Monday, November 7, 2011

It Looks Pretty Bad for Penn State

A quick read of the criminal complaint leads me to believe that this case is going to be a stunner, and it may take down a lot of people.

It appears that one of the former Penn State coaches, Jerry Sandusky, ran some sort of foundation for young men which he used to troll for boys he could fondle (taking showers with, touching, etc.), and that a lot of people looked the other way.

There is a lot of “looking the other way” in big-time collegiate sports.  But this case, which has been smoldering for a dozen years, burst onto the public consciousness this weekend, and already Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley is on administrative leave (by his own request, late Saturday night), and one of the school’s Senior VP’s, Gary Schultz, decided after the case broke that he’d go back into retirement immediately.  Curley and Schultz face charges they lied to a grand jury about the case.

Sandusky faces 40 counts of abuse, including 21 felony charges, for abusing 8 boys between 1994 and 2009.  Many of the incidents allegedly happened in a Penn State athletics building.

As is so often the case, the initial news reports lead to more questions than answers.  Why is this just coming to light now?  How much did Joe Pa know, and when did he know it?  Why haven’t the parents of the boys who were alleged victims said something sooner?

Sandusky was on Joe Pa’s staff for 32 years, and the jock world saw him as Joe Pa’s successor.  Except, of course, Joe Pa hasn’t retired.  Joe Pa is now 167 years old and has been head football coach at Penn State since 1871.  Joe Pa is expected to still be head coach of the Nittany Lions when they play the Badgers at Camp Randall on November 26th.

Unless, of course, he suddenly retires and disappears.  Stay tuned.


  1. The program should be shut down by the NCAA immediately. All scholarships should be honored, and athletes freed to apply to other schools with no penalty. Two words. Disgusting and Abhorrent.

  2. "Joe Pa is now 167 years old." Love it.

    One interesting point: a local paper said Joe Pa should retire after this season:

    So what they're saying is that Joe Pa did something wrong, but not something so wrong that it should (further) derail Penn State's shot at the Rose Bowl or require him to immediately resign.

    The editorial also notes that they are not saying Sandusky is guilty -- but if Sandusky is not guilty (yet) then why should anyone resign (yet).

    Either innocent until proven guilty, or guilty-right-now. But journalists, editors, and others will have it both ways: Joe Pa should have done more to ensure that something we haven't proven happened yet didn't happen any more, and because he didn't take steps to ensure that something we aren't willing to agree happened yet didn't happen anymore, he should be forced into retirement, someday, but not just yet.

    In other words, people didn't think through their reactions before putting them on the front page. You took a good stance here: there are questions that need to be answered before we decide what to do.

    Sweetie, on the other hand, heard the news, went upstairs and got her Penn State Nittany Lions shirt and threw it out. That, too, is a good step to take.