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 “THE CHILD IN THE SHOWER”: PENN STATE AND PATERNO’S SILENCE

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PočaljiNaslov: “THE CHILD IN THE SHOWER”: PENN STATE AND PATERNO’S SILENCE   Uto Nov 08, 2011 4:33 am

My parents went to Penn State in the nineteen-sixties—that’s where they met. When they were students, Joe Paterno was already at the university as a football coach, and he is still there now. He has been coaching, in one way or the other, for more than half a century. What wouldn’t wholesale jerseysPaterno have seen in that time? How many insights—as he sat in recruits’ homes, or in locker rooms, or in administrative offices, or even just with prominent people who wanted football tickets—into the character of adults and the vulnerability of children, and the capacity of one to betray the other? More importantly, what did he choose not to see?
In 2002, according to the findings (pdf) of a grand jury in Pennsylvania, a graduate coaching assistant came to Paterno’s home on a Saturday morning. He told Paterno that he had seen Jerry Sandusky, Penn State’s former defensive coördinator, raping a boy in the football locker room’s shower. The boy looked to be ten years old. Sandusky had retired, but had the status of an emeritus professor, an office in the facility, and his own keys to the locker room. The next day, according to Paterno, he told the cheap mlb jerseys athletic director, Tim Curley, about the conversation with the assistant—exactly what he told him is in some dispute. A week and a half later, the graduate assistant was asked to a meeting with Curley and Gary Schultz, a university vice-president. He testified that he told them “that he had witnessed what he believed to be Sandusky having anal sex with a boy.” A couple of weeks later, Curley let him know that they’d said something to people at a foundation Sandusky supported, The Second Mile, which was meant to benefit boys in difficult situations (this is how he seems to have found his alleged victims). He also said that the university was taking away Sandusky’s locker-room keys. And that was pretty much all.
Sandusky was told not to bring more children into the football building. But “both the graduate assistant and Curley testified that Sandusky himself was not banned from any Penn State buildings and Curley admitted that the ban on bringing children to the campus was unenforceable.”nfl jerseys cheap In other words, according to the grand jury’s findings, university officials did nothing to stop a man who used his reputation as one of their coaches to get access to children—he brought the boys to games, gave them gifts of sports equipment, told them stories about the athletes he could help them to be (one of the many levels of cruelty here)—other than tell him not to rape them on Penn State property.
The Penn State officials never reported an eyewitness account—not some “Doubt”-like insinuation—to any child-protection officials. That was, as the grand jury notes, “in contravention of Pennsylvania law.” Curley and Schultz were indicted for that omission, and also for allegedly lying to the yotoforum grand jury. They are being arraigned this morning, and went on leave and retired, respectively, last night. Their attorneys have denied the charges, as has Sandusky’s. (He is facing forty charges involving the sexual abuse of children, all boys between about eight and twelve years old.) Paterno wasn’t charged; that doesn’t mean he doesn’t bear a great deal of blame.
Could it be worse? Yes: the 2002 incident involves only the boy described as “Victim 2”; the findings extend to “Victim 8.” They are not listed in chronological order; Victim 1’s story is set in 2007 and 2008, Victim 3 and 8’s in the summer and fall of 2000; Victims 4 and 5, from roughly 1996-99; Victim 6 in 1998. Listing them in sequence might have made reading the report even less bearable: you read about the potential ruin of a child’s life, and then move back in time to the missed chance to have stopped jerseys wholesale all this. (The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has a timeline.) A janitor allegedly saw Sandusky performing oral sex on Victim 8 in the same set of showers where he would be seen, two years later, with Victim 2. That was seven years before he allegedly assaulted Victim 1, another boy he met through his charity, in the basement of his home. The janitor told others on the cleaning staff; it seems to have stayed with them. Once, in 1998, the State College police got involved, but the investigation went nowhere; one of the many dismaying passages in the document is this: “Detective Schreffler advised Sandusky not to shower with any child again and Sandusky said he would not.” (That’s when it looked like Sandusky could be the next head coach.) And this, again from 2002:
Although Schultz oversaw the University police as part of his position, he never reported the incident to the University Police or any 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 2002cheap jerseys. No one from the University did so. Schultz did not ask the graduate assistant for specifics. No one ever did.
“Never attempted to learn the identity of the child in the shower”: that may be the most painful phrase in a devastating finding by the grand jury. What were the names the university officials cared about? Sandusky, Paterno, Penn State, their own? “If this is true we were all fooled,” Paterno said, in a statement breathtaking in its inadequacy. Fooled by whom? And for the sake of what? Football?
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