Face-off: But think of the children.

Joe Pugliese, Columnist

This week might have been the toughest and most painful week for all of Penn State in its history. A sex scandal that had been covered up for more than eight years rose to the surface involving former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.  Sandusky now faces charges after allegedly sodomizing a 10-year-old boy in the bathroom in 2002.

But this is more than just about Sandusky; this is about how he got away with it for over eight years. This has turned into a massive scandal that has led to school president Graham Spanier, head football coach of 61 years Joe Paterno to both be fired while Gary Schultz, treasurer and vice president of business, and Tim Curley, athletic director, have both resigned, although they are still on the schools pension.

Mike McQuery is the only one left with a major role in this incident. They all needed to be fired and they all deserved to be fired because for more than eight years they all knew about this and they all did nothing to stop it.

Back in 2002, assistant coach Mike McQuery saw the incident between Sandusky and a 10-year-old boy in the bathroom. McQuery did not stop Sandusky, he did not call the police, he went home and he called his father asking for advice, his father’s advice was to go to Joe Paterno his boss.

McQuery told Paterno and what did Paterno do? Pass the bill to his boss, Curley, the athletic director and head of the campus police.  Did Curley stop Sandusky? Did he launch an investigation? No, he told his boss, Graham Spanier, who let the issue blow past and took no action.

There was a half-hearted attempt to stop Sandusky that resulted in a grand jury hearing, and the District Attorney Ray Gricar dropped the case; Gricar has not been seen or heard from since 2005.

So what happened here? We have four full-grown men who did not take the responsibility and the courage to do what was right and that was protect children. McQuery should have stopped Sandusky immediately when he saw that happen. A normal person would not go home when an innocent kid is in serious danger.

Instead, he tells Paterno the next day, and Paterno in 2002 is the king, there isn’t something that goes on in the athletic complex or maybe even on the campus that Joe doesn’t know about in some way shape or form. Paterno has always been independent and done what he believes is right in his program and he has earned that right being there for so long.

On this occasion, Paterno decided not to exercise his loud booming voice so the whole world would hear because he is Joe Paterno. No, he decided to go to his “boss” and wash his hands of the issue. He deferred to Tim Curley, the same guy who, along with Spanier and Schultz, would show up at Joe Paterno’s door in 2004 in the midst of a 2-7 season from Penn State football, with a message from the board of trustees requesting his resignation.

Paterno turned around and said “Joe Paterno is out when Joe Paterno says he is out.”  And his “superiors” never said another word. So it is absolute garbage that Paterno was just doing what he legally was supposed to by reporting it to higher people is nonsense. He was “king”; he never deferred to higher people; he never let higher people dictate to him how to do things.

This is a man who prided himself on honesty and integrity, never had a single violation in his program’s history and suddenly he goes quiet. Victim 1 in the grand jury report was molested over a 15-year period, according to the mother of the child who has now spoken out.

There are now rumors that the charity Sandusky held was a cover for a sex ring for young boys.  This is major this might turn out to be the biggest scandal in the history of the sports, maybe the biggest in the US since Watergate.

Barack Obama was asked about the Penn State scandal and he said “Our first priority is protecting our kids, and we all have responsibility we can’t leave it to a system. We can’t leave it to somebody else. We each have to take it upon ourselves to make sure our kids have the love, support and protection that they deserve.”

He is 100 percent right Paterno left it up to a system that covered it up and took no action.  He was told of a 10-year-old child being raped by his assistant coach and all he does is report it to the school’s AD? What do you tell the other children who were raped after that incident?

If he had called the police, think of how many children’s lives would not have been destroyed! What do you think these parents feel? Do they feel bad for Joe Paterno? No, he knew about their kids being abused, and he had the means to stop it. He did not, so why should anyone feel bad for him.

All these people who worship the man have to realize this is about the kids and Paterno failed to act. He didn’t care at the time. No one seemed to care that, eight years later, Sandusky was still hosting a charity event on campus, no one cared that more innocent kids were being abused, they only cared that Penn State’s name was untarnished.

Joe Paterno is not the only one who should be blamed for this, but he does deserve some and he did deserve to be fired for his failure to do what is right under his watch. Age is no excuse. If you are fit to run a football team, you are fit to pick up the phone and call the police.

They all should go including McQuery and the board of trustees, and it will happen soon.  There is also much more in the coming weeks that will be revealed were certainly missing huge pieces of the story.