Politics Magazine

Reading My Blog Roll

Posted on the 14 November 2011 by Erictheblue

Been reading my own Blog Roll.  Amy Davidson, author of the Close Read blog at The New Yorker, has four questions ("for starters") about the scandal at Penn State.  Why, indeed, did Sandusky retire from coaching in 1999?  He was 55, which is not the usual retirement age for highly successful assistant coaches in big-time Division One football programs.  One would expect the defensive coordinator under Joe Paterno at Penn State--"Linebacker U"--to want something more from football.  Of course, we now know that the year before he had been the subject of a police investigation after a mother began asking questions when he brought her son home from an outing and she noticed that both had wet hair.  Despite the coach's near confession to the mom, the investigation went nowhere.  Sandusky, however, quietly retired.  Deal?  How far does the corruption  go?  It calls to mind one of the last, chilling lines from Chinatown.  Someone has suggested that someone call the police, and Faye Dunaway as Evelyn Cross Mulwray cries, "He owns the police!" 

Penn State versus the local Dogberry in State College might have been a greater mismatch than some of their home football games against outmanned foes. 

And what about Mike McQueary?  He was the graduate assistant who, in 2002, came across Sandusky raping a 10-year-old in the football shower.  He was 28, a former Penn State footballer himself, able-bodied, but  he did not physically intervene.  Nor did he call the police.  Instead, he told Paterno, who told the athletic director, who told someone higher up in administration, and time passed.  What did McQueary think when nothing happened?  He must have kept seeing Sandusky around the football facilities.  Soon he got a better job on the Penn State coaching staff.  His career path would have been different had he pulled Sandusky off the 10-year-old and called the police. 

And what was Paterno thinking when nothing happened? 

Davidson has more questions, too.  Read the whole thing.  One topic she doesn't take up is the charitable foundation--the "Second Mile"--Sandusky started to help at-risk kids.  Was it ever anything more than a way for him to meet victims?  Yet the foundation had a high profile in a town as small as State College.  What view of it was held over the years by Coach McQueary and JoePa?

Meanwhile, Davidson's colleague John Cassidy has a post about those entertaining Republicans.  If you've been thinking about Penn State, Cassidy's take on Mitt, Rick, Herman et al has an effect like that of the graveyard scene in Hamlet.

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