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

SpacePPoliceman wrote:
Grubber788 wrote:

No, you are not allowed to make a snide comment and extract yourself from the thread.

Why the f*ck not? The only thing you reacted to in my post was his name, anyone who views the matter even close to the way he does is a fascist, and only one side's insults are fair, seems to me at this point there isn't much discussion about football to be had anymore at this point. He hasn't gotten a very fair shake in this thread, but I don't much feel like discussing Malor.

I am sorry then. What of your own opinion then? Is destroying the program the only real option?

Edit: And annoyed as I am at some people's arguing techniques (increasingly so in recent months, and across multiple threads), I was more concerned with your contention that Malor was making a certain point that I had clearly not seen in the past 29 pages. I found your point to be worth discussing since it seems like you were coming up with the nuanced point.

Farscry wrote:

Yeah, I wasn't entirely sarcastic with that final line.

With the way things are going, you might get your wish, too!

SpacePPoliceman wrote:
Grubber788 wrote:

No, you are not allowed to make a snide comment and extract yourself from the thread.

Why the f*ck not? The only thing you reacted to in my post was his name, anyone who views the matter even close to the way he does is a fascist, and only one side's insults are fair, seems to me at this point there isn't much discussion about football to be had anymore at this point. He hasn't gotten a very fair shake in this thread, but I don't much feel like discussing Malor.

Much, much earlier in the thread, I made the following point (paraphrased), which I'll try to make again:

I don't even like football. On a personal level, given what I've seen and dealt with in my own life and secondhand through people I know and value, I feel that while collegiate sports programs once had value as community-building and to give a healthy and fun outlet as an extracurricular activity for students interested in rounding out their education with fitness in a team sports atmosphere.

That has since given way to something that's an entirely different beast, and which has -- in my opinion -- often negatively impacted the overall college-level education and discourse in our nation. I would actually be happy to see college sports as they currently exist done away with. To borrow Malor's terminology, nuked from orbit. And then replaced after some time has passed with activities more like the way sports originally existed at the college level.

So there's my background: I have no horse in this whole Penn State Football race directly, and seeing it completely eliminated as part of purging the college world of minor league sports would not bother me.

On to the issue at hand. I am a huge, huge fan of due process and the American principle that the accused is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a jury of your peers.

Malor's "nuanced" response, which is what I can assure you sets me off (as well as people simply propping up what he says without clarifying their perspective more evenly), consists of the perspective that the accused and any associated parties (that not a single person in that program -- his words, not mine -- could have been ignorant of what happened, and thus actively participated in the cover-up) are guilty because he feels it is reasonable to assume so.

i.e. it's the conspiracy theory version of the New England witch hunts. And that if you support following our core legal principle that I'm a fan of, you're supporting and defending child molesters. He has never recanted that particular jibe, which yes, really galls me. It's just like the extremist political tactic of "but, but, the children!" meant to play on your emotions instead of having to put forth an actual -- dare I say nuanced -- defense.

Now, I don't think there's a reasonable person in this thread on either side of the debate who has said that they don't believe there was a cover-up going on. The question at hand is who was involved and in what manner. And rather than going all Salem on the place, I simply feel that it's important to follow our fundamental principle of due process (again, keep in mind, I would actually be happy to see NCAA sports done away with - and no, not just football). It makes me incredibly disturbed to see people calling for us to essentially go scorched earth on an organization without following due process, because if we do and our assumptions are not all correct, we will not be able to undo the damage done in following the idea of "shoot first, ask questions later."

Look how well that approach has served us the last decade in the Middle East, for instance. "Great job, Brownie" indeed.

If we follow the process, and we do not believe that it has been performed correctly, the problem is with our system, and we need to address that. And yes, I do believe the system is flawed and is due for review and reform. But screaming at the top of our lungs to get what we want (via following a different system that has been shown to be even worse) is not the way to fix it.

Jayhawker wrote:

Yeah, it's really nuanced.

It's like like the school hasn't been fined and punished at all. It's like they haven't skipped a beat.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/24/sp...

The N.C.A.A. announced significant penalties against Penn State and its football program Monday, including a $60 million fine and a four-year postseason ban, in the wake of the child sexual abuse scandal involving the former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.
The punishment also included the loss of 10 scholarships per year for the next four years, with a limit of 65 total scholarship players on the roster, as opposed to the typical 85, for four years beginning with the 2014 season. The university must also vacate all its victories from 1998 to 2011, meaning that Joe Paterno is no longer the major-college career leader in football coaching wins. The university was also placed on probation for five years.

Personally, I would have liked to have seen a two year suspension prior to the penalties levied. But the notion that Penn State got off scott free is a fiction.

$60 million sounds like a lot, but it's actually just half of the sports revenue--the vast, vast majority of which are from football--that Penn State takes in every year. Is the fine significant? Yes. Is it crippling? Absolutely not. In fact, based on season ticket sales and donations tied to ticket sales, Penn State is predicting that they'll bring in record breaking revenues this year.

The only question that's worth asking about the fine is "Does it cause enough financial pain to Penn State that it will force them to radically overhaul their organizational oversight to prevent anything remotely like this happening again and is it large enough to put the fear of god in every other college football program?" The answer, for now, is just "We'll see" when the answer should have been a resounding "Yes!"

The loss of scholarships and the voiding of wins can only be considered a punishment if you are emotionally invested in the football team. For outsiders and non-football fans the proper reaction is "Why are so many scholarships to an institute to higher learning being handed out to people who very likely would never be accepted if they were judged according to their academic performance like everyone else was?" and "What does it say about you and your emotional development that you are upset that you will no longer be able to say that you went to a school whose football coach had the most wins?"

This is pretty much why I think a two year suspension of football should have taken place in addition to the rest of the penalties.

But there is a big difference between debating the penalties and shutting the program down. That is the disconnect seen in the thread.

In the end, I don't think there is a single program in the country that would see the penalties levied as worth accepting and risking a cover-up because the damage is not so bad.

I also stated from the outset that I thought Penn State officials ought to have considered shutting football down for a year or two themselves. That is pretty much the only way the public was ever going to trust their motivations.

But I don't think the government should be allowed to shut any business down before one hell of a comprehensive investigation. It's why the Freeh report was so important. It is part of what is driving both NCAA penalties and state and federal investigations that have led to charges. And Criminal charges in the cover-up is the number one most important impact that will dissuade those in power in other programs from trying to pull off this kind of cover-up.

There is too much money involved for them to let it go.

That being said, I am familiar with the law firm that they hired and they are know as being a very high profile and detailed law firm. This is only the first step in a big war between Penn State, the NCAA, and the Paterno family. This will not be pretty.

I hope they do not forget who the real victims are in all of this.

Ego Man wrote:

I hope they do not forget who the real victims are in all of this.

It's a bit too late to hope for that.

This is a family that is completely self centered... Paterno was a god and could do no wrong in any aspect of life so for them to suddenly be changed into 2nd Class citizens is something this family cannot ever handle. I'm not surprised one bit.

Watching PSU alumni and students scramble in some attempt to overturn the sanctions makes me feel a little better about their severity. I would have liked to see the school lose football for a year, and then pile everything on top. I was afraid, that while painful, it would be something they could just ride out.

Seeing them lash out and and point fingers is a sign that this is hurting.

Jayhawker wrote:

Watching PSU alumni and students scramble in some attempt to overturn the sanctions makes me feel a little better about their severity.

I didn't follow them closely last season, but it seemed like they were still on TV every week and won't have any trouble being competitive in the Big 10 even with the sanctions. They got taken off their pedestal, but in a year or three we'll be hearing Brent Musberger talking about the "powerful and amazing story of redemption at the program."

The Freeh report is pretty flawed, but clearly a report requested and paid for by the Paterno family is not the best way to shoot it down. Something I found interesting was Phil Knight's reversal and further comments on the NCAA overreach that happened afterwards.

http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/...

"When I later took the time to do so, I was surprised to learn that the alarming allegations, which so disturbed the nation, were essentially theories and assertions rather than solid charges backed by solid evidence," Knight said in a 280-word statement provided to "Outside the Lines" by his wife, Penny. "On reflection, I may have unintentionally contributed to a rush to judgment."

Since I don't exactly watch ESPN much or consume a lot of sports media, I have no idea if people are reading the King/Spalding report the Paterno's received or if it is being reported as news.

What position is Phil Knight in to evaluate anything? He doesn't have access to any documents, evidence, or have any experience with investigations. He's just a more famous version of a redditor.

Part of the problem with criticizing the Freeh report is that the only people who are in a good position to critique it have to have done their own investigation with access to the same records, documents and statements. It also helps if they are disinterested in the outcome.

Also, according to CNN: "The family statement said Paterno never attempted to hide any information or impede any investigation into Sandusky's activities while using Penn State facilities."

I agree with their statement based on what I've read, but it also kind of misses the point of complaints against Paterno, which were moral in nature rather than legal.

Funkenpants wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

Watching PSU alumni and students scramble in some attempt to overturn the sanctions makes me feel a little better about their severity.

I didn't follow them closely last season, but it seemed like they were still on TV every week and won't have any trouble being competitive in the Big 10 even with the sanctions. They got taken off their pedestal, but in a year or three we'll be hearing Brent Musberger talking about the "powerful and amazing story of redemption at the program."

We'll see, but I think last year's team was the result of most seniors sticking with the team. The sanctions will hurt more as time goes on. It's going to make it harder and harder to recruit good athletes. The curiosity factor is will be gone, so the team won't even be on TV as much. And the lack of funds will really start to impact the team.

But what you mentioned is why even a one year shutdown of the program would have been better.

Funkenpants wrote:

Also, according to CNN: "The family statement said Paterno never attempted to hide any information or impede any investigation into Sandusky's activities while using Penn State facilities."

So instead he attempted to hide information and impede investigation into Sandusky's activities using his home office facilities instead? Whenever attorneys are involved in any statements I'm always worried about any qualifiers they slip into their denials.

Jayhawker wrote:

We'll see, but I think last year's team was the result of most seniors sticking with the team. The sanctions will hurt more as time goes on.

That's possible. I'm just assuming that because they're in the Big Ten they will still be competitive. It's not like they have to compete in the Big 12 or SEC.

Based upon my reading of the Paterno report, Paterno was railroaded. The BOT needed the Freeh report to justify their firing of Paterno. Freeh based his conclusions on staggeringly little evidence. He interviewed no one involved with the 1998 incident at all. His document search turned up 30 documents, most of them emails savaged by one man during a university email wide purge which occurred during the time period of the allegations. The emails are not from or to Paterno, nor do the mention him by name. His star secret witness was a disgruntled former employee who was fired for mistreating students. And this witness only claimed that Paterno knew everything on campus and was a bully. Freeh himself has a poor track record in his major investigations holding up, ask FIFA. I could go on and on. Bottom line is the Freeh report is speculative with regards to Paterno.

I could get all Malor about this issue but it won't do any good. People have their minds made up.

From Freeh's statement yesterday:

Joe Paterno's own testimony under oath before the grand jury that investigated this horrific case is of critical importance. Mr. Paterno testified in 2011 that he knew from Michael McQueary in 2001 that McQueary had seen Sandusky "fondling, whatever you might call it -- I'm not sure what the term would be -- a young boy" in the showers at the Lasch Building. Mr. Paterno explained, "[o]bviously, he was doing something with the youngster. It was a sexual nature. I'm not sure exactly what it was. I didn't push Mike to describe exactly what it was because he was very upset." Years later, Mr. Paterno would explain to a reporter he chose to discuss the event with that he told McQueary, "I said you did what you had to do. It's my job now to figure out what we want to do."

He testified that he knew that a kid had been fondled in the shower. He kicked the problem upstairs and washed his hands of the matter. People now think he's a scumbag because of that. It was a leadership failure by a guy who was held up as a paragon of values.

Im glad to see Penn State get hit with some stiff sanctions, but like some of the other posters I agree that the program should have been barred from playing for at least a year. Another punishment I'd like to see would be the federal government withold any grant funding for at least a year. After all, individual students who say get caught smoking pot can lose their federal student grants. I know this is never going to happen, but it would be nice if institutions got held to the same standard as individuals at the college level.

Of course, if the Catholic sex abuse cases are any indication, Penn State is looking at paying out some serious cash once the victims start suing the school. Does anyone know whether the victims have filed lawsuits, and how much they're asking in damages?

It is interesting that I see a lot of pro-Paterno people that talk to the media blame the media for jumping on this too soon. Yet if I recall, the media was aware of it and posting updates but the real organization that jumped on this was the NCAA. So I see a lot of this as flailing about at whatever typical boogie man can get people riled up rather than an actual defense.

It really is attack the messenger (freeh) and the big evil media conglomerate rather than have any argument of substance.

@greg this isn't an attack on you, it is only directed at the various lawyers, athletes, radio hosts, shoe company CEO's, etc. that have chosen to speak out on this.

There's plenty of blame to go around here, fang.

First and foremost a terrifying serial pedophile. This excuses no one else, but shouldn't be left unsaid.

The upper echelons of Penn State Athletics and the university as a whole (Spanier, Curley, Schultz, & Paterno) who became aware of this through a witness (McQueary) and chose to look the other way. They took some form of action, which I'm still rather unclear on and may have been as little as interviewing Sandusky about the event which is even worse than doing nothing. The little evidence that Freeh turned up points to some of those individuals knowingly letting the matter slide either to cover their asses or the university's ass. The real question here (and an exceedingly minor one compared to the damage done to the victims and the trust placed in the university leadership) was who looked the other way believing it was handled already or being handled by others, and who looked the other way because they didn't want to see it. That's it, really.

The media jumped on it too soon, but then again that's what the media does so it's kind of like blaming a mosquito for biting you. Sure, they misrepresented the facts slightly because a very likely conclusion of the facts was that of an exciting scandal. It's not the DEFINITIVE conclusion of the facts, but why should that get in the way? It's easy to hate them when something you love is the target and forget at other times. No real question here, but some people felt that the rush to judgement is warranted.

The NCAA overstepped their authority to protect the brand image of the NCAA. People were crying for blood, and rather than wait for a criminal trial (still ongoing for Spanier, Curley, and Schultz) or for the PA legislature or PSU Board of Trustees/future prospective students to take some action, the NCAA took up the position. Whether you think they are justified or not, this is clearly an increase in their authority over the sanctions placed on schools for events related to athletic performance or conduct relating to current students. There is the (relatively minor and oft forgotten) question here of whether the NCAA should have that authority.

The Freeh report was nominally supposed to answer these questions and speed up the process but apparently did not do it with the hard evidence needed to back up their claims, though they did have enough testimonial evidence to make the minor question I bolded above all that remains.

Really, what it comes down to is that as long as these minor questions remain we will probably focus on our differences around those questions rather than address any other issue. We can probably agree that there was a rush to judgement, even if you think that the judgement was the correct one. We can agree that the NCAA issued unprecedented sanctions, even if you think that they should have or always did have that ability. And we can agree that looking the other way leaves Spanier, Curley, Schultz, and Paterno (if not McQueary) culpable as human beings and as leaders, even if the details of their moral or civil culpability have yet to be worked out.

Since we are focusing on Paterno, I personally am still unclear as to whether he thought it was being handled by others or not. But compared to everything else that doesn't really matter much. The failing was still there, and still his as much as it was the others. If he felt it was being handled by others, then his family and supporters get to feel that at least his failing was one of trust and not one of character. That's a sad, small consolation when put up against what that failing let happen to children in State College.

If he felt it was being handled by others, then his family and supporters get to feel that at least his failing was one of trust and not one of character. That's a sad, small consolation when put up against what that failing let happen to children in State College.

It is hard for me any difference in those alternatives (that someone else is taking care of it or that it will go away if he ignored it)

He could have made it stop at any point and with minimal blemish on the organization, football program whatever if he had done so. I don't get the moral dilemma. You know about it. It stops. Your lifelong friend, confidant, or stooge goes to jail for a long time.

This may seem like Monday morning quarterbacking but I have a hard time believing any of us wouldn't have rooted it out immediately. Even if it was my wife or one of my parents or my sister or if I had a child who was the perpetrator, that crime has no gray area.

fangblackbone wrote:
If he felt it was being handled by others, then his family and supporters get to feel that at least his failing was one of trust and not one of character. That's a sad, small consolation when put up against what that failing let happen to children in State College.

It is hard for me any difference in those alternatives (that someone else is taking care of it or that it will go away if he ignored it)

He could have made it stop at any point and with minimal blemish on the organization, football program whatever if he had done so. I don't get the moral dilemma. You know about it. It stops. Your lifelong friend, confidant, or stooge goes to jail for a long time.

This may seem like Monday morning quarterbacking but I have a hard time believing any of us wouldn't have rooted it out immediately. Even if it was my wife or one of my parents or my sister or if I had a child who was the perpetrator, that crime has no gray area.

The person who could have made it stop was the witness who did not stop it or directly go to the police. Paterno was not the witness, nor was he the first or second person to hear the witness' story. Paterno did what he was required to do by university policy and reported it to his boss. Furthermore, he arranged for the witness to meet with his supervisor. He asked the witness whether the witness was satisfied with the response, the witness responded that he was OK. Could Paterno have gone to the police and tell them that he heard something may have happened? Sure. Would I have gone? I don't know. If I accuse someone of sexual assault without any evidence, do I put myself at risk? I don't know.

Besides, the witness has told 4 different stories with 2 very different versions of those stories being under oath. In grand jury testimony, he described the incident as anal intercourse. In subsequent testimony, he testified that he never used the word anal or rape. He further testified that he sanitized the incident out of respect for Paterno. To my knowledge he has not testified as to what he actually saw and he has not been cross examined. His answers are evasive, very evasive.

The witness first reported the incident to his father. I can't imagine my ~28 year old son coming home to me and telling me that he saw a coach raping a boy in the shower and me not demanding that he immediately call the police. But that is what apparently happened. I can imagine my son coming home and saying, I saw a coach showering with a boy and I was uncomfortable, and maybe advising him to talk to his boss about it. The second person who was told about the incident was a physician who testified that he explicitly asked the witness 3 times if he saw sex, and the witness said no. These conversations occurred the night of the incident when there was still time to call the police and maybe have them find Sandusky with the victim. Paterno was not told until the following day.

To further confuse matters, the victim in question, victim #2 has come forward. The victim was prepared to testify that he was not sexually assaulted in the shower. It was speculated that he was not called during the trial because he had been assaulted on different occasions. But it calls into question what the witness actually saw and what he actually communicated to Joe Paterno.

One correction for the record is that Sandusky was not Paterno's life long friend or confident. There are contemporaneous reports from the time that the two of them tolerated each other.

Abusers like Sandusky hide in plain sight and people end up shocked who they are. With the benefit of hindsight, a lot of things could have been done differently. It is true that the State, Second Mile, local police, local DA (missing and presumed dead), Children Youth Services, Attorney General, now Governor, and Penn State share blame. Terrible failures.

Yeah, about the guy witnessing Jerry in the shower. Am I the only one who thinks I'd probably be facing second-degree murder charges if I saw somethingl ike that?

I think the main reason a 28 year old would be hesitant to go directly to the police is because of the old adage "If you're going to shoot at the king, don't miss".

By all accounts, Sandusky was a made man in the Paterno mafia. The campus cops were on the payroll and, should he have gone there and failed to have the blessing of the don, he was likely to end up like a certain PA state prosecutor.

jdzappa wrote:

Yeah, about the guy witnessing Jerry in the shower. Am I the only one who thinks I'd probably be facing second-degree murder charges if I saw somethingl ike that?

I probably would have but nothing enrages me more than any sort of mistreatment of children. It's also easy for me to say that because I didn't know any of the people involved, was not part of the coaching staff, can only theorize what I would have done, I don't have to think about job security, etc. There's a lot of factors that go into the decision making process.

Paleocon wrote:

I think the main reason a 28 year old would be hesitant to go directly to the police is because of the old adage "If you're going to shoot at the king, don't miss".

By all accounts, Sandusky was a made man in the Paterno mafia. The campus cops were on the payroll and, should he have gone there and failed to have the blessing of the don, he was likely to end up like a certain PA state prosecutor.

What point are you making here? That there was physical intimidation by Paterno or Sandusky or Paterno for Sandusky in order to shut down dissension or criminal complaints? Seriously, I'm unsure what you are implying here. You do know that Gricar disappeared 4 years AFTER McQueary witnessed Sandusky abusing a child, right?

I have to say that the Gricar disappearance (and his laptop discovered later... in a river... with the hard drive missing) is the craziest unexplained thing in the whole timeline. There are a bunch of interesting and somewhat contradictory details. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Gri...

Edit: I totally understand the "if you come at the king you best not miss" part of it, from a career and social circle perspective. You just threw me for a loop by including the Gricar disappearance in there.

Also curious by what accounts you mean that Sandusky was a 'made man'. Then again, the term 'Paterno mafia' is something I'm unfamiliar with was well.

Jolly Bill wrote:

Also curious by what accounts you mean that Sandusky was a 'made man'. Then again, the term 'Paterno mafia' is something I'm unfamiliar with was well.

I believe Paleo was exaggerating for effect, indicating that Paterno was a central figure in what was a small circle of power and influence.

Like if JoePa was Hitler: Sandusky would be like Goebbels. If you were a junior officer and witnessed him bundling up a bunch of Jews warmly and seeing them off to safe destinations outside Germany, you would be conflicted and reluctant to get involved in the mess by appearing before the Fuhrer.

Or if instead of being the father of Penn State's football dynasty, Paterno was the Father of Lies, and Sandusky was Beelzebub, Lord of the Flies. If you were a lower-ranking demon and witnessed Beelzebub giving succour to the eternally damned, you would be reluctant to go before Satan at the risk of your own destruction.

It's all, y'know, whatchacallit. Metaphor.

Paleocon wrote:

I think the main reason a 28 year old would be hesitant to go directly to the police is because of the old adage "If you're going to shoot at the king, don't miss".

By all accounts, Sandusky was a made man in the Paterno mafia. The campus cops were on the payroll and, should he have gone there and failed to have the blessing of the don, he was likely to end up like a certain PA state prosecutor.

This is just fiction.

H.P. Lovesauce wrote:

It's all, y'know, whatchacallit. Metaphor.

I get the metaphor part. It was the 'by all accounts' bit that requires some substantiation.