Why I find the Paterno Accusations Hard to Believe

One of the reasons why I find it hard to believe that Paterno was apathetic about a possible child molester in his locker room is that it seems so out of character for him. By all reports Paterno ran a very tight ship, and didn’t put up with much. I remember when he benched his star senior running back and star senior receiver just before a bowl game, and lost the game because of it. The running back took gifts from an agent, and the receiver wasn’t going to class. This is just one example of many. It doesn’t make sense to me that he would be so strict with things like this, and be so apathetic about possible child rape going on in his facility.

The thing that angers me is that the media has destroyed a man’s integrity, honor, reputation, etc. based on a lack of knowledge. Nobody really knows what he did or didn’t do, or what his attitude was about the situation. It seems unconscionable to me to do that to a man without any facts.

If it turns out that he is guilty, then the media can go after him if they want, but in the mean time they have destroyed a man based upon their own presuppositions and prejudices as to what they think the Penn State football culture was like.

It just isn’t right.

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2 Responses to Why I find the Paterno Accusations Hard to Believe

  1. Rob Rolley November 18, 2011 at 11:03 am #

    I went to PSU in the 80’s and I would like to put my spin on your perfect coach.

    One football player came into our our frat and proceeded to sucker punch a different person in each room. By the time a group gathered to stop him he said, do you know who I am – and implied he was above the law. When the police came and took him and two other players away [with a police report] the whole thing went away – including the report. Another player’s use and distribution of large amounts of coke – swept under the rug. Several rape charges by players – washed away like dirt on the sidewalk after a good rain.

    All my stories point to my underlying theory – the police had a special set of rules for anyone involved in Jopa’s football program and if a special set of rules did exist, those rules had to have come from somewhere near the top of the food chain. And if football players believed they lived by special set of rules, I can only imagine the coaching staff perspective was after many years of living in this vacuum?

  2. PSU Student November 30, 2011 at 10:17 pm #

    I am a current Penn State student and I am in complete agreement with you about the media portrayal of Coach Paterno. It is comforting to know that there are other people out there who realize that there is too little factual information about the situation to justify any accusations about Coach Paterno’s conduct. Unless someone has a tape recording of the conversation or something similar, it doesn’t seem right to be passing judgement.

    It makes me so angry that the media puts Coach Paterno’s name and face all over this thing when Mr. Sandusky is the real perpetrator. I really sympathize with your anger that the man has been so harshly attacked and torn down despite the lack of a factual basis for his conduct.

    And suppose Coach Paterno had heard from Mr. McQueary the full details of the abuse. It would be disappointing that he didn’t instruct Mr. McQueary to go to police–but if I post here, right now for you to read, that I witnessed yesterday a criminal act, could anyone reasonably assign to YOU, the reader of this comment, the responsibility of contacting the police or doing anything about the act that only I was witness to? The media seems to respond strongly in the affirmative and that doesn’t seem right. Disappointing, perhaps, but it doesn’t merit the berating that Coach Paterno has received.

    It’s all just really sad.