BACKGROUND: Joe Paterno, in terms of wins, is the most successful college football head coaches in NCAA history. He coached at Penn State University for generations, putting the sleepy town of State College, PA on the cultural map. If you're a college football fan, you don't need me to tell you the accomplishments and accolades he brought to the university.
A CLASS OF ITS OWN: All these accomplishments brought Joe Paterno immense power. And what better guy to possess all this clout? He stood for moral righteousness. He encouraged his athletes to "do the right thing." The NCAA thought the same thing as it is very hard to find any NCAA violations--which we all know, everything in the NCAA is a violation: you can't buy your players pizza or ice cream after a game could also be deemed a violation. If one were to think of all the big time violations and scandals in college athletics in the last 30 years, one has to marvel how this particular school was able to have such a relatively clean record.
A GENERATION OF SCANDAL: Name another collegiate institution with a successful football or basketball program (the top revenue machines at the big universities) and in all likelihood they have been marred with NCAA violations and legal scandal. Schools like Nebraska who have had multiple players in domestic abuse and sexual assault scandals, Florida State with players stealing from a sporting goods store, Iowa with harboring a known rapist in basketball player Pierre Pierce, Baylor covering up a murder involving basketball teammates, and most infamously Southern Methodist University getting the "death penalty" for paying their football players to play at the school.
Through it all, Joe Paterno has been able to keep his football program away from such scandal and people can say with confidence "that at least they're doing it the right way at Penn State." It turns out, however, that they were just as sleazy as any other institution of higher learning, if not more so.
THE TRAGIC TRUTH: And then it turns out that Joe Paterno had a pedophile on his coaching staff in Jerry Sandusky. It is hard to pinpoint when and if Paterno knew that his friend and top assistant had any notion that he had a sexual predator on his staff, but these are the facts:
- Pedophiles are known to have an average of 100+ victims in their lifetime. The current allegations involve incidents that go back to 1994. Nevertheless, it's safe to assume that Sandusky has been molesting and raping children well before this time period.
- Public Record shows that Paterno should have known about Sandusky as early as 1998 (I strongly believe that Paterno knew about Sandusky well before 1998). Instead of ousting this monster, the university forced him to retire and gave him "unlimited access to all football facilities, including the locker room." How much was Paterno involved in keeping his friend and former top assistant out of the football program, but still remain at the university as a full time employee?
- It was believed that Sandusky would not only be the heir apparent to the Penn State head coaching job, but was also a hot commodity to be the next head coach at any other top-notch university. Nevertheless, it was rumored that during interviews for other head coaching vacancies, Sandusky looked to have no desire to really coach at another university and always brought up the topic of his Second Mile foundation, ad nauseam.
- Why was Sandusky forced into retirement at the age of 55 years-old in 1999? Was it for the safety and well-being of Paterno's football program? Furthermore, why did the University insist on keeping this predator around campus where he used school resources to hold events and activities for his Second Mile organization?
- Paterno was known to have clashes with school professors and administrators and despite symbolizing the true spirit of amateur/academic sports and putting "student" first in "student-athletes," many of his players still, ironically, received a lot of special treatment at the school.
- Rabid fans around 2002-2003 protest the potential investigation into the matter. Among fear of an ensuing chaos and rioting, local police dismiss investigation.
- 2004, Penn State officials ask Paterno to step down as head coach of the football program. Paterno refused to do so and continued coaching until he was fired in 2011 after the child rape scandal was uncovered.
- Paterno was the moral authority and had more power and clout at Penn State than any other school administrator, dean, president, and any other higher-up imaginable. As a school employee, he also had the duty to report such incidents to the proper government authorities, NOT THE PENN STATE CHAIN-OF-COMMAND, that there was a sexual predator on campus that preyed on young children.
- Penn State gave Paterno a massive funeral ceremony fit for a King or a dictator. Not bad for, as many of his fans would defend, someone at the bottom of the Penn State Chain-of-Command totem pole.
A LEGACY OF HYPOCRISY: Despite the accomplishments and the many high school athletes he turned into men after participating in his football program, his legacy is forever tarnished and will always be remembered as the guy who was too busy with his precious football program to save any young boys from a known child rapist. Many of his defenders will say that 99.99999% of Joe Paterno's time at Penn State was positive and that the rest of the small percentage was negative and just a "mistake." But when the "mistake" involves the known endangerment of children into the hands of a child rapist, it is unforgivable and cannot be justified with his past achievements. To paraphrase THE SCORE's Dan Bernstein, a Chicago radio sportscaster, "400 wins does not justify little boys getting raped."
Just like Paterno told Penn State, countless number of times by the way, that he was Joe Paterno and he refused to leave the head coach position, he could have easily gone up to this issue and scream out, "I'm Joe Paterno and I am about doing what is right and at this point, I don't think it's right for a known child rapist to be running around my campus chasing little children around under my watch! I WANT HIM OUT AND WANT AN INVESTIGATION TO BEGIN TO PUT THIS CRIMINAL IN PRISON WHERE HE CAN BE WITH OTHER CHILD RAPISTS!" The fact that he did not do this, is what will forever define his role at Penn State.
IN CONCLUSION: It turns out that Joe Paterno was a hypocrite, just like the many right-wing, moral conservative Republicans he supported throughout his life. The people who scream the most about moral righteousness are the ones who usually have the most to learn about the subject matter. Joe Paterno and Penn State was just like every big time, college football program in America: money and athletics are priority #1, everything else is optionally unnecessary. Paterno's program was as corrupt as the Catholic Priests at Notre Dame and as criminally ridden as the Miami Hurricane convicts he defeated for a meaningless football title. Joe Paterno will forever be known as the man who enabled and harbored a child rapist to run loose at his program. Why? Because those are the standards that he supposedly instilled at his precious football program. The images of him being a mentor, educator, and father-figure who happened to be a football coach are just myths. Let us never forget this so we don't get suckered into believing such deceitful lies, deify these morally conflicted football coaches/players, and really hold these universities to a higher moral standard where they're not harboring, enabling, and protecting murderers, drug dealers, rapists, money whores, and pedophiles.
Pathological Hate would like to thank the Boers and Bernstein radio show (THE SCORE, 670AM) for being the voice of reason amid the Penn State child rape scandal. We urge you to listen to their podcast.
We also highly suggest to listen to the Boers and Bernstein "Who Ya Crappin?" segment from January 26, 2012. The segment has become a Chicago, sports staple and had a lot of listeners calling the program to show their disgust at Penn State and their handling of the child rape scandal and Joe Paterno's funeral.
ESPN has provided a timeline for the Penn State child rape scandal as well.
To read the child rape scandal Grand Jury testimony, click here.