Scandal Culture Snagged Paterno
In a bracing understatement,
The legendary coach could have done more to protect children when he heard back in 2002 that now-former defense coach
Nothing further was done, according to the report, despite earlier allegations of misconduct as far back as a 1998 episode in which Sandusky admitted to university police and to the mother of an 11-year-old boy that it was wrong to shower with the boy and promised not to do it again.
Yes, the coach could have done more. He could have called police. He could have followed up on his initial complaint. Instead, he apparently hid behind a bureaucratic process that did more to bury the matter than stop a suspected predator.
And the original whistleblower, assistant football coach
Sandusky now has numerous counts of child sex charges in an investigation that is extending beyond the state. Paterno and Spanier were fired by the university's trustees. The fact that McQueary was not fired, too, brought a new controversy, apparently including the threats against him that caused the university to announce he would not be at the sidelines of the school's final home game of the year.
Hanging like a cloud over this scandal is the question of how and why so many people failed to do more when they had the opportunity. "I don't think I've ever been associated with a case with this type of eyewitness identification of sex acts taking place where the police weren't called," state police Commissioner
Considering the privileged, closed-society nature of major college sports, many have drawn comparisons with the child-abuse scandals among Catholic priests. The
At least 10 major football programs have faced investigations or punishment in recent months. They include widely publicized allegations that
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian
Yet, as Branch writes, the real scandal is not that some college athletes are getting paid under the table but that more of them are not being properly compensated in plain sight. After decades of such financial hypocrisy, we should not be shocked to see a casual attitude toward corruption and cover-ups extend even to sins as horrendous as child molestation.
And if this corrupt culture is an addiction, it has multitudes of codependents. When
Paterno's "hindsight" should give us some foresight. We won't have to confess to not having done enough to break up this culture of corruption and entitlement if we stop taking it for granted now.
Penn State sex scandal legal implications
- Sandusky: One Man's Actions and The Incalculable Damage Done
- Too Late But Penn State Finally Did the Right Thing
- Penn State's Shame and Ours
- Scandal Culture Snagged Paterno
- 'Right to Riot' Cemented in Campus Culture
- Key Files Missing From Jerry Sandusky's Charity
- Syracuse Assistant Basketball Coach Bernie Fine Denies Sex Assault Accusations
- Joe Paterno has Treatable Form of Lung Cancer
- McQueary's Story Adds Twist To Penn State Scandal
- Penn State Coach Mike McQueary Says He Stopped Alleged Sandusky Assault
- Sandusky Denies He's a Pedophile in TV Interview
- Big Ten Takes Paterno's Name Off Championship Trophy
- Penn State Assistant Mike Mcqueary Won't Coach, Attend Game Vs. Nebraska
- Picking Up the Pieces: Tom Bradley Takes Over at Penn State
Penn State Fires Coach Paterno, Effective Immediately
President Spanier Also Dismissed
- Paterno Facing Possible Civil Suit, Criminal Charges
- Paterno Wants to Talk About Penn State Controversy
- Penn State Officials Step Down Ahead of Arraignment on Perjury Charges
- Penn State Top Official Unconditionally Backs Embattled Ad Amidst Shocking Allegations
Copyright © 2011 THE DETROIT FREE PRESS DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.