Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Rest In Peace Or....



Rot in h-e-double l?  (sorry I just don't like to type that word out).  And perhaps this is pretty harsh so....

Let me just preface this post by saying it isn't going to be the happy go lucky fun posts that I tend to post and I might ruffle some feathers.  And although I am not one to judge nor do I like to judge there are certain things that I do have very strong opinions about and therefore might be considered as judging.  This subject happens to be one of those things.

My husband and I have been having somewhat of a debate going since the firing of Joe Paterno and many on his team at Penn State.  Since he passed just recently it has come to the forefront again in our house.  We debated at length about it on Sunday before church. 

Joe Paterno, although he is the most winning coach at Penn State unfortunately that is not the legacy he is going to leave.  Now if you remember he was part of the huge scandal that rocked the school this past year regarding one of his *former* staff members Jerry Sandusky.  Jerry Sandusky is awaiting trial on 52 criminal counts for what prosecutors say was sexual abuse of 10 children over 15 years!

Jerry Sandusky allegedly sexually abused several boys while part of the Penn State staff, in the Penn State locker rooms as well as many boys who were part of The Second Mile, the charity he founded.  Although many people were involved in this in some form or another, I look at Joe Paterno quite differently now.  He is no longer the great coach of Penn State.  He is no longer the long upstanding citizen he once was. He might still be a legend but for the wrong reasons.

He knew of these acts.  And it is said that he reported them but yet he continued to allow Sandusky around boys even after the initial allegations.  He thought those that he told were more qualified to handle it and that they would.  He admits that he should have done more.  Really!  You think?

The boys involved who are now grown men, will live with this forever.  Will be scared forever.  This will follow them into all aspects of their lives.  Relationships with their friends, family, wife, children.  It will never go away.  It will always be there in the back of their mind.  Sure, they might suppress it as much as possible but it will rear its ugly head at the most inopportune times.

While you, the most winning coach, go about your day like nothing, for years. But not anymore.

There is something to be said about those you associate with.  I say, Joe Paterno, you associated with the wrong person for to long and therefore although you did not commit the crime that Jerry Sandusky did, you are guilty by association for standing by and not following through.

You could have changed the outcome.  You could have stopped Sandusky from hurting more boys.   But you didn't because you thought you didn't have the expertise in this area.  Expertise?  To tell someone what you were told?  To follow up? Whatever!

It's a shame that these coaches that so many children look up to have such low morals. 

It is a shame that so many people just turn a blind eye to these heinous acts against children. 

You must ACT if you see or know of abuse of ANY kind.  It is not an OPTION not to.


Rest in.....

Joe Paterno.



No amount of soap or lye can make you clean. I still see the stain of your guilt. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken! Jeremiah 2:22


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11 comments:

  1. While I don't totally disagree with you, he could have done more, he is NOT the one who saw the acts first hand. Someone told him about it and he then reported it to who he thought were the proper people to handle it. Would I have followed up more? Of course. But he didn't. He thought it was handled. He clearly made some bad choices, but I don't think he's evil for them.

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  2. I completely agree with the first comment.

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  3. I never said he was evil necessarily. I said he could have and should have done more. With that being said, I have no respect for the man. I do not wish ill on anyone but people can not just stand by and do nothing otherwise they are just as much to blame by association.

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  4. Though I think Paterno definately should have done more, pushed harder, I think your anger should be re-directed to Sandusky. As other commenters have mentioned, Paterno did not personally see anything. And, when he did hear allegations (none directly from students, but more rumor), he did tell those higher up.

    I am a mandatory reporter and I have called Child Services many times. Unless a child is directly telling me of abuse OR there is physical evidence, I am almost always told that there is not enough evidence to file a report. I still call every time but indirect rumor is never considered hard evidence and rarely sparks a report.

    It is clear that Paterno did care or else he would have turned a complete blind eye and not mentioned it at all. The situation is complex. Do not misunderstand, I DO think he should have been fired. People need consequences for things like this, even if there neglegence was not intentional.

    Also, I think your use of Jeremiah 2:22 is being taken way out of context. This verse is saying that WE cannot make ourselves clean, only Christ can make us clean (if we seek His forgiveness and grace). The truth is that we do not know Joe Paterno's heart. I guess I would imagine he felt heartsick over what happened and had many regrets. I hope that he sought Christ and experienced His grace.

    As crazy as it is, the same is true for Sandusky. As much as that is hard for me to swallow (what he allegedly did is absolutely detestable), it is true. IF (big IF) he ever sought true forgiveness from Christ, he would recieve it. No one is exempt from His love and grace.

    With all of that said, this does not in anyway mean that consequences should be spared. They shouldn't. God's grace and forgiveness doesn't (and shouldn't) exempt us from consequences.

    My heart has felt sick at the whole situation. I pray for healing and peace for these young men as they try to move forward in life. These wounds are deep.

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  5. I for sure have some *anger* towards Sandusky but what prompted this post is the debate my husband and I have been having about Paterno. And since his death many people are still putting Paterno on a pedastool as this great person. He was a great coach but person in general not so sure after these circumstances IMO.

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  6. I know a lot of decent and well-meaning people that have made a really positive impact on the lives of others and have also made big mistakes. We do not know each and every detail of this case and really cannot judge whether his heart was to sweep this under the rug or whether he truly felt he had done the appropriate thing and got it wrong. Since we do not know him, we cannot know if he was a generally a stand up guy or if he generally operated out of his own insterests. It seems speculating is pointless and a bit unfair. As humans, we want to form an opinion about these things(judge) but what purpose does it serve? Thanks for the good discussion, btw. Good to wrestle with these things.

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  7. I don't know the story other than what I read here, I don't know the people, I don't know the circumstances.

    I do know that our children are our future and anyone who doesn't do what is necessary to protect them from the bad in this world needs to be held accountable - no excuses, no exceptions.

    Jenn, when you put it out there, you definitely put it out there. Good for you for having an opinion and not being afraid to voice it.

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  8. GREAT post.. I could not have said it better myself.

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  9. Great post. You didn't ruffle my feathers a bit.

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  10. I've heard reports on this here and there but don't recall the details well enough to voice an educated opinion on this particular point. It does seem that if he was in a position to see that Sandusky was not left alone with the kids, he should have at least done that. He may not have known for sure, but even suspecting would make me automatically put the kids' well being at the forefront.

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  11. Very well said - agreed 100%
    His true character came through and shows that he was NOT a good person to allow this to keep happening.

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