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Don't Bother Apologizing for Joe Paterno

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(*The following message is for anyone who would like to suggest that, due to a selective reading of the Freeh Report, Joe Paterno should be exempted from blame or criticism for the egregious role that he played in the Sandusky Scandal.)  


Joe Paterno by Wikimedia Commons


Dear Arch-Defenders of Joe Paterno's Heroic Image, 

What about the kids? It is distressing that you and other apologists for Joe Paterno would continue to show as little concern for the victims of Jerry Sandusky's abuse as Joe Paterno did. Zero!

Anyway, you are wrong. I have read the entire Freeh Report--all the way through the appendices. The evidence that you would like to dismiss is, in my opinion, quite damning. Like many of Paterno's credulous defenders, you are of the curious opinion that Paterno could somehow have been blithely unaware of the 1998 investigation of Sandusky's molestation. Even if you do not consider the documentary evidence to be damning, don't you find it implausible that Joe Paterno would have remained unaware of a police investigation that posed such great peril for the PSU football program, Paterno's reputation and, let's not forget, the "welfare" of Paterno's good buddy, Jerry Sandusky? 

That aside, there is abundant evidence that Paterno was fully briefed and was an active participant in the aftermath of Jerry Sandusky's shower-rape in 2001. Thus, it is indisputable that Paterno was fully apprised of Jerry Sandusky's abhorrent pedophilia as early as 2001. Yet, Paterno's response to such shocking revelations was to do as little as possible and, in every case, to minimize damage to himself, Sandusky, and PSU football. At no point did Paterno endeavor to impede Sandusky's criminal abuses. As such, Paterno made it possible for Sandusky to be excused for past crimes, while opening the door to additional attacks after 2001. 

You would like to believe that your cynical reading of the Freeh Report exempts Joe Paterno from knowingly aiding and abetting Jerry Sandusky's criminal pedophilia for more than a decade. The truth is that, at least since 2001, Joe Paterno was willfully criminally negligent. As a direct result of Joe Paterno's efforts to minimize damage, Paterno enabled--one might even say encouraged--J erry Sandusky  to continue terrorizing kids. Those are not the actions of a hero. A hero would have risked everything to  prevent  Sandusky from abusing kids. Joe Paterno did not give a damn about Jerry Sandusky's victims. 

That is why Joe Paterno has become the object of such widespread and intense public censure. Plain and simple, Joe Paterno is reaping what he sowed. By the way, the public is not being "too hard on Joe Paterno," rather Paterno is getting off much easier than he should for his monstrous crimes. It is unfortunate that Joe Paterno did not survive long enough to face the long list of criminal charges that would, no doubt, have been leveled against him. 

Finally, what is disgraceful is that people like you would struggle to preserve the heroic image of Joe Paterno after he went so far out of his way to aid, abet and encourage a fiend like Jerry Sandusky and, as a result, hurt so many kids. 

Sincerely,

Tim McGettigan

 

http://goodscience.sociology.org/

Tim McGettigan is a professor of sociology at CSUPueblo. Tim's primary research interests are in the areas of science, technology, society (STS) and the future and Tim blogs about those topics at the following sites: The Socjournal, (more...)
 

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Joe Paterno-philes would like to believe that thei... by Timothy McGettigan on Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 3:25:16 PM
This is just one of the many, many problems for se... by Robert P. Philipps on Thursday, Jul 26, 2012 at 4:41:31 PM
Too true. The pattern that you are describing fits... by Timothy McGettigan on Friday, Jul 27, 2012 at 8:34:13 AM