The Lesson We Desperately Need To Learn From the Penn State Situation

“If we as a society cannot protect our children, then we are pathetic.” – Matt Millen, Penn State DT 1976-1979

So…this is how it ends. As I wake up today; the first day in my 43 years in which Joe Paterno is not the head coach at Penn State, I can’t help but ask myself how the hell did this happen?

The whole point of this blog from its inception has been to provide a unique view of the world of sports. More often than not, this has been done with a sense of humor, sometimes a thick sense of satire, and sometimes by being completely absurd. However, there are times where I abandon all pretense and speak in a very blunt and direct manner because of the seriousness of the subject matter.

Obviously, my discussion of what happened at Penn State will be one of those times.  Frankly, this has been a time of great personal angst for me; it doesn’t take long reading through the archives of this blog to discover that I have a connection to the university and that Coach Paterno has been a revered figure in my life.  Most obviously, this will be one of those times because there is nothing funny about the sexual abuse of children.

In much of the conversation throughout the media I have seen, there has been much debate over Paterno’s role in this matter. There’s one school of thought that wants to hold Paterno accountable for the entire situation, while another feels he did what he was supposed to do and therefore still deserves the adoration of the fans who have appreciated the two national championships he won in 46 years at the helm in State College.

Both sides have passion for their position, both sides have argued vehemently for their position, yet both sides are missing a terribly important point.  In other words, if you are bent on arguing one side or the other of this discussion, feel free to take that discussion elsewhere. I’m not interested in your soapbox rantings, your righteous indignation, or whatever else you may have to offer that is off the real point of this blog: How do we stop this from happening again?

Stopping this from happening again is the only facet of this discussion in which I’m interested, and it renders all the other aspects of the discussion utterly pointless, with the sole exception of examining them in order to understand the pathology of such horrible events.

That’s really why I didn’t write this piece on Monday as the real ugliness of this story was breaking. But today, I feel compelled.  Once I saw the grand jury report come out, I knew my personal feelings about Coach Paterno no longer mattered in this affair. I knew nobody’s personal feelings mattered anymore, but I also knew those feelings were going to drive the debate. This was going to cause a massive outpouring of those emotions, which I knew would need to be avoided because to get to the bottom of why things like this happen, we as a nation have to take a hard look at our methods of organizational management.

Collectively, we are looking for one figure at which to point a finger so that we can all roll over and go back to sleep.  It is so much easier to point at one factor and say “if for that one thing, event x wouldn’t have happened” than it is to say “perhaps we need to take a hard look at how we handle these situations.”

That is exactly why I don’t want to hear anymore of this pointless argument “who should have done what when” argument. Besides the fact that it doesn’t solve anything, it frames the entire discussion in terms of blaming somebody who wasn’t the one abusing the children.

Not to mention those fingers might end up pointing back at you. I’ll come back to that later…

Until we re-focus our collective anger over such issues back to the appropriate targets, this problem will continue to exist. Penn State is not the first organization to have a problem like this, and it won’t be the last. Paterno isn’t the first middle-manager to have something off-putting reported to him, and he won’t be the last. Penn State senior management isn’t the first such group to bury the report, and they won’t be the last.  All because Jerry Sandusky isn’t the first child-raping monster we’ve had to deal with, but he should be the last.

The trouble is he won’t be.

No matter how you want to frame the discussion, today finds Joe Paterno and Penn State president Graham Spanier cleaning out their offices. The two former PSU officials currently under indictment (Curley and Schultz) will be facing their own legal consequences, and Jerry Sandusky will soon enough be in prison getting a daily diet of what he was handing out.

Not a single one of those facts – not a single goddamn one – will prevent another child from being abused due to an organizational cover-up.

In other words, this whole incident should be about Sandusky being a degenerate pederast. If you can’t bring yourself to blame the obvious, if you feel the need to widen the debate, then at least have the balls to do it in a productive manner. The damage in this case has already been done, so as I’ve said, there’s no point to the “Who knew what and when did they know it?”  debate.

Instead, we as a society need to address the following:

First of all, we need to at least get a grasp as to why human nature draws us to the cover-up. There is almost no better subject than the abuse of children to draw the prototypical “tough-guy” talk; you know, the kind that starts with “if I were the one who saw that” or “if that were my kid.” That sort of talk belongs in the same sort rubbish bin as the Joe Six-Pack in a bar who has a few too many beers and thinks he could take on an MMA fighter.

You don’t want to believe that. In fact, you are reading this and thinking that I’m not talking about you. Right now, you are constructing an argument that will let you believe I’m wrong, that somehow you are different; that somehow the laws of human nature which have remained unchanged since the days of wooly mammoths and cave drawings do not apply to you.

While you are constructing that argument, consider this: blowing the whistle is the decided exception to the rule. If you are taking the grand jury testimony to heart, then you know the Penn State employee (Mike McQueary)  who witnessed an act of abuse in 2002 was an assistant football coach.  Without knowing anything about the man’s personality, I think we could all agree that any coach at the big-time college level is no shrinking violet. He’s a tougher guy than you are, but he didn’t spring into the “tough guy” reaction.

Then there’s Paterno. It’s obvious Paterno is a tougher guy than you. He was running out on the field with his team into his late 70’s; it took a hit from a Wisconsin tight end that would have crippled you to stop him. The fact that he can deal with the rigors of being a big-time head coach at an age when most men his age are in a box speaks to “Chuck Norris level” tough.

Paterno is a guy who has been the gold standard for football coaches for close to 50 years, and the fact that he blanched upon getting the news of what Sandusky was doing speaks volumes to the fact that the reaction to this sort of news is not predictable.

If you don’t want to believe that, ask yourself this: Even if you want to hold Paterno’s feet to the fire, do you really think Paterno made a conscious decision to allow the raping of children? Let’s be honest, Paterno made a terrible mistake, but not the one everybody thinks he made. At the end of the day, nobody really believes Paterno is an evil man, in fact it is quite the opposite.  All the great things Paterno has accomplished in the past 60+ years didn’t suddenly evaporate.

Don’t misunderstand me…this is by no means a defense of Joe Paterno. It is literally killing a piece of me to say this, but this incident showed that it was time for the Paterno era in State College to come to a close.

I beg you to follow along closely to understand where I’m coming from with this. Go back to my original question about Paterno. Before you answer that, stop to remember the whole situation, and more importantly stop to view this not as somebody reading grand jury testimony (which was produced at the end of a lengthy investigation which produced information you would not have been privy to at the time), but in the light as it was presented to Paterno.

According the grand jury testimony, Paterno was told that Jerry Sandusky did things of a “sexual nature” to a child. The make-you-want-to-puke details don’t come out until later.  Meanwhile, consider that Sandusky was Paterno’s colleague and friend for over three decades.

In order to believe Paterno made such a monstrous conscious decision, you have to believe that a man who spent 63 years as a football coach at the same university would turn his back on a decades-long friendship. Say what you want to about Paterno, but the man exudes loyalty.

So, let’s go back to your “if that was me” argument. Are you certain – absolutely certain – that if somebody approached you and said your friend of 30 years was raping a kid in the shower, would you believe it? Would you even want to believe it?

Even if you did believe it, what would you do?

Option number one is to call the police, but remember an important legal point here…you didn’t see it happen, somebody only told you it happened, and didn’t even do that until the next day. That means even if you called the police, they aren’t going to act because they can’t do anything based on third-party information.

Option number two is to confront your friend…Oh, except you can’t in this case, because your friend is also your employee. Don’t forget for purposes of the Penn State organizational chart, Joe Paterno was a middle-manager and the accused Jerry Sandusky as the defensive coordinator was his direct report. That means there are all kinds of rules about how you address such allegations.

Option number three is to tell the Penn State employee who reported seeing the abuse to call the police…Oh, except you can’t do that because because the employee already fulfilled their organizational obligation by informing you.

In other words, you can’t go to the cops, you can’t confront your friend, and since the person who reported the incident also is an employee, you really can’t tell them what to do after they’ve told you about the incident in question.

In other words, Paterno did the only thing he legally could do. So, the argument becomes not what Paterno knew and when he knew it. Rather it becomes a matter of why do we force people in this country into positions where they need to worry more about legalities than moralities?

In other words, when did we become a country of such gutless wimps we worry more about covering our own asses instead of doing what’s right?

The bottom line here is this: Only Sandusky, Curley, and Schultz have criminal responsibility in this affair, which is why they are under indictment. The rest of this fiasco is a result of organizational mismanagement, an astonishing lack of leadership, and the fact that this country has too many “if that were my kid” people.

It isn’t difficult to see this if you break it down. The Penn State situation is horrifying not only for the heinous nature of the crimes alleged to have been committed, but it illustrates the gutless, soulless, and borderline-criminally negligent management we’ve allowed to exist in this country. Think about it. At no point in this this process did anybody show the leadership needed to stand up and scream from the top of Old Main “EXCUSE ME, WE HAVE A CHILD-RAPING MONSTER ON OUR HANDS! WHAT THE HELL ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT IT!”

Instead, a collection of football coaches – guys who pride themselves of instilling qualities into young men such as leadership, accountability, and courage – showed absolutely none of those things in themselves.

This is the part that’s tearing my guts out. Of all the people I held as heroes, one thing they all represented was being that “tough guy leader;” the guy that would stand up and say “THIS IS WRONG AND WE ARE GOING TO FIX IT!” For 43 years of my life, Joe Paterno was one of those guys.

Today, it is clear he no longer is. And he must go.

I mention this only because if we have a situation where something so monstrous is allowed to exist in a place that prides itself on leadership, accountability, and courage; in a place led by a living legend who exemplified those qualities, then it is incumbent upon EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US to understand that this can happen anywhere, and that EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US to see that it doesn’t.

Look at the organizational management structures we use in this country. Just about every organization you can think of (Penn State included) has rules about reporting wrong-doing, and several of them (Penn State included) has rules about who is allowed to contact external entities.  Clearly, the rules are in place at Penn State; so much so that a graduate assistant coach didn’t immediately call 911 when he saw a sexual assault in progress.

The fact that nobody – NOBODY – stood up on the several opportunities which presented themselves to take the lead in this matter is an indictment of those individuals only so long as you are willing to contemplate the complete picture. The fact that so many people chose to “pass the buck” suggest they had a reason to do so; that the terms of not “toeing the company line” are grave enough to make them turn a blind eye to the sexual abuse of children. In other words, you must ask the question why did the organization put those individuals in a position forcing them into such a decision in the first place?

Now, back to the “if that was my kid” guy.  First of all, why does it have to be your kid? Does that mean you wouldn’t do anything if it weren’t your kid? Don’t recoil at that question; after all, it wasn’t Mike McQueary’s kid getting raped in the shower, and he did nothing.

Stop and think about why he did nothing. Suppose he breaks up the assault and beats the crap out of Sandusky in the process. The child victim then refuses to testify that he was in fact being raped. Now, McQueary is in the spot of facing a assault charge of his own, and he beat up a guy higher on the food chain than himself. He did the right thing, but now he’s looking a jail time and the loss of his job. He didn’t risk that for somebody else’s kid.

You’ve got to understand that lately we have a track record in this country of people almost always choosing to cover their ass and protect their jobs and friends rather than do the right thing.  If you can read the grand jury report of the Sandusky allegations and a) not get a vivid mental picture that makes you literally sick to your stomach and b) not want to blow his junk off with a 12-gauge, you may be as must of a monster as he is.

But what that rage, bloodlust, and thirst for justice hides is the equally-as-important concept that monsters like Sandusky live with the system we’ve built, and they live there because  “good” people can be forced to make decisions that ring more of self-preservation than “right” and “wrong.”

If it can happen to a man like Joe Paterno, it can happen to you.

It makes you feel better to think you would have the balls to do the right thing when faced with such a seemingly obvious choice. The truth is, you might not, because when push comes to shove, you are really being forced in such a situation to choose between legal and moral. If you aren’t willing to take the risks, then it does in fact have to be “your kid.”

Matt Millen is right. As a society, that makes us pathetic.

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35 responses

  1. As always, brilliantly stated, sir.

  2. Wonderful! The most accurate and truthful account I’ve read on the Penn State scandal. Brilliantly done!

  3. In Philadelphia there is nothing else being covered on news or sports outlets…and of course none of the discussion is constructive towards any potential solutions or remedies. It is all mass outrage and retribution. Don’t finish the football season, shut down their program, etc. As a PSU graduate, this has been an interesting week. I did not attend State College for my degree but was up there on many a football weekend. It is hard to describe this week’s literal crushing of the perfect, snow globe world SC was. And in retrospect, it is likely the cozy, isolated atmosphere and the over-emphasized, zealous requirement for its cottage industry of football success within helped fuel the silence so many suffered from. I concur with Chris’ thoughts. Well done.

    1. I can only imagine how this is playing in PA. And you are exactly right…people who have never been to State College really don’t understand a) what a mythic figure Paterno is b) how important football is to the identity of the university and c) what a unique relationship exists between the community and the university.

  4. Nicely done JW…very thought provoking post.

    Matt Millen as the voice of reason…that’s something I never thought I’d ever see/hear.

    1. And to think it took an event of this magnitude to make that happen…

  5. So the starting point is must not happen again. Agreed.

    Having worked for years in supervisory position I also agree with many of the core elements of your basic argument. We had a situation where an employee was accused of theft and the what seems like a no brainier to many – just call the police got tossed into the brier patch of workplace rules.

    However having been on both sides of the equation, union steward and management I can tell you that an organization the leads its employees to believe that they can’t go to the police in this situation is seriously screwed up. Someone needed to step in and say no this is bigger and thus that is why at least the President got fired.

    So what is your take on the lack of follow through by JoePa and McQueary once it became clear that nothing was going to happen beyond the taking away the keys and you can’t bring children to the locker rooms. Personal inertia? I did my part and I can mentally wash my hands? Blind obedience to the PSU rules of engagement? If he was helping himself to petty cash then the argument of well it was something minor and lets not put him in a situation where he will be around money might wash.

    Isn’t it a safe assumption that if under option 1 you go to the police and say someone told me the following happened that they would be compelled to at least investigate? And if for whatever reason McQueary says nope, never happened then their options are limited.

    I believe your option two has a factual error. Sandusky was not a PSU employee at the time of the incident witnessed by McQueary. So while he might have been a friend, he wasn’t an employee. He had resigned to work at his charity by then. The friendship angle though might be the one to follow. The basic issue of you suspect your next door neighbor beats his wife and kids. But what if your wrong. They just naturally are clumsy. Do you risk the friendship and make a lifelong enemy? The irrational fear that you have opened yourself up wide for litigation? The no it can’t be true. They are such nice people.

    And that eventually circles around to the what did McQueary actually tell him. It raises the issue that the rioting students are dismissing. If McQueary told him everything then Paterino lied to the grand jury.

    When it comes down to it, we all like to think we would be the guy who calls the cops. The one who goes walking tall with a baseball bat. But until it happens you just don’t know. Pray that you never have to find out.

    Sad times indeed. My wife, who hates football but bleeds PSU is just gutted. Miss having you around. Would have like to have heard the Algonquin round table you and the HHG would have made out of this.

    Hope you were the one who filed the papers to register the image you used. Boatload of cash could be made on that.

    1. The following link puts a point on our agreed supervisory/management concerns from a legal standpoint.

      http://thatlawyerdude.blogspot.com/2011/11/strong-defense-of-joe-paterno-why.html?m=1

      “Isn’t it a safe assumption that if under option 1 you go to the police and say someone told me the following happened that they would be compelled to at least investigate?” No, it is not a safe assumption. I ran that very scenario past a friend of mine who has been a detective for close to 20 years. He told me there would be almost no chance of getting an actionable report filed on third-party information. He rattled off an impressive list of reasons, not the least of which was with no eyewitnesses, it would likely be up to a district attorney, not the police, to decide if there were sufficient cause to investigate.

      You are correct. I am factually incorrect on Option number two. Sandusky was not an employee. However, he still clearly had a relationship with the PSU football program, which makes that a murky legal situation at best…I don’t know exactly what “emeritus” status means legally.

      I don’t know what happened in terms of follow-through. Frankly, I don’t care beyond the fact that there was a point where somebody – be it Paterno, the AD, or the President – had to step up and put a stop to this. The fact that they didn’t is the underpinning of my organizational argument. The link I provided above also shines a light on that question as well.

      Pass on my best regards personally to HHG the next time you see him…talking to him on the phone doesn’t do it justice.

  6. JW

    From top to bottom there’s enough blame to go around PSU . Millen sits on the board of Sandusky’s charity (The Second Mile Group) which he used to procure his victims . So at this juncture to my mind anything he ( Millen) has to say on the matter becomes mute !

    If at all interested here’s my take on the matter ? Click unto the link shown to view .

    It’s Image First And Then A Matter Of Perception …

    tophatal …

    1. That’s a cheap shot at Millen. He didn’t know what was going on; outside of the PSU offices nobody did at this time last week. I’m on two Boards of Directors now, and I don’t really know most of the people with whom I serve. So to say somebody had knowledge of an incident strictly through a loose association is completely ludricrous. “Guilt by association” went out with the Spanish Inquisition.

      C’mon man…you’re better than this.

      1. JW

        You can’t tell me that once there were rumblings of this he (Millen) can’t have been somewhat wary of the fomenting allegations ? It’s like within Paterno’s excuse if only hindsight ….. one assault I could understand but several took place after that 2002 incident . What are they doin’ at Penn St self medicating on Propofol courtesy of Conrad Murray ?

        Everyone seems to forget that the victims here were young kids and the culprit in this all was a sexually depraved bas_ard !

        It’s about acting responsibility when the integrity of an organization is on the line . And here it was clear that everyone front and center seemed intent on covering their own a#s !

        If the Dept of Education and Justice Dept get involved in this then look for the victims’ families to lead a long procession that will cost the school millions of dollars in damages . As for those dumb _ss students what the hell are they thinking ” we love Joe “. I wonder if they would be out there still throwing their support behind the coach were any of the victims known to them ?

        The handling of this all smacks of the stupidity shown by the numerous Roman Catholic dioceses around the US in the aftermath of sexual abuse scandal involving the priests .

        And don’t think that Mark Emmert and the brood from the NCAA won’t get involved as well .

        Everyone is looking to make excuses for the repugnant behavior without calling out anyone to be held accountable and Millen is doing that to an extent .
        If he had any decency he’d step down from the organization . But he hasn’t as of yet , so now what ? Consider that .

        tophatal ………..

      2. So, in other words, the only right reaction is the one that happens less than four days into a problem. Good luck with that…

  7. McQueary ought to be fired but look at this way the handling of this situation so far has been so damn comical to begin with !

    Hell , there have probably been sexual assaults of females the campus and they called in the Keystone Cops to investigate .

    tophatal …..

    tophatal ………

    1. Regardless of our earlier disagreement, I’m guessing we would agree completely on the following observation of mine….

      I have been in management and leadership positions for close to 20 years, and in all that time I have never seen an organization handle a crisis worse than the Penn State leadership handled this.

      1. JW

        Four days in ? How long has this bs been going on ? The state attorney’s general’s office under Linda Kelly has been dealing with this for over two months and it was only after the indictments came down that the sh_t began to hit the fan at College Station . State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan has been at the forefront of the investigation in conjunction with the state DA’s office , even given the fact there was little assistance forthcoming from the university . The PSU Campus Police , well let’s just say that the Keystone Cops would be envious that their legacy of comedic excellence and ineptitude is still being upheld by that particular group .

        The board of trustees and specific members have to go of the entire establishment has to go because they are symptomatic of the underlying problem with the cover up !

        There has been no accountability whatsoever from anyone concerning this matter at all . Instead they’ve all chosen to bury their heads in the sand . Penn St lacks credibility and integrity in so many ways after this mess and there’s no denying that fact !

        There has been no contrition from anyone not even from the now disgraced Paterno . But he’s been quick enough to hire himself a criminal attorney .

        As for Mike McQueary , personally I’d like to see his fu_king feet held to fire if not more ! If only Sharia Law were practiced as a rule of law I would have the appropriate punishment for his a_s ! Paterno’s successor Tom Bradley he’s a bumbling oaf ____ especially in light of interview concerning McQueary .

        This is going to cost PSU millions in damages in terms of litigation and civil suits .

        Have a great Veterans’ Day !

        tophatal ………….

      2. Outside of PSU administration and the PA attorney general’s, who knew about this a week ago? Nobody. You didn’t know it. I didn’t know it. And Matt Millen didn’t know it, so to assert that Millen should be held to a standard for those who knew of this situation is ludricous. You can have any beef with Matt Millen that you want, but you have to be at least fair about it.

      3. Al,

        You are going to notice that your last two comments were not approved and will not be shown here. Frankly, you crossed a line I’m not willing to let anybody cross. Comments are always welcome, but for any further comments to be published, they will need to meet the following criteria.

        1) If you are going to accuse somebody of wrongdoing, at least make a rational argument. The comment you made which I will not publish was not only completely irrational, it was borderline libelous. Either way, it never sees the light of day on this blog. If you want to level those sorts of accusations against people, do it on your own blog.

        2) Stay on topic. This is self-explanatory. This also means not posting links to material not relevant to the conversation.

        3) Be mindful of the tone of your rhetoric, especially when it comes to name-calling or attacking somebody personally simply because they disagree with you. Show some respect for the others here who are willing to engage in discussions on the topics presented.

        If you are not willing to do that, your participation will no longer be welcome.

      4. Al,

        You were warned. You chose not to heed that warning. Your comments are no longer welcome here, and any further comments will not be approved.

  8. Well said, as always, Dubs.

    I do like that what you bring up about McQueary, because it’s hard to say what he felt in the moment. However, the fact that he is on the sidelines now is questionable and says to me that he was given that in exchange for silence.

    I agree with almost everything you said. My biggest problem with the whole thing, outside of the obvious (being the rape of children) is that because we are talking about football personnel and a football program, people find themselves making excuses.

    In any other profession these people would not have excuses made for them. They would ALL be gone for their involvement. That is what angers me the most. I love football so very much but the cover-up was about maintaining an image for the school and the athletics program more than it was about the victims and as you said, that cannot happen again. I hope to goodness that this challenges people going forward to try to do the right thing no matter what the cost but I know that for many, that means losing their job and that is not a risk they are willing to take.

    I live in New York City and I have heard stories of friends who were mugged by gunpoint in broad daylight in front of hundred of commuters and no one does or says a damn thing because they are more concerned for their own safety. Not that it’s the same thing.

    I have no rambled and made little sense.

    Again, I agree with pretty much everything and Im likely saying what you’ve already heard.

    1. Don’t tell Billy this, but if I were ever going to consider leaving my wife (an extremely remote possibility at best), you would be high on my list of “replacement” candidates :)

      You have earned such a distinction based on the fact you get where I’m really going with this.

      You understand this isn’t about my reverence for Paterno. My feelings toward JoePa are going to hinge on how this situation plays out…everybody is “lawyering up'” so you know this isn’t over. But like I said, my feelings don’t matter in terms of this discussion. What matters is that we agree that if this weren’t about football, all these people would have been pink-slipped.

      Forget about NYC; I had an incident in Minnesota (a place we both know) where I broke up a felony-level incident. To make a long story short, I stumbled into an armed robbery, at which point I produced a legally-owned and registered pistol and killed one robber and crippled the other. Sounds like I should be a hero, right? Not according to the district attorney, who really wanted to nail me.

      That fact alone should tell you that being the “hero” isn’t always what it is cracked up to be. These assholes who are quick to be the “if that was me me guy” are generally keyboard jockeys who don’t understand the ramifications of taking a real stand because they’ve never really had to do so.

  9. This is a great peace, thanks for sharing this Dub. That being said I am already sick of hearing this story in the news and how Peterno was fired blah blah blah. I also don’t think it really make sense that the board of trustees’ didn’t let him coach against Neb and remainder of season. The guy poured everything he had towards coaching the University, and as a result of this event he gets shafted in every way. Really is a sad story and something that Paterno didn’t and this team don’t deserve. It’s gotta be hard being a PSU fan, but hopefully your team can respond and make it to the Championship game.

  10. Well stated. I agree whole heatedly with you that there is more blame to go around here than just Paterno. I also agree that legally he did what he had to do, that’s never been my issue. It all comes down to the moral issue and like with many things opinions vary and we can spend days or weeks arguing and counter-arguing. While in my article I focused primarily on Paterno, and what I think he could have done, there are more levels and more twists and turns to this story than any of us probably even know… or want to know. The primary focus needs to be how can this happen and how can we keep it from happening again to anyone. I’m sure PSU officials weren’t the only ones with suspicions. Where has his wife been in all of this? What about other family members and friends? With everything that went on and that we know, how could something not be noticed? Like I said, the failure to act happens way too much and in this instance I just think it was a failure to act on a level we’ve never seen before….

    and the one thing we can all agree on… Sandusky is a monster and will get his eventually.

  11. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard on Philly sports talk radio this week both the hosts and the callers telling us all what they would automatically, without hesitation do “if that was me.” Were that phrase to be a drinking game I would have died from alcohol consumption mid-week.

  12. Great stuff dub! I can’t even understand what and how this went down, but you threw out some great reasons on how the circumstances could’ve played out.

    I did wonder what your thoughts were on the non-profit with kids and Sandusky. Seems to me like someone or anyone could’ve stopped that…

  13. Not sure if you caught this, bra….

    1. Your piece hits the nail on the head…If you are going to wrestle with pigs, you are going to get muddy.

      Not only do you have to make sure you surround yourself with good people, but you have to act decisively when you find out they aren’t. This situation because the legal has usurped the moral, and until we as a society address that, this will not be the last time this happens.

  14. Very very nicely done overall Dubs. This is a really hard subject to even discuss because it’s so messed up. Well done in an untimely situation.

    Meehan

  15. [...] from an anonymous letter I received from a Penn State fan who doesn’t believe I should be criticizing his beloved Coach Paterno. “You are probably to stupid to realize this, but you are the reason a great university lost [...]

  16. Apologies for being late to the party, but I want to make sure I had the time to seriously commit to reading your piece. I won’t retread over the same ground already discuss, but simply state this is another excellent thought provoking article. Well done JW.

  17. [...] First of all, J-Dub recused himself since he is a Penn State alum. Then it became a question of whose behavior was really award-worthy. Besides, his views on this matter are already on record. [...]

  18. [...] will result in a never-ending self-congratulatory parade of the self appointed moralists I called out at the beginning of this mess.  Don’t get me wrong, I got kicked off the Penn State island for saying Sandusky deserved to [...]

  19. [...] said it before, and I will say it again…in fact I will keep saying it because at the outset of this situation, I said there were only two points which mattered, and nothing contained in the Freeh Report changes [...]

  20. [...] were the people who took such a brave stand by table-pounding the obvious “we need to protect our children” reaction. There are lessons to be learned, and there are things as a society we need to do; [...]

  21. […] on.”  You can see the perfect example of this In J-Dubs’ excoriation of the “if that were my kid” mentality in the wake of the Penn State […]

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