R.I.P. Joe Paterno

Former Penn. State football coach Joe Paterno has lost his battle with lung cancer. He died today.

The Washington Post interviewed him at his home recently.

Paterno’s hope is that time will be his ally when it comes to judging what he built, versus what broke down. “I’m not 31 years old trying to prove something to anybody,” he said. “I know where I am.” This is where he is: wracked by radiation and chemotherapy, in a wheelchair with a broken pelvis, and “shocked and saddened” as he struggles to explain a breakdown of devastating proportions.

RIP Mr. Paterno.

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    Contributors (5.00 / 5) (#2)
    by womanwarrior on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 01:08:22 PM EST
    Those who rushed to judgment and stomped on an 85 year old man when there was no evidence he did anything wrong should look themselves in the mirror today.  He should not have been treated the way he was.  He reported what he knew to the people who were supposed to do something about it.  Declaring someone guilty of something without getting the facts can hasten the death of the old.  He deserved better, imho.  

    That's ignoring his statements (none / 0) (#7)
    by Towanda on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 01:36:39 PM EST
    which is wise to do today, of course, but is not a wise approach in general.

    We are of similar mind... (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Romberry on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 06:02:48 PM EST
    ...on this. Unfortunately, where children are involved and emotions run high, reason often is the first thing to go.

    Near as I can tell, Paterno did what was required of him by law. His failing here seems to have been to put his trust in his superiors and the campus police to do what they were required to do by law. The complaint against Paterno basically boils down to people feeling as if he should have done more, and feeling sure (not having been in the situation themselves) that they would have. For merely failing to have done more, Paterno has been talked about almost as thought it was he who stands accused of these crimes against children. People have made him out to be some kind of monster.

    With time, I think that sort of opinion will fade and change. Ten years from now I think few will admit to having shared it.


    Similar Mind (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by womanwarrior on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 06:10:29 PM EST
    I am with you and Donald on this.  The Board of Trustees was trying to divert from their own responsibility.  And they were such weasels, they did it by telephone.  I hope they are all voted out, or have the good taste to resign.  

    Doing the minimum required (none / 0) (#20)
    by Towanda on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 06:12:16 PM EST
    in legal behavior to stay out of jail is not doing what gets one into heaven, of course, which is ethical behavior.  

    But he had a long life with a lot of good in it, so I agree that we can hope that he got there.

    More important is the lessons that we can hope were learned here on earth, and far beyond Penn State.  It's one of the worst examples of succumbing to the temptations of college athletics, but that's a societal sickness that, if less pervasive on many campuses, still is too pervasive.  That's what to watch to see if there is impact ten years from now.  (I doubt it.)


    And don't forget, there is (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by observed on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 06:32:18 PM EST
    circumstantial evidence he knew there was a problem earlier.
    People giving Paterno a pass, based on the available facts, are simply making excuses.
    What we DO know makes Paterno look bad, period.
    Donald is saying that if Paterno heard that Sandusky was raping a boy  in the shower, he has a minimal responsibility for reporting?
    Hell no.

    You have no real basis... (5.00 / 0) (#24)
    by Romberry on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 07:45:35 PM EST
    ...for stating what the evidence is and isn't. Frankly, you don't know what the evidence (circumstantial or otherwise) really is. And near as I can tell, the circumstantial evidence you are referring to doesn't actually exist. Paterno certainly denied knowing anything of prior allegations against Sandusky, and I have seen nothing that contradicts that.

    Paterno was great coach. His politics were anathema to me. (Paterno was a dyed in the wool Republican.) But I can't fault the life he led. College football would be a better place if it had coaches like Paterno everywhere.


    And you have no basis for (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by observed on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 08:01:16 PM EST
    exonerating him.
    About Paterno being a great football coach:
    COLLEGES would be better if there were superstar football coaches at all, and if no one took the game overly seriously.

    You need (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Towanda on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 10:09:46 PM EST
    to read the link about what he knew for at least the last decade. Why you deny that, I do not want to imagine.  But to ignore what he said, and other depositions and testimony, and to try to dismiss those . . . well, you're getting bogged down in legalisms again, when we're talking about moral responsibility.  

    Fine; may you continue to claim to see nothing, too, if you cannot handle it.  But that's how a lot of people caused the mess and cost a lot of innocent children their childhoods.


    Heaven is for God to figure out... (none / 0) (#23)
    by Romberry on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 07:41:27 PM EST
    ..and since I'm at best an agnostic and lean towards outright atheism, I don't really believe that Heaven is relevant.

    Joe Paterno committed no crime. The witch hunters act as if he did.


    Don't distort what people have said. (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by observed on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 08:03:04 PM EST
    The claim is that Paterno failed in his ethical and moral responsbility. No one here is claiming he committed a crime.

    Nope; I fully agree that (none / 0) (#28)
    by Towanda on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 10:14:35 PM EST
    he did not break the laws of his state at the time, nor did I say otherwise.   That he was not charged was correct.  However, he was paid astronomical amounts to do more than stay out of jail, and he failed to fulfill his job description.  

    Very well said.... (none / 0) (#48)
    by ks on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 06:28:16 PM EST
    To me, a lot of this discussion this is mostly about how fame distorts things.  Apparently, the only person with a "special" moral resposibility to act above and beyond the famous football coach Paterno.

    Not the Seven Mile Foundation charity where Sandusky recruited his victims over the years, not the school where Sandusky was allowed to take an unrelated kid out of class to molest him, not the asst. coach who was a DIRECT witness to an  alleged crime, not the DA, not the Sr. Pa. State officials nor the Board of Trustees nor anybody else.  Just the famous football coach.  All of the others could have taken actions that would have had more effect against Sandusky than anything Paterno did or did not do.  But, they weren't the famous football coach so I suppose they get a pass for either not doing or just doing the bare minimum much less going above and beyond.

    Speaking of actions, guess why Sandusky retired?  At one time, he was considered the likely replacement for Paterno and being a well regarded defensive coach at a high profile and sucessful program like Pa. State, he was also considered a top candidate for major D1 head coach openings.  Why didn't he get any offers or interviews?  Well, after the DA declined to press charges in the earlier incident, Paterno bascially killed Sandusky's college football career.  Apparently he told him that he wasn't going to become head coach at Pa. State and couldn't recommend him further.  Sandusky didn't get a single job offer or even interview elsewhere.  

    Why was Sandusky still allowed on campus and/or the football facilities?  He hadn't been charged with a crime and he had tenure. I'm not sure how Paterno could have taken the latter away from him.  Even with that, I think Sandusky's access was supposed to be limited but I'm not sure if it was.

    Fast forward to now and out of all of the main cast of characters, the only person who did anything reasonable was Paterno.  He didn't simply "report it" up the chain.  He arranged a face to face meeting where the asst. coach told his key superiors, including the head of campus police, the allegations directly.  Yet, a lot of the "blame" seems to have fallen on his head and even obscures Sandusky at times.

    Paterno agonized that he wished he did more and that simple decent human acknowledgement was turned into a weapon to beat him over the head with when in fact he did more than anybody else involved in this matter did.  

    Overall, he had a great life and his pluses far outweigh his minuses.  RIP.


    Do you see the contradiction (none / 0) (#49)
    by Towanda on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 06:58:36 PM EST
    in Paterno killing Sandusky's career, after the 1998 events -- but not killing off Sandusky's ability to use Penn State facilities?  And Sandusky was retired the next year, in 1999; after that, tenure no longer provides or guarantees privileges, so access to facilities is not at all automatic and could have been revoked for a full dozen years.  (And privileges never are guaranteed, actually, for anyone with tenure or paying tuition or renting facilities; they have to be given and can be taken away even from paying students, tenured faculty, etc,; that's how privileges are distinct from rights of the paying or the paid.)

    As for reporting only internally, the problems with that are discussed elsewhere on this thread -- and are, of course, the reason for laws passed since the events of 1998 and 2002, when Paterno did meet the minimum required by the laws then.


    There is no contradiction (none / 0) (#51)
    by ks on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 11:01:50 PM EST
    You are deliberately missing the point.  Neither one of us knows what privileges tenure grants at Pa. State though that's besides the point anyway but, I find the idea that the football coach can revoke those privileges a bit suspect.  

    Also, most of the charges against Sandusky are for actions that did not happen on Pa. State's facilities so the implication that if Paterno, and apparently, ONLY Paterno, had waved a magic wand and banned Sandusky then all would have been well is kind of ridiculous.

    Despite the torrent of pompous moralizing about what Paterno "should have done", the fact is that he did more than the other people involved here.  Sandusky wasn't charged with a crime at the time but yet Paterno killed his career and essentially forced him into retirement. Then, when he was presented with further information about a new event, he arranged that the actual witness of those events could directly tell the appropriate authorities.

    What did the Seven Mile folks do or the Head of Security/Campus Police or the AD or the Board of Trustees or the DA do over the years or what did the asst. coach do or ANYBODY else?  They all did next to nothing and certainly much less than Paterno  but, yet here we are pretty much absolving them and laying it at the feet of Paterno.  That doesn't make sense.  


    Well (none / 0) (#52)
    by Towanda on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:24:57 AM EST
    from your first sentence -- which contradicts what you wrote with such certainty before -- and on throughout, you have so many facts wrong about the situation at Penn State and the case that it's clear that you're just blathering, so I'm not interested in pursuing this with you.

    It is a situation with ramifications for many of us in workplace, so I do take it seriously, and I do take getting facts seriously, so that all of us in my field can prevent another such situation; we have had long discussions about this that are of value.  I see now that you just want to get off on the case for some other reason, so I'll let you do so with someone else.


    Nonsense... (none / 0) (#58)
    by ks on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 02:47:55 PM EST
    Too funny.  You were clearly not interested in discussing "the facts".  You haven't addressed any of of the facts I mentioned except to try and bs around them.  Also, from your many replies here, it's rather obvious you don't know the facts or, more accurately, are only interested in those facts which you can slant to suit your bias on this issue.  As such, I'm not surprised you lamely tried to dismiss me (lol) and were not interested in discussing the facts with me and apparently, anybody else here who disagrees with you.  Stick to your navel gazing.  

    It's hard not to think (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by Peter G on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 01:08:43 PM EST
    that if the Trustees had not terminated him so abruptly and seemingly cruelly -- and in my opinion, unjustifiably -- his physical and psychological defenses might have been stronger.  He died, it seems, of the impact of the treatment more than of the disease, at least in the immediate sense.  Of course, he was 85, and I am not privy to his true medical history or condition, nor would I be qualified to analyze it if I were.

    The brain is a powerful thing (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Dadler on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 01:31:48 PM EST
    I have no doubt emotional factors physically did him in for good.  BTW, on a related note: interestingly, and surprisingly for most people when they learn it, there is no "pain center" in the brain, and scans have shown that physical pain arises as much in brain areas associated with emotion and attention as from those directly concerned with sensation.  Illness and disease, IMO, are not immune to this same kind of effect.

    i think (none / 0) (#4)
    by pitachips on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 01:29:30 PM EST
    " he was 85, and I am not privy to his true medical history or condition, nor would I be qualified to analyze it if I were. "

    That's the part of your post that made the most sense.


    certainly, human beings... (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Dadler on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 01:36:10 PM EST
    ...who are as emotion-ruled and centered as any creatures on earth, could never be seriously physically affected by serious emotional factors.  The same brain responsible for controlling every physical aspect of our being could never be the same brain responsible for controlling every emotional aspect of our being.  Oh wait, it is.

    Why (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 05:51:37 AM EST
    why do you take this all so personally to the point that you make attacks on other people here?  

    However, Donald, you seem to feel (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Anne on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 04:01:11 PM EST
    you have the right to defend with impunity, solely on the basis of your own emotions, and with the same level of knowledge that everyone else has about the situation, so I think I would back off the indignation just a tad and examine your own arguments for the flaws they clearly contain.

    I don't believe anyone has claimed that Paterno knew everything, but that's an argument that helps you frame your own response.  What is it they call that strategy?

    As I said in an earlier comment, it doesn't make any sense that someone like Paterno, whose legacy was his intense interest in the success of his players as both athletes and students, would believe that his responsibility ended with all he was legally required to do.

    I know you think you are bringing objectivity and fairness to the discussion, but really, you aren't doing anything of the kind - you're just taking the other extreme.


    I deleted the comment (none / 0) (#45)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 05:38:48 PM EST
    with the speculative accusation portrayed as fact.

    Not only was it unsupported, but we do not speak ill of the recently deceased on this site.


    I dunno (none / 0) (#9)
    by sj on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 03:41:45 PM EST
    It all made sense to me.

    Thanks, SJ (none / 0) (#10)
    by Peter G on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 04:04:12 PM EST
    I appreciate your reassurance and support.

    Maybe (none / 0) (#11)
    by chrisvee on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 04:13:29 PM EST
    his guilty conscience and the public exposure of his seemingly shameful inaction undermined his defenses.

    He's been frail since he broke his pelvis so I think it's just as likely his body gave out.  It's tough to fight cancer at any age, let alone at 85 after two rounds with a broken pelvis.

    Joe Paterno lived a long, full, and impactful life.  May he rest in peace.

    He may be fortunate indeed that he avoided the pain that is sure to come as the case works through the courts.


    Please (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by chrisvee on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 06:36:26 PM EST
    And in November 2011, Coach Paterno became the sacrificial lamb on behalf of those who failed to do their jobs on so many levels in this entire sorry and terribly sordid spectacle.

    Joe Paterno was a person who -- when presented with evidence of a heinous crime against a child -- did only what he was required to do by law.

    I dearly hope no one ever has occasion to say the same of me.

    I hope he didn't suffer. My condolences to his family.  Cancer is a terrible thing.


    Can you read ... (5.00 / 0) (#30)
    by cymro on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 03:16:22 AM EST
    ... the whole post and explain why Joe Paterno was the FIRST person of those listed to get fired. Several of them completely failed to carry out their legal or administrative responsibilities when informed of a crime, let alone their moral ones. How is Paterno's immediate firing not consistent with an attempt by the University authorities to make him the fall guy? Anyone who reviews the timeline of the events following 11/05/2011 with an open mind can infer what was going on.

    Can you report the facts (none / 0) (#47)
    by Towanda on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 06:24:03 PM EST
    which are that the Trustees fired the Penn State president at that meeting, too, so who know which was first? Yet there have been no emotional rallies (there or here) for that president, who was the one who really built the academic reputation of the institution, and who was not the one who had reports of Sandusky's behavior as early as 2002, as did Paterno.

    Since you want to be so precise ... (5.00 / 0) (#50)
    by cymro on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 09:46:53 PM EST
    ... coach Joe Paterno was fired, whereas the University accepted the resignation of president Graham Spanier. In effect there is no difference, but there's quite a bit of difference in appearances.  

    Couple this with the fact that, in terms of their actual responsibilities, Spanier was significantly more culpable. Paterno did everything his job required him of him; Spanier did not--under the administrative principle of "the buck stops here," he was ultimately responsible for any cover-up.

    Finally, athletic director Timothy Curley and Senior Vice President Gary Schultz had already been indicted for perjuring themselves and not reporting the 2002 incident. Joe Paterno was not indicted with them. So when they fired him, the Trustees knew that (a) he was not administratively responsible, and (b) he was not legally guilty of any crime.

    Given these facts, it sure seems to me that firing Joe Paterno was an effort by the University Trustees to make him a scapegoat. They were trying to make a very public statement that "Joe Paterno is to blame," rather than admitting that "WE are to blame." I am not buying it--and from what I read, neither are many, many others.

    And (for the record) I have absolutely no relationship with Penn State, and usually root against their football teams.


    That's because (none / 0) (#53)
    by Towanda on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:30:00 AM EST
    Spanier accepted the Trustees' offer to allow him to resign, and Paterno refused to accept the same offer, you know.  That's all.  Oh, and Spanier wasn't indicted, either, which you omit from your later paragraphs, because that would undercut your argument that Paterno was a victim, indeed the sole victim, of the meanie Trustees.  Nonsense.

    But as for the weaseling Trustees, of course they weaseled.  Have you looked at the board membership, how they get appointed, and by whom?


    Spanier was not a "victim" (5.00 / 0) (#54)
    by cymro on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 04:37:18 PM EST
    He was dismissed because of his own administration's shortcomings. Paterno fulfilled his administrative responsibility by reporting what he had been told, after which he was assured by his superiors that the issue was being taken care of.

    Then he was fired--for what? For not having done things that were not his responsibility? For not having questioned whether his superiors were doing their jobs? For not having forced them to do their jobs? Of all the people who lost their jobs during the Penn State scandal, Joe Paterno was the one who was the least responsible, and who did the most right.

    What the Trustees did to him, just to deflect attention from themselves, was shameful. They could just as easily exonerated him, if they had been willing to tell the truth and own up fully to the failures in the University's administration.


    I can not believe (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Amiss on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 01:01:18 PM EST
    you just posted that. It really makes me wonder if you would feel the same if one of those boys had been your son or grandson.

    Would you still feel the same? I doubt it.


    sorry Teresa, was aimed at (none / 0) (#37)
    by Amiss on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 01:03:15 PM EST
    JiH just got messed up. So sorry.

    That was a lame cheap shot (none / 0) (#44)
    by ks on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 05:02:31 PM EST
    When one puts his life on the scales (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by scribe on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 01:50:03 PM EST
    there is no doubt, nor room to question, that the positives from his work and life far outweigh the negatives he was, unjustly, saddled with in the last months of his life.

    He helped turn a so-so land grant college into a world-class university.  He helped hundreds if not thousands of young men be better - as athletes, scholars and men.  AFAIK, he never had a recruiting violation.  His student-athletes actually went to class.  The majority of them - perhaps more than in any other Division I program (save the service academies) graduated and earned real degrees.

    Remember, he did convey the report to his superiors at the University and that, not on his desk, is where the matter was buried.  (It should be remembered: the University general counsel, where the report landed was also the general counsel to Sandusky's foundation, and therefore had both a conflict of interest and a pretty strong interest in seeing the report buried.)

    Let us hope we see many more like him.

    I absolutely would have done it (5.00 / 5) (#18)
    by Towanda on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 06:08:06 PM EST
    differently, so speak for yourself.  I worked on campuses, too, so I also know how the dirt is hidden.  The only way to ensure action is to (a) stay on the case and see that action is taken, which he knew was not done (he did have authority over his facilities), or (b) go off campus.  After seeing enough dirt go under fancy campus rugs, I learned to rarely bother with (a) anymore and went straight to (b), just copying (a) to cya.

    Agreed (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 11:40:25 AM EST
    If this was a bank robbery, we wouldn't have this argument because only telling your 'supervisors' would be viewed as pathetic.

    And I for one, after not seeing any action after more multiple allegations, would have at least found out why not.

    Joe wasn't the janitor, he's was arguably the most powerful man on campus.  And he IMO had more then just a reporting duty and certainly the power to find out what happened in regards to the investigation.

    He did the absolute minimum required, nothing more.  Which is fine for criminal proceedings, but not when judging a man's character.  

    And say what you want, and although my character may be far more flawed then Joe's, there is no way I would have done the bare minimum in a this situation.


    maybe (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by pitachips on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 11:03:05 PM EST
    in this situation, some people would have expected him to go beyond the minimal legal requirements. everyone of us here goes through situations where we may have some sort of duty of care/responsibility - but for whatever reason, you go beyond the point at which you could credibly blame someone else if god forbid something goes wrong. of course he doesn't deserve all of the blame, but the lengths to which people are going to exonerate him is a bit strange.

    The Board of Trustees did not (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by Anne on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 07:36:26 AM EST
    give Joe Paterno lung cancer; if anything, it allowed Paterno to continue on in his capacity as head coach long after he probably should have been asked to retire, or to take a mentoring/consulting position to a new head coach in the interest of keeping the Paterno legacy one that did not - but now always will - include the Sandusky chapter.

    Here you have a man who is lauded for his devotion not just to the sport of football, but to the academic growth and achievement of the young men whom he recruited to play Penn State football; he seemed to be a man who "got it," who was able to put other academic institutions to shame by producing good athletes who were also good students.

    You would think - I would think - that such a man would have more than a passing interest in the activities and actions of a coach who not only worked for him for a long time, who associated with and had an influence on Penn State students, but who established an organization that purported to be devoted to the lives and futures of young boys.  You would think - I would think - a man such as Paterno is lionized as being, who clearly went the extra mile for his student-athletes, would not, in this case, with these allegations, with the huge potential for young lives to be ruined, decide that his moral and ethical responsibilities ended at the same place his legal responsibilities ended.

    It makes no sense to me.  None.  If that's me in that situation, I want to know what the university is doing to follow up.  I want to talk to the students I've coached and mentored to find out if there was anything going on.  I worry about the kids in the Second Mile program.

    When all is said and done, Joe Paterno was just a man, a human being who, for all his successes and achievements, may have failed a test that was even bigger than engineering a successful football program or making sure his students were as good at academics as they were at athletics; like it or not, that perceived failure will always be part of his legacy now, and will always affect the measure of his greatness and character.

    Hindsight is, as we know, exquisitely 20-20, but if I'm Joe's family, I am deeply, and painfully, sorry that Joe didn't retire years ago.

    A lot of sadness all the way around (5.00 / 4) (#34)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 08:20:12 AM EST
    It seems that Joe had a full life, but at the same time I acknowledge that what has been going down probably led to an earlier demise for him.

    We have all seen it, we've seen friends having horrible divorces and custody fights and then with all the stress the body gets ill too all at the same time.  I'm sure many lawyers on this blog have seen it happen.  You almost never walk into a lawyers office because life is going GREAT for you.

    Joe Paterno though was the LAW in the Penn State Football program too.  Many many people were hurt, they will hurt all their lives from abuse that he did have a clue about.

    It's just sad all the way around.  But it changes things too, the whole nation now knows what happens to things that they love and cherish when it secretly makes room for a great horror to also exist.  When we all walk these roads together, it makes the likelihood that we walk this way again much less possible.

    Nobody will ever take away the building of Penn State Football from Joe Paterno, that is his forever.  And I hope and pray that Sandusky's victims find healing and wholeness and go on to have happy healed lives.

    I don't have the numbers, but (none / 0) (#1)
    by Edger on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 12:31:36 PM EST
    it seems to be a more and more widespread disease lately.

    My brother probably this year - or maybe next if he's lucky(?) - too... :-/

    let's tone it down please (none / 0) (#46)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 05:41:34 PM EST
    and not get into nasty spats with other commenters. I have deleted the comment that made an unsupported accusation.

    Would would any of us have done? (none / 0) (#55)
    by Lora on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 05:46:34 PM EST
    Any better?  I kind of doubt it.

    JoePa seems like an extraordinarily decent human being, who just didn't want to wrap his mind around the possibility that a colleague could have acted in such a shameful, hurtful way.

    I feel very badly about his treatment by PSU in the end.  I don't think he ever intended harm to the children, or would have stood by if he really grasped what was going on.

    I'm very sad he's gone.

    Fortunately (none / 0) (#56)
    by Towanda on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 11:26:34 AM EST
    some people do better every day.  I see them do so, I know some who have done so, and it can take courage against great resistance.

    It is sadly true that those who do report seem to have to have an understanding of the evil that does exist in some people -- and of how easy it can be to ignore "petty evils" that then can grow into monstrous evils.  

    I'm thinking especially of a relative who is a social worker.  I know a lot of social workers, and some are useless and gutless and enabling of evil.  But getting a glimpse into even a day in the life of a gutsy social worker, who has to fight the resistance from the enablers, tells me that I could not do that job for even a day.

    However, that example has given me the guts to do what I can, when the occasions arise in my day.


    Some people do (none / 0) (#57)
    by Lora on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 12:49:25 PM EST
    You're right, and I have a feeling JoePa would have agreed with you.  I think that's why he said he wished he'd done more.

    I just think most people don't.  We (speaking broadly for the human race) don't like to see corruption and sickness in people, especially people we know.  We don't want to dwell on it.  We don't want to think about it.  Makes it hard to recognize it or even consider it sometimes.

    When we (again speaking broadly) don't, it isn't necessarily because we want to protect a perpetrator or cover up something.  We hope it isn't really that bad, and if it is, we have hope that right will prevail and it will be taken care of.

    So many of us let things go that we sense or know we shouldn't and hope things work out.  Many of us take an important step or two (as JoePa did) and hope the other steps will follow.  Only a few of us recognize that this may be insufficient and we need to insure that all necessary steps are taken.

    I'll wager that most of us reading this blog only occasionally if ever venture into the last category: the standard to which Paterno was held.