I have always thought Joe Paterno, the head football coach for Penn State, was a good and honorable guy. He seemed to run a clean program.
This has all changed of course in the last few days. Along with the child sex abuse scandal going on there, we have been hearing that all may not have been well at Penn State. Stories have come out about a man who ran roughshod and ignored the wishes of college administrators. Whether this is true or not is not very relevant at this point, just mentioning it because it shows that everything is not always as it seems.
For those who have not followed the story closely, this is a good article on it.
Basically an ex-assistant coach ran a camp for boys and would bring them to the football facilities to meet players and coaches and use the workout equipment. The coach was sexually assaulting these young men, some as young as 10.
The coach has been charged with sexual assault of children and the Athletic Director and a VP of the college have been charged with covering up the abuse and lying to a grand jury. The cover-up charges stem from an instance of assault in the locker room in 2002. There are now allegations that 2 other instances occurred in 1998 in which college officials knew about and did not report.
Initially it appeared Paterno was simply guilty of a bad choice in his coach and friend.
Then it came out that he knew about the assault but continued his association with the coach for the last 9 years. The assistant coach was banned from bringing kids onto campus but was still a regular visitor there, being seen working out on the campus as recently as last week when the story began to break.
Now it seems Paterno may have been a part of the cover-up.
The story on the 2002 incident is that a graduate assistant heard sounds of possible sexual activity in a shower/bathroom (I have heard 2 different accounts) that the assistant coach was in alone with a 10 year old boy.
Paterno notified school officials, not the police, and the alleged cover-up began.
He now claims he did not know the extent of what had happened in the room with the child. Wouldn't you ask your friend about this? He apparently did not and not only continued his association and friendship with the assistant coach, he continued to let him visit the facilities - as long as he didn't bring children with him.
Now we have this
But Paterno -- who has not been accused of any criminal wrongdoing -- showed me all I need to know about him as a man when he waited a full day to relay a witness' account of rhythmic slapping noises emanating from a shower occupied by Sandusky and that poor 10-year-old boy.
The interesting thing here is this. At the top I told how rumors are coming out that Paterno did as he pleased on campus. Ran over the administrators. Now he is hiding behind them and saying he notified the administration of the abuse and is escaping legal jeopardy so far. Is this believable considering that it appears he ran things in the athletic department?
Also, a little irony. The very same administration he has supposedly spent the last decade or two running over are now convening a special panel to decide his fate. Maybe a little payback time?
So, what do you think about this? Is retirement enough? Should he be allowed to finish the season? What about criminal charges?