People Who Don't Speak Up for the Innocent

Today was a quiet Sunday afternoon and I opened up my Facebook and noticed a trend of "RIP Joe Paterno" on a number of my friends' walls.

Of course I knew he'd died.  I don't live under a rock.  Every news outlet was reporting about his death.
And of course, I felt bad for his family that they'd lost him.

I don't follow sports, so I don't know anything about his legacy as the most winningest coach or what have you and I never went to Penn State.

I have read the glowing accounts of what a great coach he was and what a terrific ambassador he was for Penn State.  He was obviously a revered man who was well loved by his family and perfect strangers.

He came to my attention during the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.  All I know is that Paterno didn't go to the police when he should have and to me that outweighs all of his good deeds.

As a mother, nothing infuriates me more than to know that innocent children who needed protection at their most vulnerable time did not get it from a man they looked up to and admired.  I don't just blame Joe Paterno.  I blame the Penn State officials.  I blame Mike McQueary.   I blame anyone who puts profit over the welfare of the children they are entrusted with.

As far as I'm concerned he's not a hero in my book.  So I wrote a simple sentence on the Facebook page for this blog:  "Am I the only person who doesn't care Joe Paterno died?  My FB is blowing up with RIPs."

Who knew what a simple sentence could do to people?  Within an hour I had 256 comments about what I'd said.  Some were as simple as:  I agree to people hoping he's burning in hell to others calling for my throat to be punched for uttering the words "I don't care."

I obviously touched a nerve on this one.  Who knew?  Here's the thing.  He was old.  I'm sorry if he suffered.  I don't doubt he's missed by his family.  However, I do think he made a terrible error in judgment when he didn't report the abuse to the police.  I don't know why he didn't report it.  I really don't care what his excuses were.  He simply should have.

I don't wish ill of the dead, I'm just putting myself in the shoes of the parents of the children who were violated.  I am speaking out for them, because if I were one of them I would hope someone else would speak out for me.

97 comments:

Lilliana said...

Keep speaking, and writing, out about what you believe, girl. Your supporters far outweigh the naysayers. <3

Jenessa said...

Totally 100% agree. Completely.

lauriec said...

This: "All I know is that Paterno didn't go to the police when he should have and to me that outweighs all of his good deeds. " says it all.

Dina Haggerty said...

I agree with you 100%!

Spirit of Hope and Kindness Awards said...

Love you girl. Keep doing what you're doing. You make our days brighter.

Warlok5 said...

I agree - any adult that didn't stop the chain is wrong - BUT - Don't aim this at Joe Paterno - he's the famous one getting the attention... what about the guy who actually witnessed the incident and simply "told a superior." That's they guy who SHOULD have gone to the cops and who should be shunned.

Crissy said...

I couldn't agree more. I'm sorry for his family, but I hate the way society uplifts people like this. It's not right, and I have a very hard believing that after all those years he was totally clueless.

Ki said...

Your right 100%. People who don't speak up and stop abuse are just as guilty as those who abuse.

Blissfully Discontented said...

No excuses allowed for what he failed to do...you said exactly what I was thinking.

vieve said...

Yes...all of it.

tibuvella said...

I'm with you. Death doesn't instantly sanctify a person and wipe clean their grossly irresponsible behavior that created victims and ruined the lives of others. Winningest coach, blah blah blah. I don't give a shit about sports, and I do give a shit about someone's son having been raped while that parent sat at home believing that son to be under the guidance of responsible mentors. This man is no hero to me and I find it repulsive that anyone could consider him one.

Steelerfan said...

My thoughts as well

Unknown said...

I agree. I don't care what excuse there is. That is all it is, an excuse. I'm sure that his family misses him and that are sad at his loss. I didn't wish his death, but I am not sad that he is gone. I have a hard time believing that no one at the school didn't know what was going on. I also have a hard time he was powerless to stop anything that was going on just taking into account the outpouring of support HE got when the scandal popped up. He would have had more if he had acted. I saw one interview where he said that we should pray for the "supposed victims." Just that wording was enough to turn me off of him. If he didn't know what was going on, he choose not to. I find it shameful that so many choose not to speak up and out for the innocent. To make a short story long, I agree with everything you said.

Gayle said...

I agree with you.

MGmama said...

I'm with you, sister. How could a man who upheld such a high standard of ethics in a football program not see so clearly what need to be done in regard to that poor child? And why is it so easy for everyone to sweep that child's tragedy under the rug? Where were all the FB posts on behalf of that child??

Anonymous said...

yea! (but seriously i just don't care) i had no idea who he was before all the mess. i seriously think he allowed himself to just go because he couldnt coach anymore. sounds like that was his life and if he couldnt do that then why not just bow out gracefully.

Penny Christine said...

If someone said to you, "I saw someone do _____________" and you hadn't seen it with your own eyes, what would YOU do? If you hadn't seen it yourself, you might be inclined to shrug it off or keep it to yourself or think, "Eh, doesn't involve me." OR...you would go your superior to report what had been told to you..per university protocol...research that. Joe did EXACTLY what he should have done, having not seen it himself and only having been told what McQueary said he 'thought' he saw. If he was truly concerned about fame, the football program, etc, he'd have kept quiet and not involved the higher ups of the University.

It's kinda like Mark Wahlberg saying, "If I had been on that plane on 911, I'd have done this." You have no idea what you might've done. You and others are blaming the wrong person. McQueary should've gone to the police. The University, once informed, should've done more. The police should've done more. The D.A. should've done more but he closed the case. A LOT of people failed those poor kids...but I don't think JoePa was one of them.

Knott02 said...

100% agree and let's see wasn't there 6 military heros killed when their helicopter went down? Maybe we should focus on the sacrifices that these people made.

Susan Twilley said...

Freaking AMEN sister! I don't care how many games you won, how many players you promoted to the big leagues. People in such a position should really be much more accountable for their moral compass or lack there of in this case. Having recently lost my own father I am so sad for his family. Because he let them down.

stoonie said...

I read some of those comments on your status and they were really frustrating to me. The man lived a long life. From what I can see, he experience more highlights than most ever will. So much so that he chose to put those victories and highlights at the forefront of his life and the life of others. Those victories meant everything to him. He barely paid the price for his poor choices. In the end, he was able to enjoy what he valued most in life. I don't feel sorry for him. He died with his secrets. I could give a rats ass about the sport of football and if ever there were a man who suspected or knew of my son being violated in such a manner, there would never be any excuse on this earth, AT ALL to forgive him.

Michelle E said...

I loved your FB comment. I agree 100%

BlondeGirl said...

I agree with you. I don't care what University policy said. If your graduate student came to you, told you he was absolutely sure of what he saw and was really shaken by it, and all you do is tell superiors who do nothing about it, you are just as guilty. You can't tell me he didn't know this was going on at all, or at least suspected. The guy was molesting them in UNIVERSITY SHOWERS! I'm sorry, it's your duty as an adult human being to do the RIGHT THING...University policy be damned! 100% agree with you!

mosaicmaddness said...

I think there were just too many people who dropped the ball on this sexual abuse thing, no single person can be blamed... but all of that aside, I don't care that he died. I never knew who he was before the scandal, and yeah, sad that he died... its sad when most people die (I say most because frankly there are some that aren't sad and totally deserved)... but eh... he's dead. Lets move on.

Etta James died this week too... THAT is sad.

Diana of Diana Rambles said...

I agree with you 100%!

anorthowife said...

this is a line from Boondock Saints.  I've always carried it with me.  this is exactly how I feel about people like Paterno.  

"we must all fear evil men. But, there is another kind of evil which we must all fear most … and that is the indifference of good men!"

Suzanne B. said...

I couldn't agree with you more! I am so sick of these kool aid drinking bat shit Penn Staters. They need to pull their heads out of their asses and look at the situation from a realistic perpective. How would they feel if this were a no name guy from a no name school. I bet most of them would be lining up for the lynch mob. I am so sick of people thinking celebrity should buy you a pass for doing the wrong thing.

Unknown said...

For everyone saying that McQueary is the one who should be bearing the responsibility - you're right. He should. And so should Joe Paterno. It's not enough that he told his superiors. He should have told the police, whether McQueary did or not. Whether his superiors did or not. There are obligations he did not meet as a coach, as a father himself, as a teacher, as a HUMAN BEING that he failed to meet. It was the critical moment of his lifetime and he, at best, passed the buck. No amount of wins can or should ever outweigh that. Is it said that his legacy is tarnish? Of course and I feel for his family at his passing. But he tarnish his own legacy with his silence.

nikki said...

Teachers and coaches are mandatory reporter of child abuse, and by law he should have reported it to not just to his superior , but to the authorities. It is then up the authorities to determine if there is a case or not, Its not up to the the school to set a protocol of how abuse is handled, its a law plain and simple and he failed in OH so many ways...

Mi said...

I do not feel bad for the parents of the children molested by Sandusky. It is easy to blame everyone at Penn State for this but everybody is forgetting that the parents were absent, why didn't any of them notice what was happening? Why did they, in the case of the most vocal mom, allow their child to stay the night at Sandusky's house when she suspected something was wrong? Pedophiles like Sandusky prey on the children who's parents are too busy with their own lives to pay attention to their child. The only people I feel sorry for in this mess are the children. If you must blame anyone, blame the people at Penn, blame the local authorities who failed to investigate, blame the charity, and blame the parents.

Unknown said...

Silence is compliance. His silence made him complicit in the crime.

And let's be honest, the guy was a FOOTBALL COACH! it's not like he was out curing cancer of something. I mean, let's get a little perspective, people!

Keep up the good fight, Jen.

Unknown said...

These adults PREYED in children and parents in low income areas. Don't blame the parents-- blame the predators. Sandusky et al. set up a feeling of trust with these families and then abused that trust.

Suzanne B. said...

Because if you were their parent you would have known..... I bet if you were on any of those 9/11 flights you would have stopped the terrorist like Mark Walburg would have. Some people just can't not share their unsolicited perspective on how they would have avoided someone else's misfortune. There are times when certain comments are better kept to yourself.

HamletScrummed said...

I actually read up a bit on him and he was quoted as saying he regretted not doing more-- at the time, he told people he *thought* were better equipped to handle the situation. I agree with you, though-- when they saw that those officials DIDN'T do the right thing, he didn't step up and say "Hey-- I'm using my power as a big man on campus to say that you need to do more and I will not have Sandusky on my staff anymore..."

This is one reason I try not to post something to Facebook if I know it could be so inflammatory-- it's not worth dealing with them all.

Hopefully, the Patriots-Giants Superbowl rematch will take over all the excitement on Facebook!

~Laura~ said...

Everyone was wrong who was involved with this. Period. Joe, McQueary, the administrators, the University. Everyone. No questions about it. I went to Penn State and grew up as a child of two Penn State alumni with the legend and legacy of Joe Paterno. And I am crazy upset and saddened about everything. Mostly, I am angry that someone as sick and inhuman as Jerry Sandusky even exists in this world.

If everyone is as upset and outraged as you all are, perhaps, instead of feeding the situation with more negativity, you make a donation to RAINN (http://rainn.org/donate/ways-to-give) and some positivity can come out of a horrific situation. My family and I have all donated and continue to donate.

Thank you for posting this - not one alumni that I know wants to minimize the pain and horror of the many innocent children that Jerry Sandusky terrorized. He not only stole their lives from them, but tarnished my (and countless other alumnis') memories and love of a once great university. We are grieving for the families affected and also trying to come to terms with what we believed was not what it was. I can mourn the passing of Joe Paterno and I don't believe that doing so negates the deeper sorrow that I feel for the families...

Allison said...

Great post. Very well written. Agree 100%
The comment above about unsolicited perspective made me chuckle, as if someone is making her read this blog. Oh

Suzanne B. said...

I was responding to the comment written about blaming the victim's parents instead of Joe Pa not this blog. I agree with everything Jen wrote completely.

Melda said...

Don't get me started on "famous" sports folks...

There are 18 million orphans on our planet.

1.2 million children are victims of trafficking.

Who puts that on their FB?

(*stats from OrphanSunday.com)

Melda said...

How can you say, "I don't feel bad for the parents of the children molested"?

That's sick

Tree Hugging Attorney said...

Seriously.
I agree 100%.

steph said...

if you were told "i saw someone eat a whole box of oreos." big whoop. if you were told "i saw someone raping a kid" you're telling me you would just shrug your shoulders and move on???

Jaguwar said...

Amen.

I caught your earlier post and simply liked it because I didn't have the time or energy to get into the whole mess today, but amen.

I think part of the problem is nobody has used the word RAPE in the Sandusky case. If it were a girl who'd been RAPED, that word would have been used, and the whole incident would have been painted in a more realistic light.

May God forgive him his sins. Now let's move on. >.<

chivas said...

You are twisted. I'd really like to punch you in the throat.

Wendy, R.N. said...

I agree 100%.

All day I have listened to my aunt and grandmother say, "Oh, poor him. He never got to clear his name." But, my reply is, "Well, he should have gone to the authorities, as should have McQueary. Then there would have been nothing to clear up."

Yes it is sad that he was ill, and that he died. But, in the end he was just a man that happened to coach a team. Not a war hero. Not a curer of disease. Not a great philanthropist for anyone other than his employer.

pj said...

Simple: yes, others also should have done more. That does NOT excuse him.

Katha Stuart said...

Agree 100%. I'm more concerned that lung cancer has taken YET ANOTHER person than I am that the sports world has lost one of its "heroes" - a hero who, in my opinion, does not deserve hero status. Real heroes are those who fight child abuse, cure cancer, etc.

So glad I found your blog thanks to that darn Elf. Your humor, insight, and gift of writing are treasures.

Robin said...

Agreed. But he has already been ripped apart when this all broke in the news. I care as much as the next person about what he did (or didn't do) but at the time of his death, this is about respecting his loved ones and not reopening the topic and letting them grieve.

Amy said...

I agree with you Penny!!!!!

Lisa said...

I'm with you 100%. Plus the fact that he wasn't THAT great of a coach- TWO national championships in 46 years? That's good in what record book?

He only cared about himself. If Paterno WAS Penn State, as everyone in my newsfeed keeps screaming, then it was his ultimate responsibility to ensure that nothing was amiss in his house. He should bear responsibility for a member of HIS coaching staff raping children.

And in other news 12 Police Officers have died in the line of duty this year but I haven't heard a word of condolences for them. They are the real heroes.

Becky said...

He was the winnest coach because he REFUSED to retire when he should have. Had he stepped down, even the first time he had to coach from the press box, he could have had a good legacy. Instead, he thought he was still capable of coaching, when the stark reality, as we have all seen, is that he was old and out of touch.

Having grown up in PA and gone to Catholic schools from kindergarten through high school graduation, I know the kool-aid those people drink. When he was fired, I had posts in my FB news feed from people I graduated with that thought the Penn State board should be replaced, not the football coach.
WTF?

I love college football, I went to a big college football school and what happened at Penn State sickens me to no end. As far as I'm concerned, they should shut their football program down and clean house. There's alot of blame to throw around.

Yes, Joe Paterno gave back quite a bit. No, he didn't cure cancer, but he gave a good bit to those trying and in his obit, the family requested donations in his name to a student philanthropy group dedicated towards helping childhood cancer. I know a number of families with very sick children that he did help.
But that in no way makes up for the children that were screwed up for life because he "didn't know what to do". I wonder, had he retired years ago, how much of this scandal would have affected Penn State- probably not nearly as much. Under another head coach, Sandusky probably wouldn't have had access to the locker rooms as long as he did.
In the end, his drive to be the 'winnest' coach turned out to be his downfall. He didn't know when to leave.

CHS365 said...

I dont think I have ever read a more asinine moronic ill informed statement in my entire life!!! First of all, let me be very clear, as once a victim and now advocate for sexually abused children...PREDATORS PREY!!! My parents were the effing American Dream for parents. My mother was a volunteer at my school every day, my father never missed a ballet recital. My sisters and I were surrounded my love and support EVERY DAY. My parents never knew because I had been conditioned by my abuser... I was too afraid to tell them. He was my best friends father and a teacher at my school. How dare you place blame on the parents!! Furthermore, now as a mother myself, I cannot believe that anyone (including a dimlit like yourself) could ever NOT feel compassion for a parent who in any way is subject witnessing the suffering and exploitation of their own child.

melissa allen said...

Sports figures aren't heroes to me. Nor should they be to anyone. Police Officers, Firemen, the military. Those are jobs where you actually have to sacrifice yourself for the good of others. Those are real heroes.

He was 85. My mother died when I was a teenager. His family was lucky to have him for as long as he did.

SWV said...

I agree wholeheartedly. Anyone (aside from his close family and friends) who doesn't see it this way should be very, very ashamed of themselves. Sorry folks, football is not more valuable than a human being's life.

Pinkstoc said...

Well said:)

SweetmamaK said...

Your child is getting an oppurtunity to spend time at a university after school. Imagine the doors that opens for your child. You never think the unthinkable. These men are predators and they know exactly how to manipulate children. It is not the parents fault. One mom did pursue when her son came home and said he took a shower. All the red flags waved and she called the police. Her action brought this whole thing to light. You can not blame the victims. There is a special place in Hell for people like you and if there is any justice it will be adjacent to the predators.

Jodie said...

Becky, you couldn't have said thise any better. my sentiments exactly. I married to a "penn stater", my closest friends are all "penn staters" and my brother is one as well. My husband was sickened and I am as well.
It's unfortunate he didn't do what he should have - which was do everything in his power to alert authorities about Sandusky. And let them handle him from there. Years and years of success mean much less when you don't do something great when it matters most.

SweetmamaK said...

I've said the same thing . It's good he died before his whole involvement came to light . Now everyone can focus on his legacy and forget what a piss poor human he was.

Stephanie said...

Wow! So, what you're saying is all children that are victims of abuse are victims because they have careless, uninvolved parents? Come on now....you can't be that stupid.

Jo said...

Are you kidding?? Everyone except Paterno should have done more?? He's the only one who behaved appropriately??? Keeping something to your self is what you might do if it involved something gossipy and minor. You don't keep "saw Sandusky having sex with a kid in a shower today" to yourself. You report it to the police! I'm a huge football fan and I know the legacy of Paterno very well, but I stopped caring about him/respecting him the second the news broke. He blew it. In a huge way. Great coaching skills do not make you an good person.

Heather said...

i felt the same way when i saw all the RIPs yesterday. I was a little shocked to be honest.
and on another note- I about spit out my coffee when i read your line-
"he was old".
:)

stlmom09 said...

Nice post. I agree with your assessment of the situation. I feel for his family, as I would for the family of anyone who died, but he was just a man, not a hero, and he failed at the moment when he could have really made a difference.

Thanks for having the courage to write this post in the face of the sh*tstorm your fb status caused.

Megan said...

Living in PA, the people around here put JoPa on the same kind of pedestal that others might put Kobe Bryant or Tom Brady. Here's the thing. They are all men, not God's and they have all made poor decisions in their lifetimes. Kobe and Tom made poor decisions that really only effected a small group of people. Joe made a poor decision that not only affected those that were abused, but also those that hadn't yet been abused and now an entire university. He has hurt the very football program that he loved. If he had gone to the police then, who knows how it all would have been different, but we know it would have been different. I won't speak ill of him, either. I may even say a prayer for him. But I won't offer words of condolence to the general public and won't put any man on a pedestal.

Unknown said...

^^^^
HIGH FIVE!!
football...

Monica said...

If this wasn't a football coach, aka (SAINT) that's sarcasm by the way,and he was say a teacher or principal and the guy doing it was a teacher he would get linched and mobbed by the same people that are crying for him now!!! Not only did he not do anything he was FRIENDS with Sandusky they worked together for 30 years!!! How could you look a child molester in the face everyday knowing what you know for the sake of football!!! I am from Pennsylvania and these people wouldn't care if he personally smacked a baby in the face or something as horrible they just want to see him as there motherF###incg hero!!! Thank you for writing this blog, my sister and I were starting to think we were the only real loving mothers left in this world who don't stand behind this man.

Laura said...

He should have reported it. Anyone and everyone who realized that something questionable was happening should have responded to defend those kids.

Laws are in place that require people who work with children to report suspected abuse. A law should not be necessary to make people do the right thing.

I don't know how anyone can look away from evil like that. Thanks for your post. I don't think that Joe Paterno was a terrible man but he made a terrible mistake.

TheJerseyShoreMom said...

I agree with you 100% and will share your blog on my FB page.

Heidi said...

Joe reported the hear-say incident to his boss and the head of campus police. Its not his job to investigate, probe, or research. He took it to them assuming they would do THEIR jobs and get to the bottom of it. The man was a football coach. If you want to be mad, be mad at the following: 1) the DA that investigated Jerry in 1998 for a similar incident and decided not to press charges. 2) the TWO janitors who witnessed the acts in showers in 2000 and didn't do anything 3) the high school wrestling coach who witnessed Sandusky lying on top of a boy. 4) the AD, school president, and the head of police that knew about each and every one of these and didn't do a darn thing. That said, Joe is not the one to blame. I accept the fact that everyone has an opinion on this, however I would suggest getting your facts correct first before posting something like this.

Unknown said...

Everyone is to blame, including Paterno. The information he was given should have been eating away inside of him, and he--like everyone else--should have done more. But he didn't. I am sorry he died, but he should not be treated like some saint.

Jamie-JourneysIntoPureImagination said...

Absolutely and 100% what I was saying yesterday. No, he may not have been brought up on charges, but I fully believe each one of those people involved should have been. While he may have done "what he was required to" he certainly didn't do right by the boys who have been irreversibly changed forever. Thanks for your honesty.

jmg4486 said...

I agree with you completely Penny but also please remember also 2 things. 1) Joe did in fact report this to the head of the campus police and 2) he did follow up with both McQueary and his superiors to make sure that his report was being investigated to which he was told it was being handled from both. It is very easy for all of us to sit here now with all the facts and say that Joe should have done more, he did not have all of the facts and i doubt any of us would have done anything more in the same situation. There were many people that let these children down but I don't believe that Joepa was one of them.

Do the thousands of young boys that Joe personally had a positive impact on in his life not count anymore? For those of you who didn't know about Joe before this scandal and those that only know Joe as a football coach his legacy is much greater than those football accomplishments and this tragedy.

Off the field Joe had high moral expectations of his players. He knew that other looked up to his players and he was going to make sure that they set a positive example. Every player was handed a moral code of conduct on day 1 and they were held responsible for upholding them throughout their college career. Joe did not tolerate fighting on or off the field he would bench his players.

Joe taught his players that it is not the name on the back of the jersey that matters it is the name on the front of the Jersey that counts.

Joe believed that his players' educations were paramount. In fact under Joe the Penn State football program had the highest graduation rate in all of NCAA sports, not just football.

Joe didn't just have the best interest of just his players but of all those in Happy Valley. Joe and his wife have donated millions to Penn State. Their donations have built a library among other things that have better the entire Penn State Community.

To judge Joe based on a tragedy that he did not have control of, and that he has called the saddest moments of his life is just unfair. This man has done great things on and off the field and always taken what he has felt was the moral high ground.

Joe lived a good life and as he son said in the family's statement "He died as he lived. He fought hard until the end, stayed positive, thought only of others and constantly reminded everyone of how blessed his life had been. His ambitions were far reaching, but he never believed he had to leave this Happy Valley to achieve them. He was a man devoted to his family, his university, his players and his community."

Confessions of a PTO Mom said...

He has guilt and punishment all his own. I read in an article that he said, " With the benefit of hindsight I wish I had done more." YOU THINK?!?!?!?

kelly_girl said...

To the people who are sticking up for Paterno:
1. if it was your kid you would not be so quick to jump to his defense...and if it was his kid, I bet he would have followed a different course.
2. NO ONE has as much power at Penn State/in Happy Valley as Paterno. NO ONE. He was probably the perfect person to expose Sandusky!! It's ridiculous to compare him to anyone else on campus - and by holding him to lower standards than the janitors, you are minimizing his influence. This is not someone taking office supplies "hey, I told the boss! My hands are clean" - it's CHILD RAPE!!! you don't let it go. Regardless of all the other cowards who ignored what was going on - he did not do the right thing. AND he let Sandusky back in the locker room, on the field, and at team events with kids AFTER he knew what was going on. Is he not even responsible for THAT? Come on!!
They are ALL to blame.

kelly_girl said...

Yeah! "with the benefit of hindsight" means "If I'd known I was going to get caught"

Unknown said...

I completely agree with you (and very well said, by the way). It doesn't matter what he did--he could be the most influential person in history, for all I care--but anyone who doesn't deem something as serious as sex abuse (CHILD sex abuse!!) important enough to do something about, has no real character. I've worked in adolescent treatment centers; I've dealt with the lasting effect sex abuse has on children. We all know it's wrong. And I will ABSOLUTELY judge your character by what you do when confronted with it.

While I'm sure he did great things in life, and while I'm sorry for his family, Joe Paterno is not someone I choose to revere.

PletcherFamily said...

I completely agree with you. I grew up in Pennsylvania and had many friends and family who went to Penn State. We went to a lot of games. But honestly - what he did was not excusable.

Anonymous said...

If he had continued to harass the police every dayto get this figured out, then I would not blame him along with everyone involved. If he had used his CONSIDERABLE clout at Penn State to get Sandusky fired (or better arrested), then I would not blame him along with everyone involved. If he had sat down with the young men and gotten their stories and then done something, then I would not blame him along with everyone involved. If he felt that nothing could be done by authorities or anything else and hired some big ass biker to drag Sandusky into an alley and beat him within an inch of his life, the I would not blame him along with everyone involved.
He DIDN"T DO ENOUGH.... He is to blame, LIKE EVERYONE ELSE INVOLVED.

.suz. said...

amen. and AMEN! i just said the exact same thing to my teen son and hubby last night. as a mom- my heart and loyalty goes to the children and families who were violated. end of story.

Unknown said...

I'd also like to add to this list all the people who called my daughter a liar...when they knew she was telling the truth. Way to protect your brother over an innocent child.

Alice said...

I agree but have pangs at the same time. Joe P. reminds me a little of my wonderful, caring, gentle father-in-law, who I fear would've reacted much the same. I'd like to hope he would have done more than this bare minimum (if you can call it that), but I fear he would have been so baffled and stunned by the facts that his brain would have almost shut down. I think something like this is so outside the ken of some of these older gentlemen (who grew up in times when You Did Not Talk About Such Things, which therefore meant Such Things Did Not Happen) that they would have been pretty well paralyzed by the knowledge. Not an excuse, but I think we should keep in mind.

He wasn't a perfect man by any means, and he damn well should have done more, but I can't help but feel compassion for him, too. (Not so much compassion as to take away from what I feel for the victims and their families, though. Please don't misunderstand me on that.)

Jeremy said...

I obviously touched a nerve on this one. Who knew?

Annnd that's where you lost me...as a reader "no biggie I know". As a parent you should understand that the world is a billion shades of gray and to make such a black and white comment is OF COURSE going to draw fire from both sides.

I think Stan Lee said it best when asked why the character Wolverine resonated so much with the younger audience, his reply "Wolverine is black and white, just like them, he doesn't think, he reacts, just like them". So if you find yourself making black and white statements, remember Stan and know that you WILL draw fire.

P.S. It gets gray when you realize Joe was many things, including caught between generations "in fact several". In his day you reported up the chain of command "he probably learned this fighting for you in WWII" It was just the way things were done. Is it right that he didn't take it further? Probably not, but this is where it’s really gray, a man his age didn't not report the incident because he was evil, just old and out of touch with the realities of today. It really is too bad for that kid "only one when talking about Joe", but does it invalidate his entire life's contributions to this world, no it does not and that is why black and white is better left to children who still have the luxury of such ignorance.

Jeremy said...

So Joe did all this? I wonder when you all are going to place some blame on ohhh i don't know Sandusky maybe? Joe was involved in ONE incident that he handled incorrectly and people were hurt, but your comments make it sound like HE was the abuser.

Jeremy said...

Yes you are correct. It say's that there are people out there that can ignore the THOUSANDS of good deeds and kids he did help over one mistake. Pretty sad really, I hope you live your life perfectly, one mistake and that child you are holding in your pic should be washed away!

dizzyn3d said...

right on!

JennaK said...

Pretty big mistake to make, though, if you ask me. People generally ignore little mistakes in contrast to lives well-lived, but when the mistake is that astronomical, and I believe it was, that's not something people can ignore. Sorry, but the virtue of a little child is huge--innocence was stolen and he knew about it. There are no excuses for ignoring that.

Deb said...

I feel this way about all the RIP posts of FB. Tragic, missed, loss to everyone, blah blah blah. Great leaders, people who have actually changed the world for the better-- they get a FB RIP from me. Not a celebrity.

jmg4486 said...

I think this is the best article I have read about JoePa. Those who make him seem like the devil are completely uninformed of who Joe really was....

http://espn.go.com/espn/story/_/id/7492873/rick-reilly-paterno-true-legacy?eleven=twelve

Andrea Filone said...

Well said!!!! Exactly!!

Tom said...

Joe Pa supposedly didn't go to the police and you're trying to make profit off a dead guy with this post. Another scumbag in my book!

BamaT1212 said...

I completely understand what you're saying. I am a big college football fan so everything about the situation saddens me. JoePa (admittedly) made a mistake of epic proportions when he failed to do more when told about the situation. He basically turned his head & hoped it would go away. He knows he screwed up big-time. It is also sad that all of the good he did - all of the positive influences he had on his 46 years worth of players, the millions of dollars he & his family donated to charities, etc - will totally completely & always be overshadowed by this.

BNo said...

This comes up in health care a lot: no one who gets sick or gets sick and dies is ever an asshole. That somehow the very natural process of dying surmounts what they fucked up in their lives. I'm not saying he was an asshole, but not following up on molestation obligations is pretty douche-baggy in my book.

Anonymous said...

Off topic, but has anyone mentioned issues getting your blogs? I see your posts on my Blogger dashboard, but when I click the link it tells me it doesn't exist.

Carrie said...

I couldn't agree more. Frankly, I could give a fuck about his ability to win football games. Not taking this matter to the police excused the abuse, probably allowed for more abuse, and was totally wrong. The End. I've found myself prefacing this opinion with, "As a mother..." But really, one does not need to be a parent to know that child molestation is disgusting. Penn State die hards need to get a clue.

mammabear4 said...

I think the reason he didn't do anything more is simple: money and power. People keep saying what a great coach he was. Because he was a great coach, football players flocked to the school. The school made millions, if not billions, because of him. They built him that multi-million dollar stadium and sports complex. Attendance for Penn State games was agronomical. The school gave Paterno whatever he asked for because he brought in the money. If he'd have asked for Sandusky to be out, he'd have been out. Paterno didn't. He wanted Sandusky at all costs because he wanted him as his defense coach. Thusly, if anyone suggested Sandusky be out on his ass like he should have, it came down to what Paterno wanted. He got what he wanted. Sandusky stayed right where he was.There is nothing more evil than seeing and knowing evil is being done and doing nothing.
My 16-yr-old son posted on his Fb status that Joe Paterno should rot in hell for doing what he did and that his sympathy is with those kids, now adults, he allowed to be molested and their families. Within 10 minutes, in a town of less than 6,000 people, he had more than 25 posts from kids telling him that Paterno was a like a God and how dare he say anything bad about him. He was privately messaged by MORE THAN 50 people, young and old, telling him everything from he's wrong to he should take his dick out of his mother's mouth. All over a difference of opinion regarding a goddamned football coach at a college a couple thousand miles away that none of these people attended. Seriously? And we wonder why so much unbelievable shit goes down on the daily. I'm certain you got a barrage of bs for saying that you didn't care that this chump died. There are a lot of people I respect and look up to. If I learned that they had a hand in allowing something this tragic to go on, it would overshadow all warm fuzzy feelings I had.

PJP said...

When 1 out of every 25 people in the United States is a Penn State graduate, you gotta expect the hate mail!

Unknown said...

Wondering where all that rage was when children were being raped? hmmm.

Nica said...

Exactly what I thought too. I mean, I doubt if any of the victims of these heinous crimes get peaceful rest.

Shaefins said...

PJP, fact check, please. PSU has only 466K living alums - that's 1 in every 720 Americans. (http://www.psu.edu/ur/about/50ways.html)

Anonymous said...

It is true that everyone will make mistakes in their lives, no one is perfect. But to do no less then stand up and scream at the top of your lungs that a child's precious innocence is being viciously destroyed. Well that is just the most heart breaking aspects of it all. That no one did just that. He is gone, his suffering is over. Those children have to live everyday with what happened to them.

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