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Nov 10 2011

This is why I hate college football programs

I know, students enjoy them, and a weekend of sports can be a fun event, and yes, they do have a strong effect on college enrollments (which always seemed bizarre to me—students actually select their academic institution based on the performance of the athletic team? But the correlations in the enrollment/season wins data all bear it out). But they also turn into hyper-inflated domains of privilege, where the coaches are paid more than faculty, students and alumni vividly demonstrate the etymological source of the term “fan”, and the athletes too often turn into swaggering assholes. Can we just have small athletic programs where it’s all for fun, and no one makes the games more important than the academics?

I am speaking, of course, of the sordid events going on at Penn State. Children are raped by an assistant coach; the staff knows about it all for a long time, and either turns a blind eye to it or whimpers among itself; nothing is done. Paterno, the head coach and king of football in Happy Valley, was allowed to sail on unperturbably, still holding his job, still coaching, and the only change in his routine was that the university wasn’t letting the press talk to him. This is the guy who knew about his defensive coach’s behavior for a long time.

There have been questions about Paterno’s role, too. Pennsylvania’s state police commissioner said the coach fulfilled his legal requirement when he told university administrators that a graduate assistant had seen Sandusky abusing a young boy in the team’s locker room shower in 2002.

2002 — Paterno let a sexual predator run free for 9 years, doing the absolute minimum to hinder him. He reported him to a superior (at Penn State, there’s someone who can boss Joe Paterno around?), but the police say that that’s where it ended — they were not informed. PSU kept it all in-house, buried.

That’s changed now. Penn State students rallied to support Paterno — just like we hear about congregations supporting child-raping priests — but to no avail. Finally, the board of trustees has done the right thing: Paterno and the university president have been fired, effective immediately.

Now if only they’d go on to do the appropriate act of scaling back the athletics program as a whole and never again allowing any coaching staff to become the kind of royalty Paterno and his crew were.

(via Comradde PhysioProffe.)

278 comments

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  1. 1
    Anteprepro

    Penn State students rallied to support Paterno

    Disgusting. Just like everything else about this story.

    Finally, the board of trustees has done the right thing: Paterno and the university president have been fired, effective immediately.

    Well, at least there’s that.

  2. 2
    Tabby Lavalamp

    I’ve never understood the fanaticism towards college (and even high school) sports south of the border. We have teams in our schools, but when I went to university I wouldn’t have known a single student athlete unless it was pointed out to me. Now granted, I’m no sports fan and I wouldn’t even recognize anyone from our local NHL team, and this is Canada, but collegiate sports programs didn’t seem to get disproportionate attention compared to things like the arts programs.

  3. 3
    hyperdeath

    Why do you always pick on the Catholic Church?

  4. 4
    docslacker

    The students didn’t rally to support Paterno, they rioted. Their outrage over the sacking of their beloved football coach is disgusting. What about the countless boys that have been raped? THAT is worthy of anger.

  5. 5
    Glen Davidson

    But sports is about everything good, isn’t it? So any sacrifice for it is worth it…

    Or so it’s been thought for far too long. Anything to win has often been the goal, oddly similar to the outlook embodied by many of the business people turned out by colleges.

    Glen Davidson

  6. 6
    littlejohn

    Peterno should clearly be the next pope when Ratzo bites the big one.

  7. 7
    Caiti

    Of course, correlations provide little evidence on why students actually enroll there… but yes, athletic programs are overly coddled.

  8. 8
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    I have linked to this is the undead thread but it seems that it should be here. A Penn State student talks about being a sister of one of the rape victims.

  9. 9
    Monado, FCD

    I guess it’s the collateral damage attitude: what’s a few virgin sacrifices compared to a winning sports team? Unless you’re one of the virgins.

    It’s just another failure of the family and community: in spite of the all bible-thumping and god-mouthing, no one has been taught empathy or social responsibility.

  10. 10
    Barry

    If the police can arrest 2 college employees for failing to report criminal activity, why have we seen not a single arrest of any catholic priest for similar behavior on a massive scale?

  11. 11
    Lynna, OM

    Cross posted from The Endless Thread:

    “Despite a powerful eyewitness statement about the sexual assault of a child, this incident was not reported to any law enforcement or child protective agency, as required by Pennsylvania law,” Kelly said. “Additionally, there is no indication that anyone from the university ever attempted to learn the identity of the child who was sexually assaulted on their campus or made any follow-up effort to obtain more information from the person who witnessed the attack firsthand.”

    Basically, they did not care who the child was.

    http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2011/11/report_former_coach_jerry_sand.html

  12. 12
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    Remember, it is better for your program to appear to be clean than to be public about about expelling a member of the hierarchy who used their position to gain new victims to rape.

  13. 13
    Anthony K

    We have teams in our schools, but when I went to university I wouldn’t have known a single student athlete unless it was pointed out to me.

    I was only aware that we had sports teams because our school newspaper had the sports section just before the raunchy comics.

    Now granted, I’m no sports fan and I wouldn’t even recognize anyone from our local NHL team, and this is Canada,

    I got really excited the other day when there was a hockey highlight on the little monitors in my office building’s elevators, and I recognised the name of the player involved.

    …but collegiate sports programs didn’t seem to get disproportionate attention compared to things like the arts programs.

    That’s my experience too. The high school star who could do no wrong in the eyes of both the students and the administration at my junior high was a theatre wonk, not a jock.

    I know we’re both Alberta, Tabby, but are we both Edmonton?

  14. 14
    andre

    The cause of this is not football or religion, but power and money. Any disgrace reported can cause a loss in $$$ so in this case a large university, long ago giving up its academic ethics and duties for the draw of prestige and power, made a stupid and horrible decision that their community and its money were more important than children.

    Penn State’s reputation as a good university can be called into question in other ways, such as the strong connection that certain academic departments have with the natural gas industry and the quasi-scientific claims from the faculty in the department (as well as the silencing and dismissal of those faculty who go against the natural gas industry).

    But overall, this kind of thing happens in science too, when power and money are threatened (of course so far it hasn’t gone to the point of child-rape cover ups that I know of). Look at Columbia University and Dalibor Sames and Bengu Sezen in the chemistry department. Clear academic fraud, tacitly, if not overtly, condoned by the advisor, and he’s still there and cleared of all wrong doing, while several weaker people (grad students) had their careers practically discarded for bringing up questions.

    Athletics have led to this behavior, but only where schools willing allowed themselves to go from institutions for learning and research to de facto for-profit creatures. Athletics are not the only way this can happen, but right now they may be the most prevalent.

  15. 15
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    The students there had a protest on campus in support of him. Actually, it was more like a riot (they even tipped over a news van). What the fuck is wrong with these people? They don’t even care about his victims. Do they think he’s innocent just because he’s good at coaching?

  16. 16
    Aaron Pound

    The NCAA needs to get involved if they want college sports to continue to have any credibility. Penn State clearly has an athletic program that has been allowed to become corrupt and vile. And this seems to pervade the entire structure.

    If the NCAA wants to make the correct statement about the relative importance of college sports and rape, they should allow those who are currently student athletes to transfer, as they are probably blameless here, but give the entire Penn State athletic department the death penalty for a decade. No intercollegiate sports at all for the school. The penalty for the institution for turning a blind eye to twenty or more young kids being raped should be that they don’t get to play for a long time.

  17. 17
    Josh

    I’m not as anti-athletics, per se, as PZ is here, and I think we have to be careful about throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

    First of all: Paterno had to go. So does McQueary, so does everyone else even peripherally involved in this tragedy. The behavior of the rioting students is outright idiotic (and I drove past the aftermath on my way to work this morning). Certainly the culture that elevated Paterno to an effective god-king in this town is problematic.

    At the same time, athletics in general at PSU contributes a fairly significant amount to the university’s general fund–it operates at a profit, and (for example) last year contributed back $12m to the academic mission of the university, money unencumbered by grants or specific research proposals. Reason enough to keep having the teams around.

  18. 18
    remyporter

    I don’t think people really choose schools based on athletic performance (unless they are, themselves, an athlete). But they do choose on name recognition. And sporting events are an effective way to earn name recognition.

    All that said: I didn’t think Penn State was a Catholic school…

  19. 19
    Monado, FCD

    Interestingly, Ray Gricar, the District Attorney who declined to prosecute Sandusky in 2004 disappeared a year later. His laptop computer and its completely illegible hard drive were found separately in a river and police revealed that he had done searches on how to ruin a hard drive. He doesn’t seem to have been the type to scare easily, but he had just finished prosecuting? (“breaking up”) a major heroin ring. It sounds as if he disappeared to avoid criminal revenge,* but no trace of him has been found and he was declared legally dead earlier this year. It’s tempting to think Sandusky got rid of him but that’s not likely.

  20. 20
    Monado, FCD

    *good name for a rock band

  21. 21
    Shinobi

    I feel that sports in general seem to create this kind of attitude where all that matters is winning. And for some reason the fans eat it up? I don’t understand. IT’S JUST A GAME.

    My team won the World Series this year, and you know what effect that had on my life? I got to look smug in front of some cubs fans, and my mom bought me a rally squirrel. So in essence NOTHING, NOTHING is what happend as a result of this huge win for this fan.

    Sports are a total waste of time, they are entertainment, TV. I am going to have to write an angry blog post.

  22. 22
    A Brain in a Vat

    I was in the middle of writing a comment talking about the fact that money brings a lot of money to Universities, and then I decided to Check My Facts™, and a cursory search reveals that most school athletic programs lose money.

    It’s hard to quantify other costs of athletic programs. I don’t think a school’s rowing team has much of an impact at all — if any, it’s positive — but my experiences at both Michigan State University and University of Michigan were that many students cared a whole lot more about tailgating and going to games (and rioting when their teams lose, or even when they win) than about academics.

  23. 23
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    Post #14 reminds me one the reason why one of the earliest college football powers opted out of the Big Ten in 1939, the University Of Chicago.

  24. 24
    SallyStrange

    If the police can arrest 2 college employees for failing to report criminal activity, why have we seen not a single arrest of any catholic priest for similar behavior on a massive scale?

    That’s not true.

    Kansas: http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1104063.htm

    Philadelphia: http://jonathanturley.org/2011/02/11/three-priests-and-a-teacher-arrested-in-philadelphia-for-allegedly-raping-boys/

    This month in Britain, a court ruled that the Catholic is legally responsible for the crimes committed by clergy.

    The Nov. 8 ruling by the High Court in London for the first time defined in British law the relationship of a priest to his bishop as that of an employee to an employer, instead of seeing the priest as effectively self-employed.

    This means that a bishop and a diocese can be punished for the crimes of a priest. Survivors’ groups hope that it will also mean that many people who claim to have been abused by clergy will be able to claim compensation more easily.

    So, it is happening. Obviously it’s not happening enough, but–call me an incurable optimist if you like–I believe this will be picking up steam as time goes on.

  25. 25
    AtheistAlabamanian

    Not to nit-pick, but perhaps it should be pointed out that Sandusky’s is only alleged to have raped children. I doubt Sandusky will be found not guilty, but he’s entitled to a defense of himself in court. Until then, the claims of rapes are only allegations.

    Sorry, I’m a big believer in letting the legal process follow its course before public opinion is allowed to decide people’s fate.

  26. 26
    Tabby Lavalamp

    I know we’re both Alberta, Tabby, but are we both Edmonton?

    Yes we are. I may not care for my province, but I strongly tolerate my city.

  27. 27
    Ing

    @Atheistalabamanian

    Go fuck yourself.

  28. 28
    A Brain in a Vat

    Maybe PZ could shed some light for us on some of the biological and evolutionary reasons that we care so much about sports.

  29. 29
    Monado, FCD

    Tabby, Brownian, team sports are a lot different at Canadian universities. Football doesn’t feed into the NHL and hardly anyone goes to the games. In the U.S. it’s big business, with TV revenue.

  30. 30
    Carlie

    Basically, they did not care who the child was.

    Oh, I think they cared very much, in that they cared that they could be sure not to know. Makes deniability easier, and keeps the kid’s family from getting any funny ideas about calling the cops (since if they found out, they’d then have to question the kid and parents, and then the parents would find out). I imagine they went to great lengths to be sure not to find out.

  31. 31
    Ing

    @Brainvat

    Evolved hunting instincts + evolved tribalism blah blah blah == transferring self worth in a tribalistic way to a sports team.

  32. 32
    Monado, FCD

    Sorry, I meant U.S. NFL.

  33. 33
    myeck waters

    I suspect PZ’s research has thus far shown no evidence that invertebrates care about sports at all.

  34. 34
    Glodson

    Here’s what I don’t understand: McQueary was the grad assistant that witnessed the rape. He saw it. Now it should be stated that he was 28 at the time of the attack. Instead of intervening, or checking on the child, or anything else, he went back to his office to call his own father. Now, I can imagine that McQueary might be in a bit of shock. So I wouldn’t jump down his throat for going to his office, even though I would be very disappointed in that action.

    But his dad seems to think that the best move would be to wait until the morning, then talk to Paterno. Not call the police, not check on the child, not go back and beat Sanduskey senseless. But to wait and tell the coach. And McQueary had time to get over the shock, because I’m sure it was shocking. Hell, if he had called the fucking police in the morning, I would still be pissed at him but he still would have done the right thing in the end.

    So, the Board of Trustees fire Paterno. But they keep McQueary who seems to be even more responsible for this than Paterno. Yes, McQueary has gone from a grad assistant to an assistant coach in the program. Paterno at least has the excuse that he reported the second hand information from McQueary to his boss. McQueary saw it first hand. If Sanduskey had been punching the kid in the face, would he have waited to tell Paterno? So McQueary’s actions are ridiculous. Part of me believes that McQueary was more concerned about his career than the child. For that reason alone: fuck McQueary. He acted worse than Paterno. If just one of those two morons had called the fucking police, this shit would have ended years ago.

    I hope the program gets the death penalty. I hope it gets gutted. Penn State deserves it for facilitating child rape. They deserve for the fucking riot that broke out with students rallying around a man that put the safety of the Penn State Football program before that of children. Fuck Paterno. Fuck McQueary. Fuck Penn State. And fuck McQueary again for not attempting to help the child in the first fucking place.

  35. 35
    SallyStrange

    @AtheistAlabaman

    “Innocent until proven guilty” is a LEGAL standard. Are we in a court of law? Are you a judge? A juror? A court reporter? No? Then let go of it.

  36. 36
    uncle frogy

    Now if only they’d go on to do the appropriate act of scaling back the athletics program as a whole and never again allowing any coaching staff to become the kind of royalty Paterno and his crew were.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    probably not going to happen.
    winning is everything!

    I read here about many examples of irrationality in humans and thanks to the exposure it is becoming clear that despite all the arguments rationality just does not seem to be the mode of thought that the majority of people use. The results are predictable.
    Short time gain over long term lose.
    belief over reality. We seem to prefer to live in the mind over living in reality and only reluctantly admit the reality of any situation when we are forced to by the results.

    uncle frogy

  37. 37
    Vicki, duly vaccinated tool of the feminist conspiracy

    It’s easy to talk about “letting the legal process follow its course” but this case is about people preventing it from doing so. Part of the course of the legal process is that if you witness a crime, you try to stop it and/or call the police.

    If you want to ask your boss whether to call the local cops or the FBI, okay. When someone’s response to “how do we report the rape of a ten-year-old” is “not at all, we might look bad,” that is not the legal process.

    Neither is perjury.

    The legal process is being followed: Sandusky has been indicted and is out on bail. There is nothing in the law that says “a football coach is entitled to keep his job if he’s believed to be protecting a serial rapist of children.”

  38. 38
    matt

    PZ I’m glad you mentioned this. I love sports but I find it ridiculous that college sports have become so important and that coaches and players are placed in positions of importance. Penn St was so concerned about protecting the idyllic image of its Norman Rockwell All American football team that it chose to cover up the actions of a predator rather than bringing him to justice to protect children in the community. Shame on them all, and shame on those dickheads who rioted last night over the school’s decision to fire the enabler Joe Paterno.

  39. 39
    A Brain in a Vat

    @Glodson What don’t you understand?

    If you think for a second that the board of trustees fired Pederaterno because their moral compass dictated they should, you’re wrong. It was a PR move.

    If people start calling for McQueary’s head, he’ll be gone too.

    And for the record, I agree. Fuck McQueary. Fuck running away to call your daddy and report it to someone. If you see something like that going on, you stop it immediately. I, personally, would probably bash the guy’s face against the tiles; but wiser people would probably practice more restraint.

  40. 40
    Sideshow Bill

    @#23. I’m proud to say that I went to a school that decided to become D3 after a cheating scandal in the ’50′s. Of course the school is a breeding ground for southern conservative idiots, but it still has honor, and a functioning single sanction honor code, established by R.E. Lee.

  41. 41
    Matt Penfold

    “Innocent until proven guilty” is a LEGAL standard. Are we in a court of law? Are you a judge? A juror? A court reporter? No? Then let go of it.

    When it comes to sacking people for failing to take appropriate action then the appropriate legal test would be the balance of probabilities, which carries a far lower burden of proof.

    The idiot does not even know the legal position!

  42. 42
    Algernon

    Sorry, I’m a big believer in letting the legal process follow its course before public opinion is allowed to decide people’s fate.

    And I’m a big believer in it not taking ten fucking years and enough alleged victims before a rape trial is held.

    Also, fuck you.

  43. 43
    SallyStrange

    Yes, thank you Matt.

    Funny how this “oh it’s only an ALLEGED crime, why ruin someone’s life” sniveling usually only appears when the crime in question is rape.

  44. 44
    unbound

    It’s been a very long time since I looked at college stats (so I don’t know the most current stats), but it has been known for a long time that there is a strong correlation between the strength / size of sports programs and the incident of rape involving students. To my knowledge, that problem hasn’t been addressed either.

  45. 45
    AtheistAlabamanian

    I think my post reasonable and stands for itself, but I’ll add that I do realize public opinion is not government by the legal process. I just realize that with less than a week for the facts of the matter to disseminate through the public conscious, there will be a time and place where all will become clear and guilt can appropriately be laid on those that failed.

    I don’t want to sound like I don’t personally believe Sandusky is guilty, but then again, I thought Casey Anthony and OJ Simpson were guilty. It all will come out soon enough.

  46. 46
    Algernon

    It’s easy to talk about “letting the legal process follow its course” but this case is about people preventing it from doing so.

    QFT. Emphasis mine.

    Honestly, if you have some how missed this point, please read this out loud until it “clicks” for you.

  47. 47
    Synfandel

    Tabby Lavalamp and Brownian have both observed that we’re not nearly as sports obsessed in Canadian universities as our American academic cousins are. I’ve graduated from a couple of them and I agree.

    Last year, the University of Waterloo, in Waterloo, Ontario, found nine possible cases of steroid infractions in its football team and immediately shut down the entire football program for the season to send the message that it was serious about compliance. Can you see that happening on a US campus?

  48. 48
    Sideshow Bill

    I would hope for the death penalty for the football program as well. I also would hope that any long term board members are very publically replaced as well. There is no way they didn’t know about this. As for the GA, McQueary, I hope someone kicks the spineless guy in the nads.

  49. 49
    Carlie

    Glodson – yep, I think McQueary should also be fired and, along with Paterno (and his higher-ups), charged with obstruction of justice, not following the state’s child abuse reporting laws, etc.

    (I didn’t realize until now that he was that old at the time; I though he was an “assistant” like a 19 or 20 year old student who cleaned the towels kind of assistant)

  50. 50
    Fear Uncertainty Doubt

    Joe Paterno was trying to squirm his way out of any culpability using weasel arguments, and finally, trying to resign on his terms. Good for the Penn State trustees that they owned up to the problem and are refusing to have any sacred cows.

    Good for the police and D.A. that they are prosecuting the Athletic Director and VP in charge of campus security for failing to report this.

    This may kill Penn State football for a long time. I say it can’t some soon enough. Most of the people who have been advocating serious reform in big-time college sports have been ignored. Perhaps no longer, now that a coach and a program that was thought to be unassailable has proven to be capable of such corrupt behavior.

    As I pointed out to my wife, Penn State was thought to be one of the “good guys” and a program of integrity, blah blah blah. So can you imagine what is going on at the schools that don’t even have as much integrity as Penn State?

    I think it says something, that people who seem otherwise good but have something to protect will choose to look the other way when confronted with injustice, even the molesting of children.

    Joe Paterno is a hard-core and politically active republican. I don’t think there is any connection, but what would Rush Limbaugh and Fox News be saying if he was a registered democrat?

    I read a quote today that I think says it well: “Many say Paterno didn’t do anything wrong, but the issue is, he didn’t do the right thing.” We should be able to count on our universities to hold to a higher standard for conduct than “hey, he kinda didn’t break the law”. At least the trustees of Penn State get the fact that defending Joe Paterno would make them as guilty as he.

    College sports is a crooked, exploitative, chest-thumping, tribalism-encouraging racket. Anyone who wonders “how could this have happened?” should consider that. Like the abuses of the catholic church, this may uncork the bottle and we may start hearing about all kinds of abuse connected to other collegiate sports programs, now that the victims realize they aren’t alone.

  51. 51
    SallyStrange

    Also, can I just say how fucking SICK I am of the word “molested”? Why do we need a special word for child rape and child sexual assault? Since “molest” can apply to anything from forcing a child to sit on your lap to outright penetrative rape, its vagueness has the effect of making serious crimes seem less serious. Let’s just call it what it is: RAPE and SEXUAL ASSAULT of CHILDREN.

  52. 52
    Algernon

    I don’t want to sound like I don’t personally believe Sandusky is guilty, but then again, I thought Casey Anthony and OJ Simpson were guilty

    Do you really think a court of law decides actual guilt or innocence? They were found innocent and therefore they will not be held liable by a court of law. This actually doesn’t mean they didn’t do it.

    If no one reports a rape, it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

    Lastly, when people are found guilty but did not do the crime this does not mean they actually did the crime. It means they were found guilty.

    Are you actually so stupid that you don’t understand these things?

  53. 53
    Carlie

    I read a quote today that I think says it well: “Many say Paterno didn’t do anything wrong, but the issue is, he didn’t do the right thing.”

    And actually, he did probably break the law. The state has child protection laws that people in certain positions of authority HAVE to report suspected child abuse to the proper authorities (meaning the police, not the person’s supervisor).

    Funny how this “oh it’s only an ALLEGED crime, why ruin someone’s life” sniveling usually only appears when the crime in question is rape.

    QFT.

    Firing Paterno wasn’t done because it was right, but it also was more than just PR – he was basically thumbing his nose at the Board of Trustees by deciding himself when he would retire. They kind of had to fire him to teach everyone the lesson that Paterno isn’t the boss of them (chest-thumping primates that we all are).

  54. 54
    Bodach

    Glodson @ 34: +1

  55. 55
    Carlie

    For anyone who thinks poor old Sandusky ought to be presumed innocent until after trial: his own daughter-in-law has gotten a court order keeping him away from his grandchildren. I would imagine that she’s going on a bit more personal information than just what’s in the news to go to that extent.

  56. 56
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    You know, given how much colleges don’t care about student-on-student rape, and how excessively and obsessively they care about completely worthless, meaningless sports, I don’t know why I’m surprised that people are rallying to support a child-rape accomplice.

    Its shocking and stomach churning that a useless, pointless sport is worshipped, to the point where children being raped is an acceptable situation to ignore, because football.

    Fuck Penn State.

  57. 57
    AtheistAlabamanian

    Maybe my original post was too pedantic, and I apologize. I just think it’s always important to remember the process in place (that we’re supposed to trust*) to deal with these crimes. My problem with PZ’s post is that he claim, unequivocally, that Sandusky raped children, where my point was to remind him that Sandusky still has his day in court to defend himself.

    *I may be misunderstanding your comment, but are you claiming that there’s reason not to trust the legal process?! If so, it is fundamentally dangerous to allow it to decide guilt and punishment and it should be done away with.

  58. 58
    chigau (違う)

    Tabby Lavalamp

    I may not care for my province, but I strongly tolerate my city.

    I am stealing this.
    (I’m in Edmonton, too.)

  59. 59
    you_monster

    Sorry, I’m a big believer in letting the legal process follow its course before public opinion is allowed to decide people’s fate.

    Yeah, you’re completely right. Sandusky should be allowed to continue to coach little kids. He hasn’t been officially found guilty yet, amirite? Got any kids AtheistAlabamanian? Send them over to be watched by Sandusky. Can’t let public opinion determine this good man’s fate.

    I don’t want to sound like I don’t personally believe Sandusky is guilty

    You feel justified in judging from the facts that Sandusky is guilty but you don’t think his employers, coming to the same conclusion, should act on it?

  60. 60
    Fear Uncertainty Doubt

    @AtheistAlabamanian

    Consider that the only reason that Sandusky is considered “innocent” is because the trial he should have gotten years ago was prevented by a conspiracy to hide the facts (eyewitnesses!) and prevent law enforcement from being aware of his let’s-call-them-alleged crimes.

    He’s innocent for now as far as our justice system goes, but if you read the grand jury investigation, I think that for non-legal purposes, it’s pretty safe to that we can call him guilty on a provisional basis, pending the full trial. He’ll have his chance to create reasonable doubt if he wishes.

  61. 61
    Jim Norman

    Isn’t the institutional cover-up of rape still vile, even if the rape didn’t happen?

  62. 62
    SallyStrange

    Take a wild guess as to how many rape cases result in a trial, AtheistAlabaman. Take a guess as to how many rape cases result in a conviction.

    No, when it comes to rape, I really DON’T trust the legal system.

  63. 63
    Algernon

    but are you claiming that there’s reason not to trust the legal process?!

    Are you fucking kidding me?

    I live in a state that has killed several people AFTER evidence completely proves they did not do the crime and that another person did. They are dead. Dead people, because on the technicality of the law if your appeals have expired then you are SOL.

    Please tell me you are either being sarcastic or are very young and have little to know experience with the US Justice system or I will weep.

  64. 64
    Carlie

    You’re talking about innocence in terms of the legal decision. His employers have an obligation to remove him from contact with minors after he has been accused of crimes towards minors until the decision has been made, and even after that can exercise their own judgment as to whether he will be able to do his job properly after that. He hasn’t been thrown in jail; he’s been removed from his position in which he has access to the very group of people he’s been charged with assaulting.

  65. 65
    Algernon

    No, when it comes to rape, I really DON’T trust the legal system.

    No shit, and with good reason, which is why so many rapes go unreported.

    And, like I said before, this doesn’t mean they didn’t happen. It just means no trial will be held and there will be no legal recourse.

  66. 66
    AtheistAlabamanian

    I don’t have a problem with the institutional discipline of him. Folks, I believe I have already stated that I realize public opinion (which governs institutional arrangements like employment) and the legal process are two different things.

    Also, the facts of the case are disturbing in how the institutional failed to deal with this problem appropriately 9 years ago. The fact that justice wasn’t properly sought in 2002 is appalling and those that allowed the issue to be covered up should be punished severely by not only the institution but also by the law.

    I was just ticked-off enough that PZ unequivocally claimed that Sandusky raped children and had enough pedantic, self-rightious faith in the legal system that I just wished to remind him and others on here that until Sandusky is proven to have raped children, he is entitled to some sort of realization of innocences.

  67. 67
    you_monster

    My problem with PZ’s post is that he claim, unequivocally, that Sandusky raped children, where my point was to remind him that Sandusky still has his day in court to defend himself.

    Sandusky did rape children. You think so too. Yes, he will get his day in court, but in the meantime, stop calling out people for asserting that Sandusky is a rapist when you fucking agree that he is.

    No, PZ did not say that “in all likelihood Sanduky is a rapist, though there is a small chance that he is innocent”. Do you have a problem when PZ asserts that there is no god? He says there is no god unequivocally, even though there is a infinitesimal chance there is one.

    Why only get nit-picky about drawing firm conclusions from evidence when that evidence is of rape?

  68. 68
    EvoMonkey

    It boggles the mind to think that Paterno supposedly did his duty, but yet interacted with Sandusky on a regular basis. How could anyone do that? The next time Paterno saw him, did he act like he hadn’t heard anything? Did he joke with him? Did he just not mention it?

    I don’t always support term limits in political offices, but It seems to me that Division I university coaching jobs should have term limits. I was a grad student at Indiana U when Bob Knight was still there and when he was fired. The cult of personality and the practical dictatorship these coaches set up are astonishing. Whenever one of these coaches stays too long at a university it always ends badly. Salary caps would probably be good as well.

  69. 69
    dig

    The university’s cardinals came together, considered the issue, and fired both the perverted priest’s bishop and the pope who saw and didn’t act. It’s likely that next people on both posts will have somewhat less wonky moral compasses. Why can’t it be that easy in Vatican?

  70. 70
    andre

    Synfandel @ 47:

    That’s not comparing apples to apples since football isn’t the money sport in Canada, ice hockey is. That being said, the reason Canada’s schools aren’t as invested in hockey as US schools are in football is that Canada (and the NHL) has the semi-pro junior hockey development leagues where the US (and NFL) has “amateur” college football (and basketball).

    Junior hockey fans can be assholes like college football fans. Some fans from Kelowna were obnoxious when they would come down to the US for games with one of the US junior hockey teams. Of course, they weren’t any worse than asshole fans from Portland. Fans are fans and can be assholes.

    The US colleges won’t support the creation of a semi-pro 18-22 ages development league because it will cost them talent ($$$). A league developing privately wouldn’t work anyway because such a league would not be as successful ($$$) without a dedicated fan base like universities provide.

  71. 71
    Glodson

    A Brain in a Vat says:

    What don’t you understand?

    If you think for a second that the board of trustees fired Pederaterno because their moral compass dictated they should, you’re wrong. It was a PR move.

    Oh, I understand that. I just don’t understand why they didn’t fire McQueary at the same time. If you are going to fire Paterno for his inaction, you should fire McQueary for his inaction as well. It would have been a good PR move there too.

    One thing I will mention, I’ve heard some speculation that Paterno might have been fired for a statement in which he stated that he should have done more. While true, it would be bad for Penn State as I’m sure the Trustees are looking at both PR and liability. They ain’t concerned about the kids, but rather their own goddamn wallets and goddamn reputation.

    Carlie says:

    I didn’t realize until now that he was that old at the time; I though he was an “assistant” like a 19 or 20 year old student who cleaned the towels kind of assistant

    I thought the same thing when I first heard the story. I imagined a scared young man just out of his teens. Especially when it was stated that McQueary called his father first, and then he went with his father to see Paterno in the morning. But no, he was much older. Which raises the issue: what the fuck was McQueary’s father thinking? McQueary, McQueary’s father, and Paterno are not legally culpable, but the sure as fuck are morally culpable.

  72. 72
    Anri

    Last year, the University of Waterloo, in Waterloo, Ontario, found nine possible cases of steroid infractions in its football team and immediately shut down the entire football program for the season to send the message that it was serious about compliance. Can you see that happening on a US campus?

    Speaking as a USAian raised in the gulf south and currently residing in the midwest, I suspect they’d prefer to shut down the University and keep the football program without it…

    I mean, c’mon, people – priorities!

  73. 73
    andre

    One good thing about college sports: I hope the next time Penn State plays in some big away football game, their fans start the “We are… Penn State” cheer and the opposing school will start a “You are… child rapers” cheer. (I’m looking at you Wisconsin.)

  74. 74
    Cliff Hendroval

    I was going to post something, but glodson @ 34 said it all better than I would.

  75. 75
    Matt Penfold

    The US colleges won’t support the creation of a semi-pro 18-22 ages development league because it will cost them talent ($$$). A league developing privately wouldn’t work anyway because such a league would not be as successful ($$$) without a dedicated fan base like universities provide.

    US sport is rather odd in that respect. In the rest of the world professional teams will have reserve and age-restricted teams. There will also be a multi-tiered league structure. Both allow plenty of opportunity for young talent to develop. One does not see Freddie Adu style hype in European football!

  76. 76
    Algernon

    Why only get nit-picky about drawing firm conclusions from evidence when that evidence is of rape?

    To be honest I think it is only something people get nit-picky about when they think the person accused is a pretty good guy or when they empathize because they’re more likely to get accused of rape than to get raped so they don’t have to worry.

    Then you add to that the fact that if you want to rape people, it’s good to keep up a good popular face so that people won’t believe victims and that it is good to have some power so you have a supply of victims.

    Put those two things together and you get people who are upstanding citizens, who have more in common with non-rape victims and people who are less likely to be rape victims, being protected by people who instinctively relate more to them than to the victims.

  77. 77
    Algernon

    Also remember that relating to the victims is “irrational” and “emotional” whereas relating to the accused is NOT “irrational” or “emotional” at all.

  78. 78
    tbp1

    I’ve been associated with higher ed most of my adult life: student, grad student, TA, junior faculty, senior faculty and now department chair (hoping to dump that last in a year or two) and have seen the toxic effect big sports have on college campuses first hand, although nothing quite this disgusting at the schools I’ve attended or taught at. I’m not against sports per se, although I’m not particularly interested, either, but we’ve got a serious case of the tail wagging the dog. Head coaches (at least in football and basketball) routinely make more money than the university president and often have more actual power. Resources that should be going to academics are siphoned away to athletics (only a handful of big sports programs are actually self-sustaining): my own school recently replaced perfectly good football and basketball venues with new, incredibly expensive buildings. The basketball arena can be used for rock concerts and a few other things, but the football stadium will seldom, if ever, be used for anything other than the handful of home games a year (marching band competitions, maybe?). Most of the money was raised from private sources, and certainly donors can give to whatever interests them, but why aren’t they as interested in a new chemistry lab or recital hall?

    Many programs are rife with boorish behavior on the part of spoiled-brat, pampered athletes, sometimes veering into outright criminality. Student athletes are often victims themselves, grotesquely exploited in many programs: treated like gods and led to believe they will make it to the pros (and fewer than 1% will play even a day as pro athletes) until they are injured or their eligibility runs out, and then thrown to the wolves with a meaningless degree, or no degree at all, and absolutely no idea of how to cope with a life in which they are no longer catered to and pampered. Many of them, especially football players, sustain damage to their bodies that will be with them the rest of their lives.

    Still, this takes the cake: students actually rioting in support of man who, AT BEST, stood idly by and let an associate rape children. Maybe he complied with the strict letter of the law, maybe not, but he had a moral responsibility as a human being, and also as an employee of the university, to do more than that and he failed miserably. I am beyond disgusted that anyone would support him. If anything shows the hideously misplaced priorities of contemporary American society, it is this.

    I am glad the PSU trustees finally did the right thing (or at least partially; I think a few more heads need to roll), but it is way too little, way too late.

  79. 79
    Hairhead

    This thing is getting worse. It looks like Sandusky, after identifying and priming his victims by raping them, then pimped the boys out to rich university donors. The money involved here would explain why he was able to get away with it for 30, 10 years of that AFTER he had been directly observed raping a child.

    http://www.nesn.com/2011/11/jerry-sandusky-rumored-to-have-been-pimping-out-young-boys-to-rich-donors-says-mark-madden.html

  80. 80
    Terrell Williams

    It’s sad that College Sports / Professional Sports like Religion are nothing but Big Business. It’s all about the money and who can bring in the most money. The school fired Paterno but he gets to stay until the end of the season. I think he should go now!!

  81. 81
    Glodson

    AtheistAlabamanian says:

    My problem with PZ’s post is that he claim, unequivocally, that Sandusky raped children, where my point was to remind him that Sandusky still has his day in court to defend himself.

    Let’s say that Sandusky didn’t do it. Paterno still didn’t contact the police. The AD and the VP of Penn State still covered it up. McQueary is now a lying asshole. If Paterno had contacted the police in 2002, this shit would be over. If the AD and the VP contacted the police in 2002, this shit would be over.

    McQueary would still be an asshole, but for different reasons. Penn State would be in the clear. The problem that most people are having is that in light of the allegations(some go back as far as 1998), McQueary, Patenro, the AD, and the VP took actions to protect Penn State, not to pursue the truth. That’s the disgust and outrage. The fact that some child raping monster is among a group doesn’t make the group bad. It is the cover-up. And it was a cover-up.

    We should revile McQueary and Paterno not because they knew a child rapist, but because they turned a blind eye to it while doing the minimum to protect their own respective asses.

  82. 82
    Christopher Kwolek

    “which always seemed bizarre to me—students actually select their academic institution based on the performance of the athletic team?” The explanation I’ve always heard is that more successful teams end up having the schools being more well-known, and therefore looking better on a resume.

  83. 83
    Fear Uncertainty Doubt

    Carlie
    I agree with you that Joe Paterno broke the law. I would imagine though that a lawyer would argue that he informed the athletic director believing that the AD would contact the authorities. Of course we know that’s almost certainly false, but I think the case would be muddy enough that it will not be prosecuted, especially considering they are prosecuting two other university officials above Joe Paterno’s rank who failed to do that. That’s why I said the best anyone could say was that he “kinda” didn’t break the law. He gave himself just enough plausible deniability that he’s just barely out of reach. Let’s just say he was shrewd enough not to be holding the bag on this one.

  84. 84
    Carlie

    Which raises the issue: what the fuck was McQueary’s father thinking?

    Probably that if they went to the police or went public, Paterno would destroy them, and McQueary would never be able to work in that town or anywhere else again, ever.

  85. 85
    Zugswang

    but are you claiming that there’s reason not to trust the legal process?!

    I’ll put more trust in the legal process when billionaire pricks like Jerry Epstein spend more than 13 months in prison for being a serial child rapist, or when we actually start prosecuting bank execs and businessmen for widespread mortgage fraud, or when we spend more time and resources going after thieves than we do potheads.

  86. 86
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Why only get nit-picky about drawing firm conclusions from evidence when that evidence is of rape?

    I think we all the know the answer to this question. Rape Culture.

    And, everything Algernon said in 76 & 77.

    The corollary of “bitches lie” is “bitches get their kids to lie” all to ruin the lives of good, upstanding men who wouldn’t date them, or something.

    That said, I am still surprised that this is the attitude when its children who have been raped. Male children. Usually, Americans are very against that. Who knew the cult of football would be powerful enough to make them go against even that. One would have thought onl religion had that power.

  87. 87
    A Brain in a Vat

    @Carlie Worth it for anyone with the slightest bit of a conscience.

  88. 88
    pumpkinpie

    I was impressed by some of the words of the Board of Trustees. I can’t quickly find a transcript, but the chair talked about the thousands of students, hundreds of thousands of alums and degrees awarded, more I can’t remember, and that “this University is much more than Athletics.” Meaning that protecting the people in the football program is not even close to being worth compromising the integrity of the entire school.

  89. 89
    Amphiox

    I doubt Sandusky will be found not guilty, but he’s entitled to a defense of himself in court.

    As you point out later, the issue here is not Sandusky’s guilt, it is the refusal of Paterno and the university administration to act on the allegations.

    My problem with PZ’s post is that he claim, unequivocally, that Sandusky raped children, where my point was to remind him that Sandusky still has his day in court to defend himself.

    The evidence is available for all to see. PZ, as the rest of us, is free to examine this evidence and make our own conclusions based on it. And we are all free to change our conclusions if new evidence comes to light. And if he finds that evidence “unequivocal”, at this moment, he is fully justified in making his claim.

    The only legal aspect is that PZ’s opinion should carry no legal weight, with respect to Sandusky’s prosecution. And it doesn’t.

  90. 90
    Glodson

    @ Carlie: Yes, that’s possible thanks to the power that a football coach and wield in that world.

    And that is fucking depressing. Still, they should have gone to the police. If they wanted to tell Paterno that they were going to the police out of courtesy, fine.

    I’m still amazed that no one seemed to have gone to the fucking child to help him. That’s sickening, the complete disregard for the kid.

  91. 91
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    It strikes me that “innocent until proven guilty!”(but only ever wrt rape, of course) is just another one of those throw away non-arguments like screeches of “censorship! free speech!” are coming from banned trolls.

    Innocent until prove guilty applies to the COURT, not to a random dude writing a piece for his blog. Just as PZ doesn’t “censor” trolls because he’s not the federal government, he also doesn’t have to pretend to not have an opinion on a case in which he is not, particularly not as an attorney or judge.

  92. 92
    What a Maroon, el papa ateo

    Post #14 reminds me one the reason why one of the earliest college football powers opted out of the Big Ten in 1939, the University Of Chicago.

    And that hasn’t hurt the bottom line.

    And it made for a much more pleasant undergrad experience (that and the fact that when I was there there were only 5 frats on campus).

  93. 93
    Amphiox

    I can’t quickly find a transcript, but the chair talked about the thousands of students, hundreds of thousands of alums and degrees awarded, more I can’t remember, and that “this University is much more than Athletics.” Meaning that protecting the people in the football program is not even close to being worth compromising the integrity of the entire school.

    Those words would have sounded much more impressive if they had been said back in 2002, as something initiated by the school in response to the initial allegation, and not as a desperate bid for damage control after the information becomes public.

    Now, they just sound like hypocrisy – a forced staged blame-deflection to protect the reputation of the school, because now they have been CAUGHT. Sure, the university is “much more than Athletics”. Sure, emphasize that NOW, when the Athletics department is tarred in mud. Drop them like a hot potato.

    The integrity of the entire school was compromised long ago, when the people in the football program WERE protected, for almost a decade. And there is nothing, absolutely nothing, of it left to salvage now.

    It’s rebuilding time only.

  94. 94
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    “not*, particularly not as an attorney or judge.”

    *invovled

  95. 95
    Synfandel

    andre @70:

    Yes, I’m not saying that Canada lacks sports-obsessed yahoos. We do. Just look at the shameful display in Vancouver after the last Stanley Cup final. My embarassment as a Canadian was painful.

    My point is that we don’t mix our sports fanaticism with higher education. Hockey scholarships, if they even exist, are insignificant in the operation of Canadian universities. And sports culture in general at Canadian universities is far less pervasive and dominant than it is at US universities. I don’t think I ever even heard the name of my last school’s hockey team, though of course they had one. Sports are a recreational activity in the same class as the debating team or the a cappella choir; they’re not a reason to be in school or a way to stay in school when your academic performance fails, and no student gets any special academic consideration just because he can score goals or touchdowns.

  96. 96
    PZ Myers

    I’m not anti-sports. UMM has an appropriate sports program, with student athletes getting an opportunity to compete, and I make allowances for students who are off at away games, just as I do for students who work in the local EMT program, or take time to participate in political events, or go off to present their work at a science conference.

    I’m anti-BIG-sports, where suddenly the priorities switch and athletics becomes essential. I know PSU football brings in money; I taught at Temple, where basketball was a big source of prestige and money. But I think that’s wrong. If football is bringing in 10 million dollars a year, that’s nice from the perspective of revenues, but it also means your priorities are being poisoned.

  97. 97
    you_monster

    Time to Godwin. People should be careful about condemning Hitler like they do. After all, Hitler killed himself before he had a chance to defend himself in court. What right to we have to denounce him unequivocally when he is still presumably innocent?

  98. 98
    Rey Fox

    What first crossed my mind when all this came out was how it all suddenly came out after Paterno broke the Division I record for career wins as a head coach. It makes me wonder how much stalling was going on.

  99. 99
    bbgunn

    Joe Paterno is a hard-core and politically active republican. I don’t think there is any connection, but what would Rush Limbaugh and Fox News be saying if he was a registered democrat?

    Somewhat appropriately, I’ve thought: “When is Limbaugh going to start blaming Obama and the Dems over this?”

  100. 100
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    Completely OT but thanks to #92, I now understand what is meant by What a Maroon’s choice of moniker. All this time, I thought the person was a Bugs Bunny fan.

  101. 101
    Tsu Dho Nimh

    Having seen the “Cult of Kush” en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Kush at Arizona State University, heard of the special treatment accorded his football players in their classes, and heard reports of Kush’s highly abusive and entitled behavior off the field … it’s not in any university’s best interest to have a popular coach and a nationally renowned team.

    What else did Penn State sweep under the rug for the sake of football?

  102. 102
    What a Maroon, el papa ateo

    Completely OT but thanks to #92, I now understand what is meant by What a Maroon’s choice of moniker. All this time, I thought the person was a Bugs Bunny fan.

    Both, actually.

  103. 103
    Worldtraveller

    When I heard about the rioting at Penn State, I thought maybe it was to get the guy fired, which would have made some sense. But when I found out so many rioted in support of the coach, because he was fired…it was one of those moment where one’s brain just sorta metaphorically implodes.

    I have little hope left for humanity, not as a species, we’ll probably be around for a long time to keep fucking things up, for ourselves and most every other species larger than a beetle, but for our own humanity. I think we’re fucked.

  104. 104
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Firing Paterno wasn’t done because it was right, but it also was more than just PR – he was basically thumbing his nose at the Board of Trustees by deciding himself when he would retire. They kind of had to fire him to teach everyone the lesson that Paterno isn’t the boss of them (chest-thumping primates that we all are).

    I think that’s a bit myopic. The board knows full well that if they didn’t act that the soon to be played football games would turn into circuses and the school would have even more focus on them for not doing anything. The game this weekend is a big National game and it’s senior day and it would have been his last home football game at PSU ever.

    Think of the kind of PR it would be for the football team to be hoisting Paterno, an accused enabler of a pedophile predator, on their shoulders and carrying him around the stadium on national TV.

    While it was also about them exercising their power, it was very much about showing the country they are trying to start acting like they understand the seriousness of the charges.

    If they really do is still to be decided.

  105. 105
    Marius Rowell

    I have only one question to ask – what has happened to the concept of HONOR?

    Lesser people in human history threw themselves on their swords for far less than this, yet all Joe Pa offered was that he’d resign after the season is over. He should put his gun to his head instead.

  106. 106
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    He should put his gun to his head instead.

    Really?

  107. 107
    wasp

    I’d vote for separation of sports and school.

  108. 108
    Quodlibet

    Delurking to offer this supremely ironic item:

    The motto of the Penn State University Athletic Dept. is … “Success with Honor.”

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/10/opinion/queen-penn-state-ethics/

    /re-lurks

  109. 109
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    End of their alma mater song

    May no act of ours bring shame
    To one heart that loves thy name,
    May our lives but swell thy fame,
    Dear old State, dear old State.

  110. 110
    MikeM

    I find the entire attitude we have for elite athletes to be disturbing.

    I have a relative who reached a fairly high level of college basketball. A few years ago, some NBA star faced allegations of some sort of sexual assault. I can’t remember which player it was, or even what year, but I do remember expressing how I felt about the player to my relative.

    The part I’ll never forget was my relative’s response:

    “Oh, but think of all he’s done for the community!”

    Great. So if you play well, are famous, make lots of money, donate money to local cancer and rape crisis centers, and even make statements on their behalf, a little rape now and then is okay? I guess so.

    Very nearly 100% of college athletes are simply used by their universities and colleges. No, not all of them, but how many college football players are there? Now, how many NFL players are there? Or heck, how many CFL players are there?

    I just think the entire system needs to change. Football programs lose money for most universities and high schools. It sure would be great if the NFL and CFL could somehow require a 4-year college degree. I don’t know how you’d begin to do that, though.

    Football is an incredibly popular sport, though. If you suggest even touching it, you get intense public response.

  111. 111
    chigau (違う)

    wasp
    seconded

  112. 112
    Alverant

    @Sally Strange #62
    How would you change the legal system to make it more trustworthy with respect to rape? We’re suppose to be skeptics here, you know demand proof, check for evidence, etc. Given how a rape can boil down to “he said/she said” and how faulty memory can be how can the system improve to convict more rapists? (Keep in mind I’m separating the legal system from the culture. Fixing the culture is a different issue.) One thing I’d do is eliminate jury trials and rely on a judge to weigh the evidence and credibility of the witnesses. It’s not perfect but I think it’s a step in the right direction. At least we should expect a judge to be more aware of his own biases.

    Now about the “innocent until proven guilty” idea. I agree with it in principle because we’ve been wrong before. Remember the terrorist attack in Norway earlier this year? Remember how many people were convinced it was a muslim who did it even after it was shown the terrorist was christian? That’s why we should refrain from judgement until enough information has been released. Now in this case, yeah I’d say we know enough to make a decision. But let’s not decry the concept behind “innocent until proven guilty”. As someone else already pointed out, innocent people have been convicted before.

  113. 113
    beatnikhusker

    Nebraska Football: We only rape your women and horses…

  114. 114
    Carlie

    you_monster @97: I bow to you, sir/ma’am, for the only good use of a Godwin I have ever seen.

  115. 115
    Ing

    I have only one question to ask – what has happened to the concept of HONOR?

    It was used to convince people to cover up child rape. For the Honor of the school and all.

    We’re suppose to be skeptics here, you know demand proof, check for evidence, etc. Given how a rape can boil down to “he said/she said” and how faulty memory can be how can the system improve to convict more rapists?

    Fuck you.

    Yes it’s always he said she said. Like Mr. Khan! Where it was he said, she said…she shows bruises and has his DNA on her…he says she’s a whore, so we go with he said.

    Fuck you.

  116. 116
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    (Keep in mind I’m separating the legal system from the culture. Fixing the culture is a different issue.)

    It very much is NOT a different issue. The quite probably largest reason that rape is so underpunished *is* the culture. She was asking for it, she’s just trying to hurt his carrer, not my nigel, just world fallacy, etc ad pukem.

    Personally, I don’t think you can separate them. Even for academic debate.

    A judge ruling sans a jury will do nothing to improve the situation if he thinks women who wear short skirts are asking for it. Your statement about judges being more aware of their biases is immediately proven false once one reads up a bit on some of the rulings that have come out of rape cases. Liek the Canadian judge who let a rapist off with a year’s probation because the rapist ws an “inept cassanova” and “sex was in the air”. Or the one who let a rapist go completely scot free because his victim was wearing skinny jeans and (paraphrasing)”those don’t come off easily”.

  117. 117
    Abdul Alhazred

    I think what we’re seeing here (and this also applies to the Roman Catholic Church and Roman Polanski’s artiste pals), is that we tend to underestimate the number of people who are basically OK with child rape even if not into it themselves.

    All the rest of the institutional corruption stems from this.

  118. 118
    Zerple

    As a resident of Oklahoma, I understand, though do not partake of the college football mania. People in the south like college football, because it is basically an excuse to drink gallons of beer and eat various grilled meats.

    Schools like it, because it brings in big, sweaty, fist-fulls of money. Coaches who lead to a lot of wins get paid insane salaries, because winning streaks result in huge amounts of money for the school.

    A while ago, when OU won the National Championship, I remember seeing OU merchandise everywhere. There were songs on the radio about OU football and you couldn’t watch TV for 3 minutes without hearing about how great OU is and how awesome their athletics program is.

    I think it is in the interest of many of these schools to keep their football teams all hyped up. Until there is some societal change, that convinces semi-literate, working class, people that education is something you can get interested in and excited about, and that it can provide an excuse to consume beer and grilled meats on a regular basis, sports will be more popular than academics and generate huge sums of money for universities.

  119. 119
    Ing

    Zerple

    Have you considered submitting to the publication I run? It’s called Duh: The Journal of Blindingly Obvious

  120. 120
    Amphiox

    (Keep in mind I’m separating the legal system from the culture. Fixing the culture is a different issue.)

    Since the legal system is, and always will be, an expression grown out from the culture. Fixing the culture will fix the legal system. And trying to fix the legal system without fixing the culture will never work.

  121. 121
    Infinite123Lifer

    @51 Sally Strange, OM

    Seconded.

    @34
    Well said. I hope your not referring to the thousand at Penn State who had no involvement though.
    @71
    Well said again.
    @79
    Let’s hope not. Fuck.
    @84
    If they wernt thinking immediate intervention & for the child then they are guilty of helping sandusky. Though your right their actions showed what we thought they were thinking. Which I think we both agree don’t mean shit at this point.

  122. 122
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Now about the “innocent until proven guilty” idea.

    What about it? We can comment on the allegations, and the large number of accusers, and the evidence that has been released, and the coincidence of events (ie.. when he resigned), and the previous events of accusation where he basically admitted to inappropriate behavior with minors and the fact he’s been arrested and form our own opinions on that information.

    We can’t convict him. The courts and a jury will do that, or not.

    Paterno is another case entirely. If someone reported a rape to him he is morally obligated, especially considering his position, to report that to the real authorities, not his superior. So was McQueary and McQueary’s dad and a host of others I would wager.

    If it turned out to be false or a mistake then that would hopefully had come out. But I would also hope that we all agree that as adults we have some sort of responsibility to protect those who can not protect themselves and to take action to do so.

    A 10 year old boy, naked in the shower, with a 60 +year old man would qualify IMNSHO.

    And the presumption of innocence, and IANAL, is a legal requirement on the government and one that is imposed on journalists but we’re free to form opinions on the evidence we’ve been “presented”. The verdict of not guilty is not one of “innocent”.

    While I’ll wait for the trial before my final judgement, I can sure as hell look at what has been leaked, presented, published, recorded and admitted to and form an evolving opinion on his guilt and the guilt of those who seemingly covered up or ignored his actions.

  123. 123
    headfullabooks

    @108 More appropriate motto suggestion: “Athletics über Ethics”.

  124. 124
    crookedshoes

    I have been reading with lots of interest and think most of my sentiment has already been verbalized. I am disgusted by the actions of so many of these pieces of garbage, Paterno included.

    I am most put off by Mike McQueary who walked in on a child being raped and turned and walked out. Not enough vitriol has been aimed his way.

    BTW, how long before Paterno dies? This has to be killing him.

  125. 125
    Ing

    I am most put off by Mike McQueary who walked in on a child being raped and turned and walked out. Not enough vitriol has been aimed his way.

    I might have heard wrong so please dog pile me if I am; but from what I heard of McQueary his actions are, at first, closest to being understandable. See horrific even call parent for advice. That seems normal for a young adult like a grad student…of course it all goes to shit after that where apparently the parent gave shitty advice and nothing got done. If that was just the start of the story, I could understand the delay due to shock and fear and angst over the job. What I can’t understand is anyone with an ounce of responsibility hearing about thsie and deciding to do nothing. Nor can I understand McQueary not leaking the info to police when he sees nothing happening.

  126. 126
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    BTW, how long before Paterno dies? This has to be killing him.

    I fucking hope so!

  127. 127
    Algernon

    Ing:

    Now it should be stated that he was 28 at the time of the attack.

    That seems normal for a young adult like a grad student…

    But does it seem normal for a grad student who is closer to my age? To me… hell no.

  128. 128
    Algernon

    If by the time you are that close to 30 you don’t think to call the police…

    man, honestly, I don’t think you wanted to call the police unless some one made you.

  129. 129
    Ing

    @Algernon

    Didn’t know his age. Doesn’t make sense now.

  130. 130
    SallyStrange

    How would you change the legal system to make it more trustworthy with respect to rape?

    Change the culture.

    We’re suppose to be skeptics here, you know demand proof, check for evidence, etc.

    Fuck you.

    Given how a rape can boil down to “he said/she said” and how faulty memory can be how can the system improve to convict more rapists?

    How can a rape boil down to he said/she said? When the woman says she was raped and the man says he thought it was consensual? That’s another instance where the culture needs to change. If there’s enough ambiguity that two participants can disagree on whether consent was present, then someone isn’t doing his due diligence in ensuring that he has obtained ENTHUSIASTIC consent from his partner. Ignorance is no excuse in other crimes; why do we make such allowances for rapists?

    (Keep in mind I’m separating the legal system from the culture. Fixing the culture is a different issue.)

    No, it’s really not.

    One thing I’d do is eliminate jury trials and rely on a judge to weigh the evidence and credibility of the witnesses. It’s not perfect but I think it’s a step in the right direction. At least we should expect a judge to be more aware of his own biases.

    Judges are subject to the same biases as juries are.

    Now about the “innocent until proven guilty” idea. I agree with it in principle because we’ve been wrong before.

    I’ll take “self-evident truisms” for $500, Alex.

    Remember the terrorist attack in Norway earlier this year? Remember how many people were convinced it was a muslim who did it even after it was shown the terrorist was christian?

    Ugh, what an awful analogy. Yes, people can be racist and bigoted. White people, in Norway as in the US, are more prone to believe that a dark-skinned foreigner committed a horrible murder than they are to believe that it was “one of their own” who did it. This problem is even MORE pronounced in rape cases. Oh, he couldn’t have raped her, he’s the head coach. He’s a nice guy. Oh, he’s a black dude? Well quick, send in the cops. Call the lynch mob. Since the criminal justice system takes rapes WAY less seriously than murder, this basically means that a certain subset of men can use their race and class privilege to ensure that they can rape again and again without getting caught. You’re not thinking very clearly about this, I can tell.

    That’s why we should refrain from judgement until enough information has been released. Now in this case, yeah I’d say we know enough to make a decision.

    Yet that didn’t stop you from adding one more voice to the millions-strong chorus protecting and defending the already robust rights of rapists to be considered as Good Men, until they have been definitively proven in court to be guilty of rape. You agree that in this case, there’s enough evidence to reasonably judge Sandusky guilty, and Paterno and others guilty of covering it up, but your CONCERN for the rights of accused rapists was so strong that you just had to speak out. You are part of the problem with the culture. Accused rapists are already given too much consideration in this culture. Particularly if they are white and middle-class.

    But let’s not decry the concept behind “innocent until proven guilty”.

    Fucking A. Nobody is doing that, we are merely pointing out that it is a concept that is applicable to criminal trials, not to questions of employment and social mores.

    As someone else already pointed out, innocent people have been convicted before.

    Herp derp! More trivial, pointless truisms. That is clearly not a problem in this case. Again, your touching concern for hypothetical falsely accused rapists is supportive of rape culture and not at all helpful in changing the culture so that rape is taken more seriously as a problem by EVERYONE, from the doctors and nurses who perform examinations for evidence of rape, to the courts that decide which cases to bring to trial, to the cops who interview victims and suspects, to the juries and judges who make the ultimate determination. A huge part of the problem is that most rape cases don’t even get to court, precisely because doctors, nurses, and cops are so dismissive of rape claims and even abusive of women who report rape, that women choose not to report and choose not to press charges because the whole process is set up to make THEM into the guilty parties just for having the gall to accuse a man of rape.

  131. 131
    Algernon

    Didn’t know his age. Doesn’t make sense now.

    I didn’t either until earlier in this thread. I was thinking he must have been a kid himself until then :/

  132. 132
    crookedshoes

    ING,
    McQueary was a 28 year old man who was a former division I football player. Enough of the idea that he was a kid calling his daddy. If Sandusky were beating the child senseless would he have held him back?

    By walking out of the showers that night, McQueary allowed a child to be raped. What happened the rest of the night? Was the kid raped repeatedly?

    I do not let McQueary off the hook for this. I was at a convenience store and a guy started screaming at his girlfriend and a woman asked him to stop. He shoved the woman to the ground. No fewer than 4 people called 911.

  133. 133
    Algernon

    A huge part of the problem is that most rape cases don’t even get to court, precisely because doctors, nurses, and cops are so dismissive of rape claims and even abusive of women who report rape, that women choose not to report and choose not to press charges because the whole process is set up to make THEM into the guilty parties just for having the gall to accuse a man of rape.

    Or kids, in this case. It also angers me because how many times have I had men trot out that “men are raped too” and yet where the fuck are these valiant defenders of rape victims now?

  134. 134
    Andrew Pang

    Hey everyone let’s pharyngulate this poll “Do you think the Board of Trustees made the correct decision in firing both Spanier and Paterno?” Right now, 54.7% Yes, 45.3% No

    http://wearecentralpa.com/

  135. 135
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I’m terribly late to this and it took me some time to read all the comments, so I’ll just repeat what’s already been said multiple times. I can’t decide who I am more disgusted with – people who haven’t reported the rapist, from the man who actually saw the act and didn’t stop it or help the kid later or went to the police when he saw higher authorities at PSU did nothing to those higher authorities, or rapist’s fans who are now rioting in his support.

  136. 136
    Algernon

    This seals in my mind even more than ever that unless people take the rape of women seriously no one will ever take the rape of ANYONE seriously, and if anyone wants to pretend that all rape is not a part of the same damned social problem they have no fucking leg to stand on with that argument.

    It clearly doesn’t work that way in practice.

  137. 137
    Ing

    I didn’t know his age. I presumed youth because of the actions. I was wrong

    I do not let McQueary off the hook for this. I was at a convenience store and a guy started screaming at his girlfriend and a woman asked him to stop. He shoved the woman to the ground. No fewer than 4 people called 911.

    I’m not letting him off the hook.

  138. 138
    Ing

    rapist’s fans who are now rioting in his support.

    Oh to be fair it’s not fans of the rapist, just fans of the rapist’s getaway driver.

  139. 139
    mirax

    I am not American but from the rest-of-the-world where universities are places you go to to study, not worship sports. So weirded out by some of what I’ve learned about american college football because of this scandal. Coach – 84 years old and nearly 5 decades in the job!- treated as some kind of god, complete with freakin weird statue lauding him as ‘Humanitarian’ and all. Huge stadium to facilitate this worship. I live in a very rich city state and we dont have a single sport venue that can seat the 107 000 that Penn State can. Even the fact that they are now painting Sandusky out of a bloody fucking mural is astounding. College sports coaches earning much more than faculty and college president. It is like some kind of alternate universe. Rest-of-the-world just doesnt operate like that.

  140. 140
    SallyStrange

    And let me just add that I apologize for using “women” as a stand-in for rape victims. I was talking about the generalized problem of how rape culture plays out in our culture. Obviously men, to a much lesser extent, are rape victims too. And then, you must consider that children are targets of rapists, to the extent that 44% of rape victims are under 18 years of age, according to RAINN. Children, both boys and girls, face many of the same issues that adult rape victims face in reporting rape, plus they have additional obstacles to overcome in that people are even more likely to excuse the rapes by insisting that the children are hysterical, crazy, misremembering, or making it up out of spite. For boys, these problems are exacerbated because their masculinity is automatically called into question if they report being sexually abused or raped. The rigidity of gender roles adds additional obstacles for young men and boys who want to speak out about the crimes committed against them. Changing rape culture involves fighting against toxic masculinity, so men and boys are more free to express pain, vulnerability, and weakness without also having their gender identity called into question.

  141. 141
    Heliantus

    @ Sally Strange

    Also, can I just say how fucking SICK I am of the word “molested”? Why do we need a special word for child rape and child sexual assault?

    Euphemism/prudery/displacement activity.
    Our upbringing teach us not to associate sex with children (except for creating them, and even there…). The initial idea is right, but it becomes a taboo – don’t do it, don’t talk about it. With empahsis on the don’t talk. Don’t bring shame.
    So, of course, when confronted with someone going against a taboo, we find ourself in a tight corner and are greatly tempted to go for milder descriptions. Or even to run away and pretend nothing happened.

    Note how the information decayed from the coach assistant (“I saw a 10-y boy anally raped”) to the board of directors (“oh, it was just horsing around”). Each protagonist was just rewriting the story in a less aggressive version as he was passing it along.
    (a bit like some people were rewriting Elevator gate story as a more mundane encounter, forgetting the time, the place and whatnot)

    But of course, this reluctance to talk about the crudest realities of a crime only results in minimizing the crime and increasing the chance of cover-up.

    Better to call a cat a cat. We are talking about an adult man caught fucking little boys.

  142. 142
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    I am most put off by Mike McQueary who walked in on a child being raped and turned and walked out. Not enough vitriol has been aimed his way.

    I remember a case I had a while back wherein a 10-year-old boy had his arm ripped off by some farm equipment. As he made his way back to the house to get help, a 20-year-old + plus friend of the boy’s elder brother saw him – extremely dangerous injury and all – turned, ran away and hid in his truck. He testified to all of this at his deposition.

    I’m not a violent person, but I genuinely wanted to repeatedly punch that dude in the face for the subsequent 1.5 hours of his deposition.

    You see a child, horribly injured or abused, and you walk away? You do NOTHING?

    I wish I could be all understanding and kind about it, but really, I don’t understand how he or McQueary can live with themselves.

  143. 143
    SallyStrange

    @ Algernon

    Or kids, in this case. It also angers me because how many times have I had men trot out that “men are raped too” and yet where the fuck are these valiant defenders of rape victims now?

    Exactly. Thank you!

    @ Heliantus

    Good explanation, makes a lot of sense. Makes me even more determined to stamp out the word “molest” forever. It makes it seem so benign. People joke about it–”Hey, my truck only seats two but if you don’t mind being molested by my gear shift, I can fit three in!” Then there are the people on the PSU campus who are evidently using “Sanduskied” jokingly as a verb. It really is rape culture in action, and it infuriates me. I guess the only thing I can do is continue to speak out in outrage about it.

  144. 144
    Jerry

    A follow up in the local paper (The Patriot News) who first brought the story to light in March. http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2011/11/penn_state_child_sex-abuse_sca.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

  145. 145
    Alverant

    @Amphiox #120
    I disagree. I think the reverse is true. The law basically dictates what is and what is not acceptable in society. For a while culture said it was acceptable to deny someone a job because they were of a racial minority. The law changed and the culture changed with it. Today even though it still happens, it is mostly frowned upon and victims have legal recourse.

    @illuminata #116
    I separated legal and cultural changes because the former is easier to do and I think has more influence over the culture than vice versa. I will concede you will find a few bonehead decisions by judges. That’s why I said we should EXPECT judges to be more aware of their biases, not that all of the are and saying that does not mean every judicial decision was the right one. Overall, I think a ruling from a judge would be less emotional and less based on cultural perceptions than a jury. I never said it was perfect or there aren’t exceptions, just that it’s better.

    @BigDumbChimp #122
    I agree completely as long as we are willing to change our minds about a person’s guilt provided enough evidence to create reasonable doubt. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof and we shouldn’t shut our eyes if that extraordinary proof comes to light. That’s all I’m saying. (Yeah, in this case it would need a whole lot of extraordinary proof to convince me of his innocence. But it can happen, just like how I can win the lotto by buying one ticket on a whim.)

  146. 146
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Overall, I think a ruling from a judge would be less emotional and less based on cultural perceptions than a jury. I never said it was perfect or there aren’t exceptions, just that it’s better.

    And I’m explaining why its not better. If you don’t change the culture, you’ll continue to get rape-apologist judges (and attorneys and juries) who let rapists go free. Therefore, you’ve done literally nothing to help the problem.

    There are not shortcuts here. There is no changing the justice system without changing the culture. There is no changing the culture without changing the justice system.

    I mean, look at how long we had to fight to get the frigging FBI to update its definition of rape. (Hint: about 82 years). But it is now updated. Change was accomplished.

  147. 147
    Algernon

    You see a child, horribly injured or abused, and you walk away? You do NOTHING?

    I understand your point, and yet I also see why some one would flee or hide from a traumatic situation.

    I’ve actually done both fighting and hiding in the past. But I will be honest, I have also had a flight response to a traumatic event before and found myself hiding until it was quiet when some one broke into my home. I heard a scream from the other room. Now this was not a child, but rather a grown man who was screaming, but when I heard that very obvious primal-rage scream I stayed put thinking mainly about how I could get to the phone to call the police (the police, by the way, took about 30-40 fucking minutes to even show up and by that time the intruder had run back out the window he crawled in through). During that time I was afraid that my friend had been shot or stabbed, but I didn’t want to be the second victim either.

    I didn’t know what else happened to the person in my home until I came out from where I was hiding. It turns out they had chased the intruder out of the window and into the street, losing all sense of danger and not thinking for a second that the guy might be armed (I guess he wasn’t or my friend was damned scary)

    I honestly just-don’t-think-about what might have happened if I had been in that bedroom and if I had been alone. But just recently (I’ve moved since then) some one that lives in that place was murdered during a botched robbery. An elderly lady. I kind of wonder if it was the same person. Anyway, not to derail… just saying I can relate to running away from something that is scary as shit.

    What I can not understand or excuse though is not reporting it at all to the police.

  148. 148
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    I agree completely as long as we are willing to change our minds about a person’s guilt provided enough evidence to create reasonable doubt.

    Well of course. I like to hope that I’m always open to evidence.

  149. 149
    Pteryxx

    Jerry’s Patriot News link in #144 is highly relevant. Quotes:

    During our own investigation, years later, the mother told us that she had been specifically instructed by state police not to speak with reporters.

    No charges were filed against Sandusky in 1998. With the mother cowed into silence, the incident remained buried.

    (…)

    Sara Ganim had more luck. After a great deal of work, Ganim eventually located and spoke with the victim’s mother. But we needed much more if we were to accuse a Penn State coaching legend of an abhorrent crime. (emphasis added)

  150. 150
    Alverant

    @Sally Strange

    If there’s enough ambiguity that two participants can disagree on whether consent was present, then someone isn’t doing his due diligence in ensuring that he has obtained ENTHUSIASTIC consent from his partner.

    No, fuck you! You’re whole argument seems to be that anyone accused of rape is automatically guilty and any evidence to the contrary is just the rape culture sabotaging the case. Your “enthusiastic” comment demonstrates my point. He could have had ENTHUSIASTIC consent and still have ambiguity after the fact.

    Has it occurred to you that maybe it’s the victim who lied? We can’t automatically believe anyone at face value. How much due diligence can be done if someone changes their mind after the fact? Or do you actually believe no one has ever regretted having sex and decided they weren’t at fault so if it wasn’t their fault it must be the other person?

    I’m not defending rapists. I’m attacking the concept of “accusation of rape = guilt of rape”.

  151. 151
    mikeg

    Hey guys and gals and everyone in between. You know what time it is? It is time for my $.02.

    I think the OP sums up my attitude pretty closely when it comes to the social effects of college athletics. And I would also like to make the point that the way this is being covered: The (somewhat) head of a patriarchal, machismo system is caught fucking little boys. And what happens? He gains support, because after all, they were just messing around! It was probably nothing more than pederasty of yore!
    Had this happened to the not so ‘manly’ sports I would hear no end of ‘this is what happens when you let faggots out in public.’ Consider this. I go to the University of New Mexico. If any of you follow college athletics you’d know two things:

    1. Our football team hasn’t won a game. In a looong time. We are 2-26. Our head coach was just fired. Google ‘Mike Locksley’. He is the coach. And a criminal. He has punched the assistant. He has discriminated in his office. He has handed over his keys to a drunk minor (recruit) and so that they wouldn’t be late to a game.

    2. Our soccer team is #1 in the nation, and went undefeated this season.

    Which gets more positive coverage? Locksley gets defended. Soccer gets defunded. Crazy times, mang.

  152. 152
    SallyStrange

    I’m not defending rapists.

    Keep telling yourself that. It might make you feel better, but it won’t change the outcome of your actions, which is to give more cover to rapists.

    I’m attacking the concept of “accusation of rape = guilt of rape”.

    Yeah, this concept holds SO MUCH SWAY in our culture that a whole 6% of rapes result in a conviction! Maybe if you raise more concerns about this pernicious concept, you can get it down to 1 or 2%.

  153. 153
    Algernon

    Or do you actually believe no one has ever regretted having sex and decided they weren’t at fault so if it wasn’t their fault it must be the other person?

    I think that about the exact incredibly low amount of false reports that are made for other crimes are made for rapes.

    And yet… some how you never hear people making this argument about people who “decide” they were the victims of assault and battery, or auto theft.

    Look, we do have a cultural problem with believing rape victims and until that cultural problem changes nothing else will. Laws change when people decide to change them.

  154. 154
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    Very very disappointed at the reaction of the PSU students. Way to damage your alma mater’s reputation. If anyone was doubting that there was a rape culture, well here’s yet another piece of evidence to the contrary…

    mirax,

    HH (if yes, please email me, I’d have some questions)? Welcome to American college sports by the way. If you want to follow the excesses of American college sports, here’s a blog I can recommend: http://www.margaretsoltan.com/

    Her commentary on the scandal:

    All UD‘s English professor life, campus athletes and their fans have characterized themselves as the soul of all-American normalcy, with intellectually-inclined professors and students hopelessly twisted. And it’s strange – because if you’ve ever read even one account of the culture of paranoid teams and their whackaloon camp followers you know just how exactly turned around that appraisal is.

    People are obviously very resistant to this truth, because even though they can watch the all-American anti-intellectual macho team parading its deep peculiarities on tv every night during the Republican debates, they continue to insist that Rick Perry and Herman Cain are the normal ones.

  155. 155
    pimutant

    Am I the only one to have noticed the dollop of Xian religious hypocrisy at the top of this mountain of vileness? The name of the “charitable” group the sexual predator used as his hunting grounds is The Second Mile, a reference to the this entry in the Sermon on the Mount:

    “And whoever shall compel you to convey his goods one mile, go with him two.” –Weymouth New Testament

    That’s Matthew 5:41 if anyone cares…. There are any number of bible sites discussing the second mile business and its meaning to Xians.

  156. 156
    Algernon

    Being accused of rape is just like being raped, it’s worse than rape, it’s basically criminal. We should be putting these people on trial first, to make sure they’re not committing perjury. Because most rape is at least half the fault of the person who got raped anyway, and that’s before you even get to all those poor men who might get accused.

    Man, why can’t you get this. I mean, REAL PEOPLE might get accused of a crime! We certainly can’t take that crime seriously unless we establish that the person making the accusation has the right to.

    These bitches’ll say anything. YOU KNOW HOW THEY ARE.

    But we totally shouldn’t apply that to any other crimes. I mean, other crimes aren’t he said/she said the way rape is. Rape is special. Because how the hell can you even tell when you’re raping some one!?

    I mean shit!

  157. 157
    cyberCMDR

    The people who let this go on need to change their cheer to “We are State Penn”.

  158. 158
    mirax

    Mikeg, another score for rest-of-the-world where the word football correctly refers to the truly beautiful game with some of the sexiest men players ever. Not those oversized, ungainly hulks in helmets and shoulderpads crashing into one another.

  159. 159
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Anyway, not to derail… just saying I can relate to running away from something that is scary as shit.
    What I can not understand or excuse though is not reporting it at all to the police.

    The situation you described though is the fear of being another victim. I do understand that – I’m a petite female. Not saying one should throw themselves in front of every person about to receive a punch. Agreed on the point about the cops.

    The injured boy I talked about upthread was in dire need of immediate medical assistance. And that dude ran away from a child in dire need of immediate medical assistance.

    McQueary saw an adult man raping a young boy. And he walked away. I’d like to know what was it that stopped him for immediately calling the police.

    I’m not arguing with what you’re saying – hear you and agree. But, in these two cases, I can’t compute that. I can’t excuse that.

  160. 160
    mirax

    Pelamun, sorry not HH.

  161. 161
    SallyStrange

    Just for a little more detail about just how representative of toxic rape culture Alverant’s attitudes are:

    No, fuck you! You’re whole argument seems to be that anyone accused of rape is automatically guilty and any evidence to the contrary is just the rape culture sabotaging the case.Your “enthusiastic” comment demonstrates my point. He could have had ENTHUSIASTIC consent and still have ambiguity after the fact.

    Nope, you obviously have no idea what I mean by “enthusiastic consent.” The whole point is to avoid ambiguity. Rape culture teaches us that it’s acceptable, even expected, to have some ambiguity about the level of consent a woman is giving to have sex.

    There are cases when rape accusation =/= guilt of rape, and those are mostly cases of mistaken identity. Where the victim never gets a good look at the attacker, and later identifies the wrong person as the rapist. As Algernon says, the rate of deliberately false reports of rape is about the same as for other crimes, yet somehow it’s only when rape comes up that this possibilty–that the accuser is the real criminal, out to ruin an innocent man’s life–only pops up in rape cases. It’s intimately related to misogyny, since it relies on people’s preconceived notions that women are more likely than men to be crazily vindictive and irrational.

    Has it occurred to you that maybe it’s the victim who lied?

    No, it NEVER occurred to me!

    We can’t automatically believe anyone at face value.

    NO WAY! You have BLOWN MIND!

    How much due diligence can be done if someone changes their mind after the fact?

    Lying crazy bitches are a really big problem, eh? This is misogyny in action.

    One does one’s due diligence by avoiding sex with intoxicated people, and making sure that one’s partner is clearly enthusiastic and into the sex you’re having. You can’t always be sure you’re not sexing a person who’s a complete psychopath, which is what you would need in order to have sex that appeared completely enthusiastically consenting only to be followed by a rape accusation, but psychopaths only make up 1% of the population.

    Or do you actually believe no one has ever regretted having sex and decided they weren’t at fault so if it wasn’t their fault it must be the other person?

    I believe that this happens very rarely, and that this possibility gets dragged out to discredit ACTUAL rape victims ALL THE FUCKING TIME. Just like you are doing here: implicitly discrediting a non-specific number of rape victims by accusing them of a serious crime. There is a corresponding number of rapists who will be more likely to get away with their crime, thanks to you and your CONCERN.

    Fuckwit.

  162. 162
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Oh to be fair it’s not fans of the rapist, just fans of the rapist’s getaway driver.

    Ups, I got relevant scumbags mixed up.

  163. 163
    DLC

    Usually, the thought I see expressed is : the coverup is worse than the crime. Except, this time, the crime was horrific, and the coverup only enabled the perpetrator to continue his crimes.
    In a more just world, Paterno,McQueary and the others should be jailed, or at least sued into the poorhouse.

  164. 164
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Has it occurred to you that maybe it’s the victim who lied? We can’t automatically believe anyone at face value.

    Well, not rape victims. Those people should DEFINITELY be assumed to be lying first. I mean,
    all that innocent until proven guilty shit is for the rapist. Victims are definitely to be assumed to be guilty first.
    Interestingly, rape-apologists like you never show up to question someone who claims to have been robbed. I just can’t imagine why.

    How much due diligence can be done if someone changes their mind after the fact? Or do you actually believe no one has ever regretted having sex and decided they weren’t at fault so if it wasn’t their fault it must be the other person?

    And this happens so frequently that every single rape accusation must be assumed to be false, right? After all, the only presumed innocence must be reserved for the rapist. Because accusing someone of rape is a totally consequence-free, pleasurable, and profitable venture, obviously, we must assume the worst of the victim.

    I’m not defending rapists. I’m attacking the concept of “accusation of rape = guilt of rape”.

    Ah, of course, you’re not defending rapists, you’re just reminding victims that innocent until proven guilty is only for, well, EVERYONE and ANYONE ELSE. But you’re not defending rapists, no siree!

    Stay very far away from women, please. In fact, stay very far away from all human beings.

  165. 165
    A. R

    Oh yes, the weekly batch of rape apologists has arrived.

  166. 166
    SallyStrange

    It’s been posted before, and apparently it needs to be posted again:

    The (Acquaintance) Rape of Mr. Smith

    “Mr. Smith, a large sum of money was taken out of your wallet by a friend while it was in your house on the night of 7th January?”
    “Yes.”
    “Did you struggle with your friend?”
    “No.”
    “Why not?”
    “I was in shock, I never thought he would steal from me. And I thought I might get hurt – if he was willing to steal from me, he might well be willing to hurt me.”
    “Then you made a conscious decision to let him take the money rather than to resist?”
    “Yes.”
    “Did you scream? Cry out?”
    “No. I was afraid.”
    “I see. Have you ever been robbed before?”
    “No.”
    “Have you ever given money away?”
    “Yes, of course–”
    “And did you do so willingly?”
    “What are you getting at?”
    “Well, let’s put it like this, Mr. Smith. You’ve given away money in the past–in fact, you have quite a reputation for philanthropy. How can we be sure that the money was taken from you against your will?”
    “Listen, if I wanted–”
    “You’ve given this friend money in the past?”
    “Yes, but I don’t see what that’s got to do with anything. I’d told him before I didn’t want to give him any more money-”
    “Never mind. What time did this alleged theft take place, Mr. Smith?”
    “About 11 p.m.”
    “You were alone with your friend in the house at 11pm? Why?”
    “Yes. I’d invited him round for dinner. He was a friend.”
    “Dinner? And did you have a few drinks with dinner? A bottle of wine, some beers…”
    “Yes, we had some wine – why does that matter?”
    “So you’d been drinking. Are you sure you didn’t tell him he could take the money? You know, maybe you were feeling sorry for him, feeling bad about telling him you weren’t going to lend him money any more… Are you sure you didn’t give him one last bundle of cash, out of sympathy, but maybe you’re feeling bad about it today?”
    “Hey-”
    “Maybe you’d had a few too many and it’s all a bit hazy? Are you sure you didn’t tell him he could have the money, but you can’t remember it?”
    “No! He stole it from me-”
    “What were you wearing at the time, Mr. Smith?”
    “Let’s see. A suit. Yes, a suit.”
    “An expensive suit?”
    “Well–yes.”
    “In other words, Mr. Smith, you were alone and drunk late at night with someone you had previously given money to in a suit that practically advertised the fact that you had money, isn’t that so?”
    “Look-”
    “Where was your wallet at the time of the theft?”
    “It was on the table.”
    “Right out in the open, huh? Is it really surprising he got the wrong idea? I mean, if we didn’t know better, Mr. Smith, we might even think you were asking for this to happen, mightn’t we?”
    “Look, can’t we talk about the past history of the guy who did this to me?”
    “I’m afraid not, Mr. Smith. I don’t think you would want to violate his rights, now, would you?”

    Now, ta everyone! See you tomorrow or later! I hope y’all can get back to talking about college sports and ethics and sexual assault against children.

  167. 167
    Pteryxx

    Bah, I posted too fast and didn’t make my point clear enough (yay fridge logic!)

    The Patriot-News’s response as to why it took them so long to break the story is relevant, because:

    - The police cowed a victim’s mother into silence after her son reported that Sandusky assaulted him in 1998. Isn’t she a credible witness and advocate, too? And as a child’s protector, responsible for coming forward? (As is often claimed in Quiverfull cases.)

    - The newspaper’s own STAFF stated that they needed more credibility before they could report on sex crime accusations against a prominent member of the community. Rape culture worked against an entire newspaper staff full of men!

    With regard to the assistant, Mike whoevertheheck. If he’d gone ahead back in 2002 and reported, who’s he going to report to? The police who silenced the mother and victim in the 1998 investigation? The school who protected their own and were more interested in quieting scandal than investigating abuse, as grand jury evidence demonstrated in 1998? Why should he expect reporting is going to accomplish anything but getting himself fired and blacklisted from the entire Penn State-worshiping community? This doesn’t excuse him morally, and possibly not legally, but still.

    I’m thinking what we need might not be mandatory abuse-reporting laws, but whistleblower protection laws.

    That link again to the Patriot-News is here: (link)

  168. 168
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    mirax, haha ok. Somehow I thought there was only one possibility for “very rich city-state” ;)…

  169. 169
    Glodson

    Infinite123Lifer says:

    Well said. I hope your not referring to the thousand at Penn State who had no involvement though.

    My “fuck Penn State” stance is more to do with the institution itself and the students that rallied around Paterno. There are many students there that are just as horrified as the rest of us. I do actually feel bad for them. And the supporters get an extra fuck you from me because I saw video of near riot on the night Paterno was fired. People expressing that he should have been fired got jeered and threatened.

  170. 170
    ad hominum salvator ॐ

    People should be careful about condemning Hitler like they do. After all, Hitler killed himself before he had a chance to defend himself in court. What right to we have to denounce him unequivocally when he is still presumably innocent?

    Ha!

  171. 171
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    And the supporters get an extra fuck you from me because I saw video of near riot on the night Paterno was fired.

    Question: are the demographics of the protestors known? I read it was students, not boosters.

  172. 172
    Aquaria

    I’ve never understood the fanaticism towards college (and even high school) sports south of the border. We have teams in our schools, but when I went to university I wouldn’t have known a single student athlete unless it was pointed out to me.

    I can’t speak for other places. Only Texas.

    There was a movement in the first half of the century in America for athletic as good for body and mind. However, Texas had a few extra circumstances that made it insane about sports (especially football).

    1) Texas has a highly organized academic and athletic competition organization for public schools, the University Interscholastic League. It basically created the rivalries and competitions within districts based on school sizes, which made competitions fair, and eventually fostered school pride when you beat other schools, especially at sports. But some of the academics get a lot of recognition by schools, too.

    2) The oil boom gave Texas schools shitloads of money, so the schools had more than their share of sports they could afford. My mother’s school, out in the middle of nowhere, with maybe 300 kids in her high school, but part of the East Texas oil boom in the 30s and 40s, had tennis courts, a baseball field, its own football stadium (not huge but not small, either), over an acre of terraced playgrounds for the elementary kids, an entire house for the Home Ec students to take their classes in, a pasture and barns for the ag students, an extensive rose garden and even a house for the school superintendent to live in. Band instruments were provided for students, free of charge.

    There was so much money, it was terrifying.

    3) Finally, most of the places that got all this money for sports were boring one-horse towns, and church ultimately (and ironically) wasn’t enough to keep them amused. Most towns the size of a place like Henderson would have a movie theater for entertainment, and that was it for things to do. But here’s this nice new stadium, and a sports team with nice new equipment, that you can go watch play. Hey, it’s something to do.

    And that’s how Texas’s football mania was born: Because it was a marriage between having more money than sense and needing something fun to do.

  173. 173
    Anthony K

    And that’s how Texas’s football mania was born: Because it was a marriage between having more money than sense and needing something fun to do.

    Right, you’re describing Alberta as well: Oil boom, one-horse town churchy morons, and so on. Tabby and I are trying to understand the difference.

  174. 174
    Aquaria

    Why do you always pick on the Catholic Church?

    Because they’re scumbags for having a disproportionate number of child-rapers and those who covered up for them.

    Fuck off.

  175. 175
    Aquaria

    I mentioned it: The difference was the athletics push in the early part of the century, combined with all these other factors.

    Besides, Texas has much nicer weather for this stuff. You can go to a football game outdoors on an October evening, and it’s a pleasant more often than not.

  176. 176
    Brian V.

    providing the German language is completely unknown to you, this video is some comic relief from the fearful reality of Perry in debate…

  177. 177
    Pteryxx

    Check out the intersection of rape culture, silencing, and power-worshiping:

    But not as a junior at Penn State, where students are making jokes about being “Sanduskied.”

    “I can’t escape it,” said the junior, whose brother was allegedly molested in a shower by former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky when he was 11.

    “I’ve been going to minimal classes, because every class I go to I get sick to my stomach. People are making jokes about it. I understand they don’t know I’m involved and it was my brother, but it’s still really hard to swallow that.”

    Source

    In April, Pittsburgh radio host Mark Madden wrote a story revealing Penn State for much of the cover-up of Jerry Sandusky’s alleged child rape that has been exposed in the past week. While it didn’t raise many eyebrows back then, six months later it looks to be incredibly accurate.
    (…)

    After the news spread, Madden later explained via Twitter why he went public with the rumors.

    “I normally abhor giving RUMORS credence,” Madden wrote. “But whole Sandusky scandal started out as a RUMOR. It gets deeper and more disgusting all the time. One of state’s top columnists investigating. That adds credence. I am NOT rumor’s original source. [Why does] Sandusky deserve benefit of doubt?”

    Source

    That latter link is where Madden predicts that the next rumor to gain credence will be Sandusky pimping out boys to rich donors. Is “old boys’ club” gaining a new meaning yet?

  178. 178
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    Brian V, wrong thread.

  179. 179
    anonymous

    Disgusting situation. I dont get the impulse to cover for a molester. I would turn my own mother in for that

    as to big time college football, this is one of the many reasons I’d like to see Stanford get a shot at the national championship and beat one of the SEC schools, with their civil war reenactments and love for the old confederacy, and pathetic gap in graduation rates between black and white players.

  180. 180
    naturalcynic

    @118 and others that need to be informed about real priorities:
    The Oklahoma University president George Lynn Cross once told the state senate that “I want a university the football team can be proud of.”

  181. 181
    Aquaria

    I feel that sports in general seem to create this kind of attitude where all that matters is winning. And for some reason the fans eat it up? I don’t understand. IT’S JUST A GAME.

    Some people are stupid. Your point?

    My team won the World Series this year, and you know what effect that had on my life?

    1) Your team? It’s not your team. it’s a team you support. Calling it your team is something that fans who eat up sports do.

    2) The team I support with my viewing and my occasional airplane ride and ticket (they’re four states away from me) won last year. The effect it had on my life was that I appreciated how much fun the ride was. Sometimes, it’s actually okay to enjoy things that are fun simply for the sake of being fun.

    I got to look smug in front of some cubs fans, and my mom bought me a rally squirrel.

    1) That’s just pathetic. A squirrel? Seriously? The Giants had rally thongs. Rally hair. Panda hats–regular, orange or with mohawk. And fear the beard. THAT’S rally bling.

    2) If you think sports are a waste of time, why did you want a pathetic symbol from something that’s JUST A GAME?

    So in essence NOTHING, NOTHING is what happend as a result of this huge win for this fan.

    You didn’t enjoy the games? Didn’t enjoy that miraculous come from behind victory to stay alive?

    BTW, If you didn’t even watch, then why are you calling the Cardinals your team? I watched, I even enjoyed the games and was glad happy for the Cardinals’ victory, and you know what? I don’t call them my team. Now why would someone who didn’t watch a game call it “my” team?

    I appreciated the Series this year because I enjoy baseball. Nothing more, nothing less. What’s the point of living in a technologically advanced society if you can’t enjoy your free time in a way that’s pleasant to you?

    Sports are a total waste of time

    But you’re the one calling a team that won a sports championship, “my” team. If it’s a waste of time, why not say, “I live in St. Louis, where the Cardinals won this year” rather than “my team”?

    It doesn’t make sense to do that if you thought that sports are a waste of time.

    they are entertainment, TV.

    Fucking duh–of course sports are entertainment! What did you expect them to be? A summit to end world hunger? What are you smoking, and how can I avoid it?

    1) What’s wrong with entertainment, TV, anyway? I don’t care for 99.9% of TV, but I do realize there can be some parts of it that aren’t bad.

    2) Once again, you are claiming ownership of an entertainment act and even wearing symbols of that act, so you look like a fool for trying to act like there’s something wrong with entertainment. Self-loathing much?

    I am going to have to write an angry blog post.

    Hopefully the anger is directed at yourself for being a clueless hypocrite.

  182. 182
    Anthony K

    As Algernon says, the rate of deliberately false reports of rape is about the same as for other crimes, yet somehow it’s only when rape comes up that this possibilty–that the accuser is the real criminal, out to ruin an innocent man’s life–only pops up in rape cases.

    Not just only, it seems it’s almost every time there’s a discussion of a rape case someone feels the need to remind us all of the basis of criminal law.

    Contrast the spin on violent assaults by young immigrants suspected of gang membership—forget about innocent until proven guilty; around here having a fondness for phở and being implicated in a violent crime is enough to have the man on the street screaming for your deportation.

    On a personal level, I was wrongly accused of violently assaulting a man when I was in high school. Not once did it occur to either me or my legal defence team to question whether or not the victim was victimised. Even while questioning the victim’s perception of who attacked him—which we only did because we had to establish it wasn’t me—we were careful not to imply that we didn’t think he’d actually been the victim of a crime. Because he clearly was.

  183. 183
    The Ys

    No, fuck you! You’re whole argument seems to be that anyone accused of rape is automatically guilty and any evidence to the contrary is just the rape culture sabotaging the case.Your “enthusiastic” comment demonstrates my point. He could have had ENTHUSIASTIC consent and still have ambiguity after the fact.

    How does a 10-year-old child give enthusiastic consent, you fuckwit?

  184. 184
    The Ys

    I wondered something about PZ’s original post:

    Penn State students rallied to support Paterno

    Did they? The pictures I’ve seen of the rioters and supporters look pretty overwhelmingly male to me. Where are the female students?

    It looks like toxic masculinity is rearing its ugly head at Penn State in more than one fashion. I also wonder if any of the athletes were abused by the coaching staff in any fashion…all in the name of ‘tough love’.

  185. 185
    Anthony K

    You’re whole argument seems to be that anyone accused of rape is automatically guilty and any evidence to the contrary is just the rape culture sabotaging the case.

    Really? That’s what you’re taking away from these discussions? With comprehension skills like that, no wonder you fear he said/she said situations.

  186. 186
    Pteryxx

    Did they? The pictures I’ve seen of the rioters and supporters look pretty overwhelmingly male to me. Where are the female students?

    Good catch. Where indeed…

  187. 187
    Arkady

    The Onion gets it right once again: http://www.onionsportsnetwork.com/articles/sports-media-asks-molestation-victims-what-this-me,26609/

  188. 188
    Pierce R. Butler

    Don’t worry, sports fans – the coach already has a new job.

    Bishop Paterno’s ordination will be the next game’s halftime highlight!

  189. 189
    jennygadget

    Makes me even more determined to stamp out the word “molest” forever. It makes it seem so benign.

    Including to the children being raped, I might add.

    Heliantus’ explanation makes even more sense when you think about it that way too. How do we talk to children about dangers like this? We either don’t or we shy away from using clear, specific words. And while I understand the reasons behind this, I can’t help but think this attitude ends up just confusing and further shaming the kids that are sexually assaulted.

    Mr. Rape Apologist:

    Sally Strange is quite correct, you clearly have absolutely no idea what enthusiastic consent actually means. Luckily for you there are not only multitudes of blog posts, but an entire book and blog dedicated to the idea. Go forth and educate yourself. Until then, stop mansplaining to women and rape/sexual assault victims.

    Also:

    You[r] whole argument seems to be that anyone accused of rape claiming they were raped is automatically guilty almost certainly telling the truth and any evidence to the contrary ignorant cry of “innocent until proven guilty (for the accused rapist alone)!” is just the rape culture sabotaging the case.

    Fixed that for you.

  190. 190
    The Ys

    Pteryxx:

    I actually can’t take much credit for that observation. I hadn’t bothered to look at the stories on the riots until one of my male friends pointed this out. I started checking photos after that, and everyone involved looks like a man. There’s an awful lot of white in there too.

    It started me thinking about the level of toxicity in the entire environment, and how it’s represented by this subset violently protesting the dismissal of a man who covered up child rape.

  191. 191
    Charles Miller

    (Full disclosure: my girlfriend went to Penn State and knew the Paterno family)

    I think the reason for the reaction on campus is a good part based on shock and disbelief. The idea that Paterno would demonstrate such a spectactular, repulsive moral failure creates a huge amount of cognitive dissonance, and a very natural reaction is to think “No way. There must be more to this. He’s getting scapegoated somehow.”

    Up until this week, Paterno was _hugely_ respected on campus not only for his sporting success, but the way he parlayed that to improve the academic standards of the college as well. It’s no coincidence that the Penn State football team has one of the highest graduation rates of any team in the country.

    When you pull the rug out from peoples feet, they tend to lash out mindlessly.

  192. 192
    Pteryxx

    The Ys: It’s a good observation, I think it’s relevant, and good that you pointed it out. I think it’s important to start regarding the lack of diversity in a situation like this as significant, instead of normal.

  193. 193
    The Ys

    Ashton Kutcher weighs in.

  194. 194
    The Pint

    @ illuminata #86

    One would have thought only religion had that power.

    Thing is, there are a lot of people for whom college football *is* a religion. As to why, I have no clue since I have no fucks at all to give about college sports, which makes the level of defense being thrown up to “protect Paterno’s legacy” and Penn State football is beyond baffling.

  195. 195
    Pierce R. Butler

    Josh @ # 17: … athletics … operates at a profit…

    Don’t put too much credence in those numbers. Typically, a range of university sports-related expenses get covered by the regular budget, in effect subsidizing athletics departments: security, damage to grounds, dorms, and other facilities, PR, insurance, legal… – all play their part to “support the team!”.

  196. 196
    Carlie

    John Scalzi has weighed in, eloquently as usual.

    Here’s what I think about that, right now. I’m a science fiction writer, and one of the great stories of science fiction is “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas,” which was written by Ursula K. LeGuin. The story posits a fantastic utopian city, where everything is beautiful, with one catch: In order for all this comfort and beauty to exist, one child must be kept in filth and misery. Every citizen of Omelas, when they come of age, is told about that one blameless child being put through hell. And they have a choice: Accept that is the price for their perfect lives in Omelas, or walk away from that paradise, into uncertainty and possibly chaos.

    At Pennsylvania State University, a grown man found a blameless child being put through hell. Other grown men learned of it. Each of them had to make their choice, and decide, fundamentally, whether the continuation of their utopia — or at very least the illusion of their utopia — was worth the pain and suffering of that one child. Through their actions, and their inactions, we know the choice they made.

  197. 197
    Pteryxx

    Religion’s (mostly) about submission to a powerful authority who can do no wrong. Aren’t these fans treating Paterno as a powerful authority who can do no wrong? Isn’t this just a systemic form of how an abuser creates a brainwashed, compliant victim? Or conversely, how humans respond to authority figures (Stanford experiment, etc)?

    @Carlie: Heck, if spoilering the Omelas story forever is what it takes to raise awareness of rape culture, I’m all for it.

  198. 198
    scooterKPFT

    Say what you will about Sandusky, but whenever he was on the field those boys ran a hell of a lot faster.

  199. 199
    Antonov An-225

    Say what you will about Sandusky, but whenever he was on the field those boys ran a hell of a lot faster.

    And you thought joking about child sexual abuse was a good idea because…?

  200. 200
    Carlie

    Pteryxx – ah, I hadn’t even thought about that. I assumed it had risen into the canon of “everybody already knows about it”, because I’m a nerd who thinks everybody reads the same things I do.

  201. 201
    Ze Madmax

    Antonov An-225 @ #199:

    And you thought joking about child sexual abuse was a good idea because…?

    There’s a flawed assumption in that statement.

  202. 202
    Inaji

    Carlie:

    ah, I hadn’t even thought about that. I assumed it had risen into the canon of “everybody already knows about it”, because I’m a nerd who thinks everybody reads the same things I do.

    For anyone who hadn’t read it, it was spoilered long ago in a Sunday Sacrilege*: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/03/sunday_sacrilege_the_greatest.php

    *I miss Sunday Sacrilege.

  203. 203
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    Re Aston Kutcher:

    anyone buy his explanations after the fact? I really don’t know what kind of person he is, so the options look like either he is 1) a rape apologist or 2) an idiot who doesn’t know how twitter works. No wonder he went for option 2, but I wouldn’t be able to tell if it’s believable..

  204. 204
    Kevin

    Late to the party, but I think you’re using an awfully broad brush — tarring all of college football for an isolated incident.

    Granted, there’s a lot wrong with college football the way it’s administered today. But just because one guy (allegedly) engaged in child abuse and his boss didn’t immediately call the cops, that’s no reason to throw the entire enterprise out.

    However, I’m not excusing Paterno or Penn State’s behavior in this matter.

    What Paterno did wrong was the following:
    When his assistant told Paterno that he witnessed a potential crime, Paterno should have said “have you called the police? If not, stop talking to me and please do so immediately.”

    Of course, every organization tries to handle all sorts of things internally. Even crimes — I’ll bet many people have direct knowledge of criminal behavior, even felonies, being dealt with internally in business settings. I have. Happens all the time.

    Problem with doing that in the Penn State situation is that dealing with such matters internally is a violation of law. Every state has child protection laws that obligate teachers and coaches to report witnessed or suspected abuse to the proper authorities. Meaning, child protective services and the police.

    So, Paterno’s legal obligation was to tell the assistant to make a report. Whoever else was informed up the chain of command (Athletic Director, Provost, Vice-President, President, whomever), had the same legal obligation. Tell the witness to make a report. NOT to report it themselves (heresay and all being what it is), but to have the original source report it.

    After fulfilling his legal obligation, Paterno’s ethical obligation was then to separate the alleged perpetrator from the opportunity to abuse children further.

    The assistant coach who witnessed the crime also had the moral obligation to protect the child from harm, ensuring his safety, and making sure Sandusky did no further harm at that instance.

    Frankly, the first witness was the most culpable here. He did not fulfill his primary legal obligation, but instead “turfed” it to his boss. I don’t know why this assistant is being given any credit whatsoever in this case. He actually committed a crime himself by not notifying the proper authorities (police, child protective services) at the time of the incident. Not Paterno, nor his bosses. The original witness. And he compounded that crime by continuing to maintain silence.

    Anyone who says that guy is a hero doesn’t know the law.

  205. 205
    Inaji

    Kevin:

    his boss didn’t immediately call the cops,

    You’re describing nine years of silence as “not immediately”? Way to go on the rape apologia.

  206. 206
    =8)-DX

    I’d say: innocent until proven guilty but also: report every crim against humanity .. PEOPLE! It’s about your sons and daughters, its what may have happened to you!

  207. 207
    docfreddy

    How strange it is that the horrors of rape and abuse perpetrate­d and covered up by the religious institutio­ns for centuries, and still happening today, receives very little media attention and public outcry compared to this story. As disgusting and insane as Sandusky’s actions were – deserving the worst punishment possible – the wretched violations by the Catholic Church and it’s criminal Pope is 100 times more egregious involving hundreds of thousands of children, thousands of priests for two millennia. Just as Sandusky, Paterno, and the others do not deserve a ‘pass’ the evil priests and Popes certainly do not as well. The public, and the media that supposedly serves it, need to extend their anger and righteous indignatio­n more aggressive­ly to the sexual and civil violations that occur daily, in not only the fringe, but mainstream Christian, Jewish, and Islamic worlds.

  208. 208
    A. R

    I’m not sure if the RCC analogy sticks, considering that the institution eventually gave the perpetrators up. Still horrific though.

  209. 209
    docfreddy

    Whoever was ‘given up’ as a perpetrator in the RCC over the past century you can certainly believe amounts to a miniscule number compared to those who were hidden and covered up for — to this very day.

  210. 210
    A. R

    docfreddy: Agree totally. The sad fact is that Penn State may not be the only school with this kind of problem.

  211. 211
    Fear Uncertainty Doubt

    Kevin

    Late to the party, but I think you’re using an awfully broad brush — tarring all of college football for an isolated incident.

    It’s an isolated incident in that there isn’t a inter-university child-rape ring that Sandusky was part of. But it isn’t an isolated incident in that schools with big-name athletic programs will protect them at almost any cost. It just happened to be Penn State where someone did something horrifically bad (and eventually got caught). The way that an damaging and embarrassing problem was handled and covered up over the past decade didn’t seem to be anything but business as usual for big college football. No one involved seemed all that troubled by it, other than the victims. And there’s no reason to think that PSU had an aberrant culture (relative to other college football programs, that is).

    It could happen anywhere, it could be happening anywhere right now. People have been warning for years of the hazards of these multimillion dollar programs and the undue influence they have. All ignored for the most part. So this was something bound to happen sooner or later because that’s how these programs are run, with immense power, impunity, and ego.

    PSU football could go down in flames but if the rest of collegiate athletics doesn’t reform, it will happen again somewhere else, with a similar cover-up story. I think there’s a good chance we’ll hear about more abuse scandals now that the skeletons have come out of the closet, and victims will be less afraid to speak up.

  212. 212
    Pteryxx

    It’s an isolated incident in that there isn’t a inter-university child-rape ring that Sandusky was part of.

    Given how coaches get passed around among multiple colleges and professional teams during their careers? I’m not at all confident that this isn’t true.

  213. 213
    'Tis Himself

    scooterKPFT #198

    Fuck you with two decaying porcupines.

  214. 214
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    Anyone accusing anyone of tarring college football with a wide brush should read the blog I cited in #154. The college athletics system has been morally bankrupt for a long time now.

  215. 215
    Knative

    Quote from Noam Chomsky:

    You know, I remember in high school, already I was pretty old. I suddenly asked myself at one point, why do I care if my high school team wins the football game? [laughter] I mean, I don’t know anybody on the team, you know? [audience roars] I mean, they have nothing to do with me, I mean, why I am cheering for my team? It doesn’t mean any — it doesn’t make sense. But the point is, it does make sense: it’s a way of building up irrational attitudes of submission to authority, and group cohesion behind leadership elements — in fact, it’s training in irrational jingoism.

  216. 216
    Frottage Cheeese, OM

    Over 200 comments and this is the best you can do:

    Fuck you with two decaying porcupines.

    Come on regulars, telling someone to fuck themselves up the ass with a porcupine or a rusty knife (sideways! *bonuslolz!!!!1*) is according to you all nothing to do with forced sex amiright? So why not use it here.

    You bunch of self righteous hypocritical rape apologists.

  217. 217
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    Remember people, do not bother to use the number of the posts after this point.

  218. 218
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    So, Paterno’s legal obligation was to tell the assistant to make a report. Whoever else was informed up the chain of command (Athletic Director, Provost, Vice-President, President, whomever), had the same legal obligation. Tell the witness to make a report. NOT to report it themselves (heresay and all being what it is), but to have the original source report it.

    After fulfilling his legal obligation, Paterno’s ethical obligation was then to separate the alleged perpetrator from the opportunity to abuse children further.

    His ethical obligation was to make sure the real authorities were alerted to this crime. Not his School superiors, the actual police. You know the people who typically deal with the arrest and detainment of criminals. That way the predator could be removed from being able to violate any other children

    You need some perspective adjustment.

  219. 219
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    The assistant coach who witnessed the crime also had the moral obligation to protect the child from harm, ensuring his safety, and making sure Sandusky did no further harm at that instance.

    And any future instances. All involved should have contacted the police.

  220. 220
    slignot

    Like others here, I had a similar initial reaction where I perceived McQueary as being significantly younger based on the reports the call to his father. Being 28 at the time makes me wonder what the fuck was wrong with him.

    To be honest, even when I thought he was 19-20, I didn’t understand why his first call wasn’t to inform the police of a rape in progress; I just couldn’t imagine doing any differently being in his position. I may not have been comfortable going in to immediately rescue the child, but that is mostly because I would fear being overpowered as a woman facing down an obviously violent larger man. McQueary obviously wouldn’t share my fears of being beaten or raped myself on such a deep level.

    I don’t understand how McQueary has escaped being fired as well for his culpability in hiding the rape from police for a decade.

  221. 221
    Kevin

    Yes, I see many people didn’t read for comprehension.

    I said:
    1. Paterno should have had his assistant call the cops. Immediately. 9 years ago.
    2. Everyone else who Paterno reported the incident to should have had the exact same response — under the law, they should have instructed the original witness to report the incident to the authorities.
    3. Paterno ALSO should have separated Sandusky from contact with children. Whether or not this included the (adult) football team is a whole other issue.
    4. That the assistant didn’t call the cops right away is a crime. I do not understand why he has not been charged with a crime — other than the possibility that the statute of limitations has run out for that particular criminal action, having happened 9 years ago. IMNAL, but that’s about the only reason I can think of why he gets off scott free.

    If that makes me a rape apologist, well, fuck you too.

  222. 222
    Carlie

    The Board of Trustees has now asked for McQueary to be sidelined in the next game, but because they fear for his safety, not because he’s a cowardly self-centered asshole.

  223. 223
    Rey Fox

    What does “sidelined” mean in this context? I would think a coach would want to be sidelined.

  224. 224
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    The Board of Trustees has now asked for McQueary to be sidelined in the next game, but because they fear for his safety, not because he’s a cowardly self-centered asshole.

    Actually they asked he not be on the sideline (where many coaches normally are) where he would be most visible and up in the press box.

  225. 225
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Yes, I see many people didn’t read for comprehension.

    I’m guilty. I misread even the part i quoted.

    mea culpa

  226. 226
    Kimberly

    I do not understand how reporting the abuse to his superiors was all he was obligated to do. I’m a teacher. I can not report abuse to my principal – I’m required to call CPS. The only exception is if I think the child is in immediated danger, then I call 911 hang up and call CPS.

    This assistant who witnessed the abuse – needs to go to jail he should have stopped the SOB and called for the cops and an ambulance for the child. I hope the kids sue Penn State into bankruptcy.

  227. 227
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    I do not understand how reporting the abuse to his superiors was all he was obligated to do.

    Because laws vary state to state. I haven’t seen anything conclusive on Pennsylvania’s laws on this so I’m not sure what their requirements are and if they apply to college as well as others levels.

  228. 228
    Frou

    166 presenting the tired old story of “The (Acquaintance) Rape of Mr. Smith”.

    This kind of thing (telling a story whose hidden meaning the listener/reader knows in advance) is a standard religious approach. I am sad and yet unsurprised that some atheist feminists would still resort to such basic, male-friendly devices.

  229. 229
    Carlie

    We’ll stop telling tired old stories when people stop using tired old rape apology excuses.

  230. 230
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    This kind of thing (telling a story whose hidden meaning the listener/reader knows in advance) is a standard religious approach. I am sad and yet unsurprised that some atheist feminists would still resort to such basic, male-friendly devices.

    Excuse I don’t even know what this means (probably because I was never exposed that much to religious fanaticism). Could anyone be so kind as to explain what Frou’s problem is? Is this some kind of concern trolling? Just a plain derail attempt?

  231. 231
    Jean

    Those talking of the legal process, and ‘innocent until proven guilty’ are barking up the wrong tree.

    If you witness a crime, or have a crime reported to you, your job is not to determine guilt or innocence. You are not the person to make that judgement. Your job is to call the goddamn police, and let *them* investigate – and do it straight away so they can intervene and/or gather evidence immediately.

  232. 232
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    If you witness a crime, or have a crime reported to you, your job is not to determine guilt or innocence. You are not the person to make that judgement. Your job is to call the goddamn police, and let *them* investigate – and do it straight away so they can intervene and/or gather evidence immediately.

    this

  233. 233
    Frou

    pelamun 231;

    Could anyone be so kind as to explain what Frou’s problem is? Is this some kind of concern trolling? Just a plain derail attempt?

    Well you could have addressed your question to me instead of asking for help from other. Respect a bit no? No idea what “concern trolling” is so can not answer to that. The issue was with using a religious technique to promote atheism/feminism. All of the information was in the original post if you cared enough or were intelligent enough to comprehend.

  234. 234
    Frou

    Carlie

    We’ll stop telling tired old stories when people stop using tired old rape apology excuses.

    OR IMHO

    “We’ll stop telling tired old stories when people stop worshipping a fake God”

  235. 235
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Frou – honest question: is English not your first language? Because your post doesn’t parse.

  236. 236
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    Frou,

    are you an idiot? It was quite clear that you were referring to a religious technique. But since I’m not familiar with religious techniques, I don’t have the faintest idea what made the story cited by Sally so religious. I was specifically asking other posters to see if they shared your opinion.

  237. 237
    Carlie

    Frou – your last statement completely contradicts your other ones.

    pelamun, I believe Frou is trying to say that the analogy presented is akin to the pastoral technique of making a piss-poor parable that is meant to teach a Very Important Lesson, or making up a story presuming the answering zinger and directing it straight there in a hamhanded sort of way. Neither actually fits, but I’m really not sure what point Frou is trying to make. The rest of us are talking about the way that people involved in making huge amounts of money for an organization cover up for crimes committed in it, and how immoral that is.

  238. 238
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    OK Carlie,

    I know, sorry if I contributed to a derail here. I mean analogies are used in many areas including those that don’t have any kind of religious context. And given the fact that the rape apologists are all out in force here (even rioting on the streets), if such an analogy can make some people understand better, why not?

  239. 239
    ACN

    Frou,

    There is no fucking hidden meaning to the story. The meaning is entirely on the surface, and it is that the only time that people blame victims for crimes that happen to them is in cases of sexual assault, and then, it’s almost exclusively in the case of male on female sexual assault.

    Were you unable to parse the text for this meaning, or did you even bother to read it?

  240. 240
    Carlie

    pelamun – my guess is because Frou is uncomfortable having his mindset challenged and shown that it includes rape apologetics, so he’s trying to shut the conversation down by invoking the all-powerful criticism “you’re being just like religion”.

  241. 241
    Inaji

    Pelamun:

    And given the fact that the rape apologists are all out in force here (even rioting on the streets), if such an analogy can make some people understand better, why not?

    Why not indeed. The whole Reason Sally posted it in the first place was to put things in very simple terms for all the rape apologists who were bound to turn up.

    There’s no hidden meaning in that story, it’s clear as clean water.

    For some reason, it seems Frou wanted to fixate on how religion is fond of using parables and use that to denounce feminists for using an underhanded tactic. What Frou doesn’t seem to understand is that parables or analogies are used all the time, they aren’t exclusively the province of religions and the story Sally used is not ‘underhanded’ in any way, any more than Shroedinger’s Rapist.

  242. 242
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    Carlie, Caine,

    Thanks. I was afraid I had missed some kind of religious subtext (even if it had been there, that wouldn’t have meant that Frou’s criticism was valid, of course).

  243. 243
    SallyStrange

    basic, male-friendly devices.

    Sounds like I’m hawking fleshlights.

  244. 244
    Colin

    Kimberly @227:

    Your school really needs to revise its procedures. If the child’s in immediate danger, ringing 911 and hanging up isn’t going to help. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s an offense in its own right.

  245. 245
    SallyStrange

    Unbelievable. Well, really, all TOO believable.

    Truthdig, that alleged bastion of liberalism and progressive values, has jumped on the “Poor Joe Paterno! All he did was enable a child rapist for a decade–why are people being so MEAN to him?” rape apology bandwagon.

    It is really interesting, the reaction to this. I mean, Joe Paterno’s very name is evocative of patrician nobility. “JoePa,” like an affectionate grandpa. We put so much weight on the authority of patriarchal men, it upsets people’s very world when lovable old Grandpa JoePa is revealed to have betrayed a vital trust.

  246. 246
    cicely

    Maybe PZ could shed some light for us on some of the biological and evolutionary reasons that we care so much about sports.

    I’m not sure that it’s all that complicated. The fans (social animals what we be) identify with the team, especially in victory. The chant on the lips of the crowd is “We’re number one!”, not “Our team performs acceptibly well in sports!”
    -

    Funny how this “oh it’s only an ALLEGED crime, why ruin someone’s life” sniveling usually only appears when the crime in question is rape.

    And funny how little the snivellers care that someone’s life (or someones’ lives) has/have already been ruined. But victims’ lives count for so little, where those in power can rationalise it. “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”, where the university “needs” that unsullied reputation and that winning team, and “legal” trumps “just” all the time.
    -

  247. 247
    Pteryxx

    I’ve been reading the grand jury’s report linked in Physioproffe’s original post. It’s 23 pages, and to me, notable for the sheer number of people in overlapping positions of power who chose to do nothing, if not actually go along with the cover-up.

    For instance, this is Senior Vice President for Finance and Business, Gary Schultz, to whom McQueary reported:

    Schultz acknowledged that there were similarities between the 1998 and 2002 allegations, both of which involved minor boys in the football showers with Sandusky behaving in a sexually inappropriate manner. Schultz testified that the 1998 incident was reviewed by the University Police and “the child protection agency” with the blessing of then-university counsel Wendell Courtney. Courtney was then and remains counsel for The Second Mile. Schultz confirmed that University President Graham Spanier was apprised in 2002 that a report of an incident involving Sandusky and a child in the showers on campus had been reported by an employee. Schultz testified that Spanier approved the decision to ban Sandusky from bringing children into the football locker room and the decision to advise The Second Mile of the 2002 incident.

    Although Schultz oversaw the University Police as part of his position, he never reported the 2002 incident to the University Police or other police agency, never sought or reviewed a police report on the 1998 incident and never attempted to learn the identity of the child in the shower in 2002. No one from the University did so.

    PDF link

  248. 248
    Jean

    Alleged crimes must be treated as alleged crimes *by the police* until there’s grounds for an arrest.

    Again, this is why you go to them, and not someone else.

    On the grounds of a serious allegation, you don’t go to the press. You don’t publicize the allegation. You don’t fire them, close their account, gather a lynch mob, expel them or otherwise act prejudicially towards them.

    You *do* suspend them, for reasons you don’t have to make public, in cases where they might credibly present an ongoing threat.

    Right after you go call the police.

    As it stands, it’s all too common to widely *publicize* allegations of rape, prior to investigations taking place, and thus ruining the lives of people who turn out to be innocent. This is stunningly inappropriate and unjust, and needs to stop.

    However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t *immediately call the police*, and get *them* to gather the relevant facts.

  249. 249
    Pteryxx

    As it stands, it’s all too common to widely *publicize* allegations of rape, prior to investigations taking place, and thus ruining the lives of people who turn out to be innocent. This is stunningly inappropriate and unjust, and needs to stop.

    Not that this hasn’t been said a few score times already, but high-status people who get accused of rape don’t generally suffer much at all because of it, while the accusers go through hell. Not to mention, as in my comment right above yours, the police are often in on the cover-ups.

    Which is WHY allegations get publicized, to put pressure on authorities to comply with the damn laws in the first place, and encourage other victims to come forward.

  250. 250
    jennygadget

    Which is WHY allegations get publicized, to put pressure on authorities to comply with the damn laws in the first place…

    yup.

    I once went to a rally that was intended to (among other things) put pressure on Amherst College* to remove a student from his volunteer position as a type of designated safety rep** at on campus parties (ie the person to go to for help if things go south) because the student in question had recently been accused of raping a student from another college at…wait for it…an on campus party. And the investigation was still ongoing. (I can’t remember if he was “on duty” at that particular party or not.)

    It’s maybe (maybe?) a nice idea in theory to think that this student’s name shouldn’t have been widely known (and, actually, it wasn’t) but…this theory assumes that he is no longer working as a safety rep…

    Or, alternatively, it assumes that the health and safety of his potential victims does not carry greater ethical weight than any non-physical and likely non-lasting harm that may come to him from his name being circulated.

    *the specific organization/department at Amherst College that was in charge of the safety rep operation, in any case.

    **not what they were actually called, as far as I know. It’s been over a decade and I went to one of the other Pioneer Valley colleges.

  251. 251
    mirax

    The Second Mile Foundation needs to be under the closest scrutiny because it was informed of incidents on at least 3 occasions starting from 1998 and leading up to 1998 when sandusky himself informed them that they was the subject of an investigation.

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11313/1188544-298.stm

    SM’s attorney -some asshole named Wendell Courtney- was also a Penn State attorney and he was briefed on the 1998 investigation. Someone should be hounding this bastard for gross dereliction of duty.

  252. 252
    John Phillips, FCD

    The Y’s #184, watch the last few minutes of Thursday’s Jon Stewart show, it wasn’t just males ‘protesting’ in the streets or ranting to reporters about how wrong it was to sack Saint Paterno.

  253. 253
    Brent Royal-Gordon

    This is going to be an unpopular point, but:

    Isn’t it interesting how, whenever a story like this comes out, everyone sitting at home always swears they wouldn’t cover it up—and yet everyone who’s actually involved always does cover it up?

    Seriously—how often do you come across a story where someone caught a friend and apparent upstanding citizen in some obviously immoral act, and they promptly made an enormous deal out of it, at great risk to their own reputation and career? Sure, it happens sometimes, but not terribly often.

    (When it does, we call the person a whistleblower and—at least for certain classes of financial and tax crimes—give them a big chunk of money to to repay them for ruining their own lives in the pursuit of justice.)

    Unless nearly everyone who stumbles into that situation just happens to be a sniveling coward or immoral monster, I would suggest that perhaps, if you actually found yourself in that sort of situation, you would behave very, very differently from the way you imagine you would right now.

    The cover-up should never have happened, and the university execs who executed it should probably be facing jail time. But I’m not so sure Paterno and McQueary deserve quite so much rage. I’d like to believe I would have done better than them—but the evidence suggests I probably wouldn’t have, and neither would you.

    (By the way, I don’t think I’ve ever watched a football game in my life, and I had never heard of Paterno before this happened.)

  254. 254
    Gunboat Diplomat

    @BrentRoyal

    Theres a world of difference between finding out your boss is involved some shady financial dealing and seeing them rape a teenager in a shower.

    If you can’t tell the difference and if you question whether you would have acted you have some serious problems.

    On the plus side you’re now well qualified for a job for Penn State Athetics, the Catholic church are a whole number of institutions which have a policy of abuse and protecting abusers. Congratulations!

  255. 255
    hyperdeath

    Aquaria:

    Why do you always pick on the Catholic Church?

    Because they’re scumbags for having a disproportionate number of child-rapers and those who covered up for them.

    Fuck off.

    You may want to look up something known as “sarcasm”.

    Notice that PZ wasn’t criticizing the Catholic Church. I was mocking the whataboutery used by Catholic rape apologists, whenever the topic of priestly rape comes up.

  256. 256
    ChasCPeterson

    The chant on the lips of the crowd is “We’re number one!”, not “Our team performs acceptibly well in sports!”

    Tom Lehrer:

    Fight fiercely, Harvard!
    Fight, fight, fight!
    Demonstrate to them our skill.
    Albeit they possess the might,
    Nonetheless we have the will.
    How we shall celebrate our victory!
    We shall invite the whole team up for tea (how jolly)
    Hurl that spheroid down the field
    And fight, fight, fight

    Fight fiercely, Harvard
    Fight, fight, fight
    Impress them with our prowess, do.
    Oh, fellows, do not let the Crimson down
    Be of stout heart and true
    Come on, chaps, fight for Harvard’s glorious name
    Won’t it be peachy if we win the game (oh, goody)
    Let’s try not to injure them
    But fight, fight, fight – Let’s not be rough, though
    Fight, fight, fight – And do fight fiercely
    Fight, fight, fight!

  257. 257
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Repel them, repel them
    Make them relinquish the ball!

  258. 258
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Sounds like I’m hawking fleshlights.

    snicker

  259. 259
    Algernon

    I would suggest that perhaps, if you actually found yourself in that sort of situation, you would behave very, very differently from the way you imagine you would right now.

    I *have* had to report, and I have done it so no. I continue to think poorly of those who do not and your pathetic tu quoque attempt is noted. So try this reversal of your fallacy, when you have to report some one close to you and do it then you can try this argument again without sounding like an ass.

  260. 260
    KG

    Isn’t it interesting how, whenever a story like this comes out, everyone sitting at home always swears they wouldn’t cover it up—and yet everyone who’s actually involved always does cover it up? – BrentGordon

    It would be interesting if it were true, but as it isn’t, it’s just stupid. The exculpatory crap that follows is considrably worse than stupid.

  261. 261
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    . But I’m not so sure Paterno and McQueary deserve quite so much rage. I’d like to believe I would have done better than them—but the evidence suggests I probably wouldn’t have, and neither would you.

    Desperately searching for validation of your cowardice, huh.

    They either personally witnessed or knew very well about CHILDREN BEING RAPED and you’re here to tell us “hey, guys, don’t be so mean. You wouldn’t have done anything about it either.”

    FOAD. I have reported and will if need be again. Don’t you dare try to justify your spineleness by accusing everyone of sharing it.

  262. 262
    kennypo65

    I’m thinking perhaps the reasoning behind the cover-up was to protect the reputation of the PSU football program. The irony is it was the exact wrong thing to do. In the future, when Paterno is thought of, it won’t be because of his admittedly impressive coaching career. It will be all about this. This whole thing is so fucking disgusting that, as a Pitt alum, I can’t even enjoy a little schadenfreude.

  263. 263
    Fear Uncertainty Doubt

    Brent Royal-Gordon

    Isn’t it interesting how, whenever a story like this comes out, everyone sitting at home always swears they wouldn’t cover it up—and yet everyone who’s actually involved always does cover it up?

    You are making a serious bias error here. Your seem to think that a cover-up is the statistically most frequent response to someone witnessing child abuse or rape. What you are doing is leaving out all the times someone sees something and reports it, where it receives far less publicity—to the extent you only know about the big cover-ups, so you assume everyone acts that way.

    I’d be willing to bet that most “average” people would do the right thing. Most people who abuse children rely on secrecy, they don’t assume that other adults who witness it will look the other way. Also, most of us are not deeply embedded in cult-of-personality power structures where it is seen as vital to protect the sacred leaders at all costs.

    However…when the status/power ratio between the abuser and the abused is high, cover-ups happen. This is why you see it at the high-flying football team at Penn State and in the priesthood of the Catholic Church but when it happens at a daycare or an elementary school there aren’t massive cover-ups, so you rarely hear about adults who do the right thing immediately. It’s the “dog-bites-man” vs “man-bites-dog” principle about what makes the news.

    That’s why the point is raised repeatedly that the problem is the worship of people and organizations; these are the places where seemingly-normal people act against even basic decency. These cult systems lead people to sell their soul. That guy McQueary was a big strapping 28 year old former quarterback who was “afraid” of a crusty old jerk because he had something to lose. He’s as guilty as the rest of them, and there’s no mitigating circumstances here, but it is an object lesson in the dangers of creating sacred structures or people.

  264. 264
    jennygadget

    Your seem to think that a cover-up is the statistically most frequent response to someone witnessing child abuse or rape.

    Quite.

    Shockingly! The time I called the police on my abusive neighbor – and the several times I went over to check and make sure my other neighbor was ok – none of these made it into the newspaper….

    Oh! but the teacher from my junior high, who everyone knew sexually harassed female students…when he was arrested for also sexually assaulting young girls in his extended family? Over several years if not decades? Yeah, that – and the school’s response, or lack thereof – made it to the news. For damn good reasons.

    I’d be willing to bet that most “average” people would do the right thing.

    Yeah…I don’t know about that. Sadly, I think it depends on the circumstances. Especially the severity of the crime (does it rise to clear assault, or is it maybe just harassment?), the relationship of the people involved (people are notorious for not getting involved in/reporting abusive fights in public between what appear to be a couple) and the socioeconomic status of the parties in involved.

    And I think, unfortunately, that a lot of people who at first try to do the right thing – such as my parents, who tried to report a swim coach long before they learned of the sexually harassing junior high teacher – learn that it’s not often going to produce useful results.

    That said, I also think that the circumstances here – a child having been raped, and there being an eyewitness to the rape – would have been more than enough for an overwhelming majority of people to have done much more than just let the school know.

  265. 265
    woodsong

    I haven’t read all of the comments yet (up to 115), just wanted to put in my 2 cents…

    Sally Strange, I agree wholeheartedly with you on the use of the word “molest”! There are a number of nature centers with signs that say “Do Not Molest the Wildlife”. Somehow, I don’t think the people who put them up meant to say “Don’t Rape the Animals”!

    As far as McQueary and his dad’s advice, what the hell was the dad thinking??? If someone, anyone, called me to ask “what do I do?” in that situation, I can’t imagine telling them NOT to call the police. I can easily imagine telling them to interfere in the rape after calling the police, preferably with a baseball bat in hand, by walking back in there and telling Sandusky that if he doesn’t let that kid go right now that he’s going to get beaten to a bloody pulp! Get the kid away from Sandusky, get him covered up, and do your best to make it clear to the kid that Sandusky’s actions are totally inexcusable as well as illegal, and that it ISN’T THE KID’S FAULT.

    I don’t care if the kid stripped himself naked, bent over, and said he wanted it. Adults are expected to control themselves in the face of temptation! We teach kids not to steal things they want, not to cheat at games, not to hit people who piss them off. Why the HELL should anyone accept “I was too tempted” or “I coudn’t stop myself” as excuses in cases of rape???

    And no, I am not equivocating rape with theft, cheating, or battery. Rape is a hell of a lot worse.

  266. 266
    Brent Royal-Gordon

    To be a little clearer: I’m not saying most child rape is covered up. I’m saying most malfeasance of any kind within an institution is covered up. I’m not drawing a comparison to discovering your neighbor is raping his daughter; I’m drawing a comparison to discovering your doctoral advisor is fabricating data, or your boss is ordering toxic waste dumped in the river.

    In these sorts of situations—in situations where the discoverer and his institution have a lot to lose—a lot of otherwise upstanding people suddenly, inexplicably start acting like cowards. I’m thinking that perhaps most people would.

    On the other hand, perhaps commenter FUD is correct, and mere affinity to the organization or friendship with the perpetrator isn’t enough—you have to venerate the organization and hold it above mere mortals. That’s not quite as neat a theory, because it doesn’t touch on the rarity of whistleblowers in general, but it might be more true…

    (To the commenters who did report, whatever the circumstances: thank you very much for doing the right thing and seeing justice done. You’re a good man/woman/cephalopod.)

  267. 267
    john

    Where was Sandusky’s wife in all this? He raped children in his own house. He had six adopted children plus foster kids. She had to have known.

  268. 268
    The Ys

    John Phillips @ 253:

    The Y’s #184, watch the last few minutes of Thursday’s Jon Stewart show, it wasn’t just males ‘protesting’ in the streets or ranting to reporters about how wrong it was to sack Saint Paterno.

    Yep, I caught the show last night and saw that. Oddly, however, all the photos I saw of the rioting students were of white men. Still haven’t found any photos showing a mixed crowd.

    The video showed a pretty mixed crowd, and now we know there’s a whole lot of people at that uni who need some serious counseling on basic humanity.

  269. 269
    John Phillips, FCD

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    HappyBeingGirly

    All sports bore me to tears but I truly despise football. It represents all that is wrong with masculinity at its most aggressive worst. The only guy that bullied me in high school was one of the football jocks. He would always call me a pussy. Which I always was but so what. My all time favorite activity has always been cross dressing and no doubt my non-athletic wussyness initially prompted the football jocks to target me as a pantywaist. Fortunately my facial structure and appearance was always more pretty rather than handsome and by end of freshman year I had grown my hair past my shoulders, so I’d be the first to admit that I looked like a girl and that not only clearly did not bother me but I could not help but smile whenever anyone would tell me that. Still today, very amusing to me was that right when the football jocks and other guys were starting to lift weights and get all buffed, I faked a weightlifting accident and injury in PE that I was able to use to get a doctor to get me excused from weight training and other typically muscle building PE crap for the remainder of high school. Even before then I had always gone out of my way to avoid all activity that had the potential to build visible arm and upper body muscle because I had firmly decided by age six or so that the most important thing in life to me would always be looking good (my most feminine) in a dress and unquestionably, muscles do not look good in a dress. The second story back deck of our house overlooked the high school athletic field and every day possible I could not wait to get home from school, strip off my boy clothes, do my make-up, then doll up like ‘the girl next door’. Then, while the football jocks were smashing each other up and getting all sweaty and filthy on the field below, I would be all dolled up above on the deck dancing to delightfully girlish tunes such as “I Am Just A Girl” by ABBA, “I Feel Pretty” from West Side Story and “How Lovely to be a Woman” from Bye Bye Birdie. And as if that wasn’t delightful enough, there was quite the element of excitement as well since the football jocks did not have a clue I was me or even a boy at all. None of them knew where I lived so they not only just thought I was some swishy girl who danced on her parent’s back deck during their football practice but they made no secret out of the fact that they thought I was a rather attractive girl at that although I’m certain they thought I was no older than junior high or even sixth grade because I always looked much younger whenever I was dressed as a girl. I still love cross dressing more than anything else and I have a ritual I do every Superbowl Sunday: I doll up entirely as a fairy princess and spend the day girly shopping, and every women’s clothing store I go to I introduce myself as: “The Soft Meek Weak Effete and Ever Ever so Very Sweet Testosterone Neutralizing Anti-Football Fairy”.

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