Paterno also built his reputation as much for his moral compass and NCAA compliance as his 409 career victories in his five-plus decade career as head coach at Penn State. Paterno has always been about doing more than the letter of the law.
How could he possibly agree that there was concern that something inappropriate may have occurred between an old man and a young boy in the shower of what should’ve been a closed locker room yet apparently believe the information wasn’t inappropriate enough to call the cops himself?
There is no sliding scale here. There is no reasonable explanation for a then 58-year-old man and a 10-year-old boy to be in that situation. This was a potential sexual assault of a minor occurring inside Paterno’s own locker room, by a long-time assistant coach and former player.
McQueary shouldn’t have had to provide explicit detail of what he saw for Paterno to be outraged and spring to action.
What Paterno heard and how he heard it was enough to call his boss to his home on a Sunday. It also should’ve been enough to follow up with police and continue to pursue it in the ensuing years.
Legally Paterno wasn’t required to do more. But since when has just doing enough been sufficient for a man such as Paterno?
A true leader would’ve done everything he could to spur action and not been satisfied with Curley’s decision to simply ban Sandusky from bringing young boys onto the Penn State campus.
“Sue and I have devoted our lives to helping young people reach their potential,” Paterno’s statement read. “The fact that someone we thought we knew might have harmed young people to this extent is deeply troubling. If this is true we were all fooled, along with scores of professionals trained in such things, and we grieve for the victims and their families. They are in our prayers.”
That was an appropriate sentiment, and a long way from the pathetic statement offered by Penn State president Graham Spanier on Saturday that expressed little concern for the victims and pledged his “unconditional support” for his current employees.
For Paterno the statement is a start, but it’s a long way from a finish. There are many more questions that need answers. Paterno’s life work has earned him the temporary benefit of a doubt, and there is little doubt he regrets not seeing Sandusky for what he was and doing more. But there is no amount of football success that should shield him from a full and limitless investigation into the case.
There is no suggestion here that Paterno face prosecution. There is no suggestion here that Paterno was purposefully harboring a monster.
There is the expectation that he answers the toughest of questions publicly before he assumes the right to coach the Nittany Lions on Saturday against Nebraska.
Paterno owed that boy more back in 2002. That much is clear now. The past can’t be changed but today he owes that same person, Sandusky’s other victims and the people of Pennsylvania a complete explanation of his actions and inactions at that time.
Paterno statement in abuse case raises more questions
by Dan Wetzel, Yahoo! Sports
Nov 6, 8:01 pm EDT