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Author Topic: Let's talk about Joe Paterno.  (Read 9730 times)
Nicol
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« Reply #40 on: January 24, 2012, 05:25 am »

Are there any other people registered at DM that feel that Joe Paterno is innocent and does not deserve the backlash that occured? Speak up.
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« Reply #41 on: January 24, 2012, 05:59 am »

I thought he was ok.
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jimbob
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« Reply #42 on: January 24, 2012, 06:10 am »

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« Reply #43 on: January 24, 2012, 08:29 am »

The thing you have to realize about Joe Paterno is that anyone associated with Penn State will worship his name until He rises again.
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Johnny Roastbeef
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« Reply #44 on: January 24, 2012, 05:29 pm »

If at the end of the day, they're able to show that Paterno could reasonably have been expected to know that this dude was a serial child molester using his position at Penn State to bring in additional children and groom them for abuse, then I will gladly eat crow and crucify him with the rest of you.  But I've seen and heard enough about Paterno's character, having been a Penn Stater, that I'm willing to believe that he was a good dude who didn't realize the seriousness of the situation and I'm willing to give it a little time to play out before I leap to judgment.

He didn't realize a grown man raping a child was a serious situation? That's the sort of thing I'd go straight to the real police about, regardless of whether I thought they'd do it again. You don't get a fucking mulligan when it comes to that.

If you're not going to read what I say, what's the point of discussing it?

The university police is REAL police at Penn State.  They investigate REAL crimes.  They are the police force for the town of University Park, PA, which is a town that encompasses the campus of 40,000 students.  They have an actual US Mail office with actual mail men.  It is a college campus that is also it's own municipal entity managed by the university. When assaults, burglary, rape or any other crimes occur in the town of University Park (i.e. on the campus), the University Police are the government agency that investigates it.  They are an armed police force.  The University Police have 46 armed officers.  What you guys seem to think are the real police in the neighboring town of State College have 65.  We're not talking about an office of 6 rent-a-cops with public-safety badges and some student volunteers.  While it may have been a little strange to go to the University Administrator who manages the police department instead of calling the Crime Hotline, it is not negligent to report the crime to them instead of the State College Police.
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« Reply #45 on: January 24, 2012, 06:02 pm »

When you say the University manages the police department, what do you mean by that? Are they completely in charge of them?
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Johnny Roastbeef
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« Reply #46 on: January 24, 2012, 06:15 pm »

I honestly don't know.  It looks like that's the case.  On this Org chart, the director of police answers to Gary Schultz, the dude that Joe Paterno referred McQueary to.  Schultz was definitely employed by the University, so yes, it looks like at some level the university was the ultimate authority in charge of that police department.

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« Reply #47 on: January 24, 2012, 06:39 pm »

I thought police were employed by states, not colleges.
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HyperGlavin
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« Reply #48 on: January 24, 2012, 06:43 pm »

Maybe it's a libertarian municipality.
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Benny B
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« Reply #49 on: January 24, 2012, 06:43 pm »

So the people he trusted to report it were the people who would look bad if they did? The people who quite conceivably could just ignore it and hope no one brings it up ever again?

Aside from the fact that that system is fundamentally fucked up, I still think that he didn't do enough, to the point of criminality. An adult should be able to look at that situation and know that just passing it up the chain isn't enough, and that there are consequences for thinking that's all he needed to do.

An adult should also know that being told it was handled by the very people who would/could lie about that sort of thing should not suffice as evidence of an adequate investigation. You don't just pass it along, dust off your hands, and assume that everything will work out just fine. If you do, even if you honestly think everything was fine, at best you're criminally negligent, and could quite easily be considered human dogshit by people.
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« Reply #50 on: January 24, 2012, 07:11 pm »

So the people he trusted to report it were the people who would look bad if they did? The people who quite conceivably could just ignore it and hope no one brings it up ever again?

Why would those guys look bad for bringing a terrible pedophile to justice?
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« Reply #51 on: January 24, 2012, 07:35 pm »

Attempting to bring him to justice, thereby dragging the school name, and the names of any venerated coaches through the mud.

Their gambit was that they could avoid any hassle by simply not reporting it to, apparently, themselves. An easier ploy to attempt when you run the organization that would theoretically be investigating you.
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Benny B
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« Reply #52 on: January 24, 2012, 07:51 pm »

When people have a fervent dedication to a particular organization-- when their pride, their livelihood, and their collective lore are threatened, it becomes much easier for them to rationalize terrible shit. Particularly when they think they can get away with it.

You criticized people for demonizing Paterno before knowing all the facts. Do you think all the fans knew the facts before they so vehemently defended him? Do you think they would care even if they did know? If the fan reaction was that strong, what do you think someone actively involved in the university would do? You certainly don't EXPECT them to handle it rationally, so when you hear about something like this and your reaction is to let them deal with it themselves and not tell anyone else, you are either incomprehensibly stupid or actively aiding them.

If the community is what really matters, you don't just let them slide.
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« Reply #53 on: January 26, 2012, 03:27 pm »

It makes even more sense when you considering the historical context this was just two months after the Catholic Church abuse scandal in Boston came to light. Seeing the damage that did to the church, it's not hard at all (although more than a little stomach-churning) to see how those guys could rationalize what they did.

And it makes Joe Paterno's last interview seem even more questionable, specifically his excuse as to why he didn't do more to follow through: "I never heard of, of, rape and a man".

But here's the real money quote:

Quote
I didnt know exactly how to handle it and I was afraid to do something that might jeopardize what the university procedure was, he said. So I backed away and turned it over to some other people, people I thought would have a little more expertise than I did. It didnt work out that way.

That's basically Joe Paterno, in his own words, backing up exactly what you're saying. "I was afraid to do something that might jeopardize what the university procedure was".
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Honest Abe
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« Reply #54 on: January 26, 2012, 03:37 pm »

If at the end of the day, they're able to show that Paterno could reasonably have been expected to know that this dude was a serial child molester using his position at Penn State to bring in additional children and groom them for abuse, then I will gladly eat crow and crucify him with the rest of you.  But I've seen and heard enough about Paterno's character, having been a Penn Stater, that I'm willing to believe that he was a good dude who didn't realize the seriousness of the situation and I'm willing to give it a little time to play out before I leap to judgment.

He didn't realize a grown man raping a child was a serious situation? That's the sort of thing I'd go straight to the real police about, regardless of whether I thought they'd do it again. You don't get a fucking mulligan when it comes to that.

If you're not going to read what I say, what's the point of discussing it?


he just means real po-lice:

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Johnny Roastbeef
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« Reply #55 on: January 26, 2012, 04:49 pm »

Quote
I didnt know exactly how to handle it and I was afraid to do something that might jeopardize what the university procedure was, he said. So I backed away and turned it over to some other people, people I thought would have a little more expertise than I did. It didnt work out that way.

That's basically Joe Paterno, in his own words, backing up exactly what you're saying. "I was afraid to do something that might jeopardize what the university procedure was".

And see, this is actually one of the real takeaways from this whole thing to me.  There's no doubt that the Penn State (and indeed, the Catholic Church) situations were in part due to the culture.  To me, though, saying "Paterno is a monster" or "Some bishop is a monster" is actually selling short the rest of the circumstances that led to the tragedy.  Not in ameliorating the failures of those involved to protect the children, but in failing to recognize the role played by the existence of these cultures. 

It's horribly naive to believe that Penn State and the Catholic Church are the only places where these kind of cultures exist.  To assume that Paterno and the priests are just horrible monsters who don't care about kids is to miss the lesson we can learn to prevent history from repeating ourselves.  To give them the benefit of the doubt, to assume that they meant to do the right thing and to look at the ways that the culture and misplaced trust contributed to the failing, is in my opinion the only way that you're ever going to see how to break down the formation of an insular culture and keep kids from getting hurt.
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Driscoll
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« Reply #56 on: January 26, 2012, 05:43 pm »

So?
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Benny B
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« Reply #57 on: January 26, 2012, 06:33 pm »

You're only giving him the benefit of the doubt because of that culture. The culture that assumes being active in the community precludes him from any wrongdoing. Never mind the fact that the way he handled it, even while assuming he "meant to do the right thing" is still criminally reprehensible, unconscionably negligent, and ethically deplorable.

And breaking down these insular cultures is not mutually exclusive with holding their heroes responsible. In fact, obliterating the cult-level worship of their powerful members by punishing them individually when they fuck up is exactly how you do it.

Irreproachable members will keep doing terrible things until they're no longer irreproachable. By exposing and punishing a revered figure's terrible behavior you keep those pedestals from being erected again. You keep everyone accountable. You make sure everyone knows that no one is above the law, or above the judgement of the public eye, when they abide, passively or actively, the wrongdoing of their fellow members.
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Bettytron
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« Reply #58 on: January 26, 2012, 06:52 pm »

**We interrupt this forum thread to bring you some brilliantly executed satire**

http://www.theonion.com/articles/jerry-sandusky-ill-never-forget-all-the-things-joe,27169/

**We now return you to your previously scheduled discussion**
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Citizen Snips
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« Reply #59 on: July 12, 2012, 09:10 am »

The Special Investigative Counsel report was released today

"Taking into account the available witness statements and evidence, the Special Investigative Counsel finds that it is more reasonable to conclude that, in order to avoid the consequences of bad publicity, the most powerful leaders at the University -- Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley -- repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky's child abuse from the authorities, the University's Board of Trustees, the Penn State community, and the public at large."
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