Another Loss For Penn State In Aftermath Of Child Rape Scandal
The university dismissed Paterno for failing to come forward after learning that former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was raping children. Sandusky has been charged with 40 counts of sex crimes with minors.
Noticeably absent from the game was coach Mike McQueary. According to the Inquirer's report:
The wide receivers coach, usually in charge of relaying plays from the coaches box upstairs, substituting personnel and getting in his players' faces, was placed Friday on paid administrative leave after Penn State said he received multiple threats. He was reportedly not in State College.
University president Rodney Erickson reiterated Saturday that McQueary is on leave and said it is "subject to further review." All signs point to McQueary, a State College native, former Penn State quarterback (1994-97) and coach of eight years, never coaching again at Penn State.
"It was really different," wide receiver Derek Moye, a fifth-year senior and team co-captain, said of McQueary's absence. "I think when he was here he didn't get enough credit for what he did. He kept it very organized on the sidelines, sending people in, sending people out, calling plays."
Fans at the game Saturday showcased a spectrum of reactions to the accusations and resulting campus upheaval. The Patriot-News spoke with several fans shaken by the scandal.
“It’s been hard all week,” said Paul Baldari, fighting back tears as he watched the game at Gullifty’s in New Cumberland. “I think I’m just tired of seeing it everyday on TV and too much focus has been put on Paterno instead of on Sandusky and the kids that got hurt.”
… Baldari, 52, said that as a lifelong fan, he got emotional watching a Penn State football game that, for the first time in his life, did not include Paterno. “The man’s a god up there,” said Baldari, who used to live in State College. “I don’t like the way he was treated. I think they should’ve done it a little more dignified instead of just giving him a phone call and telling him he's done.”
New York Daily News reported President Obama's first public comments regarding Penn State’s handling of the case. Obama called for "soul-searching" from the American people.
"Obviously what happened was heartbreaking, especially for the victims, the young people who got affected by these alleged assaults," he told Westwood One Radio.
"And I think it's a good time for the entire country to do some soul-searching - not just Penn State. People care about sports, it's important to us, but our No. 1 priority has to be protecting our kids. And every institution has to examine how they operate, and every individual has to take responsibility for making sure that our kids are protected," Obama added.
Sports aside, the university faces an uphill battle as it embarks on a very public recovery. According to another Daily News report on the case:
“Every time they say ‘We are Penn State,’ people will think about the children that were raped on that campus,” says Father Robert Hoatson, a sex-abuse survivor and the founder of Road to Recovery, an organization that offers support to victims. “It goes to the heart of Penn State fans’ faith. It goes to the myth of Penn State: Joe Pa, Happy Valley, the white uniforms. We’re dealing with ordinary human beings here, and some human beings choose evil over good.”
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