We have no sympathy for Joe Paterno.
We have even less for his supporters.
Our apathy devolved into anger towards the students who were so incensed at Paterno’s firing that they felt the need to push over a news vans and tear down street lamps in an all-out riot.
These ‘protesters’ faced jail in defense of man who failed to inform police of a known child molester on his coaching staff. There are better things to stand up for.
They should be rioting over the fact that a child was raped on the campus that their tuition helps fund, and that the abuser’s salary was subsidized by their tax dollars.
They should be furious that the name of the university on their degree will, for a long time, hold negative connotations, devaluing the education they spent thousands on.
They should be outraged at the man who they upheld as an idol turned out to be at best a coward, and at worst an enabler.
Why is protecting Joe Paterno’s legacy something that spurs such passion in students, when protecting innocent children from disgusting and vile acts provokes no comparable response?
Protecting a man’s legacy is the reason Jerry Sandusky was never reported, why he was still allowed to come and go freely on the Penn State campus after at least four people (in reality, probably many more) knew what he had done.
Assistant coach Mike McQueary said he was ‘distraught’ by what he saw when he caught Sandusky sodomizing a ten year-old boy in the locker room showers, but he wasn’t disturbed enough to call the police or quit attending charity events held by the molester.
McQueary might be protected under Pennsylvania’s whistleblower laws, and could sue Penn State if he is fired. They should fire him anyway. And if he sues, they should pay him whatever it takes to keep him from being associated with the university in any way.
McQueary will likely have a hard time finding a comparable job, but that doesn’t invoke my pity. My sympathies lie in the right place; with the victims. What happened to them cannot be changed, but it can be made sure that Sandusky never hurts another child again, and that those who stopped at the line of legal obligation are shown that moral failure is still reprehensible.