Penn State students riot for… Paterno?

Last night the Penn State Board of Trustees fired Joe Paterno. Earlier that day Paterno released a statement saying that he would retire at the end of the season. The Board of Trustees’ decision came after a full day of news coverage. They had little choice in the matter. From Paterno to the Board, the decision appears governed by money and power, and the Board could not risk the lose of money that allowing Paterno to remain might bring.

This is a huge blow for Penn State. Paterno is, as the media constantly reports, the “winningest” coach in college football history. He ran that program for decades and had great power in the university. Not only did he make Penn State’s football team winners, he also kept them clean. The players basically could not do anything wrong or they risked getting in trouble with Paterno.

That kind of prestige breeds affection, and plenty from Penn State and the surrounding community flocked to support Paterno. That would be fine, except for one thing: Paterno is accused of ignoring child rape.

That makes some people’s reaction to Paterno’s firing all the more curious: 

Riot police were deployed in State College, Pa., on Wednesday night as thousands of Penn State supporters vented their anger at the firing of Joe Paterno amid a scandal over the school’s handling of child sexual abuse allegations.

At around 12:20am local time Thursday, the university issued an official police dispersal order via Facebook, warning students to vacate downtown State College immediately. It came after several violent scenes in which protesters flipped over a media van and destroyed other property.

About 2,000 people gathered at Old Main and moved to an area called Beaver Canyon, a street ringed by student apartments that were used in past riots to pelt police, myFOXphilly.com reported.

But while several arrests were made, the disorder was controlled amid a strong presence from state police as the crowds returned to Old Main.

Really?

Paterno, who practically ran Penn State, allegedly ignored child rape for almost 13 years, and they riot for him?

Nine victims. Nine boys, some as young as 8-years-old, raped and molested by Jerry Sandusky, and the outrage is over Paterno’s firing?

Let us put this into perspective: Mike McQueary, current receivers coach at Penn State, allegedly saw Sandusky raping a 10-year-old boy in a shower in 2002. He reports this to Paterno, who in turn reports this to school officials. Neither McQueary or Paterno  call the police, try to find out who the boy was or follow up with the officials to find out what happened. Both, particularly Paterno, move on.

Worse, there was a 1998 allegation against Sandusky that Gary Schultz was aware of. Chances are that Patenro, being the man of power that he was, knew about the allegation as well and still did nothing.

While the majority of people from Penn State likely do not side with Paterno, for those who do: What the hell is wrong with you?

The man allegedly covered up child rape for 13 years. It does not matter how much money he brings to the school or how much you like him personally. When you cover up child rape you have to go — preferably to jail, but certainly from your job.

If you want to riot, riot for the victims. Riot for the boys who Sandusky raped. Riot for the boys Sandusky was able to rape to because those in power did nothing to stop him.

6 thoughts on “Penn State students riot for… Paterno?

  1. I find this eternally confusing. Paterno oversaw and essentially helped cover up these incidents. Does some part of your intellect or moral fiber say “gee, maybe he shouldn’t have done that” despite that fact that he’s the football coach? I’ll never understand why they want him to stay.

  2. I suppose they believe:
    A. He wasn’t as aware of repeated allegations as you seem to think he was.
    B. He thought it had been investigated, and that he had done his duty.

    The investigation that is currently under way should clarify more of what Paterno knew and didn’t know.

    My real question is: did he follow up on it? Did he ask any of the higher ups if it had been investigated? That would at least show he had a real care for the alleged victim.

    I don’t know if he’s a monster who suspected or was aware of multiple things that he helped cover up or if he’s a merely a misguided man from an earlier time who trusted the school to take care of the single incident he was told about. I’d say we give him the chance to prove its the later rather than the former, though I must say I’m leaning in your direction at this point.

  3. Clarence, I do not think Paterno is a monster. I think that at best he made a bureaucratic decision and never followed up on it, and at worst deliberately turned a blind eye to this.

  4. I’ll never understand why they want him to stay.

    Money. Football is the cash cow of Penn State, and Paterno is the reason for that. We are talking about thousands, if not millions, of dollars in donations, funding and a host of other things. A lot of people stand to lose as a result of Paterno being fired. Honestly, if this had only made local news, there is a good chance the Board would not have fired him.

  5. This story just gets curiouser & curiouser. Now we find out the hardnosed DA, Ray Gricar, who investigated allegations against Sandsky in 1998, has been missing since 2005. His body was never found but his laptop was, in a river and missing the hard-drive. He was officially declared dead last July. It was Gricar who had police listen in while an alleged victim’s mother confronted Sandusky.

    According to his nephew, Tony Gricar, his uncle had “a bitter taste in his mouth for the [Penn State] program, and its coach.”

    The plot thickens…

  6. Pingback: Posts I Liked This Week « The Ranting Liberal

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