Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Let's get a few things straight....

We are not a "state university", despite the name, due to an anomaly in funding. Our state schools are a set of loosely affiliated small universities-fourteen to be exact. So "the state" can't fire anyone. Officially, we are a state-related public university. So much for media fact checking.

There are literally, thousands of faculty, staff and students who are stunned by the depth and breadth of the indictment against the former coach. We toil, heroically for the most part, so those that attend get the best education possible. From the folks that wipe the desks down each day to the course designers, web developers, and subject matter experts, our focus is to enhance learning. We understand where we are in the "food chain" and just have to trust that those in responsible positions, will make reasonable decisions. And there's the breakdown.

It doesn't always happen. Particularly when it comes to a certain 80-something football coach. A friend from athletics and I used to joke that "everyone has a boss"...."except Joe Paterno". It's too bad it was true.

That being said.
Fact. The 1998 incident you are hearing about (and if you have the stomach for it I suggest you read the indictment--it does take a strong stomach though) was not pursued because, apparently, the DA decided he didn't have a case. Why? We'll never know because he disappeared in 2005. Yes, you read that right. Disappeared. Drove his car about 30 miles east, parked and "poof". He was declared dead this past spring. The only assumption that can be made is that there was not enough evidence to file charges. (He was a pretty cautious DA overall.)

Fact. In 2006, the next DA took, what is now a series of incidents, and decided it needed a bigger office with more investigators, and citing "conflict of interest" kicked it to the state AG (who is now our governor), and the investigation began in earnest. The grand jury was convened in 2009, and that brings us to today.

Fact. The university officials who were arraigned yesterday, were charged with perjury, nothing more. Unfortunately, there is no legal basis for shirking your ethical or moral duty to humanity (mores the pity).

Fact. We have people here pointing their collective shaking fingers at a certain graduate assistant who actually had the temerity to tell his boss what he saw. If you read the indictment and [his testimony] description of what he saw, you begin to understand how horrifying that experience probably was. He will not have me second guessing him. And here's the rub. I also suspect that when he went to a certain 70 year old, and used words like "inappropriate" rather than rape. My 70 year old mother wouldn't have gotten it either. Let me also say that graduate students are in horrible positions just generally. They can be kicked out of their respective programs for seeing the wrong movie, or changing a syllabus. They walk on egg shells. In this light it was particularly gutsy. Maybe not far enough, but hell, he did what ordinarily would be the "right" thing.  (If you want to argue this point, fine. However, I see what goes on here with GAs, and it isn't pretty.) Also please keep in mind that in the past three years he gave testimony to a grand jury investigation.

Fact. Even though this former coach was banned from campus, particularly with kids in tow, few knew it. If I had seen him last week on campus with a kid, I wouldn't have thought twice about it.

Fact. We are all being painted as worshiping at the "shrine" of Paterno. Not so much. Rumors are now swirling around campus that there will be an "announcement" at Saturday's game. My current earworm is the "Hallaujah Chorus".  

(Speculation: The administrators will be found not guilty, or have their charges dropped. And plausible deniability exists for the president and Paterno.)


Kaye said...

I've been waiting for this post! The story from the eye of the storm is always different than the crap out here from the edges.

kemtee said...

I was hoping you'd give your two cents. I trust those closest to the source more than the MSM's hype.

Chrisknits said...

I wondered what you could tell us. I read an article by the ditz Jennifer Rubin who says they need to do away with the football program. Right, let's throw away the team because of something they were never involved in. Sounds oh so sensible, NOT, to me. Just as in the Cain issue, I am waiting for proof or apology from the accusers. Don't say I believe one way or the other. As I am not in the middle of either subject, I cannot lay blame at anyone's door.