Penn State Puts Mike McQueary on Administrative Leave

This was inevitable. Former graduate assistant, now assistant coach Mike McGeary has been placed on administrative leave. He will be paid during the leave term.

Some are asking why he wasn't fired outright, given that he didn't stop the assault or call police. Neither the school nor the police are saying.

Via CBS:

Asked if McQueary would be fired, [Penn State's new president, Rod] Erickson said "there are complexities to that issue that I am not prepared to go into at this point." Asked about the status of athletic director Tim Curley, Erickson said, "That's an ongoing topic of discussion. We'll return to that next week."


Some speculate McQueary is not being fired so he will remain a cooperative witness against Jerry Sandusky. Others say he is protected by whistle-blower status. I doubt the former, and don't know enough about whistle-blowers to have an opinion on that theory.

I wonder if McQueary ever witnessed Sandusky with a young boy at Penn State after he became a coach and didn't report it? One of the alleged victims (Number 1) testified to the grand jury that Sandusky forced him to have sex repeatedly in 2007 and that Sandusky took him to preseason Penn State Practices. Did McQueary see them together?

From what I can gather:

2002: Assistant Graduate Coach
2003: Promoted to administrative assistant
2004: Appointed Position coach and full-time assistant.

I'm not sure why McQueary, who is the only one to have witnessed a criminal attack on a child, would not have an obligation as a coach to speak up in 2007 if he saw Sandusky on campus with a child. He knew that Sandusky wasn't allowed to bring children on campus. Is any whistle-blower status McQueary acquired in 2002 permanent?

Then again, perhaps he was put on administrative leave merely because his presence was causing such a commotion after Paterno was fired. I doubt he was put on leave for his own safety.

Anyone have thoughts on what's behind the administrative leave decision?

Update: The author of an upcoming biography on Joe Paterno weighs in. I recommend reading it.

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    Yes, I have some thoughts (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by mjames on Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 08:02:17 PM EST
    1. Penn State will look like a totally corrupt and callous institution if it allows the guy who witnessed the rape and failed to stop it or to tell the cops about it to appear on the sidelines on Sat. It would be a huge slap in the face to the victims and a huge blow to Penn State's image (that is, money making ability). From reading and watching TV, I'd say people are about 9 to 1 against Penn State right now. No need to call more attention to this travesty. Very incendiary situation.

    2. Penn State is in serious trouble here. If, as it appears, McQ was rewarded for his silence, then he has the goods on ALL of them: Paterno, the former pres, the assistants, the board members themselves, and maybe the charity. Maybe even the lawyer who still represents both Penn State and the charity, on some sort of ongoing conspiracy. I think McQ could blow this thing wide open. (But, of course, this is speculation at this point.)

    I personally believe the game should have been canceled. And the rest of the season should have been canceled. The guy coaching in place of Paterno has been around for something close to 30 years. And we're supposed to believe he didn't know what was going on? There is no saving the program as far as I can see.

    It was my understanding that the (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Anne on Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 08:29:53 PM EST
    administration had already decided, and announced, that McQueary would not be on the sidelines of the game Saturday; I believe I read that there had been numerous threats issued against McQueary, and from a security perspective, it was felt there was too much risk in McQueary being present at the game.

    Now, I'm guessing that McQueary's absence just wasn't enough to dial down the outrage, so they took the additional step of putting him on leave.

    The hesitation I have about canceling this last home game and/or canceling the rest of the season is that - at least as far as we know - no players have been implicated in this, and canceling the games punishes them more than it does the coaches involved.

    I think the whole thing's going to get a lot worse before this is all over, a lot of people are going to get caught up in the criminal justice system, more victims are going to come forward, people are going to turn on each other, civil suits are going to come close to paralyzing the local courts, donations are going to dry up, recruiting is going to be non-existent.

    It's ugly and going to get a whole lot uglier.


    I'm sort of shocked they think (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 10:00:11 PM EST
    they can "dial down" the rage on something like this.  Their actions seem to speak that they think they can dial down.  What has happened though is so damned heinous, nobody is going to dial down $hit.  It is creepy though that they think they have control over the outrage.  As if the love of Penn state football will somehow trump raping children after we've all slept on a spotty ambiguous tale.

    I agree with you, Anne (none / 0) (#5)
    by mjames on Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 08:42:03 PM EST
    on what's coming down the road.

    I also understand that some players who may be uninvolved will be hurt if the rest of the season is canceled. But weighed against the further harm done to the victims by proceeding on as if something horrible hasn't happened, and proceeding on with a coaching staff that is most probably implicated in a massive cover-up, I say the only way the university can maintain any credibility as to seriousness is to stop the charade immediately.

    Also, incidentally, I think the threats against McQ came mainly from the group objecting to Paterno's firing, unless that has changed recently.


    Gotta wonder if at some point, support turns into (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 08:02:42 PM EST
    revulsion.  Joe Paterno stayed too long at the fair.

    We've also got to wonder how many of us would have intervened in that shower.  We know the answer is not 100%.  There were too many alternative endings to that scenario, including being ourselves accused of perpetrating the rape, with the assistance of the victim who would for some time remain under the influence of the actual perpetrator.

    Am I full of beans?  Probably.  Still, I'm pretty sure that not all of us would have intervened.

    Well, for starters, (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by mjames on Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 08:20:18 PM EST
    failure to intervene in such a situation is unacceptable. Period. There can be no excuse for failure to protect a child from rape.    

    Furthermore, we have two naked people, one of whom had a prior history, and one with clothes on. So there is now way, as far as I can see, that McQ was worried about any charges against him.

    I think, if anything, he was in a state of shock that he was witnessing his long-time neighbor and supposed pillar of the community raping a little boy. If McQ hadn't known who Sandusky was, and that includes being Paterno's 30+-year buddy, he might have intervened. It's a special club there.


    Yes we can't know what was going on in McQ's mind (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by smott on Sat Nov 12, 2011 at 09:47:05 AM EST
    You have to think he was shocked to recognize Sandusky.

    I understand he might be unable to confront him.

    What I find hard to excuse, is that he didn't just  grab the kid and get him out of there and to a hospital. That seems just a human protective response to me.

    Was he afraid a naked Sandusky would physically harm him? Speculation I suppose but that seems implausible....


    His concern (none / 0) (#48)
    by star on Sat Nov 12, 2011 at 02:01:56 PM EST
    should have been for the helpless 10 year old. there is no excuse for another adult to see what he had seen and walk out of that locker room letting that monster continue on what he was doing. NO EXCUSE ..period.
    He could have yelled. ran out got someone else..dialed 911 after getting the little boy out of the shower... that he did none of this is beyond imagination.
    I have a 10 year old son and I know how helpless and innocent kids are at that age.. I have been having difficulty sleeping ever since this story broke.

    He was a football legend (5.00 / 0) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 09:07:47 PM EST
    Take a look at how the victims of Herman Cain are now having to band together to hopefully end the abuse they are being subjected to as they stand singularly, and Herman Cain is no way as loved as the Penn State football program was.  I would have held my ground and done the right thing, but it probably would have blown up my life for awhile.  And many times in my life standing my ground has been labeled by others too crazy.  I'm CERTAIN friends and support systems evaporate when you stand firm in the shadows of legends and be the honest one, maybe even your family does too.

    You're probably right ... (none / 0) (#33)
    by Yman on Sat Nov 12, 2011 at 09:01:41 AM EST
    ... about some people not intervening - actually, you're definitely right, since McCreary didn't intervene, so there's obviously at least one person.  But I still don't get it.  No matter how shocked and stunned you are in that moment, I think most people would just react, rather than stopping to think about the consequences or future personal ramifications.

    If the accusations are true and McCreary saw him in the act of r@ping the boy, I don't understand how someone doesn't immediately intervene, get the boy away from him and call police... at the very least.  I'd like to think that's what the vast majority of people would do, although perhaps I'm not being cynical enough when it comes to human nature.


    Agreed (none / 0) (#36)
    by smott on Sat Nov 12, 2011 at 09:48:10 AM EST
    INexplicable to me. And has McQ ever explained why he did not attempt to help the child?

    Sandusky's retirement, Paterno's role (5.00 / 0) (#61)
    by markw on Sun Nov 13, 2011 at 01:45:49 AM EST
    I see this one differently than you, Jeralyn.  I think your lack of knowledge about college football and Paterno's role at Penn State affects your view.

    First of all, Paterno had no "superior" at Penn State.  Whatever person was in the role that was, in name, above him (and I believe he was in that position temporarily), was not Paterno's superior.  Paterno was not only the most powerful person in the athletic department, he was the most powerful person on campus.  His 60+ year career as a highly successful football coach was instrumental in making Penn State what it is today as a university.  It was football success that helped make Penn State popular, attracted more and better students to it, and earned a ton of money ($70 million per year most recently.)  So to say that he reported the matter to his "superior" may be technically correct, but in terms of the power relations within the athletic department and university, there is little doubt that Paterno called the shots.  So, if it wasn't reported, it is safe to assume that Paterno did not want it reported.

    Combine this with the matter of Sandusky's unlikely retirement in 1999 at age 55.  At the time, he was probably just about the most successful and sought-after assistant coach in all of college football.  There is no doubt that he could have had a number of prominent jobs.  Yet not only did he retire from Penn State, but he never sought or interviewed or interviewed for any other positions.  And all this happened just a short time after he was investigated on a child sex abuse matter in 1998.  It's crystal clear that he was forced out of his position.  (And, even if you fail to accept that, given how omnipotent Paterno was at Penn State, it's virtually impossible to believe that Paterno hadn't heard about the 1998 investigation.)

    The Grand Jury found McQueary's explanation that he told Paterno and others about witnessing a rape to be credible.  However, even if you believe Paterno's claim that McQueary downplayed what he later claimed to have seen, to justify Paterno's inaction in any way, you also have to then believe that Paterno didn't know about prior allegations about Sandusky.  I find that all a leap too far.

    Let's use Occam's razor here.  There is really only one credible explanation for what happened.  Paterno knew darn well what was going on, but turned the other way (and most probably influenced others to do the same) because he didn't want the reputation of the Penn State football program to suffer.  It's the exact same reason why Catholic Church leaders turn the other way in the face of sexual abuse in the church.  And it's horrific.

    Whether any of this could be proven in a court of law, I don't know.  But it's certain enough in my mind to morally condemn Paterno and be glad that he's fired.

    well written (none / 0) (#62)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Nov 13, 2011 at 03:29:43 AM EST
    and if it turns out he controlled his superiors,i might think differently. But I cna't give McCreary a pass. At 28, he knew it should be reported and that he should have stopped it. Unless his story grew, as opposed to diminish each telling.

    McQueary (5.00 / 0) (#63)
    by markw on Sun Nov 13, 2011 at 07:03:17 AM EST
    No, no pass for McQueary at all. Hi behavior, at least how he has explained it, was shocking and reprehensible.  I suppose one good excuse for not trying to immediately stop a child rape is that the rapist might shoot or otherwise attack you. But since McQueary was 6'5", 270 pounds, 28 years old, and presumably pretty athletic--and Sandusky was in the shower and thus obviously did not have any weapons on him--that excuse evaporates. Or, if for any reason you don't immediately intervene, then you immediately call 911 or the police so that they can come and intervene. The idea somehow that you go call your Dad and then you wait until the next day to report it to your boss is unbelievable.

    I guess McQueary's story is strange enough that you might think it casts doubt on his credibility. However, the grand jury seemed to believe him.

    I'm not sure what his situation is, even from here on out.  On the one hand, he was partly responsible for this situation by not responding appropriately.  On the other hand, he seems to be protected as a whistle blower.

    Here's a pretty interesting article from last April on the situation. Very prescient coming 7 months before this really blew up.


    so he's upset that choices have consequences (none / 0) (#7)
    by pitachips on Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 09:30:34 PM EST
    I think people are making this entirely too complicated. We are all confronted, at one point or another, with situations in life where the choice you make can and will have a drastic effect on your life. Oftentimes it's a choice that in the moment doesn't really have a clear right or wrong answer. And later on in life, no matter what the outcome, you can come up with equally persuasive explanations as to why you chose one over the other.

    But sometimes it's not that complicated. Paterno was the leader of that team, one of the leaders of the university and a figure respected throughout the country and even world. He was confronted with a heart wrenching but to any decent human being, a relatively easy choice. And he chose poorly. And because he chose poorly he's sullied all the good he has done in the last 60 years. I'm sure the hateful words that are coming from outside are nothing compared to whatever issues he is now dealing with internally and frankly all of that is his fault. I can't understand what kind of person you must be to be able to convince yourself that child rape is something that needs to be handled in the kind of bureaucratic manner that you might report financial improprieties.

    you make it sound like he told no one (none / 0) (#18)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 10:53:22 PM EST
    He reported it to his superiors as he was required to do. They are now indicted for lying about what he told them.

    He didn't witness the act McQueary told him about, and he fulfilled his duty of reporting what was told to him to authorities. The grand jury was satisfied with his account and the AG has said he's not a target in the investigation.

    Sandusky was already retired, although he retained privileges, which were the product of his severance package negotiated with the university -- not granted by Paterno.

    You are beating a moral horse here. Maybe his lapse doesn't warrant him remaining as coach, because it shows a lapse of judgment,  but there's no need to string him up as if he's the same as Sandusky.


    two things (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by pitachips on Sat Nov 12, 2011 at 12:01:31 AM EST
    It's not unreasonable to think that when you make the decision to basically pass the buck on an issue like this, that you should be aware of the possible consequences if and when it becomes public.

    I didn't think I was, but if there's any case that warrants beating the proverbial horse, then I would argue a situation involving child rape is one. If people being afraid of losing their careers and precious legacies pushes them to be more proactive in making sure these cases aren't swept under the rug, then I'm all for it.  



    That was my first take (none / 0) (#23)
    by MKS on Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 11:23:28 PM EST
    But Joe Paterno was the most powerful person on campus.  He ran a multi-million dollar enterprise.  He got what he wanted.

    As the most powerful person on campus, he had the very real ability to help.   As such, he should have done right by those kids.....

    Joe Paterno was not just another unviversity employee.....

    With great power like that, comes great responsibility.


    Yes letter of the law upheld by JoePa (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by smott on Sat Nov 12, 2011 at 09:53:07 AM EST
    But upheld -

    Succes with HOnor? (Joe's catch phrase)
    May no act of ours bring shame (PSU alms mater)?

    Not so much.

    Sandusky admitted the inappropriate contact in 1998. In 1999 JOePa told him he "would never be HC" and Sundusky abruptly retired.

    It seems highly likely PAterno knew about this activity and for 12 years maintained silence that allowed a serial child rapist to continue assaulting young boys.

    I think he's morally culpably in an enormous way as is McQ, and from a civil litigation standpoint in pretty hot water too.

    But I guess we'll see.


    His firing drove thousands into the streets (none / 0) (#38)
    by MKS on Sat Nov 12, 2011 at 10:48:39 AM EST
    No one else at Penn St. has that kind of following--or power.

    If he had done more than raise his pinky in defense of those kids......

    Nothing illegal.  No conspiracy.  Maybe no civil liability either.

    But in terms of being able to stop the abuse, he could have very easily done that.


    Who actually went to the state authorities? (none / 0) (#11)
    by christinep on Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 10:12:35 PM EST
    The investigation that led to the grand jury.... Do we know who went to the first state investigator, who first went outside either the university environs and/or the Second Mile foundation? (I know this is an elemental where-have-I-been question, but I can't recall whether it was any of the names bandied about this week or someone else who actually got the matter to the State AG's office?)

    And why to the Attorney General's (none / 0) (#12)
    by oculus on Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 10:14:29 PM EST
    Office; not the D.A.'s office?

    yes (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 10:43:08 PM EST
    See their webpage here.

    One thing that's totally unacceptable in my view is that the AG's office puts the home addresses of those charged in its press releases. That's really dangerous. Every time we file anything in federal court both sides have to check a box that says home addresses, ssn#, bank account # and kids' names are redacted. I don't know why PA doesn't do that.  


    I'm thinking D.A.'s office had to (none / 0) (#16)
    by oculus on Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 10:46:37 PM EST
    refer the case.  DA employee involved?  

    no they have their own (none / 0) (#21)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 11:12:25 PM EST
    child predator unit and it was a continuing investigation, probably needing more resources than the DA's office had and involving more than one county.

    I think it was the mother (none / 0) (#20)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 11:06:12 PM EST
    of victim #6 who in 1998 complained Sandusky had showered with her son.  The cops (and social services) were involved, the cops recorded his phone conversation with the mother in which he admitted taking a shower with her son and wasn't sure about whether their private body parts touched. There was a second similar incident being investigated. The then DA of Centre County decided not to bring charges. When investigators interviewed Sandusky, he promised not to do it again.

    - more than "showering:" (none / 0) (#56)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Nov 12, 2011 at 06:22:34 PM EST
    Victim One met Sandusky through the Second Mile -- a charity for needy children that Sandusky started -- and quickly got drawn into his world of big-time college football: gifts, trips, sporting events, and hanging out with a guy who seemed to be loved by everyone.

    "Jerry Sandusky admitted to my face, he admitted it," the mother said. "He admitted that he lathered up my son they were naked and he bear-hugged him."

    According to the grand jury report (none / 0) (#22)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 11:16:11 PM EST
    the DA who declined to prosecute was named Ray Gricar. Maybe the next DA Michael Madeira, the one that referred it? Also the grand jury report says both cases in Centre County in which charges weren't brought involved him showering with the boys, not assaulting them. I'm not sure it's against the law to take a shower with a kid (yet.)

    What ever happened to Ray Gricar... (none / 0) (#25)
    by desertswine on Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 11:32:33 PM EST
    is yet another mystery.

    It was a victim (none / 0) (#30)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Nov 12, 2011 at 01:27:47 AM EST
    and it was bounced up to the AG's office because the DA had a clear conflict of interest because of, I believe, his active involvement in Sandusky's youth camp.

    Youth camps may become scarce (none / 0) (#39)
    by MKS on Sat Nov 12, 2011 at 10:52:01 AM EST
    after this....

    Too bad. Some real good can come of them....


    Yes, even if they do not become (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by KeysDan on Sat Nov 12, 2011 at 11:17:50 AM EST
    scarce, the added suspicions will do great harm to what can be a very constructive experience for young people.  The University response is all the more disconcerting in light of its prohibition against Sandusky taking youths onto the main campus after the 2002 incident, yet allowing him to conduct summer camps at satellite campuses of the University, such as Penn State--Behrend (Erie) and Penn State-Harrisburg, through 2009.  Facilities were apparently provided for summer football camps for boys in grades 4 to 9.  The camps involved overnight stays (four-days, three-nighrts). Staff, besides Sandusky, as listed on the website, included Members of Sandusky's family, coaches at various high schools, and former Penn State players.  

    McQueary reportedly (none / 0) (#13)
    by Makarov on Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 10:42:22 PM EST
    received multiple death threats (obviously due to fans seeing him as the guy that brought Paterno into this, culminating in his being fired, as crazy as that logic may seem) and is in protective custody. He's coached his last game for Penn State, and possibly last game period.

    Harrisburg Patriot-News reported it first, and they've been very accurate in their reporting. They were the 1st media outlet to break the news on the Sandusky grand jury investigation back in March 2011.

    he's not in custody (none / 0) (#15)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 10:45:30 PM EST
    From the article you quoted:

    Sports Information Director Jeff Nelson said that McQueary was not in protective custody - that his characterization was not true, raising the prospect that it was an attempt at black humor that fell flat.

    He's probably just not staying at his house.


    My bad (none / 0) (#24)
    by Makarov on Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 11:31:54 PM EST
    When the article was originally posted in the blog hours ago it didn't have the denial.

    that could well be (none / 0) (#27)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 11:41:33 PM EST
    You'd think a newspaper would know to write "update" rather than change a story and keep the old link, but hopefully they'll learn.

    There is a severe problem concerning McGeary. (none / 0) (#32)
    by Gerald USN Ret on Sat Nov 12, 2011 at 03:33:56 AM EST
    Penn St cannot keep him as a coach or associated with the Football team or Athletic department.

    Unfortunately he will remind people of this sordid event for years, perhaps forever "at" Penn State.  There will always be somebody complaining or outraged or threatening or suing.

    He will probably be moved to some position in the University so that the public and the press will not be too mad at Penn St, but his football career at Penn St is over.
    Penn St will support him in that manner unless he finds another job at another school where he can continue in football. I am sure that he will want to continue in football.

    Sandusky scandal could be tracked back to 1995 (none / 0) (#34)
    by Jade Jordan on Sat Nov 12, 2011 at 09:09:14 AM EST
    This could have been stopped when his adopted son attempted suicide in 1995.  Instead he was placed back into the home.


    there's nothing in that article (none / 0) (#41)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Nov 12, 2011 at 12:07:40 PM EST
    that references allegations of sexual abuse.

    Also, if the suicide attempt was the product of Sandusky's actions, and a review was conducted, what part did Mrs. Sandusky play in the later coverups? If anyone was on notice, it would seem to be her. Did she just look the other way because she didn't want to know?

    Unless, of course, Matt's issues that led to his suicide were not related to Sandusky and pre-existed his moving in with them. Why was he in living with Sandusky in the first place when his mother was available?  Because he burned down a barn.  His mother was only allowed to visit one day a month and for that reason, resented Sandusky according to Sandusky's lawyer.

    For all we know, if he was sexually abused, it happened at his mother's home and his emotional scars from living with his mother caused him to attempt suicide at Sandusky's once he realized how a normal family lives.

    Also, not every pedophile is  predatory. (See this Mayo Clinic report.)

    I don't think you can assume that Matt Sandusky was sexually abused by Sandusky because he attempted suicide or that his suicide attempt was the beginning of the scandal. Maybe it was and maybe one had nothing to do with the other. I'd caution against concluding that Sandusky violated every child he came into contact with. The only witnesses to sexual attacks are McQueary and a janitor with dementia. Neither victim  has  been identified or testified.

    One other thing: Matt did not attempt suicide alone. He did it with a girl who was also living at Sandusky's at the time. Since there are no allegations Sandusky molested females, what was her motivation? The day Matt attempted suicide, he wrote a letter to his probation officer saying he wanted to remain living at Sandusky's.

    "I would like to be placed back with the Sanduskys. I feel that they have supported me even when I have messed up. They are a loving caring group of people. I love both my biological family and the Sandusky family."

    I'm not defending Sandusky, just trying to stick to the facts as they are revealed and not make leaps based on assumptions just because newspapers do. Matt already had issues when he got to Sandusky's. Sandusky may or may not have contributed to his attempted suicide. What happened with him at the Sandusky home in 1995 may or may not have been alleged to be sexual in nature.

    One last question: Matt was not supboenaed to the grand jury and has not testified. Why not if the reports from 1995 indicated sexual abuse? Maybe the concerns for his physical safety referred to aggressive physical discipline rather than sexual abuse.

    From Sports Illustrated in 1999:

    Matt Sandusky, 20, used to have a different last name. He was a troubled kid from a town near State College. When he was eight, he got involved with a program called the Second Mile that Sandusky had started in 1981 to help kids like Matt. But it wasn't enough to keep him on the straight and narrow. When Matt was 15 he ran afoul of the law--"I'd rather not say for what," he says--and was put on probation. Jerry and Dottie Sandusky took him in as a foster child and adopted him two years later. Result? Matt is now a junior at Penn State and expects to graduate next year with a degree in guidance.

    "My life changed when I came to live here," says Matt. "There were rules, there was discipline, there was caring. Dad put me on a workout program. He gave me someone to talk to, a father figure I never had. I have no idea where I'd be without him and Mom. I don't even want to think about it...

    On the difference between (none / 0) (#42)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Nov 12, 2011 at 12:18:21 PM EST
    legal and moral obligations, here's an interesting article by a former attorney turned writer and artist.

    I haven't followed this story as closely as some (none / 0) (#43)
    by Angel on Sat Nov 12, 2011 at 12:56:42 PM EST
    here have, but it was my understanding that McQ witnessed the rape of the child in the Penn State locker room; went home and reported it to his father who advised him to tell Coach P.  The problem I have with this is why didn't McQ or his father contact the authorities?  I know there wasn't a law saying they had any responsibility to do so, but anyone with any basic morals would have done the right thing regardless.  I think McQ's father told him to pass the buck in order to save his butt's future - he had apparently always wanted to coach at Penn State.  And I think Coach P kept McQ on staff as a return favor for keeping quiet.  

    I saw something on another news site this morning that called Joe Paterno the Pope of Happy Valley.  Very apt, IMO.

    Read the Grand Jury Presentment (2.00 / 0) (#44)
    by rdandrea on Sat Nov 12, 2011 at 01:20:13 PM EST
    Page 7.  McQueary called his dad from his office in the building.  His dad told him to leave immediately.

    One can only speculate on why his dad told him that, but the one guess that makes sense to me is that at the time, Sandusky and McQueary were the only adults in the building, and if it came down to a "he said, he said," Sandusky was the most powerful of the two.  He likely would have been the one who was believed if he said that it was McQueary who was really raping the child.

    Why his dad didn't tell him to leave the building and call 911 I don't know, but there's been way too much "woulda coulda shoulda" in this scandal already.  I'll withhold judgment until I hear or read the testimony at the criminal trials.

    By the way, I think it was entirely understandable and human that his dad was the first call that McQueary made.  His dad was the most important authority figure in his life.  I'd be surprised if the cops were on his radar at that instant.

    In conjunction with helping out a middle-school science class, I have had training in recognizing and reporting child abuse.  I now know what to do.  But before I was trained, the first call I made might have been to my wife to ask her what to do.

    It's easy for us to sit here in front of our computers and "know" what we would have done in McQueary's situation.  It's a lot harder to think on your feet.


    It would have been more than (5.00 / 0) (#45)
    by Zorba on Sat Nov 12, 2011 at 01:36:17 PM EST
    "he said, he said" if it had been reported immediately to the police and the child had been transported to a hospital for care and examination.  A physical examination of the boy would have shown evidence of whether anal sex had taken place, and if so, might very well have disclosed semen which could have been DNA-tested.  Most hospitals have protocols for treating rape victims of all ages and genders.

    And I'm sure all of that (2.00 / 0) (#46)
    by rdandrea on Sat Nov 12, 2011 at 01:39:49 PM EST
    was coursing through McQueary's mind at the time.



    Maybe not (5.00 / 0) (#47)
    by Zorba on Sat Nov 12, 2011 at 01:52:34 PM EST
    But one thing that should have been coursing through his mind (and if not his, then his dad's mind when he was called) was "This is a child being hurt- this child needs help!"  I still wonder if McQueary would have reacted the same if he saw a woman being obviously raped, or someone engaged in attempting to murder someone else.  Maybe he would have under similar circumstances (Lord knows, people have ignored horrible crimes being committed for a long time.  Kitty Genovese leaps to mind, among other cases).  I cannot know what was going through McQueary's mind at the time, but I would like to think that at least most people would have intervened in some way to help that child, if not directly, then at least by dialing 911.

    His father was a grown man who supposedly (5.00 / 0) (#50)
    by Angel on Sat Nov 12, 2011 at 02:29:22 PM EST
    would know how to "think on his feet."  Yeah, should, coulda, woulda is always going to be in play.  But he was a grown man, the son was a grown man at the time, and both of them had a moral obligation to call the police and report the crime.  Period.  I'm sick of all the excuses people are making for NOT reporting the crime.  How many other children suffered at the hands of Sandusky as a result of this crime not being reported to the police at the time it was witnessed?  

    Yes, Angel (none / 0) (#54)
    by Zorba on Sat Nov 12, 2011 at 03:29:53 PM EST
    You would have thought so.  I, too, am sick to death of the "excuses."  There is plenty of blame to be assigned here.  How many children were sexually abused after this abuse could have been stopped?  This should always be on the consciences of those who knew or suspected, and did not report it.

    Regarding contact with "authorities" (none / 0) (#60)
    by Towanda on Sat Nov 12, 2011 at 09:58:38 PM EST
    McQueary was assured by Paterno that he would take it up the line -- which would have carried more authority with the authorities in a he said/he said situation, by the way, and also would have protected a graduate student.  Paterno did so, taking it to the head of campus security/police, and they are "authorities," as it is a state campus, so they are sworn police officers.

    However, the head of campus security is one of the now-fired VPs from Penn State whose responsibility by federal law (the Clery Act) was to report the rape (and any of a list of crimes on campuses).  He did not do so, so he is now facing charges.

    And as for McQueary pursuing whether the report had been made, I have to wonder whether he could have done so, as this was a juvenile, and I don't think that any calls to police would have told him more than "we can't tell you."

    That's my read on it.  I wish that he had done more, but on the other hand, he is the only one who seems to have reported at all -- and I have to think that over a decade and a half, others knew and did nothing.  

    I also ought to note that I find the grand jury indictment a bit vague on some of these points, and perhaps that is intentional, as McQueary's testimony will be needed against Sandusky -- and it may be that we do not know all yet, as some testimony may be being withheld so as to not hand a potential defense team everything now?  As I understand it, once lawyered up, it is up to Sandusky and his defense team to do discovery.

    I readily accede to any lawyers here who can edify further upon what I think that I see here.


    A deeper look (none / 0) (#49)
    by star on Sat Nov 12, 2011 at 02:17:39 PM EST
    I wonder when the focus will be on the institution that Sandusky was using to get all these victims. I feel there is culpability all round. These sort of stuff simply cannot go on for so many years unless a whole lot of people were aiding and abetting. disgusting stuff.
    He had foster children.. They need to be looked at too.. mostly abusers start at home.
    In this day and age how could the little kids mothers or family let them travel with Sandusky or any stranger for that matter? so many unanswered questions in all this. To think that these kids had to put up with this for years.. OMG.. feeling sick even thinking of their terror. The days of trust seems to be over.
    I am accused of being an over protective mom. I  sit at the field through my sons every practice . I never drop him off to pick him up after practice or game. he is only 10. i do not trust anyone else to watch out for him like I would. No sleep overs for him unless it is a b'day with tons of kids. I used to hate all the censure of being helicopter mom etc, but now I glad I am so. There are so many creeps out there and it is so difficult to guess who is one ..sigh..

    To what institution (none / 0) (#51)
    by CoralGables on Sat Nov 12, 2011 at 02:37:22 PM EST
    are you referring?

    I think Second Mile (none / 0) (#52)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Nov 12, 2011 at 02:51:36 PM EST
    apparently all the victims were in that program

    Yes (none / 0) (#53)
    by CoralGables on Sat Nov 12, 2011 at 02:56:56 PM EST
    but the impression I was given by the poster was that they were referring to Penn State. You are definitely correct about The Second Mile, which was founded by Sandusky, thereby giving him unlimited access with no controls.

    Jeralyn wrote... (none / 0) (#64)
    by rdandrea on Sun Nov 13, 2011 at 11:06:24 AM EST
    Others say he is protected by whistle-blower status. I doubt the former, and don't know enough about whistle-blowers to have an opinion on that theory.

    This question has bothered me all along, so I did some Googling and found the University's Administrative Policies manual, which contains its policy regarding whistle-blowers.

    It's here.  If it is decided that McQueary made a "good faith report" then he is protected from "retaliation."  The term "retaliation" is defined in the policy and includes both "job termination" and "reduction of pay or responsibilities."

    Incorporated by reference is the University's policy on sexual assault (AD12, linked at the bottom) which, if you read the portion on reporting, is only a "guideline" that references a "protocol."

    I have read the policy, guideline, and protocol on sexual assault they're about as clear as mud.  They're also somewhat myopic. They're less about the heinous event occurred in the shower that night and are primarily concerned with sexual assault and domestic violence against students. I'm sure the University deals with incidents of those types much more frequently.

    I'm not an attorney--just a dumb geologist--but the whole manual sounds like it was written by HR consultants to be deliberately vague.  However, that's not important right now.  Go ahead and read the applicable University policies and discuss the subject from the standpoint of knowledge, not emotion.

    There's also a policy about minors in university facilities, but it also seems to be limited to the more mundane and commonplace school groups and tours who stay in residence halls and attend university-sponsored camps.

    I'm pretty sure that the published reporting/retaliation policy (AD67) is what Erickson was referring to as "complexities to that issue."