Penn State, Paterno swept atrocities under rug

Published 10:07 am Thursday, November 17, 2011

Penn State University’s Board of Trustees acted correctly in firing President Graham Spanier and popular head football coach Joe Paterno for their handling of the child abuse sex scandal involving the school’s football program.

The scandal involves allegations of pedophilia stretching over at least 15 years in which former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky is charged with molesting eight boys.

Spanier was fired after it came to light that a graduate assistant for the football team had reported one attack by Sandusky on a young boy that reached the university’s president, who then did nothing. Spanier denies he was ever aware of the charge.

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Paterno was fired for his inadequate response to Sandusky’s misbehavior ….

“In order for evil to flourish, all that is required is for good men to do nothing,” the great British parliamentarian Edmund Burke once said. Add to that a quote attributed to Dante, “The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of great moral crises maintain their neutrality.”

There are two aspects of this scandal. One concerns the monstrous behavior toward youngsters that is alleged to have been perpetrated by retired Coach Sandusky. The other wider scandal concerns the failure to proactively deal with Coach Sandusky ….

No question of the greatness of Joe Paterno as a football coach. His record is secure in that respect. Whether simply having reported the allegations regarding Sandusky’s behavior absolves him of responsibility is a question whose answer is yet to be determined.

Kent-Ravenna Record-Courier