athlete student gets even if one never turns
in a paper but rather, uses other students’ papers that the professor has kindly lent one
so one can copy them over and sign one’s name to them, as happened at my school
more times than I care to count?

I say no.  I say, award the player a B.A. in Football.  Award other degrees based on
the student having done the required work and earned it, just like the rest of us.

And let’s rein in these beasts,  these shadow organizations of wealthy alumni weilding
outsized and utterly undemocratic amounts of power over what are supposed to be
institutes of higher learning.

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By Lisa Simeone, November 13, 2011 at 9:14 am Link to this comment

elisalouisa,

Since I was about 12, I have scoffed at the notion that sports instills
“desirable character traits.”  Yes, I know most of America eats that
pap; more’s the pity.  I listed a few of the ‘values’ sports supposedly
inspires in an earlier comment.

I’m glad to say I went to a college that not only has no
intercollegiate sports (except croquet), it also has no fraternities or
sororities, having banned them about 50 years ago.  St. John’s
College in Annapolis.  There’s plenty of sports there, all intramural,
and EVERYONE who wants to play does so.  Those of us who went
there had no problem developing “desirable character traits.”  We
made friends, had rich social lives, and contributed to the
community.

What we didn’t have truck with was conformity with a capital “C”—
which is one of the main things competitive team sports teaches—
“do it for the team”—and which is why abuse is so prevalent and
so hushed-up.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, November 13, 2011 at 9:09 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous, I have little doubt Sandusky will be prosecuted.  The question is how far beyond him will it go?  Then, there is a lot of soul-searching the surrounding community should do, given it is all of us who are responsible for varying degrees of facilitation, including but certainly not limited to giving so, so many people undeserved ‘hero’ status.

I am glad Lisa in on the page of really seeing the deeper ‘social fabric’ sorts of implications.  A nasty cancerous outgrowth such as Sandusky is symptomatic of systemic poisons. 

And between these extremes,  Sandusky the outgrowth, and the general systemic ‘hero worship’ culture, arre mechanisms for feeding the tumor.  Money trails, banquets, sports events, opportunities where real people saw things that made them wonder, and they kept loyal to those who were feeding them.  I would hope people would start to become forthcoming down to this level and not become part of the ‘circle the wagons’ group.  This is where public pressure and outrage needs to go.  To those who come clean, we somehow must offer protection and absolution.

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By Shenonymous, November 13, 2011 at 8:40 am Link to this comment

What Is Progress, Nov. 13 7:58 am and Lisa Simeone, Nov. 13
8:04 am I disagree.  Sandusky will be prosecuted soundly.  New
indictments against him are reported about to be made.  Cynicism
has its place, I certainly have mine, but it can become crippling to
the truth if allowed to ascend to a Weltanschauung.  Do you not
have faith in yourself to not let this die as you predict even as the
wafer the news sucks on disappears?

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By elisalouisa, November 13, 2011 at 8:35 am Link to this comment

UGH.  “The lifeblood of that school of learning”??  Give me a break.  It’s exactly
that attitude that has f**ked up so much of American education.

My comments reflect the spirit of some schools of higher learning.  USC - Notre Dame football games for example are the tip of the iceberg as to such attitude. How this influences American education is another matter. Should an educational institution fuel only the intellect?  The formation of desirable character traits is also important. Participation in sports assists in that endeavor. To some in America football is the mother of all sports. It is for this reason that football coaches are so revered.

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By SeemaZ, November 13, 2011 at 8:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The most compelling article I’ve read on this horrific story is the following:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/what-joe-paterno-taught-me-its-time-to-stopkeepingsecrets/2011/11/11/gIQAXiVoDN_story.html

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By Lisa Simeone, November 13, 2011 at 8:04 am Link to this comment

“They will not do this willingly.  Without extreme public pressure and exposure of the social mechanisms involved, they will simply circle the wagons, rationalize amongst themselves and eventually rebuild the little closed circles of perceived privilege which very clearly were a key component in building Sandusky’s ‘pillar of the community’ confidence.”

Exactly.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, November 13, 2011 at 7:58 am Link to this comment

Peter Scheer, That is indeed a good article. 
http://joeposnanski.si.com/2011/11/10/the-end-of-paterno/?sct=hp_wr_a5&eref=sihp

And I’ll say again, Heislers article above is good for taking us to an rational, truth-seeking point of view.

What we need to examine is the brazenness of the alleged perpetrator, and the various social circles which, knowingly or not, lent confidence to proceed with these rapes.  It would be a victory for the victims, and justice would be served if those who supported these circles would indeed have a catharsis and change the way they do business.  They will not do this willingly.  Without extreme public pressure and exposure of the social mechanisms involved, they will simply circle the wagons, rationalize amongst themselves and eventually rebuild the little closed circles of perceived privilege which very clearly were a key component in building Sandusky’s ‘pillar of the community’ confidence. 

It takes a village…to empower a BMOC.  Not the sort of village Hillary may have had in mind, but a different sort of self-important and privileged class which collectively and individually gives winks and nods to all of the ‘in-crowd’.  It is the collective of every-bodies dirty little secrets, corruptions, vices which gives the village it’s privilege, so the winking and the nodding continue.  I suppose the manifestations of the communities cloistering mechanisms extend up to the highest political levels , and down to the level of an innocent, frightened, 10 year old being raped.  There are all sorts of rapes.

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By Lisa Simeone, November 13, 2011 at 7:46 am Link to this comment

Coincidentally, Crispin Sartwell brings up USC as an example of the worst:

“the worst scandals in college football are scandals that infect the whole thing routinely: those are the scandals that are peculiar to, characteristic of, the institution: scandals involving, say, cash or sex used to lure high school players to commit to a school: the way usc has conducted its program for decades, e.g. or academic scandals that amount to relieving players of their status as students. or judicial-type scandals where player misbehavior is forgiven or concealed over and over. these are the corruptions that are characteristic of the institution . . . .”
http://eyeofthestorm.blogs.com/eye_of_the_storm/

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, November 13, 2011 at 7:22 am Link to this comment

We are back to another Polanski-gate incident and the same argument surrounding supporters and detractors of ‘innocence’.

Like Polanski, Paterno will be revered in his celebrity regardless of what he knew.

Paterno deserves his day in court as did Osama. 

Prosecution of the aiding and abetting of such a crime is important as it has reached the mobs attention and an example has to be made.

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By Lisa Simeone, November 13, 2011 at 7:14 am Link to this comment

“Many esteemed universities take pride in sports, more specifically football, for
more than just the money. USC for instance. Winning for such an institution is not
“just a matter of commerce, a business decision, a political issue” as you say.  It is
the life blood of that school of learning.”

UGH.  “The lifeblood of that school of learning”??  Give me a break.  It’s exactly
that attitude that has f**ked up so much of American education.

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By elisalouisa, November 13, 2011 at 7:09 am Link to this comment

“The money and involvement of the universities with such a solidly anti-intellectual ?crowd as the sports nuts makes a mockery of American universities around the ?world.”

Sorry Gulam, that just isn’t true.  Many esteemed universities take pride in sports, more specifically football, for more than just the money. USC for instance. Winning for such an institution is not “just a matter of commerce, a business decision, a political issue” as you say.  It is the life blood of that
school of learning. Just reading about such matters may not result in understanding such issues. You must live with it. Those who are avid football fans are not “anti-intellectual.” Rather it is more the intellectuals who are anti-football. I suspect that such a perspective may emanate not just from a distaste for such displays of violence but from envy as well. 

If you want spin just follow FOX. Truthdig has always refused to participate in such shenanigans. Why should this story be an exception?

Thanks Peter Z. Scheer for taking a stand and also for the link.

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By Lisa Simeone, November 13, 2011 at 7:07 am Link to this comment

I don’t think any of us are disagreeing here.  There are simply a lot
of interconnected threads to this story.  The nexus between money,
power, athletics, and education (or farce of education), for example
—not only are we aware of it, some of us have been agitating
about it for decades.  And I wasn’t aware that anyone was
scapegoating Paterno or pretending that he’s the only part of the
problem.  Maybe some people are, but I can’t speak for everybody.

Bottom line is that people in positions of power tend to abuse that
power—the greater the power, the greater the potential for abuse—and this has applications in all aspects of life, too many to
get into here.  The famous experiments of Stanley Milgram, Philip
Zimbardo, Solomon Asch—not to mention just plain history and
common sense—bear this out.

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By Shenonymous, November 13, 2011 at 2:06 am Link to this comment

Scapegoating…ah yes, the scapegoat.  Mainly, it comes from the
Bible referring to a goat let loose in the wilderness on Yom Kippur
after the high priest symbolically laid the sins of the people on its
head. Lev. 16:8,10,26.  It means nowadays, a person or group made
to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place. As a metaphor,
it refers to someone blamed for a calamity as a way of distracting
attention from the real causes. Real causes usually involves a deep
psychological investigation that can take all kinds of paths.

I have already admitted that half-truths do not make a man guilty. 
Paterno will have his moment to try to rebuild his name.  Funny how
just one infraction can tear down a ziggurat with one blow.  It reminds
me of the house of straw the wolf was able to blow down.  It depends
on the nature of the infraction, doesn’t it?  Yes, the entire chain of
command at the University is guilty.  Already donors have withdrawn
monetary support.  The institution will suffer where it hurts most, in its
pocketbook and a bruised prestige. The students will learn a momentary
lesson also, that there are deep dark ugly forces at work that gives them
an imaginary academic shangrila.

For some reason, I just can’t see that Paterno is going to bear the blame
all by himself.  He will not be a lonely patsy.  Momentarily, while the
media that never has any bearings, flounders to gain headlines and
scoops, Paterno’s figure looms large.  He is the biggest target, but he
was also the one who had the first responsibility to stop Sandusky.  The
prediction that Paterno will be a fall guy for the entire Cabal of Culpables
is excessive since the principles are known.  It is Sandusky who is facing
legal action.  The mess with the others will sort itself out.  In another 60
years Paterno’s name will be just a blip of mention that he did little to
stop a sexual predator. His victories as a head coach for a college
football team will re-ascend to its high place of honor it had prior to the
breaking of the scandal.  He is hardly mentioned in the Grand Jury
report.  Yes, it is not of much value that Curley’s or Schultz’s name are
mud, and that they will continue to have a comfortable life.  So will
Paterno.  But the men who were damaged as children will never really
have a comfortable life.

I don’t think the public is shedding its collective guilt onto the back of
Joe Paterno.  We are not having a catharsis.  Our outrage for Joe Paterno
is a function of the vision of utter hypocrisy of an alleged noble man
whose image is shattered by his taking the most minimal responsibility
and to allow the sexual predator to continue for 40 counts of child
molestation.  But it is true, we ought not to second guess what “will”
happen to anybody.  And possibly the connection to nasty politics is
something that could also be discussed. But it seems beyond the scope
of this forum.  The Wayne Allyn Root article was passionate to say the
least, and so were all the comments.  Thank you Peter Z. Sheer.

An interesting read about the interaction of people motivated by
unconscious needs may be read in the recent article “Victim, Persecutor
and Rescuer: Which Role Do You Play?”
http://www.paulthecounsellor.com.au/victim-persecutor-rescuer/

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By JSB, November 13, 2011 at 1:13 am Link to this comment

(I’m attempting to respond to Peter Scheer’s comment of November 12, and having difficulty, as his comment is way up at the top; I clicked on Link to this Comment, but here I am at the bottom of the long list. Maybe the software will work this out.)

Peter compares the killing of Osama bin Laden without a trial to the firing of Joe Paterno, characterizing the latter as (demanding) Paterno’s head on a stick.  Geez, Louise, what a lot of hyperbole.  Paterno is out of a job, but his head is still firmly on his neck, his neck connected to his shoulders, etc.  Since when did the Board of Trustees of the Penn State have to conduct a trial in order to fire the head coach?  And since when did the firing of a person equate to his actual murder? 

The Heisler article quotes tweets and numbers of Google hits to phrases.  Yes, lots and lots of crude comments are posted pretty much continually on the internet.  I just Googled “Sanduskied” and found 11,200 hits. (To quote the sister of a victim, “People are making jokes about it.”)  Also Googled “Fuck Mike McCreary” and got 1,090,000 hits.  I have no idea how many wrote that out of ire at his whistle blowing or ire at his going to Paterno rather than to the police.

Heisler faults Madden for raising a sensible and interesting question about why Sandusky retired when he did—not the usual time for a successful coach to quit the profession.  Madden apparently raised this question back in April.  What’s so horrible about raising that question?  Be assured, I’m not an expert in this matter, but from my limited reading I’d say there are a lot of questions worthy of attention. 

And what about the children?  The focus needs to be on their abuse.  Yes, we will not (nor is anyone trying to) lynch Sandusky.  Firing the coach and the university president is not lynching.  Lynching is killing.  Firing is firing.  For not doing the kind of job the Board thinks should have been done.

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By Peter Z. Scheer, November 12, 2011 at 8:46 pm Link to this comment

Glenn Greenwald tweeted a link to an interesting post
about this today, saying “Without endorsing it, this
post from Joe Paterno’s biographer is worth reading
re: exploding media frenzies: http://is.gd/KdALI7”

Another thought: How many people who asked for Osama
Bin Laden to be tried in a court of law, as opposed
to assassinated, are now demanding Joe Paterno’s head
on a stick? That’s a big leap, obviously, and the
analogy doesn’t quite work, but I think maybe there’s
a point somewhere in there.

I see a lot of comments promising never to read
Truthdig again. Why?

No one is defending those despicable crimes here, or
their coverup. This is a story about the media and
the mob. Incidentally, you can count me among the
mob, which is why I’m grateful for people like Mark
Heisler brave enough to challenge people like me at
the height of frenzy. He provoked a discussion. Let’s
try and keep it a discussion—and not a firing
squad.

Here’s that Greenwald link again. I found it an
interesting read: http://is.gd/KdALI7

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, November 12, 2011 at 7:27 pm Link to this comment

Exactly Gulam.  And the pwople pushing this sports culture just happen to be (more often than not) the sorts of people who push ‘buyer beware’, wild-west economics, and hang out in mens-rooms tapping their feet for oral sex. 

Do I have to spell this out? What political party do you think these perverts support?  Take two guesses.  Is there a relation between not giving a shit about poisoning the environment, destroying a countries social systems, and literally raping the youth?  This whole mess needs dug into, and not in some superficial manner such as the popular attack on Paterno.  It’s just short sighted.

Shenonymous, who cares if Curley, Schultz and Spaniers name are mud.  The point is they are going to do just fine financially, thenk you very much.  This will blow over and they, and their cronies, will go back to carrying on business as brazenly as usual.  Paterno is a popular distraction.  I’m suprised sharp folks like you don’t encourage people to step back from this a bit and take in it’s breadth.  Properly prioritized, prosecuted, and publicized, this could bring down plenty of pious and up-standing republican pillars of the community.  Might make people think enough to make a difference, but noooooooo, we’re all hung up on the Paterno pile-on.

Yes, per your 4th paragraph, Paterno is clearly one to draw the public’s fire, but I plead again, as a matter of real justice (in finding and punishing the guilty), the public should not get hung up on Paterno and should be digging for truth around the Second Mile (Sandusky’s charity, er, uh, ‘boy-toy supply’) and withing the Universities finances.  You are aware PSU has refused to open it’s books to the State of Pennsylvania?  The whole things a cloistered playground in many senses for well connected ‘good old boys’.  Good Christ you should see the corporate jest flying in and out of the State College Airport on game day.  This is the privileged ‘football culture’ class here, and if they want boy-toys or little-girl toys, they’ll have them.  You need to fully absorb what ‘football culture entails.  Those comments about them despising and damaging higher education, scholastics, are spot-on as you very, very well know. 

Paterno is a diversion.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, November 12, 2011 at 6:54 pm Link to this comment

“You guys are asses for falling for this.“  A quite unnecessary
insult. As you said, WIP, no one is trying to batter Paterno into
oblivion, that is being reserved for his “friend,” his “pal” of many
years. His only “sin” was not reporting Sandusky to law enforcement. 
More information came out today, and evidently Paterno was errant
in his duty as a human being.  It is more like Sandusky is getting
75% of the attention and Paterno 15% of the carriage of justice and
the rest, the 10%, who, now that it is safe, are coming out of the
woodwork to testify are getting some press. (But of course these
percentages are ridiculous and quite meaningless.) There are more
indictments that are in the works so the news is reporting.

Yes of course a man deserves his day in court.  We do not know what
entirely happened to implicate Joe Paterno.  But he will also be judged
in the court of public opinion from the public testimony already in the
public domain. 

According to the Grand Jury Presentment, “Joseph V. Paterno (himself)
testified to receiving the graduate assistant’s report at this home on a
Saturday morning.  Paterno testified that the graduate assistant was very
upset.  Paterno called Tim Curley (“Curley”), Penn State Athletic director
and Paterno’s immediate supervisor, to his home the very next day, a
Sunday, and reported to him that the graduate assistant had seen Jerry
Sandusky in the Lasch Bilding showers fondling or doing something of a
sexual nature to a young boy.”  The involvment of Curley and Schultz are
spelled out in the next several paragraphs.  It looks like their names are
mud now as well even if nothing legal will happen to them.

It is more than his being a celebrity.  In Paterno’s capacity as a leader, he
led for the game, the institution, and himself, not the children.  It is clear
from his own testimony that he equivocated and did not do the right
thing.  And yes, it is just because he is first in the line of fire.  He built
himself that way. 

Having now read several reports and critiques, so in 2002, Joseph
Paterno was told by that graduate assistant about his assistant coach of
many years, Sandusky, was having sex in the shower with a 10 year old
boy. Paterno reported the assault to his boss, but then isn’t it peculiar he
never mentioned it again!?  Don’t we also have to ask why he did not do
anything to protect the 10-year old boy?  Do you think he didn’t think
the boy’s life might be in danger?  I don’t think he thought one second
about the boy.  But what about the boy’s mental state?  And why on earth
didn’t he try to find out who the boy was?  Why didn’t he want to talk
with him?  But the worst thing is that he did not try to stop Sandusky, the
sexual deviant, and that he might possibly… just possibly… save other
boys!  He did not even think to talk with his administrators to discuss the
attack on the young boys or think of going to the police?  What a guy.

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By Zoe, November 12, 2011 at 6:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The whole idea of professional and collegiate sports is obscene. Men have become infantilized to the point that they have forgotten how a real man acts. A real man uses his inborn aggression and the need for group identity to provide for and protect his family. No one wants to explore this. As a country we are brainwashed into fighting for our country and celebrating colored pieces of cloth. All of which make money for somebody. And it’s always about the money. After all, where is the profit in being a good husband and father? Child molestation is endemic. Is there anyone who does not find this disgusting?

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By Gulam, November 12, 2011 at 4:58 pm Link to this comment

Nicely done What is Progress for pushing us to get
the whole story and following the detail that carefully.
I am disappointed that nobody picked up on my comment
that the whole business of televisable semi-pro sports
connected to higher education is a huge issue here.
The money and involvement of the universities with such a solidly anti-intellectual
crowd as the sports nuts makes a mockery of American universities around the
world. That whole farce is like American wars: just a matter of commerce, a
business decision, a political issue. it is a lie that these events have any legitimate
connection whatever with education, and once you continually push that kind of
falsehood continually with enough money, what are a few more lies or
perversions?

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, November 12, 2011 at 4:50 pm Link to this comment

The Baltimore Sun article is great, and yes, these superstars who act above it all are unbelievably disgusting. 

And, we must not forget the influential businessmen who have far less notoriety, but who engage in demonstrations of sexual power, rape and molestation with both young boys and young girls. 

Do the superstars generally distract the public’s attention from the ‘abuse next door’, or is it peculiar to the Paterno case? 

The ego, the flash, the hubris of some of the wealthy alumni that come into State College is something to behold.  What exactly attracted so much money to the Sandusky’s Second Mile program?  Was it demonstrably successful?  Or, was it the celebrity golf tournament fund raisers, or the exclusive access to PSU football royalty?  Sandusky was powerful and ran in circles of powerful and privileged people who wear the signs of their success and power in the gaudiest fashion.  Football is intricately related to these sick attitudes of dominance, power, hero-worship, etc.  These and other factors contribute to the ‘above the law’ attitudes to which Simeone eludes.

But again I ask, are we (those who are disgusted by the pedophilia) also dazzled by the superstar, unable to see beyond to the cultural infrastructure within which the support structures for the Sandusky’s feed?  How many Sandusky type child fondling and sodomizing sorts lurk out there in some more obscure corporate position? 

Paterno’s certainly, certainly not as bad as the bulk of the facilitators.  His main problem is he makes very, very quick and easy copy.  Goes with fame.  But let’s be smart and look deeper for the whole truth, shall we?

And if you haven’t read the indictment, please do so.
http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/uploadedFiles/Press/Sandusky-Grand-Jury-Presentment.pdf

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, November 12, 2011 at 4:31 pm Link to this comment

Lisa Simeone…Nobody is saying pity Paterno.  Just don;t waste the publics 2 minute attention span on the easy target.  The reason Paterno is taking more heat than the ‘behind the scenes’ people is precisely becaise he’s a recognizable name.  It make a better story when the public knows the figure. 

Meanwhile, At least threeee people who were directly responsible for overseeing the University (president) Athletic department (Curley) (who controlled access by Sendusky, literally, the keys to the locker rooms) and Shultz, (in charge of campus police force) are doing what exactly??  Here’s the answer: Spanier (Univ Pres) was allowed to resign (not fired) and retains his chair in the liberal arts dept.  Curley asked to be placed on leave, (he’s still being paid for christ’s sake) and Schultz just slithered away back into retirement. 

Meanwhile we get worked up into a lather and expend all the publics rage and attention span on Paterno.  You guys are asses for falling for this.  Also, meanwhile, over at the second mile, and more importantly, within the social circles of Sandusky and PSU fundraising, no public outcry.  We’re too busy piling on for a good gang rape of Paterno. 

And really, this is not a case of Paterno facilitating Sandusky or not, black and white, yes or no.  We don’t know what Paterno knew about ongoing Sandusky behavior and when.  We don’t know what he did or did not do to suppress Sandusky’s sex/rape/molestation escapades.  The courts will work that out.  But what the courts won’t work out is all these shadowy connections.  Lack of the perfect action by Paterno is not the same thing as active, positive, facilitation and intentional cover-up.  We know, it is fact, that Spanier, Curley and Schultz were involved in the 1998 cover-up.  A dictrict attourney, (who mysteriously disappeared in 2005) did not press charges in 1998.  This case stinks to high heaven of the worst kind of cover-up and obstruction.  Insisting on having Paterno serve as boogie man is indeed letting the worst of them escape adequate wcrutiny. 

Don’t fall for this decoy.  Paterno is culpable, but his sins are 1% of the problem, and are getting 99% of the attention.  It’s a miscarriage of justice.

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By Shenonymous, November 12, 2011 at 3:19 pm Link to this comment

I read your article for the Baltimore Sun.  Yes, there has been many incidents of
such heinous behavior.  Thank you for the article.  Only sketchy coverage has
been given by the media.  Although I do recall reading about the incident of the
girl raped by the four college guys.  The media is now being eclipsed by personal
electronic communications devices and news travels at the speed of light.  Soon
news media will become a dinosaur.

Sandusky’s savage acts lasted over 17 years and was condoned.  While it is not easy
to trivialize any such brutality, I think this case is by measurable degrees worse since
it was repeated acts and tolerated when it was obvious what he was doing.  Turning
a blind eye to such hideous acts is mockery of society.  It is arrogance to the nth degree. 
The Sandusky/Paterno case has brought it to fierce public consciousness.  We won’t let
it go away until some satisfactory resolution has been reached.  But that won’t end the
pathology that exists because many men do not patrol their own psyches.

This makes the link workable,
http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2003-02-23/news/0302220240_1_goodrich-crime-in-america-recruiting-parties

or a TIny URL often does the trick…
http://tinyurl.com/6tpllk6

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By pone, November 12, 2011 at 3:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr Heisler,
    You have got to be kidding me! Do you know nothing about the mandated reporter law?

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By socalcde, November 12, 2011 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment

“Paterno’s inaction was indefensible…In the absence of actual knowledge of what went on between the two men, it may also have been human and understandable ” WRONG! He knew enough about the incident to understand that when nothing came of it something was very wrong. It seems that he, as well as many others had their priorities way out of whack, and the fact that this team is playing out the rest of the season makes me think that they still do.

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By Lisa Simeone, November 12, 2011 at 2:21 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, I’m not talking about a pedophilia ring. 
I know nothing about that (though it wouldn’t surprise
me).  I’m talking about abuse—both sexual and non-
sexual physical—that is routinely perpetrated by our
lorded athletes all over the country and is routinely
treated with impunity by millions of parents, teachers,
officials, and fans. 

I already mentioned Bernard Lefkowitz’s OUR GUYS. 
There’s also PROS AND CONS by Jeff Benedict and Dan
Yaeger, FRATERNITY GANG RAPE by Peggy Reeves
Sanday, BOYS WILL BE BOYS by Myriam Miedzian,
PUBLIC HEROES PRIVATE FELONS by Jeff Benedict, BEER
AND CIRCUS by Murray Sperber, to name a few
sources.  And here’s something I wrote for the
Baltimore Sun in 2003—it barely scratches the
surface (don’t know if the URL will go through, but it was titled “Hold Athletes Accountable” and was published on February 23, 2003):

http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2003-02-
23/news/0302220240_1_goodrich-crime-in-america-
recruiting-parties

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By Shenonymous, November 12, 2011 at 12:35 pm Link to this comment

Lisa Simeone, November 12 11:02 am - Since you are so
knowledgeable, well let’s do hear some of them!

There is no real evidence of a pedophilia ring.  Speculation will only
tend to submerge it in the public’s consciousness. It needs to be
kept in painful awareness so it does not slip into the valley of
indifference. 

drbhelthi, November 12 11:23 am   Thanks drbehelthi, I will check out
the book and video.  It is my opinion all should become familiar with the
knowledge that exists about this social illness.

grokker, November 11 9:08 pm – your questions are the ones being
repeated over and over again, i.e.,  on Chris Hayes MSNBC and all of the
news media today.  It is non-stop actually.  If you want answers, don’t let
the questions die on the vine of politics and money.

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By grokker, November 12, 2011 at 11:24 am Link to this comment

Pardon me for not mentioning that what I stated in my previous post is still in the realm of speculation at this point.

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By drbhelthi, November 12, 2011 at 11:23 am Link to this comment

@ shenonymous
“It makes one wonder just how prevalent this shameful practice is among the race of men?”

Former Nebraska senator, John DeCamp, provides a well-documented overview of the U.S. political arena, in his volume, “The Nebraska Cover-Up.”

This behavior pervades the “Western World”.  In the U.S., it has increased slowly since the end of WWII, as has immorality in general, experimental surgical procedures, organ transplantation, “chemotherapy,” violated pregnancies and the subversion of health by the USFDA, the CDC and companies that have forced “gene modification” onto the USA and the world.  All of which is traceable to one causative factor.
http://video.google.de/videoplay?docid=8252175042329977626#

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By grokker, November 12, 2011 at 11:08 am Link to this comment

The more I look into this Penn State tragedy, the more I tend to agree with What Is Progress. It is beginning to look like there my be an organized pedophilia ring that could incriminate many well connected, powerful people and some are comparing it to the Franklin scandal on a smaller scale. It’s possible that Paterno is being used as a scapegoat and a diversion so that others have time to cover their tracks. This is not to say, as I did earlier, that Paterno bears no guilt in this affair.

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By Lisa Simeone, November 12, 2011 at 11:02 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous writes:  “This is the most disgusting and outrageous
case in the history of US sports.”

Hardly.  There’s plenty of competition.  But the good sports-loving
people of the USA, red-blooded Americans that they are, don’t want
to hear it.

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By Shenonymous, November 12, 2011 at 10:47 am Link to this comment

It is to Truthdig’s credit to have put this shockingly dreadful
story on the site for discussion for it needs to be out in the open. 
Unless there are men who take pleasure in such child abuse behavior,
then of course they would find the article distasteful.  Don’t think
for a minute there are not posters who fall into that category. 

Sandusky has been charged with 40 criminal counts, accusing him of
serial sex abuse of minors. Paterno’s guilt is dolo, culpa o negligencia
- willful misconduct, fault or negligence.  He did nothing to stop the
criminal acts. 

“Campus police are not the highest level. Other police agencies, had
they been informed, would have had jurisdiction over campus police in
this case.”
  The boys have the jurisdiction of the Federal Government.
This is the most disgusting and outrageous case in the history of US
sports.  So now we see that donating money to colleges can buy boys
both young and younger for the salacious appetites of creepy men.  It
makes one wonder just how prevalent this shameful practice is among
the race of men?  Why are there no men discussing the pervasiveness
of the behavior of these kinds of men?

For that game with Nebraska to go today on is a travesty.  All of Penn
State games ought to be canceled for the rest of the season and until
the law works its way though Grand Jury, indictments, lawsuits, and
trials.  Other schools ought to refuse to play against them.  But we
have to remember the money!  And the machoism involved.

Thoughts of sympathy and concern have to go to the boys who had to
suffer at the gruesome hands of a detestable sex predator.  Since the
first was reported in 1994, that is 17 years ago, the most recent 2009,
only two years ago, it defies any moral sense of the way men and boys
relate and ought to relate.

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By Lisa Simeone, November 12, 2011 at 10:43 am Link to this comment

What a load of tripe.  Pity the sainted Joe Paterno!  Cue
the seraphim music.

You’re right about one thing, though:  he’s hardly
alone.  This shit is going on all over the country,
thanks to the exaltation of sports (and fraternities). 
Sexual abuse?  Assault?  Rape?  Hazing?  Meh, who
cares?  After all, sports teaches us “values.”  It teaches
“discipline” and “team work”!

Bernard Lefkowitz covered this ground years ago in his
searing book OUR GUYS.  But it doesn’t matter.  As
excellent and responsible as his effort was, nothing
will change.  The worship of “our guys” all over the
country, even in the face of gross criminality,
continues.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, November 12, 2011 at 10:41 am Link to this comment

@SunnyRains, I’m not trying to put any sort of spin on this.  Read the post below.  There is a group of extremely powerful good-old-boys in State College and beyond, and all the attention on Paterno is letting them walk away with their hands in their pockets, whistling, and looking around quizically saying “surely you wouldn’t think I was part of that”.

The publics attention has been placed on Paterno.  The investigation needs to go deep and wide very fast, or they’ll really dig in a and cover up.  For instance, while the dumb public is infatuated with the blood-letting if of Paterno, Second Mile is combing through records and keeping their paper shredder humming. 

Did you know that the President of PSU keeps a floor rented at a downtown hotel called ‘The Palmerton’?  No?  Funny, nobody does.  Everybody’s ignorant as hell about the depth of this and the collusion because they’re satisfied being indignant on Paterno.  How plain lazy is that.  And it’s helping the real criminals.  Perhaps covering up a ring of them that will go on as usual now that the public has their villain.  I don;t give a crap about Paterno.  Most likely he’s not evil, just average, but it does piss me of that the real culprits are getting time to get their stories straight.

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By SunnyRains, November 12, 2011 at 7:20 am Link to this comment

I’m trying (and failing) to think of a single situation or a single person whom I would allow to continue to rape children.

Money and power were put before the welfare of children.

There is no way to whitewash this or make it more palatable to people.

Stop trying.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, November 12, 2011 at 6:13 am Link to this comment

By making Paterno the poster child for pedophilia, the interlocking rings of abuse continue with minamal disturbance. 

Heister is right to note that as a matter of emphasis, so, so much attention on Paterno tends to distract from the Second Mile program, and Sandusky’s friends. 

People need to dig a little deeper before they hang so much on Paterno, or the bottom of the iceberg will never see the light of day.

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By bob dole, November 12, 2011 at 3:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

All of you people (especially the media) should be ashamed of yourselves. Innocent till proven guilty means just that you fools.

All we have right now are allegations, nothing more. And all of you want to string up people because of them.

Do any of you realize how often false claims of sex abuse /crimes etc etc happen? By the way people respond about this its obvious you do not.

No one here knows if the claims are true or not, That is what the trial is for. Passing judgment on people before knowing the facts only makes you look plain stupid.

“Of the allegations determined to be false, only a small portion originated with the child, the studies showed; most false allegations originated with an adult bringing the accusations on behalf of a child”

That said, If they are found guilty i hope the criminal law system puts them away for a long time.

seriously, hold you condemnation until after the trial.

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, November 12, 2011 at 2:13 am Link to this comment

Football isn’t as fucked up as raping little boys, but it is pretty fucked up.

It breeds braindamaged moronic militaristic bullies and encourages us all to worship them and look at their shiny tight ends. Bleehhh!!!

High School, College, Pro, and pee-wee leagues (or whatever they are called). FOOTBALL SUCKS!!!

FUCK YOU FOOTBALL!!!

(Child rapists and those who enable them also suck)

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By Ann, November 11, 2011 at 11:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In Pennsylvania, employment is “at will,” and you can
be fired for any reason, or no reason.

Due process occurs in a court of law.

Mr. Paterno will get his due process when he goes to
trial. In the meantime, his employers were within
their rights to fire him.

As for the court of public opinion, it does work both
ways. He certainly benefited from his fame, and now
he is under more scrutiny than if he were an obscure
member of the public. If he were Joe Smith, would a
columnist, while noting his “indefensible” behavior,
also take the time to suggest that it might also be
“human and understandable”? If, in the scenario
described by other comments, he were the proverbial
“look the other way, cover it up” school principal,
would he be able to hire a great defense attorney or
PR firm? Would there likely be rallies on his behalf?

Seems like the response - good and bad - has been
scaled up, but qualitatively, probably isn’t much
worse than anyone else would get. He lived large, and
the response is proportionate.In fact, given our
legal system, a wealthy man like him can buy more
justice than the average person.

And it isn’t just a Paterno story - until recently,
nobody heard of McQueary, but he certainly is being
discussed and judged by the public. So that weakens
the argument that the media is just picking on Joe.
Additionally, the article’s tangential information
about Paterno’s great football record seems to muddy
the waters. How is that relevant to the alleged lack
of “due process” in condemning Paterno’s oversight in
the abuse case? By writing the glowing Joe Pa
synopsis, the writer seems (perhaps unintentionally)
to suggest that a crummy football coaching career, or
poor student relations, might deserve more of a rush
to judgment.

The grand jury report provides serious evidence that
silence allowed a predator to continue to hurt
children. Due process is long overdue to the victims.
That delay is the biggest travesty of justice, and
where our sympathies should lie.

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By Gulam, November 11, 2011 at 10:33 pm Link to this comment

I was truly disgusted with TruthDig for running this article, but I will admit that I
took some satisfaction in going through the comments and finding that regardless
of how this gang differs on most things, on this at least there was general
agreement.

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By Gulam, November 11, 2011 at 10:25 pm Link to this comment

I am very sorry for the children who were involved,
but I must admit to taking a certain joy in seeing
college football take it the way the boy did, because
it is such a deadly parasite on American education. At
any “football school,” any university with a high-profile
sports program, there is not one Phi Betta Kappa grad in ten who ever attended
more than two games. The percentage of the student body at most universities
that attends games is often rather low and the stands are filled with drop-outs
and loud insurance salesmen who went to the community college one year. It is
a fact not worth arguing that most of the really serious scholars regard the
whole ra ra semi-pro sports gig with scorn. Grad students, those students who
are generally working hardest usually have neither the time or money to go to
games, and often didn’t know there was one until they ran into traffic. Leave the
decision to the top five percent of the student body or the faculty and that
nonsense would be out like a flash, for it is a constant drain on the energies
and consciousness of a university. The whole football business has no
connection whatever with higher education at this point in time; it is just
another consumer product seen as necessary for fund raising and getting
money out of legislative morons. And, like feet and inches, pounds and gallons,
big-time college athletics is uniquely American.

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By S. Mccord, November 11, 2011 at 9:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am new to this site and have enjoyed much of what I have read.  However, this article is so disgusting that I am having some reservations about my initial feeling that this site would be one that I could count on for good information.  The children are the only victims here. If you think differently, then you are no better than the perpetrators.

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By grokker, November 11, 2011 at 9:08 pm Link to this comment

@what is progress You act as if Jerry Sandusky was running a cabal of satan worshipping pedophiles and Paterno had no power over them. You say Paterno reported early “to the highest level of the police authority which had jurisdiction”. Campus police are not the highest level. Other police agencies, had they been informed, would have had jurisdiction over campus police in this case. Paterno did not do all he could do. Period. Whether he was pressured by “powerful people” or not, why was an ex-university employee (Sandusky) continually allowed to bring boys to the sports facilities? What was everyone afraid of? Perhaps there will be an answer to that question in time.

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By steve sexauer, November 11, 2011 at 7:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

truthdig hasn’t seemed to be about the truth very often. It brushed aside issues about ongoing rapes, sleepovers, Sandusky’s activities and connections. No shock or questions on the sheer number of his victims. (reported elsewhere) and instead focused on whether the reaction was over blown. What kinda shit is that?  Bullshit. 

Truthdig is just a liberal version of fox news, trying to keep us in the mud on the other side of the fence.

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By bletspleg, November 11, 2011 at 6:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

...what would you do if you saw a young boy being raped in the shower? go away?

and if you were the guy that was being told about it 2nd hand? tell your boss and then do nothing?

you know why this happened? because people are trained their whole lives to suck up to authority and frankly have no core, moral or otherwise.

amerika is # 1!...rah rah rah

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By pneumatist, November 11, 2011 at 3:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This article is indefensible in its underlying sympathy vibe for Paterno. Utterly
nauseates me.

I suggest a more comprehensively relevant read of “Is There No Shame?” which can
be found here: http://www.theburningplatform.com/?p=24763

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By oldpoliticaljunkie, November 11, 2011 at 3:31 pm Link to this comment

Your title is grammatically incorrect. “of” should be
“from”.  Maybe truthdig would like my (grammatically
correct) blog.
oldpoliticaljunkie.com

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By SJC54, November 11, 2011 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“On the other hand, it’s not a Judge-Not-Lest-Ye-Be-Judged world anymore.”

This has to be the dumbest, most naive, misinformed statement I have read in a
long time.  Mark, tell me, exactly, when it was a ” Judge-Not-Lest-Ye-Be-
Judged world.”  Because I am in my late 50’s and I can’t remember. 

Look, whether or not Paterno was complicit in the legal sense is a legal
question for a legal authority to determine after full investigation. Throughout
it all, Joe will be well-represented by highly competent counsel and the
prosecutors will have to be damn good to nail him.  What the Trustees did,
they had no choice but to do.  They were well-counseled by their attorneys. 
The people who have been fired are going to be in front of Grand Juries
eventually and may be indicted.  If and when that happens, the Trustees simply
cannot afford the legal fallout if those people are still employed by the
University.  And, I hope the school isn’t stupid enough to pay their legal fees. 

The fact that JoePa got notified by telephone 15 minutes before it went public
was tactically very good timing.  It gave him and his lawyers no time to arrange
for any sort of counter measure.  This is the way the world really works, and in
legal matters involving high profile suspects (and that’s what he is) it’s the way it
always has worked.

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By mendel, November 11, 2011 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment

Heisler’s article was well reasoned and humane. He in no way condones anyone’s wrongdoing, crimes, sins or the emergence of the truth . He describes what I, as a retired academic and union member, have repeatedly seen, the sorry aftermath of a cover-up to protect “the institution.” The outpouring of hate and rage accompanying the emergence of crime and scandal is an emotional reflex stimulated by the unrecognized anger and fear which is a part of everyone’s psyche (including yours and mine).
We need the rule of law, we need due process, we need real democracy, and those are things we lack in anything near full measure in this country.  There are no longer lynch mobs, though there is too much legal lynching through the death penalty and lesser lynchings by the press and in the ravings on the open world wide web. Some of the respondents to this article are members of a virtual mob. We need more essays like this one and I am pleased to have read it.

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By truth hurts, November 11, 2011 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

this article is absurdly sympathetic to paterno. how many years of knowledge, how many years of abuse and the man just focuses on a remarkably insignificant sport instead of doing the right thing.

hopefully all the rich and self-serving upstanding pillars of the community whom were involved in this despicable ongoing horror will pay the price. should one or more take the bridge option, so be it. should have done that many years ago.

perhaps the author of this bowl of dogsnot should take a sojourn to the showers and have himself experience what those young children were forced to do. just might open up a whole new avenue of thinking.

scheer, trash like this ruins truthdig. get real.

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By rock powers, November 11, 2011 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This article is disgusting.  I’m done with Truthdig.

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By Lizaxyz, November 11, 2011 at 1:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Scott, you are so spot on about this article that I can’t even imagine it came from a truthdig writer. Thanks.

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By abikecommuter, November 11, 2011 at 1:48 pm Link to this comment

What is this Molestor’s Quarterly? Political clout and influence allows you to routinely
break the law? The media class will not call out high profile criminal wrongdoing because
Patterno has been lindseylohaned? The criminal justice system is for the poor, children,
widows, and those that we can routinely run over on our way to the bar to watch the big
game? There is no public commons for the safety of the defenseless? Magna Carta had
it all wrong…

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, November 11, 2011 at 1:44 pm Link to this comment

Heisler, Congratulations.  You are among the extreme few in the media who is right on this.  You’ve lived up to the name of the website Truth Dig. 

The many opinions on this are based on huge presumptions and a lot of armchair quarterbacking. 

Peterno reported early to the highest level of the police authority which had jurisdiction.  All the ‘what he should have done’ speculation misght also have given Sandusky harassment cases, impaired investigation, etc.  Given Paternos lifetime of integrity, why would anyone think he didn’t do everything possible to ‘get Sanducky’?  Why?  Because we’re vicious and ugly people. 

Very few people understand the dynamics of power around Sanduskies Second Mile organization.  That Sandusky was ‘in bed’ (perhaps literally?) with very powerful people.  That Jeo Paterno could not touch Sandusky is not proof of Paterno’s lack of anything at all.  To the contrary, it is proof of Sanduskies influence in circles of power.  In all the witchhunting and scapegoating on Paterno, people are letting the real bad guys sneak quietly away to rape another day.  Think Sanduskies the only one?  His brazenness alone indicates he has support of powerful people.

Eventually some people will wake up to this, but unfortunately, most will participate in the gang rape of Paterno, then move on to the next victim with a little celebrity.  Paterno’s a good man, period. 

Keep Truthdigging Mr. Heisler…..there’s a whole lot of truth being buried here in Happy Valley and beyond…...

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By drbhelthi, November 11, 2011 at 1:43 pm Link to this comment

@ John Drabble
“ - - the issue is. The ten year old is the writer’s son. The rapist the kid’s
teacher. Paterno the principle of his son’s school.”

I encountered “similar” situations in the Army and Air Force.  Not once in the
over ten years I worked in public schools, however.  This is not to say that it
does not happen in grade schools, public and private.  Rather, I suspect that
the observation of “scotttpot,” “The Penn State rape cover-up is just another
example of the 1% trying desperately to maintain illusions of All-American
greatness,” is a reasonably appropriate fit for the circumstance in discussion. 
Which would also parallel the political arena, as valiantly displayed by
former Nebraska Senator, John DeCamp in his volume, “The Franklin Cover-
Up.”

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By Lizaxyz, November 11, 2011 at 1:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Is it fair to the children who were molested?

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By dldine, November 11, 2011 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment

Sorry Mike, your article falls short of making me feel sorry for Paterno because he got fired before having his day in court. He will in fact have his day in court to face charges that he was complicit in the abuse of these children. It isn’t like he got sent to jail based on public opinion.  However, as for his JOB at Penn State, he deserves no protection. He undoubtedly understood that part of the condition of his employment by the University was that he would act in a manner to as not discredit the institution. I dare say that he and the others who knew of the incidents involving Sandusky have all brought discredit to the University and as such, should no longer enjoy the privilege of employment there.

I would ponder why, if the University did not take steps to fully investigate Sandusky and report his alleged behavior to the police in 2002, the ever wonderful and loved Paterno did not himself go to the authorities? Or why not the assistant who witnessed it?  Or why the University staff did not report it? Could it be they were concerned about tarnishing the reputation of the University should these charges become public knowledge? Why would that matter? Could it be that they might lose some of the tons of money the University brings in via its football program?  Maybe they were thinking, “Hush, hush, if we are quiet this will go away.”

Maybe we should ask the children if it went away for them.

None of these morally bankrupt adults deserve anything other than the public bashing they are currently receiving.

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By bobi6, November 11, 2011 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What I want to know id - what is the matter with those students?
Are they actually pro child abuse. Or are the too simple minded to realize
the serious is this. Are they also too immature to have any priorities that
children are a great deal more important than some overrated foolball
program.  I know that comment is probably treason in the sports obsessed
country but it’s a matter of human values and decency which is obviously
missing from the student body at Penn State.

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By bill brugnoli, November 11, 2011 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Publish what you like, I guess; for it’s a free press. I too though, as most of your readers, was surprised by this one.
So much has been said already that I will only add that as the Pennsylvania law is written, Joe Paterno, by not reporting these abuses can, and should be charged as an accessory to these crimes.

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By Anthony Look, November 11, 2011 at 1:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ten years ago, Mike McQueary was 28 years old, 6 foot 4 inches, over 200 lbs. We all question his response or lack thereof on that day he walked in on Sandusky. Apparently there were also janitors that on other occasiions, that also reacted by not directly addressing the instances for fear of job security. Mike McQueary did make known the assault and it apparently did travel up the chain of command. It is unexcuseable what has happened for all involved. It is also apparent that an incalcintrant University Administration and even Federal Prosecutors Department have infinitely more decision making liability than Mr McQueary ever had. Misplaced distractions prevent the culprits and the root problems to be addressed. Firing Mr. McQueary who though did not do the honorable thing at the moment of the incident; he did not avoid reporting it. His status in the chain of command, his job security and other inconsequential concerns including fear, clouded his judgement that day. His firing will accomplish nothing but feed the blood thirsty anger of those genuinely concerned. If Mr. McQueary had intervened on that day, would the Penn State University “SYSTEM” or would the Federal Prosecution Office “SYSTEM” turned out differently. I personally do not think it would have altered the course of events.  Mr. McQueary and Coach Paterno appear to be being thrown under the bus so that it appears that the INDIVIDUALS IN CHARGED OF SAID SYSTEMS that failed the families of these victims and the general public at large, see some justice. In my estimation, Mr. McQueary and Coach Paterno were not the “INSTITUTIONS” that had the decision making PEROGATIVE/POWERS, they were not the individuals that allowed the lack of justice. I am not saying that Mr. McQueary or Coach Paterno are victims; but they certainly WEREN’T the ones that caused the incident being brushed under the table. From what is being reported they appear to be the only two that attempted to do anything about it. Direct your anger at the those that had the power, administratively and legally, to address this situation. Politics and money played the most important part in this story. Direct your anger at those that profited politically and financially. Those were the cowards that exaccerbated this situation.

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By John Drabble, November 11, 2011 at 11:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I won’t rehash points made in above comments. I will add my vote to those who consider this article a poorly reasoned piece of crap.

The writer simply needs to change the identification of some of the characters to understand what the issue is. The ten year old is the writer’s son. The rapist the kid’s teacher. Paterno the principle of his son’s school.

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By Blackspeare, November 11, 2011 at 11:43 am Link to this comment

Is NAMBLA still around?

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caped amigo's avatar

By caped amigo, November 11, 2011 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

Heisler, I don’t know what rock you crawled out from under, but crawl back and
take Blackspeare with you. It is my guess that Joe knew of Sandusky’s proclivity
years ago. To be fired and disgraced is too good for Joe and all the rest of the
guilty. We can wait for due process, but we also want justice.

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By Joe, November 11, 2011 at 11:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Warped mind thinks rapist and those who provided cover for same are the victims.

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By scotttpot, November 11, 2011 at 11:00 am Link to this comment

The Penn State rape cover-up is just another example of the 1% trying desperately
to maintain illusions of All-American greatness.

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By Blackspeare, November 11, 2011 at 11:00 am Link to this comment

The old adage that “Sometimes you can’t see the forest because of the trees” is more than apt in this case!  There is a much larger issue here than mere child abuse and that is the encroachment of absolute authority.  I, by no means condone the alleged accusations in this case, but the concept in law that any sense of inappropriate activity must be reported to the police immediately smacks of Nazism/Fascism!  No one should ever notify the authorities before speaking to family members or organizational superiors of a suspected behavior or activity——that is plain obligation and common sense.  Sometimes what you see can be explained to your satisfaction and if not then you free to notify the police, but at least you have alerted those who need to know——the police are not your family or colleague and certainly not your friend.  Bringing in the police before fully alerting those close to you of the situation can result in serious consequences with people being questioned and placed under suspicion for poor reasons.  Paterno, initially did the right thing in informing his technical superior.  after that who knows.

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By PatrickHenry, November 11, 2011 at 10:42 am Link to this comment

Why aren’t these guys in jail with multimillion bail.

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By kerryrose, November 11, 2011 at 10:17 am Link to this comment

Read the interesting interview at Democracy Now!  It is far better than this crap.

The sports reporter said that Paterno had allowed Sandusky to conduct ‘sleepovers’ with children at Penn State as early as a month ago.

What kind of guy looks the other way when staring a child rapist in the face (especially when the rapist is accompanied by more children) and looks the other way rather than feels outrage and disgust and calls the police or CPS?

The sports reporter also compared Penn State students and OWS.  One group rallies in support of a man who enabled a predator of the most vulnerable and the other group rallies in support of the most vulnerable against predators of a different sort.

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By David Otto, November 11, 2011 at 9:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s so simple, and has been said:

Joe Paterno failed as a human being. Go defend football
over a kids innocence somewhere else.  Joe Pa - you
blew it.  Joe deserves the opprobrium he is receiving
and then some.  This failure on his part to take
action, when he easily could have, will and should
eclipse everything he has ever done.  Football is a
game.  Children are NOT Toys.

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By Mark, November 11, 2011 at 9:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The analogy here is between what Paterno did and what the Vatican did—the gridiron wall of silence.  No one wanted to admit what was happening because it would expose the vital lie that American football was the epitome of macho American masculinity.  When you face the fact that a tough-guy football player/coach like to have sex with little boys it throws some cherished myths of the sex/gender system here into crisis-mode.  The only thing that matters here is that Penn State failed in every way to stop this abuse from happening.  It doesn’t matter if Paterno was with PSU for 62 years.  He let child sexual abuse happen.

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By Blackspeare, November 11, 2011 at 9:08 am Link to this comment

What ever happened to “Innocent until proven guilty?”——looks like it went down the drain in this case.

It’s quite obvious that Sandusky was just engaging in horseplay when his erect penis just happened to accidentally flop into a boy’s anal opening——happens all the time!

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By Wildeye, November 11, 2011 at 8:54 am Link to this comment

Holy crap.

Grand jury report on alleged Penn State sex abuse

http://bit.ly/veaP5r

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By Fibonacci65, November 11, 2011 at 8:19 am Link to this comment

Having lived in New Haven and worked at Yale U., we all knew that the Yalie police were in cahoots with the NH Police to just get the kid back to the dorm, say nothing.  Finally, someone got caught and I see more white males (and stupid females) out there marching in support of pedophiles.  And now this inane comment.  Did the author even read the Grand Jury report?  I also cannot believe Truthdig published this tripe.  The courageous woman who finally broke this because her son told her about Sandusky was right—the witness ran to his daddy, not the police, when he saw a child being raped. That screams cover-up from the beginning! Thank god for a few decent people on the Grand Jury and in the Harrisburg newspaper and on the Board of Trustees.  Yes, Paterno is the Poop, more old white male bastions that make huge amounts of money and care not for the children they destroy.

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By joegod, November 11, 2011 at 8:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If you’re trying to elicit sympathy for Paterno, forget it. You and all the other
Paterno-apologists are just upset and confused because this man who you all
see as a god is not who you thought he was, and you don’t know what to
make of it. Oh well. Deal with the fact that the rest of the country who
couldn’t give 2 shits about football just see him as a selfish bastard whose
power and money was more important to him than ANYTHING, even children
being raped by one of his own. Snap out of your drooling admiration and deal
with reality,pal.

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