Monday, November 7, 2011

Civically Angelic

I'm sure that anyone that isn't housed under a rock has already heard about the scandal that has engulfed Penn State. Apparently, a former coach has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting eight children over the last fifteen years, while heading a football program for school-aged students. Along with these charges, two other Penn State administrators are being charged with covering up the abuse and not reporting this coach's actions to the authorities, and then lying about knowing about it before he was arrested.  The entire story and the charges can be found here and the actions, the cover up and the charges for must be completely horrifying to all of the families of the victims and the accused.

I am not going to go into specifics about how heinous these crimes are, because we all know they are. Parents entrust their children to someone that claims to be helping them, only to find that he's a lecherous criminal. Even though I'm not a parent, I can understand the torment that that must be for them. My point of dissension is with the author of the article that informed me of this scandal: Dan Wetzel.

Wetzel's article, "Paterno statement in abuse case raises more questions," all but places the severity of these charges solely on Paterno as a celebrity, rather than the Coach Gerald Arthur "Jerry" Sandusky or the administrators involved in the cover-up. In both the Attorney General's and Wetzel's articles, they recount how a graduate student had found Sandusky in a sexual act with a boy that looked to be only ten years old. That student then presented what he had seen to Paterno, and Paterno then forwarded this information on to Athletic Director Tim Curley, one of the men charged along with Sandusky. Wetzel, and I'm sure many others, are singling-out Paterno, saying that he should've promptly called the police and followed-up the Athletic Department's actions against Sandusky. Wetzel implies that just by the size of Paterno's fame, that he should be compelled to see justice to the end and do more than just release a statement to the media about the magnitude of these crimes.

I have a hard time believing that just because someone is more famous than someone else, that their civic duties are any grander than any other private citizen. If you actually think about the chain of events that surround this case, you can see that if Paterno did report these findings to the police, he would be reporting hearsay, which is groundless and, if incorrect, can ruin someone's life. Basically, it would go something like this, "I talked to a guy that saw a guy do this." What the hell? That's not evidence. Eventually an investigation was made because of accusations brought to light when Sandusky was coaching at another facility. One conversation, though, should hardly lead to an arrest, and if it does, Lord help the justice system and the boatloads of innocent people rotting behind bars.

Paterno's statement says, "...but he at no time related to me the very specific actions contained in the Grand Jury report. Regardless, it was clear that the witness saw something inappropriate involving Mr. Sandusky. As Coach Sandusky was retired from our coaching staff at that time, I referred the matter to university administrators." So, Paterno has no idea what actual acts occurred and can only surmise that something serious had occurred, according to the recount of another grown-ass man, Mike McQueary. McQueary, who witnessed these acts, had ever right and duty to report them to the police himself, as he was a first-hand witness to a crime. McQueary should be charged along with those administrators, as he was privy to a most disturbing crime and like Curley and Co., failed to do anything about it.

What Paterno did do, as would any other less-famous head coach, is contract his immediate superior and recount what had been said. McQueary was interviewed by Curley and Co. He recounted what he had viewed and these individuals did nothing to bring a sexual deviant to justice. It is here where the failure to report can really be placed, and that is just where the Attorney General is focusing its attention.

In today society, Celebrities like Charlie Sheen are applauded for their disgustingly base behavior, except for, I guess, when they're catapulted to a pedestal of unrealistic civic elitism.Best Blogger Tips

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