Monday, July 2, 2012

Penn State cover-up: Say it ain't so Joe (Pa)

St. JoePa
Roughly, one week before the Sandusky/Penn State fall out, I had a conversation with a retiree and Penn State alum about the sanctity of coach Joe Paterno's coaching career.

This gentleman, clad in a Penn State cap, recited the proud accomplishments of Paterno's blemish-free 50 years of coaching.

For example:

Under his leadership, the Nittany Lions won two national championships, went undefeated five times and finished in the top 25 national rankings 35 times, according to his official Penn State biography.
At the same time, the program never fell under NCAA sanctions for major infractions while producing 13 Academic All-Americans since 2006. In 2009, according to the university, the Nittany Lions posted an 85% graduation rate.
"The acclaim for Joe Paterno has stemmed largely from the contrast between the high academic and moral standards he has tried to exemplify and the shameless conduct that often embarrasses and dishonors the college sport he cherishes," author Michael O'Brien wrote in a 1999 biography of Paterno, "No Ordinary Joe."    source

Oh, but what a difference a week made...

Now, not only do we have Jerry Sandusky -- convicted on 45 counts of sexual abuse against young boys -- we have evidence of a possible cover-up involving top Penn State officials -- maybe even JoePa himself.
Emails show Penn State's former president Graham Spanier agreed not to take allegations of sex abuse against ex-assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky to authorities but worried university officials would be "vulnerable'' for failing to report it, a news organization has reported.
The emails show athletic director Tim Curley and retired vice president Gary Schultz intended to report the allegation, then reconsidered. Spanier responded that he was "supportive'' of their plan, but he worried they might "become vulnerable for not having reported it.''
The CNN report cites an email from Schultz to Curley on Feb. 26, 2001, 16 days after graduate assistant Mike McQueary told veteran coach Joe Paterno about the shower assault. Schultz suggests bringing the allegation to the attention of Sandusky, Sandusky's charity and the Department of Welfare, which investigates suspected child abuse, according to the report.
But the next night, Curley sent an email to Spanier, saying that after thinking about it more and talking to Paterno, he was "uncomfortable'' with that plan and wanted to work with Sandusky before contacting authorities, the report said. source
If these charges are true and accurate, Penn State's liability is both criminal and civil for not reporting or stopping pedophile Sandusky. It is completely unimaginable that an institutional hierarchy could have such first hand and overwhelming knowledge about child rape and do virtually nothing -- or on the contrary co-conspire to cover-up such horrible crimes.
Or worse yet, continue to provide the abuser a safe haven for the continuation of his sordid crimes. Remind you of another institution -- larger than life -- that looked the other way while certain leaders raped children?
The Catholic Church.  


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