Post # 1
I’ve been following this story pretty closely for the last few days and things got very interesting last night following Joe Paterno’s firing. A lot of people on my facebook say that is the right call, but a decent percentage feel he should not have been fired – he contributed much to the community & school, did what he was required to by law, should be allowed to finish the year, etc.
I am curious what you Bees think – did Paterno need to go for failure to do more or should he have been allowed to remain after doing what was required by the law?
For those of you not all up on this – there’s too much to try and type here – so here are a couple links including the grand jury report.
Grand Jury Report: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/11/06/sports/ncaafootball/20111106-pennstate-document.html
USA Today overall scandal: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/football/bigten/story/2011-11-06/penn-state-abuse-scandal-chilling/51100830/1
Chicago Tribune on the firing: http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/chi-haugh-col-20111110,0,837895.column
Washington Post on the firing: http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/colleges/joe-paterno-will-retire-at-end-of-penn-state-football-season/2011/11/09/gIQAQbkb6M_story.html?tid=pm_sports_pop
Post # 3
We’ve talked about this a LOT at work. If Jim Tressel was fired for letting his players exchange autographed jerseys for tattoos then Joe Paterno had to go. A part of me is sad that his legacy is going to be tarnished by this but mostly I’m just in disbelief that so many people would allow the “incident” in 2002 to go unreported
Post # 4
I am so sick of hearing people defend this man because he is a legacy or a Penn State “hero”. Who gives a shit about a legacy. Children were molested, he didnt do everything in his power to stop it. That’s all that matters. Who cares about protocol? If you know about a child being molested/raped and you don’t call the police then there is something seriously wrong with you. People need to stop being so ridiculous. Football is not greater than the well being of children!!!
Post # 5
I’m also semi-sad that his legacy is tarnished but I think it was the right call. I know he did a lot for his community but he also failed on one of the biggest issues of his career. I’m appalled that this issue was known by so many people and that everyone just kind of let it slide. I also don’t know how as a person you could let something like that slide without feeling absolutely terrible.
I heard one opinion about how Joe Paterno always wanted his players to go the extra mile, do more than the minimum. Well in this case he did the minimum that he had to do when he should have gone that extra mile to help those kids. And I don’t just blame him, I blame anyone and everyone that knew about this.
Post # 6
@PitBulLover: ditto! As a sports fan I get what Joe Paterno represents, the legacy etc. But this is bigger than football. He had to go.
Post # 7
Joe deserved to be fired. What was permitted to happen at that school makes so sick to my stomach.
Post # 8
I do think he had to go. Even if he reported it to the athelitic director… he knew nothing came of it. You have to push harder, go directly to the police. When you know a child is in danger you should be driven to act, by ethics if not by law.
However, I do think it was crappy that they fired him over the phone. Yes, a school is bigger than it’s athletic programs but football brought a lot of people and money to Penn State. For all he did for the school I think he deserved the head of the board firing him in person.
Post # 9
There’s more than just fluff behind the argument that he followed the letter of the law. The failure here does not rest solely on Joe Paterno’s shoulders, but on the PA legislature as well. If we hold people to this heightened level of morality, then who’s to say that the next person who fails to report something that may or may not have happened will get the ax despite the fact that they reported it to their superior as required by law. We must all remember that there is no statutory law that requires someone to call the police when a crime is committed and that, while it’s a gross injustice for the boys who were molested, his firing doesn’t give them any true solace. Rather, it protects the university from further liability and allows them to save some face in light of this scandal.
Post # 10
I think what happened to those boys is absolutely horrible, but I don’t think he should have been fired. Legally, he didn’t do anything wrong. He had no duty to report the crime to the police. While I think morally he probably should have taken it upon himself to contact the police, legally, he didn’t have to. Penn State is firing him to appease people. I guess as an attorney, I feel like we should be focusing on our time and effort on people actually breaking laws, like the molestor, and not Joe Paterno.
Post # 11
@Boston Bee: You’re right… he didn’t do anything legally wrong. Which is why he won’t be prosecuted. But the school is not a legal authority. They have to protect themselves and their students. I wouldn’t want someone working with 18 year old boys who obviously doesn’t have a strong desire to protect child welfare.
Post # 13
@Moose1209: But he may be sued in a civil court $$$$
Since it’s a state school, I hope and pray this doesn’t end up hurting the taxpayers and he (if decided) or all of them are sued personally or through insurance.
Post # 14
@PitBulLover: I couldn’t agree more.
Post # 15
@EsqBailey: I think by now it’s a moral issue rather than a legal issue don’t you think? I mean, firing him is NOT going to insulate the University from further issues based on this. I was talking about this with Darling Husband yesterday and I was wondering why the grad student (a 28 year old man!!) didn’t do anything when he saw Sandunsky having sex with a 10 year old in the bathroom. I thought he should have done something, anything. Even though legally he wasn’t held to the standard of calling the cops, going home to talk to your dad did not do it for me. I think Paterno and all the others should be punished. Yes, it wasn’t his legal obligation to call the cops BUT he knew what was going on. Knew that this guy was also involved in a charity that helped very young boys and he did nothing. Him and the University should be held very accountable (the University has a higher standard though) Losing his job and having his legacy tarnished is punishment enough but I wouldn’t have wanted to see him go scot free like those Catholic Bishops etc (don’t EVEN get me started on that!!). Lastly, I do think they should have had the decency to let him release a statement of his resignation instead of letting him release a statement saying he was going to stay through the end of the season and then firing him over the phone a few hours later. Boo to them. Too little too late I say!!!
Post # 16
Sorry in advance if this topic has already been addressed… I haven’t been following too closely, just what I see on the news. I’m wondering if anything is going to be done to the superiors that Joe Paterno told? Shouldn’t they be held accountable for not responding appropriately, especially if Joe is?