The End of an Era

10 Nov

Last night, Joe Paterno was handed a letter saying he was fired fifteen minutes before a press conference where it was announced.

A man gives his entire life to an employer and is fired in a letter after he already opted to retire at the end of the season.

Whatever your opinion on the Sandusky Scandal at Penn State University is, make no mistake that this is a study in the power of the media, who put Paterno at the forefront (who it was agreed he did no legal wrongdoing) but allowed Curley to take administrative leave and Shultz to step down on his own, who both failed to take Paterno’s report to the next level and then lied to a grand jury about it.  Later, Curley chose to resign as well.  Why did everyone get an ultimatum from the Board but Paterno? They didn’t get letters; they got their legal fees covered by PSU.

By the way, McQueary, the man who saw Sandusky raping a child with his own eyes, still works there as well. 

I tried to write about other things today; honest.   But hey, instead of reading me today, read an article or two on this situation.  It’s a dynamic and dangerous monster.

Back to the regular business tomorrow, folks.  Thanks for letting me take a break from the typical topics to address something about which I feel very strongly. 

Feel free to discuss your thoughts on the situation, whatever they may be, so long as they’re addressed respectfully.


29 Responses to “The End of an Era”

  1. darkpenguin350 November 10, 2011 at 9:29 am #

    That’s bull $hit. he did nothing wrong. Every article made it ‘sound’ like he was doing the raping… But now he’s free to tell his side, since he is no longer employed… let the fun begin…


    • Lucy's Mom November 10, 2011 at 10:01 am #

      First and foremost the vile monster Sandusky is the number one to blame. Next McQueary – when I first heard about this, I thought he was a young kid – he was a grown man at the time-why didn’t he do something right then and there, at the very least call 911! Yes, Paterno’s bosses’ inaction is inexcusable. But Joe Paterno, not following up on this, allowing this man to continue to coach for what, another year? Knowing about the allegations, seeing Sandusky back on campus after he retired? Something is seriously wrong with that. A mother reported Sandusky for showering with her son and inappropriate behavior. But the investigation was closed. Did anyone even think of alerting the so-called charity of Sandusky’s? Surely the boys talked and knew of the assaults on others. Lots of blame to go around.

      I don’t care if it was the power of the media or not. I don’t care that Joe Paterno spent his entire career by all accounts a fine mentor to his players, keeping them off the field for missing class, being a role model for the University and football program. I don’t care that Joe Paterno was fired in a letter or by a phone call. By looking the other way on such a heinous, vicious act on another human being, robbing him of his childhood, is inexcusable and just plain wrong. All the good things Joe Paterno has done for the University, for college football, for the players and their families, that’s all good and well and nice. Just imagine if Joe Pa had followed through. The victim would know that it wasn’t his fault, that his assaulter Sandusky is the criminal, and that it was all HIS fault. Other boys would have been saved. Joe would have been a savior, even more exalted than he is now.

      I want to know what Joe’s reasons were for not following up. I want to know – Was it all really just all about football and winning? Was it Joe?


    • Jackie November 11, 2011 at 12:05 am #

      The whole world is waiting to hear from him, I’m sure. I wonder what will come of this all.


  2. Sad In Happy Valley November 10, 2011 at 10:20 am #

    And let’s not forget the Centre County DA – Ray Gricar – who declined to procedute Sandusky in 1998. Let’s be honest – if the complaint would have been against a clerk in a local convenience store, that person would have been arrested first and questioned later. Sandusky? Decline to procecute. It’s just like Lindsey Lohan. The more affluant or powerful you are in this country, the least likely the law will come down on you.


    • Jackie November 11, 2011 at 12:04 am #

      Well, there’s some strangeness with that whole thing. When Gricar went missing, it was a huge story in my town. In light of the fact that his hard drive washed up on the shores of the Susquehanna and he was never found after, it seems people are wondering if its connected in some way to his investigation of Sandusky.


  3. Katherine Gordy Levine November 10, 2011 at 10:25 am #

    So agree with you on this one. Money and power leading htis one. He was targeted because he had less of each than those targeting him. Also, jealousy often plays a role as well as keeping a diaper on your own A–.

    The media is seeming more and more corrupt to me; they are running head to head and hand to hand with the politicians and power players.

    Thank you for your stance on this.


    • Jackie November 10, 2011 at 11:59 pm #

      Isn’t it frightening? Have we considered the impact of ousting an entire group of leaders at an institution before the verdict is even reached on Sandusky? Yeah, of course we all “know” he’s guilty. We don’t doubt it. But nonetheless, we’re taking action without due process. I find that to be disturbing. And yes, absolutely – the role the media has played in this is terrifying.


  4. pegoleg November 10, 2011 at 11:22 am #

    This is a tough one. I am disturbed by how blame has been passed out unevenly, and how this was handled at the last minute. But I am also disturbed that not enough was done by Paterno and others. As my husband said, “Do you think Paterno would have just reported this as required, and done nothing more, if it had been his grandson who was raped?” We all have to go above and beyond to protect children.


    • Jackie November 10, 2011 at 11:54 pm #

      I do think it’s the subject matter that makes it such a rough issue. Child abuse is one of the only things in this world that people can still rally against as wrong. There are no gray areas with people, and rightly so. And of course, Paterno would have done more if it were his child – we all would have. To be honest, though, I’m not convinced that when it’s someone else’s kid people go above and beyond. I’d like to think they do. I really would. But this is obviously proof otherwise. It’s the reputation of a man you think you know vs. the word of a young guy who says he thinks he saw something. As Ro pointed out, even when the investigation started, people were quick to say it was a lie and dismiss it. Hopefully this will be a call for us all to be the hero in the future, should we be tasked with it.


  5. Ro November 10, 2011 at 11:37 am #

    I second Lucy’s Mom. I think every single person, all the way down the line, must be held accountable for their actions (or inactions). I’m okay with Paterno being fired. I think everyone else who turned a blind eye deserves equal if not harsher punishments. McQuery, the janitor, Spanier, whoever was responsible for sweeping the 1998 incident under the rug. Every. Single. One of them. With Paterno and the media, I think a lot of it is the “bigger they are, the harder they fall.” I don’t really care one way or another if Paterno is fired or not. I think the worst part about Paterno getting so much attention is that Paterno is getting so much attention. Forget the “Don’t go, Joe!” signs. Where are the “PSU WILL NOT TOLORATE CHILD ABUSE!!!” signs? Is the football team and career for a COACH more important than the abuse of young boys? Apparently. Because at PSU football isn’t just a sport, it’s an institution. Coaches aren’t employees, they’re gods. Football holds so much power in State College that multiple children and their families couldn’t feel comfortable speaking out or saying no. An investigation with very damning evidence got swept under the rug. When news first broke of an investigation on March 31st, most people (feel free to check editorials and message boards) said “Oh no, it can’t possibly be true. He’s such a great guy.” Even worse, they said “Oh, these kids are probably just making it up for money or attention.” Can you believe that?? I don’t feel bad for Paterno at all. He may have been a bystander, but he was a bystander in the worst sense of the word. The children are the true victims and no one should forget that. These boys (especially the ones brave enough to initiate an investigation) stood up for their safety, knowing that they may not be believed, that they were going up against a “Goliath”, a well respected member of the community. Oh, the things people have said about them… it’s appalling. zero sympathy for anyone but these young men. I’m not wasting any energy on Paterno or football or anyone from PSU. People really need to get their priorities straight, because otherwise “We are Penn State” is simply going to translated into “We are… people who care more about football than children.” And that’s just really not cool.


    • Marylou November 10, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

      I agree with you, Ro.

      Joe Paterno may not have done anything technically “illegal” but his inaction is not something that the University should tolerate. He’s a giant icon, and from a PR standpoint, they *had* to fire him (and clean house, in general) if they ever wanted anybody to play football for them again.

      I believe the cult-following behind Penn State’s football program is appalling and very telling of our society today. Maybe the media coverage focusing on JoePa is also telling about where are priorities lie. However, JoePa’s handling of his “resignation” etc was not exactly the classiest thing he’s ever done. By doing what he did (both the cover-up, and the resignation), he made Penn State look worse instead of better.

      In conclusion, JoePa should not keep his job if Penn State wants to keep its head above water.


      • Jackie November 10, 2011 at 11:45 pm #

        I don’t think that reporting the incident to his superiors (and bringing the original witness and his father in front of them) was a cover-up. I think that a man trying to cover something like that up doesn’t report it at all. I will agree that he didn’t follow through, but I don’t agree to a cover-up or inaction.

        I do agree that cutting Joe was probably the best choice for PSU’s publicity since so many people were hollering for his head. This kind of throws an interesting wrench into things though:


    • Lucy's Mom November 10, 2011 at 3:16 pm #

      Go Ro! I cannot agree more. As others have asked, what if that boy was your son, your brother, your grandson, your neighbor? Would Joe or the others have done enough then? It’s easy to say, aw poor JoePa when the victims are anonymous.


    • Jackie November 10, 2011 at 11:50 pm #

      Thanks for stating that intelligently and respectfully. Well said.


  6. Neil C. Reinhardt November 10, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

    While I doubt you care what I think, I AGREE with you. He should have been allowed to retire on his own terms.

    As far as I know he is one damn fine man who messed up once in his life. While what he did was certainly an error on his part, the way they treated him was worse.


    • Jackie November 10, 2011 at 11:46 pm #

      How could I not care what you think? Especially when you agree! 😛


      • Neil C. Reinhardt November 11, 2011 at 11:19 am #


        “Jerry Sandusky Rumored to Have Been ‘Pimping Out Young Boys to Rich Donors,’ Says Mark Madden”

        “In April of this year, Pittsburgh radio host Mark Madden wrote a story revealing Penn State for much of the cover-up of Jerry Sandusky’s alleged child rape has been exposed in the past …”…/jerry-sandusky-rumored-to-have-been-pimping-out-young-boys-to-rich-donors-says-mark-madden.html


      • Neil C. Reinhardt November 11, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

        Hi Jackie,

        The reason I though you may not care what I thought was because I feared of the possibility of your being really very mad at me for my replies in your post about “Calling from the WordPress Wizards” (URL BELOW)

        My informing E GILLS about how AFTER she had exceeded, or matched, all of the MANY very positive things I listed, and did, to make the world a better place, THEN she could tell others to “Ignore Me”


        My informing MAKYA McBEE just why, as member of the Most Discriminated Against Minority in America, I, as well as all of the other members of this minority, have MANY Very Legitimate Reasons to “have a chips” on our shoulders.




        • Jackie November 22, 2011 at 12:48 am #

          Just because we had a disagreement doesn’t mean I don’t care what you think 🙂


  7. Jules November 10, 2011 at 1:46 pm #

    Think on the bright side, at least the man still has his life. You know what happens in countries like Japan when someone of high position shame themselves? They are not only obligated to resign/apologize publicly, but they also commit suicide. It’s a type of cultural “honor” that they uphold over there. Good thing we’re in the United States. Over here, individuals get bonuses for this kind of stuff.


    • Jackie November 10, 2011 at 11:40 pm #

      Hey, very true – thanks for putting that in perspective. What a difference location can make.


  8. Neil C. Reinhardt November 10, 2011 at 2:05 pm #


    FYI, it is NOT a function of what is legal, it is a function of the university doing something as totally retarded as what Paterno did. Their firing him rather than allowing him to coach his last game, is stupid!

    Yes, Parterno made a very grievous error, one which he has already paid for. One he will be paying for not only the rest of his life, his family will be paying for it for many years to come.

    POOR “darkpenguin350”

    Who said: “he did nothing wrong.” must have no clue about important things like what ‘Good & Evil’, ‘Right & Wrong’, ‘Doing The Right Thing’ and what being ‘Moral’ are.

    To say Paterno did nothing wrong when he did not do everything he could to assure a sick child molester was in jail, is, as Talleyrand once told Napoleon:

    ” – it is not only wrong, it is worse than wrong, it is stupid!”


    FYI to Learn about Talleyrand


  9. thesinglecell November 10, 2011 at 6:06 pm #

    Jackie, you know I always really enjoy your writing, but I’m sorry – I just don’t agree with you at all. There are fundamental things to understand.

    Children were abused.

    PSU knew it.

    They never called police.

    Paterno was the face of an organization that was a business. When the organization falls, the face of the organization must fall. It’s why people in business resign from their posts – or are fired from them – for far, far less grievous circumstances.

    Consider this: if Paterno were to coach the game against Nebraska at Penn State on Saturday, his safety would be in jeopardy. The safety and security of the campus would be in jeopardy. I believe MIke McQueary’s safety is in jeopardy, and his presence alone at the game endangers the campus, the students and the reputation of the school even further. Inside the stadium: thousands of raucous, emotionally charged fans who want to support Paterno and the program. Outside; protestors, people who have been victimized by other offenders, people who are flat-out furious about what has gone on.

    For the safety of everyone involved, for the hope of recovering the school’s reputation, for the sake of spectacle: Paterno could not coach that game.

    For the sake of PSU appearing to care that children were abused because their staff members – six of them – never called police: everyone has to go. Right now.

    For the sake of the children who have suffered: there is nothing that will ever be enough.

    I loved Joe Paterno, and what he and his wife have contributed to the school is profound and honorable. But what he has ignored for nine years is not. And we cannot ignore it, either.


    • Lucy's Mom November 10, 2011 at 6:28 pm #

      Very well stated thesinglecell – I wholeheartedly agree.


    • Jackie November 10, 2011 at 11:38 pm #

      Hey – no need for apologies. People have different opinions and I entirely respect that, especially when they’re intelligently stated. Thanks for contributing to the conversation.


  10. Neil C. Reinhardt November 10, 2011 at 7:00 pm #








  11. Emily May November 11, 2011 at 2:57 pm #

    I don’t know much about this… But I did read your previous post about Joe Paterno, and I totally agree. He did what was required, and therefore they have no real reason to fire him.

    That other guy who actually SAW it, now that’s another story. I feel there is a great injustice to all this, and hopefully, now that Joe can tell his side, the justice will be restored!

    And by the way, I quite like it when you share such strong opinions. They’re what make us who we are.


    • Jackie November 22, 2011 at 12:47 am #

      I’m interested to see what comes of all this. Not in a sick and twisted drama-following way, but in a way that I’d like to see what errors come from our swift judgment (if any)


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