How could American culture grow so corrupt as to value a game over protecting children?

Farscry wrote:

I still do not agree with those who called for harsh measures before the conclusion of the investigation, because I don't agree with the Bush/Gitmo "scorched earth until proven innocent" approach. I am a big fan of due process.

At least one massive ego, the reputation of a university, and millions and millions of dollars in football revenues were at stake. Of course there was a cover-up. That was obvious from day one.

I never doubted it. But I still prefer that we follow due process rather than immediately breaking out the lynching ropes.

Farscry wrote:

I never doubted it. But I still prefer that we follow due process rather than immediately breaking out the lynching ropes.

+1

Farscry wrote:

I never doubted it. But I still prefer that we follow due process rather than immediately breaking out the lynching ropes.

An institution is not an individual. Institutions rarely, if ever, do what an individual would consider morally or ethically right when faced with a dilemma.

I think that perhaps an indefinite suspension would not have been out of order until the investigation was complete.

OG_slinger wrote:
Farscry wrote:

I never doubted it. But I still prefer that we follow due process rather than immediately breaking out the lynching ropes.

An institution is not an individual. Institutions rarely, if ever, do what an individual would consider morally or ethically right when faced with a dilemma.

I think what Farscry is saying is follow due process to prove it's an institutional problem and not just a few individuals.

Farscry wrote:

I never doubted it. But I still prefer that we follow due process rather than immediately breaking out the lynching ropes.

To be fair, those of us who were calling for it to be shut down from the beginning were running under the premise that there's no way this happens without a coverup. It seemed improbable that they didn't know. Also there's a difference between shutting down the program and suspending it. I still think you could have made the argument that in light of the allegations all football activities should have ceased once the Sandusky case began.

DSGamer wrote:
Farscry wrote:

I never doubted it. But I still prefer that we follow due process rather than immediately breaking out the lynching ropes.

To be fair, those of us who were calling for it to be shut down from the beginning were running under the premise that there's no way this happens without a coverup. It seemed improbable that they didn't know. Also there's a difference between shutting down the program and suspending it. I still think you could have made the argument that in light of the allegations all football activities should have ceased once the Sandusky case began.

True; I would not have opposed a suspension of the program for the investigation. I did opposed nuking the program from orbit prematurely.

I think what rankles me in particular is that I didn't take kindly to essentially being called an apologist for child molesters because I wanted to ensure fair justice was meted out by following the process. And that's why I wanted to specify that while I agree now with the harshness of punishment that needs to happen, it's because the investigation has successfully revealed what we suspected, so now we can impartially look to the full picture of the evidence to determine that punishment.

Farscry wrote:
DSGamer wrote:
Farscry wrote:

I never doubted it. But I still prefer that we follow due process rather than immediately breaking out the lynching ropes.

To be fair, those of us who were calling for it to be shut down from the beginning were running under the premise that there's no way this happens without a coverup. It seemed improbable that they didn't know. Also there's a difference between shutting down the program and suspending it. I still think you could have made the argument that in light of the allegations all football activities should have ceased once the Sandusky case began.

True; I would not have opposed a suspension of the program for the investigation. I did opposed nuking the program from orbit prematurely.

I think what rankles me in particular is that I didn't take kindly to essentially being called an apologist for child molesters because I wanted to ensure fair justice was meted out by following the process. And that's why I wanted to specify that while I agree now with the harshness of punishment that needs to happen, it's because the investigation has successfully revealed what we suspected, so now we can impartially look to the full picture of the evidence to determine that punishment.

I don't think anyone actually meant that. The title of this thread, for once, is spot on. It's not about you being an apologist for child molesters. I don't think that. I doubt many people here ever thought that. It's more a matter of priorities. Sporting events are canceled when there is a campus shooting or some kind of traumatic event. Now, in our new post 9/11 world we've been taught that soldiering on is more important. That's what we did after 9/11. We eventually played the baseball games and football games. I'm not questioning that decision. However, I do think the whole idea of sports as healing is way overblown. In some cases it's fine to cancel a game. And in some cases, like this, you probably should cancel things or put them on hold.

DSGamer wrote:

In some cases it's fine to cancel a game. And in some cases, like this, you probably should cancel things or put them on hold.

At least get rid of the bronze statue of Joe Paterno.

The problem I have with nuking the program is that it doesn't solve anything other than our need to feel like they're being really really punished. It's not much different than capital punishment. Sure, it kills the perpetrator but it doesn't help the victims or the families. In this case though, it actually creates additional victims. There are literally hundreds of other students that will suffer.

I'd suggest a ten year ban from the BCS or any bowl games. That hurts far more than a one or two year shutdown. On top of that I'd want to see meaningful reform to make sure that victims are taken care of and steps to make sure they're doing everything they can so this never happens again.

Bear wrote:

The problem I have with nuking the program is that it doesn't solve anything other than our need to feel like they're being really really punished. It's not much different than capital punishment. Sure, it kills the perpetrator but it doesn't help the victims or the families. In this case though, it actually creates additional victims. There are literally hundreds of other students that will suffer.

But the football program was protecting a pedophile. And the football program was so much bigger than the college that investigation of it was stifled at many levels. I would say it's time for Penn St. to focus all their energy on being a college.

The abuse was a big problem, Bear, but it wasn't their fault. They could have chosen to deal with it swiftly and certainly. It would have been a scandal, but it would have been the right thing to do.

But, to protect their football program, they actively chose to let more children be abused. Saving the program was so important to them that it was okay if Sandusky f*cked boys under their care.

If the football program survives, they made the right choice. They did the rational thing that any college would do in the same circumstance ... if they cover it up, they have a good to excellent chance of never taking any reputational damage at all, and if it's revealed that they covered it up, well, all they take is reputational damage. So the downside isn't much worse, from an institutional standpoint, and they gain a potential very large upside by hushing it up -- the possibility of being successful. And all those millions and millions of football dollars just keep flowing in.

The only reasonable response to that is to take away the football program they wanted to protect. Other colleges, when faced with this same choice, need to realize that the coverup is much worse than reporting the crime. And it needs to be terribly damaging to the institution, not just individual people in the institution, because they have enormous power over their employees to keep them silent.

You appear to be laboring under the continued misapprehension, Bear, that these are good people, and that we shouldn't overreact.

They are not good people.

Remember, there are millions and millions of dollars on the line here, and if you don't think a few quiet threats against employees that see too much is a very likely outcome, with all those millions at stake, you've got an unreasonably rosy view of what a corrupting influence that kind of money can be.

Those threats would be something like..."you saw nothing. If you report to the police, you will be fired." And that last word could be "killed", if the college leadership is extra corrupt. Judging from how many lines Penn State was already demonstrably willing to cross, are you really that sure that this level of coercion wouldn't be applied, with that kind of money on the line?

The penalty for the actual institution needs to be draconian and terrible for this kind of thing. You can't rely on the honesty of individual people, because they are too easily compromised by their dependence on the college. People have this annoying habit of needing food and shelter and clothing, and it's amazingly easy to get them to do what you want if you can realistically threaten their jobs.

There doesn't need to be an institutional punishment for abuse, because that's something that individuals do. As long as it's reported quickly, it's not a problem for the organization. But there absolutely needs to be truly dire punishment for using the resources of the institution to shelter and even enable child abusers.

From the latest reports, it seems JoePa was instrumental in talking college officials out of going to the police after Sandusky was caught red handed in the shower. All talk about killing the program aside, at the very least Paterno should be barred from any hall of fame and all honors presented to him should be revoked. Finally, pull his statue down Saddam Hussein style.

SallyNasty wrote:
Farscry wrote:

I never doubted it. But I still prefer that we follow due process rather than immediately breaking out the lynchinrants to protectg ropes.

+1

This is where I stood, too. In the first few pages I posted that I thought it might get shut down. But it will feel better based on actual investigations over internet rants to protect the children.

Jayhawker wrote:
SallyNasty wrote:
Farscry wrote:

I never doubted it. But I still prefer that we follow due process rather than immediately breaking out the lynchinrants to protectg ropes.

+1

This is where I stood, too. In the first few pages I posted that I thought it might get shut down. But it will feel better based on actual investigations over internet rants to protect the children.

Exactly.

Yes, a rant after the investigations and Freeh releasing details. That exactly what I meant.

Letting the public try a case in the media is a really good idea.

Jayhawker wrote:
SallyNasty wrote:
Farscry wrote:

I never doubted it. But I still prefer that we follow due process rather than immediately breaking out the lynchinrants to protectg ropes.

+1

This is where I stood, too. In the first few pages I posted that I thought it might get shut down. But it will feel better based on actual investigations over internet rants to protect the children.

Except that's not an internet rant to protect the children. That's actually really close to what Malor was just saying:

The article: If Penn State football carries on this fall with a new coach and those old white-and-blue uniforms, then the worldviews of Curley and Schultz and Spanier and Paterno will prevail. Though all four men lost their jobs, their mission to protect Penn State football at all costs will win out in the end.

Malor: If the football program survives, they made the right choice. They did the rational thing that any college would do in the same circumstance

As I remember it, and looking back on it, those first few pages *were* about 'protecting the children'; also about removing the stigma, and most of the conversation was about what Penn State needed to do to itself. The conversation has moved from talk of punishment (Penn State deserves to have football taken away) and safety ('we can't trust anyone Paterno hired--they all need to go') to what we are talking about now, which is deterrence: of making the penalty for a cover-up severe enough that in any future Penn State-type situations, the people involved will be sufficiently fearful that they'll be motivated by that fear do the right thing.

Let's not be dicks to each other over this, especially if it involves retcon'ing the thread. In fact, let's not be dicks to each other over this at all: there was enough of that along the way.

This is my first post in this thread. I've never been about protecting the program. What I have wanted to see was consequences based on actions exposed by the facts of an investigation. I'll admit that Paterno was 100% more involved than I suspected, and that is a HUGE factor.

Jayhawker wrote:
jonnypolite wrote:

Slate had an article on this, Couldn't agree more.

Great article.

Until Penn State cleans house, 100% of anyone that might have possibly been involved, they are hurting their own school and football program. Who sends their child to that school if the powers that be cannot e expected to act with much more integrity than they have.

I really believe that everyone's failure to act is going to cause a near collapse of the football program. Players need to be allowed to transfer without penalty. And there does need to be a serious discussion about shutting the football program down 100%, or at least take a hiatus for a couple of years.

Think about this. When players shower after a game or practice, it will be in the same showers a coach raped a young boy. When players work out in the gym, yep, another location where a coach fondled a young boy.

Penn State has to distance itself from its biggest asset: it's history. Because that history is exactly what Sandusky used to lure young boys into his traps. I feel for Penn State fans, because they didn't ask for this. But the decision makers at that school need to do the right thing and go scorched earth. Th action of several men at the school destroyed what should have been a legacy that would produce for years to come.

Jayhawker wrote:

This is my first post in this thread. I've never been about protecting the program.

In fact, when looking back on the thread, I came across this:

You said: The NCAA should not kill off Penn State football. I don't think it would be a terrible idea if Penn state quit playing football for two years in order to clean house and start fresh.

The article stated: Shuttering Beaver Stadium for two years would take Penn State football down a peg.

You called for exactly what the article just posted is calling for.

What I have wanted to see was consequences based on actions exposed by the facts of an investigation. I'll admit that Paterno was 100% more involved than I suspected, and that is a HUGE factor.

Yeah; what is surprising to me is that the administration was still in such fear of him even though all this took place while he was losing games and they were trying to get him to retire.

CheezePavilion wrote:

Yeah; what is surprising to me is that the administration was still in such fear of him even though all this took place while he was losing games and they were trying to get him to retire.

Stockholm Syndrome? "JoePa's practically everyone's dad, guys. We can't just cut him loose."

clover wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:

Yeah; what is surprising to me is that the administration was still in such fear of him even though all this took place while he was losing games and they were trying to get him to retire.

Stockholm Syndrome? "JoePa's practically everyone's dad, guys. We can't just cut him loose."

Thing is, the administration wasn't defending him--it was asking him to retire according to that link in my post. They tried to cut him loose, but couldn't. You think with something like that to hang over his head, that's a lot of leverage. Looking up that 2004 meeting some more, who knows what went on. There's an interesting angle in that article:

Spanier is loath to take a hard line in negotiations because, ultimately, Paterno holds the hammer -- his relationships with top Penn State donors. The president was asked to estimate how many millions Paterno has personally raised just during Spanier's 13-year tenure:

"I don't know if we can quantify it. I think we can say his contribution to our overall fundraising efforts is unprecedented among any university coach or sports figure. There is nothing like it.

"We've been on fundraising calls together. He attends our development meetings, when we talk about how to raise so many million dollars. About specific people, numbers, how to get it done.

"And he's always great at giving that extra measure of encouragement to others. Someone might say, 'I think I could give a million.' Joe says [Spanier adopts a half-hearted Paterno impression], 'Come on! You could give $2 million! What are ya talkin' about?'"

Maybe the fear was what he could do to them if they tried to push him out without his blessing.

CheezePavilion wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

This is my first post in this thread. I've never been about protecting the program.

In fact, when looking back on the thread, I came across this:

You said: The NCAA should not kill off Penn State football. I don't think it would be a terrible idea if Penn state quit playing football for two years in order to clean house and start fresh.

The article stated: Shuttering Beaver Stadium for two years would take Penn State football down a peg.

You called for exactly what the article just posted is calling for.

I also said in that post:

I don't think there is much reason for a lot of outrage anymore, as all of the things we think should happen, are basically occurring. Once the season is over, I expect to see some massive developments. As athletes avoid the school, alumni stop sending money, and everyone tied to the program is swept out, there will be some major changes. It's within the scope of possibility that Penn State could leave the Big 10.

But apparently that meant I was in favor of protecting child molesters by people with more outrage. I'm surprised that some of the biggest proponents of liberty were so adamant to issue sanctions before all the information came out.

Jayhawker wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

This is my first post in this thread. I've never been about protecting the program.

In fact, when looking back on the thread, I came across this:

You said: The NCAA should not kill off Penn State football. I don't think it would be a terrible idea if Penn state quit playing football for two years in order to clean house and start fresh.

The article stated: Shuttering Beaver Stadium for two years would take Penn State football down a peg.

You called for exactly what the article just posted is calling for.

I also said in that post:

I don't think there is much reason for a lot of outrage anymore, as all of the things we think should happen, are basically occurring. Once the season is over, I expect to see some massive developments. As athletes avoid the school, alumni stop sending money, and everyone tied to the program is swept out, there will be some major changes. It's within the scope of possibility that Penn State could leave the Big 10.

But apparently that meant I was in favor of protecting child molesters by people with more outrage. I'm surprised that some of the biggest proponents of liberty were so adamant to issue sanctions before all the information came out.

Sorry--I was unclear. I was agreeing with you/saying you were calling for exactly what the author of the article that's being held up as an example of the right kind of thinking on this issue is also calling for.

CheezePavilion wrote:

In fact, let's not be dicks to each other over this at all: there was enough of that along the way.

Would have been lovely. I'm surprised it happened, since we apparently all agreed the whole time.

Jayhawker wrote:
SallyNasty wrote:
Farscry wrote:

I never doubted it. But I still prefer that we follow due process rather than immediately breaking out the lynchinrants to protectg ropes.

+1

This is where I stood, too. In the first few pages I posted that I thought it might get shut down. But it will feel better based on actual investigations over internet rants to protect the children.

I just want to clarify that what made me the most angry during my original post was the students who were rioting in defense of JoePa and the seemingly tone deaf attitude that they were displaying towards very serious allegations. I wasn't trying to condemn anyone before a fair investigation, but I still feel a certain level of outrage was called for.

jdzappa wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:
SallyNasty wrote:
Farscry wrote:

I never doubted it. But I still prefer that we follow due process rather than immediately breaking out the lynchinrants to protectg ropes.

+1

This is where I stood, too. In the first few pages I posted that I thought it might get shut down. But it will feel better based on actual investigations over internet rants to protect the children.

I just want to clarify that what made me the most angry during my original post was the students who were rioting in defense of JoePa and the seemingly tone deaf attitude that they were displaying towards very serious allegations. I wasn't trying to condemn anyone before a fair investigation, but I still feel a certain level of outrage was called for.

And it continues:

“I Hope Tim Tebow Rapes A Kid”

For more insight on the cult-like fervor for partying, football, and institutional loyalty at Penn State I recommend the following episode of This American Life

#1 PARTY SCHOOL