Thursday, November 10, 2011

Penn State Disgrace

As this nightmare of a story was developing I was waiting for all the facts to come in before I picked a side on Coach Paterno. With every detail that came in I got sicker and sicker to my stomach. Regardless of the educational institution you work at, or are a leader at, or an icon at, it is your responsibility first and foremost to look out for the safety of kids. It doesn't matter if they are your players, kids attending football camp, or just a kid walking around campus. Some are saying, "well, he reported it to his supervisor." We are not talking about someone walking out of the football offices with a computer in an act of petty theft or a fight between players in the weight room. This was a grown man, a coach at Penn State who had set up a charity to target and prey on kids, doing just that within the football walls at Penn State. How the GA at the time who is now a ten year staff member did not stop it in on the spot is unreal to me. But when you give long time coaches that much power, people get scared, people's minds get warped, and the little people, the victims do not become the immediate priority. 
For me, you, anyone we know, anyone with any sense of moral responsibility there was only one thing that Paterno should have done which was called the authorities. If the "local" authorities tried to cover it up because it meant harming the University which of course plays a major role in everything that goes on in that college town then you call the state and federal authorities. 

Should Paterno have been told in person that after 60 plus years he was out? In 99% of potential circumstances I would say a definite yes. But as easily as the Board could have gone to his home for the meeting Paterno just as easily could have picked up the phone years ago and had this nightmare ended before it got any worse. 

Now we have students who are far from properly informed running all over campus thinking they are showing support.
One more game? One more game? What about the kids/victims who most likely never got to experience the game at all because of the life wound that was inflicted on them by that monster? That monster that could have been stopped and put away if only old Joe had took a step back and realized what his responsibility was as coach, leader and icon. 


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