Thursday, July 12, 2012

Quote of the Day


"The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized... None of them ever spoke to Sandusky about his conduct. Nothing was done and Sandusky was allowed to continue with impunity... None of these men took responsible action."

-- Former FBI Director Louis Freeh, who headed the internal investigation into the Jerry Sandusky child rape case and the reaction to it by Penn State's administration, issuing his report on the matter

So there you have it. Anyone want to argue anymore? Anyone want to claim that it wasn't an inexcusable cover-up that resulted in child after child being assaulted by a serial rapist? Anybody want to take to the streets in outrage that Joe-Pa got fired?

Freeh says flat-out, without a hint of equivocation or mitigation, that Graham Spanier, Gary Schultz, Tim Curley and, yes, Joe Paterno, all exhibited a "total disregard for the safety and welfare" of the young boys Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulted. Forget the death penalty for Penn State's football program, which is practically a lock -- this report now sets in motion the likelihood of not only criminal charges and civil suits, but the possibility, albeit slim, of the complete repeal of Penn State's accreditation.

If nothing else, Spanier, Schultz, and Curley belong in prison for the rest of their lives. As for Paterno -- he got off far too easy. But that statue of him in Happy Valley? That thing needs to be pulled down by a Humvee and a cable and beaten with shoes.

27 comments:

Steven D Skelton said...

You know I'll always argue.

But, I won't argue about the fate of the people named by Freeh. Those still alive should lose their jobs and be prosecuted.

Moving on, I think it's beyond stupid to give the death penalty to the football program and remove the accreditation of the university. All that does is punish about 100 football players that had nothing to do with this and about 25k students that had nothing to do with this....and neither course of action punishes those involved in any way.

It's a state university. Have the state come in and clean the place out...but you don't throw away an entire university over the actions of a handful of people.

That's the dumbest idea I've heard all day.

Rivalen said...

How do you say just what I think? If only the statue could land on Nancy Grace...

Chez said...

Of course you'll argue, Skelton. And there's generally about a 30% chance it'll be a good argument. Sorry, but the death penalty for the football program is damn-near a must, while all I said about the accreditation repeal is that it's a possibility. Four of the highest ranking and most important people at a school --certainly within its athletics program -- conspire to cover up the actions of a rapist while he's raping children on campus, yeah, you lose the football program most of them were the heads of. End of story.

Anonymous said...

As a Penn State alum, I have been deeply saddened by all of this since the beginning. Please don't mistake my sadness for the university for ignorance or being blind to the real issues at hand. I was not someone who was "taking the streets" when Joe Paterno was fired. I was just.... sad.
A friend of mine wrote a letter a few weeks ago to a PSU journalist who attended the Sandusky trial. In it, she says, "I’m disgusted that I have to look at Spanier’s name on my undergrad degree, but it doesn’t negate everything I had/have/will have on this campus."
I am incredibly disappointed with everyone involved, my heart absolutely aches for the children who were hurt, and I know that the university has a lot of work to do, changing policies and procedures, and culture on campus to ensure that nothing like this EVER happens again. But I am trying not to let it take away from what I personally had during my time there, I am trying to remember my years as an undergrad fondly, as all other college grads are able to do even if horrible things may have happened at their schools. Key word is, trying.
I guess I just want you to know that although you may hear the majority of Penn Staters "arguing" with you, I think that may be because they are just the most vocal. I want you to know that MANY of us are sad, disappointed, and just trying to hold onto the good things we remember about our alma mater, but not taking away from how horrible this all is.

Steven D Skelton said...

Okay Chez...

How does ending the football program in any way punish the guilty? They are all dead, in jail or soon to be.

Which of the 97 student athletes on the football team is guilty and deserving of this punishment?

Because football funds the entire athletic department, which of 500 or so scholarship athletes in other sports that will lose their program is guilty and deserving of this punishment.

Or...how about just naming one human being on the planet that is better off by killing the football program?

I understand the desire for retribution. I do. Like you, I'm disgusted by what happened and can't think of a fate that those involved don't deserve and then some.

But why should the innocent bear the wrath?

idiosynchronic said...

Skelton: "I think it's beyond stupid to give the death penalty to the football program and remove the accreditation of the university. All that does is punish about 100 football players that had nothing to do with this and about 25k students that had nothing to do with this....and neither course of action punishes those involved in any way."

That's the same bullshit logic the NCAA has used to defend its lack of use of the DP on other badly behaving Div I moneymakers since 1986. "Protecting" the revenues of the colleges' athletic opponents whom lose their game and syndication cash or opportunities. Not if, but WHEN, the NCAA holds Penn accountable, they'll release the current team's commitments so they can transfer without penalty. The student population can just suck it up and find some other sport to bond over; maybe some of them will realize the corruption this program introduced into their hearts.

Steven D Skelton said...

Idiosynchronic

It's bullshit logic to say we should punish the guilty and not the innocent?

And please tell me....the gal who's gonna lose her swimming scholarship...how has this curruption which she knew nothing about been introduced to her heart?

Chez said...

Anon 2:01, I'm going to say basically the same thing on the Penn State-related post above this one because I think it's important: Of course not all Penn State students or fans are terrible people. My ex's siblings all went to Penn and they're wonderful people. Admittedly, that insane tantrum that was thrown after Paterno got fired left a really bad taste in my mouth, but I definitely don't take it out on every single person associated with the school.

That said, I've always been put off by the almost cult-like blind loyalty that so many seem to feel toward Penn State. I get that it's a good school and the whole school pride thing and all that -- but PSU kids' and fans' love for the institution as a whole seems to go so far beyond that, and it's a little scary. I've seen some of the reaction from otherwise really intelligent people who are Penn State students, alumni or just plain fans and it's mind-boggling how many can simply make excuses for what happened, rationalize the behavior that led to this atrocity or flat-out convince themselves that it just couldn't happen at a place like Penn State so somehow the facts must not be what they seem. That to me is madness.

But sincerely, thanks for your comment. It's really appreciated.

Steven D Skelton said...

A hypothetical for you:

Let's say a university has a summer science camp every year and at that camp one of the professors is raping the students. Furthermore, the department chair covers it up.

Should the university then give the death penalty to it's science department?

warrenbishop said...

Did I read somewhere that ESPN did a tribute to Joe Paterno at the ESPY's? Or was I just hallucinating again?

Chez said...

I'm busy today, Skelton, so I don't have time to debate this with you ad nauseam to your satisfaction. First of all, your point in an abstract sense is horseshit. Our justice system punishes institutions all the time for the crimes of a few; yes, you can argue from a completely intransigentand academic point that innocent people get hurt, but them's the breaks. Your argument seems to be, "Well, Paterno's dead anyway and everyone else is probably gonna go to prison so, hey, why press this any further." That's just not the way things work in our justice and legal system. You might feel they should, but they don't.

As for Penn State, here's the salient quote from Freeh:

"Penn State failed to implement the provisions of the Clery Act, a 1990 federal law that requires the collecting and reporting of the crimes such as Sandusky committed on campus in 2001."

That failure can bring the wrath of the Department of Education down on Penn State. Meanwhile, both the NCAA and the DoE get to decide whether there was enough institutional corruption in this case that it warrants catastrophic action. Again, that's how things work.

Incidentally, the fact that Penn State has yet to make good on any of the programs or restitution talks it promised would happened immediately after Sandusky's conviction won't help it in the eyes of those who cannow pass judgment on the school and its football program.

Anonymous said...

Steven- Prior to commenting about the NCAA Death Penalty, I suggest you actually learn what the punishment was and how it effects the student athletes involved.

The student athletes are allowed to transfer without punishment. Under normal conditions, they are hit with a year long restriction from playing sports. This is done to specifically punish them and prevent them from moving from one school to the other. The Death Penalty is a the rare situation where the student athletes themselves are not punished for the actions of the administration or others.

If the NCAA were to enact a punishment similar to what occurred to SMU, it would not have the same results. The Big Ten is a much healthier conference than the Southwest Conference was. If Penn State did have to sit out two years, you wouldn't see the SEC, ACC, and the Big 12 swallowing up the better parts as the conference as a whole would still be strong.

SMU paid players to play. Penn State facilitated, from the janitors up to Joe Pa, the repeated raping of children, both off site and on campus. This went on for 14 years. The culture of Penn State football is so pervasive that multiple victims had to drop out of high school due to verbal abuse on them by fellow students.

This culture is not healthy. Not many schools would even be talking about having a football program this year if the same crimes were occurring on their campuses.

I hate the NCAA. I think its a joke that just exploits student athletes and fans to make gobs and gobs of money. But if the loss of institutional control cause does not come into effect involving an extensive coverup of pedophilia than what is the fucking point? If Sandusky was murdering the kids after ass fucking them, and the school continued to coverup for him...would it then be okay to talk about not letting them have a bowl game?

Anonymous said...

Penn State is not part of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. It is a private university that receives funding from the State. In fact, it receives more funding than the 13 state system schools.

At the very least it should lose all and any state funding.

Steven D Skelton said...

Anon 3:55

When you grow a set and put your name on what you write, I'll give a fuck.

In the mean time, rest assured that you provided me with no education on the subject.

I've followed college football for 35 years.

I do find it interesting that you think the players aren't being punished because they can transfer without having to sit out a year.

Tell that to the kid who red-shirted, spent two years on the scout team and was going to compete for a starting spot this year...and is a year away from his degree. He's probably got a circle of friends on campus. He might have three years invested in fraternity.

I don't think he'll agree with you that he isn't being punished.

JohnF said...

Steven-
The Death Penalty in this case has to serve as a deterrent. For far too long these Universities have done whatever the hell they wanted to do, and no one said a peep. That has to stop.
Yes, innocent student-athletes may suffer somewhat as a result. But this culture needs to be kneecapped before something even worse (if such a thing's possible) happens and gets swept under the rug "for the good of the program."
Fuck the program and all its enablers. It's just a goddamn game. It doesn't deserve sacred cow status. The supporters, boosters, and cover-uppers care more for the game than they do for the lives of children. That's sick.

Chez said...

And John wins the prize.

The penalties doled out by criminal justice system are about two things: punishment and deterrence. Hence why the innocent sometimes have to pay the price for the very, very guilty.

Chez said...

Also, as John said, the protection of the school and the program was the goal of this entire conspiracy. Punishing that school and program isn't out of bounds.

Julie said...

Hey Steven,

Actually, I was the anonymous poster at 3:55 and wasn't the previous anonymous poster. You know, that is an option when putting in a comment.

I'm not as concerned about the college football fan or the kid that might miss out playing college ball for Penn State as I am the poor kids who endured getting raped on a repeated basis and the adults who were supposed to help turned a blind eye.

Isn't that enough of an education?

julie said...

I need to make a correction to my previous post - PSU is a public college not private. But it's still not part of the SSHE.

TheReaperD said...

As far as killing the Penn State football program, there is little choice. When corruption in an institution becomes so pervasive that it is hard to find someone in the leadership that was not involved, the only option is to get rid of the entire institution. Anyone new brought in will be instantly enveloped in a quagmire of the desire to defend the guilty and protect the institution at any cost. They can try and fight this but, it is an uphill battle where the institution will fight them until its death or until they give up, leaving the institution crippled for years to come. So if they try to keep the program, they will end up with either business as usual, a hive of corruption that defends the crimes of the guilty, or a dysfunctional program plagued by infighting for years to come.

An analogy would be an apple. When the apple has a bad spot, it's easy to cut off the section and use the remainder of the apple. But, when the apple is rotten to the core, trying to save anything of value left is a futile exercise. Trying to find what is still of value is difficult and, even if you do, the remaining parts are of poor quality and will spoil soon anyway.

Anonymous said...

Universities are typical businesses, devoid of any moral compass. If there is no business risk in turning a blind eye when top officials do this sort of thing, then universities have no motivation to prevent it in the future.

"Protect the institution" is the rule of the day when there is no downside when it fails and a non-zero chance of getting away with something entirely when it works. From a business perspective, there really isn't the option to do otherwise.

VOTAR said...

I am in the strange position of seeing the merits of either argument.

Child rape is an abhorrent crime, and everyone who committed or enabled it must be punished to the fullest extent permitted by law. The "institution" itself must be accountable as well, as others have said, if for no other reason that a deterrent precedent has to be established that will put all colleges and similar institutions on notice.

But I also can appreciate the sense of sympathy for the thousands of students -- not to mention the faculty, employees, and support staff -- whose lives would be permanently altered by the elimination of some or all of the university's sports education program. People who have zero involvement in the scandal.

I teach at a very large university, with a VERY beloved sports heritage including multiple national championships in several different sports. I'm trying to imagine what this scenario might look like if it happened here. The dissolution of the sports program here would leave this place an empty shell of what it currently is. One can hold whatever opinion they wish whether the emphasis on sports is over inflated in modern higher education, but it is what it is. The sports program brings in millions of dollars in concessions, sponsorships, donations, and alumni support, that stream into faculty and staff salaries, campus building funds, infrastructure improvements, etc. A lot of people earn a living by way of the opportunities this provides. It is part and parcel of the American University experience. "Guilt by association" on this scale, while it makes sense on a symbolic level, seems to me a frighteningly overwrought reaction, akin to the kind of stories you hear about tyrants in third world countries who eradicate an entire village because one of the farmers committed a crime.

It's a tough call.

Anonymouse said...

Steven I am the person you got your panties in a bunch question your knowledge of college football. I apologize for not signing in.

You're an idiot. I doubt you ever played a collegiate sport. Colleges fuck over their "student athletes" (a term created to protect them from having to pay survivor benefits) all the time. Hell, its part of the system. I suspect you think, like most idiot sports fans, that college football players get full four year rides. They don't and neither does any student athlete.

In my own case, like all athletes, my scholarship was a yearly renewal. So when I blew out my knee wrestling, my whole college career basically ended. I get to walk with a limp for the rest of my life for a two fucking semesters scholarship. Even more fucking hilarious, I wasn't even out of the hospital before I was approached by my school and told they my stipend was getting slash and that I was basically paying for over half of my last semester.

I'm not unique. A lot of kids go through the same hell I did, for a school, only to get kicked immediately to the curb as soon as the pressure became too much or their bodies failed. I ended up in the military and served with a slew of ex-swimmers and baseball players with bad bad shoulders and ex-linemen with shot knees.

You're worried about kids getting screwed...and you're entertained watching them destroy their bodies so you can have an excuse to get drunk on Saturdays. So take your fake concern and blow it out your ass.

Steven D Skelton said...

Votar

It shouldn't be a strange position to find merits to both sides of an argument. Although we all usually end up taking one side or the other, it is the mark of a small mind to believe there is merit in only one side.

Anon

I find it hilarious that you continue to believe, without any merit whatsoever, that I don't understand how college athletics work.

If we were arguing about whether or not student athletes get fucked over, I would be wholeheartedly in your camp.

But we're arguing about whether or not the football program at PSU should receive the death penalty.

You may think I'm an idiot...that's fine...but at least I know what the subject of the conversation is.

Christine said...

A friend of mine (who also went to PSU), was one of those vehement defenders of JoPa when this story first broke, some time ago. Now that all the grisly details have been revealed, I think his reaction is exactly what I felt, too:

For those of you wondering for my take on the Penn State findings?

I'm gutpunched. I waited, hoping that this report wouldn't say what I was afraid it would...and it did.

At this point what went on in Happy Valley goes so far beyond the scope of a sports scandal that I'm not capable of expressing it...but the NCAA needs to drop the hammer and drop the hammer hard so that this sort of institutional corruption never happens again, at any major university.

Penn State's football program needs to receive the dreaded "Death Penalty" for some period of time not less than 5 years and everyone associated (no matter how remotely) should be banned from college athletics in perpetuity.

Penn State presented itself as a program that could be held to a higher standard...one that taught young men how to conduct themselves, but they clearly failed at the exact thing that they were presenting as their strength.

Some have opined that the death penalty for the football program will make it MORE likely for this sort of thing to happen.

Let me be clear: The molestation (while the actual crime) is not the reason that I think that PSU football should be wiped out. The coverup is.

The report that was just relased made it clear that Administrators at Penn State (including JoePa, who I defended earlier in the process) knew what was going on with Sandusky and failed to report it to the authorities.

There's no way that can be excused, and the fact that the institution benefited from the cover up (being able to continue to recruit without the scandal being in the public eye) means that the institution should be punished.

It's very sad that it will affect people who did nothing wrong, but if the NCAA is to have any relevance ever again, they need to do this.

howdidIgethere said...

All these despicable acts were done to "protect" the almighty Football Program. The lives of innocent children were considered unimportant and crimes against them were covered up for YEARS, solely for that reason.

Make it crystal clear which is more important and kill the program. Do I know anything about college athletics? No, but I fail to see how that disqualifies me from having an opinion every bit as valid as those who are "in the know". I do know about children and believe that protecting them should be paramount in the eyes of all adults -- especially those in positions of power and responsibility.

Last I heard, PSU was an EDUCATIONAL institution. Students can continue to get their excellent education without a football team -- many students already attend schools without football. Will it change the campus culture? Sure will -- and maybe for the better because everyone will see what can happen when you turn a blind eye to heinous acts against children.

Anonymouse said...

Steven- 1) I want to apologize. I came off really pissed off and I fully admit that the NCAA issues tend to make me fly off the handle.

2) I fully believe that Penn State clearly shows a lack of institutional control. These crimes were covered up to protect the recruiting advantage that Penn State had with their image of being a "clean" program. That influenced all their actions. If it was a college student who was arrested and this was covered up, the program would be getting slammed with penalties.

A prime example of just how tight the control the school had on all of this was when the lead investigator into the allegations of Victim 2 tried to advance the investigation as far as possible before notifying the school. He knew from experience that as soon as Penn State knew of ANY investigation involving the football team, the school would do everything possible to obstruct any investigation.

Now does this happen at other schools? Hell yes it does. But does repeatedly allegations about one person get suppressed for over a 10 year period?