What was Joe Paterno’s Responsibility?

My husband and I have been discussing this case and for once we can’t agree, or we agree to disagree a bit about the responsibility issue. We both are horrified at the thought of such incomprehensible actions by anyone against children.

I feel that PSU had no choice but to fire Joe Paterno, to clean house to try to distance themselves from this whole horrible scandal. They wanted to save the reputation of the school anyway it had to be done. While, I understand both sides, my sympathy is first and foremost for the children and families of the abuse, I do see Joe Pa’s predicament, too.  Is it fair to expect Joe to have done more then what were written instructions in this “politically correct” world? He did go to the HR people and his superiors. They said they had it covered. The witness supposedly did not give Joe all the gory details, so he was working on supposition and hear-say.

My husband wonders if he went to the police with the allegation (he did not know it was 100% true) might he have brought unwanted attention to the University and have gotten fired in that case, too, especially if the allegations weren’t true (or so the University could say!)? So, could Joe really win in any way, shape or form? I don’t think so.  You must be careful in this current environment of political correctness about making waves, of doing what is beyond your duty, so there may be a fine line here. Popular opinion wanted him to do more, the law might say he should have, but if it was discovered to be untrue he could have been sued by Sandusky, the University and God knows who else.

I think no matter what, his moral compass should have motivated him to do more to protect the children, but was it really his duty or responsibility? I just don’t know. I think he is being made the sacrificial lamb, but perhaps that is the price you pay sometimes in such horrific situations. Not just the guilty pay!

Supposedly, the on Campus police “looked into” the allegations and found no grounds to go further. So what could Joe have done? I think his legal people, (he probably should get legal advice), could use that fact for his defense in the court of public opinion and or/law.

My worries are that the more I hear of the case, and I can’t get away from it for I’m a news junkie, listening to talk radio and FOX news TV that there will be more and more uncovered, perhaps there is plenty of guilt to go around.

What I don’t understand is if Joe Paterno was fired, why not Mike McQueary who actually saw the horrible shower incident of said 10-yr. old child. Mike McQueary told the grand jury that he had seen the incomprehensible actions of Sandusky and passed it on to JoePa. Perhaps he should have gone to the police then and there himself. Yet only Paterno has been targeted with not reporting the obscene actions of Sandusky to federal police, though it is something that McQueary is guilty of as well, he’s still employed. Curious!

As I’ve stated before, is it because football is all important to PSU, not this issue? McQueary was supposed to be on the field at Saturday’s game coaching, but after death threats it was decided he should pass on the encounter, not show up for the game. Awww, too bad!

I hope there is no more evidence to uncover, please don’t let this case get worse.  It is awful, but let’s hope the full extent of the awful dirty secrets are out.

What do you think?

Written by Evelyn Garone 11/11/11


About Evie Garone

I am an outspoken woman with independent views of the world. I am spiritual but also realistic. I've successfully raised two men who I've sent off to college and am now following my love of the arts, including painting, drawing and writing. Thus, two blogs, two books I sporadically work on, voracious reading, among other loves keep me busy.
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2 Responses to What was Joe Paterno’s Responsibility?

  1. stevebetz says:

    What a horrible situation.

    As a manager that’s had to oversee a couple of harassment cases (nothing like this of course) — the first thing you do is suspend the person in question (with pay) during the investigation — that is, remove the potential abuse situation. However, if there’s an actual crime, you MUST inform your management AND the police. Any organization does not get a pass and it can’t be just an “internal” investigation. PSU broke the law by not reporting it.

    Paterno did the legally required minimum — he informed his management. But the charge is so so heinous that I can’t imagine NOT getting more, demanding more. And for a public figure like Paterno, he doesn’t get the luxury of passing the buck.


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