Fans & Role Models: Learning From Penn State

Open Thread: Jaret Wright
Montero talks Wilson Ramos, still plans to go home this winter

Sports are supposed to be fun. We invest ourselves in our teams, live vicariously through the players, and generally enjoy our experience as fans. But every so often, a watershed moment comes along that snaps us out of the fantasy world that we construct around our favorite sports. These moments make us reevaluate how we connect with the athletes that we follow and how we view them as people. For many baseball fans, the day Sports Illustrated released the first huge expose on steroids was one such moment, a revelation that caused many to reevaluate the players that they had come to admire. The events at Penn State over the last 10 days, and truly over the last 15 years, serve as another clarion call to sports fans around the world, begging us to pause and take stock of how we lionize those who play or run the games we love.

Jerry Sandusky was a pillar of the Penn State community. A defensive coach who was once the heir apparent to Joe Paterno, he was the driving force behind Linebacker U, an identity that defined Penn State football for a long time. He also ran a large charity for children and young adults, dedicating countless hours to providing disadvantaged children with important services. Sandusky was well respected in the community and was widely regarded as an integral member of the Penn State family. Meanwhile, Joe Paterno was practically God at State College. When a number of school officials showed up at his door and asked him to retire in 2004, he respectfully refused, showed them out, and kept coaching. A local institution who has been at Penn State for 60 years, he was very much a benevolent ruler who was loved by most in that little slice of Pennsylvania. He was well know for being a good man, a strong educator, and a fierce competitor.

These are some, but not all, of the men at the center of the most heinous sports scandal of our time. Sandusky is alleged to have molested or raped at least eight children, with rumors suggesting the actual number is likely closer to 20. Later, Paterno was informed by underlings that something untoward was occurring, and he allowed the whole issue to be swept under the rug on his watch. While Paterno’s was clearly a much lesser offense, it showed a startling lack of judgment and fortitude from a man who was revered as being a pillar of integrity. These are terrible and despicable actions taken by individuals who many assumed to be excellent citizens and fine leaders of men. The question I am left with as a sports fan is, how do we connect with players and leaders in the future? How can we observe this atrocity and just return to lionizing players as being courageous or moral when we really know little about them? How can we watch the Penn State fanbase have the rug pulled out from under them and then just get right back on that rug ourselves?

It’s an obvious lesson that we can take from this atrocious story: we don’t really know athletes and coaches at all. We view them through the prism of the media, sitting a distance while journalists try to coax illuminating answers from largely unwilling subjects. We watch them answer a few questions and then think we can understand what motivates them. But there is a large distance between our couches and their minds, and our picture of their personal attributes is flawed and incomplete at best.

The first instinct upon coming to this realization is to swear off connecting with athletes at all, to treat them as automatons who perform athletic feats to entertain us. But that approach steals some of the joy from sports as well. Our love for stories built around heroes and villains is an integral thread in the tapestry of sports, and distancing ourselves from making character judgments of players would eviscerate that element of fandom.

Instead, there’s an important line we can draw between admiring someone for what he does and making a full scale character judgment as to what kind of person he is. Everyone is entitled to have their sports heroes, but it’s important not to diminish or neglect that “sports” qualifier and simply revere people we barely know as true heroes. We can admire actions that they take, venerate their performance on the field and their charitable acts, but as the PSU scandal illustrates, it is dangerous to lionize them. When we do, we can end up being duped into thinking they can do no wrong, and may find ourselves defending them for actions that have no justification. As fans, true hero worship will often end up with us get burned, because athletes and coaches are human beings, subject to the same flaws and weaknesses that we all have. Holding up a man as a paragon of greatness and then finding out that it was all an illusion saps the joy from fandom, destroying the happiness that sports should be about. It might just be better to avoid holding them up as role models to begin with.

Open Thread: Jaret Wright
Montero talks Wilson Ramos, still plans to go home this winter
  • Plank

    Applying this to the Yankees, your post made me think of the praise Mariano Rivera gets here and his role in the gay bashing that went on in the Yankees clubhouse.

    He was a great pitcher. I’m okay with leaving it at that. It makes me very uncomfortable when people make religious statements about him.

    • Soriano Is A Liar

      Not to start a big discussion on this, but I think even that (to me) falls under the category of stuff we don’t know. Mariano was mentioned one time IIRC, for all we know it could have been an isolated mistake. So while I agree that it’s a bit weird to go holding him up as the perfect man (other than in jest), I think Moshe’s article points out that we shouldn’t go assuming that he isn’t a great guy either, based on one story.

      • Moshe Mandel

        Exactly. In this particular case, we had people who were idolized turn out to be flawed. Sometimes, you have players who you think are lowlifes who end up doing charitable things that blow you away.

    • JohnnyC

      The case was thrown out by the Court of Appeals. Turns out the guy stole shirts, baseballs, and bats, turned around and sold them. He was fired for a legitimate reason.

      • Plank

        It comes down to two groups claiming opposite things. I tend to believe the guy dying of AIDS.

        Stealing memorabilia and getting sexually harassed aren’t mutually exclusive. Also, the fact that the case was thrown out on appeal means the first time the court saw the case, they decided it had merit.

        • ArchStanton

          Merit to continue, but doesn’t mean that they found merit to each and every claim made. Merit to hear a case is a pretty low standard to judge a man by….

    • Brian

      I completely agree with this. I love what Mo has done for the Yankees, but as a gay man, I would probably cringe at what he has to think about gay marriage, being so religious and all

  • yankees=warriors

    Couldn’t have said it better. Working behind the scenes during the MLB Taiwan series showed me lots of dark sides of the baseball world that I never knew. Also saw how much like A-Rod Cano has turned into. Sad…

    • Steve (different one)

      Was wondering how many posts it would take for a-rod to come up.

      • Moshe Mandel

        Honestly, while this obviously doesn’t sniff the Penn State scandal, the best Yankees parallel (h/t Mike) is in the story of Andy Pettitte. Pettitte has always been respected as a stand-up guy, a family man, a guy you could trust, and then it ended up that he was using steroids. I don’t really care about roids, but I’m sure there were fans who felt cheated.

        • Bob Stone

          I’m nit-picking but I thought he admitted to using HGH twice – not steroids. I suspect you meant to say PEDs, not steroids.

          • Moshe Mandel

            Yes, I did. My mistake, and thank you for correcting me, because I do think it is a relevant distinction.

        • James d.

          I agree with you on Pettitte. At least with him, though, there’s generally a separation between judging his morality and judging his achievements as a baseball player and Yankee. We can like his pitching without excusing, say, if he went and killed someone.

          At Penn St. (and many other college programs and other institutions), the veneration of the institution and its leaders becomes inseparable — hence, Joe Pa becomes a quasi-deity, and his lieutenants become his apostles. That’s how you wind up with a leadership core (and, to an extent, a base of followers) that believed that anything that doesn’t venerate the institution is wrong. Makes it easier to cover up sex abuse when that crime is viewed as a crime against the institution.

          To be fair, it’s just human nature to like the tradition, structure and real benefits of institutions, but those institutions have the endless, inevitable tendency to be corrupted by power. Penn St. has a lot to re-examine, and it won’t be easy.

          • Moshe Mandel

            That’s a fair distinction. As you noted, we may have thought Pettitte was a good guy, but that was not really tied into his success on the field. Penn State, however, had a reputation for being about integrity and honesty, and that absolutely played into their success. To have that turn out to be a total myth really destroys a lot of what was at the core of Penn State football.

            • James d.

              BTW, great article. This isn’t easy to write about, even on a general news site, and you’ve done so in a way that also brings about good questions and discussion. I think everyone is shaken up by this in some way, and this is just another discussion outlet for the RAB community.

              • Moshe Mandel

                Thanks, I appreciate that.

            • Stephanie

              To be fair, Joe Paterno did report what he was told to the AD. At the time in 2002 Sandusky was not on Joe Paterno’s staff. Joe Paterno gave over 60 years to the university and millions of dollars. The library at PSU has the coach’s name on it. That doesn’t happen very often.

              Yes this shows the dangers of idol worship, but I think the media was quick to vilify Joe and that was the problem. Especailly with Penn Staters. I’m not a PSU alum, I have family that is and grew up on Penn State football and Yankee baseball.

              But the important this is as Coach Paterno tried to remind everyone is that there were victims that are ignored as the media tries to ruin Joe’s reputation. PSU students held a vigil for the victims and raised money for Child abuse awareness, but that is limited in the media mention.

              I think this case also should warn us of media overzelousness.

              • Plank

                Joe Paterno ruined Joe Paterno’s reputation. I haven’t heard anything on the news approaching the standard response I’ve been hearing from people. The media has been very gentle on Paterno and the whole PSU program.

                If he doesn’t face charges, I’ll be shocked. It just depends on how many people tell the truth when they are questioned by whatever investigation happens and how many people continue the lie that Joe and the boys constructed when the walls started falling down around them.

              • Steve (different one)

                Yeah, no. I don’t think people have forgotten about the victims. That seems like a point designed to reflect our attention away from Paterno. Paterno’s reputation deserves to be tarnished, no matter how many years of service or libraries were named after him. He bottom line is that if he had acted swiftly, decisively and followed through, he could have prevented kids from being sexually abused. Period. It’s pretty black and white to almost everyone looking from outside PSU.

                This is not some media conspiracy to bring down Paterno. His own words and actions have done that.

                • Chris

                  1. The library was not named after him, he donated millions of dollars for that library to be built.

                  2. In reporting what his graduate assistant told him to Gary Shultz, he DID go to the police (Shutlz was the head of University Park Police Dept).

                  3. If in 1998 the county prosecutor at the time would’ve pressed charges instead ignoring the case and deciding not to prosecute, HE could’ve stopped the abuse and saved many of the kids. He however is missing and presumed dead so they couldn’t bash him.

                  4. The ONLY reason Joe got the treatment he did was because he was the biggest name and face at Penn State so he would sell the most stories.

                  5. If your not a Penn Stater you will never understand. Please do not judge what you don’t understand.

                  • Plank

                    5. If your not a Penn Stater you will never understand. Please do not judge what you don’t understand.

                    Yeah, Steve. Why don’t you shut up about child rape. You didn’t even go to Penn State.

                  • Mike HC

                    I went to Penn State. Bumped into Joe Pa on campus a couple of times (he was by himself, could not have been more humble and “normal” no frills) and both times he went out of his way to shake my hand and talk to me for a minute. Absolutely love the guy.

                    When all this first came out, my first reaction was definitely loyalty to Joe Pa and to defend him. But as time went by, and more information came out, it is tough to reconcile how Joe Pa could have continued to allow Sandusky around the program, and bringing his charity kids around with him, after knowing what he knew. I can’t get past that.

                    Sure he called the police, but the cops don’t patrol his program. He let Sandusky around the team, and he let Sandusky bring kids around his program when he knew the guy has molested kids in the past. I don’t expect Joe Pa to take the law in his own hands, but he should not have let him around the program anymore, especially bringing kids around.

                  • Mike HC

                    Paul Poslszny was the star during my era, and he recently commented that Sandusky was constantly around the program, bringing kids around and a player wanted to do charity work, that Sandusky’s charity was one of the first to go to. Clearly, Joe Pa gave Sandusy and his charity his seal of approval.

                    Why Joe Pa would have approved of Sandusky being around kids and promoting his charity within the program, when he knew the guy has molested children, is really beyond my comprehension.

                  • Mike HC

                    This is an extremely entertaining clip from the Boomer and Carton radio show. Highly recommend giving it a listen.

                    Craig Carton (and Boomer Esiason – “Boomer and Carton”) of WFAN in NY rips a PSU college student a new one. He really gets angry.


        • Josh S.

          You say that it doesn’t sniff the Penn State Scandal, but Andy Pettitte admitting to using HGH isn’t even on the same planet – definitely not the best Yankees parallel. I would say that Joe Torre’s Safe at Home Foundation would be a little closer since that addresses domestic violence and abuse. Comparing a guy using steroids to a guy preying on innocent children just to make a point about athletes is pretty disgusting in itself.

          • whozat

            But there hasn’t been a scandal with Joe Torre’s foundation, no revelation that alters our image of a person. In the Pettitte situation, there was that element for a lot of people. That’s the parallel. There’s no parallel with the safe at home foundation at all.

  • Virgil Earp

    Joe Pa had to go. Anyone who knew of this and didn’t report it to the police should at the very least lose their job and never be allowed to work with young people again. Penn State’s interim coaching staff will be let go at season’s end as the university will hire a complete outsider. Good prevailed against evil yesterday in State College.

  • Rich in NJ

    I think the Penn State situation is largely sui generis. Sandusky, it may turn out, was running a criminal enterprise disguised as a charity, designed to lure young boys in order to satisfy his immoral, deviant sexual perversion.

    While we should be mindful that the sports figures we root for are flawed human beings, the chances that they share much with that alleged monster are remote.

    The Paterno situation may offer lessons that are far more generalizable. Any time a sports figure, be it a coach, a player, or even an owner (although, granted it’s tough to hold one accountable) becomes so big that they are larger than the entity they represent and can dictate the terms of their tenure, the chances that they will make decisions that are detrimental to the best interests of the organization involved increase, often dramatically.

    • Moshe Mandel

      That’s an excellent point. At some point, you get big enough that you start to believe that what is good for you is good for the whole, when that is often far from accurate.

    • jayd808

      “Sandusky, it may turn out, was running a criminal enterprise disguised as a charity, designed to lure young boys in order to satisfy his immoral, deviant sexual perversion.”

      Boy, you sure got that one wrong. The charity is completely legit and hired Sandusky as a “consultant,” figuring he could be their Penn State connection. They cut bait with him faster than Penn State did and on less info than the school had. Sandusky perverted the charity as well as the football program.

      “It is not uncommon for those in the gay community to maintain that an adult who has same-sex relations with someone under the legal age of consent is on some level doing the kid a favor by helping to bring him or her “out.” . . . [A]dult-youth sex is viewed as an important aspect of gay culture, with a history dating back to “Greek love” of ancient times. This romanticized vision of adult-youth sexual relations has been a staple of gay literature and has made appearances, too, in gay-themed films…”
      Lesbian writer Paula Martinac, not me

      Of course you’re not going to find anyone from the gay community pointing that out in the middle of the Penn State shit storm but if you don’t think rape of 10 year old boys is part of the homosexual wet dream as much as the Playboy philosophy is to the male hetero wet dream then you’re simply not being honest. Face it, there is no difference between the older hetero seducing a highschool girl and what Sandusky did to his boys.

      The fact that the founder of NAMBLA can be praised by the White House education czar Kevin Jennings is another indicator of how mainstream older men and young boys has become in our society. Yes, it’s gross but it’s all part of the gay marriage package or mainstreaming gay relationships into our culture (which is about accomplished for all intents and purposes).

      Which is not to say it isn’t criminal and it would be sweet to see some of these guys wind up in jail for their enabling actions and cover-up. There should be some Catholic bishops in there with them and this is a good a place as ever to start IMHO. That said, I’m not holding my breath — and please, please, PLEASE skip the homophobe shit. I’m a realist.

      • Plank


      • Steve (different one)

        Holy shit. That’s about all I can say.

  • Shuffle Cards for fun

    i know im gonna be the only one to say this but, shut the fuck up!!!!! What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty?

    • Moshe Mandel

      This isn’t a courtroom. And Paterno testified to the grand jury. I don’t think any of the judgments on him need to stray from his own testimony to conclude he made an egregious error.

    • Steve H.

      With regards to JoePa, he’s likely not going to be on trial so there will be no guilt or innocence proven.

      However, there is zero doubt he dropped the ball and didn’t do enough when presented with the allegations.

      • SteveD

        Agreed. He should have done more. As he stated himself. There is no way he knew exactly what was going on. Yes I think he stuck his head in the sand not really knowing what that sick bastard Sandusky was doing. It does bother me all the Paterno bashing that is going on. I also feel he had to go as well as everyone else. I know that there are some people on the staff that probably dont deserve to be let go. But a clean slate needs to be started. The whole thing is a terrible shame.

    • Steve (different one)

      Thanks for proving the point of the article. We have paterno’s own words, and by his own admission he failed those children. There is no grey area here based on the FACTS.

  • LeftyLarry

    You’re letting JoePa off much too easily.

    Let’s put things in perspective.

    PSU entered the Big Ten in 1993 and was supposedly going to dominate the conference and become perreniel National Champions but it never happened.

    By the time the Sandusky stuff first became apparent,JoePA was already in his mid 70’s and there were a lot of Alumni who thought it was time for Joe to think about a replacement, the program was moving laterally and Barry Alvarez,a Pennsylvanian had taken the moribund Wisconsin program and was winning all the Big Tens, so there was no argument that Michigan and Ohio State were too tough to compete with.

    JoePA at this point despised Sandusky who was working behind the scenes to try and get the Head Coaching position for himself and didn’t protect him to help SAndusky, he let him retire because he was afraid a scandal like that and he wouldn’t weather a major storm with pressure starting to mount against him staying on into his mid 70’s.

    At that point JoePA made a decision to do what was best for JOEPA and the program and hushed it up.
    He didn’t think about the kids, just himself.
    I’m sorry I once admired him, in the end it was all about him and he was pretty much a villain.

    • Mike R.

      In regards to your point about Penn State not taking the Big 10 by storm, to be fair they did go undefeated in 1994 and had several great years in the 90s.

      But I pretty much agree with you. Although I wouldn’t go as far to label him a villain. More like a flawed individual who made a selfish decision. It’s semantics, but I can’t see him as a villain.

      • Plank

        Hitler was a good in the beginning. He just went too far.

        I’m not comparing him to Hitler, but comparing him to Hitler is just as absurd as whatever you were trying to do.

  • Tom Swift

    We should also be talking about the pathology of the football culture at PSU. Football is way too big a deal at places like Penn State.

    • LeftyLarry

      I don’t agree, football when not corrupted is a fine experience for players and Towns alike.It incorporates, teamwork at the highest levels, development of mind and body and the importance of support from community.
      You can participate as a coach, players, cheerleader, booster, or fan and the money brought in by football allows losing operations like most women’s sports to continue without a financial strain which would cause most men sports to be disbanded,though that is happening anyway throughout the country.

      • Tom Swift

        Sure, but when college football becomes an ersatz religion that makes people lose their sense of proportion and common sense and decency, something has gone wrong.

  • Rainbow Connection

    Thanks, Oprah.

    • Moshe Mandel

      You’re welcome!

  • Bubba

    Just my two cents (and I don’t even think they are worth that) JoePa did what was required but nol what was right.

    • Plank

      I don’t even think he did what was required. The idea that the athletic deirector was above Joe Paterno at Penn State on the totem pole in regards to what happens with the football program is ridiculous.

      • Plank

        Also, the idea that McQueary told Paterno about the rape, then got hired and it never came up again is preposterous.

        There are a whole lot of people lying there. Paterno bought McQuary’s silence by giving him a job.

  • Bubba

    Just my two cents (and I don’t even think they are worth that) JoePa did what was required but not what was right.

  • LeftyLarry

    McQueary was a young guy, in the wrong place at the wrong time (for him) stuck between a rock and a hard place and now he’s ruined.
    No matter what he did there he was probably screwed by having been there.

    • Plank

      He was 28. He took a job soon after he reported the rape and never followed up. From those factual statements, I conclude his silence was bought. What is your explanation for those events?

      • LeftyLarry

        His father worked for PSU and he had played QB for PSU.He was shocked and mortified and didn’t know what to do as would have happened to most in that situation, most of us are not Marines or Navy seals.
        He went to his Dad who told him to go to JOE and JOE would know what to do.
        He did and JoePA father sage with the power to ruin young man like that told him what to do.
        Kid was always inline for a job at PSU in coaching.
        He was caught up and wasn’t among the small percentage of people who would have had the courage to do more.
        It was Paterno who needed to step up here.
        He saved his own butt and got ten more years of his only reason for living out of it.

        • Plank

          By kid do you mean the 10 year old being raped in the shower or the 28 year old man?

    • Virgil Earp

      How about stop the guy either physically right then and there or by immediately calling the police? If McQueary does one of those things why is he screwed? He’s stopped a pedophile from sexually abusing more children. Nobody’s going to look down on him for doing the right thing. Now, he’s absolutely ruined and will never get another coaching job ever again.

      • Plank

        I really think he would have been a pariah if he had done that. He used this bit of information in a way to climb up the ladder in a corrupt institution in a “The Wire” kind of way.

      • Billion$Bullpen

        Yeah. This dude was a grown man and saw a child having unspeakable things done to him and he did NOTHING to stop it. To me he is a criminal as well. Joe Pa, McQueary and the monster who was doing the actual acts all put themselves ahead of the safety and security of young children. May they all rot.

      • LeftyLarry

        Hey, Virgil, not everybody is like you and your brother Wyatt.

        I read that psychological profiles & studies suggest that 50% of all people would have walked away and keep it to themselves and that has zero to do with his physical the person is.
        I hope and pray I would have had the courage to do more, think I would but you have to be in another man’s shoes there, to know for sure.
        Sandusky could have been somebody he knew and admired or knew and feared or the trauma of the incident made him freeze, it’s pretty horrifying or maybe he was a piece of excrement too and was worried about his career.
        Just think he’s not the villain, JoePA is.
        Look at his name, he took on the job to be FATHER figure to everyone and he let everyone down.

        • Plank

          Where did you read that? I’d like to see it.

          I don’t believe it for a second.

          • Plank

            I mean I don’t believe the conclusions made. Not that you made it up.

      • jayd808

        Good man, Virgil. You wouldn’t even have had to stop him “physically.” A simple “Put your clothes back on I’m calling the cops,” would have done it.

  • Bob Stone

    Thank you Moshe for an important, timely, insightful and well-constructed article.

    I never expected to see this topic explored on RAB.

    It reminds me of how I idolized Mickey Mantle as a kid, only to find out later that he was a hopelessly addicted alcoholic.

    • Bobby two knives

      I add my thanks to Moshe for his fine article and wisdom. Rather than naming all the names we can think of who have fallen short or still fall short of perfection legally or morally or in our own subjective criteria, and rather than bash each others’ favorite teams or “heroes” maybe each of us ought to first police ourselves and then teach our children that all people are flawed, including government leaders, physicians, clergy, educators, civil servants, employers, parents and yes, and maybe especially so – sports stars and movie stars and other “celebrities.”

      • Moshe Mandel

        When I wrote this, that’s exactly what I was thinking of: how will I explain this sort of stuff to my kids once they are old enough to understand, and who do I point to as positive role models and examples. It remains an incredibly difficult question.

    • Moshe Mandel

      Thanks Bob.

  • Januz

    There is essentially no comparison in American Sports History (Except when Connie Mack owned and managed the Philadelphis A’s), did you see one man have so much power with no accountability.I happen to be a major Penn State fan and have been for years, I just never bought into the “Paternoville” and “Happy Valley” stuff, that was spewed out. The reason being that every school, business, orginazation, etc has its warts, Penn State included. The reality of the matter is that the underlying problem at Penn State, is that Joe Paterno had absolute power up there (Even the University President (Graham Spanier), could not fire him when he tried years ago). Like we have seen with Saddam Hussein & Mommar Khadaffi, absolute power corrupts, and when you have nothing but yes men, and enablers around you (Like many students (Such as those who rioted this week), Spanier, and AD Curley), you get to the point where you believe you are actually invincible, and cannot stop negative things from happening (Even if its in your best interest). He had many opportunities to do something, but he chose not to. They included: 1: Investigating Sandusky in the beginning (Either by calling cops, or even questioning Sandusky himself, and if he did not like the answer demand campus police do something). 2: After he left in 1999, he could have banned Sandusky from campus forever (Which we know never happened). 3: In 2011, he allowed the University to name a Child Care Center after Gary Schultz (A guy who helped cover up for Sandusky). 4: After he testified for the Grand Jury (And was aware about what was going on, he still allowed McQueary to be calling plays). 5: Last but certainly not least, when because of health reasons, it was apparent he had no business coaching anymore, he not only coached from the pressbox, but was planning on coming back in 2012 (Even after passing Eddie Robinson). I have little doubt, that without the Sandusky incident, Paterno never would have quit, and his a$$ would be wheelchaired (If necessary), to practice and to the pressbox to “Coach”. A real ugly situation, that will take decades to repair.

    • Bob Stone

      Absolutely true. It’s refreshing to see such realistic view of events from a Penn State fan. I suspect that there are many more PSU fans that share your view. they just don’t get press because they are not rioting.

  • Bob Stone

    The whole Penn State scandal wreaks of a cover up. Mike Lupica had an interesting article today in The New York Daily News that suggests that the full and real truth will not come out until the federal government investigates. He also suggests that such an investigation is inevitable. I believe he is right about this.

    Here’s the link to his article:

    • LazzeriScooter

      please don’t use such a vivid anti- Yankee bigot in referencing your argument, Bob. Lupica’s unfiltered, and oft unchallanged, hatred of the Yankees makes his opinion null and void.

  • http://NYBronxBombers24-7 Brian L

    Yeah I think there is alot more then we all will ever know to this story and in any event this is very sad

  • LiterallyFigurative

    The whole PSU story is astonishing and disgusting.

    I think JoePa getting fired was the right thing, as I just don’t see how he didn’t know enough to not call the cops (too many negatives in my sentence?) Given his status, power and influence, he dropped the ball in a borderline criminal way.

    I feel for the players, as they may have had a decent (BCS?) season taken from them in the span of a week.

    When it comes to University punishment, I’m on the fence. I’ve never been a fan of penalizing a team with lost scholarships and vacated bowl bids. Usually the coach and AD in charge have already left, leaving the school to face the brunt of the punishment for the previous admins negligence/malfeasance. In those situations, there are pay for play scandals and the kids selling memorabilia, which completely pales in comparison to a criminal cover-up and child molestation.

    So how does the NCAA penalize PSU? It can’t be like USC or Miami, as noone left those programs in handcuffs and charged with perjury. But then how much further do you go? A ten-year ban for the future coach and AD to try and recruit kids? The stain of the scandal will drive some people away anyway. JoePa, the AD and the Pres are all gone, so why should the next admin be forced to operate with one hand tied behind their backs? But then PSU can’t be let off scot-free either.

    Lots of layers to this story.

  • Reg

    Good stuff man. It’s articles like these where we Yankee fans can take a step back and think who people we admire are behind the scenes. I noticed that some one compared Cano to A-Rod when it comes to personality. If you don’t mind elaborating that would be great because I’m a huge Cano fan and didn’t know he acted in such a manner. Thanks!

    • Bob Stone

      I would like to see that too. I don’t view Cano as anything like ARod.

      • jayd808

        And if you think about it, Is Arod like Arod?….I have no idea what the guy is really like. Do you?

        • Bob Stone

          I, like everyone else commenting here, has NO idea what either man is like. I am commenting on their openly discernible personalities on camera. ARod SEEMS fake, rehearsed and plastic. Cano SEEMS more genuine.

          • Plank

            To me Arod seems genuine on camera. He runs his mouth and says stupid stuff. Jeter is the perfect example of fake, rehearsed, and plastic.

      • jason

        Actually, because the comparison was clearly not to meant to flatter Cano (or Arod), it’s kind of cheesy to (as yankees=warriors did) throw out the insult without any substance to back it up, together with a vague reference to some inside info. If you’re going to dish, then dish. Please.

    • Monteroisdinero

      Great article and thread.

      As far as one man becoming too arrogant, powerful and egotistical for an organization, it makes ARod striking out to end the last two seasons feel somewhat cleansing!

  • Thomas Cassidy

    I don’t understand how anybody defends Paterno. It’s because he’s a football coach. Imagine if he was a businessman or a politician, he would nave no support whatsoever.

    • Plank

      Someone above was trying to claim this was a result of gay people getting rights. That was the highlight for me.

      • Thomas Cassidy

        Lol wow.

    • Mike HC

      He really is more than a football coach to Penn State students and alumni. He really was a quasi father type figure. Best way to understand it would be if people were coming after your father or grandfather for allowing something like this happen. Your first reaction may very well be loyalty and to defend your family. It is tough to detach yourself so quickly. I think Penn State is still really in a state of shock. Over time, I think the reality will start to hit them.

  • Mike HC

    I think this goes a bit far. Just because one guy did some unthinkable, horrible acts, I don’t think that should be a lesson on how society should treat sports figures from here on out, or a reminder to keep our distance.

    For many, sports are here for an escape from reality, something to be passionate about, and entertainment. Don’t let one guy take part of that away from you.

    • Mike HC

      The true lesson is that the passion for sports are bigger than any one person. Don’t sweep such atrocities as these under the rug because of what that person may have achieved, and for fear of the dismantling of the program/reputation, because people’s passion for sports are much stronger than given credit for.

  • Sarah

    Nice work, Moshe.

  • Fin

    The guy who broke this story back in April, Madden, is now saying there are big time Journalists investigating, if in fact The Second Mile foundation and Sandusky were pimping kids out to wealthy powerful people in Pennsylvania. Sandusky Began the founation in 1977, most likely as a way to gain access to children. There are very disturbing things that went on with him, like taking children he was molesting out class and out of school, with out the parents consent. He was cought at a high school molesting a child as well.
    Here is a link to an article that breaks it down very well.

    Reading the grand jury report was hard to do.

  • Monteroisdinero

    6 adopted kids and no biologic. Any girls? This just gets crazier and sicker in every way.

  • Jonathan

    It’s a well written article, but this isn’t an ethics committee or Penn State/football blog. I think it’s pretty cut and dry that if you have knowledge or think you have knowledge of anything close to child molestation and you don’t do EVERYTHING you can possibly do, you might as well be responsible yourself. All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. We’ve all heard that quote and many similar ones like it. Every rape that occurred after other people had knowledge could have been prevented and I hold anyone with knowledge responsible. The rapist is clearly a bad person and is going to do evil things until he gets caught. That’s what rapists do. But for someone to let that happen, when it’s been largely proven that most pedophiles and rapists are nonstop repeat offenders, is disgusting.

    That said, this is entirely different than something like finding out Andy Pettitte tried HGH to return his elbow to health. Is that even a PED situation? If what you’re trying to do is regain health in a joint is that “performance enhancing”? We aren’t 100% sure of what went on in any PED case but if that’s what really happened I find no fault with Pettitte or any other player who took something to regain health, and not gain performance beyond what they once were. If taking HGH to regain health is considered performance enhancing, how come anti-inflammatory injections, or surgery, or stem cell treatments or platelet injections aren’t considered the same? I think MLB should be offering the treatment as legal in certain cases like they do with adderall, and monitor it heavily. Lumping in people trying to get healthy with Sammy Sosa types who just got roided out of their minds to become a physical specimen and player they never could have been without the juice is ridiculous.

    That said, my 2nd greatest wish this offseason behind us getting a legit #2 is for David Ortiz to leave the Red Sox so ESPN and and the Red Sox themselves DESTROY him on the PED case they gave him a complete pass on. Manny leaves a few months earlier? DESTROY HIM. ARod is on the Yankees? Must do a long interview with a giant Red Sox homer on a biased network and apologize in a massive press conference. DESTROY HIM. David Ortiz is still with the Red Sox? “I’ll look into it and get back to you a quarter past never.” Welcome to the Nomar/Mo Vaughn/Manny/Francona/Pedro etc etc etc treatment if you go to the Jays Papi.

    • LazzeriScooter