I don’t have any special knowledge of what’s going on there–to be clear, I went to Penn by the way, which is in Philadelphia and on the entirely other end of the state of Pennsylvania. I’ve never been within 60 miles of State College, to my knowledge. (Like most Penn grads, it rankles me to be associated with Penn State.) But readers have written to ask when I’ll comment on the accused child rapist who was protected by the football program there, so here goes:
- I’ve seen a lot of commentary to the effect that “institutions do a poor job of policing themselves.” That may be a part of the problem, however, it seems clear to me that this is more of a gender problem than anything. The facts of the case so far show that men are reluctant in the extreme to interfere with the sexual prerogatives of other men, even when their sexual behavior is criminal. Furthermore, this is not just a comment on the institutional power of the football program at Penn State–all of the university administrators accused of crimes and/or who lost their jobs yesterday are all men. I would expect that a female AD and/or a woman vice president or president of the university would have acted swiftly on eyewitness accounts of child rape and would have called law enforcement, not because women are more virtuous or braver than men, but simply because women who make it into positions of authority tend to be more willing to blow the whistle than their male peers.
- Even the supposedly cleanest, best-run sports programs may be nests of crime and corruption, so once again I point out that running free farm clubs for the NFL and the NBA should never be seen as central to the mission of a university, and in fact should be viewed as a heath and safety risk to the university and to the surrounding community.
- Penn State students: keepin’ it classy! I wonder what victims of rape and sexual assault there are thinking right now with their classmates rioting in protest of “JoePa”‘s dismissal? a) alienation, b) fear, c) loathing, d) disgust, or e) all of the above?
- What the heck is a “Nittany Lion,” anyway?
Busy day for me–your turn now. Enlighten me with your informed commentary below.