Thursday, November 10, 2011

Penn State Scandal: It Gets Worse

Yesterday I blogged about the many things wrong with Penn State and the way the child molestation scandal was handled. Little did I know that it would get much worse.

The Penn State Board of Trustees finally appeared to do the right thing by firing coach Joe Paterno. But according to an article in USA Today, they did it in the best interests of the school. Here’s a quote from the vice-president of the board [italics mine]: "The current situation we are in at the moment is not in the university's best interest. We believe a change is necessary to allow us to continue going forward without further damage to the university. Great difficulties have engulfed our university.” Damage to the university? Great difficulties engulfed the university? What about the children?

Speaking of children, what is going on with the students at Penn State? I realize we aren’t talking about high intellect over at Happy Valley, but the moral compass and sense of priorties seem to be missing. Someone is wasting a lot of money on tuition. Check out these quotes from some of the rioters on campus via the New York Times.

“I think the point people are trying to make is the media is responsible for JoePa going down,” said a freshman, Mike Clark. Yes, the media did it. I guess if this hadn’t been exposed by the media, everything would be just fine at PSU.

“We got rowdy, and we got maced,” Jeff Heim, 19, said rubbing his red, teary eyes. “But make no mistake, the board started this riot by firing our coach. They tarnished a legend.” Oh, the board tarnished a legend. I see.

“It’s not fair,” Mr. [Justin] Muir said hurling a white ribbon. “The board is an embarrassment to our school and a disservice to the student population.” No, the students are an embarrassment to their school.

“Of course we’re going to riot,” he [Paul Howard] said. “What do they expect when they tell us at 10 o’clock that they fired our football coach?” Of course. There’s a big game this Saturday against Nebraska. How could they fire Joe now?

“This definitely looks bad for our school,” he [Greg Becker] said sprinting away from a cloud of pepper spray. At least this guy is on to something. It does look bad for the school.

The article said, “Mixed in the crowd were a few dissenting opinions.” But it seems the vast majority of the rioters were protesting the firing of their football coach.

Meanwhile, what about the children who were the victims? Where's the outrage for them?


Anonymous said...

... And now it's got really sick. Seems we are waiting on information to solidify rumors that those boys were pimped to the hightest bidding University donors.


Skeptical Scalpel said...

@SCRN Yes. There's apparently a lot more to the story.

maureen helbig said...

I find it unbelievable to see a c
"celebrity" lament how the "legend" had a tragic end. The only tragedy was these boys. As I said earlier, where did "good" go.

Skeptical Scalpel said...


I agree.

Michael Kirsch, M.D. said...

SS, I have a different view.

Skeptical Scalpel said...


You must be a Penn State alum. I'm sorry, but your defense of Joe's (in)actions comes up short. He committed no crime in the legal sense, but morally, he failed. He and the others tried to brush it under the rug. Like most cover-ups, it only made matters much worse.

Michael Kirsch, M.D. said...

@SS, no I've never been in Happy Valley. Respecfully, we disagree here. I think Paterno was treated too harshly for political reasons. He committed no crime and did report what he was told the next day to his supervisors, not exactly a cover up. Keep in mind that we do not yet know the true facts of what occurred. We know what the media has massaged and delivered to us, which I do not accept is a full airing of the facts. I am not a shill for Paterno. I don't watch or follow professional or college athletics, which is heretical for someone who lives in Ohio. I just feel that Paterno has been piled on beyond what his inaction in 2002 in the context of decades of good work for tens of thousands of athletes and others should have warranted. Finally, the coach himself has admitted publicly that he should have done more. I think Penn State should have provided a different path for the coach to follow. They should have wielded a scalpel - your tool - and not an axe.

Skeptical Scalpel said...


Paterno's inaction allowed this predator to continue to molest kids for a minimum of 7 more years. I don't care that Paterno committed no crime in the legal sense. What he did was morally wrong. Would you have done nothing in a similar situation? Sandusky had access to the PSU football facilities right up until now. He was even still recruiting for Paterno. Every day more dirt is uncovered. How in the world could Paterno have continued to coach? Protests would have been massive. He should have retired years ago. Now he's paying the price of hubris.

PS: I don't give a damn about his legacy, which by the way, is now that of a pedophile enabler.

Michael Kirsch, M.D. said...

@SS, while I enjoy your blog, the gap between us on the Penn State issue is widening. Neither of us know the facts, yet in your comment above you have already decided that Sandusky is guilty, as has much of the media. While he be ultimately found guilty at trial, or confess, he is entitled to a presumption on innocence just like the rest of us are. Don't you agree with this? When we are sued for medical malpractice and we are innocent, it would be an easy task to make us sound guilty (as plaintiff attorneys do) before the facts are aired and when one sided presents distorted and self-serving aspects of the case.

Skeptical Scalpel said...


I believe in innocent until proven guilty too. However, there are so many allegations, most of which are quite believable and from credible sources, that it is highly unlikely that Sandusky is innocent. There are other such cases.

Did you for one minute believe that Conrad Murray was not guilty of killing Michael Jackson? What about the two thugs who killed that MD's wife and two daughters in the Connecticut home invasion?

Please point out the "distorted and self-serving" aspects of the Sandusky case. I can't think of any. Have you read the grand jury report of the Sandusky case?

Face it. The people in charge at Penn State tried to cover this all up and were successful for years. Now they're going to have to pay the price. I have no sympathy for any of them, particularly Paterno.

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