Brief thoughts on Penn State

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:

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. 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?
  4. What the heck is a “Nittany Lion,” anyway? 

Busy day for me–your turn now.  Enlighten me with your informed commentary below.

69 thoughts on “Brief thoughts on Penn State

  1. My issue is with the tendency of Universities post-scandals to clean house (everyone involved or some how culpable resigns or is fired) and then assume that the problem is resolved. But nothing changes in terms of the culture. If he weren’t already on the verge of retirement, Paterno would spend a year or so out of the spotlight, and then would be hired by someone else, presumably making even more money.

    Long live the patriarchy!


  2. Some of what I’ve been reading suggests that Paterno would likely have retired after this season anyway. I’d also note that this is the same university and athletic administration that protected its homophobic women’s basketball coach, Rene Portland, for years before she resigned (was pushed out) in 2007.

    I did look up “Nittany Lions.” Apparently there’s a Mount Nittany in the area, and the mascot is named after the local mountain lions. I’ve certainly heard of worse mascots.


  3. A sports reporter was complaining last night that now, Paterno’s name will only ever bring first to mind “a scandal” instead of some number of wins over his career. Jerk didn’t even have the decency to call it by name, instead erasing the kids that were hurt because Paterno didn’t do the right thing the first time he found out about it.

    My response is boo-fucking-hoo. That’s what should happen if you cover up child rape and sexual abuse. It should be the first thing people think when they hear your name, and it should be the last thing said at your funeral. Maybe if it was, it would become a lot less acceptable to cover it up, and more kids would be kept safe from predators.


  4. I have no insight to add to this discussion at the moment because I think smarter people have already articulated just how awful this situation, and especially the reactions to every part of it, is. But this newest wave of awful, namely the student reaction to Paterno’s dismissal, has me reeling; all I can think of is how I would feel as a professor in this situation, if my students were behaving in this way. I wonder what I would do/say in response, and also how this would affect my relationship to them more generally. That campus is a scary place for people who care about justice right now. How could I teach about inequality in a space where my students cared more about a beloved coach than the rape of children?


  5. I’ve written about student partying-turned-rioting here before, and even in response to a This American Life episode that was about town-gown relations in State College, PA. I don’t think there’s any excuse for it. However, when I’ve tried to discuss it with (overwhelmingly white) college students, it’s clear that their solipsicism prevents them from seeing beyond their own perspective. They fully believe they’re justified in rioting, and 1) anyone who lives near a college or university should know this in advance and just deal with the property damage, home invasions, and pee and barf everywhere, and 2) it’s different than when people in black or brown neighborhoods riot because they’re college students and are therefore “future productive citizens,” so police and the community should just back off.

    bc, thanks for the link to the victim’s sister’s story.


  6. all I can think of is how I would feel as a professor in this situation

    Well, I think what I have to do is confront it. I’m not at Penn State but I’m sure going to talk about this with my first-year class next week.

    I have some experience with the chain of command issues involved here. I think that how people respond depends importantly on how they view their role in the university structure. In my limited experience, women are more likely to understand what has happened as a crime but as has been discussed here before, it takes some courage to stand up against the good ol’ boys. And I have seen women who clearly understood themselves to be one of those boys–one the tough guys working hir way up the acadecorporate ladder–prioritize what is “good” for the university above what is “good” for the student. Couple that attitude with the twin desires to not be involved in anything messy and to direct the blame elsewhere, and you end up, I think, exactly where Penn State is now.

    There are some truly bad actors here–the coach, the president, whatever university office (affirmative action, presumably) decided to treat this as an internal issue rather than calling the police–but imho, everybody who knew what had been reported and managed to pass the responsibility on to somewhere else is complicit.

    I’d like to imagine they all feel as horrible as they are but this is likely not the case (Joe Paterno’s statements are particularly barf-inducing on this front). I have seen how personal narratives about involvement in such matters change over time. It is not very hard to come to see yourself as having done the right thing or for having been removed from the loop and thus from responsibility, even if at the time you were reprimanded for not having done the right thing.


  7. I know, I’ve read the Corrente posts on how Violence Solves Nothing.. but ain’t it peculiar that our general culture never expects *victims* rioting where their perpetrators are given free reign, lucrative contracts and hush money, *and* the love of the damaged youth who worship the ground upon which these predators walk? Why is that those who love peace and justice more than sports wins always have to speak low, be meek and not offend anyone who could be offended?

    And, to be blunt, it’s a rare day when a university’s leaders actually listen to their risk management consultants and, um, TAKE DECISIVE ACTION? Even if not one jot or tittle of the culture changes, it’s still so rare when a perfunctory attempt at house cleaning is made….


  8. Maybe female university presidents would act more swiftly on child rape — I hope so. But we’ve seen that they can be very protective of their football programs even in the face of corruption (in Miami, for example).


  9. “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.”

    Thanks for stating this. People have already drawn comparisons to the Catholic Church scandals with the whole “institutions do a poor job of policing themselves,” but I haven’t seen too many people note that both football and the Catholic Church are male-dominated institutions that take male supremacy as givens.

    It’s almost like there’s some sort of unwritten rule, especially in the mainstream media, about Not Making This A Gender Issue.


  10. I haven’t read the indictment, but my understanding is that most (all?) of the victims were black boys. I do wonder if something about that made it easier for these folks not to take immediate action. Something about the kids being more like “others” to the white, privileged coaching staff.

    Which is to say–yes, there are gender politics at play. Are there also racial politics? Clearly these are kids who society might generally think of as disposable.

    I understand sorta, but not really, why the grad assistant / former QB / now coach didn’t do anything at the time, like call the cops. Would we all behave the same way? Was he too scared of his former coach?


  11. What strikes me about the students rioting is that somehow even kids who had no contact with Paterno thought he was “theirs”. I gather the admin had tried to fire Paterno some years ago, but because he was “legendary” he held on. But when people start standing for the institution (which to some extent they always do) you are incredibly dependent on their character and behavior.

    And the university was terribly badly served in communications!


  12. Since it’s been decades since I was on campus, I’ve many questions: what is the chain of responsibility in cases like this? If a professor observes a crime, like McGreavy, should he call the cops immediately? Should he report it to his superior in the college’s chain of command? Both? Suppose he observes something which might or might not be criminal? What’s the role of the college’s code of conduct in this–should it only cover conduct which is not arguably illegal? Is that what they do?


  13. Thanks for that link, shaz. It pretty much sums it all up!

    Bill, I’d say that anyone who sees a crime in progress should report the crime to the police, and then follow up on any internal reporting. Deference to procedure and processs seems misplaced to me, as indeed it appears to have been in the Penn State case.


  14. Those who care about Penn State as an institution should be relieved that the trustees shitcanned both the president and Paterno. And BTW, lest anyone think that the trustees should have moved even faster, from the unsealing of the indictment on Saturday to the time of the shitcanning is *extraordinarily* rapid action by any university board of trustees.


  15. “Loathing and disgust” pretty much sums up my reactions, maybe even more so toward the rioting students than toward the university hierarchy that acted in a depressing but, as you observe, predictable self-serving and patriarchy-preserving way. Seeing people riot in the streets because they like to watch football, and have no concern at all for the suffering of others, makes me think of words like “soulless” and “heartless.” WTF is wrong with these people?

    And I’m apparently on track to become a broken record in your comments section, Historiann: The Onion has a particularly sharp-edged article today calling out the general media reaction of concern for Paterno and his reputation above the people whom he allowed to be raped and abused.,26609/


  16. Fannie, honestly. It’s only a Gender Issue when the gender is female. When it’s male, then the issue is unfairness, or a media witchhunt, or human nature. You know that.

    Also, I’ve seen talk elsewhere faulting the grad student for not making sure the case was prosecuted. Right. And what would his chances be of ever getting a job in coaching after that? And, given that the DA chose not to prosecute when Sandusky confessed to one of the mothers while the police listened in, given that, how likely is it that the sacrifice of his career would have amounted to a hill of beans?

    As other have said earlier, this crap is only going to stop when the culture changes. What’s so maddening is that even high profile sacrifices after the fact don’t change anything.


  17. Another angle on the behavior of the young coach McQueary in 2002 — team sports grew out of military games, and military discipline still shapes sports culture, especially in American football. Obey the coach, obey the team captain, any questioning of authority is being a “bad team player” and, as quixote said, puts at risk your future in the organization. I agree that this seems to be a particularly male problem, and in my observation hierarchy, obedience and loyalty are more important to men than to women. I also have a general sense that many men just don’t see sexual assault as being anywhere near as serious a crime as women tend to — I’d like to be wrong on that one.

    So while I agree that McQueary *should* have just screamed and called the cops, I can also understand why he did not. I don’t know that crushing his career now will do much to repair the larger problem.


  18. It’s not clear to me how the grad. student weighing a possible duty to persist in reporting what he had seen against his “chances… of ever getting a job in coaching” is any different, ethically, morally, or legally, from the head coach passing the story along to the athletic director and then heading over to practice. Each one presumably relied on the assumption that the next higher-up would take over from there. If the DA has police-recorded evidence of a “confession” and chooses not to proceed it also problematizes the prescription that any given party “should have gone to the police.”

    The global e-mail that our president sent out yesterday in response to this episode outlines exactly this sort of a “report it immediately to your next higher up” model of accountability. It doesn’t deputize anyone to follow the case through the system and manage the response. Paterno could, and probably should, have announced what he knew on the “Coaches’ Corner,” or whatever they call the ubiquitous radio show, or during a post-game press conference. That would have given us a chance to see whether the now sanctimonious ESPN-writer clan would have run with the story or sent it straight to sidebar. All of these misjudgments, cowardices, and self-dealings converge at the level of institutional structure and policy, which is why the most appropriate institutional response would have been for the whole board of trustees to resign en-masse. Why a charitable foundation run by a former employee needs access to locker and shower facilities is beyond my compass.


  19. I can maybe understand someone not doing the right thing under pressure at the time of witnessing a crime. But knowing that a rapist continues to have access to potential victims, and this is not a problem for ANY of these men, as long as the rapist made sure he raped his victims off-campus, this is just horrifying to me. This is EXACTLY what those in the church who transferred priests from parish to parish did. The victims are nothing to them, nothing.

    I think everyone who knew about any of the incidents and didn’t report it after it became obvious that Sandusky wasn’t leaving Second Mile was horribly complicit.


  20. I think it’s reductive and unhelpful to characterize the cover-up as “more of a gender problem” and not a endemic, deeply-rooted social problem that no group of people is exempt from. It’s not that gender doesn’t matter in sexual abuse–of course it does, it’s disproportionally committed by males, and inflicted (somewhat less) disproportionally on female victims. But the tendency to silence child abuse sadly cannot be pinned disproportionally on men, and I’m afraid I don’t share your faith that a female university president would have acted differently. It would entirely depend on the individual.

    My sister is a social worker, and she’s been repeatedly bullied not to file official reports of child abuse and neglect by her higher-ups, who are, in this case, exclusively female. She’s since got a new job and is in the process of reporting those superiors to the state child services board. Her superiors, BTW, are legally required to report any evidence of child abuse, just like her.

    My other sister and my mother (herself a survivor of sexual abuse) reported a lecherous teacher in middle school in the early nineties, only to be rudely and swiftly dismissed by a female principal (another mandatory reporter!). This has recently come to light in my hometown as the same teacher, who was later shifted to a high school, is being charged with raping a teenager. The detective who interviewed my sister reported that the principal, since retired, lied straight to his face about the details of the case. Twenty years later and she is still covering her ass.

    One of my best friends still has not forgiven her (now dead) mother for hushing her up when her step-father’s father molested her. To the grave, her mother was more concerned about her husband and his family’s reaction than the actual abuse suffered by her daughter.

    Child abuse is covered up every day. Men do it; women do it. Priests do it; nuns do it. People who are specifically trained to identify abuse and are constantly reminded that they will be held civilly and criminally liable if they don’t report abuse nonetheless do it. Predators thrive in under a larger societal shadow of shame and misogyny that stigmatizes anyone who is sexually violated and punishes anyone who dares talk about it. (This is where the gender/patriarchy component is central.) There are a lot of cowards like Paterno out there and most of them will never be punished.


  21. I have to say that the letter our Pres sent out was pretty good. There was the horrible chain of command stuff, and instructions as to which people on campus were the people we should call.

    But there were also two sentences that were heartening. One said that SLAC encouraged taking any cases where the law had been broken to the proper legal authorities, and that, if the person reporting wanted to be accompanied, people from campus security or some other office would do so. The other asked faculty to use the opportunity as they saw fit to address the issues of reporting abuse and assault, and to somehow communicate to students that victims of assault were not alone.


  22. I don’t have much to add to your post and all these comments, but one of the reports stated that when McQueary (or someone else) reported the incident, he was told, in effect, “You misinterpreted the incident. They were just horsing around.” In other words, this: “You did not see what you say you saw,” with the implication that no one would believe him if he reported it further. This chillingly echoes the kind of statements that abusers make to those they abuse. I’m not saying that the witness was abused or defending what he did, but it all seems part of this same culture of silence that covers up these actions and doesn’t alert the police.


  23. @Undine, yes, that echoes what I’ve been thinking about McQueary. I can’t quite excuse McQueary’s failure to call the police, but I do wonder if more isn’t going to come out suggesting a whole lot of coercion, abuse, and willed blindness that we don’t know about yet. I certainly think McQueary bears some responsibility here, but it’s been bothering me to see people (not here, but lots of other places) pointing fingers at him as a way of displacing blame from Paterno.


  24. “[W]omen who make it into positions of authority tend to be more willing to blow the whistle than their male peers.”

    I have a feeling that might be more the result of the exceptional-pioneer effect than an assessment of the nature of average human beings, women or men. I have to agree with Charlie that a heck of a lot of nasty business ends up under the rug in institutions less segregated than the Boys Club of college football.

    I agree with Indyanna that this bit is just out of control: “The global e-mail that our president sent out yesterday in response to this episode outlines exactly this sort of a report it immediately to your next higher up’ model of accountability.”

    Is that seriously the school’s position? That if an employee sees a crime of violence they’re to report it to their manager? It didn’t work at Penn State and it didn’t work in the Catholic Church because it doesn’t work! I’m not opposed to management as a profession, at all. But the management impulse is to manage things, not dial 911, so they’re not going to be any better prepared to call than the actual eye witness. So… the eye witness should probably just make the call.



  25. We have lots of this stuff here. The only ones who ever get anything done are those who break “chain of command” or don’t know about it and call the police.


  26. I’m not backing down from my assessment that rape in Big Football, like rape in the Church, is a man thing that other men are eager to cover up. Please name for me the all-female environment and hierarchy that has systematically covered up rape for decades.

    Yes, individual women can and do commit sexual assault, but what I’m writing about here is the systematic coverup, not just the crime. Other than the fictional narratives of Maria Monk and other viciously anti-Catholic propaganda directed at convents, I’m at a loss.


  27. I was nearly incoherent in my comment yesterday because I am just stunned that all of these people saw Sandusky with young boys AFTER the janitor’s report and AFTER McQuery’s report and said nothing. Children’s lives were held to be worth less than the football program. Can we just take a moment and think about that? The football program is more important that children’s lives.

    Over and over again we’ve seen that women’s lives mean nothing when sports are involved, but I honestly didn’t think that these men could be this self-centered. It makes me wonder if anything would have been covered up. Could Sandusky gotten away with murder? As long as the bodies were off-campus?


  28. Yes to everything you said: I’ve got a version of this over at my place. There’s a piece in the New York Times today about the classroom, and another about how a very few students are standing up about the sexual abuse.

    I used to love football and I honestly can’t watch it anymore. The idealizing of people like Paterno — even prior to revelations about how they cover up crimes — makes me ill. I feel the same way about Connecticut’s Jim Calhoun.


  29. Thanks for your terrific post, TR. I just commented over at your place, too.

    Everyone–go read Tenured Radical’s analysis of 1) universities and their systematic impulse to cover up rape and sexual assault, 2) the callousness of college students toward rape victims, and 3) the importance of a feminist response to any and all reports of sexual assault and rape, no matter the sex of the victim.

    Clio Bluestocking also offers some painful memories and reflections on the ways universities and schools work to cover for abusers rather than to protect and vindicate victims.


  30. I should clarify: I agree entirely that THIS scandal is almost entirely about men, and the larger problem of rape culture on campus and Big Football’s often winking complicity in rape culture is first and nearly exclusively a male problem. Reducing rape and abuse is also a male problem–like those awesome “Rape Prevention” campaigns aimed at men that say things like “If you’re walking alone at night, DON’T RAPE ANYONE.” I also take your point that this incident in particular was likely swept under the rug because of the boys-club mentality about sex, rape, and power.

    However, increasing the reporting of sexual violence is a problem for everyone. I’ve been a state-mandated reporter and have seen that the silence, the covering up, the cover-your-ass mentality can be found in legions of female-run elementary schools and summer camps. And if the whole point of this justified national outrage is working to keep anything this from happening, the problem of silence is everyone’s problem.


  31. Yes, and when you can point to an example of an all-female environment in which women in authority covered up for years rape and sexual abuse in their midst, I will agree with you that it’s an equally shared problem.

    But, seriously? Not to see rape and the institutional coverup thereof as a clearly gendered problem requires some serious delusions, dude.


  32. Readers here might be interested in the thoughts of Christopher Clausen, an English department faculty member at Penn State, who writes:

    From the time I arrived at Penn State in 1985 to head the English department, the place seemed extravagantly hierarchical and closed off, even for a land-grant university. Its presidents (three in my time) were all obsessed with public relations and cocooned by flatterers. The faculty includes many distinguished members but has always seemed unusually docile in its relations with the higher administration.

    . . . . .

    The steady drip-drip-drip has only begun. If anyone in or outside Happy Valley needed a lesson in the dangers of big-time athletics, the temptations of secrecy, or the bureaucratic arrogance of mega-universities, here it is.


  33. doesn’t deputize anyone

    In fact, most folks commenting here are likely to be mandatory reporters and if that procedure works correctly, then your office of Affirmative Action (or equivalent) is involved and they are deputized, by the president if the f’ing university, who is also involved. Universities all have similar structures and procedures that have developed in response to a combination of legislation and case law. If you don’t know the procedure it is either because your university didn’t bother to provide training or because you hate all those damn trainings and didn’t go when asked.

    Everybody has pretty much the same procedure. A person with relatively little power can’t be expected to go up against Sandusky or other powers that be. That’s why you report to a manager, somebody who does have relative power.


  34. And I think anyone can stop a crime in progress. Isn’t that what a “citizen’s arrest” is? (Tenured Radical’s post has a discussion about mandatory reporters. I don’t think it’s the same when we’re talking about non-minors, though, who as legal adults are presumed to be capable of reporting crimes against themselves in ways that children are not presumed capable of doing the same.)


  35. I agree with most of what you said, but I will also have to agree with Charlie re my lack of faith that women would necessarily uncover it. My example would be the Magdalene Asylums, in Ireland at least. Sorry, but my faith in humanity (both genders) is not as high.


  36. Just did the online mandatory sexual harassment training for my new job, and I must say, I was mighty impressed by it. Anyone who has had such a training has no excuse not to do the right thing (and no legal cover either, I’m afraid); and any institution that doesn’t do such training doesn’t give a sh*t (are you listening Zenith???)


  37. Some thoughts/questions perhaps disconnected from one another:

    One comment mentioned a coverup at PSU — is there any evidence that Paterno was part of a coverup? I haven’t followed the story exhaustively, but I haven’t read anywhere that he was.

    I just completed the online harassment course required by my institution. Aside from the question of whether these things are worth a damn, there was an extended segment on what one should do if a student reported a case of harassment to you; the instruction was clearly that you/I, the professor, should report it to senior admin./HR, not a) go to the police, b) keep it between you/I and the student or c) handle it ourselves. I raise this not because harassment and rape are the same, but because the hypothetical posed by the course seems somewhat analogous to the present situation. Assuming that Paterno is telling the truth (admittedly, a significant benefit of the doubt), someone reported it to Paterno and he reported it to the AD and the president, who were responsible for following through. Obviously, everyone (except Sandusky, maybe) wishes that Paterno had follow up, but did he have a real or ideal responsibility to do so?

    Finally, why is it acceptable for assault and rape that occur on between members of university communities and on community grounds to be handled internally? How is student-student assault, for instance, not still a felony? Why does it get handled by student disciplinary procedures? I have always found this baffling, frustrating, frightening.


  38. Finally, why is it acceptable for assault and rape that occur on between members of university communities and on community grounds to be handled internally? How is student-student assault, for instance, not still a felony? Why does it get handled by student disciplinary procedures? I have always found this baffling, frustrating, frightening.

    Because colleges and universities want it that way. Because it aids in the cover-up. Because it allows them to control and direct and shut down investigations at will. Campus Security provides security for the institution, not the students.

    Anecdotally, when a female student, Laura Dickinson, was raped and murdered at Eastern Michigan University, the University administration and University police covered it up by lying to the parents and the public. The President: male. Head of security: female. VP of Student Affairs: male.

    Whistleblower: female, tenured, less-than-full-professor on the security committee and someone I know personally. How she blew the whistle? “I just kept asking questions. And every time they lied, it was a violation of the Clery Act.” And, because she asked questions, EMU paid $2.5 million to the woman’s parents and was fined a record amount for Clery violations, and the President, the VP, and the Head of Security were all fired.

    All she did was ask questions and refuse to believe the obvious bullsh** being spewed at her. But we never learn from women, do we? How many of you knew *that* story?

    What more could Paterno have done? He could’ve asked some f***ing questions, for one. Like my friend did, my friend who had a f***load less institutional, gender, and economic power than Joe “I don’t know nuttin'” Paterno.


  39. Thanks, Historiann.

    I have only a couple of things to add. McQueary’s role, or, put another way, his spectacular moral failure, is perhaps the most boggling to me. However, because PA has laws that protect whistleblowers from getting fired, and because the definition of whistleblower is broadly construed, McQueary is actually considered a whistleblower, and so cannot be fired. In fact, he’s going to be coaching the game this weekend. (From the coaches’ box–“for his own safety.”) He is apparently too entitled and clueless to think that he should resign from his job.

    One of the things that I find interesting is the vast difference between media coverage of this child rape scandal and a recent one in Philadelphia. Several months ago, a grand jury handed down indictments for several priests (child abuse) and a monsignor (endangering child welfare). This marked the first time that a higher-ranking member of the Church had been indicted for his role in covering up allegations of child rape and/or abuse. Yet it was ignored in the national media and barely covered in the local media. But because the PSU scandal involves almighty college football and a beloved (and totally autocratic) coach, it’s bigger news. It’s disgusting.

    I’m curious about the response from PSU alumni, most of whom are huge football fans. I suspect that the students who are rioting are a minority of students. But what about the alums–does anyone know if most of them are aghast at the initial cover-up and systemic abuse? Or do they see this as an undeserved tarnishing of Paterno’s legacy (or Spanier’s or Sandusky’s)?


  40. From what I’ve observed, you have to call police, press criminal charges, file civil suit, etc. Internal reporting is just part of dotting i’s and crossing t’s’; if you get satisfaction at that, great, but most don’t.


  41. What more could Paterno have done? He could’ve asked some f***ing questions, for one.

    Well said, Emma.

    Internal “handling” of harassment is damaging not only for the cover-up of real issues affecting real victims but also for the fact that it remains a “personnel” issue and thus not a matter of public record. Confidentiality protects victim(s), who might not want to be known for the rest of their time as students as “the one who…” but it also protects the perpetrator, even if ze is fired/resigns/etc.

    I would suggest though that it is vital for anybody who thinks that ze will have it in hirself to do the right thing when the time comes to get educated about resources and to think carefully about strategy. I know it sounds crazy to suggest there might be strategy involved but this is the voice of experience talking crazy. Know the rules and know your allies.

    Regarding PSU alumni and others, the folks I know who work at PSU say this is a “tragic” turn of events given all the good that JoePa et al. did while the alumni I know say it is “sickening” and a reason to end the football program. My small sample.


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