Last week was a pivotal week in America, for lots of reasons. The subject of this diary is one of them.
Much as been made of the Special Investigations surrounding the roles and responsibilities of the Pennsylvania State University, it's leadership, and its peculiar "Happy Valley Fever". The Freeh Report has been issued in this past week. In the order of things, it is a superior fact to those which immediately follow here.
Please keep that in mind, if you would care to visit my opinions. That word (superior, as in order) is the basis of what follows here. My opinions will not be extravagantly or elequenty nuanced. I will try to keep them brief, simple, and mine alone.
Courts have spoken regarding a decades-long sexual predator named Jerry Sandusky who, it would seem, began his tenure at Pennsylvania State University in the late summer of 1963, which would put him on campus before Joseph V. Paterno was hired to serve the University as the Head Football Coach in 1966, which would have been Sandusky's senior undergraduate year. Sandusky comes from a community service oriented family. Two of his sons are currently engaged in football coaching. Sandusky is currently serving what will, in all likelihood, be a life sentence in Pennsylvania after being convicted of 45 charges of sexual predation, among other convictions.
The jury has spoken regarding the known (so far) criminal acts of a man. The University who enabled his predation--and an entire community who conveniently looked the other way while children's entire lives were forever damaged, have not yet been adjudged for their, according to Former FBI Director Louis Free and his commission, intentional, willing, manufactured and decades-long complicity in those acts.
Those necessary conversations are only now beginning. My opinions on these matters are mine alone, and offered before those conversations are conducted for a reason, which I will make clear momentarily.
This is one man's opinion, and nothing more. I hope you will follow me, just past the
squiggledoodlethingey fold, and visit things from this one man's perspective.
Don't watch. Listen. Read the scroll.
The video is linked in the intro for those who do not have youtube or video capability. There is a reason for this.
Much ado was made of the trial of Jerry Sandusky. His name was forever scribed into the cellular constitution of Pennsylvania State University. Yes, forever. After the protest gatherings on the university campus by loyal and loving student fans and athletes, for "their" JoePa. For some reason, those demonstrations wrankled some noses and offended some sensibilities. The legend of college football had just been ceremoniously dumped, and it was very clear why.
Paterno had been fired by the University for activities not his own. So, why did the University fire him? Three reasons come immediately to mind. After watching the above video, those reasons remain in my mind.
Paterno was fired because he didn't quit, as he had been requested to do. After all, this man WAS Joe Paterno, after all. He was going to finish his tenure at Pennsylvania State University as he had lived it: on his terms.
It's easy enouh to understand; it doesn't take many column inches. There was no planning, and no opportunity to "soften" this suddenly new reality for the innocents of Pennsylvania State University. Unless you count the decades when, while this inhumane travesty was ongoing, of course.
For some, as then yet unknown reason, Joe had to go. Now. No, not at the end....NOW! Says who?
Spanier and Curly, that's who. Pennsylvania State University's Vice President: Business and Finance and the President of Pennsylvania State University, that's who. The Board of Trustees, the Board of Regents, and the Governor of the State of Pennsylvania. That's who said so. In unison. Even without knowing (according to their individual and collective legal brain trusts) either the specifics or the depths to which this atrocity would flow. Interestingly, they still don't. They are very liable to be shell-shocked before this play brings down its curtain. Count on it.
After all, the reputation and good name of Pennsylvania State University must be preserved, at all costs! More arrests. Spanier is fired. Curly is fired. More arrests. Interim president is selected because, despite what the illusion may be turning into, anyone with university administration experience knows that the replacement is the guy that forgets to take three steps back with volunteers are requested.
They were doing to Paterno what, using Paterno as their "hammer" for decades before, they had done to so many others. "I AM Penn State!" JoePa would say, throughout his fifty-plus years as an employee there.
Watching the vido, two things fairly jumped out at me.
The first was the picture of JoePa on the page in which the video is embedded. Prominently featured at the upper left corner, in fact. The second was the trail which I had to follow to get to that page, beginning with the Pennsylvania State University's home page. I also had to pass through the pages highlighting sports opportunities for children through the "Summer Sports Camps: 2012" pages...for youth. Pennsylvania State University is having those camps, just as they have since they were originated through the mind of Jerry Sandusky, decades ago, right this very moment. Which is why I linked to that page in the intro.
There is much excitement regarding the upcoming Big Ten Football season at Pennsylvania State University these days, it seems by travelling through the Athletic department pages on the web site.
YadJoePa deada yadYouth Campa yada yado yFootballada yada yafootballda yada yadFreehReporta interview with "shocked" journalist that JoePa so clearly lied to Grand Jurya yada yada ad nauseum. White noise. Just lots and lots of white noise.
New pages, new print, new pages...since Thursday. The plan of the senior administration of the Pennsylvania State University is clear.
Those victimized by Jerry Sandusky--well, at least those we know about now, for the time being at least, have had their one short moment. Distance.
Sandusky is FINALLY in jail, and we can begin to put this behinds us. To use Curly's own words, we can put Pandora back in the box. That has been tried before. Hell, Pandora tried it. The results are uniformly, ridiculously predictable. Go, Mustangs!
Wanna bet, Buckwheat?
JoePa is dead. That's when the second thing hit me about this video and the path I had to take to get to it. JoePa is dead. Our debt has been paid. Wanna bet?
Sandusky is in (or under) a jail somewhere. He can't bring further harm to Pennsylvania State University any more. Wanna bet?
For those of you old enough, don't respond. Just listen for a minute. Let's try a little thought experiment for a moment together. Ready?
Did you get it?
No? Okay, let's try a little more.
Not there yet? Okay. Just a couple more. I'm sure you'll get it soon.
Still not getting it? (sigh)
Oh, NOW you have it! Great. You really ARE a fanatic, aren't ya!
How many people remember the team name? (Nittany Lions, by the way.)
How many people remember the name of the coach who was fired from one of the best (paid for) collegiate football programs in the history of the sport, the game itself?
Have you seen the Mustangs play recently? New coach Forrest Gregg inherited that team. It was a team left with nothing. It was a team that had just recently featured a young man by the name of Eric Dickerson who would be a "winner" in his own right in the football game, among others. Remember that?
I'll bet you don't.
I'll bet you remember the scandal, the outrage at the NCAA daring to tell a University what it could, or could not do with it's athletic programs. I'll bet you remember that. That's how you remember SMU football. More than forty years later.
We'll just blame it all on JoePa. What's he going to do, complain? He didn't do so really well defending himself before his death. He's dead. We'll just pile the entire matter on his grave. Yeah, that's the ticket. Mrs Sandusky and her children? MaPa and her children? Collateral damage, and absolutely nothing more. Why? Because Pennsylvania State University wills it, that's why.
Now, watch the video again. I dare ya. Notice that the famed journalist did NOT say the words crawling below his face as he spoke. His contribution was his utter shock and sadness, along with others, to learn that JoePa lied to a Grand Jury. The Freeh Report proved it, after all. Shock. Awe.
As I meandered through the Pennsylvania State Univerity's web pages, I had to go through the Summer Camps:2012 pages, too. Children. On campus. Sports Camps. 2012.
The spin is in. JoePa's dead. Blame it on JoePa. Everything. Pile it on his destroyed legacy. He certainly deserves it, after all. From 1963 on, Sandusky had been on campus. Who knows how many he harmed since then? Nobody knows. Yet. But, there are many who know a lot about Sandusky, and those like him. There is much they could (and I hope will) tell you about serial pedophiles. Heck, maybe we should talk to Matt. I bet HE could tell us a bit about it. When was it, for instance, that Matt was 9, or 10 years old again?
In my opinion, you have precisely two sides to this entire issue.
I've got dear, dear friends who are directly or indirectly affected by this issue. I've heard the discussions, read them, watched them. But, from my perspective, there are only two sides to the discussion.
On one side are the children of the shadows, the children of the silence. People like me.
You know,the children who, for decades, have been serially abused by Jerry Sandusky with the certain knowledge, implied permission, and abetting of the Pennsylvania State University, its staff, faculty, and administration.
When JoePa first learned and understood the gravity of the situation before him, what was his first inclination? Who knows? Perhaps his heart, being a good catholic heart, after all, went into shock for the children. Okay. What did JoePa DO?
Nothing. For decades. Until the situation was no longer controllable. You see the decision was made decades ago to contain this situation for so long as it was containable, but no further. But, by whom? The children? Second Mile? JoePa? Curly? Spanier?
Was there input from the Physics, or Music, the world renowned College of Engineering, or Mathematics professors? Students?
No, there wasn't.
Well, then how about the University staff? Surely they would have the decency to turn this plan on it's ear?
How many university's Police Department do you know who report first to the head coach of the football program? How many Finance VPs do you know who are complicit with a decades-long extortion plan from one of your own employees--and go along with it? How many Boards of Trustees or Regents, or even a Governor or several would accept having no information regarding the very issue which could, under their watch, eviscerate and even potentially destroy that very University? For decades?
Then, of course, the janitors do still remember that whole fiasco with the disappearing Investigator.
They are ALL on the other side of this issue. Which, if I may put it more plainly, is:
The children versus everyone else at Pennsylvania State University.
Had they known these were the lines so carefully, scrupulously, and maliciously drawn, with malice aforethought, how many students, athletes, professors and staff would have walked onto the Pennsylvania State University campus twenty or forty years ago?
How many corporations would have whored out the tenured faculty with pittance grants for the research results which have brought these corporate raiders of the dreamers of our future billions of dollars in profit, if only they had known to what they were attaching their corporate name? How many dreamers, the students, the faculty, and the researchers who wanted nothing more than to find a better tooth brush, or a cure for cancer would have agreed to such a relationship?
How many parents, knowing of this deal with the devil against the children, would have agreed to pay for tuition, provided "Care Packages", or traveled on their last, meager savings just to watch their child finally walk across the stage--and maybe even take in a Pennsylvania State University football game in the process? How many groundskeepers, IT professionals, cafeteria workers, cops, or chaplains would have stepped foot on THIS campus, had they only known?
The point is, they did not know. The particular point is, they did not know because the uppermost executive leadership of Pennsylvania State University, who either knew, or should have known, refused to be involved, for that would have required the telling. Curly himself said it. Spanier said it. The Chairwoman of the Board of Regents said it. Sandusky said it. Paterno said it.
We are not going to tell them. While news reporters were reporting the breaking story, Regents and Trustees were running around the Admin building trying to find their President. "Why are we not aware of this??" They cried, loudly. Damage control sometimes really does kick in automatically, after all. That was the decision made so long ago, with their consent--whether direct or implied. Only time will finally reveal which is true, and for whom.
Well the reason you did not know was because your University Administration desired for you not to know, deemed it unnecessary (in fact, dangerous to their scheme) for you to know. That's why you did not know. As to why it took you watching your President and Vice President for Finance and Business being arrested to even ask the question? Well, it was an indication of just how good their plan had been, how well it had worked for the decades past and present. But, mostly, it was because they simply did not want you to know. You didn't. Yet, your very position, and the pay which went with it, required you to know. As much as it was their job to inform you, it was much moreso your obligation to earn those outrageous checks from the Pennsylvania State University by doing your jobs. Comfort can be alluring, and addictive. It was. You were. You did not do your jobs, and you must accept the consequences of THAT choice, and the punishments for yourselves and others, including every innocent victim on YOUR side of the equation, as well. That's the bed you made. Now, you really must lie in it. But on YOUR side of the equation, if you please.
These men and women made this decision decades ago, for the Pennsylvania State University. An integral part of their decision, as we now know, included some rather surface-level considerations about what might happen if this ever got out to the university population, from the most senior leadership all the way down to the next year's athletic freshman standout. You knew this, just as well as those who were actually running the university in front of your faces knew this.
You, and they decided that any future fallout was of lesser importance: those students, their Mas and Pas travelling on their last dimes, those scholarship athletes who saw a bright and very profitable future, those research dollars and we must not forget the vendors, advertisers, and other "associated" victims of this plan...secondary importance. Those constituencies all got involved, without their input when the decision was made to not actively participate in the prosecution of an Assistant Football Coach (best AC in the nation...twice!) for serial child sexual abuse.
Now, we come to a point where some accountability is called for, because the decision, made all those decades ago, are beginning to come due. You cannot claim ignorance, unless you claim willful ignorance ex post facto. This is not an affirmative defense. It is mitigation for a greater penalty.
Yes, innocent students will be harmed. Yes, the Pennsylvania State University will suffer the sorrows of its own design. As the design was instigated, and promulgated under the illusion of willful yet innocent ignorance, so does, as it inevitably does, the punishment also include absolute punishment for THAT offense, as well. Not only what you did is prosecuted, you see. What you did not do is also punishable.
Yes, workers will lose their income. From cafeteria vendors to sports agents. Students, staff and faculty will be irreparably harmed. Degrees issued by Pennsylvania State University will now be seen in an entirely different view by every employer, or potential employer for as long as the Pennsylvania State University continues to offer degrees. Or their graduates. Or their research facilities. Or their Athletic Department to Children's Summer Camps, for the sake of Alonzo Stagg!!
You think it's bad now? It is only beginning. It will get worse. Much, much worse. And you, Pennsylvania State University, still do NOT get it. So, I offer this to you so that you will, perhaps, finally begin to understand the choices made, the penalties paid, and the sadness of the innocent.
All of this rests on one side of a simple equation. You, Pennsylvania State University, do not have the right, the privilege of changing sides. You made that choice decades ago. You have run your university, colleges and departments FROM the decision you made, protecting that decision in every way possible, including generational ignorance. You may not now change sides for the comfort of public opinion or the hopes of lesser penalties. Not your Regents, your Trustees, your faculty, your staff, your workers, nor your athletes and students. These have all been, at your insistence, irreparably harmed. Now the price must be paid. Why?
Because of the other side of the equation, Pennsylvania State University. The children.
Those children have, for decades, taken your choice upon their own backs. They did not do so willingly, or voluntarily. It was forced upon them. Yet, they took it. The entire weight of your unpaid penalties has rested upon these innocents--not merely too, but first. That was, you see, the plan; the trade-off. Morality was beaten by money. What was right was trumped by what was right now. Legions of serial child abuse victims lost out to one legend. Generations denied their right simply to BE, because of decades of purposeful, evil, malignance so ingrained that even those who didn't "know", knew.
For me, the equation is simple. The children
/ The University that JoePa built.
Now, today we begin to see the plan the other side has to deal with this entirely ugly mess. Blame it on Joe. Joe's dead.
It will not work, Pennsylvania State University. It will not work.
You must accept the responsibility for the decisions you have consistently made, for decades, heaping the very uncivil dirty work upon the backs, and into the minds and hearts of every set of eyeballs who have looked to you for their best...everything. The students, the athletes, the workers, the staff, the faculty and the administration. Given the one opportunity to lead your way out of this morass, you purposely choose to hold Children Sport Camps in 2012, right now in fact. You choose to create a pablum for the masses, while heaping all your obligations for accountability upon a corpse.
It is you, Pennsylvania State University, who has done this. You have done it with absolute arrogance, hubris, and sense of entitlement that you do not deserve, which you have not earned. Yet, there IS a statue of a legend standing today. Your statement is clear.
And, therefore, you cannot be entrusted even with this one open window of opportunity to voluntarily take upon yourselves the one good thing you could do now; the one step which could begin a journey back for Pennsylvania State University. You will not do it voluntarily. You will not do it for the children.
You will, instead, see just how much weight one statue can hold. You will shift your punishment, your accountability upon molded metal, in the newly-discovered hope that you might once again remove yourselves from harm's way, avoid the punishments you do so rightly and richly deserve. You know that it is only a matter of time, just as it was decades ago. But, now you believe you have created an option that will give you more time. Perhaps, with this time, emotions will cool, courtrooms will not be quite so hostile, and those upon whom you so badly depend for the dollars to justify your existence will not remember.
It is a fool's errand, and you know it. In the meantime....
What about the children? The other side of this equation? What statement are you making to these children, Pennsylvania State University?
In my book, the children win. Period. Is there a student, a fan, a parent, a coach, an administrator who would, seriously, think otherwise? Really?
Many have in the past. They were wrong, dead wrong.
You, Pennsylvania State University cannot be trusted with children...of any age. You hurt them, harm them, and whore them for dollars. For a game. For a legend. Welcome.
Welcome, Pennsylvania State University to the legacy your legend has given you. As you have sown, so now may you reap.
Pennsylvania State University must immediately cease and desist Children's Sport Camps. Forever. Pennsylvania's children are not now, and will never again hope to be safe there. Because Pennsylvania State University, you wither cannot or will not see and completely understand this reality, you cannot be trusted with either voluntary decision making or compliance. This decision will necessarily be made for you, because you will not make it for yourself.
Pennsylvania State University must immediately cancel the 2012 Big Ten Conference activities, in all sports. Right now. Yes, even Basketball, baseball and the Olympics. But, think of all the innocent people that would harm.
I am. I'm thinking of several tens of them who have already been harmed. And, before you tell me that such actions won't help, or change those victims? Save it. What it will do is perhaps put serious brakes on the likelihood that there will ever be another added to THEIR rosters. It's those rosters I care about. In fact, to be completely honest with you, that is the ONLY roster I care about. It is, you see, that side of the equation that I care about. The children. I'm not ON your side of this equation. I never can be. I never will be.
Should the Pennsylvania State University NOT immediately suspend and remove its Children Sport Camps, and all athletic activities associated with the Big Ten Conference, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the NAUI, and/or any other officially recognized collegiate athletic activity, I call upon those organizations to do what Pennsylvania State University has indicated, by it's insensitivity and callous, malicious, and wreckless disregard for all who are affiliated with it that it will not do for itself. Immediately.
Should that not be the result of this request, I call upon the Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, through his State Constitutional powers, to offer the Boards of Trustees and Regents of Pennsylvania State University, the following alternatives:
1. Inject terminal poison into your entire athletics programs within the next 72 hours, or
2. I, as the Governor of Pennsylvania will cause Pennsylvania State University to be darkened, entirely, for a minimum of 100 years.
You like apples?
How do ya like THEM apples?
Then, and only then, can the citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania regain any semblance of control over THEIR land grant University, which actually IS a constitutional obligation of the Commonwealth.
So is providing for the safety, security and "general welfare" of the citizens of Pennsylvania. All of them, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, or other affiliation.
All of this is entirely independent (or at least it should be) of any decision by any Law Enforcement Agency, Court of competent jurisdiction, or group affiliation (including Boards of Accountability such as Trustees or Regents). Or University Administrators in State College, Altoona or Allentown. Imagine how grateful those folks are that Sandusky didn't start a football program in their town. The Death Penalty was FIRST imposed upon my hero, my legend, Adolph Rupp. He survived it. So did his athletic program. So did his University.
So did I.
So will you, good and caring citizens of Pennsylvania. lf, however, and only if, you do what you know in your soul as you stand, leaning against the door frame of your child's bedroom door as they sleep at night.
Because this should never have happened, so must this never happen again. Ever. Anywhere. It's a harsh punishment. It should be. It MUST be.
For only in such an outcome can we, the children of the shadows, the children of the silence, EVER hope to become children of the Sunshine, no matter our age.
3:47 PM PT: I'll be gone for a few hours (necessary). I'll be back, and will continue my part of the conversation in the comments. Thank you to everyone who has honored me by participating in the discussion. I do appreciate it.