Penn State Sent a Message by Firing Joe Paterno but Why is Mike McQueary Still on the Coaching Staff?
Sometimes things happen that we cannot quite understand. I certainly do not understand what Jerry Sandusky did to those eight children. Who knows, there could have been more that have not come forward or don’t remember things he did to them. That man will surely burn for his sins and his days in prison will not be pleasant.
As we all now know, Joe Paterno was fired in spite of his announced resignation at the end of the season for just having knowledge of one of the incidents and not taking action to sever Sandusky from the program or seeing that police were notified. I can understand the firing because the knowledge he had was of something dark and evil that should never be permitted. However, why is the eyewitness to the crime still on the coaching staff?
Sandusky had retired from his coaching position in 1999 at PSU and took a leadership role in the Second Mile program to help problem youths. This program gave him access to boys who needed some attention. Jerry Sandusky took them to games and allowed them to experience some pretty nice things that a lot of kids never get to experience. His emeritus standing with PSU allowed him to have full access to the facilities to entertain the boys in the program. However, Sandusky’s dark mind formulated plans to do some of the most atrocious things that could ever be done to a child with the position he had.
If you have not read the grand jury report, you can read it here but i warn you, you must have a strong stomach because it reads like a perverted horror story. McQueary was a young graduate assistant at Penn State at the time meaning he had graduated and was coaching with the staff as a non-paid graduate coach. He was probably about 23 years old at the time and he had come to the locker room late during that March 2002 night to put some sneakers and other things in his locker. While he was there, he heard some noises in the shower and decided to see who was in there. What he saw shocked him. Sandusky was doing some things to a young boy that are beyond disgusting.
McQueary was understandably shaken and left. He called his father and sought his advice. Following that advice, McQeary reported what he saw to Coach Paterno and they reported it up the chain of command of the university and left it at that. From there, it was swept under the rug and law enforcement was not contacted. The internal meetings continued for the whole month of March and Paterno nor McQueary seemed to have never followed up after that. Sandusky remained in good standing with the coaching staff.
More reports came in during the following years as the predator took adavantage of eight different boys but Sandusky was allowed to have access to the team’s facilities because of his involvement with the Second Mile program and his emeritus standing with the university. It was said he was banned in 2002 from coming there but by 2007 it seemed he was working out there on a daily basis. In fact he was in the facility just a couple weeks before his arrest, reports day.
Now that this is all out in the public, Paterno gets the ax, and I can understand that given his leadership role and lack of action. But should more be done?
I can sort of see how McQueary was blindsided at a young age and didn’t know what to do at first. Any mature adult would have run in and kicked Sandusky’s tail all over tarnation and got the boy away from his as quickly as possible. However, after a few days or weeks, you would think that after the shock wore off, young McQueary seeing nothing was being done, he would have said something to someone else but apparently his value of his position at a prestigious football program was more important. In some states, if you witness something like this and fail to report the crime, you are considered an accessory to the crime.
After the Grand Jury report was released, McQueary did say that he broke the incident up which was not included in the report. However, is that still doing enough? Did he do that much more than Joe Paterno?
What I cannot figure out is if the board of Penn State University is so concerned about their image and wants to truly clean the program up, how can they fire Joe Paterno and let the major witness who failed to act remain on the coaching staff? It makes me think that the board is only doing what they feel pressured to do and not so much doing what they believe is right. This does not constitute a clean sweep of the program that is being portrayed. Shame on you, Penn State University and shame on the 2,000 students who saw fit to riot and tear up everything in sight on campus just because your coach got fired. The real victims are those children that you do not seem to care very much about.
Grand Jury Indictment Report (warning-graphic).
Timeline of events.