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

They're nonprofit institutions, but the football programs at a successful program more than cover their costs. As I said, they typically help finance all the other sports programs at the school, almost all of which are considered money losers.

Jeff-66 wrote:
Yonder wrote:

I left the term institution deliberately vague. In this case it refers to the football program, because no one has (seriously) suggested shutting down the school.

Outside of this forum, I've not seen anyone suggest shutting down the football team. I'm sure others are in places, but I've yet to see anyone in the media, including some very pissed off commentators and editorialists, even bring it up.

Well that's good. This is probably the only time I've ever seen this forum as a whole being less reasonable (IMO of course) than the general public.

OG_slinger wrote:
Jolly Bill wrote:

Still a grand total of 3 people in the football program. You paint with a very broad brush, sir.

Three people: the athletic director of the entire university, the head coach of the football program, and an assistant coach. We're not talking about the waterboy here. We're talking about the people that built and ran the football program. Like I said, they *were* the football program.

If the football program can't exist without their removal, then I agree with you. If it can, than I disagree. You make it sound like a fan complaining about their favorite band breaking up.

Somehow I doubt you're talking about athletic directors (which change all the time) or grad assistants (seriously). JoePa was an important part of the football program at PSU. He's gone. Everyone else will continue to play football just fine.

I think a lot of the pent up anger towards Paterno is related to the fact that a lot of people are not happy with the current University system in the U.S. I for one somewhat dislike the whole concept of the NCAA. I keenly remember taking classes in college with brilliant kids with one or two football players asleep in the back. Now I suppose they weren't hurting anyone back there, but I can't help but think the other more qualified kids who were rejected from my school because we needed 500 lbs of meat for the defensive line. I remember hearing a couple of the football players trying to justify their lower grades and lack of participation in class somehow being related to increasing diversity on campus. Ha! I appreciated that statement because he must have known nobody would dare criticize diversity, no matter its form. Maybe he just played dumb in class--I doubt he'd be the first.

But yeah, the NCAA is a weird thing when you think about it as being something related closely to higher education. Maybe in the grand scheme of things at large state schools, it's not so strange, but I can't be the only one to tilt my head in confusion over the place collegiate sports has in American society.

(By the way, I'm only trying to dissect the media interest in Paterno over the actual alleged child abuser, and not trying to blame college football for rape. As much as I think college sports are kind of screwed up, I don't think I'd have much of an argument equating football to rape)

Ok, I'm officially flabbergasted by the whole scope of this. A McQueary email to a friend has been leaked in which McQueary claims to have stopped the attack (not physically, but made sure it stopped) and contacted the police themselves on top of going to the head of university police.

If McQueary is lying, or ommitted telling that to the grand jury, then there are very serious problems there. Sources describe McQueary as "consistent and credible." But this raises the possibility that:

McQueary did everything right (other than clock Sandusky in the face) and is prevented from talking about it in public as a material witness. Paterno did everything right (other than vigilante justice) and is getting crucified. And the Grand Jury report is extremely misleading about the police's role in this.

Looking back on it, the Grand Jury report does not mention police involvement at all, only the results of their investigation. It may only include the reports Paterno and McQueary made to Curley and Schultz as proof of their (Curley and Schultz) culpability. Concerns are growing over how much police have bungled the investigation.

I'm just confused, hurt, and furious right now. At the time lag between the attacks and the conclusion of the investigation, by lack of details, by the rush to judgement (by the media and by the public, including some here).

Jolly Bill,

You have to remember that the Grand Jury presentment is the narrative put forward by the prosecutor to summarize the Grand Jury findings that support the indictment of Jerry Sandusky. Think about it as an abstract. It is not the full case or a comprehensive description of the facts and testimony.

The prosecutor's office should be held accountable for their lack of discretion (leaking the presentment, and their silence since the leak) and inaction over the years (why the h@ll did they not press charges in 1999).

The problem here is that there has been an overly emotional rush to judgement. People are making wild assumptions, in part because there are baffling holes in the presentment. Once all of the story is public, I think we will have a much clearer picture of the events. To be sure, there are villains in this story, but innocent people in addition to the kids may have had their lives ruined.

To reiterate my position, if the perjury charges are true and the top officials covered this up, in my opinion they should go to prison for a lot longer than the law allows. Everyone responsible should be fired and imprisoned as appropriate.

Joe Paterno was known as a moral leader. He was a leader in racial integration. Unlike the football factories, He insisted that his players graduate. Penn State lost important games over the years because he suspended eligible players for being in danger of not making grades. He lost a bowl game by suspending a star running back for accepting a $400 suit. Of the top 25 football programs, only Stanford has a higher graduation rate.

When Rashard Casey, a black QB, was falsely accused of a hate crime against a white police officer, Paterno stood up for his football player. It caused quite a media firestorm in PA, NJ, and NY. Many people thought Paterno was immoral for his decision to play Casey. Casey ended up to be judged innocent and even collected damages against the police officer and his employer.

I am patiently waiting until Paterno gives his side of the story before I crucify him.

The irony is that we may never hear it now that the university fired him. They probably put a clause into his severance agreement to not publicly speak about this incident. Plus, he is in failing health and this legal process will take years, not weeks. He has already lost all that was important to him. I expect him to quickly pass away like Bear Bryant did upon retirement.

Greg wrote:

I expect him to quickly pass away like Bear Bryant did upon retirement.

It's interesting to me that you remember that, and it's an interesting comparison. I'm a long time Bama fan, and met Bear Bryant on two occasions, once getting his biography signed by him. I remember his quote: "I don't think I'd live long without football", or something to that effect. He died less than a month after his retirement. The thing is, Bear was 15 years younger than Paterno is, at just 69. /aside

Regarding Paterno, I'd like to hear more from him as well. But apparently he has a darker side.

The fact that we're using CAPS and bold to talk about a f*cking game is a little ridiculous.

What if it were the English department? Well, the removal of people would have to be more precipitous, suspensions more liberally handed out while a robust investigation is started quick-like. There's no shutting down an English department because you simply can't while carrying out a university's core mission of academic instruction.

NB: Competitive athletics are not academics.

To reframe the issue another way: Would the defense of Paterno be as, ah, robust if he were a long-serving coach who lost a lot of games?

Yes, he's been there a long time, and is beloved of a lot of people. But he had a, shall we say, lapse in due diligence that ultimately damages the institution and changes its image. Its "mindshare" has expanded, but mutated:

IMAGE(http://img522.imageshack.us/img522/2195/nittanypedobear.jpg)

H.P. Lovesauce wrote:

The fact that we're using CAPS and bold to talk about a f*cking game is a little ridiculous.

What if it were the English department? Well, the removal of people would have to be more precipitous, suspensions more liberally handed out while a robust investigation is started quick-like. There's no shutting down an English department because you simply can't while carrying out a university's core mission of academic instruction.

NB: Competitive athletics are not academics.

You do realize you are making an assumption there, based on your own personal beliefs about football programs and universities, right? Let's take a look at that assumption.

How's education / child development sound? It's not quite English, but a long way from football. News cycling around today is that a victim, with a taped confession, was ignored by the university. If this is true (it's past the statute of limitations, according to the article. Neisworth settled a private civil suit out of court), it indicates there was a general lack of interest in following up these claims.

It also indicates that no matter how much you want it to be, it's not about football. I can put that in caps or bold if you like, though.

(Also, even with how much this tragedy is hitting me personally and is about the suffering of many people, I have a hard time not finding that Pedo-lion hilarious.)

Edit: Or maybe think about how, despite the allegations and 2005 trial that this wasn't national news and there wasn't a rush to judgement in that case. Maybe some of this really is about football, but not in the way you seem to think it is.

H.P. Lovesauce wrote:

The fact that we're using CAPS and bold to talk about a f*cking game is a little ridiculous.

IMAGE(http://img522.imageshack.us/img522/2195/nittanypedobear.jpg)

Nice to see you are anxious to take the high road.

I don't follow football and had never heard of Joe Paterno until last week, so yes, I would defend a loser coach exactly the same. (Although I think that "defending" is a strong word for what I'm doing, but whatever.)

This is not a referendum on whether athletics are a valid part of college; they are. Yes, football receives a huge amount of attention and yes, calling it "amateur" athletics is a stretch, and yes, the NCAA sucks donkey balls, but that has nothing to do with this. Penn State could very well shut down the English department; there are, in fact, many other majors, and many other schools offering English programs. They have English because everybody has English. They play football, because everybody plays football. It's part of college, just like it's part of high school.

Do people want PSU's football program down because it did something wrong, or because it's a convenient excuse to shut down a football program they think is pointless anyways?

I wonder why we are taking this tack anyways. I don't care if the football program lives or dies - I just want people held accountable. If people either through direct action or omission allowed for kids to be raped - they should be destroyed. If they did cover it up, it seems clear it was to not tarnish the football program, and that is a very bad thing.

Yonder wrote:

I don't follow football and had never heard of Joe Paterno until last week, so yes, I would defend a loser coach exactly the same. (Although I think that "defending" is a strong word for what I'm doing, but whatever.)

Then why do you care?

goman wrote:
Yonder wrote:

I don't follow football and had never heard of Joe Paterno until last week, so yes, I would defend a loser coach exactly the same. (Although I think that "defending" is a strong word for what I'm doing, but whatever.)

Then why do you care?

Because they're able to realize other people do follow football and do care?

MilkmanDanimal wrote:

This is not a referendum on whether athletics are a valid part of college; they are. Yes, football receives a huge amount of attention and yes, calling it "amateur" athletics is a stretch, and yes, the NCAA sucks donkey balls, but that has nothing to do with this. Penn State could very well shut down the English department; there are, in fact, many other majors, and many other schools offering English programs. They have English because everybody has English. They play football, because everybody plays football. It's part of college, just like it's part of high school.

Do people want PSU's football program down because it did something wrong, or because it's a convenient excuse to shut down a football program they think is pointless anyways?

Speaking for myself, I, once again, played college football. So if anything I do see the value of athletics to amateur athletes as part of their overall college experience. So I'm the last person who wants to shut it down because it's "pointless". I think I've made my case whether you agree or not. Football program at D1 schools is so far afield from being places where athletes happen to play while they go to school. So much so that you could literally make them separate entities and they could function on their own and no one would notice.

Once again, my argument for why shutting it down might make sense is to focus all your energy on righting the ship. But, once again, I feel like this should be more common in college sports in general. Schools shouldn't feel like it's a crazy notion to shut down football when it's a distraction, reducing the prestige of the university or bringing bad actors into the community.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:

This is not a referendum on whether athletics are a valid part of college; they are. ... [Penn State has] English because everybody has English. They play football, because everybody plays football. It's part of college, just like it's part of high school.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University

http://www.psu.edu/ur/about/mission....

H.P. Lovesauce wrote:
MilkmanDanimal wrote:

This is not a referendum on whether athletics are a valid part of college; they are. ... [Penn State has] English because everybody has English. They play football, because everybody plays football. It's part of college, just like it's part of high school.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University

http://www.psu.edu/ur/about/mission....

I clicked on those links and searched for "football" and "athletics" in my browser and didn't see it. Can you send links that aren't broken?

I just find it really odd how many of the people who call for the government to be torn down because of implied malfeasance, for corporations to be disbanded because of corruption at the top, but somehow defend the Penn Stat football program when there is more evidence of wrongdoing than anywhere else.

Odd rationalization.

goman wrote:
Yonder wrote:

I don't follow football and had never heard of Joe Paterno until last week, so yes, I would defend a loser coach exactly the same. (Although I think that "defending" is a strong word for what I'm doing, but whatever.)

Then why do you care?

Why do I care if a mob with pitchforks and torches trips all over themselves to prove that they hate child molestation more than anyone else by firing hundreds of people that work for a program with no evidence that more than four or five already identified and replaceable people have done anything wrong?

I've just always been a fairly nice person is all.

I think it's interesting that people jump to the conclusion that it's the football program people are defending and not the university as a whole. I posted a link just a couple posts back of an education/child development professor who seems to have also NOT been reported as necessary. Is that just being conveniently ignored because people want this to be about the football program? Because it's easier to shut down the football program than to actually root out corrupt individuals in university management?

Heck, this is a huge point for those who were claiming there was a culture of corruption here. But since it's about the university as a whole and not just football no one wants to pay attention. No wonder that's all you get from the media.

SallyNasty wrote:

I just find it really odd how many of the people who call for the government to be torn down because of implied malfeasance, for corporations to be disbanded because of corruption at the top, but somehow defend the Penn Stat football program when there is more evidence of wrongdoing than anywhere else.

Odd rationalization.

I actually completely agree with that, and I think it's an example of something that is going to bite people seeking accountability in the end. What people really wanted (I hope) is for actual investigations with teeth to find and punish wrongdoers, whether it be the CEO, the board of directors, a manager, a VP whatever. But that doesn't happen nearly frequently enough, which leads to a lot of frustration built up as you see BP oil spills, financial collapses, etc, etc. Couple that with this new "Corporate Personhood" thing and you get people calling for a "Corporate Death Penalty" which is a terrible idea for all these reasons, it is just morally wrong to shut down a company of 20,000 people for the actions of 100.

People need to go back to the idea of "Better for X guilty people to go free than 1 innocent man be convicted" right now too many people on all parts of the political spectrum (as this thread shows) have reverted to more of a "Better for X innocent men be convicted than 1 guilty man go free". As far as I can tell the rational for everyone here that wants to close the football program is either "We know who committed wrongdoings, but we need to punish everyone else to send a message", "We know some of the people who committed wrongdoings, but I am too impatient to let an investigation find out who else may have helped, so we need to punish everyone", or "We know some of the people who committed wrongdoings, we may never catch all of them, so we need to punish everyone just in case we miss someone".

IMO none of those positions are very good ones to have.

Jolly Bill wrote:

I think it's interesting that people jump to the conclusion that it's the football program people are defending and not the university as a whole. I posted a link just a couple posts back of an education/child development professor who seems to have also NOT been reported as necessary. Is that just being conveniently ignored because people want this to be about the football program? Because it's easier to shut down the football program than to actually root out corrupt individuals in university management?

Heck, this is a huge point for those who were claiming there was a culture of corruption here. But since it's about the university as a whole and not just football no one wants to pay attention. No wonder that's all you get from the media.

Bill - I think you are a genuinely good dude (you certainly seem so!), but I think you are taking this too personally. I think if you go back through the thread most people aren't saying destroy the football program because it will make us feel better - I think that we are saying (and you know what, probably a bit prematurely - so point to you) is that it seems like the backbone of the football program (i.e. recruiters, coaches, and the big man himself) did not do their due diligence to prevent crime after knowing about it, nor punish the crime. Frankly - we could all be wrong, because the investigation is ongoing. All we know is that the current facts point to a pretty ugly picture, and the university itself is being less than forthcoming.

I am sure we all understand that 99.99% of Penn State is shocked and appalled - but no one should be exempt from this investigation. Just because JoePa seems like a nice grandfatherly old guy - doesn't mean he isn't entirely complicit through his inaction. When you market your program as the moral choice - you have the moral obligation to live up to that.

SallyNasty wrote:

I think if you go back through the thread most people aren't saying destroy the football program because it will make us feel better.

I didn't see anyone saying that, but a couple people did suggest that it happen to make the victims feel better. However since no one brought any evidence about any victims actually wanting that I do interpret that as a misguided effort to make themselves feel better.

Jeff-66 wrote:

It's interesting to me that you remember that, and it's an interesting comparison. I'm a long time Bama fan, and met Bear Bryant on two occasions, once getting his biography signed by him. I remember his quote: "I don't think I'd live long without football", or something to that effect. He died less than a month after his retirement. The thing is, Bear was 15 years younger than Paterno is, at just 69. /aside

Paterno often noted this fact about Bear Bryant and also echoed the what would I do on Saturdays?, Go Fishing? line.

H.P. Lovesauce wrote:

The fact that we're using CAPS and bold to talk about a f*cking game is a little ridiculous.

Come on, it is not like we are talking about Darksiders.

Greg wrote:

Paterno often noted this fact about Bear Bryant and also echoed the what would I do on Saturdays?, Go Fishing? line.

Make sure kids weren't getting raped in his locker rooms?

SallyNasty wrote:

If people either through direct action or omission allowed for kids to be raped - they should be destroyed.

Agreed and this is the bottom line to this whole tragic affair.

That sounds like a remarkably bloodthirsty sentiment.

Would professionally and personally destroyed count? No blood there.