And In The Beginning of The Middle
"There Are A Lot Of People Who Think I’m A Phony And Now They Think They Have The Proof’. – Joe Paterno
"Sports Illustrated March 17, 1980"
"I Don’t Know Anything About It" - Joe Paterno
"ESPN Outside The Lines -2008
"With The Benefit Of Hindsight , I Wish I Had Done More" - Joe Paterno
Penn State Press Conference – November 9, 2011
1979-80 – No Really, We’re Really All Really Good Guys, Really.
Everything in this post is available to anyone who is willing to Google around some news archives.Those with a huge stake in College Football ABC/ESPN, NBC, CBS, Comcast and the rest, are presenting the Sandusky scandal in the contrived context that this all an isolated series of incidents in an otherwise stellar, football program billing itself as a "Great Experiment". A football program that self-importantly boasts it never has the best players, just the best moral-scholar-athletes. Athletes who challenge themselves to meet self-imposed standards of the highest order as a condition of entrance into the the program.
For those of you who think the Penn State/Child Rape scandal is a recent development brought about by JoPa’s encroaching age and isolation from reality, hang on a minute. Lets take a look back to see if that computes with the past. For instance this Sports Illustrated piece from 30 years ago, Paterno’s 14th as Head Coach.
Murderer Number One
In the Summer of 1979 former player Todd Hodne was arrested on a series of rape charges. Good kid gone bad? Nine years later Todd Hodne was convicted on two counts of murder. He is currently serving two life sentences in New York State and was denied parole in 2009..
Boys Will Be Boys
That same year? Three defensive stand-outs declared academically ineligible. Two more defensive tackles were suspended when campus cops busted them for drinking on campus late at night. Paterno benches them for one game.
Running Back Wants In On the Fun Too.
Not long afterward tailback Booker Moore gets drunk enough to run his car over a curb on campus after setting a personal rushing record and gets arrested. Paterno benches him for one game.
An Environment of Inclusiveness – Scrubinis Get To Play Paterno Ball Too
Later in the season, one of Paterno’s reserves tries to crash a party and assaults a non-player in the dormitory. Paterno sits him for one game. And finally, at the Liberty Bowl, a reserve tackle breaks into a house some distance from the Hyatt where the team was quartered, draws gunfire from the occupants, and is arrested by Memphis police. He is allowed to plead guilty, pay $48.50 in court fees and given 6 months unsupervised probation. He claimed he was looking for a place to sleep.
Stand Up Comedy
From this same article: "Paterno insists, "We have never covered up things around here. We just didn’t have problems."
2002 to 2008 – A Veritable Crime Wave. Where The Hell Was Dick Tracy?
According to Public Court Records during this period Forty-Six Penn State Footballers are charged with 163 different crimes. Twenty-seven players are convicted or plead guilty. That is almost four per year. The charges range from underage drinking to sexual assaults. There was enough criminal activity, police reports, depositions and court records here for "Law And Order – We Are Penn State"
Murderer Number Two, Come On Down!
Murder number two by a former player. This one, Lavon Chisley who had become academically ineligible in 2005. Stabbed PSU student Langston Carraway 93 times in June 2006. Like former player and previously convicted rapist and murderer Todd Hodne, Lavon Chisley is also serving a life sentence for murder.
2007 – Thirteen Against One? Sounds About Right for Great Experimenters.
PSU student Jack Britt, son of Philadelphia PD Sergeant, William Britt a 30 year veteran and supervisor of detectives in Philadelphia’s homicide division, is beaten to a pulp in an apartment where 13 PSU Football players broke in and attacked him after a previous altercation earlier in the evening. There was one conviction for trespassing.
2008 – Are You Sure This Wasn’t an Interview with Tony Soprano’s Uncle, Junior Corrado?
July 2008 ESPN did an Outside the Lines Piece, both for broadcast and a written article for their website. Here’s a question from ESPN’s Interviewer, and Joe Paterno’s response as taken from Coaches Hot Seat which links back to the original video.
ESPN Question: “Since 2002 at least 46 Penn State players have been charged with a total of 163 crimes. How do you feel when you hear those numbers?”
Joe Paterno Answer: “I don’t know anything about it. I take everybody individually. When you say 46, whatever your numbers are, I think you have done an awful lot of probing, which bothers me that you might be on the witch hunt. To be fair to the kids, I don’t know what the charges are. I’ve got to take each kid individually and do the best job I can with them.”
There should be no puzzlement as to why Jerry Sandusky was allowed to continue his predatory criminal and perverted behavior. He was enabled and encouraged to do so by the boss’s treatment of criminal behavior in the past. His was not an isolated or a stand-alone series of "inappropriate behavior" around minor children. This was a predator who has spent his adult life compulsively butt-raping little boys according to the Grand Jury Report, and using Paterno’s football program and his 40 year association with him to insulate himself.
Mobsters, Drug Lords, Rustlers
Look; Al Capone donated lots of food and dollar bills to the unemployed masses in Depression-era Chicago’s soup kitchens and was lauded for his handouts. Pablo Escobar, late of the Colombian Drug Cartels had the run of several villages, police departments, and even the prison he was confined in, such was his largess with his ill-gotten gains.
Tombstone’s Curly Bill Broscius and the Clanton gang had the run of Arizona’s Cochise County as they spread their booty from cattle rustling, and stage coach hold-ups, around to ranchers in exchange for fresh horses and hide-outs when pursued by Law Enforcement for murder and other vicious crimes, and corrupting the local sheriff’s while they were at it.
This is what corrupt enterprises that have access to millions of dollars do. They use their money, influence, payoffs and intimidation to enable them to operate in plain view. It took years and many squandered opportunities to finally bring Sandusky and the others into the public light.
The proper context in which to view the current travesty is that there was a lot of smoke in State College many years ago. It erupted into flames, and eventually it turned into a Dante’s Inferno, burning up untold innocents along the way.
Sack-Cloth, Ashes, Symbolism and Phony Self-Mortification And Other Feel Good Antics
The Penn State football team, its fans, its sycophants, Nebraska’s fans, and a TV audience witnessed (or participated) in a mockery of the "Grand Experiment" with prayers, and candle-light vigils, and more prayers, and more vapid, unctuous play-acting for the cameras before today’s game, in which the old-guard was still coaching on the sidelines with thousands of fans trying to claim the moral high-ground and portray Paterno as a victim, and not a perpetrator.
Shameful And Shameless
Try some empathy on for the victims and their families. How can you not look on in astonishment and rage and great sadness to see the fruits of Paterno’s ill founded labors treated as noble conquering heroes, or as victims instead of amoral enablers? Especially considering what is now known. That this football program has not been suspended, and continues to ply its trade weekly on National Television is an affront to human decency.
The Cowardly Lion Hides In the Rabbit Hole
And where was Joe Paterno? Hiding in his house. Refusing to talk, just like all the mafia bosses when their time was up. Did he offer a public apology to his team for ruining their seasons and dragging them through a scandal that will stain their lives forever? Did he apologize to the parents of the players for smearing their sons’ good names?
Has he apologized to the hundreds of actual honorable, college coaches, football and otherwise, whose reputations he has sullied with guilt by association? Has he acknowledged that an honorable and diligent coaching staff would have cleaned his football program out years ago of the sociopaths, truants, drunks, misogynists and other scum recruits that have stocked this program over the years?
Will he accept any responsibility for the irreparable damage his selfish actions have caused and continue to cause to Penn State and the citizens of State College by pretending to be an innocent victim instead of the primary enabler of a sexual predator like Jerry Sandusky; or convicted murderers like Todd Hodne, or Lavon Chisley?
Joe Paterno – Betrayer of Peers
To one degree or another because Paterno’s moral bankruptcy has stained College Athletics in the same way Al Capone shamed Italian-Americans. Wrongly or rightly, there will be guilt by association. College Athletic Departments all over the country have on-campus enemies, especially with shrinking budgets, limited funds, renegade programs, envious of the non-scholastic expenditures that College Sports incur, and particularly those athletic programs run by smug and arrogant ladder-climbers.
Rightly or wrongly, these people will try and use this disgraceful and unbelievable post-discovery behavior by the Penn State Football program as a war club to wield against athletic departments in colleges all over the country. And it won’t be the SEC schools either. It will be the smaller Division I, Division II & III programs that will suffer the most; because they cost money, not make money for coaches, and administrators.
False Gods And Zombies
JoPa? Father Joe? I think not. And if Joe Posnanski can’t see that, then he needs to get the hell away from Nowhere, Pennsylvania as fast as he can and go home to the sanity of his wife and children; the people in his life that he should be with now. Not agonizing over the ashes of a false god surrounded by thousands of moral zombies .