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Penn State Scandal Roundup Featuring Mike McQueary, Potential Lawsuits, Joe Posnanski & Buzz Bissinger

A collection of Penn State Scandal news, opinions and other happenings.

* Mike McQueary, the receivers’ coach of the Nittany Lions’ who in 2002 saw Jerry Sandusky anally raping a young boy in the shower on the Penn State campus, will not be on the sideline Saturday vs. Nebraska. Apparently, McQueary’s been getting death threats. [Inquirer]

* “A lawyer who is advising some of the young men who said they were sexually abused by Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant football coach at Penn State, said Thursday that the university did not take into account how the firing of the longtime coach Joe Paterno might affect the accusers.” Would the dumb protesting by Penn State students make anyone who Sandusky abused reluctant to come forward? [NYT]

* I don’t believe Randy Galloway is a lawyer, but he wrote a column about the possibility of Joe Paterno going to jail. “Start with the theory that this was a roughly 15-year cover-up, which also qualifies him for enabler status, concerning his friend and longtime assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky, who is now under indictment as a child sexual predator of the lowest denomination.” Those are some bold allegations, Randy. If a blogger wrote that, people would probably talk about said blogger getting slapped with a lawsuit. [Star Telegram]

* And now we return to Joe Posnanski, the SI writer who is writing a book on Joe Paterno. Last night, Posnanski wrote this blog post, scolding everyone for rushing to judgment:

I don’t know what Joe Paterno knew. I don’t know how he handled it. I don’t know if he followed up. I don’t know anything about Paterno’s role in this except for what little was said about that in the horrifying and stomach-turning grand jury findings. People have jumped to many conclusions about Paterno’s role and his negligence, and they might be right. I’ll say it again: They might be right. But they might be wrong, too. … It is still unclear what Paterno did in this case. It will remain unclear for a while.

Based on responses sent my way, it seemed readers were 60-40 agreeing with Posnanski. Buzz Bissinger, as he is wont to do, savaged Posnanski in a series of tweets. (Bissinger also wrote this column.) I’ll leave my dimestore opinions on Posnanski’s post out of this. Sticking to the facts … the Grand Jury report disagrees with portions of Posnanski’s blog post. Let’s go to page seven:

So we do know what Joe Paterno knew. We do know how Paterno handled it. Key phrase: “Joseph V. Paterno testified.” We know for a fact that after Paterno was told his former defensive coordinator was in the shower “fondling or doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy,.” Paterno passed the news on. Reminder: This took place in 2002.

(Aside: It just so happens the Patriot News today has a great piece: Who knew what about Jerry Sandusky? Teaser: “Even though Paterno himself had told the grand jury that McQueary saw “something of a sexual nature,” Paterno said this week that he had stopped the conversation before it got too graphic. Instead, he told McQueary he would need to speak with his superior, Athletic Director Tim Curley, and with Schultz. That meeting did not happen for 10 days.)

Posnanski is right about the rest – we don’t know. We don’t know if Paterno was aware of the 1998 incident (Sandusky, for what it’s worth, “retired” the following year). We don’t know if Paterno ever followed up in 2002 after passing on the news to the AD. Even though it has been documented that Sandusky was always with young boys – at practice, on campus, at bowl games, etc – we don’t know if Joe Paterno saw any of this. Reminder: Paterno and Sandusky worked side-by-side for over 200 days a year for 20+ years. They lived in the same community. But still, maybe Paterno didn’t know.

To be clear, I’m not impugning Joe Posnanski. His track record speaks for itself. But it certainly is noteworthy that one of the best columnists in America is writing a book about Joe Paterno at the very time the biggest scandal in the history of college sports engulfs Penn State and ends the career of a legendary coach.

 

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