Penn State scandal and debacle

Sandusky, McQueary and Paterno

As the students of Penn State rally in support of Joe Paterno, who was fired for being implicated in the child abuse scandal that has rocked the school, the details revealed in the grand jury report are becoming more and more clear.

A former Penn State assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky, has been charged with more than 40 counts of sexual abuse.

In an article for The Daily Beast today, Buzz Bissinger – in clear language – writes about what has been alleged and what was NOT done.

The horror of it all, both in terms of what Sandusky allegedly did and what Penn State officials did not, can be summed up by a single sound.

It is a “rhythmic, slapping” sound, according to page 6 of the grand-jury report. It is heard by a 28-year-old football graduate assistant named Mike McQueary in the locker room of the Lasch Football Building on the Penn State Campus at 9:30 on the Friday night of March 1, 2002.

McQueary is placing some new sneakers into his locker. At first he finds it odd that the lights and showers are on. Then he hears the sound coming from the showers. He looks inside and according to his grand-jury testimony, sees the cause of the sound: a naked child of roughly 10 years old with his hands up against the wall with a naked Sandusky butt-f–king him from behind. Sadistic, yes. Sick, yes. Beyond disturbing, yes. Deviant, yes. Immediate grounds for calling the police? Of course, yes. The upshot?

Nothing. Nada. Not a goddamn thing but the passing of the buck up the food chain of bureaucratic bullshit where too many people know that something awful has happened and try to bury it.

McQueary, who witnessed the incident, witnessed it, doesn’t call the police, although he is 28. He runs to his daddy. His daddy advises him to tell Paterno. He tells Paterno. The great JoePa, who regardless of his noncredible insistence in grand-jury testimony that he was never told the specific nature of the sexual act, does at the very least acknowledge that McQueary did relate to him that Sandusky was “fondling” a young boy.

What staggers the mind is Paterno admitting that McQueary told him, at the very least, that Sandusky was “fondling” a young boy and all Paterno did at the time was report it to his superiors. NOT go to the police. NOT tell McQueary to go to the police.

And why on earth did McQueary, a former Penn State quarterback, not stop what he saw going on in the showers? At the time, McQueary was 28 years old and fit. He could have stormed into the showers and stopped this but he did not.

This boggles the mind.

McQueary will be coaching Penn State this weekend. Hard to imagine why. There are theories that the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office doesn’t want to lose McQueary as a cooperative witness, should the AG decide to pursue legal charges against Paterno for not doing enough in 2002, and the AG’s office has asked the school not to alienate McQueary by firing him. Maybe, maybe not.

But to think that this guy witnessed what is alleged he saw and did so little is incredible.  And sad.

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