Moderate, fixing the problems that led to the cover-up is obviously a much
higher priority. Intelligent minds can differ on taking down the statue. I
just don't see those who favor it, in light of all the facts, as a lynch
mob.Wayne, conservatives have symbols as well. The flag is an
obvious one. The point of a statue is to honor someone's legacy. The
question is whether Paterno's memory should be honored in light of all the
facts. I understand your argument but Vai has persuaded me on this. I
don't see any valid excuse for turning a blind eye on the horrendous abuse
that went on.
@Heater has any other charges been filed against the President,or anyother of
the higher up. A report has found evidence that wrong doing has happen. What I
am saying one person convicted and more to come maybe. The tip of the iceberg
has just come out, when I say Iam waiting and holding some. A report is just
that and what it has found now the State need to see if enought evidence is in
the repor to file more crimminal charges, who know what will come out as more is
uncovered. It would be like you getting a ticket for speed, running a red light
and an accident with loss of life and the cop telling your guilty and taking you
to jail. Without all the facts are in and a trial of all person being done. I
have written alot of cimminal reports and sometimes charges wheren't filed,
because not enought to warrant charges to be file.
Shut the whole program down??? Do you think this was more that a recruiting
violation?Joe Pa definitely should have his statue removed and any
resemblance of him should go away including his family. When my kids
started high school football, the first thing coach would do is warn them if
they're caught drinking, smoking, or doing drugs- they are dismissed from
the team. As as these kids are invited to recruiting trips- out come the kegs of
beer, strippers, bongs for marijuana, initiations into the fraternity of
'higher learning'. Then you have these incidences of child abuse that
plagues communities. It's rare for males to be the victim but very common
for women. The culture is changing, and Joe Pa is part of that older
generation. There needs to be an official stand by the NCAA on this and similar
manners. If the school isn't given the death penalty, the presence of Joe
Paterno needs to be remove from any resemblance of his being an icon in
Liberals love symbolism. Taking down the statue means nothing. If you want to
make real change, insure that university employees retire at 65. Joe had no
business trying to run a big program at his age. Keep homosexuals away from
children and athletic programs. These two simple changes would do a lot to
prevent future problems. Do more?? Have campus police report dotted line to
the local police chief. Don’t allow one person to travel alone with one
child unless they are related. All the good that Joe did is still there.
For some unknown reason, he failed to contact police in one case. Was he loyal
to a friend? Did he fail to understand what had happened? Was he pressing to
go to the police but was over ruled by the president? There are too many
things about the problem that we do not know. What we do know is that he
helped to develop the character of many young men. Let the statue stand. It
has a message in being there that may help many more. That
message…always do the right thing…no matter how much it hurts.
SoCalChris says the facts are in. Louis Freeh did not interview Coach Paterno,
nor was he able to interview anyone under oath. I still think
tearing down a statue is an empty gesture, SoCal. Imagine this conversation:Victim: Did you get the guy that did this to me?LynchMob: Yes! Sandusky
is convicted and serving time in jail.Victim: Did you break the Penn State
culture that allowed this to go on so long?LynchMob: No, but we took down
a statue!Victim: How does that help? This could still happen again.LynchMob: It might!I would rather see things change at Penn State
so that any reported crime is acted upon. Maybe drop the campus police system
in hopes that "real" law enforcement would have taken action. Penn State will continue to pay the price for their crimes. Penn State will
still exist. They will still have a football team. Their fans will still cheer
them on. I could care less if they keep a statue to honor their football past.
The local community should decide, not an internet lynch mob.
Moderate,I would agree with you if a mob had decided to tear down
the statue Sadam Hussein style when the story first broke. But as Heater points
out, the facts are in. There is no rush to judgment. The question is whether
it's appropriate to maintain a statue honoring an individual who clearly
turned a blind eye on the abuse of children. If it remains, I believe the
school is making a statement that football is more important. It
breaks my heart to see a legend like Paterno have his legacy tainted this way.
But making a statement that child abuse, or the tacit disregard of it, will not
be tolerated is more important.
So, you are employed at an Urgent Care facility and you are going to lose your
job when it closes. Or you are employed at Dr. Johnson's orthodontic
practice and you lose your job when his practice is closed. Or, the Southwest
EyeCare of Utah is shut down and you are out of work. All because someone
employed there is sexually abusing children. The abuse of a child is horribly
tragic (former foster parent of 35 children here...).But also tragic
is punishing all of the innocent employees and their families. Their parent is
no longer employed. And what about the people who depend on these facilities?
Will your child understand why they have to switch doctor's. Sanctions against Penn State should not involve innocent athletes, students
Great article, Vai. I was so angry to hear so many people knew of
Sandusky's pedophilia and the countless numbers of child molestation that
happened on the campus of Penn State. The cover-up was shocking to me. I believe
Penn State should be banned from collegiate football for five years. I agree
that Joe Paterno's statue has to go. And I think Penn State should fire
every single person who knew and did nothing about it.
Trooper55: "...is waiting for this case to be finish before I condem
anybody, the lawy state that innocent till proven guilty." Breaking News:
1) Jerry Sandusky was found guilty on 45 of 48 charges and is awaiting
sentencing. 2) The independent commission led by former FBI director, Louis
Freeh, found Paterno and three other Penn St officials knew of Sandusky's
crimes as far back as 1998 and covered it up after poring over 3 million
documents and interviewing over 400 people. What else could you
possibliy be waiting for Trooper, Paterno to personally return from the grave to
admit his guilt? Keep us posted of any more info you may receive or uncover and
we'll pass it along to Louis Freeh and the Sandusky judge.
I am not defending anybody at Penn State, but I believe it's pretty easy to
talk about and condem them once they are dead and yes some of you have a lynch
mod attude, and you don't know any of the people, but what a some reports
and a sport writer has to say. I have followed this case from the beginning and
I am still waiting to see if anymore charges will be filed against any of the
one that was fired for this child abuse case and to see just how much are still
blaming Joe Paterno, or will some facts may clear him? The asst. coach Mike
McQuery should have call the police and not gone to Joe P, I haven't heard
any one of you all goning after him and I beleive that you just want to attack a
man who is dead and can't asnwer all the charges that this report brought
to life. I am glad that as a retired State Trooper from the south and is waiting
for this case to be finish before I condem anybody, the law state that
innocetent till proven guilty.
@ Trooper55/NoodleKaboodleIf, heaven forbid, something as heinous as
this ever happened at BYU-you can rest assured that the Board of Trustees would
shut-down the entire athletic department in very short order. This may yet
happen even without such compulsion.
SoCalChris - Taking down a statue I call "lynch mob mentality" because
it's the kind of stupid action a mob would take. "We are a mob! We
are upset! We don't know what to do about it -- hey there is a statue over
there! Let's take it down!"If I were a victim, I'd
want to see Sandusky pay for his crimes, and I'd sue the very deep pockets
of Penn State University. What is the value of taking down a statue? Does that
bring justice? If so, should we melt down the statue of Brigham Young for the
crimes committed at Mountain Meadow?I say leave the statue up, but
with a new plaque "I should have done more." That would serve as a
lasting reminder that none of us should ever look the other way.
Moderate,I'm fairly moderate myself and I speak out against a
lynch mob mentality I see quite often on the net. There is no lynch mob
mentality on this thread. It is precisely because the program has been tainted
by acts and omissions of numerous individuals, including even a janitor who
witnessed a child rape, that there are calls for the death penalty for the
program and for tearing down the statue of a once revered coach. When corruption is so pervasive for the sake of football and at the expense of
children, the death penalty is certainly appropriate. Sad for players and
students, but better for the school and college football in the long run.
61Cougar is absolutely right.
SMU got the death penalty in 1987 (after a string of previous violations) for
concealing a slush fund operated by boosters that paid players to play football
at the university.Penn State coaches and administrators concealed
the fact that one of their own was molesting children--actively working to keep
it from going public and working to keep it out of the hands of law enforcement.
While there has been no history of past NCAA violations by the
football program, I still say shut it down with the death penalty for two years
and then let the school rebuild. As for the students and coaches
that did not know nor were involved--so what. That's what happens when
leaders of institutions go astray and the whole organization has to pay for it.
It wasn't fair to the SMU football players who did it the right way to lose
out on the chance to play for their school--just as it isn't fair to the
innocent players of teams who are put on probation, handed bowl bans, and have
victories taken away because of the actions of a few coaches and
administrators.Penn State needs the death penalty.
Get rid of the statue? Really?Vai was scooped by Bobby Bowden.
Bowden's rationale was spot on w/o the need to claim moral high ground.
Moderate - I'd lead the lynch mob if it was my grandson who was abused.
The Freeh Report was commissioned by Penn State as an independent body to find
how such a heinous crime could've gone undetected and unreported for over a
decade at one of the premier college programs in the country. Would you call
their findings a "lynch mob" mentality as well? 'What a crock.
Bottom line is... if the janitor or assistant coach Mike McQuery had walked in
on Sandusky abusing a Paterno grandson, this episode would not have taken down
JoePa's legacy because it would've ended right then and there.Feel free to be "moderate" with your politics but on this issue,
there's no room for moderation. Paterno aided and abetted the abuse of at
least 4 boys, maybe more, because Sandusky could've been stopped much, much
Vai is right. We as a society love athletics so much that we are willing to
abandon some of our most cherished principles for it. If ANY university
can't clean up its own legacy, the NCAA and athletic community should step
in and do it for them.
Wow. Lynch mob mentality.Joe Paterno was one piece in a very LARGE
puzzle at Penn State. Unfortunately the average lynch mob member doesn't
know any name other than Paterno, so they focus their hatred and anger at him.
Many even forget that it was Sandusky who committed the crimes.You
want to erect, then take down a statue of Sandusky? Fine, if you think it will
make make things better. At least focus your frustrations at the right
person.Taking Paterno's statue is silly. Talk of the NCAA
stepping with sanctions on the football team is silly. Talking of disbanding
the team is the silliest idea yet.
I grew up about an hour from State College. When journalists write that Paterno
was like a god in the region, they aren't exaggerating. Not to excuse
the janitor and Paterno, but I honestly believe that their failure to personally
contact authorities can be attributed at least somewhat to a generation gap. To
some degree, they didn't "get" that these acts are not swept under
the rug as in the past. I doubt they had ever heard the term "mandated
reporter." Understandably the janitor thought nobody would believe him in a
million years, and Paterno was probably, as many of us would be, thrown into a
state of shock and denial, hoping it all would just go away... Again, this is an
attempt to posit an explanation, not to justify them or negate the suffering of
the victims. It was all very, very wrong. Yes, take down the statue.
Rather than suspend the program, although recruiting is unlikely to be fruitful
for years to come, force the University to direct the majority of recently
acquired and prospective football-generated profits towards settling with the
victims and funding community organizations that provide abuse awareness
training, victim support, etc.
I understand that Joe Paterno could have done more, but there are a lot of
people that could have done more. Starting with the janitor, the man that
discovered it was all going on, where was he 14 years ago? Paterno did pass
along the information to his superiors, where were they? The athletic director
and president of the school? Why didn't they take the necessary steps? I
think a lot of people are willing to cast stones when they have really no idea
what is going on. I also think that it is wrong to punish an entire program,
school, and community because of the acts of a few people. People are also
overlooking all of the good that Paterno did over the course of more than 40
azresident-What you are not acknowledging is that the Freeh report found
that the university president, athletic director, head football coach concealed
the child abuse and that the trustees failed to exercise diligence to uncover or
stop it. This was not an isolated incident. The most senior people at the
university were complicit. Shutting down the football program for a time would
not be too extreme. Yes, innocent kids and fans would pay a price. But the
culture at Penn State needs to change, and a one or two year break would help
There is no more heinous crime than the abuse of a child ... none whatsoever!
Next comes the crime of allowing it to happen and simply stating,
after the atrocities have come to light, to say no more than JoPa said: "I
should have done more."Ya think???
What a bunch of overreaching statements. Calls for Penn State to abandon
football because of this are absurd. No more than should the church abandon
seminary because a Utah Valley teacher took liberties with one of his students.
How many years did the US turn a blind eye what was going on in Nazi Germany?
How many of our own "founding fathers" turn a blind eye to the
institution of human slavery - which many including Jefferson acknowledged at
the time was a wrong practice. How the school reacted to one of
their own doing wrong was not acceptable. BUt it does not take away from those
people, who are by far in the majority, did the right thing, and represented
their school honorably. To tarnish an entire school, where thousands have come
and left without an incident, because of the actions of one man, is a really bad
president for society to take. It would be morally wrong to punish those young
men on that team today, to punish those students enrolled in that school today,
for the sins of another.
So then, if something similar was happening at one of the high schools or
universities in Utah then the program at the high school or university needs to
be shut down? If a teacher at one of the charter schools was molesting children
then the whole school should be disbanded? If some other heinous behavior
occurred in a family then the whole family should be.......? Are
you throwing the baby out with the bath water? Those athletes, those
students, those family members are innocent of any wrongdoing.
I read another suggestion with regard to the Paterno statue, that I thought was
a good one: Keep it, but turn it around, to represent how he turned his back on
The entire football program at Penn State needs to be shut down. The only issue
to resolve is for how long. Yes, this will harm student athletes currently in
the football program at Penn State, but in my opinion there is no other
alternative. Every single school out there needs to know that if you don't
report, your program is going to get shut down. Perhaps some damages should be
paid for the students currently in the football program,although I would
question the thinking of any student who has entered the program after this
entire mess became public.
Dear Marksman have you not been following this whole issue. Joe Paterno was
told it was taking place and he simply passed it up the food chain and did not
take the matter into his own hands. He is culpable with all the others.
I'm not sure PSU football should be disbanded - seems a bit harsh and
punishing those that had nothing to do with the crime or hiding the facts. But,
anyone that had any part of these terrible events should at the very least
fired, then held accountable. Taking down the statue seems
appropriate - if this is in fact true.
Trooper55 - Programs have lost their teams for a lot less than what has gone on
at Penn St. I get it, you don't want us to judge people. I'm not
judging a person - I'm judging the lack of regard for protecting young
children by an entire public institution - all in the name of their beloved
football program. So what is the best punishment for a group of people who
regard their football program above the safety of children? Take the football
program away. Absolutely if this was going on at Utah or BYU, they
should do the same thing. Who cares what school it is? A child is a child - and
their protection is more important than football.
@TrooperYa, I'm a huge BYU fan. Season tickets for the last 7 years.
Only missed one game. Although it would be horrible and leave a huge hole in my
heart. If it was discovered that an assistant coach was molesting kids and the
President, Athletic Director and Head Coach covered it up for 14 years and
allowed it to happen continue to happen, on campus I would call for a 1-2 year
ban on football, the immediate removal of ALL items related to the legacy of
those administrators and coaches. I would hope that the NCAA also would
blackball them the same way that they blackball coaches with recruiting
violations. Except unlike recruiting violations I would want them blackballed
from the NCAA for life. I love football, I love my team. Stopping child
molestation is more important than that. Period, end of discussion, NO doubt in
Sadly, Vai, I must agree with you. If the Freeh report is accurate then Paterno
is fully complicit in the horrible and disgusting abuse of children that went on
at Penn State and his legacy is damaged beyond repair. Penn State should act
quickly and decisively to condemn Paterno and all who were involved in the cover
up to not only save their football program, but also the reputation of the
entire university. This means that the statue must come down. There will be some
dark days ahead for Penn State, and I feel very badly for Nittany Lion fans, but
there is no other way to come back from something like this. They will be lucky
if the NCAA doesnt hand down a death sentence on their program, and the other
Big Ten universities dont vote to kick them out of the conference.
You all are quick to judge people and what should be done. So far they have just
touch the tip of the iceberg in the cover up at Penn State. There still need to
be an investagtion done by NCAA and leave them meet out what punishment Penn
State should suffer for the years child abuse that fell by the wayside in light
of the football program. I also wonder if you people from Utah would be as quick
to take the football program away from BYU if a child abuse ever happen there. I
could may some statement of some child abuse that has happen in Utah and the
person who did wrong never pay any price. I also will remind you that you who is
without sin cast the frist stone. That is what the bible says by Jesus himself.
I am not defending Penn State or any of the people involed. Joe Paterno did do
good and has paid the price for not doing more about the child abuse that happen
on the school property. I at this time has no real responce about the statue.
NCAA has to say on this matter.
Anyone out there who is abusing a child or protecting an abuser is a huge menace
to society.We all should be outraged. Tear down Joe's statue.
He did not step up when the moment counted.I wish so bad that the
Janitor would have had the courage to blow the whistle on Sandusky. How many other programs around the country have that same culture of fear
going on though? We need to stop treating football players and coaches like
they are untouchable. If they are a clown then call them out!Good
Job Vai! Thanks for being bold and having an opinion and being willing to share
Paterno is Penn State football. Removing the statue is the very least that
should happen. The NCAA should disband PSU football program. If they won't,
the Big 10 should kick the Nitany Lions to the curb and every Division 1 school
in the country should refuse to play them...forever more.
Penn St. should not have a football program after this.
Nothing is more important than protecting the welfare and innocence of our
Not only should the statue of Paterno be taken down, but it should be melted
down the scrap be sold to help a worthy cause.Paterno loved being
head coach. Fans loved having him as head coach. As Head Coach the buck stops at
your door. Paterno was negligent and lives were ruined. Yes, fix the problem but
Paterno was one of several to blame -- and in our system of jurisprudence blame
MUST be affixed and punishment delivered. Penn State will be greatly damaged for
decades as part of their punishment. Their brand is ruined now. Their former
President and AD who were co-equal in the failure to report a terrible crime
have lost their job and future employment and will have criminal charges brought
against their actions. If Paterno were alive today he too would have seen
criminal charges and jail time. He's dead so the only punishment left is he
must become a non-entity in Happy Valley.
Mark,Are you seriously trying to defend Paterno? If you read any of
that report, you would have read that his first thought when he heard about the
assault was the football program. His last thought was on the child that was
assaulted. No way that he deserves his statues or adoration. He may have been
a great coach, but he was a terrible person due to his failure to act in defense
of a child.
Long before current events came to light, I recall hearing a sportscaster who
was familiar with Paterno stating that Joe would never retire. He related that
JoPa had no hobbies, interests or activities beyond Penn State Football, and
would die quickly if he were to leave the Happy Valley. At the time I thought if
this is indeed true, what a sad indictment for this man to have nothing beyond
football. Now that we are beginning to peek behind the Paterno
Football Legacy, I see that it's true, he was a shell of the man we thought
I have read several articles including these types of opinions. I guess we need
to help people learn to read and understand. The independant report was nothing
more than blame. Each organization has to decide and how and what they chose to
act on. Penn State choose to lay the decisions on it's internal
leadership. If we blame anyone, it is those who choose the direction and those
who had the power to do so. Leave Coach out of it. And then I ask the question
so hard to anwser by many, should we find blame or it is better to just fix? What Coach did so far out weigh anything he might have missed. And
maybe his inflectous desire to see good, clouded is ability to see evil. I
myself so wish that there were more that saw good, even more like him. The
macro effects would be huge. Mark
As usual Vai is the best thing about the Deseret News.I don't
know how any entity, whether it is a Church, a University, a Business, or a
Charity, can turn its back on a child in danger. Apparently Joe Paterno knew a
sexual assault against a helpless child occurred and decided to protect the
institution over the child. The student athletes who won Penn State's
honors are not to blame for this, but their long time coach certainly is. It is
with great sorrow that I have to agree that statues and honors for Joe must go.
Anyone who thinks that football is more important than protecting children
clearly doesn't deserve to be immortalized.