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  1. #21
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    Feb 2007
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    Columbus, Ohio
    You're absolutely right. Mea culpa. I'm angry and shouldn't be writing emotionally.

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by SCMatt33 View Post
    As for Paterno, there is a delicate balance with the appropriate course of action as this is workplace related. His first course of action in alerting his immediate supervisor is absolutely correct. You don't have to take something that you heard from a second hand source and go completely outside the chain of command. Passing it up the ladder is appropriate to have it investigated. Could he have taken it to the police if he wanted, absolutely. It is never inappropriate to contact the police if you think there is something illegal going on. Where he erred was not following up with anyone to insure that the allegations were properly investigated. In this case that certainly appeared to be a big deal because of how those above him conducted themselves, but you can't judge the severity of what Paterno did wrong based on how the inappropriate actions of those above him made this case worse than what it should have been. What Paterno did does not appear to be illegal and we have to take that part of it at face value. It certainly hurts his reputation that he did not take further action but I personally don't believe that it comes close to outweighing all of the positives that he has done for that community over the years.
    Chain of command?

    This is not the equivilant of a stock clerk at Target and his relationship with the district manager. Paterno has as much power as anyone in the athleteic department at Penn State. I'm not sure if Paterno did the right thng or not, but phrases like "chain of command" are not qute the same in this situation as they are in other workplaces. It is not as though Paterno lacked status and power in the hierarchy at Penn State.

  3. #23
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    Nov 2007
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    Philly
    Quote Originally Posted by allenmurray View Post
    Chain of command?

    This is not the equivilant of a stock clerk at Target and his relationship with the district manager. Paterno has as much power as anyone in the athleteic department at Penn State. I'm not sure if Paterno did the right thng or not, but phrases like "chain of command" are not qute the same in this situation as they are in other workplaces. It is not as though Paterno lacked status and power in the hierarchy at Penn State.
    Strictly speaking, it is. When it comes to legal matters, Paterno is not the most powerful person on campus. He doesn't run investigations, and that sort of thing is in the job description of the athletics director. There are certain things where Paterno's notoriety trump the official power of each position. This case is not among them.
    Pratt '09
    GO DUKE!

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Durham
    Quote Originally Posted by SCMatt33 View Post
    Strictly speaking, it is. When it comes to legal matters, Paterno is not the most powerful person on campus. He doesn't run investigations, and that sort of thing is in the job description of the athletics director. There are certain things where Paterno's notoriety trump the official power of each position. This case is not among them.
    I'm not an expert on the law, but it strikes me as very odd that the alleged rape of a child would be considered a matter for "internal investigation". If someone was murdered in the gym, the AD would not run that investigation. Is this any different? Why didn't anyone call the police? At some point, if the GJ report is true, Joe knew, and he also knew the police were not involved. Even if he and the others were very suspicious that the allegations were false, how could they be satisfied with that assumption for years and years and risk exposing further children to this man?

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    Point in fact, the grand jury stated that state law was broken by not informing the authorities.

    From the grand jury report:

    The Grand Jury concludes that the sexual assault of a minor male in 2002 should have been reported to the Department of Public Welfare and/or a law enforcement agency such as the University Police or the State Police. The University, by its senior staff, Gary Schultz, Senior Vice President for Finance and Business and Tim Curley, Athletic Director, was notified by two different Perm State employees of the alleged sexual exploitation of that youth. mandatory reporting statute for suspected child abuse is located at 23 ?63l1 (Child Protective Services Law) and provides that when a staff member reports abuse, pursuant to statute, the person in charge of the school or institution has the responsibility and legal obligation to report or cause such a report to be made by telephone and in writing within 48 hours to the Department of Public Welfare of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. An oral report should have been made to Centre County Children and Youth Services but none was made. Nor was there any attempt to investigate, to identify Victim 2 or to protect that child or any others from similar conduct, except as related to preventing its re- occurrence on University property. The failure to report is a violation of the law which was graded a summary offense in 2002, pursuant to 23 ?6319.2

  6. #26
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    Nov 2010
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    Durham
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Corey View Post
    Point in fact, the grand jury stated that state law was broken by not informing the authorities.

    From the grand jury report:
    Thanks for finding that Mike. That seems to criminally implicate just the "people in charge of the school" which would not include Joe Pa. However, then there are the distinctions between criminal culpability and moral culpability, and for the latter, it seems everyone was to some extent guilty including Joe. I think the thing that is making me particularly angry is the media report that Joe Pa is being praised by authorities for his actions. That seems preposterous. The only people in this whole thing deserving of praise are the victims who have found the strength to come forward with their experiences, and the law enforcement officers trying to shed light on the exact truth.

  7. #27
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    Nov 2007
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    Philly
    Quote Originally Posted by dukedoc View Post
    I'm not an expert on the law, but it strikes me as very odd that the alleged rape of a child would be considered a matter for "internal investigation". If someone was murdered in the gym, the AD would not run that investigation. Is this any different? Why didn't anyone call the police? At some point, if the GJ report is true, Joe knew, and he also knew the police were not involved. Even if he and the others were very suspicious that the allegations were false, how could they be satisfied with that assumption for years and years and risk exposing further children to this man?
    It's not, but legal matters within any workplace scenario are not the responsibility of an employee like a coach. I don't about where anyone else works, but I have always been told that I can bring legal matters (directly work related or otherwise) to whomever I want, whether that be my superiors, the company's legal department, or outside authorities. I'm not saying that Paterno couldn't have taken the matter elsewhere, or that he shouldn't have followed up, but alerting his superiors is a proper course of action and it is his superiors actions responsibility to bring the matter to the police, if necessary. It was clearly necessary, they didn't do it, hence they are being charged with a crime. Paterno reported what he had heard and since he wasn't directly involved with anything as a witness, he is not really involved beyond that point. I know everyone is fixated on the exact crime that occurred, and that is a big deal for Sandusky, but the nature of the crime doesn't change the responsibilities or potential penalties for anyone as far as reporting it.
    Pratt '09
    GO DUKE!

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by SCMatt33 View Post
    Strictly speaking, it is. When it comes to legal matters, Paterno is not the most powerful person on campus. He doesn't run investigations, and that sort of thing is in the job description of the athletics director. There are certain things where Paterno's notoriety trump the official power of each position. This case is not among them.
    The power he had was informal, but huge - the power to speak up and make things happen.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Durham
    Quote Originally Posted by SCMatt33 View Post
    It's not, but legal matters within any workplace scenario are not the responsibility of an employee like a coach. I don't about where anyone else works, but I have always been told that I can bring legal matters (directly work related or otherwise) to whomever I want, whether that be my superiors, the company's legal department, or outside authorities. I'm not saying that Paterno couldn't have taken the matter elsewhere, or that he shouldn't have followed up, but alerting his superiors is a proper course of action and it is his superiors actions responsibility to bring the matter to the police, if necessary. It was clearly necessary, they didn't do it, hence they are being charged with a crime. Paterno reported what he had heard and since he wasn't directly involved with anything as a witness, he is not really involved beyond that point. I know everyone is fixated on the exact crime that occurred, and that is a big deal for Sandusky, but the nature of the crime doesn't change the responsibilities or potential penalties for anyone as far as reporting it.
    This is all true. However, it just seems incredibly unlikely to me that Joe would pass this allegation up the chain of command and then be done with it. It involved the school that he loves, a close colleague of many years, and an unconscionable crime of huge proportions. My hope with respect to Joe was that he was simply lied to by those above him and the ensuing years of silence were borne out of a sincere belief that appropriate steps had been taken and the allegations were found to be false. I can't think of another defensible reason to stay silent and not go to the cops for so many years.

    I apologize for being speculative and emotional. Not sure what else will come out of a message board thread on something as upsetting as this though. I'm also a pediatrician who has cared for young people who have suffered from these sorts of things, so perhaps I'm letting those experiences get the better of me.

  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by dukedoc View Post
    Thanks for finding that Mike. That seems to criminally implicate just the "people in charge of the school" which would not include Joe Pa. However, then there are the distinctions between criminal culpability and moral culpability, and for the latter, it seems everyone was to some extent guilty including Joe. I think the thing that is making me particularly angry is the media report that Joe Pa is being praised by authorities for his actions. That seems preposterous. The only people in this whole thing deserving of praise are the victims who have found the strength to come forward with their experiences, and the law enforcement officers trying to shed light on the exact truth.
    Do you think the praising authorities might know something about Paterno's actions that we do not?

  11. #31
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    Nov 2010
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    Durham
    Quote Originally Posted by SMO View Post
    Do you think the praising authorities might know something about Paterno's actions that we do not?
    Good point. I hope you're right. Many years have passed though since this all allegedly happened...

  12. #32
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    Nov 2007
    Location
    Philly
    Quote Originally Posted by dukedoc View Post
    This is all true. However, it just seems incredibly unlikely to me that Joe would pass this allegation up the chain of command and then be done with it. It involved the school that he loves, a close colleague of many years, and an unconscionable crime of huge proportions. My hope with respect to Joe was that he was simply lied to by those above him and the ensuing years of silence were borne out of a sincere belief that appropriate steps had been taken and the allegations were found to be false. I can't think of another defensible reason to stay silent and not go to the cops for so many years.

    I apologize for being speculative and emotional. Not sure what else will come out of a message board thread on something as upsetting as this though. I'm also a pediatrician who has cared for young people who have suffered from these sorts of things, so perhaps I'm letting those experiences get the better of me.
    You're absolutely right, but we have no idea what happened between Paterno and Curley/Schultz. Paterno could have gone back to them and they told him that it turned out to be nothing. There's only so much that Paterno was in position to do since he didn't see or know of anything himself. Something was told to him. All he can do is repeat that allegation privately. What we know is that he brought it up to those above him, but not the police. If he was told that it was taken care of and that it was nothing, there's not much more he should have done. If he was completely ignored and he knew that nothing was done and still didn't take it further, then he made a huge error and judgement. That's all I'm saying. The only things that we know about what Paterno did was that he did report what he heard, but not to the police. Whether that action was appropriate or not depends on the rest of the situation, but we have no idea what that is, so it is completely inappropriate to judge him one way or the other at this time.
    Pratt '09
    GO DUKE!

  13. #33
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    Nov 2010
    Location
    Durham
    Sorry guys. I think I've been too speculative and emotional in my posting on this thread. Will refrain from further posts on this thread as this issue hits too close to home with respect to my work.

  14. #34
    I think there may be an elephant in the room -- okay, maybe not elephant, but perhaps a medium-sized horse -- that no one is talking about, and that is Joe Pa's advancing age.

    Joe Pa, in short, was 73 years old when this first arose, and after taking the first initial step, may not have been able to devote the time and energy necessary to chase this one down (and particularly if the higher-ups like Curley were willing to stonewall him). Heck, one of the most trenchant criticisms of Paterno in the last few years is that he's not really been able to keep up with the coaching, instead being present as an inspirational figure of sorts.

    Note that this isn't a defense of Paterno per se; one could reasonably argue that if he didn't have the energy to chase down something as important as this, then he didn't deserve to hold on to his position as coach. I suppose, however, having had some experience in realizing what magnitude of effort is required to flag something like this down, that may explain why my feelings are kind of "meh" with regard to Joe Pa's culpability in this matter. His failing strikes me, if not excusable, then at least understandable.

  15. #35
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    Feb 2007
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    Lynchburg, VA
    Quote Originally Posted by SCMatt33 View Post
    You're absolutely right, but we have no idea what happened between Paterno and Curley/Schultz. Paterno could have gone back to them and they told him that it turned out to be nothing. There's only so much that Paterno was in position to do since he didn't see or know of anything himself. Something was told to him. All he can do is repeat that allegation privately. What we know is that he brought it up to those above him, but not the police. If he was told that it was taken care of and that it was nothing, there's not much more he should have done. If he was completely ignored and he knew that nothing was done and still didn't take it further, then he made a huge error and judgement. That's all I'm saying. The only things that we know about what Paterno did was that he did report what he heard, but not to the police. Whether that action was appropriate or not depends on the rest of the situation, but we have no idea what that is, so it is completely inappropriate to judge him one way or the other at this time.
    Paterno's moral culpability primarily hinges on whether the GA told Paterno, Curley, and Schultz that he witnessed the rape of a child or whether he told Paterno, et al that he witnessed "inappropriate" touching while wrestling. If its the latter, then your scenario is plausible. But, if the GA reported the rape of a minor, why would Paterno think it's appropriate for the administration to conduct an internal investigation without notifying the police? If you were the head football coach and the allegations involved a long-time coordinator with an office in your building and access to your facilities, wouldn't you specificity ask your superiors if the police were notified? If the adminstration lied and said the police investigated the allegations and found them to be worthless, wouldn't you suspect deceit when you asked the GA whether he was interviewed by the police or when they never came to interview you or any other member of your staff?

    If the GA's story turns out to be true, I have a hard time seeing how Paterno could have been deceived without at least some degree of negligence on his part. I agree that it's inappropriate to judge Paterno until all of the facts are in, but the grand jury explicitly stated that they found the GA's testimony credible, which raises some difficult and necessary questions.

  16. #36

    I have not read what happened between Paterno and Curley

    I will withhold judgement on Paterno until everything is known.

    SoCal

  17. #37
    But, living about 2-3 hours away from the university, every little thing those players did was on the news....every arrest....every party.
    I've lived in State College (at least during the school year) for 5 years, and from my experience the players don't seem like they are getting in trouble a lot. Ive also tutored many of them over the years and they always reflected well on the program.

    In regards to this issue, I'll wait till the trial and verdict to formulate an opinion on JoePa. I would hope his actions were made with good intentions, and that the reason why he didn't go further was due to a misunderstanding, miscommunication, or the university flat out lying to him.

  18. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by mph View Post
    Paterno's moral culpability primarily hinges on whether the GA told Paterno, Curley, and Schultz that he witnessed the rape of a child or whether he told Paterno, et al that he witnessed "inappropriate" touching while wrestling. .
    The testimony of JoePa and the then graduate assistant (who currently is a Penn State assistant coach) to the grand jury apparently contradicts that of Curley and Schulz

    Paterno likely will end up a key witness for the prosecution of Curley and Schultz.

    Their testimony of what happened in 2002 -- when now-assistant coach Mike McQueary said he witnessed Sandusky in a sex act with a boy in a shower -- contradicts that of Paterno and McQueary. ...

    McQueary recalled the incident taking place the evening of March 1, 2002, when he went into the locker room to put away sneakers and get recruiting tapes. McQueary said he saw Sandusky standing behind a boy about 10 years old, performing a sex act in the shower.

    McQueary immediately left and told his father. In the morning, he told Paterno, who then called Curley.

    About 10 days later, McQueary met with Curley and Schultz and told them what he witnessed, according to the grand-jury report.

    But the grand jury heard a different version of that meeting when Curley and Schultz testified.

    They said they were never told about any sexual act. Curley's recollection is that the incident resembled "horsing around," and Schultz recalled that it was described as "not that serious."


    http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/ind...erry_sand.html

    So I guess the defense will be that JoePa knew what the graduate assistant alleged but did not accurately report it up the chain of command (which will work a lot better if the graduate assistant did stick with his original allegations)

    Unbelievable way for the JoePa era to end

  19. #39
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    IANAL, so may be this is a dumb question, but with all the talk about whether JoePa had an obligation to report the reported incident to law authorities or child protective services (irrespective of what the AD did or didn't do), what about the GA? Should he not have at least as much responsibility to do so, since he was the one who witnessed it, and may have been the most emotionally invested person in seeing that proper action was swiftly taken?

    Seems to me that if "chain of command" isn't an issue with reporting a serious crime (as opposed to a rules violation), then the the GA could have/should have followed up with authorities too.

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Lewisville, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Ping Lin View Post
    I think there may be an elephant in the room -- okay, maybe not elephant, but perhaps a medium-sized horse -- that no one is talking about, and that is Joe Pa's advancing age.

    Joe Pa, in short, was 73 years old when this first arose, and after taking the first initial step, may not have been able to devote the time and energy necessary to chase this one down (and particularly if the higher-ups like Curley were willing to stonewall him). Heck, one of the most trenchant criticisms of Paterno in the last few years is that he's not really been able to keep up with the coaching, instead being present as an inspirational figure of sorts.

    Note that this isn't a defense of Paterno per se; one could reasonably argue that if he didn't have the energy to chase down something as important as this, then he didn't deserve to hold on to his position as coach. I suppose, however, having had some experience in realizing what magnitude of effort is required to flag something like this down, that may explain why my feelings are kind of "meh" with regard to Joe Pa's culpability in this matter. His failing strikes me, if not excusable, then at least understandable.
    What did this have to do with Joe Paterno as head football coach?

    Jerry Sandusky was not on the football staff in 2002.
    The graduate assistant, who was on the football staff, reported the incident to Paterno who, properly, reported it to the Athletic Director.

    There are a number of things we don't know here:
    Did the grad. assistant report the incident in graphic detail to Paterno or merely identify Sandusky and tell Paterno that he saw something inappropriate involving Sandusky and a young person?
    Just why did the athletic director not contact local police for a full investigation?
    Once Paterno reported his second-hand knowledge of the incident, did he even have the right to be apprised of the status of the investigation, let alone some duty to follow this through?

    As noted in a previous post, the Harrisburg Patriot News reported that "a source close to the investigation told The Patriot-News that head coach Joe Paterno will not be charged, and was praised by prosecutors for handling himself appropriately".

    Paterno is obviously a major public figure identified closely with Penn State athletics, but let's be fair in evaluating just how this incident relates to him.

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