Thursday, July 12, 2012

Death penalty

The Freeh report on Penn State, Sandusky, Paterno and other criminals has been released, confirming my expectations.
NYTimes: The most senior officials at Penn State University failed for more than a decade to take any steps to protect the children victimized by Jerry Sandusky, the longtime lieutenant to head football coach Joe Paterno, according to an independent investigation of the sexual abuse scandal that rocked the university last fall. 
“Our most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims,” said Louis J. Freeh, the former federal judge and director of the F.B.I. who oversaw the investigation. “The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized.”
NCAA are you listening? Give Penn State football the death penalty. What SMU did was nothing in comparison. This is one situation where we can be thankful for plaintiff's attorneys. Are Moody's credit rating analysts on top of this?

From Freeh's statement to the press:
... Messrs. Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley never demonstrated, through actions or words, any concern for the safety and well-being of Sandusky’s victims until after Sandusky’s arrest. 
In critical written correspondence that we uncovered on March 20th of this year, we see evidence of their proposed plan of action in February 2001 that included reporting allegations about Sandusky to the authorities. After Mr. Curley consulted with Mr. Paterno, however, they changed the plan and decided not to make a report to the authorities. Their failure to protect the February 9, 2001 child victim, or make attempts to identify him, created a dangerous situation for other unknown, unsuspecting young boys who were lured to the Penn State campus and football games by Sandusky and victimized repeatedly by him. 
Further, they exposed this child to additional harm by alerting Sandusky, who was the only one who knew the child’s identity, about what McQueary saw in the shower on the night of February 9, 2001.
... The evidence shows that these four men also knew about a 1998 criminal investigation of Sandusky relating to suspected sexual misconduct with a young boy in a Penn State football locker room shower. Again, they showed no concern about that victim. The evidence shows that Mr. Paterno was made aware of the 1998 investigation of Sandusky, followed it closely, but failed to take any action, even though Sandusky had been a key member of his coaching staff for almost 30 years, and had an office just steps away from Mr. Paterno’s. At the very least, Mr. Paterno could have alerted the entire football staff, in order to prevent Sandusky from bringing another child into the Lasch Building. Messrs. Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley also failed to alert the Board of Trustees about the 1998 investigation or take any further action against Mr. Sandusky. None of them even spoke to Sandusky about his conduct. In short, nothing was done and Sandusky was allowed to continue with impunity. 
Based on the evidence, the only known, intervening factor between the decision made on February 25, 2001 by Messrs. Spanier, Curley and Schulz to report the incident to the Department of Public Welfare, and then agreeing not to do so on February 27th, was Mr. Paterno’s February 26 th conversation with Mr. Curley.
Criminal negligence? You thought I was exaggerating when I used the word "criminals" above?

See Good riddance JoePa and ensuing discussion (11/2011 -- when the story first broke).
I think when the dust settles Sandusky is clearly guilty and JoePa looks very bad. 
... what are Joepa and McQueary thinking in subsequent weeks and years when they look at each other and at Sandusky as he passes them in the locker room? Does Joepa think McQueary was on drugs and made the whole thing up? Then why is McQueary in one of the top coaching positions? Perhaps you don't believe McQueary's testimony that he told Joepa all the details about the Sandusky encounter? 
Hard to believe "Saint Joe" didn't want to know all the facts when he met with McQueary the next day.
... If Paterno continues living this is all going to come out in the criminal trial and private lawsuits. Why did Sandusky not succeed Paterno as head coach, as was widely expected? What did Paterno know? How could Paterno and the grad assistant (now the WR coach) look each other in the eye year after year, knowing that Sandusky was still around, had an office in the building and ran football camps for young kids? Didn't they wonder what happened to that little boy in the showers after 2002? Obviously there was no law enforcement action as Sandusky remained a free man. To say that Paterno discharged his moral responsibility by reporting a watered down version of the event to his "superiors" is ridiculous. 
The whole thing makes me sick.


Yan Shen said...

"NCAA are you listening? Give Penn State football the death penalty."

I think someone should also give the Catholic Church the death penalty. It's easily one of the most despicable organizations in the world. Didn't Pope Benedict supposedly play a part in covering up for the child abuse of other priests within the church? Shouldn't he be locked up in a jail cell somewhere? And yet this clown is revered by countless millions around the world as a holy man of the utmost importance.

I would say that the self entitled and corrupt culture of college sports doesn't rank too far behind the sleaziness of the Catholic Church though. Like the Pope, the late Joe Paterno was also a clown who was revered by mindless football fans. What's stunning is how so many people are still sympathetic towards Paterno, despite what we are now learning were his many moral shortcomings.

I had the misfortune of rooming with 2 UPenn football players during my sophomore year(not by choice, the 3rd guy in our suite was pretty cool though, he was a foreign exchange student from Italy). No one gives a shit about Ivy League football, which makes you wonder why they bother recruiting clowns in the first place who take away spots from much more qualified individuals.

Carson Chow said...

Do you think other big time football or basketball programs would have acted differently?

addicted4444 said...

Um. Yes. I think the vast majority of human beings would have acted differently.

Also, if that is the best defense you got, you'd might as well pack your bags and quit right now. Sickens me that people are using the "hey, other folks would have also let a child molester prey on kids in their facilities for a decade".

Carson Chow said...

Not defending them at all. I think all of big money sports is corrupt.

Robert Sykes said...

Unfortunately, the crimes committed at PSU do not fall within the purview of the NCAA. The NCAA regulates athletic contest between colleges and universities. It does not (and should not) regulate criminal acts by the employees of those institutions. SMU got the "death" penalty because it committed egregious violations of specific NCAA regulations and did so for years. Do you really want private organization to punish criminal acts? That would, of course, be vigilantiism.

As the to the Catholic Church, a Dept of Education report showed that child abuse in the public schools was 100 times as common as abuse in the Catholic Church. This should be obvious. The Church's abuses were committed by homosexual priests on teenage boys. This is not pedophilia, which is sexual assault on prepubescent children. Abuses in the public schools include homosexual and heterosexual affairs with both teenage boys and girls, by both male and female teachers, and true pedophilia. The incidence of abuse in the Catholic Church is about the same, or even smaller, that that in other child/youth oriented organizations like the YMCA, YWCA, Boy Scouts, Protestant churches, Jewish synagogues, private schools, etc.

All these organizations conduct the same kinds of coverups the Church did, and for the same reasons.

Suppress the Catholic Church if you will (who cares?), but also shut down all the other churches and synagogues, and youth groups and public schools.

LondonYoung said...

To go closer to home, what do we think of the following: A lower Tier 1 university with a PhD Physics program would like to break into competition as one of the great programs. A star prof looks to be Nobel material any year now, but the dept chair knows of a series of allegations of the Sandusky variety against said potential Nobel ... (or maybe even a rumor that he is a republican ;-) ) ... every member of the faculty is leveraged to getting that Nobel ... None of these guys are in it for the money, their lives are about the prestige of the program ... the Nobel is awarded, and the star prof conveniently dies just before the FBI reveals all. Do we impose the death penalty on the program? The university? All of Physics? As a grad student I witnessed great injustice meted out to the grad students by the faculty ... I didn't get the feeling that most of them cared about the students at all ... I know zippo about big college sports, but I am fairly confident that university faculty that care little about student well being, and much about their prestige are quite common ...

Yan Shen said...

I think I've read stuff before where people purported to show that the proportion of abusive priests in the Catholic Church was not significantly higher than the proportion of sexual predators amongst the general population at large, or something along those lines. This kind of thinking misses the point for two reasons.

One, people hold the Catholic Church to a higher moral standard than they do other institutions, be it society at large or whatever else, because as a religious institution the Catholic Church pontificates endlessly about morality. You would think that someone who has declared themselves to be the ultimate authority on morality would actually bother living up to their own lofty rhetoric.

Second, sexual predators in society at large get sent to prison, along with the people who shelter them. The Catholic Church is an enormously powerful and sadly respected institution. It abuses its power by protecting sexually predatory priests. This is an outrage. I think that in short society would be much better off without either organized religion or collegiate sports. Both institutions are hopelessly corrupt.

Carson Chow said...

Well, academics are all jealous of each other so they wouldn't want a colleague to win the Nobel. They would turn him in on a dime. They're too autistic to do otherwise.

David Coughlin said...

I know this, but I am still disappointed when I read about it. The idealist in me wants to think that the thinkers have thought extensively about their metagame, but no.

LondonYoung said...

by the way, we are all aware that Caltech just got sanctioned by the NCAA, right?

Carson Chow said...

I think this just shows how completely ludicrous the NCAA is. They basically ignore the truly corrupt stuff like the exploitation of student athletes, while sanctioning some basketball player for getting a loan by a cousin of an agent or a division III school, where the athletes truly are amateurs.

LondonYoung said...

It is almost as if the NCAA was looking after university cash flow rather than the well being of the students .... Is the NCAA headed by a former student athlete?

Blog Archive