After 62 years, a legacy has ended at Penn State. The most winningest coach in division one college football, Joe Paterno has been fired. Paterno was the head coach for 45 years at Penn State, and had only 3 games left in this current season, but the current sexual abuse case that occurred right under his nose in 2002, Penn State directors felt it was too much and Paterno had done too little to address the situation. Jerry Sandusky, was arrested for sexual abuse on Saturday, he allegedly abused 8 children in a 15 year-span. Sandusky, whom was the defensive coordinator under Paterno, retired in 1999, but was given full access to the campus facilities. The alleged sexual abuse crime that occurred in 2002 in the Penn State football team’s locker room was witnessed by Mike McQueary, a graduate assistant for Penn State. A day later McQueary informed Paterno who then told the athletic directors, but never attempted to stop the act or inform law enforcement. McQueary still remains with the team.
Sexual abuse includes “someone touching your private parts (e.g. breasts, vagina, penis, anus) or making you touch theirs. It can also include rape (e.g. putting a penis or another part of their body into your vagina, anus or mouth), or other things that make you feel uncomfortable (e.g. making sexual comments about you or ‘perving’ at you in a sexual way, making you watch them masturbate, rubbing their body against you in a sexual way, trying to tongue kiss you, or making you look at sexual pictures or videos)” this is according to BurstingtheBubble.com. I’ll admit when I first heard of the arrest and of what had occurred I didn’t think that Joe Paterno would be held somewhat responsible. I didn’t fully agree that he should have been held accountable after he followed the chain of command, but I then realized that when you are dealing with a sexual predator who’s preying upon children then it’s no doubt in my mind more should have been done and the occurence should have been reported to law enforcement. It was not reported to law enforcement…, not by McQueary, not by Paterno, and not by Penn State President Graham B. Spanier. Sandusky should not have been allowed back onto the campus grounds. I can’t fathom why Sandusky was given this immunity from Penn State officials, but then again if the president knew, how could the board whom fired Paterno not know until now? Unfortunately, this story is only receiving this much attention because it involves Penn State and Joe Paterno, but we should not forget about the actual pending case or victims of Sandusky. If this sexual abuse case was not linked with Penn State or Joe Paterno would this just be another sexual abuse case? It’s hard to grasp that in today’s day of sensationalism, but considering the prominence, consequence, and human interest of this story one would only expect the media to wrongly capitalize off of this story….
In about a week (seven days) Occupy Wall Street will have reached its second month of existence. Slowly this nation and also the world are becoming more inclined to protest about injustices. I can remember while interning for “The Takeway” at WNYC radio station, how much coverage was given to the uprisings in the Middle East, which was constructed via social media, in which I thought was amazing, but never an idea I figured would take off in the United States, and obviously I was wrong . I do strongly feel that especially the way Occupy protests have become more and more violent around the world it somewhat inspired and invoked these students at Penn State to react and riot after hearing that Joe Paterno would be fired with just three games left in the season. Paterno earlier that day announced that this would be his last season, but the University board felt they had to issue some damage control against the cloud that now hangs over the University of Penn State. This led to complete outrage by students, they gathered in a mass all over the streets and around the campus. They reacted violently by flipping over a news van, bashing in car windows, shouting at and attacking police officers and also news reporters with projectiles. So far nobody was reported injured, but once again would that have been the case if it wasn’t Penn State and their students?…. Some of you out there may know what I actually mean by this! There were some students that decided to react in a more subtle way than their peers by visiting the Paterno home and showing support for a coach that was loved, and honored by many, but now that this information has been released how many will now feel Paterno is no longer a hero? According to the New York Times; Tim Curley, the athletic director, and Gary Schultz, the senior vice president for finance and business have been charged with perjury and failing to report to authorities what they knew of the allegations. In the irony in all of this, defensive coordinator Tom Bradley, who took over the position once Jerry Sandusky retired, was named head coach for the last three games replacing Joe Paterno. Nobody can ever replace Joe Paterno and what he did for Penn State, not only the football team, but the University, it’s just unfortunate that he was forced to end his legacy there on these terms, in scandal.