Joe Paterno

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” – Lord Acton in 1887.

This quote stands just as true today, 125 years later, as it was when Lord Acton first said it.  You cannot get to the top in any business without cutting a few corners, figuratively (or literally as the case may be) slitting someone’s throat or making backdoor deals along the way.  Congressmen and Senators are bought and paid for every single day by lobbyists for billion dollar corporations.  Rulers of countries start wars that kill innocent people all the time.  CEOs take millions of dollars in bailout money and give themselves a monster bonus.  Coaches with the most wins in college football history look the other way for decades while an assistant coach and friend serially rapes little boys on campus.

Here are the simple facts from what transpired at Penn State.  People saw Jerry Sandusky raping a kid in 1998.  Joe Paterno and the rest of the top brass at PSU decided to squash investigations and let Sandusky remain free.  They forced Sandusky into retirement BUT let him retain access to the campus and the football facilities.  WHY?  One simple reason…they didn’t want to tarnish their image.  They put themselves and their reputations about the safety of children.

In 2001, again Jerry Sandusky was seen raping a child.  Again investigations were thwarted.  No attempts were made to identify or find the child.  No attempts were made to notify the proper authorities because “Joe” didn’t want that to be done.  Everyone had big money dealings with Second Mile that they didn’t want squashed.  Everyone had a reputation to uphold.  Again, their egos were put before the safety and well being of children.

Who in the hell lets a man that they KNOW is a pedophile bring young boys on trips to bowl games and stay in the same hotel room?  Who in the hell lets a man that they KNOW is a pedophile have continued access to football facilities after hours with children?  Who in the hell thinks that the truth would not eventually come out on what was going on for YEARS on that campus?

Evil men.  Bad men.  Men with absolute power who had been corrupted by it.

I am baffled by the fact that anyone is still out there defending Joe Paterno.  A good person goes to the cops.  A good person, especially one with enough power to do anything that he wants, makes sure that Jerry Sandusky is never allowed on campus again ESPECIALLY with children!  A good person does what they can to get Second Mile shut down so Sandusky doesn’t have unlimited access to the very people that he intends to make victims.

Joe Paterno decided to protect his own ass.  Joe Paterno decided to act like nothing was happening.  Joe Paterno decided not to call the cops.  Not to notify Second Mile.  Not to notify the Department of Child Welfare.  Not to revoke campus access.  Joe Paterno decided that he would hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.

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The defenders of Joe Paterno say that he did the minimum that was required by law.  He notified the AD and the school president.  That is the same as saying, “I saw a person choking so I told the person next to me and then I left.  I have no idea if the person that was choking lived or died or whether the person I told did anything about it but I told someone…it was the least I could do.”  Great men don’t do the bare minimum.  Leaders don’t do the bare minimum.  People that have statues erected to celebrate their greatness DON’T DO THE BARE MINIMUM.  The defenders also say that “he made one mistake.”  It’s not one mistake when you make it every single day for 12 years.  It is over FOUR THOUSAND mistakes because it counts each day.  If you run 10,000 red lights and get 10,000 tickets for it, you can’t say that you just made 1 mistake.

Paterno’s family is now going to conduct their own investigation.  Just like OJ Simpson searched for the real killers.  Good luck to them.  The only way they are going to clear Joe Paterno’s name to anyone outside of his blind followers are if they want to claim that he suffered from dementia and Alzheimers for the last 20 years and therefore didn’t know what he was doing and couldn’t remember it anyway.

If what happened at Penn State University isn’t the definition of a “lack of institutional control” then the NCAA cannot ever use that claim against another university.  The fact that PSU power brokers hid this scandal for over a decade and allowed more kids to be raped and assaulted has to be punished.  The fact that PSU football fans want to wear rose colored glasses and say that only Jerry Sandusky is to blame has to be punished.  The only way to punish PSU and their blind followers is to take away the one thing that they were trying to protect for over a decade.  PSU needs to receive the death penalty in football.  Allow all the current players to transfer if they wish without having to sit out a season.  Then you make Penn State and their followers live without football for a few years.  Let them think about where priorities should be in life.

There is no denying that Joe Paterno was a great football coach.  There is no denying that he did a lot of good things in his life.  There is no denying that he is not the worst person to have ever lived.  There is no denying that he isn’t the worst person in this scandal.  There is also no denying that making a choice to stay silent and letting several children be raped and abused repeatedly over the course of 10+ years outweighs building a library on campus or winning some football games…unless your priorities are are way out of whack.

Finally, I think PSU should be forced to work with RAINN – Rape, Abuse & Incest Network for the next decade.  Have links on their websites.  Have the website address on the football field during games.  Do PSAs for the charity.  I also encourage the readers of this blog to learn from this scandal.  If you have been the victim of a rape or abuse, seek help.  Speak out.  If you know of someone that is a rapist or an abuser, do what you can to stop that predator.  Help spread the word of RAINN so they can help the victims of these crimes.

We have the power to do something…don’t let it corrupt us into being silent like Joe Paterno was.

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One response to “Joe Paterno”

  1. Maan Avatar

    It’s more than a $60 million fine it’s ceslor to $73 million when you add on the Big 10 s sanctions as well. Because they’re banned from playing for the Big 10 Title, the conference will now divvy up their share of $13 million over four years. And then there’s the coming lawsuit(s).On top of that, all their wins are vacated, which means Paterno no longer has the record for most victories.One word: justifiable.

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