Monday, November 14, 2011

We Must Protect This Statue!

Just one week into the Paterno State Child Rape Scandal, a University President, iconic football coach, and 3 others are out of their jobs.

And remember, one week ago, the Univeristy President and head football coach were furiously fighting to hold onto their jobs. Hmmm. Seems very desperate in hindsight. 

What we know NOW, is even worse than one week ago. And right now is the BEST it's ever going to be.

I predict that what we learn about Joe Paterno will flat out MELT our heads in the next 12 months. This is emerging as a full blown, coordinated cover-up, spanning over a decade, involving a crime that is second to premeditated murder.

Or maybe not. Maybe it's worse.

The image of Joe Paterno as man of integrity, a pillar of moral rectitude, and an iconic father figure to men in football pads, HAD to be defended - at all costs. Too much money, too many jobs, too many libraries, were at stake. What would become of the football records, the merchandisable trinketry in the bookstore, and all of the sugary biographies if this wasn't just contained to just Sandusky and the "best efforts" of "good men" who were "fooled like the rest of us?"

More so, Joe Paterno was NEVER going to surrender that lofty perch. Never. In his mind, he earned it. And just because Jerry Sandusky is a sick bastard, JoePa made the calculation that - no matter what - the entire weight of shame would come out of Sandusky's soul, not his.

I can see the strategy now, failed as it was, as it smolders in the rear view mirror.

JoePa (or his cronies, by proxy) convince authorities to wait until at least he breaks the win record. It times out perfectly with bye week. Allegations come down. The AG's office emphasizes that JoePa himself, is not being charged, and they have NO PLANS to charge him.

JoePa and Spanier quickly issue statements calling the allegations "troubling" - not shocking, not abhorrent, not stunning - merely "troubling." Maximum wiggle room, or so they hoped. Pretend like a) These assaults may not have even happened b) We sure were blindsided like everyone else.

The firewall was to then let the media destroy Jerry Sandusky alone. Pound him into a million shamed pieces.

JoePa and Spanier would press ahead, and let Sandusky bear society's justified rage. Hopefully, the off week would be enough to absorb the outrage, and then the following week everything would look a little bit brighter.

Every week that they could just hang in there, every week that the public could return their pathetic short attention spans to Kim Kardashian or Dancing With the Stars, worked in Paterno and Spanier's favor.

Well, that didn't quite work, did it. The rest of the country, was not like the residents of Happy Valley. Not so invested in JoePa, his legacy, or his fucking library. I am so, so, sick of hearing about that library.

The JoePa/Spanier firewall, quickly fell apart. Events and public opinion over-ran both of them with a vengeance.

By thursday.

Now we are going to get the REST of the story. All of it. From every angle. And it's going to be UGLY. It's coming out. All of it.

Wait until McQueary tells a prosecutor, in open court, what he saw that night in the showers in graphic detail. Wait until he tells what he told Paterno, EXACTLY, face to face. Wait until we find out what Paterno told HIM (this exchange, so far, is still murky) at this moment of truth.

Wait until Paterno is required to testify. Wait until he tries to explain what he did, what he did not do, and why.

It's all coming out. All of it.

What if Sandusky has a last minute bout of remorse and shame. And he pleads guilty. And from his jail cell, he lays out exactly how Paterno bought his pathetic lies, failed to follow up, and perhaps even helped cover his tracks.

I believe Joe Paterno knew, in 2002, that one phone call to police, would likely bring down Penn State football, and in large part, his perfect image. The fact that Sandusky "retired" in 1999, one year after an "incident" involving a young boy that was known to locals, but had never reached the national radar, is beyond fishy.

It's damn near unprecedented.

A 57 year old assistant coach, "retiring" underneath a 72 year old coach who kept chugging along? A guy with such credentials, that he was courted as a head coach at several other schools?

If Paterno makes that call to police in 2002, the outrage would have been enormous. The 2002 rape, was a direct result of a half-assed effort to just "quarantine" this sicko from JoePa's reputation.

Nobody really cared about quarantining the monster from other children.

The message from the 1998 incident: "You can't be on staff if you are a child molestor. Sorry."
The message from the 2002 incident: "Geezus, Jerry. Can you do this on your own time, at home, please!"

So Paterno puts up his hand and tells McQueary: "Tell it to my boss." And the bosses above him, in the most shameful charade of a game of "telephone", manage to water down the monstrous act in a way that lets everybody's gravy train on the JoePa railroad keep going.

Here's the nuclear core of this story, as reported by the Harrisburg Patriot News. The entire thing is a gut churning, rage inducing, mind-blowing read. And I remind you: we are just ONE WEEK into this story.

According to Paterno’s testimony, McQueary told the coach he had witnessed Sandusky “fondling or doing something of a sexual nature” to the boy.

Two days after the report was released, Paterno issued a statement saying he wanted to correct the impression left by the presentment.

Even though Paterno himself had told the grand jury that McQueary saw “something of a sexual nature,” Paterno said this week that he had stopped the conversation before it got too graphic. Instead, he told McQueary he would need to speak with his superior, Athletic Director Tim Curley, and with Schultz.

That meeting did not happen for 10 days.

What was said at that meeting is in dispute.

McQueary testified he told the men in specific detail exactly what he’d seen, and what he testified to before the grand jury.

Curley and Schultz say nothing criminal was described. Instead, Curley says, it was characterized as “inappropriate conduct” or “horsing around.

Schultz said it seemed like “not that serious.”

But Schultz also admitted to the grand jury that McQueary had reported seeing “inappropriate sexual conduct” between the older man and the young boy, and possibly Sandusky “inappropriately grabbing the young boy’s genitals.”

Neither man called the police. Instead, they decided to tell former President Graham Spanier.

Spanier testified that he was only told there was “horsing around” in the shower — between Sandusky and a boy. And that had made a member of Curley’s staff “uncomfortable.” Spanier told the grand jury he didn’t hear that the incident was sexual.

Spanier never asked to speak with McQueary.

Spanier signed off on their decision to ban Sandusky from bringing children from his charity, The Second Mile, into the Penn State football building.

The ban, Curley admitted, was unenforceable.

And in fact, Sandusky attended Second Mile football camps with kids on other Penn State campuses as recently as 2008.

What about The Second Mile itself? Second Mile President Jack Raykovitz was told about the incident and the ban in 2002, the report says.

Raykovitz, too, never contacted the police.

When Raykovitz testified before the grand jury, he said Curley had merely told him an employee was “uncomfortable” about seeing Sandusky in the locker room shower with a boy, but that an internal investigation revealed no wrongdoing.

“At no time was The Second Mile made aware of the very serious allegations contained in the grand jury report,” Raykovitz said in a statement after the indictments. Raykovitz’s statement said the new details “bring shock, sadness and concern,” but said they had no indication any of the alleged abuse happened within charity programs and events.

According to the grand jury, then, here is how McQueary’s eyewitness account became watered down at each stage:

McQueary: anal rape.
Paterno: something of a sexual nature.
Schultz: inappropriately grabbing of the young boy’s genitals.
Curley: inappropriate conduct or horsing around.
Spanier: conduct that made someone uncomfortable.
Raykovitz: a ban on bringing kids to the locker room.



The picture of Joe Paterno that is emerging, looks more and more like the Uncle Junior character from the Sopranos. Could such a fuzzy, innocent looking old man be a ruthless, self-absorbed boss underneath it all?

Answer: you bet.

Don't be surprised if we find out Paterno's massive influence in that town, and in that county, extended all the way up to the district attorney's office. Paterno was both loved and iconic, and ALSO a giant INDUSTRY to State College, Pennsylvania, as well.

I am well aware of the utterly bizarre Ray Gricar story, too. A guy "disappears" huh? In America? A person of influence and stature? Homeless people rarely disappear without a trace. No body parts? No corpse? No leads? No suicide note? No witnesses? No nothing?

Really? That's one helluva disappearing act.

But let's put the whole Gricar thing to the side for now. What is in front of us, is more than enough.

A recent Forbes survey had Penn State as the #3 most profitable athletic department in the country. Gross revenues of $70 million. Profits of $50 million.

Every.... damn... year.

Cha-ching.

These are the gears that will grind 10 year old boys and their inconsequential parents into hamburger meat.

As a final thought - for now, and believe me, this is not going to go away - I am a little dismayed at the over-the-top hatred for McQueary. He didn't "do nothing" as some people say. He did more than the men in power above him did, that's for sure.

He didn't call the cops, you are correct. But is it possible, that he feared the police more than anybody on that campus, especially with a crime that could threaten all that is "happy" in Happy Valley?

He did call Joe Paterno, and in many ways, that was going "right to the top" if you believed all of the wonderful things that have been said about this "wonderful" man of power, Joseph Paterno.

McQueary is going to tell his story. And I want to hear it all, first. Then I'll calibrate my scorn for him accordingly. If it turns out that McQueary's actions - while not "action hero" enough for some - end up putting Jerry Sandusky behind bars forever, isn't that enough?

What I have read in the last week about accusations like this, is that coming out and telling somebody about them is the most terrifying act of all, because of the potential, almost inevitable backlash. Polite, civil society, simply does not want to contemplate monsters the size of Jerry Sandusky.

These men don't come wearing horns and have blood dripping from their mouth. They look like the nicest neighbor on your street.

As such, people are sometimes more inclined to turn against those who speak the ugly truth, in order to maintain the pleasant lie. "The man has a million-dollar FOUNDATION to help kids! And HE's a child molestor!? How dare you." 

McQueary told his father. He told Paterno. He told Curley and Shultz.

That's alot.

Had he turned away completely that night, and never said a word, his life would be much, much easier right now. But his soul would be ravaged. 

He did the right thing. He just didn't do the PERFECT thing.

If you destroy McQueary now, before we hear his side, you play into the inevitable human calculation of the NEXT person of little power, who witnesses such a rape. 

"Wow, I just saw a guy raping a boy. But I couldn't break it up. I froze. I was terrified. I was too small. But I AM going to report it. I must. But wow, look at how they treated that guy at Penn State who did the same? He was vilified. His career was ruined. He lived with death threats, because he didn't instantly swing into "action hero" mode. Do I need this in my life? Will I ever get a good job again? Will they try to make ME the bad guy?"

Here's the most jarring excerpt from the Patriot-News Special report.

The 1998 victim's mother said the authorities leaned on HER to "think about" the accusations her son and her were making. The same Attorney General, Linda Kelly, actually praised the school for a half-action against Sandusky.

Sandusky was barred from the school as soon as this victim made allegations against him, and Kelly praised the school district for acting appropriately.

The mother has told The Patriot-News she was upset to hear the district being commended.

“They told me to go home and think about what I wanted to do, and I was not happy,” she said. “They said I needed to think about how that would impact my son if I said something like that. I went home and got [my son] and we came to [Children and Youth Services] immediately.”


If that doesn't chill you down to your socks, nothing will.

14 comments:

  1. Dead solid perfect. Well done czabe.

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  2. No one would have believed the accusations and sequence of events even a few months ago. Look at the older articles at pennlive.com - the reporters were vilified for even suggesting such things. Is it such an extrapolation now to wonder whether that program lives up to the clean reputation that was spouted everytime JoePa's name came up this past week. If the culture of looking the other way/plausible deniability is ingrained enough for child molestation to be swept under the rug, what else is there?

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  3. I want to be there when they remove that statue you have included with this post.

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  4. Let's not forget McQueary's background.

    He was BORN in State College, PA... he was a starting QB there... he was an assistant coach... he WAS Penn State.

    When you look at the fanatical support that people have for Paterno and for Penn State, it appears that McQueary embodied all of that and more - because he was born there and because he played there.

    He went to Paterno - the greatest power in the land... the great, kind, caring Joe Paterno... in some way, he was assured it would be taken care of... he waited for something to happen... nothing did... what then?

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  5. Great analysis and hypotheses. Look forward to next installment. I still think McQueary's immediate reaction and his instinct are curiously similar to someone who himself had been victimized. Victims are often in denial even though they know what is transporting is wrong. Note the little boy did not cry out for help out of fear and the whole victimization syndrome. Perhaps McQueary's past experiences dictated his feeling the need to do no more than tell his father. Sandusky knew McQueary as a youth I am told

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  6. Sandusky with costas tonight. Going to be interesting

    One more thing. Ask yourself why they didn't out Sandusky in 1998. It wouldn't have ruined the program. It would have made paterno a hero for outing a monster. Everyone was fooled they could have said. So why the coverup? I think we will find out and I think it will include Sandusky knowing too much about the program. Maybe good ole joe did some shady things to get players. Recruiting violations, etc... Now that would have killed he program and joe.

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  7. Funny that so many are complementing Czabe on his article here when the majority of it is just copy/paste from the link he provided LOL.

    Now they're saying McQuery did stop the act when he saw it. So maybe he's not the total villain most have made him out to be while barely even mentioning Sandusky's name. It's the classic case of a witch hunt -- everyone (Czabe obviously included) gets behind the idea of watching another person's life go down....almost like it makes their own life better.

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  8. maybe some people are more concerned about the kids that suffered, so if the people that could have stopped it are brought down, they deserve it. calling it a witch hunt, when there is evidence, is juvenile and irresponsible

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  9. What a joke Czabe. You can barely contain your Penn State-hating bias because the school has been stealing Maryland athletics for decades. Yeah, others can come up with half-baked, half-lies too!

    And the truth? As you state above "... It's coming out. All of it." My dear friend, truth is a comforting illusion at this point. Social justice has been served, men's lives have been destroyed, reputations torn-away, names removed from trophies and legacies re-written. The statue and library are just prepping for the wrecking-ball at this point. It is of little consequence what the truth is now...

    Truth should have been the primary goal when the story first broke... time taken to understand the facts, asking the right questions, who knew what and when. How is the world could this have happened, etc.

    But in lieu of that, our society lurched toward a rush to judgement, fanned by indignant, pompous, self-righteous hacks like yourself... to the point that most people who knew nothing about this story and finally decided to gleam a headline or two (i.e. 90% of the population) assumed Paterno molested the kids himself.

    Truth is meaningless now. Because if Paterno engineered a systemic, cold-blooded, legacy preserving, institutional cover-up (an assumption that would make Oliver Stone blush given all we have is a 23 page grand jury document) then his punishment has already be carried out. All that is left is to burn Paterno's house down and entice people to start using '... like Penn State' instead of '...like the Nazis'

    But if any facet of truth changes the story you have already written... then you will have much explaining to do. And something tells me karma won't give you the chance. Best of luck.

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  10. Now we hear McQuery did go to the police, you sir are just like FOX news convict then O never mind

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  11. Not surprisingly, considering Czaban's well-known feelings about a key participant, his recap/assessment of the newspaper article omits the most well-reasoned comment on this whole horrible story.

    "It remains to be seen whether any of these actions, or the statements behind them, are a matter for the courts. For now, only two things are certain:
        
    Many of the accounts in this tragic and tangled history conflict with one another.
        
    And everyone cannot be telling the truth."

    If this story involved any coach other than Paterno (and maybe the guy from Notre Dame who got the kid killed), Czaban would be the guy admonishing his colleagues not to rush to judgment. When Paterno is involved, though, no bias is too strong or criticism too sharp.

    That said, I give Czaban credit for consistency. Unlike some of the journalistic cockroaches who've come streaming out from the wall now that Paterno has fallen from grace, Czaban has been a critic and skeptic of Paterno for as long as I can remember. While I disagree with him in many respects here, I certainly respect that he's displayed the courage of his convictions all along.

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  12. @ sixinchjoe... well done! Did you take a nap after you thought that one up?

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