409 career victories.
37 bowl appearances, 21 bowl victories.
2 national championships, 5 undefeated seasons.
One of the greatest FBS coaches of all time.
And now, this perhaps will all be overshadowed, not because of something Joe Paterno did, but something he failed to do.
I have read the 23-page grand-jury transcript that was used to indict Jerry Sandusky. It may be the vilest set of occurrences I have ever read or heard about it. Allegedly Sandusky, the former Penn State defensive coordinator took sexual advantage of troubled youth he would mentor through The Second Mile organization, which he founded. Through this charity, he had access to hundreds of young boys, many ages 10 to 15, who were “vulnerable due to their social situations.” Most of these boys were in dysfunctional or absent families.
Over a period of 15 years, beginning in 1994, Sandusky allegedly fondled, groped and raped nine or 10of these young boys. The youngest reported victim was 7 or 8, and the oldest was 12 or 13.
In 2002, Penn State football graduate assistant Mike McQueary reportedly walked in on Sandusky performing forced anal intercourse on a young boy in a shower, a boy McQueary described as being around the age of 10.
After reporting the incident to his father, McQueary then told Joe Paterno the next day. Paterno then called Penn State AD Tim Curley to his house the next day and reported what he had been told. Approximately two-and-a-half weeks later, McQueary was called into a meeting with AD Curley and Senior Vice President for Business and Finance Gary Schultz. Paterno was not present. McQueary reported what he witnessed.
According to the Grand Jury, McQueary heard back from Curley “couple of weeks” later. Curley told him that Sandusky’s keys to the locker room were taken away and The Second Mile was notified. McQueary was not interviewed by any law enforcement entity until December 2010, when he testified before the Grand Jury.
Eight years later.
It is apparent to me that Curley and Schultz were the main reason the events did not get reported to police. It was put in their hands, and they dropped the ball. Whether they were part of a cover-up or not is a different argument. Both have been relieved of the jobs at Penn State and were indicted on charges of perjury for lying to the Grand Jury during their investigation. They also are charged with failure to report suspected child abuse.
McQueary only witnessed one of the nine alleged events. Who knows how many men haven’t yet or will never come forward?
So back to JoePa. Despite reporting the incident to the Athletic Director, he had to do more. I understand keeping thing “in-house,” but this is something completely different. Moral and criminal lines had been crossed.
The police had to be notified. Immediately.
Had that occurred, the assaults may have stopped in 2002, instead of continuing as late as 2008.
How many attacks could have been stopped?
The worst part? Sandusky was still seen around Penn State’s facility this year.
Joe Paterno had to go. He couldn’t be allowed to leave on his terms, he had to be fired. Now. Even if he didn’t mean to, he turned his head to despicable acts that ultimately happened under his care. Penn State has to “clean house”. We may see more names fall in the next few days. Penn State President Graham Spanier was forced on Wednesday, the same day Paterno was removed.
Let us in this time not forget the victims in this case, most of who would now be around the age of 25. My thoughts and prayers go out to them and their families as the current coverage of this tragedy must bring unwanted memories to them.
Ultimately, they were failed by the grown men they put their trust in, and the institution that is Penn State.
A titan of football, it is sad to see such a great man be forced off of his throne after 46 seasons as head coach.
To have success over 46 years, you have to have skill, luck, and good decision-making skills.
JoePa said he wished he had done more. In his coaching career, he did a lot.
But in perhaps what may become the most defining, and sadly, tarnishing moment of his career, he failed to do enough.