More Joe Paterno fallout: Embarrassment for us Penn State alum

"Hi. My name is Kevin, and I'm a Penn State grad."

"Hi, Kevin!"

Well, maybe there's not a 12-step group for me and my fellow Penn State grads, but this week for the first time I feel like maybe there should be.

I have always been so proud to announce that I bleed Nittany Lion blue. This week, not so much.

When I went out on Sunday, the day after the Jerry Sandusky pedophilia scandal broke, I grabbed my Penn State cap as I usually do, but then thought better of it.

I put it down in disgust.

But now I realize I was wrong.

Pennsylvania State University is bigger than Joe Paterno and football.

It's larger than a few hundred rioting students.

It's more than the actions/inactions of a pedophile ex-coach and some sports administrators turning a blind eye to the heinous crimes of that child-molesting ex-coach.

Penn State is CTA bloggers like me; NFL placekickers like Robbie Gould; ex-CEOs like Tom Clark of Nike; former governors like Tom Ridge; and former CIA agents like Valerie Plame Wilson

It is 500,000 alumni worldwide.

Penn State will recover from this awful, bloody stain on its reputation. It may take a few years, but it WILL recover.

I just ask that you not lump the rest of us proud alum, its 46,000 talented teachers and employees, and the vast majority of it 96,000 students in with those tainted by the criminal acts of a few men.

Because We Are - Penn State.

And while we are embarrassed and disgusted by what a few men did this week, we are still Penn State Proud.



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  • I don't know if one should be Penn State proud* or (as Anonymous can tell you) wonder if football is or should be a college subject, or result in such "loyalty" to provoke a riot last night. Now sports radio is kvetching about the graduate assistant (apparently now the interim coach) and janitor who said something, but apparently didn't do enough. In the meantime, administration above Paterno didn't do their duty, and the grand jury report (I finally read it) indicated that several lied before the grand jury. You know what happened to Blago for just lying to the FBI.

    *That reminds me of someone in high school who apparently did something in the girl's restroom (that's all we were ever told), and it was said that instead of going to Penn State, he's going to State Pen.40 years ahead of its time?

  • In reply to jack:

    Obviously, you're missing my point Jack.

    I am not at all proud of the awful shit that came out this past week.

    What I am proud of is that I graduated from Penn State University, which is much more than this heinous scandal.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    You can be what you can be, but I'm not missing the point. People graduate from all over, but when the big state colleges seem so bound up in athletic money that they go gaga over consolidating conferences, getting their own TV networks, etc. that doesn't seem to me to be the purpose of higher education. At least Northwestern is still known for the Medill School of Media, Purdue for engineering, astronauts, and pharmacy, etc. On the other hand, you have places like Memphis, which are known to be a one year stop for basketball players.

    So as not to discriminate, Notre Dame's football program hasn't done it proud for several decades now. And there does seem to be something pervasive about the culture at Penn State. Would we have even heard about if there was some pervert in the biochemistry building using the chemical detoxification showers to "mentor" some kid scientist, and would there be the big protests if he were kicked off campus? Would someone then be making death threats against the lab assistant/interim associate professor?

    I said somewhere else on Chicago Now that because of the $$$$, the NCAA isn't going to levy the death penalty here. At least the trustees are doing something.

  • I really don't understand why Joe Paterno was forced out. He heard 2nd hand from someone about an incident and reported it to his boss. What exactly should he have done? Report an incident he didn't see himself to the cops? Stupid media blew this way out of proportion in regards to Paterno.

  • In reply to chris:

    The consensus seems to be (1) he enabled it after he knew about it [the grand jury report indicates that there was evidence of this going on back to about 1996, and Paterno forced Sandusky to retire in 1998, but gave him locker room privileges to 2002] and (2) they had to clean house.

    I suggest that you look at the grand jury report, which is probably available anywhere, but certainly at At least they didn't accuse Paterno of violating the reporting statute or "not being credible" before the grand jury.You could also look at Ex Posts Facto,where I ask if there was "aiding and abetting," although I might have at that point got some of the time line wrong.

    When you are all read up using the grand jury report as the primary source [don't rely on me], get back to us. I found the story that one incident made a janitor so distraught that he is now non compos mentis somewhat interesting.

  • In reply to jack:

    Joe Paterno is barely mentioned in the grand jury report. I just read the whole thing and I still think he's getting lumped in with a bunch of other people that should have done their jobs. He knew of 1 incident according to the report, which he reported to his supervisors.

  • In reply to chris:

    While the grand jury can do investigations, its purpose is indicting, and he didn't get indicted.

    However, with regard to private employment matters, the same standard doesn't apply. At least the radio doesn't assume that he was totally ignorant until 2002. Of course, the trustees haven't said if their investigation turned up anything else.

    Also, I did mention the "cleaning house" rationale, including the University president.

    Finally, whether he retires now or in 4 weeks like he said probably isn't that relevant, except for the fumigation effect.

  • In reply to chris:

    Y E S chris, he should have reported it to the cops if it was 15th hand (I would have - and sent them right to #14).

    That's why this whole mess is so stinky; if I saw a child being molested anywhere - I would KNOCK THE PERP OUT, TIE HIM UP, and call THE POLICE IMMEDIATELY - NOT sneak away and "tell" somebody else, leaving the child with ol' Jerry up in his butt.

    I'll bet it wouldn't be "out of proportion" (then or now) if ol' Jerry had been up in YOUR butt chris.

    Just like the Cardinals, Bishops, and the Church sending ol' Fr. Bob from Boston to somewhere else to RAPE more little boys - they "tell" somebody (the "Church" Heirarchy) - but DON'T call the POLICE IMMEDIATELY.

    WHY IS THAT chris???

  • The point is this was a crime in progress (sexual abuse of a minor) and anyone with a clue would called 911 immediately. McQueary, Paterno, and everyone up the ladder did not report this crime to the police, so they are basically approving this crime and endorsing rape of a 10-year-old boy. They all let the pedophile/child abuser off without criminal prosecution free to continue his disgusting acts with more victims for many more years..all with the blessing of Penn State University..

  • In reply to mmChi:

    That seems like most of it, but, as you note, I took the aiding and abetting view, in making Paterno responsible for not kicking Sandusky out of the locker room in about 1996 to 1998, instead of letting him continue the same pattern of behavior there until 2002.

    Everyone agrees that someone should have called 911 (and hopefully that goes to the real police, not the campus cops) and no one did, except that the graduate assistant did talk to the vice president who was in charge of the campus police (and thus I would not put him on the same level of blame as the others), and now the latter has been indicted for violating the reporting law and perjury before the grand jury.

  • In reply to jack:

    Calls to 911 from campus phones will usually go to campus cops.
    As explained in the NY Times, the campus cops report to the school's president & despite the existence of what's know as the Clery Act, schools still don't want these crimes reported to the public, it hurts their image.
    So the schools still do their best [worst actually] to keep this in house. That's what happened in the Sandusky mess.
    But no one can explain why McQueary didn't physically stop him when he saw that a 10 year old boy was being raped. McQueary is a former PSU football player, 6'5" & well over 225 lbs. He could have easily stopped it & saved that boy. Instead he just went home & called his daddy for advice on what to do.
    Stories for the Sunday, 9/13 NYT say that PSU could be hit with massive civil damage claims under RICO & even a possibility of federal criminal RICO or civil rights charges as they are government employees who not just failed to do their jobs, but actively obstructed any investigations going on.
    So far, two PSU employees have been arrested on perjury charges & I'm sure more will follow.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    If I call 911 from my office phone at this fine university, I get the city police. University police have another 3 digit number to call in an emergency.

  • Kevin,
    I wondered how you were feeling about this whole mess.
    I do know that Penn State has produced many kind and talented folks.
    Discerning members of the public will NOT lump honorable Penn State grads in with the lowlifes who perpetrated this atrocity.
    Thanks for writing.
    N. A. "hail to Pitt" Bosworth

  • In reply to bizkid888:

    Thanks Bizkid - I appreciate that.

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