November 14th, 2011
07:47 AM ET

Opinion: What happens when there is no message in the chaos?

Editor’s Note: Steve G. Manuel is a senior lecturer of communications at Penn State University. He earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Penn State.

By Steve Manuel, Special to CNN

The events at Penn State University this week forced many instructors to toss their lesson plans into the trash. Students were interested in only one topic: Joe Paterno, the legendary Nittany Lion football coach, whom the Penn State Board of Trustees fired in midseason. My classrooms were no exception. My largest class, Introduction to Public Relations, which normally has 232 students, went far beyond that as former students and others joined us, interested in what my discussion of the unfolding events might be. I specialize in crisis communications and teach the class every spring semester. There is a host of lessons to be learned, and unfortunately, many of them are needed by the leadership, not the students.

Students are by nature idealistic, and I believe even more so here on the Good Ship Happy Valley. They think with their hearts (which isn’t always a bad thing) rather than their brains. Emotion has a way of clouding objective thinking. I refer affectionately to State College, Pennsylvania, as the largest piece of insulation in the world. Nothing bad can happen here, or so people think. I must admit that it is one of the reasons I have spent nearly 19 years here. The alleged child molestation by a former Penn State football coach must have been a rude awakening to many in this idyllic town. But it isn’t Jerry Sandusky (the accused); Graham Spanier, the university president; Timothy Curley, the former athletic director; Gary Schultz, retired finance director; or even current assistant coach Mike McQueary - all central players in this drama - that the students focused on. It is, of course, the 85-year-old coach, Joe Paterno, the winningest coach in Division I college football.

The students were not alone. The media focused on Joe Paterno as well, rather than the real issue: the young victims. The news media can’t take all the blame. For several days the university remained silent, allowing Penn State critics and the news media to craft the message, a major error in effective crisis communications. Penn State alumni worldwide were outraged, hurt, disappointed - pick an adjective - and someone out there was feeling it, including me. I earned two degrees at Penn State.

Let’s return to thinking with one’s heart and not one’s brain. The trustees held a press conference at 10 p.m. Wednesday to announce the dismissal of both Spanier and Paterno, not thinking about the thousands of students gathered in the streets of State College ready to explode if the unthinkable were said. Not a rational decision on the part of the students, but expected. The decision was met with a student riot, which could have been much worse. Like the media and the university, the students were wrongly focused on Paterno and not the young victims.

The classroom setting is a wonderful place, almost a refuge for students and faculty to voice unpopular opinions without fear of retribution (although there are limits to everything). Students could vent, but it was interesting because they would vent, and they would ask why certain things were occurring. It wasn’t, at least in my classroom, a one-way conversation. They were listening, but their hearts put up a stiff defense. Intense media focus on Paterno caused an equal amount of focus by the students on Paterno. The silence by the university in the wake of the scandal contributed to the message that this was about a legendary coach not being permitted to finish a long and illustrious career with dignity, instead of about the young victims.

One of the great things about teaching is that if you do it well, if you teach students the skills they need to survive outside of a textbook, they remember the lessons learned. Most gratifying to the instructor is that they contact you and tell you what the principals should have done. It’s wonderful to see how much students mature when they leave the insulated confines of academia and apply what the old guy at the front of the classroom talked about and quizzed them on.

The initial firestorm has passed, Joe Paterno watched Saturday’s football game on television, and the students and fans filled Beaver Stadium dressed in blue as part of an awareness program for child abuse. The initial uproar on campus at midweek had been replaced with the realization that the larger, more important issue in this dreadful event was the sexual abuse of children, and Penn State’s students re-focused their attention and in the process crafted the message the university had failed to do. This has been one more example of instructors learning from students.

Posted by
Filed under: College • Policy • Practice • Voices
soundoff (235 Responses)
  1. robert pate

    penn st. should not cancel any games....because of one scumbag why should all the kids that have put their life into the game be punished....some might go on to the nfl..and by canceling games it just hurts the kids

    November 15, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • Warranted92

      Unfortunately this case isn't just about Sandusky. It's also very much about the who, what, where, when, how and why they covered up THE CRIMES OF CHILD RAPE AND SEXUAL MOLESTATION. If you allow such offences to go unnoticed you become implicit in the crime itself...Evil often doesn't know it's "evil", because that evil is often normal to them. It's very easy to break people down to the point where they will commit despicable crimes...It takes a strong human being to stand their ground and say that such behavior WILL NEVER BE TOLERATED FOR ANY REASON. I hope that the students at PSU learn that, but more importantly that the faculty and staff are "convicted"-literally!

      November 16, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
      • Warranted92

        Addendum: Steve-did you take Joan Mcgettigan's class in Narrative Theory? "Who tells the story" is only a small part of the narrative itself. I wonder why you wrote such an obviously narrow piece of work, and who were you writing it for? As a Senior Lecturer in Communications at PSU I wonder if it's because you -like the students- are "too close to the tree's"...You need to step back and CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE- please...For the sake of your future students. Otherwise you become part of "the problem" and not "the solution". Much as Paterno did.PSU will never recover if you do not or do nothing and as such a "notable" figure you need to-publicly...Do you "get it" yet?

        November 16, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
  2. robert in ftl

    please DO NOT think that my post is in ANY WAY defending Sandusky – the TRUTH will come out – it is not for me to determine – but what I must say is that – at least in my era – and I am currently 48 – it was quite common for grown adult men to shower with children – anyone who spent any time at all in organizations like the YMCA – which is a CHRISTIAN organization – knows that it was always open to ALL ages and there were NOT seperate locker rooms for children and adults – I – like thousands or millions of other boys went to the YMCA for things like swimming lessons – and both before and after was exposed to adult men nude in locker rooms and in the showers – if the guys is guilty lets crucify him – but it doesnt seem at all strange to me that adults at times in their lives are nude and showering with children – it happened in sunner camp every year – it happened at local community colleges when there for swim lessons and what not – its not all that uncommon – or at least it wasnt in the era that I grew up in... AGAIN this isnt a nay or yay for the guy – just an observation...

    November 15, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • Feng Shui By Fishgirl

      @robert in ftl - There is a huge difference between men and boys of all ages occupying the same locker room facilities at a YWCA where they are in their own personal space vs taking a shower together/being fondled/raped in the same shower stall. And you made me laugh by your assumption that a Christian org would make it safer.

      I agree with @nyc 73 that this article is a total puff piece with no real guts to it at all. The author shows he is clueless by saying the students showed solidarity to the victims by wearing blue. BFD! The right message would have been to cancel the game and show the students that football is NOT the number one concern here. It would have underscored how serious the matter of Joe Paterno's egregious error of sweeping this matter under the rug for years, thus allowing Sandusky to rape/ruin the lives of even more kids in those years where Paterno and Penn State did nothing.

      November 15, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
      • robert in ftl

        FISHGIRL – its very obvious you arent familiar with a mens locker room and shower facilities – there are no stalls – men and boys do shower right next to each other every hour of the day – and a man whom isnt a pedo wouldnt have given a little frohlich a second thought prior to this ordeal – a million men have swipped the asses of boys with their towels or turned off the hot water to freeze them – throw their jocks on top of the lockers – or in extreme cases switch their shampoo with nair – any one of a hundred different kind of fun games and pranks that go on in a locker room on any given day –

        it is obvious by your christian statement that you are willing to judge the bad deeds of a few on the entirety of the whole – so no surprise that your willing to fry a guy without evidence – thus far we have ONE guy who is calling rape and only after he was being targeted for being someone who just watched – not before – only after – and no police reports exist like he said he reported... Sandusky may not be innocent – but he might just be – its not your job to judge – glad your not a juror and so many others on here – might serve you well to be brought up on some charges and see how it feels to be judged before due process – might do you all some good – dispicable – lets all give him a trial so long as everyone understands thats he guilty before it starts – nice – I'm sure our forefathers would be very proud...

        November 17, 2011 at 11:47 am |
  3. nyc73

    This is one lame PR puff piece. Sadly, a good school like PSU, is not learning enough lessons, not relaying enough shame. This school will suffer in the long term... The children have suffered... More awareness needs to be implemented. Seriously, if a message isn't clear enough, I quote: yaddyaddyYWN

    "NO MESSAGE IN THE CHAOS? I think the message is pretty clear. When you see a kid getting raped report it to the authorities. IF YOU DON'T your name is mud. Simple as that. This article is useless. "

    People who still insist on god worshipping the coaching clan can wait for facts to come out all they want. Those who remained silent and allowed the crime of child abuse to occur are criminals. I'm sure the students that held a vigil had the best of intentions but it doesn't feel like enough. This article doesn't feel like enough, not enough accountability, not enough of the campus mind set explained.

    There is still a large population that believes the administrative punishment is too harsh. Well, I'm sure no parent would ever want their child to shower with or 'horse around' in a shower with anyone from a coaching staff or even a daycare. That is insane. What are people thinking?! There are plenty of facts, just not enough responsible actions from adults in these positions of trust. I have no doubt the media will cover as many angles as they can, that is also their responsibility. When it comes to an article like this, it's our responsibility to call out this PR prof.

    November 15, 2011 at 5:43 am |
    • nyc73

      I'm also tired of trolls who generalize. Go ahead and blame the country or government, I might as well blame the Obama for the stale bread in my fridge. The counter point to this article is simple: There is a message – Acknowledge and Report Child Abuse When You See It. Period.

      November 15, 2011 at 5:53 am |
    • moto

      Amen to that! Thank you for your post.

      November 15, 2011 at 11:39 am |
  4. jim

    The big loser in this crisis is Obama....As red neck Pa blames Jopa's firing on the liberal media like Al sharpton at MSNBC and Maurene Dowd at NYT. Losing PA could hand election to Romney an the Republicans

    November 14, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
    • Kevin

      Well Jim, I am a Republican but have never said a bad thing about the president. But I have a lot of bad things to say about Democraps. Whenever I have seen a well plastered car with Democrat sayings I also see them littering. It is also funny that it was the Democrats that owned slaves. Maybe there are so many black Democrats due to the "Stockholm Syndrome". I'm not saying all Democrats litter but I can tell you I have never seen a car with Republican stickers throw anything out their window. My next post is about the travisty of justice related to Coach Paterno....

      November 15, 2011 at 2:09 am |
  5. jim

    The big loser in this crisis is Obama....As red neck Pa blames Jopa's firing on the liberal media like Al sharpton at MSNBC and Maurene Dowd at NYT. Losing PA could hand election to Romney an the Republicans.

    November 14, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
  6. MN

    We, outside of Happy Valley, aren't judging all the good people in Pennsylvania. This could have been any university, anywhere.
    Supposedly the highest offices and even the police dept. and district attorney's office knew something. But it was all kept hush hush, because SPORTS is more important than a voiceless child. The fact that the media focused on Paterno is because there seems to be a HUGE cover-up here by someone who had the absolute right, rivilege and AUTHORITY TO MAKE the right call, instead allegedly looked the other way, only taking away the car keys. We're talking the rape of a child here.

    McCreary, the grad assistant who witnessed it, has also a lot to think about, he told his father, why didn't the TWO of them go to the police. This is ridiculous. If it was a woman being raped, wouldn't they have cried out? Is it beacuse it was a child, and a child's voice is not big enough to be heard...? Wonder if Paterno had done anything different if it was his own grandchild involved. How did any of these people sleep at night? And kept on living...

    I've never been so proud of journalists and hard-working reporters, who don't do it for the money either. I can guarantee you, no matter how big a fan, a reporter would not have shied away from pursuing this. Go to the Patriot-News website that broke the story, they gave a good explanation of the process. This is a lesson in life. Always aspire to do the right thing, and everything else will fall into place. Don't be afraid to rock the boat, even if that means losing your job.

    November 14, 2011 at 8:24 pm |
    • KB

      What has happened is a disgrace! This tragic event of Child Abuse happens everyday around the world, lets not forget. I believe this was out of Paterno's reach of being proactive. LISTEN FIRST: Paterno went to his bosses, WHO LET'S NOT FORGET RAN THE U PENN POLICE. Also, this was ongoing since 1994 and could of even went back further. Read the indictment, parents of these children knew too and confronted Sandusky. The police also knew and confronted Sandusky. Why did nothing happen then in the 90's? The 2002 incident should have never taken place! What about then? Is this something that is being overlooked? Of course Penn State should not be left out of the blame game, BUT Paterno should not have been the scapegoat! In the US you are only good as your last contribution, and Paterno is an example of this American Model. Paterno has changed millions of students lives who have come and gone from Penn State, BUT he won't be remember for that, instead, he will be placed in the mix with a sick human by the name of Sandusky. What a shame!!

      November 14, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
      • Kevin

        I finished reading your post. I would shake your hand if I knew you. And for all of you who are kidding yourselves, don't think I'm a Penn State fan. I'm an Ohio State Buckeye all the way through. Although since I moved back to Ohio I have been screwed more than a minority in the US Court system.

        November 15, 2011 at 2:15 am |
    • Kevin

      I'm sorry I'm so tired, I didn't read your whole post but I think I agree with most of it. It is appaling what this country has become. There is a thing called "Due Process". Everyone has this right... but I guess that does not include Coach Paterno. He has been convicted without a trial. He did everything he could. There is a thing called HR, they deal with this stuff. Coach Paterno reported the abuse. The HR department at Penn State is responsible. What happened to this country when a Child Molester has more rights than a great man who has done more for Colleges than any athlete. If anyone seriously believes that Coach Paterno would cover up such a terrible crime, you need to look in the mirror. What the Penn State Board of Directors did is nothing more than a "Lynch Mob". It is also the same thing those companies especially US Steel has done to this country.

      November 15, 2011 at 2:12 am |
  7. yaddyaddyYWN

    NO MESSAGE IN THE CHAOS? I think the message is pretty clear. When you see a kid getting raped report it to the authorities. IF YOU DON'T your name is mud. Simple as that. This article is useless.

    November 14, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
    • DougP

      yaddyaddyywn, that sums it up pretty well.

      November 14, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
    • Punjabinet

      Right on bro right on. Brilliant. To the Penn's Authorities: Mud is your name and I agreed with you.

      November 14, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
    • Kevin

      You can bet I would have pummeled the bastard and drug his wimpering body to the police station myself. And to the PA police chief who is full of crap. BS, you would have told Coach Paterno "If you didn't see it, we can't help you". I see it all the time from police. That and "We can't prevent your murder but if you get killed we will TRY to find them." Hindsight is an easy way for people collecting our tax dollars to skirt their job duties. Why else do you think Governement offices may be open 8 hours but they only service the customers for 2 hours.

      Sorry to go off subject a little but... You can't blame George W Bush for that one. PS, Thank you for the Christmas card in 2004. I've written to President Obama for one but I'm still waiting. Nothing against Obama, I know he has a lot of people who call themselves Democrats ahead of me... Even if I send him nice emails all the time. Seriously I do. I didn't vote for him but he's my president. I always try to send him helpful suggestions. If you can't be helpful, then don't waste his time being negative.

      November 15, 2011 at 2:22 am |
    • Kevin

      The bigger message is even clearer. If you see a child being raped, kick the crap out of the rapist and drag his wimpering body to the police.

      November 15, 2011 at 3:13 am |
  8. C

    FACTS
    1. There is absolutely no proof anything even happened. He could have, but right now its ONE persons word. Is it really worth ruining a bunch of peoples lifes before we know whats really going on?
    2. This case hasn't even remotely gone to court so WHY are you people pretending you know?
    3. The media needs to stop making EVERYONE guilty. This country is insane now....

    November 14, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
    • DougP

      One person's word? Have you read the grand jury report? I talked about denial in my previous post but you are on another planet. Read the available material carefully. You'll get an earful of witness testimony detailing the assaults and on top of that the failure of PSU staff, local elementary school staff, police and parents. The media is not making this all up. Stop embarrassing yourselves and try facing reality.

      November 14, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
      • Kevin

        Not sure but I think C was talking about the inncident in the shower. That was the only one that McLoser reported to Coach Paterno A DAY LATER.

        November 15, 2011 at 3:15 am |
    • Greg

      Why would Paterno himself pray for the victims if the victims didn't exist. The fact that it the paper trail goes back almost 14 years because of the cover up changes the quickness to judge. One wittiness has gone senile since his report. one DA connected dead and most likely the tip of the iceberg is uncovered so far. Quit crying about how people are picking on your football idol. Stop being a McQueary.

      November 14, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
    • C

      Fact is no one knows...so stf up. A grand jury report isn't what happened. Its an accusation of what happened. Its the same old story....a bunch of clowns not connected to the story...acting like they know ALL the facts.

      November 14, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
      • DougP

        So you go from saying it's all 'one person's word' to just blindly dismissing the word of dozens of people given under oath? Was the first statement from you just a lie or did you really not know the breadth of the accusations and the details given? Ehh, your answer doesn't really matter. I think I've learned everything I need to know about you from your own posts. And not involved? My step-son participated in Second Mile activities. I think I'm pretty involved.

        November 14, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
    • Kevin

      The media is the 2nd biggest problem with this country. The first biggest problem is shared between two groups. The majority of Congress and the House are LAWYERS. First biggest problem part B is the Penn State Board Of Directors is ran by the people who drove this country into the ground. I don't know who the fat guy in the first row was but I would guess he was the President of US Steel.

      November 15, 2011 at 2:25 am |
    • pt

      I couldn't agree more. First of all, I was watching Anderson Cooper a few minutes ago (8:30pm est) and he has on several columnist as speakers tonight. Who gives a damn what a columnist thinks? The indictment is simply an allegation right now and none of us know how things will turn out. I can't stand listening to "opinions" of people who make their living digging up dirt on others to sell ratings, newspapers, magazines, etc. Why can't the news stations simply report the news and let us, the public, make our own decisions. I'm so tired of hearing people who have no factual data or a clue about what really happened speak. Shut up and get a respectable career! Sorry but it frosts me...

      November 15, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
  9. Ryan

    Talk all the garbage you want on Penn State and what you think we are and what we represent. Contrary to popular belief we don't condone child rape. We are not 1 person nor do we think what he may have did was right. I find is amusing that media can cover this like hawks, but you don't see one national media outlet at Penn State in February for THON, the largest student run philanthropy organization in the US, that raises money for kids with cancer and raised 9.5 million last year alone. Nor did they cover the candle lit vigil for the victims on Saturday where there was about 10,000 students (there were maybe 2,000 rioting). The media deserves to get vilified, remember the Duke case, those kids lives were ruined by the media and they turned out to be innocent. Penn State is not Jerry Sandusky.

    November 14, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
    • C

      Why are you even responding to the morons that would say that? Who in any way supports child rape. This is why im mad...you shouldn't even have to answer to those people. If they are stupid enough to believe that, then let them. I so sick of people pointing fingers or hearing part of a news story or allegations....and just taking it as fact.

      November 14, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
      • Kevin

        C, I get your point but I've always been one myself to fight back. If someone takes their time to ask me a question or call me out, I think it is only fair that I respond. This is not about you or C. This is about the Lynch Mob.

        The United States gives people the right to be ignorant. We may not like how blatently stupid or ignorant or even how immature they may be but we have to let them remove all doubt as to how dumb they truly are.

        November 15, 2011 at 3:18 am |
    • jet312

      Ryan:

      You make some excellent points... Anybody can pass judgement but it is much more difficult to reserve it. Best of luck to you.

      November 14, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
    • Kevin

      Another thing you see is the Media Raping Coach Paterno but a Child Rapist gets a free pass. ESPN must be ran by Child Rapists. They obviously are picking on what was at the time a 72 year old man when a 20 something woose was letting a child get raped why he went and hid like a baby.

      November 15, 2011 at 2:29 am |
  10. chicagok

    The issue is the political correctness that allows homosexual men access to young boys. Anyone reporting the sex can be charged with a hate crime if they don't have absolute proof. And if they have a video they could be charged with porn. Homosexual men should not be allowed one on one with boys! It should be the law! Unfortunately, the law probably would allow the man to marry the boy today in states like California. How can parents protect their boys when homosexual man are free to attack? This is not politically correct. But PC caused a bunch of kids to be violated at Penn State!

    November 14, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • C

      You cant be charged with a hate crime for reporting someone like that.....this is insane. The lesson we should all have learned is that people in this country jump to guilty and should just shut up until the truth is sorted out.

      November 14, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
    • AO

      Could you be more ignorant? This man was a pedophile, but that in no way means that all homosexual men will be attacking children left and right. "Homosexual men should not be allowed one on one with boys" .... are you serious?

      November 14, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
      • Kevin

        You really should be nicer. Most people are ignorant about stuff like this. Most people don't realize that cross dressers are straight men. The problem in this country is the "Lynch Mob" menatality. You always see people running to help during a trajedy like 9-11 but then... You see them push and shove and trample someone to death to get an XBox or Playstation. If a camera isn't showing on most people, they don't care to help. I am an Ohio State Buckeye but I am still fuming over the way a great man like Coach Paterno has been convicted of a crime he didn't comit. How come the HR department at Penn State didn't get fired? They dropped the ball. For all we know \coach Paterno may have been following this case during the investigation and when he didn't see progress or they told him "We didn't find any problem". Maybe it was him that told them not to invite Sandusky back. Then he gets stabbed in the back by the people running this country to the ground. The Penn State board of directors are those US CEOs that are causing all our problems.

        November 15, 2011 at 2:35 am |
    • Bpds

      Your message drips with homophobia. This is not about homosexuals, it's about pedophiles, and pederasts. You can't lump the two together in the same group. You conveniently neglect to mention all the cases of grown men sexually abusing young girls. How about that? Care to justify that?

      November 14, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
    • Tisk Tisk

      If that is your logic then heterosexual men should not be left one on one with girls. How can you think all homosexual men have the potential to sexually assault young boys without addressing the numerous cases of men sexually assaulting young girls. Its not one's sexual preference that makes one sick enough to do something like that. pedophiles come in all shapes, sizes, sexual preferences, etc, etc.

      November 14, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
  11. Sue

    There is nothing you can change...Penn State has already started the proper procedures to make sure this does not happen again along with the Governor in his endeavor to change the current laws. We can hope that others will learn a lesson from this. You cannot undo this horrible disgusting crime, all this is left now is for Penn State to help those poor children who are now adults and give them support.

    November 14, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
  12. ME

    PENN STATE..YOU NEED TO COME CLEAN!!!

    You can;t ever be a great university again if you do not TALK!!

    Are you planning on firing the faculty??? You have not fired the right people...so now you threaten your faculty?????/

    November 14, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
    • C

      Rabble Rabble Rabble!!! TURK ouR jurbs! You sir are the reason I know the human race is doomed.

      November 14, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
  13. ME

    Steve.Just hear on 2 news shows that Penn State has just squelch the faculty !! What a pompous act!!!

    That makes me think they are attempting to hide more and cover-up more!!

    Penn State..ADVICE TO YOU!! You need to put your cards on the table, FACE the TRUTH...then Solve your Problems!!

    This message you sent to your faculty has lowered your standing with the public..

    You can;t have it both ways...TRUTH...TRUTH..TRUTH..always hurts...but that is the only way you will ever get regain your University's reputation

    November 14, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
  14. DougP

    This article only reinforces to me the fact that PSU was and still is awash in denial. Paterno, Spanier, all of them knew this was coming yet liike they ignored Sandusky's crime spree for nearly a decade they ignored the coming storm. The collective shared delusion is staggering. Villifying the press for calling them on it, for daring to suggest that some of these people should not be carrying on with business as usual , that is simply an extension of the delusion. Without the media pointing out the hypocrisy and depravity of those involved PSU was prepared to do the absolute minimum in reaction to the indictments and the grand jury report. Judging by this article PSU simply doesn't get it.

    November 14, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • James Kasinbaugh

      There really is no point in talking about the "scandal" considering this new instance hasn't been to court. There is a DA declared dead, but no one cares about that. Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly broke the law in order for her own propaganda to down Penn State. Why do people believe what ever the media says? The truth is not out, so why speculate on things no one knows yet. Wouldn't it crazy if Sandusky was innocent. No one will know till everything comes out. Currently this is not a Penn State problem, its the government for allowing for this to go on when they knew about it for years.

      November 14, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
      • C

        James...people are dumb, if the media tells them its true then it is...

        November 14, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
      • DougP

        James said: "Currently this is not a Penn State problem, its the government for allowing for this to go on when they knew about it for years."

        For starters I'm not choosing to 'believe the media.' I'm going by the grand jury report and the statements from people involved including PSU staff. And this is not a PSU problem? I don't mean to condescend but I actually feel sorry for you. From what I've read on here many PSU students and staff have little idea of just how much trouble PSU is in. Your top prospect has decomitted, Moody's is reviewwing your bond rating, corporate sponsors are already starting to flee, out of state students are going to start rethinking their applications, lawsuits are going to cost the school at least $100 mill, and this scandal is just getting started. First year students should not be rioting. They should be thinking about transferring. And hate the media all you want but their actions were inevitable due to the failure of PSU staff.

        November 14, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
    • Diane

      Agree as well. This article was simply lame. The tone maintains padding full of PR, seriously. No anger or shame is relayed, not enough. The whole world is watching and we feel the shame and anger for the school. No blue shirt is going to ease the pain of this crime. This article was just not enough, not what the world is looking for from PSU.

      November 14, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
    • jet312

      Doug

      I am afraid you missed the point of the whole article. The point was that everyone missed what the point of focus should have been from the outset and that is to focus the attention on the kids. In fact while the students have now led the efforts to put bring the focus back to where it should have been in the first place. blue out, candlelight vigils, raising money etc... Sadly the media is far from catching up and unfortunately does not seem all that interested the students efforts beyond the tipping of a van.

      November 14, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
      • DougP

        jet312, focusing on the victims from the get go would only have been possible if Paterno, Spanier and McQueary had done what they should have known was both proper and invevitable and that was immediately step down. The only people anyone should be blaming in all this is Sandusky and those who enabled his alleged crimes. If their own testimony is to be beleived and based on their incomprehensible actions of the past week these fools set themselves up.

        November 14, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
  15. Piccolo Productions LLC

    Living in a world where sports programs are the foundation of a colleges financial well being, living in a world where sports coaches and their staff receive huge salaries – compared to teachers and professors, living in a world where sports is more important than the well being and integrity of individuals, living in a world where endorsements are more important than the well being and integrity of individuals – what do you expect? It is time to reevaluate sports programs, university and college finances, the power of individuals, greed, corruption and money – the privileged few – and that includes the players themselves – they are the elite, part of that group – time for all of this to be cleaned out, across the country, across the globe.....enough is enough. Football, baseball, basketball, hockey, sports – more important than the quality of an education, a diploma, integrity, well – there you have it. Are you really surprised? This has been going on for years, not just Penn State – they are the whipping boy because young boys were raped.....you think it doesn't go on in other towns, cities, campuses?

    November 14, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  16. DB

    Oh, PUKE. 800 words just to say, "think of the children"? What a great way to sound moralistic without saying ANYTHING OF SUBSTANCE WHATSOEVER.

    November 14, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
    • Adam

      AGREED. This professor said ABSOLUTELY nothing. This professor should have had the B@lls to call out his own institution and students as being absurd and in the wrong. Instead, this guy wants to keep his job and spread his name mainstream.

      Penn state is a joke.

      November 14, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
      • Cindy

        Couldn't agree more, Adam!
        This article doesn't say near enough.

        What is "crisis communications"? This prof doesn't know, so I'll tell him.

        Crisis communications is having to explain to a child that a trusted adult is not to be trusted. Crisis communications is explaining to a mother why her child wasn't protected. Crisis communications is, you're a police officer and now you need to speak to the mother who reported her concerns to you, the same woman you previously dissed.
        Get real, Steve Manuel!!

        And to anyone who thinks there "may be" 10 more victims come forward, let's just say most of us will be surprised if it is "only" DOZENS and DOZENS!!

        November 16, 2011 at 1:00 am |
    • deb

      I don't agree ... he makes a good point of older people sometimes needing to learn from younger people.

      November 14, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • Patrick

      The focus on the children?! Really? Where was the focus on the young 10 year old boy who was anally raped in the Penn State showers while those in power were aware of the rape? Did they bother to get a name of the child? Did they bother to find out the well being of this young boy? Did they ever pick up a phone and call the police? Being a communications professor, you can now try and "recraft" the Penn state response, however the morality of turning their backs and "hearts" on a young rape victim, is truly horrific. I do not think you will be able to recraft a response that will be able to turn around the larger publics thoughts on Penn State and those who have been in charge at Penn State. The current response, is one of denial that those in charge did anything wrong. Maybe we will someday be able to hear from that young child who is now a young man? The overwhelming response from Penn State is shameful and the message is loud and clear that you do not see the wrong that was done by the Penn State officials who were aware of the rape (s).

      November 14, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
    • Diane

      Meant to agree here. This article was simply lame. The tone maintains padding full of PR, seriously. No anger or shame is relayed, not enough. The whole world is watching and we feel the shame and anger for the school. No blue shirt is going to ease the pain of this crime. This article was just not enough, not what the world is looking for from PSU.

      November 15, 2011 at 5:08 am |
  17. john

    Many of the posters on this article prove the authors point. They keep concentrating on Joe Paterno. Another thing I've noticed is that the media, seems very content almost smug with themselves over how this all went down, especially the riots. The students took their frustrations out on the people who deserved it, the media. We can sit there and complain about the students, but they weren't selling comercial time during these events. The media, along with the horrible way in which the admin handled this (why start doing things well at this point I guess), have some responsibility towards the 'riots'.

    There was no way Paterno could have or should have been allowed to finish out the season. It would've just not been possible. Paterno is in no way innocent in what happened, but we'll need the full story to determine if he was just an old easily manipulated useful idiot, or a co-conspirator in one of the most horrific cover ups in NCAA history. It would help to know exactly what is going through someone's mind, what they believe, what they have been told, in greater detail before expounding on how morally deprived they really are. Obviously there was enough info for him to lose his job.

    November 14, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
    • Greg

      Focus on Paterno comes because he silenced the calls for help. How can you stop future behavior if you do not see his starring role. Did he tell people not to call the police? Most would give the assumption of yes; because McQueary acted like a child and told to his role models rather than act like a role model. Paterno made a decision to pass it on. Was any single person higher in most aspects of authority? No, but he did have some stooges of high title to pass stuff off to. Some didn't keep silent because he asked but they did keep silent to save his image and the school's image.

      November 14, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  18. Steve Gastin

    1) If the students were asked to wear RED instead of blue to show their awareness program for child abuse, it would have been utter failure. Students just came in their school color and then called it awareness.

    2) The teachings were well portrayed all over the world by the actions.

    November 14, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • Parent1010

      Yes blue/white is there colors...but blue is the color of child abuse awareness. Many a kid went out and bought something dark blue (not a jersey) to wear.

      November 14, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
      • Parent1010

        Dark Blue Ribbon – This color is a symbol of child abuse prevention, arthritis, Colon or Prostate Cancer Awareness, Huntington's disease, victim's rights, free speech, water quality, domestic violence, and water safety

        November 14, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
    • Ryan

      you don't know what you are talking about and aren't familiar with the university

      I was at Beaver Stadium just a few years ago after the massacre at VA Tech and the entire crowd was dressed in maroon – to honor those there.

      November 14, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
      • Parent1010

        I was there Saturday at the game and saw the kids...I know MANY kids who purchased dark blue sweatshirts. They care and are saddened deeply by this.

        November 14, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
    • Ryan

      You know nothing about Penn State. They wore blue cause it is the color of child abuse. The students have no problem wearing other others for a cause. I attended Penn State during the Virgina Tech Shootings and the students all work Maroon and Orange to the games. The students are Jerry Sandusky or Joe Paterno or Spanier or Curley. They care about the Victims and had a candle lit vigil with over 10000 people in attendance there were maybe 2000 rioting.

      November 14, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
    • jet312

      Steve: If you believe that then I feel sorry for you and your narrow mind. the students can do no right in your mind. At least they are making a sincere effort. blue out, candlelight vigils , raising money . The "blue out" to bring awareness to child abuse was decided on by the students before paterno was fired. If you still question the charitability of the students go to Thon.org and educate yourself. Leave a donation while you are there.

      It is better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you are stupid then to open your mouth and remove all doubt.....

      November 14, 2011 at 9:09 pm |
  19. Governbest

    In my view, the Penn State directors stands as a profile in courage carrying three important lessons:

    To the University community…that doing the right thing should always trump saving face regardless of apparent reputational risks;

    To the governance community…that separating executive from governing authority is an essential component of fiduciary and ethical oversight, and;

    To the predatory community…that destructive self-indulgence and those who enable it will not be tolerated

    Most of the good and all the bad things in organizations began in the board room. Anyone associated with Penn State should take pride in the fact that this one ended there. Others take note

    November 14, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • Zack

      What are you talking about? The board did the exact opposite! They didn't fire the coach and president to be "right". They did it to move the university past the issue because they knew that the media would hound them until it was done. The media would still be talking about this story if they were both there. Now, the media moves on. The board knew this and took these steps only for PR value.

      November 14, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  20. daveinla

    This was covered-up for 10 years! I repeat 10 years!The officials in the football program at PState need to be held accountable.

    November 14, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  21. Linda Shinn

    There are too many of these to read, bu I agree very much with the posts saying that, "It it had been one of the cheerleaders, or a young girl being raped by this guy, almost without a doubt, the guy who saw it happening, would NOT have walked away, but would have dialed 911 and then run over and done his best to stop it."
    It is amazing to me that somehow,maybe partly because the guy doing it was a big shot in the college, and also for whatever reasons because it was a young male, NO one did much of ANYTHING!!.
    I find this so hard to believe or conceive of anyone doing. I am a woman, and a victim of molestation that was reported and not believed, because the person was well respected in our family. But eventually it came out that he had done the same thing to many other children in our family. Sadly this situation is almost certainly similar in that there are going to be many, many victims of this man, who at some point in his life may have actually meant well, but could not control his compulsive behavior. My husband went to Penn State and felt it was a wonderful college, and it probably is in many ways. That this happened does not take away from all of the wonderful educators at the college or all of the good that it has done. This was a coverup done by a few individuals who somehow thought that all that was needed for them to do was tell their supervisor, and they feared getting in trouble if they called the police. Then much like the Catholic Church they basically told the guy not to bring children over to the gym, and somehow thought that took care of it??
    Sickening. And people like this will often do all kinds of things for the children and make them feel "special", and manipulate them. That this went on for years and years, is so sickening. I cannot begin to imagine what his family must be thinking about him right now.

    November 14, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Parent1010

      It is beyond sickening and hopefully more schools will take a look at ALL their program. The institution should never try to cover up...so wrong on so many levels. Focus needs to be on the victims, the predator getting put away, and admitting where the lies and coverup happened, and fixing it!!! But please don't knock every PSU student. It IS a wonderful school where if you asked both he students and faculty (or took the time to look at their comments) the majority are sickened and disgusted by this. Maybe a blue out isn't the answer, but they are trying. At PSU Saturday $20K was raised for abused kids. It is a START... Everyone has a lot to learn and cannot help but think and hope that they will continue to try to do the right thing.

      November 14, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  22. LIsa

    Cody, you are a moron. Plain and simple. It seems obvious to me that this is all about football to you and not about child predators. Go back in your cave.

    November 14, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • Cody (D.C.)

      Uhh, what? I've stated time and again that this IS about the victims and a massive coverup CAUSED by football. Try reading.

      November 14, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • CS, in PA

      Unfortunately the media frenzy surrounding this has focused on the football connection, even though the Attorney General has cleared Paterno of any wrong doing his name is the name that sells stories and it is disgusting that the media would focus on his connection rather than the victims. I read with interest today a post from an individual who claimed to have reviewed PA law and indicated that not only did Paterno do what was required but in fact his actions are exactly what the law suggests (I did not research the law myself so can't confirm this but if this is the case one can only assume that this chain of command approach is to assure that there isn't retaliation by virtue of the information becoming a media nightmare before the authorities can act). None the less morally we have certain expectations but would these expectations be the same for someone who happened to be walking past the shower if they didn't have the celebrity status of Paterno. My heart breaks for these children and if I had been the one to witness the act I am convinced that my reaction (even at 5'4 and female) would have been to charge into that shower screaming and kicking anything to get that child out of there and rational thought would have come much later (my safety, etc) if that had been the response of any of the individuals who had witnessed or had knowledge of the previous events we might not be here today. On many levels I have struggled with reconciling the events of the past week and while my major horror is the poor children I must also question the medias fervor to destroy a man's reputation who has been cleared by the attorney general of any criminal misconduct when he has 60+ years of commitment to doing the right thing and instilling those values in his players and giving so much back to his community...the least he deserved is for the facts to be fully investigated before the media attacked.

      November 14, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
      • ChrisGar

        According to JoePa, he was told that Sandusky & a 10-year old boy were naked in the show and "fondling" each other.

        Joe just told his superiors & dropped it.

        What else do you need to know ?

        November 14, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
      • Jimmy

        Joe Paterno obeyed the law and reported "some sort of child touching" was going on when in fact McQuery testified to the grand jury that reported to both Joe Paterno and Clery that he "witnessed Sandusky sodomizing a 10 year old boy" . Paterno joined the administration as a co conspirator in hiding the facts from the police. You can go through life pretending Paterno is innocent of any wrongdoing but that is not true. Paterno was aware of Sanduskys crimes as far back as 1998. In fact it may have had something to do with Sanduskys sudden retirement in 1999. Paterno may have conspired with the administration to cover up other abuses and allowed Sandusky to "retire" instead of exposing the truth and harming his football program. The true story may never be known. It is known that there were staff members that knew of and witnessed other abuses of young boys by Sandusky but were afraid to report it for fear of loosing their jobs. Who within the confines of the sports complex had the power to hold that over peoples heads? Paterno certainly did. As the facts come out we are liable to find that JoPa was much more involved in the coverup than is being reported!!!!!!

        November 14, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
  23. Al

    I disagree. Focus has not be placed on the victims. It has clearly turned into a witch hunt. Anyone who ever talk to Sandusky is now known as someone who supports a chlid rapist.

    November 14, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  24. T

    The way people are reacting to this situation is unbelievable. In time, Sandusky and everyone else involved will get their punishment. I don't understand why people hate Penn State now. How can the actions of a handful of people make people despise almost a hundred thousand students and faculty. Penn State does so much for the community. To hear that large companies are backing out of making donations to THON because of this sickens me. They want nothing to do with Penn State because of this scandal. They are depriving children with cancer the money that they need to get treatment. All I ask is that you do not frown upon the remainder of Penn State. You want to hate the football program, fine, but do not hate everyone else.

    November 14, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Cody (D.C.)

      Wow. You really think "THON" is the only charity that does anything to help cancer research? You Penn State fools really do live in a bubble.

      November 14, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
      • Rachel

        Did "T" say that THON was the only organization that funds cancer research? No. I do hope that companies who stopped funding THON will send their money to other cancer research institutes, but Hershey Medical Center (which receives all money that THON raises) and the children there may be impacted by this.

        November 14, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
      • T

        My point, cody, is that peoples' new hatred for Penn State is going to have effects on the many good things that they do. your hostility (as well as countless others who have ignorantly responded to my posts under other forums) towards penn state is only going to cause more issues

        November 14, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
      • T

        and cody it's not the research funding portion of THON that bothers me. As you said, many other groups do that as well. Much of Penn State's money goes to actual children's treatments. Many of which could not afford them on their own.

        November 14, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
      • seriously

        Cody, it's not that they live in a bubble – it's $100 million you're talking about to date (much of which comes from alum and the PSU community). When you write a check for that much for another pediatric cancer foundation, then we'll see how you feel.

        November 14, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
    • Parent1010

      Well said!!! Hopefully sponsors of THON will now look to fund abused children as well.

      November 14, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • Jimmy

      What would make someone think that the administration at Penn State is not covering up other types of abuses and criminal behavior? Don't be mad at the donors for backing off, be mad at those in charge at Penn State for allowing this to go on for over 10 years and conspired to keep it a secret. What other skeetons are in the closet? In fact the integrity of a degree from Penn State is greatly deminished because of this!!!

      November 14, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
      • T

        I'm sure the integrity of a degree will go down because of this. Many of the same companies that are no longer donating to THON also cancelled all interviews with May 2012 graduates. Why though? The students were not involved in the scandal. We did not cover it up. I"m mad at both the administration and the donors. The administration caused this problem in the first place, but cancelling donations to children who need it is uncalled for. So many of the THON families need this money. I would rather the integrity of my degree go down than lose the money for the kids.

        November 14, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
    • Bev

      The reason that people are having issues with the students is becasue they started rioting because the coach was fired...the students didn't seem to give a hoot about why the coach was fired. It's sickening that most of them did not understand the situation until much later, after which they did a complete u-turn and started acknowledging the victims. Sadly this is a reflection on American values...sports first, even above child abuse...

      November 14, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
      • jet312

        Bev .... you ever do anything impulsive that you maybe regretted at a later time?? If not congratulations on being so perfect. The 10,000 students at the vigil are far more repreenative of the average PSU student than those that pushed over a news van or broke a few windows.

        November 14, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
      • T

        The number of students that attended the riots is a tiny fraction of the entire student body. The majority of people that were there were not there to riot, they were there to just see what was going on. An even tinier fraction of the students actually did destructive things. From what I've heard (not sure if it's true) but the students who flipped over the news van were not even penn state students. The media blew up the rioting into a bigger thing than it really was

        November 14, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
      • Bev

        jet312
        I totally understand that the students' emotions were running high, but that is not the point I was making. I was simply trying to point out that the students who took part in the riots did not understand the severity of the accusations against Jo Paterno. Their first reaction was to protest his departure, when in fact the allegation that he failed to report A RAPE should have have their blood boiling, and if anything they should have been rioting over that. While I acknowledge that 2000 students is by no means the majority, it is still a significant number, and rightly or wrongly they do represent a portion of the school. My point was that sports is so highly valued in this country that people seem to become completely blind-sided when it comes to the coaches and players...people don't want to believe that their heroes are capable of these things, hence the riots. It is plain wrong that people are so fanatic about sports that all reason is lost. Can you imagine how the victims must have been feeling watching the students rioting in defence of the coach who allegedly allowed this abuse to happen?

        November 15, 2011 at 10:42 am |
  25. WhiteJai

    and the system will give these monsters less time in prison than would be handed to a drug dealer....oh yeah and PSU football will always be remembered as a cult for pedophiles at the top....

    November 14, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  26. Susanna

    From what I understand there are a few states where one only has to report crimes like this to their superiors and their job is considered done. This is probably the defense some of them are going to use too. I'll betcha. I believe PA is one of those states. The other states with this law, need to change it immediately! Every university in the country should be revamping their policies of reporting right now.

    Abusing children from 1994 (the earliest they know of) to 2009, is just unfathomable. Sorry, but there's one thing with helping children and another having them sleep at your house ALL the time. As a spouse, this would've been a RED flag for me. I'm sure Sandusky's family is stunned! I wonder if Sandusky molested any of his own children? I'm not sure if even has any sons.

    Let this be a time of reform from sports played everywhere....in high school, rec leagues, colleges, etc. You do not sweep crimes, especially against children, under the rug for monetary gain, notoriety of coaches and/or esteemed reputations. Penn State will go down as having one of the worst reputations in history, like the Catholic Church, all because they chose to look the other way. Now they'll look the alumni in the hand for donations because the lawsuits are going to break their bank.

    November 14, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Cody (D.C.)

      Legal duty vs. moral duty, etc.

      November 14, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • HunterPSU

      Making the world a simple place to live in....black and white.....no grey. right is right and wrong is wrong. Condemning all of PSU because of child molester gone wild. Sandusky could have been stopped many many times. He wasnt...why...dont know. each individual involved had an opportunity to at least complain...The mother of one child did but police could not get him. So not enough evidence..should they have blabbed to everyone about something they could not prove? In this case it would have saved many lives. but in our society we need evidence. The janitors could have stopped this ....why did they not report this ....to protect their jobs? from who? Who was going to fire some janitors for reporting this? How about McQuery...big buy..form QB..witnessing the foul act and he walks away...Than JoePA gets wind of it and only moves it up the chain. Etc...fast forward..>Sandusky out on bond. What if he does it again...? How would that look at the end of the sordid lists of missed opportunities to stop him? But blame the university or individuals ...but so many things went wrong that this is more of a society issue. Protect the criminals ...and fair trial, and shadow of doubt have gone way to far in this country. Time to go back closuer to the rope and treee...of course after the trial.

      November 14, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
      • bob

        Speaking of black and white i heard that most of the victims are black were kids

        November 14, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  27. Cody (D.C.)

    More self-serving nonsense from Penn State. To this very day, they are still focused entirely on Paterno. Did you watch the game (that shouldn't have been played)? "JO-PA TER-NO" was a chant constantly being yelled back and forth. Thousands of fans had variations of "We Love JoPa" shirts.

    The candlelight vigil and prayers and "Blueout" and everything else served to do NOTHING but help Penn State feel better about itself. Football and Paterno are still king there, and it is clear they have yet to wake up and see the big picture. Shame on Penn State. Shame.

    November 14, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • seriously

      well said. penn state student wearing a blue shirt and holding a banner of stop child abuse while chanting joe paterno on the side is not justice for child abuse. they still don't get it. im not saying they have to chant no joe paterno. i want them to recognized and understand the grand jury indictment. that penn state officials from president to grad assistant cover it up. that's what written in the grand jury indictment. 2002 incident was not reported to LOCAL AUTHORITIES. NOBODY CALLED 911. that is my problem

      November 14, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
      • Ratto

        What are you two talking about? The Pennsylvanis State Police investigated Sandusky in 1998 and decided there was not enough to go on. Why aren't they the bad guys? Centre Co D.A.'s office has been on this guy since 2005. Why aren't they the bad guys? The Gov. of PA has known about this case since 2005. Why isn't he the bad guy? What exactly would canceling football games do to help the victims? It seems like it would have helped you two feel beter, but that's your point, isn't it?

        November 14, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
      • Susanna

        I wonder if any of those shallow college students turning over cars and angry about Paterno's demise ever thought to put themselves into the shoes of the molested children? Or if they thought those children couldn've been their own?

        I understand their disappointment but this is what happens when you put people on pededstals and claim they can do no wrong.

        November 14, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
      • Cody (D.C.)

        They are also bad guys, indeed. You need to learn about the English language, apparently. Just because we are calling out one person for foul deeds, doesn't mean that we don't also feel that way about others.

        Regardless, your response is more of the same, typical deflection that Penn State fans have been spewing for a week: "But but but, there were all these other guys who did stuff wrong! Stop vilifying JoPa! Praise be to JoPa! Praise be to football! blah blah blah" Open your eyes.

        November 14, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • drny

      There is absolutely NO REASON the Penn State-Nebraska game should not have been played. Why should the current student athletes be punished?

      November 14, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
      • Cody (D.C.)

        Not playing the game =/= punishment.

        I know that is impossible for you football-theists to understand.

        November 14, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  28. LogiqueOblige

    The situation that happened at Penn state is extremely complicated and extremely emotional, however I feel that the media and the press played a large factor in manipulating the emotions of not only Penn State students, but of the general public as well. I am not a Penn state student nor am I a fan of the school or the program, but it's not hard to understand how students felt.

    While it's politically incorrect to feel strongly about Paterno leaving equally or perhaps more than you feel about child molestation, the two sentiments are not mutually exclusive. The media seemed to imply that because Penn State students reacted so strongly to Paterno's firing that they were insensitive to the rape allegations. Why should any one student feel compelled to react strongly to Sandusky's actions? The media in itself is also responsible for the confusion in priorities. They seemed to cover him just as much as they did Sandusky. Taken out of context one might come to the conclusion that Paterno raped these little boys.

    The shift in student action seemed to happen as the media shifted their attention from vilifying Paterno and Sandusky to vilifying the students who, seemingly "loved football more than rape victims". From there, societal pressure took over and though I'm sure many students were far from advocating child molestation, I have no doubt that they felt compelled to prove their stance to the nation.

    November 14, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  29. JorjaPeach

    What kind of cartoon world does this professor live in? Oh, don't focus any attention to the actual leadership responsible for not taking any action. For every child raped AFTER Paterno & the President were alerted to the Sandusky's sicko proclivities, as far as I am concerned they are just as responsible. JoePa could have made sure that not another boy was ever raped again. Who the hell cares how many football games are won. I wanna know how many young boys lives were stolen and ruined. That's what will be Paterno's contribution to society.

    November 14, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • Barada

      He's not a professor, just a lecturer. His horizons seem pretty much limited to "Happy Valley". How sad.

      November 14, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  30. jb

    Joe, Sandusky, and even the alumni association sold their souls to hush this up so the football money would keep coming.

    November 14, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • LogiqueOblige

      As this has been reported... JoePa and everyone who knew about this case reported it to authorities. It was the authorities who did not act. We as human beings tend to be non-confrontational would you be willing to put yourself in the spot light? Subject yourself to the level of scrutiny that has developed in this case? Perhaps, face some allegations yourself?

      It was the authorities' job to right this wrong and they didn't. Point blank. And yet you see people focusing on the figureheads as opposed to the the lesser know, but more responsible parties.

      November 14, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
      • Cody (D.C.)

        False. They kept it in house.

        November 14, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
      • seriously

        that is your interpretation when you saw the riot. that's not how we see it. they were angry that joe paterno got fired. that was what the student were mad about. joepa did not report the rape to "authorities". Joe pa report it to the director and assistant director who is in charge of the university police. Not the state police. there is a difference. university police was not even contacted on 2002 incident. did you not read the grand jury report? if you want to excuse joe pa behavior's by hiding in the legal explanation that he followed the chain of command and the buck stops there. How do you explain to your 10 yr old child, friend, sister, brother, mother that I did everything I could in the letter of the law? And after that 2002 incident. There are 2005 incident again that a child was molested. If Joe Pa use his legendary, iconic status, respected coach reputation to step up and SAY SOMETHING. Is that too hard to call 911???

        November 14, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
      • KD

        @LogiqueOblique – you forget that the Paterno and the President are (were) the authorities. When you know something illegal is happening – you call the police. End of story. People tried to "manage" this crisis and this is what happens. Who was thinking of those boys? Who was thinking of the parents of those boys who put their child into the situation thinking it would be good for him? I'll be up front, as a survivor of child rape (and this is what happened to these boys), there was a duty of care that was lost. I don't care why. In the end, every single person who knew of suspected and did nothing – shares culpability. That's the legacy that anyone touched by these events will share. Sadly, the alleged perpetrator is likely the only one who'll sleep soundly at night.

        November 14, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
      • Kay

        No. McCreary called his daddy, waited and then reported to Paterno. When you see a child being sodimized, however, is to immediately take protective action – toward the child not yourself. Protective action is then immediately followed by reporting to the police. Each and every time. Not to your supervisor to find out what to do (which should be pretty obvious) but to the police since sexual assault of a child is against the law. I am a former family therapist who specialized in sexual abuse and offender treatment and get questions from teachers from time to time about how to handle abuse reports or what to do when they question whether or not their school administrators are doing anything after they notify them about a student disclosure of abuse. My answer each and everytime is to report to child protective services or the police immediately. Yes, administrators need to be notified but they are not the ones charged with investigating and taking action respecting abuse reports. The fact that I am still answering this question appalls me to no limit, partly because I suspect the people asking the question are really seeking permission to do nothing and avoid getting involved.

        November 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • Guest

      Are you kidding me? Penn State has alumni all over the world, many of whom graduated years ago and/or have had nothing to do with the athletic department. This blanket condemnation of all Penn State students and alumni is absurd.

      November 14, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  31. scott alderson

    this is not a sex scandal or sex abuse or child molestation. this is felonious life imprisonment rape. serial rape. how about this scenario. mcqueary was walking out of a bar and turned into the park lot and 3 black men were raping a penn state cheerleader. he screamed and yelled and ran up and threw bottles at them and yelled for help and called the police. he ran and told joepa and the whole precious penn state community went on a man hunt and they found the men and if they didnt kill them on the spot they at least apprehended them and there was a trial 2 weeks later and the men were executed or sent to jail forever and subsequently prison raped everyday until they died. the community would be heros and justice would have been served and then rapist never did it again to any woman ever. instead this weak punk freak ran. he told his weal punk dad. he told his weak punk coach and on up the line until the 90's turned into the 10's and the sandusky is sitting at home right now still not yet chained away from society. PRINT THAT STORY!!!

    November 14, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • Anais

      I believe the bar incident occurred after the Sandusky rape. Perhaps in the bar, McQueary did what he wished he could have done inside the football locker room with Sandusky raping that poor child. Then, too, I have heard McQueary grew up in the same neighborhood as Sandusky and was coached by him at Penn State. If so, having looked up to Sandusky since childhood, perhaps McQueary could not believe what he was seeing inside that shower. Psychologists have called it cognitive dissonance. This does NOT begin to excuse McQueary for his inexcusable actions. But not everyone has it in him to make the right and moral choice when confronted by the presence of pure evil wrapped in sheep's clothing.

      November 14, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
      • scott alderson

        ive read in detail all the psycho analysis of why humans sometime run from crime especially involving a familiar acquaintance. it doesnt hold water the second he told joepa. he didnt bury it in the depths of his subconscious due to trauma or shock or the other technical terms. there becomes this sympathy and release from responsibility because a medical psychological term for behavior is coined and determined. it can be dissected all day long but the dude continued for years raping little boys or grown men or little girls it doesnt matter. and the judge that GAVE HIM BAIL is on his charity board!!! this is not a sad story for mcqueary or joepa or the rest. its the worst sickest cover up of the most epic proportions in our civilized history. HE WAS ALREADY QUESTIONED AND AUDIO TAPED AND STILL DISMISSED IN 98!!!

        November 14, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • HunterPSU

      Your scenario is a poor one. Why use blackmen this way. If 3 likely PSU football players and McQueary would not report ...of course unless they were visiting from Ohio State.

      November 14, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
      • scott alderson

        its perfectly accurate and poignant and displays the insane judgment that our status quo society makes and determines what is horrifying and what isnt. did he or did he not walk away from a grown man raping 10 year old boy and failed to call the police? would he or would he not similarly suppress as he did if he saw 3 black men raping a white penn state cheerleader in a parking lot of a bar? mcqueary is as bad as the monster that raped these boys and my analogy shows just how greedy and self centered and power tripped the penn state authorities are and have been.

        November 14, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  32. Paul

    The student body of Penn State is responsible for the largest student philantropic fund raiser in the world. Please do a search on THON. They have raised close to 100 million dollars for childrens cancer research. They brave the cold and donate their time to beg for money on street corners throughout the year. Last year over 9 million dollars raised. So when you see them this year please be generous and let them know that you appreciate their efforts. They could really use it now.

    November 14, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • Cody (D.C.)

      That's like saying, "think about all the GOOD that HItler did!"

      There isn't a scoreboard for philanthropy vs. evil. Unbelievable that you would reduce this situation to such idiocy.

      November 14, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
      • Another Paul

        so what exactly is your agenda Cody? You won't allow the fact that the students are good,have a heart, care about their community, all because SOME of them acted out of line. What do you do for society that makes you so special? How many abuse victims have you helped today,last month, last year, in your life? I'm betting a big fat zero. All you do is criticize everyone else because of your pathetic life. These kids deserve more for what they've done during thier time at Penn State. You can't expect people to just switch off their feelings for someone who is like a family member to them, just because people like you want them too. I'm sure you'd throw someone close to you under the bus because of your moral high ground right?

        November 14, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
      • Cody (D.C.)

        My agenda? Seriously?

        Apparently anyone who criticizes Penn State must be part of some large anti-PSU conspiracy... yeah right. Get with it. Grow up. Open your eyes. etc.

        November 14, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
      • jet312

        Cody:

        HITLER REALLY!!! I think it's time for YOU to wake up and open your eyes and your mind a litte.

        November 14, 2011 at 9:40 pm |
  33. seriously

    scandal 'made some sense to me'
    'Enraged' ex-grad assistant, child-abuse victim critical of coach's style, Paterno power

    http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/45283472/ns/sports-college_football/

    November 14, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • dee

      According to state laws, Joe Paterno legally did what was expected of him. He reported he incident to his superiors. They should have handled it different. I spoke with several teachers in PA and they said he followed what state law requires and that teachers were told to follow the same protocols in the past. Penn State and Joe Paterno did not let the abuse victims down. The laws did. By the way, we are talking about a society that has no problem allowing child abusers to exist in society knowing that they can never be rehabilitated. Putting them back out in society where they can strike again. Ask any student or player of Joe Paterno's and see if they think he would ever allow abuse. I think not. Tom Corbett couldn't get Sandusky charged in another abuse case.

      November 14, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  34. ANN

    Convicted Pedophile: Orsbuin Young,has been raping and beating his own children and others for years and yes, I told the San Diego Police, The Kids School, Child Protection, His Job Puretec headquartered Oxnard, Ca and everybody had an excuse. It's impossible to get these children help. Any ideas? I'm still willing to try.

    November 14, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • Reggie

      Are you serious? In this day and age, you could not go beyond local police? To FBI other agencies? Talk to people around you who are smarter they may help you to get the message across

      November 14, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  35. chicagok

    The article failed to address the most significant issue. The assaults were all based on male homosexual behavior. A man sexually attacked young men or boys. Homosexuals should not be allowed one on one access to underage kids. But the media has ignored that. Sandusky could have married one of these kids in the eyes of the news media. Gay marriage is good. Gay sex is ? duh! well? duh? Yup. That is the problem. Homosexual males should not be allowed with underage boys! But that is politically incorrect. Heck, anyone reporting the sex episodes risked being charged with a hate crime! Yes, homosexual behavior is not bad. You would have to prove something else in your report! The news media caused the most pain to the victims here. No one could report the pervert unless they risked hate crime charges by the media for being anti-gay! So the root cause is quite clear. Homosexuals should not be allowed contact, one on one, with kids under penalty of major crime laws.

    November 14, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • Chip

      Pedophilia and homosexuality are not the same thing. What if he had raped young girls instead? Would you have ranted that heterosexuals should not be allowed near young children?

      November 14, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • HunterPSU

      Peds come in all stripes. If Sandusky was doing this to little girls would it have been any better? Probably would have stopped sooner and more difficult to pull off...but any less worse?

      November 14, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • mbct3

      Such ignorance is not acceptable. Know your words before you apply pedophile and homosexual...one has nothing to do with another..perhaps a Penn State class? Understand that sexual abuse is a straight and a gay issue

      November 14, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • Anais

      Stop turning this into a slam against homosexuals. Pedophilia is NOT about sexuality but about power. Most pedophiles are heterosexual, and Sandusky is married. Please do some online research on the subject, because you are woefully uninformed.

      November 14, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • KD

      Seriously? Homosexuals shouldn't be allowed around little boys? Child rapists will rape their target of choice – be it boys or girls. The issue is one of exploitation and violence. Not sexual orientation. If you use that analogy, then my rapist should never have been allowed around little girls – but, then again, maybe you'd see that as OK because he was heterosexual.

      November 14, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • Greg

      If preventing homosexuals from having access to children were a valid response to the revelations of Sandusky's crimes, wouldn't it equally make sense that heterosexuals be forbidden to work with children? Other news stories in recent years have reported that female teachers have seduced vulnerable young male students, and that male teachers have seduced vulnerable young female students. If the sexual orientation of homosexuals is the cause of the crimes that homosexuals commit, why isn't the sexual orientation of heterosexuals the cause of the crimes that heterosexuals commit? And if that were not enough to show the ridiculousness of "chicagok's" assertion, let's also remember that a law banning homosexuals from access to children would have done nothing to prevent Sandusky, who by all accounts was a happily married, well-known heterosexual, from vicitmizing more children.

      November 14, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • stopthemadness

      chicagok, it's exactly the kind of ignorance you display about what a pedophile is that allows them to get close to our children in the first place. You're not part of the solution. You're part of the problem..

      November 14, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
  36. seriously

    As far as NCAA scandals go, this is as bad as it gets.

    It’s worse than the worst recruiting violation. It’s worse than free tattoos. It’s worse than top bowl officials skimming money off the top for themselves.

    This is about the alleged sexual abuse of children and the ensuing cover up by Penn State officials, which yes, includes Joe Paterno. He may not have broken the law, but he had a chance to expose a child rapist and he failed to do so. It was only five months ago when Jim Tressel was forced out at Ohio State because he kept his mouth shut about tattoos. Paterno kept his mouth shut about a child rapist. Which is worse?

    But Paterno is just a piece of this. After reading the grand jury report, it’s clear that if all the allegations are true, this is a systemic problem from top-to-bottom at The Pennsylvania State University. From a school president all the way down to a graduate assistant, Penn State allegedly covered up a crime that is right up there with murder.

    The bottomline: This is the worst of all NCAA scandals and it needs to be handled as such.

    November 14, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • stopthemadness

      But it's symptomatic of the type of coverups that have been happening in college sports for years. Yes, it's the worst one that has come out to date. But the history of covering up all flavors of indiscretions to protect "the program" has been rampant in college sports for a long time. This could have happened anywhere, and any program where any coverups of any kind have occurred need to take a long, hard look at themselves.

      November 14, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • Out of State Spectator

      your damn right. Everyone involved in that football program new what was going on. All should be fired. Penn State's football program needs to be given a year off. It's just too bad to see how much power football has at these universities. Money sure does talk. Just look at how powerful the NFL is.

      November 14, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
      • drny

        Why should the current football players at Penn State be punished (which is exactly what shutting down the program for a year would do)?

        November 14, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  37. HunterPSU

    I must admit I went through a similar emotional storm as the students...and I have been out for awhile. It is hard to give up on someone and someplace so quickly. My thoughts were like this.... JoePA ...no way could he not stop something like this...Give him a chance to explain himself. Maybe McQueary did not tell him what he saw....to OMG how could this have happened. even the scent of a child in jeopardy like this should have started a major intervention...When he got fired I was watching on TV and new a riot would happen. At that point I was still in the give JoePA a chance to at least explain himself. But by the next morning...I was there. No explanation will work. The victims were let down by McQueary, Joepa, and the administration. I finally got around to reading the grand jury indictment...I cannot imagine any of the current football staff coming back next year. McQueary needs to resign immediately. Apologies need to be made by all involved. The trustees did the right thing by getting rid of JoePA. The judge should never have let Sandusky out on bond.

    November 14, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • pdsusablb

      And NONE of the good folks at PSU would be addressing this even now if not for one brave little boy and the indictment. What happened to the original DA from first investigation? What's his take on this? The FBI better be all over this as we speak. Oh and btw stick a fork in it, PSU is done.

      November 14, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
      • Lisa

        The DA from the original investigation disappeared under very mysterious circumstances, and is presumed dead. His laptop was eventually found in a lake with the hard drive missing. Unfortunately, he is not available to say anything. This is one aspect of the story that isn't getting enough attention.

        November 14, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
      • Victoria

        the DA disappeared five years ago and was declared dead this past July

        November 14, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • jet312

      just throwing this out there. Does anyone remember the Duke Lacrosse scandal?? It wiped out the Lacrosse program and ruined the lives of the students that were accused. The point is just because someone , anyone says something doesn't necessarily make it true. This is still the United States and as far as i know there is still a legal presumption of innocence until proven guilty....

      November 14, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
  38. Susan

    All I can say is justice must be served so the next time maybe someone does the right thing like Call 911 !!!!!!!! How do these people sleep at night ?

    November 14, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • BOB

      BTW don't you think Mrs.Sandusky knew or wondered about all the sleep-overs by young boys especially in light of past accusations of sexual misconduct by authorities.. I'll bet she was aware that her husband had a sexual dysfunction but didn't act upon her suspicious for the same reason many women don't leave abusive marriages.

      November 14, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  39. shallow1234

    shallow people like this "professor" justifies the scorn that the serious people have about "communications" as a subject to study.

    November 14, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • TSIndiana

      Apparently you know shallow real well "shallow123". Troll much???

      Seems more and more journalism professionals should be taught how to accurately report issues in crisis situations than less.

      November 14, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  40. AMNPIZER123

    What movie is that image of the books tied with the belt and the green apple from? It looks so familiar but I cant place it.

    November 14, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  41. Logical Thinker

    Good, stimulating article. One subject for crisis communications would be the scandalous nature of college football programs. JoePa was elevated to Saint status with a bigger than life statue of him on campus. At least six adult males over 27 years old (no longer naive college students) turned a blind eye to child abuse in the Penn State locker room.

    Psychologists have done numerous studies that show domestic violence increases when a favorite team loses. This happens worldwide and does not discriminate among football, soccer, baseball, basketball, etc. These may be socially acceptable ways to vent hostility and control testosterone levels, but it also increases violence against women and children.

    More research needs to be done in understanding pedophile and dealing with its horrific atrocities. Home monitoring and rehabilitation methods produce dismal results. Perhaps horrific crimes such as rape and premeditated murder can only be mitigated with the death penalty to ensure it will never happen again. Life in prison typically results in reduced jail time and higher recidivism rates especially in states with overcrowded conditions. The safety and security of our law abiding citizens outweigh the freedoms of those who break the law.

    November 14, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
  42. Out of State Spectator

    The red headed idiot that did not stop the rape of a child and beat the shit out of this Sandusky character is beyond me. He was has much of a coward has the rest of them. The whole country is appalled!!

    November 14, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • Greg

      Paterno hired him and kept him on staff all these years; Patern's type of boy. Papa Joe doesn't like his boy's to squeal.

      November 14, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  43. JT

    This is an interesting take on things, Steve. I think SOME students would have still had strong reaction to Paterno's departure, regardless of the media spin. But you are correct – Penn State failed to take an immediate and strong stand which gave the media the upper hand. But clearly the rioting students are a VERY small percentage of the overall student population.

    What I don't understand is this – if several of the local papers reported on the grand jury investigation months ago, why weren't they prepared? They knew this was coming and had several months to prep for this PR nightmare. Granted, they didn't know exactly what the grand jury report would reveal, but they had some idea. I would imagine the campus would have been wildly buzzing about the accusations during that time period.

    (BTW, I was in your photojournalism class in 1998)

    November 14, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
  44. Marsha Bartenetti

    Finally. Thank you for your article – I have been talking the same points and was horrified that the focus was not on the children victimized by this sick guy – but rather on the "respectful" (???!!) coach with an illustrious career – and how sad it was he couldnt finish it out....PLEASE...the person everyone was "respecting" was a liar and a freak – so lets focus on the fact so many people blindly allowed themselves to honor a phony. We need to be accountable for falling for his ruse. Where is the accountability!!?? His career???? That this can matter when it was a big lie. shame on us. Shame on our society to have fallen so far. That integrity, character, honor – is so shallow – it is time for righteous fury over this – and think of the lives that have been destroyed by his actions and those around the perpetrator who did nothing as he continued to soul murder other victims. SHAME. Shame on us for even considering a stupid "career" over the life of an innocent victim. Stop the madness!

    November 14, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Chip

      And shame on you for continuing to divert the focus away from the children and th emonster who raped them.

      November 14, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • TSIndiana

      Chip, she clearly says in the last line that the focus should be on the victims, although she took the long way to get there.

      November 14, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  45. Derek

    All these idiots need to get a life outside of Football. Go do something good for someone else instead of sitting on your fat rear watching a bunch of overgrown kids play football.

    The mentality of most sports fans is typical of the behavior witnesses here.

    November 14, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
  46. Ray

    Looks like it's time to occupy Happy Valley. This child rapist was let out on bail the same day he was arrested by a judge who works at his charity. Also, this child rapist gets to spend thanksgiving with his family, watch football.....oh yea, he also lives right next to a grade school. Small town good ole boy network at it's finest. It's time to let Penn State and Happy Valley know that they are not above the law....and this is not alright!!!!!

    November 14, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
  47. JamesT

    Couple of things to keep in mind:

    1. Jerry Sandusky's original career aspiration was to become a priest.

    and

    2. Michael Jackson at one time contemplated becoming a football coach at Penn State.

    November 14, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
  48. ann

    I really don't think having the students wear blue at the football game is anything to applaud. It is a basic first step in the right direction, yes but there is way more to do here. Wearing blue is not enough to make up for what some students did.

    The rest of the year should involve fund raisers etc for young victims. Any student known to be involved in property destruction when they discovered Paterno was fired should be ordered to do community service perhaps if possible to assist children of abuse in some way and they should also have to work to pay restitution for the monetary damage done to any property.

    All students and faculty should go through some kind of sexual abuse awareness program. The instructors, administration, and coaches should have new code of ethics that clearly outlines what to do if they suspect or witness abuse and a clear outline of what will happen if they do not. This should definitely fill any loopholes that currently exist.

    November 14, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • ann

      Also the guy who witnessed the abuse and didn't follow up to see something was done and didn't report it to police shouldn't be the new coach.

      November 14, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
      • seriously

        no worries, ann, he's not the new coach...

        November 14, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • ann

      If it wasn't for the fact that there were more people who didn't know about the abuse then did, I'd almost be inclined to shutdown the entire football program for the rest of the year. However, that wouldn't be fair to the students and faculty who were not involved. It did almost feel crass to have a football game right afterward though. Blue shirts or not.

      November 14, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
      • JamesT

        All of college sports needs to be blown up and started over from the ground up using a zero $ baseline as a starting point. This goes double for the NCAA and all the other fellow travelers.

        November 14, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • Zen

      Why should sex abuse training be restricted to Penn State? Penn State is the current offender in not reporting a sex abuse crime, but The Citadel just brought to light a sex abuse case this weekend. The RAINN Foundation has reported a 33% increase in calls about sex abuse, nationally. This event has raised the consciousness about sex abuse nationally. It would be easy to stereotype central Pennsylvanians as the only place where sex abuse takes place, but sadly, I don't think this is the case. To say that all members of the Penn State community would have participated in the same crime of ommission, is to over generalize.

      November 14, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • ann

      @Zen I did not say they were all involved. If you see my follow up reply I clearly state that there were probably a lot more who were unaware of it. I specifically call out Penn State because that is what this article is about and this is where the recent scandal has occurred and this is where students damaged property etc. Yes, clearly this needs to be addressed at all campuses across the country too. However, that was not the topic of the article.

      November 14, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
      • Zen

        Ann, I agree that Penn State is the current focus of this debate, but your solution is a "fix the gate after the horse is out" solution. The culture at Penn State will clearly change as a result of this crime. If not, the university is finished. My comment was addressing the broader issue of child sexual abuse. If we only focus on the proximal problem area and not on the systemic problem, then we have learned nothing from this sordid crime. I would hope that you agree that we want to wipe out this crime from the face of the planet as opposed to central Pennsylvania. I also hope that you realize that many in the Penn State community have been hurt by the selfish acts of a few in the Penn State footbal program and higher administration. One can not condemn an entire group with the same broad strokes until you know for a fact that all would have acted in the same awful way.

        November 14, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
      • ann

        @Zen I am not condemning the larger group, I am saying that if you educate everyone then no one has an excuse going forward to say they didn't know what to do.

        November 14, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • ann

      @Zen and the reason I say all students and all instructors and coaches should have sexual abuse awareness training is because anyone could either be abused, witness abuse, etc and therefore it makes sense to educate across the board.

      November 14, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • Paul

      The student body of Penn State is responsible for the largest student philantropic fund raiser in the world. Please do a search on THON. They have raised close to 100 million dollars for childrens cancer research. They brave the cold and donate their time to beg for money on street corners throughout the year. Last year over 9 million dollars raised. So when you see them this year please be generous and let them know that you appreciate their efforts. They could really use it now.

      November 14, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • TSIndiana

      This is indicative of a larger social problem, and even a cancer of nihilism that is spreading in finance, courts and apparently the university. People of power in almost any walk of life are refusing to give honest services at an alarming rate, I've seen it in judges and now see it within the university establishment. I don't know the details of why it was not reported to police, but excuses hardly matter. We all have a duty to stop abuse like this, statutory or not.

      While I first thought it was a case of firing a whistleblower, making him the scapegoat, I now see a lack of integrity surrounding the Penn State Athletic and even to the Board of Directors. But it is not confined there...this attitude of having discression concerning criminal acts (to report them to "authority" or not), is widespread in the higher levels of the US oligarchy. They are protecting their own from accounting truthfully for wrongdoing.

      November 14, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • Another Paul

      You people have no clue. You say they should spend the rest of the year raising money for Children. THEY ALREADY DO THAT. They raised 10 million already for THON this year, they spend hours and hours on city streets canning. Their first step was not wearing blue at the game but the night before when they held a vigil with over 10k students for the children. Before villifying people, maybe you should know what you are talking about first.

      November 14, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • ann

      @Another Paul I guess I didn't specify enough. I am referring to the students that publicly trashed news vans etc. Those students should be made to pay recompense for their actions and the emotional scarring they probably laid on top of what the victims already endured. They should be raising money for the sexually abused and or doing whatever they can to help them. Students who have done no wrong are not what I was referring to here. Although like I said, an educational awareness course for everyone wouldn't hurt. Particularly coaches/instructors/administrators and the like.

      November 14, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  49. Nora

    The whole point this articles seems to be that "oh don't blame Penn State for what happened, just shift your focus to the victims"! Yes the victims need help, OK understood, but those who let this happen need to be held accountable RIGHT NOW! You want Paterno to finish his illustrious career! what BS! I am appalled that this is coming from a university professor! Paterno seems to be an utterly incapable leader. he could have saved several lives from being completely distroyed but chose to keep making his millions and did absolutely nothing!!! I wonder what your reaction would have been had it been your kid that Sandusky lay his hands upon. You wanted to cut Sandusky and everyone who DID NOTHING into little pieces!

    November 14, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • Jim

      What article did you read? Wow.

      November 14, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
  50. Ogre

    You not fire football man! Football man good because he football! Who care kids! Football!!!

    November 14, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
  51. Extreme

    I know that it is easier for the media to paint PSU students as cult followers who protest when because their football program is threatened. However, I wish they would report more about the hundreds of thousands of dollars raised by the students, alumni, and professors, to support the VICTIMS and who do NOT agree with the actions that have taken place at the university.

    November 14, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
    • Greg

      Those same people you talk about raised money for Sandusky; too, after Paterno got two reports of children getting raped. Sandusky got an award for his work with kids; while, many like Paterno knew what else he did with kids.

      November 14, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
      • Extreme

        Where are you getting your facts from or are you just making assumptions?

        November 14, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • Captain America

      I am sorry to tell you that I appreciate your thoughts for the victims, however one must realize that something has been taken from these boys that cannot, for any good wishes or money, be returned to them. The deed is done and cannot be changed. I would urge all to look at themselves and as a society, to see how they have enabled this sort of thing. The focus should be a solemn oath by everyone that this cannot be tolerated. I firmly believe that these people cannot change and therefore never be turned loose on society. Our values need re-examining.

      November 14, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  52. bob

    the media needs to stop calling it "alleged child molestation" and start calling it serial child rape since that's what it was.

    November 14, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • FlyGuyInSJ

      They have to call it that, Bob. If they don't, his lawyers could seize on that as potentially biasing the pool of jurors, at least. If the prosecution were to call it anything other than alleged, it would be even worse.

      I'm as certain of his guilt as you are, but to make sure he goes to prison for a long, long time (the rest of his life, I hope), the media and the prosecution have to call it alleged until the jury returns a verdict of guilty.

      November 14, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
      • Patricia

        Totally factual and 210% on point.

        November 14, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
      • KD

        OK, this kind of things gets me riled up. Media personnel and others often do not use the right terminology when referring to events that have occured. You'll hear referrals to the alleged incident. What should be stated are facts: children were raped, allegedly by Sandusky. That is what is legally defensible. Referring to the incidents (as approved by the Grand Jury) as alleged child sexual abuse is clearly wrong. This leads people to believe that these inicidents may not have happened. A Grand Jury has assessed the evidence presented to them and concluded that a child was raped – the only alleged part of this whole story is that Sandusky did it (and this stands until he is convicted or acquitted).

        November 14, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  53. appalled

    How could a 28 year old man happen upon a rape and not jump in? oops – he didn't want to make his boss mad? he didn't want to get fired? he didn't want to loose his pay?

    November 14, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • bob

      He's obviously guilty of accessory to child rape for not reporting it but apparently that's legal in PA.

      November 14, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
      • Victoria

        I agree, but I think it may be illegal if only because he works for a federally funded institution. The feds are investigating whether or not PSU followed gov regulations in regards to reporting suspected child abuse. If they find that they did not PS
        U will likely lose all federal funding, financial aid and everyone will be brought up on federal charges... So, if its not illegal in the state, the feds'll get em

        November 14, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • in agreement

      i could not agree more! the thought of walking in on such a terrible event and walking away without any action is beyond me! i would rather have gone to jail for assaulting the rapist than biting my tongue or hiding the truth!

      November 14, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • KTBean

      To those of you who keep saying you don't understand how McQueary didn't act (a question rightfully on everyone's minds these days), read this op-ed piece. The PSU case is far from the only case where a human didn't intervene whey they could have or should have. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/whats-scarier-the-slaying-or-the-bystanders-who-heard-and-did-nothing/2011/10/31/gIQA9y2tZM_story.html

      Are you sickened reading this and thinking of two Apple employees listening to someone getting beaten to death while a security guard sat 100 feet away? How could they have heard what they did (and video surveillance shows them with ears against the wall listening for several minutes) and not have called 911 or told the security guard who was right there? A girl was brutally murdered because no one helped her! And if you are sickened and saddened reading this, tell me if you are going to toss your iPhone or iPad because Apple hired people who didn't live up to expectations and do the right thing when they should have. Are you also going to judge all Apple employees as morally bankrupt and selfish and idiots? Probably not. So please, please stop blaming the whole PSU community, past & present, because of the heinous acts of one and the incomprehensible inactions of 6 more.

      November 14, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
      • ecs72000

        Thank you for an excellent article, which was written shortly before the Penn State scandal interestingly.
        To all the sanctimonious people out there saying, I would do this or I wouldn't do that, I say BS. You don't know what you would do. We all HOPE we would step up to the plate. We all WISH our leaders would have the courage to do the right thing. But we are human. Not perfect. That's not an excuse, just fact.
        I hope that the lesson we learn here is to pay more attention, to take the moral high road no matter the cost. What I wish we would also learn is to not condemn others in a round-up mentality, i.e. all Muslims are terrorists, all Japanese-Americans are the enemy (WWII), all Jews should be annihilated (Hitler), all Blacks are sub-human, all PSU affiliates are enablers. But we are human, so I'm afraid that's too much to ask.

        November 14, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  54. Judy

    It is my understanding that there is no known cure for pedifiles and that they use every tangible and intangible tool known to man to lure their victims. I think that this situation was a combination of men protecting other men and the "good old boy" mentality that we all have seen time and time again. These victims, unfortunately, have endured mental and physical, human torture that will haunt them the rest of their lives. I will pray for them until I die. The death penalty twice over for this deranged idiot is not good enough.

    November 14, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
  55. aj

    the image I will remember most is that of the students gathered in front of Paterno's house, cheering him with their support, and he, in turn, participating in the cheers. The legend indeed! With Paterno's power and influence, Sandusky would have long since been in jail and countless children saved if "Joe Pa" had acted. Oh, and the witness to the rape gets to be a Penn State coach. We need a new college bowl – the Toilet Bowl and Penn State should definitely be invited. Of course they need a new name – how about the Penn State Pigs?

    November 14, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • stacey

      What good could it possibly do to punish the students on the current team? They had nothing to do with this because it happened years ago. They deserved to play on Saturday and it frankly, helped the whole community unite and focus on the children that were harmed as a community.

      November 14, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
  56. MH

    As a former journalist, PR manager (and as a father to 2 children), I find your opinion good on a tactical level, but missing something by a much larger dimension. Effective communication should never rise above personal responsibility as a moral reaction. Apparently several experienced University officials failed to take responsibility and act, and victims suffered abuse over several years. It would have taken a few hours to report this to responsible authorities, but now, the damage done will last a decade or more, affecting the victims, their families, professors, staff and students.

    November 14, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • Patricia

      It's the Catholic Church model.

      November 14, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
  57. Faithful alumnae

    Not only was this a terrible tragedy for the victims, it was a PR nightmare for Penn State. As someone who has lived through a PR crisis or two, the University did a terrible job. Even with very little information, the University could have immediately expressed concern for the victims and a pledge to investigate. Instead, they allowed the crisis to manage them. We may learn, now that Paterno has his own attorney and PR counsel, his side in this matter. This issue was a about administrators who did not do their jobs and allowed a non-employee access to University property. Going forward, where the students will lead us now, the University needs to make sure that all employees are trained to handle suspected abuse and that those in authority have the courage to seek the truth, involving the proper external authorities. Much more needs to be done to right this ship gone wrong. We saw a glimmer of hope Saturday that this sad revelation will result in better practices in the future.

    November 14, 2011 at 11:50 am |
  58. plasmoid

    Luckily I don't care about football or "we are penn state," so this is a simple matter of a serial child rapist let out on bail to return to his home behind the elementary school. It's as corrupt as it gets.

    November 14, 2011 at 11:46 am |
    • Pam

      Right on -

      November 14, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
    • SJ Beach Girl

      And don't forget the judge who volunteered for the Sandusky charity and set a low bail...... jeez! The whole thing is all about the Rep & $$$$$!

      November 14, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
  59. Greg

    Give a sham; wear blue to the game to make a small act of attrition. Penn State home colors are blue, anyway. Go team! Time to tailgate. Don't analyze the conspiracy of silence the brought shame by letting the abuse continue because that would make our football idol look bad. Give some t- shirt money to another pedophile because the last one the team did benefits and gave awards to got caught.

    November 14, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • Captain America

      IMO the "Right thing to do" would be to shut down the entire football program at PS for five years.. Supposing this would be supported by alums and everyone else, it would send a message to all that you really are thinking about the victims. It will not heal anyone, but it would show true support and understanding. And before I am crucified her, let me point out that football players are free to attend other U's.

      November 14, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  60. seriously

    the image that will forever enter my mind when i hear penn state is the students rioting for somebody about the rape and did not do anything about it.

    November 14, 2011 at 11:34 am |
  61. RDH

    Only thing was, it wasn't about the victims. Did students riot over the fact that kids were raped? No, they rioted because their favorite coach was fired.

    November 14, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • Pam

      Remember, too, that these were "throw away" kids (forgive me) ... from the lowest economic stratum. It reminds me of how young girls "from the wrong side of the tracks" have historically been targets for sexual abuse. Power and money win!

      November 14, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
  62. Ciaobabie1

    I wondered how Sandusky could have been allowed out on bail. If someone so exposed continued to repeat his criminal behavior, he is out of control and a threat to society and himself. Now it turns out the judge who permitted this is connected to him and his charity? How deep and far-spread is the cronyism in Pennsylvania and how long will it continue to disgust and threaten us all? We need to teach our children that loyalty to morality and the greater good trumps loyalty to individuals.

    November 14, 2011 at 11:29 am |
  63. Jon Chinn

    Nothing at all about the cult of the coach. Wow. This is analysis?

    November 14, 2011 at 11:27 am |
  64. seriously

    Why should Paterno be afforded that graceful dignified exit that you said he deserved when he did not afford that to the children that he chose to ignore?

    November 14, 2011 at 11:17 am |
    • Old Sailor

      Where did he say that an exit with dignity was deserved. He didn't.

      November 14, 2011 at 11:30 am |
      • seriously

        when paterno said that he would saved the board of trustees the decision on how to handle his exit. he said he would just retire at the end of the season. Paterno still wants to dictate how things should be handled. and the board has the balls to say enough is enough and fired him the next day.

        November 14, 2011 at 11:38 am |
    • MomOf3

      "The silence by the university in the wake of the scandal contributed to the message that this was about a legendary coach not being permitted to finish a long and illustrious career with dignity, instead of about the young victims."

      I think the author was making a statement about how the University, by remaining silent about the incident for 7 days, reinforced the idea that the coach should be allowed to make a dignified retirement.

      November 14, 2011 at 11:52 am |
  65. Archibald

    Well that article pretty much told me absolutely nothing, other than the people at PSU live in a fantasy world and the school should have tried spinning the story better. Good to know.

    November 14, 2011 at 11:12 am |
  66. Ruti

    Finally, the voice of reason. It is about the victims. I believe that the University knew of the situation. They were worried about the money. Follow the money and follow the truth.

    November 14, 2011 at 11:04 am |
  67. Kerry

    It was a good lesson on how NOT to handle a situation with this kind of sensitivity. It might have been wiser to have emphasized the victims from the on-start so that the students could easily see the priority. They are at an age where how something affects them is their primary concern and must be taught otherwise.

    November 14, 2011 at 10:49 am |
  68. seriously

    use this as a teachable moment to your students. That admiring an idol is one thing. But Worshiping someone who ultimately fail to do the basic humane thing to do when face with a horrific situation what you should do. Ask your students this, if it was your mother, sister, brother, friend who was rape. are you satisfied on how Paterno handle the situation? by following the chain of command instead of using his power, reputation, credibility in standing up saving the boy from a rapist???

    November 14, 2011 at 10:49 am |
  69. EM

    Had Mr Paterno focused on the victim, he would still be coach. More importantly there would be fewer victims.

    November 14, 2011 at 10:47 am |
  70. seriously

    here's what i have a problem with your opinion. The reason why media and people like me are outraged and focused the blame on Paterno because like you said he's the man of honor and integrity. He's like a father and mentor to everybody and when he knew about the rape he did nothing. NOTHING. We are THINKING about the victims. We are thinking how it would have been avoided if he has an ounce of dignity left in his body to stand up and do something to sandusky! Like I don't know.... call the AUTHORITIES!. If sandusky rape a young boy at Mc Donalds and Paterno did not know about it then fine. Let him keep his job. But what it pains the victim and the people that it could have been PREVENTED!.

    November 14, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • want2believe

      Here is why i have a problem with your opinion. If you feel he did NOTHING you should educate yourself about the situation. When told of the crime he informed his supervisors as required by law. One of which oversaw campus police, which has equal authority to the municipality police. Because the face of the university happened to be the middle-man, he should not be crucified when all the facts of the situation are not yet known. If found to have covered up or inhibited an investigation Paterno will get what he deserves. But in opposition to your opinion, because of his reputation I will give him the benefit of the doubt because what he did at the time should have been enough. Countless people failed those children, primarily Paterno's superiors that had the legal obligation to do more and choose not to. And despite what many ppl will think, I am not a Penn State fan.

      November 14, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
      • seriously

        unbelievable. Joe Paterno is not a middle man face of the University. You must be living in a rock not to know how powerful and influential he is. Joe Paterno is Penn State. Joe Paterno is the institution. Joe paterno is the Law. Joe Paterno built Penn state for what it is now. By merely reporting to his boss is not his only job. As a moral decent human being. You have information of sexual acts and Sandusky was seen in the gym of Penn State working out as early as 2 weeks before he was charge. And you're telling me he did everything in his power to do what is right and required of him as an educator and human being? you are naive or simply gullible. here read it and understand it. cbschicago.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/sandusky-grand-jury-presentment.pdf

        November 14, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • Kevin

      Seriously you are as ignorant as the head of a Lynch Mob. Joe Paterno is influential but no matter what your tiny little ignorant mind may think. He is NOT more influential than the HR department and company policy. You must have came from under a rock or you are just totally ignorant about life. Your tiny little mind cannot comprehend the "Business Model" that schools and companies use. HR does not reveal to anyone what goes on in the company related to another employee unless it is the President of the company. And further more, who's to say it wasn't Coach Paterno that told them not to invite him back as a Coach in 2002. Maybe Coach Paterno didn't like the answer they gave him. You are part of the reason I am so disgusted with this country. Ignorant people lynching an innocent man. Like someone else said, where the hell was McDuphas when the kids needed him. It's just like Astrology. The Gravity of the Moon has more influence on our bodies than any of the planets surrounding the Sun. McDuphas had more influence on justice than Coach Paterno getting it second hand news a day late and a dollar short.

      Even the other victims stuck up for Coach Paterno.

      November 15, 2011 at 3:12 am |
  71. Jewel

    Thank you for that report. It is good to hear that the focus is where it should be: the victims. Let's hope these students can turn this tragedy around and make an impact in the world by putting children first instead of protecting one's image.

    November 14, 2011 at 10:40 am |
  72. pdsusablb

    Why yes, controlling the narrative is the most important thing here. That's the lesson. Next time PSU should control the narrative more, and their supposedly brilliant students might not engage in the most despicaple reaction possible to a similar situation. Fact is many mothers, fathers, similar victims, and yes students, feel PSU itself should not be given the privilege of surviving this event. Maybe if top PSU brass (some of who knew of all this long ago) had 'spun differently', this would have been better? Will any of us ever allow our children to attend there, ever? Will any of us ever hear that college name and not instantly recoil? Not my kids. Not likely...

    November 14, 2011 at 9:37 am |
    • ecs72000

      Talk about thinking with your heart and not your brain! Why is America condemning 40,000 students, alum, professors and administrators for the acts of a few? It disgusts me how narrow minded a country we are.

      November 14, 2011 at 11:46 am |
    • Devils Advocate

      Just playing devils' advocate – Bad things happen at many different schools around the country. For instance, there was a shooting at Virginia Tech in 2007 – Would you send your kids there? When you think of Virginia Tech, do you think "Oh, my kids are unsafe here." Almost every school has something bad that has happened, and Penn State is no exception.

      Yes, this happened and those involved should be punished – I don't think anyone would argue that. But, there's so much more that Penn State is comprised of and frankly Penn State isn't defined by this. Unfortunately, yes, they are connected with it, but the education a student receives from Penn State is still very highly valued. Did a small percentage of students react irrationally? yes, but they did the same when they beat Ohio State in 2008 and its really hard to comprehend that someone you admire so dearly (JoePa) could have been involved.

      This story may follow Penn Staters for years to come, but I don't think it defines the school or the quality of education. When your kids become teenagers, you'll realize that they'll have irrational reactions to some things you say as well.

      November 14, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • MomOf3

      Why would you let the actions of a few taint an entire school? Granted, those actions were the worst actions imaginable, but the victims would not just number in the teens (the assault victims), but in the thousands, as you rampage and close down a school that has contributed more to society than a pedophile, and a few people that 'looked the other way'.

      As more comes to light on the actions, and how far-reaching it may be, I think that more people will be named and fired. In essence, you are cleaning up a problem that needed to cleaned up a long time ago.

      I'm not trying to belittle the victims, I have three children of my own, but I also think that to blame the innocent in a sweeping gesture is almost as wrong as the initial actions...almost!

      November 14, 2011 at 11:59 am |
      • pdsusablb

        To all 3 commenters above: These heinous events share no similarities at all with the VTech murderer. If nobody at all knew of Sandusky's actions then yes you'd have a small point. But many high levels of "the institution" knew what was happening. Fact is "the institution" is a meaningless phrase...like every college, actual directors and administrators ARE the institution, and these folks did nothing. And without a damn indictment would still be doing nothing. 40,000 kids and faculty won't just die off if the school closes, they'll be perfectly successful at other, more reputable schools. And there are countless other worthy charities and foundations out there that folks could join. Nobody needs to miss a beat. It's because of the "institutional"enablers and coverup that many more kids were raped, and that the PSU name and "brand" are now unrecoverably destroyed.

        November 14, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
      • Kevin

        Hi MomOf3. I have an answer for you. Because this country is made up of Lynch Mob Mentality. The Victims will get their justice when Sandcrap goes to jail for life. Coach Paterno will not get any justice. There is NO "Due Process" for him because he is and was innocent. I've said it several times. I'm an Ohio State Buckeye but I STILL admire Coach Paterno and seriously do not believe he would ever cover something like this up. He has been as honarable throught this whole travistry of justice as Jesus as they were nailing him to the cross.

        I will not stop until there is 100% justice for all the victims. I don't know what you think but I know what the majority of this country thinks but Coach Paterno is just as much a victim as the kids who were raped. As one person mentioned, that one time it was at least a day after the incident happened. Who's to say just that one time, the time Coach Paterno was notified a day later and took it to his bosses that one time may not have been true. Until they find that one boy who was part of the time Coach Paterno was notifed it may have just been McDuphis lying so he could get Sandcraps job.

        November 15, 2011 at 3:02 am |
    • Warranted92

      Typical PSU analysis of trying to soften this despicable, heinous and evil act of CHILD RAPE..The football program at PSU should be suspended and everyone involved in the coverup should be prosecuted, bancrupted and jailed, irregardless of current Pa law...This was not a failure of a "moral obligation" it is a CRIME!
      PSU has long cultivated this narrow worship of Football and Joe Paterno..Time to take down the Statue folks and go back to functioning as a University = Academics! And the students will learn that there is accountablity for bad behavior in the real world outside of Happy Valley while they are there!!..And rearrest Sandusky and replace the judge who worked with him!-No more excuses please!

      November 14, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
      • SD,CA

        Sad, maddening and frighting, that there is even discussion about PR, narrative, etc. There was only ONE correct way for the University to have handled this from beginning to end period. No adolescent, flaccid rationalizations. Seems surreal to have to point this out to "adults".

        November 14, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
      • Kevin

        You are the same ignorant type of person that would drop a Nuclear bomb on Iran to kill their. Sure millions of innocent people would die but at least we got the one or two bad guys.

        LYNCH MOB MENTALITY. That is what this country has became. This is just like the movie back in the 30's where the Procecutors name was Andy Griffith. They convicted a Northerner because he was from up North. They manipulated witnesses into lying to convict the guy when the girl actually fell down the elevator shaft because the elevator malfunctioned. In the End the Governer of the state commuted the sentence but the Police and a Lynch Mob stormed the train, took the guy off the train and hung him.

        That is what this great country has become. This nation is more disgusting than a pig slopping in his own crap. I have always been proud to be an American but I am more disgusted with this country than I have ever been in my life. Since I was 7 I have been saying I would run for President. Back then I called the fall of the Soviet Union. Everyone thought I was nuts but I was right. I'm not sure if I want to save this country. I am going to take my "Country Saving" ideas to a country that can appreciate it. I can't wait to move to Hungary. Mark my words people. When Hungary turns around and becomes a wealth nation. It was an American who did it.

        November 15, 2011 at 2:51 am |
    • Olivia

      Altogether the Penn State University population comprises more than 100K people and about 90% are students. Some where it was reported that in the riots after the firing of "JoePA" there were about 3K to 5K students (a very small fraction by all standards). Even only a few hundreds of those present in the "protest" were the most violent and caused all the damage. As anybody can see - except for pdsusablb and a few others– crearly most students reacted with much more moral maturity than those few who were "protesting.." In other words, 19 out of 20 students were NOT involved in the "protest" independent of whether they would support or not the firing decision. So, to try to blame the whole PSU community for the stupid reaction of few is by all measures an insult to intelligence.

      November 14, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • Patricia

      Controlling the narrative? Kiss my grits. A crime was commited. Even worse, the victim was a child.
      The "narrative" is to immediately call the police and report what you saw and when you saw it . The
      person to whom you related it also had a legal obligation to do the same and corroborate the original
      witness. This is about criminal jurisprudence....not sports, or university tradition, or any of the other
      baloney being put out for public consumption. It's about a crime with very real victims who will
      continue to suffer for the rest of their lives.

      November 14, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
      • SJ Beach Girl

        Spot on, sister! Keep singing that song! We've got to put a light on it and expose the whole thing, the bad and the really ugly. If it were any of their children (Paterno, Sandusky, Spanier, et al) or grand children, they would be howling! Disadvantaged children don't deserve anything less. The victims were sacrificed al the altar of a "storied football program" the reputation of a 'fine institution," which of course translates into money, mulah, greenbacks. Disgusting!

        November 14, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
      • SD,CA

        You said it.

        November 14, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
      • Kevin

        You are correct but some of the peole responding to your post are ignorant. Does anyone honestly belive Coach Paterno would cover up a crime like this? California Ho, it wasn't coach paterno that covered it up, he reported it. But if I'm not mistaken it was at least a day later before the chicken piece of frap that caught the pedaphile told anyone. Nothing against Purdue but Penn State should change their name to the Boiler Makers, because Coach Paterno got Railroaded. Even the victims said they felt bad about the Coach and didn't feel he was any part of the problem or cover up.

        Take your rope out of the tree and quit hanging an innocent man why a child rapist goes under the radar.

        November 15, 2011 at 2:43 am |
    • Devils Advocate

      One more point that i think people are missing.. To Olivia's point above – only a fraction reacted negatively – it was estimated about 2,000 students. And, 2 days later, 5 times that many (more than 10,000) gathered for a candlelight vigil in honor of the victims. Those were Penn State students, faculty, alumni and community members. I think there's something to be said for that.

      Also, to say that "directors and administrators ARE the institution" is quite a statement.. there are 92,000 students who graduate each year with a PSU degree – I think that far succeeds the 5-7 people who work for the school that may have known about this. Plus, with the 10,000 people who gathered, you're talking about 2000x the amount of people gathering in honor of the victims, not mourning the "loss" to the university.

      November 14, 2011 at 1:46 pm |