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(17,111 posts)
Sun Jul 1, 2012, 06:12 AM Jul 2012

David Jones: Joe Paterno fans must accept that he was flawed

(the author covered Paterno for 21 yers)
Today, we begin to deal with the man’s dark side. As it was the time then to extol some of Paterno’s virtues, now it is time to examine his liabilities.

We all have both. Our culture seems more and more addicted to the concept of white hats and black hats, to taking sides, to painting the world and its inhabitants as either “good” or “evil.” It’s an infantile way to look at life and people, in my opinion.

And there is a certain sizable segment of the populace in this region who seems desperate to cling to the belief that Paterno was this saintly grandfather of all that’s noble and good about not only college athletics but higher education. That he could not possibly have been involved in the cover-up of a pedophile’s hideous deeds.

Those people will never believe what I have to say here because they are zealots in need of a hero, even if it’s someone they never knew.
How many times do we instill intrinsic goodness in those we don’t even know? Have the Roman Catholic priest scandals in Boston and Philadelphia taught us nothing?

It does not have to be a lesson of bitter disillusionment, only one of caution. Trust those few you personally know.

The vast majority of you have never known these men at Penn State. You only knew of their station atop your chosen club buttressed by the trappings of their fame.

The most famous of them all was the head football coach. His fame did not make him a saint.
Read the entire piece:

There are no saints.
You really don't know anybody 100%. You know little about those you view and hear from afar. You know their image. That's why it's so important to watch what people do. Even then, some actions can still fool us because the reason behind them may hide a negative actin.

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(36,418 posts)
1. The continued idolatry of Joe Paterno reminds me a lot of the cult of Michael Jackson
Sun Jul 1, 2012, 08:56 AM
Jul 2012

Even the fans know that something very, very wrong was going on, but choose to block it out or simply deny it because of their love for the legend created by the entertainment, sports or gaming industries. Football is a religion, and to some, it's high priests can do no wrong.


(11,816 posts)
3. No comparison. Jackson was an actual abuser. Paterno & others at Penn State handled it badly
Sun Jul 1, 2012, 12:08 PM
Jul 2012

NO ONE other than Sandusky abused these boys.

Having said that, there's going to be more people criminally indicted in the cover-up as emails begin to emerge.

Based on what the public safety director and other administrators said in emails, they went with a very Catholic-Church-style way of handling this - one which a recent Philadelphia jury in the Catholic Church case decided was actually criminal.

The administrators at Penn State decided that it would be more "humane" (to Sandusky) if the university just cut ties with Sandusky and also told him he could not bring his "guests" (victims) on to campus anymore. Not because there was a concern for the victims, but because -- and they stated this outright -- they were worried about liability.

So he could continue to abuse, but just not on campus.

This was simply immoral.

I'm guessing Paterno wasn't email savvy, so he probably wasn't involved in the email exchange, but no one will convince me that he wasn't 100% aware of all the decisions being made by others about the situation. And he should have taken the authority he had and said "you know what, guys? It's not our job to handle this. We should report this to the State College Police or the Centre County prosecutor and we'll let them handle it." But he didn't.

This wound needs to be opened up so that we can all see the infection and understand how to properly handle this sort of disease in the future.


(17,111 posts)
7. But Sandusky continued to go on campus.
Sun Jul 1, 2012, 12:50 PM
Jul 2012

Even after he was told not to, nobody stopped him.

As far as the emails go, one email clearly says that Joe was consulted. After that, they changed their plan and didn't report the abuse.

In addition, while Sandusky was the only one convicted, those who could have stopped it are morally culpable. I wish there was a law on the books similar to that for those who are 'along for the ride' when a crime is committed. If you are part of the group, you get the same charge.

Every single one of those bastids who covered this up should be in a cell by Sandusky. And I wish Paterno was here so he could face the music.

I may be reading your post incorrectly, but it appears that you still have some doubt about Paterno's direct involvement. His prints are all over this mess after that email is out.


(11,816 posts)
8. No doubts that Paterno knew what was going on
Sun Jul 1, 2012, 01:09 PM
Jul 2012

Only doubt that he himself actually emailed about it. The trail may not be as crystal clear with him as with those who sent and received email, but anyone who thinks he was out of the loop is fooling themselves.

And you're right - those involved with the cover-up HAD to have seen Sandusky on campus with those boys.

Even if they fucked up with their original half-assed plan, why didn't they come down hard on him when they saw the continued bad behavior? Why didn't they follow through with their threat to go to the authorities if he didn't cooperate and stay off campus?

Ugh. Anyone who knew about the abuse and did nothing but "handle it internally" should be in a cell with Monsignor Lynn and the Catholics who took the same path.


(17,111 posts)
10. From some articles I have read,
Sun Jul 1, 2012, 01:43 PM
Jul 2012

he WAS the power on that campus. There was a problem when some of his FB players got in trouble. The VP in charge of looking into it could not get any info because Paterno told them not to talk to her. That's power.

He knew everything that went on IMO. Nothing was going to get in the way of his program.


(33,497 posts)
2. No!! He was a football coach and a winning one, too! They are Gods and have no flaws!!
Sun Jul 1, 2012, 09:31 AM
Jul 2012

I probably shouldn't have to write this but this is sarcasm.


(128,630 posts)
5. This is going to majorily impact the psyche of the Pennsyltucky "T"
Sun Jul 1, 2012, 12:21 PM
Jul 2012

who ironically are not the "elitists" who matriculate to Penn State.

Hope this takes down Corbett. If anything, by the time he's up for re-election again, am hoping the stain of this is profound and that the Democratic party can get a well-known strong candidate to replace him.


(11,816 posts)
11. Oddly enough, it's the pro-Joe conservatives who are going to bring down Corbett
Sun Jul 1, 2012, 07:43 PM
Jul 2012

Most of the conservatives I know think poor, sweet, blameless old Joe was treated badly by Corbett and the rest of the board. They want Corbett's head.

Works for me. Paterno is gone - now I'll be happy to see the back of Corbett by any means necessary. Let the conservatives hang him.


(50,208 posts)
6. Good article!
Sun Jul 1, 2012, 12:23 PM
Jul 2012

I agree with the author, there is no way, imo, Paterno was unaware of what Sandusky was doing, no way at all. Everything I have read about the man says he was NOT a hands-off kind of person, he was the opposite and would be in the know about anything, good or bad, that could reflect on Penn State and his football program.

All who knew what Sandusky was doing and refused to do anything about it due to their own self-interest, and that includes Paterno, are despicable, imo. They sacrificed untold victims to further their own interests.


Tom Ripley

(4,945 posts)
9. Hell, he exploited young men (players) for decades and grew rich and fat from it
Sun Jul 1, 2012, 01:17 PM
Jul 2012

I've never seen anything particularly admirable about that

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