12 July 2012

Paterno's Failure

I have refrained from writing about the Sandusky case for a few reasons. First, I have an inherent distaste for the sensational and disturbing elements of this story, as do many of you. Second, I didn't feel like I had enough information to opine appropriately.

The release of an independent report on Penn State's handling of Sandusky provides me with enough objective information to feel able to comment. It leaves little doubt that various officials, Joe Paterno included, acted with "a callous and shocking disregard for child victims." This article from Dan Wetzel is a good place to get a synopsis of the report's findings.

I don't believe that Paterno's failure erases all of the good he has done. The ultimate judgement of his life is left to those more qualified and deserving. I am left with an inescapable feeling that his ultimate legacy should be forever tarnished. I didn't want this to be the outcome of the report. I wanted Paterno to have acted appropriately, but to have failed to protect children is a grave misdeed.

My hope is that this case, and its attendant publicity, will serve as a powerful and lasting object lesson should similar situations arise in the future. Nothing is more important than providing for the safety and welfare of children. It is a basic, God-given responsibility.

1 comment:

A.J. said...

So I read through the report as well (all be it quickly). I am not going to say Paterno did enough, because he should have done more. And I am not going to say that his legacy is in tact, as it will forever be tarnished for me. However, there was no definitive, objective, and direct evidence that implicated JoePa. The major "findings" were always someone else speaking for Joe, without him being in on the communication. Seems nothing more than a "he said."

That being said, he did know something and for that he should have risen above the hierarchy and done something.