Friday, November 11, 2011

Penn State Scandal

This week marked the end of the era of Joe Paterno.  This man coached the Penn State Nitanny Lions for 61 years as head coach.  The events of this week are stunning is an understatement.  Apparently, a former defensive coach who was arrested in 1999 and let go from the University, somehow was allowed to use the facilities on campus in 2002.  He molested a 10-year old boy on campus.  This had been going on more than one occassion.  Coach Paterno had heard from one of his people they had witnessed an event in 2002.  His former defensive coach was caught in the act.  This person who caught them reported this to coach Paterno.

Ask yourself, if are the head coach - what should I do?  Call the authorities?  Report this to a higher staff member?  Both?  What makes sense?  Making decisions in leadership is your job and you have to have a sense of morality.

Paterno did not call the authorities in 2002.  Paterno claims there were allegations all over sports all the time.  He treated none of them seriously.

Paterno did however report this incident higher up to his superiors.  He did not hide the issue he reported it.  That was viewed as not doing enough and made a ton of people angry.  It was enough to get him fired.

The man implicated was a former defensive coach for him for 20 years (Jerry Sandusky).  Why wouldn't Paterno follow it up?  Friends or not, how could a man who was such a positive influence for the community allow this to happen?  After it wasn't followed up upon, he chose to remain quiet.  Why would he do this?

He never believed it happened in my opinion.

Paterno didn't want his former defensive coach to know he was the one who reported it.  He was friends with this person for years.  You don't rat on someone you are friends with for decades.  You do however have a responsibility to protect communities from molesters and young kids from getting molested in the future.

Where is our morals?  Where did they go?

College football brings in a lot of money - the university would never want to stop the money from coming in.  I find it too ironic that this story the university would want to keep this quiet.  Unless maybe it was to appease the head coach.  Why wouldn't they want to report this issue?  Maybe because a football coach didn't want to see his friend implicated then and probably didn't want to believe it.  Denial is a power thing.

It's too bad Coach Paterno handled these allegations as he did the entire tenure as head coach in this manner.  I truly believe there were other incidents that happened and never got reported.  He couldn't believe anyone around him could do these things.

Hopefully we can learn to have morals and be great leaders.  Sorry Joe Pa...even with all of your successes, you came up as a huge moral failure.  I just hope none of the boys that got molested under your tenure can move on from this horrible nightmare.


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