Was Joe Paterno overly targeted for retrobution?

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by PracticalMac, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. macrumors 68020

    Jan 22, 2009
    Joe Paterno did have the University chairman and board above him and he reported the allegations to them (for advice? duty? University policy? all of above?).

    The chairman and board did nothing (from what I heard in media reports).

    Then the police investigation of the 1998 accusation which the DA did not prosecute.

    Sure JP could/should have fired Sandusky when he heard of a second accusation in 2001, but perhaps when he heard it he had other more pressing matters and chose to go with the boards advice? (hindsight is 20/20)

    To me it seems the University board escaped most of the punishment and JP took all the blame simply because he heard someone say something.

    I say this became a scandal took place in my university.
    In this case a player committed a felony, but the U Chairman chose to hide the event, but them the campus chief disclosed the act.
    It was the chief who got fired, player got a relatively light sentence, and chairman continued on business as usual.

    Those at the top have a lot of human walls to protect them.
  2. macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
    And those walls are covered in gold.

    Money is always the issue.
  3. macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2011
    I'm not sure what other "pressing matters" you could possibly have when a former assistant coach who remains on campus with emeritus status is caught in the shower violating a 12-year old.

    Read the Freeh report. Joe Paterno had a LOT of clout at Penn State and was instrumental in keeping this mess quiet.
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 26, 2011
    This. Paterno was the coach for a GAME! There was no more pressing matter in his universe.
  5. macrumors member

    Jul 4, 2008
    St. Louis, MO
    The Board of Trustees was never informed of the 2001 incident.

    It was the campus police who investigated the 1998 incident. This is the same campus police department which complied with Paterno in dropping numerous investigations involving Penn State players from DUI to felony assault during a home invasion. The campus police told the DA that the case was closed. Later, they lied and claimed the DA told them the case was closed.

    If Paterno hadn't died, it is likely he would face indictment on the coverups.
  6. macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Feb 2, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
  7. macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2012
    The whole PSU football program should of got a death sentence in my opinion.
  8. macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2010

    Take the time to read the entire report. "Scandal" is not the word I would use. Paterno committed a crime, and not by a technicality, either. I mean that he clearly intended to cover up what happened, over a period of months, when he should have called the police immediately. But not just Paterno.

    I'm sorry that so many people who worshiped Paterno got hurt, but, that sometimes happens when you worship people. I understand that Paterno and others of his era still viewed this primarily as some kind of little problem that Sandusky had, and, didn't, and don't, get that many studies have shown that these actions often create major psychological problems for the victims. Paterno was presumably too busy studying football to study psychology, but, I can assure you that anyone working anywhere in education knows that legally such incidents must be reported. And, the actions of Paterno and his superiors showed that they indeed knew that, and, did not report it anyway. But, don't take my word for it, read the report.
  9. PracticalMac, Jul 24, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2012

    thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jan 22, 2009
    I found this article and now understand how powerful the Football program became and Paterno was its general.

    Another perfect example when an orgranization becomes greater then the person/people who supports it (reminds me of Nazi Germany).

    This quote says it all:
    Agree, fitting punishment and lesson.

    (another interesting read)
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 24, 2012
    Instead of losing 20 scholarships for 4 years and having a 4 year loss of post season eligibility, PSU should have lost 14 scholarships for 14 years, and had a 14 year loss of post season eligibility ... one scholarship/year for each year of the cover up.

    If not that, then just close the whole place down.
  11. macrumors demi-god


    Jul 8, 2011
    Turning a blind eye to this was a tragedy. Think about what those children had to endure. I believe everyone who had something to do with it should have been terminated and faced criminal charges. PSU got off easy. I could never condone this and if I was put in the position of hiding it, it would have been taken straight to the police and media no matter what the board had told me. That way it would have been dealt with properly. Ignoring it just allowed more children to be hurt.
  12. chrono1081, Jul 25, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012

    macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    I'll be the first to say I didn't read the Freeh report but everyone around my area (which is Penn State) is convinced the entire report is a lie and that JoePa is 100% free from wrongdoing.

    I'm sorry but if I had an employee tell me he witnessed a rape we would be at the police station in the next 5 minutes.

    EDIT: I'd like to know someone who had the time to read the Freeh reports thoughts. Do you think its accurate?
  13. macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2011
    That's to be expected. The community is circling the wagons like nobody's business right now. The NCAA ventured into new territory by punishing Penn State football for what went on, and a buddy of mine who is a fan specifically said that vacating Joe Paterno's wins (his words: pissing on Joe's grave) was a bridge too far.

    The report was based on 400 interviews conducted by Freeh's group. To contest its findings is to accuse the school of staging a coverup consisting of literally hundreds if not thousands of people.

    Frankly, for an issue that's supposed to be about child abuse, the NCAA did a pretty good job of shifting focus back to football. Now you have people who are either upset that Joe Paterno's wins were vacated, or are scouring Penn State's roster trying to figure out which kids are going to defect, you have people wondering if the Big Ten shouldn't undergo some structural change to reassign a new cross-division rival to Nebraska... it goes on. Everyone's saying "of course the kids are what's important", but nobody is acting like it. That is what happens when you apply a football punishment to a child abuse problem. The NCAA should have stopped at the $60 million fine that's supposed to go to charity. Maybe even made it more stiff.
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 6, 2009
    Close the place down? Because punishing the students and players who weren't involved at all does what, again? Sounds like it all it would do is complicate innocent people's lives.

    IMO this is mostly a criminal case, and not a sports one anymore. A fine by the NCAA? That's fair. Going ******* over it to mete out your own form of civil justice? Not so fair. The courts should be the ones to handle this, no one else.

    The ones who needed punishment were the ones who were in power at the time, which should have appropriate charges brought against them where applicable. Not the new administration, and especially not the students/players.
  15. macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
    Yes, an over-reaction, but there you have it. ;)

    Strip them of NCAA affiliation for, say 5 years, and let them concentrate on producing productive scholars.
  16. macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    Agreed. This needs to happen in order to send a message- this kind of thing will NOT be tolerated at all.
  17. macrumors 68040

    Gasu E.

    Mar 20, 2004
    Not far from Boston, MA.
    The NCAA has 1,281 member colleges and universities, and only about 120 have big-time football programs. I think there is a concern among the majority of member institutions that big-time sports programs are distorting, even corrupting, the academic mission. That was certainly true in the Penn State case, where Paterno, a mere football coach, was a near deity. It was the resulting power of Paterno and the football program that allowed this situation to continue. This was a chance for the NCAA majority to send a message to all the big-time sports schools-- get your priorities in order, or expect to pay the consequences for what happens if you don't.
  18. macrumors 6502

    Feb 17, 2010
    Joe Paterno colluded with school officials to keep a child molester's actions a secret - in the name of protecting the school football program and their public image.

    IMO - the entire Penn State football prog should have been shut down indefinitely.
  19. macrumors regular

    Dec 26, 2007
    Concern for the University is misplaced. Those who attend and work there will be able to find other schools and other jobs. The "punishment" is merely cutting back on an extracurricular activity that is irrelevant to the core purpose of the University--education. What the sanctions placed on Penn State cannot do is remove the pain and suffering that the children abused by Sandusky suffered, and even though most are now adults that pain will never be erased.

    Paterno targeted? No, the roles that various people who were involved were investigated and the actions that they took were considered. You can decide whether to believe the Freeh report, but my take is that Paterno was unwilling to accept that his friend may be involved in that behaviour and used his influence to stop any further reporting of the incident as required by law. Each of the actors had an obligation to report and failed to do so and all them deserve the highest sanctions possible. The young lives that were shattered by Sandusky will never get them back, and further victims could have been prevented had those other actors chosen to do the right thing rather than the most expedient.

    While the young men attacked by Sandusky can receive thereapy and financial compensation, those will never erase the pain that they have endured. The sanctions against Penn State and the other actors involved will do much to ensure that the memory of the reprehensible event will be remembered for a long time and when this happens again, the people involved will remember and do the right thing to stop it as soon as possible. As far as I'm concerned the punishment and sanctions can never be enough.
  20. macrumors Core


    Jan 4, 2002
    That is not the reason why he didn't stop him. They actually were not that close. He didn't stop him because he was afraid of hurting the football program. Well guess what Joe, by doing nothing you did much more damage to the program than if you just turned Sandusky over 15 years ago.
  21. macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2011
    I don't feel sorry for JoePa he deserved what he got and I go to Penn State.
  22. carlgo, Jul 27, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012

    macrumors 68000

    Dec 29, 2006
    Ol Joe made a horrible decision. One could argue that he was only a football coach who found himself with all this power but had no idea of how to handle it.

    More culpable are the administrators and politicians. They were weak and lacked courage.
    But, you know that every day people make the tough calls, are courageous in carrying out their duties.

    And they are people with less of a paycheck than these guys and have no golden parachutes. .

    It will be interesting when the perps start to talk and make deals.
  23. D*I*S_Frontman, Jul 28, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2012

    macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2002
    Lombard, IL
    "Was Joe Paterno overly targeted for retribution?"

    Anyone who has read the Freeh Report and the grand jury findings would not even ask that question. He knowingly aided and abetted a serial child rapist for at least 14 years. Why? To insulate his football program from criticism, to continue to mass victories and records as a coach, and to cover up his own financial involvement with Sandusky's charity, "The Second Mile."

    Time and research will reveal the financial issues to be his strongest motivator. Watch for it. Paterno had extensive investment connections with board members of the Second Mile. That "non-profit" will prove to have been anything but, and most of the problems will have absolutely nothing to do with child rape or Sandusky. With zero effective oversight, this "charity" effectively became a front for moneymaking schemes that would make Jim and Tammy Faye Baker blush.

    JoePa was a myth-maker. He lived in that quaint little house on campus and lived in the manner of a middle-class plebeian while amassing generational wealth from his outside interests. He sold Aqua Penn for a cool $112 million, for example. While I have nothing against a smart investor being rewarded for good decisions and risk-taking, it does get a little unnerving to hear Penn State fanatics pine about how selfless, anti-materialistc and noble their demi-god coach was.

    Sure, he helped boys become men. Yes, graduation rates were high. But when it comes to actually developing moral character, JoePa has been proven a failure, as the behavior of Penn State students clearly attests. Those young adults did not learn right from wrong or moral courage--they learned "protect the institution at all costs." Had they learned how to properly discern right from wrong they would fully understand why the NCAA handed down the "sanctions" (i.e., the plea bargain agreement with PSU trustees to stave off a multi-year death penalty), would understand why the statue HAD to come down, and would collectively feel an emotion completely absent from that campus: remorse. People with a modicum of empathy for the victims or a shred of human decency would have torn down the statue themselves, with their bare hands.

    The fact that few of them can be bothered with reading the Freeh Report demonstrates their willing ignorance and duplicity. "One man's opinion," they retort. Hmm. Let's see: a former DA, formal federal Circuit Court judge, and former Director of the F. B. I. ("Federal Bureau of INVESTIGATIONS") puts out an exhaustively researched report that definitively illustrates what was really going on, and they aren't interested in reading what it says? PSU advocates claim that the NCAA did not follow "due process" because they did not initiate their own investigation, but instead relied on this Freeh amateur to do it for them. If anything, this clearly demonstrates that PSU will only believe "one man's opinion"--that of St. JoePa. Anything else is pure evil designed to destroy their mythical statue of what Penn State was and is. The Freeh Report proves that this statue has "clay feet." Sadly, not even tough sanctions seem to be able to alter the "culture" of PSU much, which was part of the NCAA's motivation for issuing them. They are still pathologically clinging to "us against the world" and "outlaw football."

    This is not over:

    • The DOE is looking into violations of the Clery Act, as PSU intentionally omitted the reporting of violent crimes as mandated by federal law.
    • The DOJ has solid evidence for violations of the Mann Act, when Sandusky crossed state lines with boys to rape them during Bowl game vacations.
    • The financial shenanigans of the Second Mile will be thoroughly investigated/audited by the IRS.
    • There will be a cavalcade of civil suits, as there are certainly more than a dozen or so victims over the course of the 14 year span (probably over a hundred, and individual violations numbering in the thousands).

    ALL of these investigations will have SUBPOENA POWER that the Freeh investigation did not possess. There was plenty of dirt Freeh could not get to (Second Mile officials, for example, did NOT cooperate with Freeh's investigation).

    So, was JoePa "overly targeted?" Not by the Freeh report. But if you think THAT was bad, just wait until you see what the victim's lawyers, DOE, DOJ, and IRS will do to the reputation and legagy of Coach Paterno when they get done with him. PSU fanatics will pine for the even-handedness of Louis Freeh! Keep this in mind as well: had Paterno not passed away, he would already be charged with perjury for his testimony to the grand jury, as email evidence unearthed by Freeh proves that Paterno was fully aware of the 1998 incident. Under oath he claimed that the 2001 shower incident was the first he'd ever heard of it.

    With regard to the sanctions themselves, I think that the plea deal is sufficient. At least PSU signed off on the deal so there will be no legal challenge to the NCAA for issuing these punishments. Sure, I'd love a five-year death penalty as much as anyone else, but it would have meant a protracted legal fight with PSU going on "business as usual" in the interim. At least the plea deal begins immediately.

    Besides, when the victims, DOJ, DOE, and IRS get done with this institution, it might be completely destroyed. Certainly its reputation is. Victims alone could net $300 million in settlements, and without "winning" football bringing in big cash, I don't know how the college survives this. You can tap the blindly-faithful alums just so much.


    God bless you. A moderate voice.

    I hope you aren't alone, and I hope you remain anonymous on that campus, at least for now. I imagine it's a fearful time to hold such views in "Happy Valley."
  24. macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2002
    Lombard, IL
  25. Guest

    Conflicted about this, especially because of that prick Buzz Bissinger who used every chance he got to **** on Paterno while at the same time defending serial doper Lance Armstrong and ignoring the fact that JoePa wasn't by far the highest ranking official who ****ed this up and the fact that the eye witness himself could have reported this to the cops and didn't.

    That being said, joepa was a patsy. while i think penn state got the punishment it deserved, i do wonder at the same time why both the catholic church as an organization and the bishops as they key perps obstructing justice by hiding evidence and aiding and abetting by not pulling and reporting abusers are still not in jail or have been deprived of significant chunks of their property. There seems to be a double standard here.

Share This Page