Joe Paterno Fired Effective Immediately!

No, it’s not Miami Dolphins related but you simply can’t ignore what has been going on in the not-so-”happy valley” these days.  New broke early last week about the sexual abuse charges levied against former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky and the explosions haven’t stopped.  Late last night to a chorus of gasps from the audience, Penn State trustees announced they had unanimously ended the 44 year coaching career of Joe Paterno for his involvement in the case against Sandusky.

It’s been hard to follow, to put the dates together and after the jump, courtesy of Sporting News, we will list the dates and information.

For Paterno, it’s no longer a matter of whether he made a legal judgement and failed his moral responsibility.  The reality remains that in the end, morality in this nation, especially when it comes to children is always the right decision.  For Paterno, his legacy will forever be affected.  Perhaps more from the outside looking in than say those who are avid Nittany Lion fans, who may be more critical when this dust begins to settle.

In 20 years no one will remember the name Jerry Sandusky but 20 years from now you can bet that Penn States’ scandal will be associated with the name Joe Paterno.  It’s a given.  It goes along with the 44 years of service that he dedicated to the team.  Now brought down for what he should have done rather than what he did do.  I’m not saying by any means that Paterno deserved a pass.  He didn’t.  Yes, he reported the abuse allegations to his superiors but after a week or even two of nothing being done, his moral obligation should have driven him to the police.  For Paterno nothing was higher than his program yet this time his bad judgement has changed everything.

Scroll down for the timeline of events.

It’s easy to sit here and talk about Paterno as being the problem, unfortunately it’s for the same reason I mentioned what will be remembered from all of this 20 years from now.  The real problems lie with Sandusky but more directly with  Athletic Director Tim Curley and Vice President of finance and business, Gary Schultz.  They were the two men ultimately responsible for turning this situation into a full blown investigation.  In Schultz case, he oversaw the Penn State Campus Police Department and didn’t report it to them.  Again, here we are years later and Paterno is taking the fall on that sword for reporting it to Schultz and not the police.

The tragedy here of course is the lives of these boys that were effected but the morality of those involved who did nothing can’t be summarily tossed aside.  Schultz and Curly simply told Sandusky not to bring any more boys to the campus and took away his keys to the locker room.  Sandusky wasn’t even chased off the campus and retained his office for some time.  So much more is going to come out of this and it would not be the least bit surprising if in the months that follow more allegations surface.  If these acts were or are happening anywhere else, you can bet that we will know soon enough as this national news will spread.

There is so much blame to go around here and so many ways that this could have been dealt with years ago instead of now.  Why didn’t the janitor who witnessed one of the acts by Sandusky not file a police report?  He was a temp employee of the school.  Instead, emotionally upset, he reported it to his supervisor who apparently told him to report it.  He never did.  Why didn’t Mike McQueary who eye-witnessed the abuse not follow up himself with the police and file a report?  He only reported it to Paterno and then confirmed it with Schultz and Curley.  Yet McQuery isn’t being held to the same moral responsibility of Paterno.  McQuerey is a WR’s coach for the current Nittany Lion team.

Then there is President Graham Spanier who also has been terminated from his job at Penn State.  The mother who reported abuse to the Second Mile school, the mother who reported abuse to the police who did not fully investigate but determined there was no criminal injustice when Sandusky hugged a naked boy in the shower, in which he was showering with the boy.  So many involved did so little.

The face of the Penn State University will not recover anytime soon.  Former Dolphins OJ McDuffie, a former Penn State Alumni who played under Sandusky is shocked and disgusted.  In an interview with McDuffie with ABC 25, Plantation, FL., McDuffie expresses his thoughts on the matter.  You can watch that interview here.  Jared Odrick the current Penn State star of the Dolphins is quietly avoiding the media.

Here is a complete timeline of events provided by the Sporting News.

 

1969: Jerry Sandusky starts his coaching career as defensive line coach at Penn State.

1977: Sandusky starts The Second Mile, a foundation to help at-risk children. Its website states that Second Mile is a “statewide non-profit organization for children who need additional support and who would benefit from positive human contact.”

1994: Victim 7 meets Sandusky through The Second Mile at about the age of 10.

1994-95: Boy known as Victim 6 meets Sandusky at Second Mile picnic when he was 7 or 8.

1995-96: Boy known as Victim 5 meets Sandusky through Second Mile when he is 7 or 8.

1996-97: Boy known as Victim 4, age 12 or 13, meets Sandusky in Second Mile program.

1998: According to the grand jury report, an 11-year-old boy’s mother called university police to complain after finding out her son had showered with Sandusky. A state Department of Public Welfare investigator told the grand jury that Sandusky had showered with the boy (Victim 6) and hugged him and “admitted that it was wrong” and promised to not shower with the boy again. The case is closed after then-Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar decides there will be no criminal charge.

1999: Sandusky retires after learning he will not be the successor to Joe Paterno. Sandusky holds emeritus status.

Summer of 2000: Victim 3 meets Sandusky through The Second Mile when he is between seventh and eighth grade.

Fall of 2000: According to the grand jury report, another boy (Victim 8), age 11 to 13, was seen by a janitor, Jim Calhoun, pinned against a wall while Sandusky performed oral sex on him. Calhoun was described as “upset and crying” over what he’d seen, another person testified. Calhoun tells his supervisor, Jay Witherite and other staff members. Witherite tells Calhoun, a temporary employee, who to report the incident to, but Calhoun never files a report.

March 1, 2002: Mike McQueary, then a graduate assistant and now the receivers coach and recruiting coordinator, saw a naked boy (Victim 2) with his hands against the wall in the shower area of the locker room at the Lasch Football Building on the University Park Campus as Sandusky subjected him to anal sex, according to the grand jury report. McQueary told the grand jury that Sandusky and the boy both noticed him. McQueary went to his office and called his father, who told him to leave the building and come to his home.

— The next morning (Saturday), McQueary called Paterno and went to Paterno’s house and reported to the coach what he had witnessed.

— The next day (Sunday), Paterno called athletic director Tim Curley to his home and reported that McQueary told him that he had seen Sandusky in the showers fondling or doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy.

— About a week and a half later, McQueary was called to a meeting with Curley and vice president of finance and business, Gary Schultz. He reported what he had seen and was told they would look into it. Paterno was not at that meeting.

— A couple of weeks after that, McQueary was contacted by Curley, who told him that Sandusky’s keys to the locker room were taken away and the incident reported to The Second Mile. Curley advised school president Graham Spanier of the information he’d received and the steps taken as a result. Spanier testified of his approval of the approach taken by Curley. The incident was not reported to the University Police or any other police agency.

2005-06: Boy known as Victim 1 meets Sandusky at The Second Mile at age 11 or 12.

2008: Sandusky was a full-time volunteer coach at a Clinton County high school. Steven Turchetta was the assistant principal and head football coach at the school attended by Victim 1. Turchetta became aware of Victim 1’s allegations after the boy’s mother called the school to report it. Sandusky is barred from the school district and the matter was reported to the authorities as mandated by law.

2008: Sandusky told The Second Mile that he was being investigated on allegations of sexual assault in Clinton County.

2009: The Pennsylvania attorney general begins an investigation when a Clinton County teen boy tells authorities that Sandusky has inappropriately touched him several times over a four-year period.

Sept. 2010: Sandusky retires from The Second Mile.

Nov. 5: Sandusky is charged with sexually assaulting eight boys over a 15-year period. Among the allegations, a graduate assistant—McQueary—saw Sandusky assault a boy in the shower at the Penn State practice center in 2002. Sandusky is released on $100,000 bail after being arraigned on 40 criminal counts, including charges of multiple counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, corruption of minors, endangering the welfare of a child, indecent assault and unlawful contact with a minor.

— Spanier gives his support for Curley and Schultz, saying “I have known and worked daily with Tim and Gary for more than 16 years. I have complete confidence in how they handled the allegations about a former university employee.”

— Curley and Schultz are charged with perjury after being accused of failing to alert police, as required by state law, of the investigation into the allegations against Sandusky. Paterno is not charged. In a grand jury testimony, Schultz told jurors he was aware of a 1998 investigation involving sexually inappropriate behavior by Sandusky with a boy in the showers at the Penn State athletic facility. Jurors wrote that Schultz “never sought or received a police report on the 1998 incident and never attempted to learn the identity of the child in the shower in 2002.” Part of Schultz’s job is overseeing campus police.

Nov. 6: In a statement issued by his son, Scott, Paterno said, “The fact that someone we thought we knew might have harmed young people to this extent is deeply troubling. If this is true we were all fooled, along with scores of professionals trained in such things, and we grieve for the victims and their families. They are in our prayers.”

Paterno added, “It was obvious the witness (McQueary) was distraught over what he saw, but he at no time related to me the very specific actions contained in the grand jury report. Regardless, it was clear that the witness saw something inappropriate involving Mr. Sandusky. As coach Sandusky was retired from our coaching staff at the time, I referred the matter to university administrators.

— Curley stepped down, requesting to be placed on administrative leave so he could use the time to defend himself against perjury and other charges, Spanier announced after an emergency meeting of the Board of Trustees. Schultz also stepped down.

The resignations of Paterno and Spanier were not discussed at the meeting.

Nov. 7: Curley and Schultz appear in a Harrisburg, Pa., courtroom, where a judge set bail at $75,000. They were not required to enter pleas.

— At a press conference held by Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly and state police commissioner Frank Noonan, Kelly says that Paterno is not a target of the investigation of how Penn State handled the accusations but stopped short of saying the same for Spanier.

— On Paterno meeting his legal requirement to report suspected abuse, Noonan says, “somebody has to question about what I would consider the moral requirements for a human being that knows of sexual things that are taking place with a child.”

Nov. 8: Joe Paterno’s weekly news conference is canceled, setting off a firestorm of criticism from media nationwide. Paterno’s son, Scott, said Spanier canceled it, not Paterno. He also stated that a New York Times report that preparations were being discussed for Paterno’s exit as coach was premature.

— A potential ninth victim contacted authorities after seeing media accounts of Sandusky’s arrest, The Patriot-News of Harrisburg, Pa., reported.

— Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett said he plans to attend Friday’s meeting of the Penn State Board of Trustees, along with three Cabinet members.

— U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan said he’s asking Education Secretary Arne Duncan to look into whether Penn State violated the Clery Act, which requires colleges and universities to prepare, publish and distribute an annual security report disclosing all criminal offenses reported to campus security or local police.

— Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, along with The Patriot-News and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, called for Spanier to resign.

— Sandusky’s preliminary hearing scheduled for Wednesday is delayed until Dec. 7.

— The Centre Daily Times reports that Sandusky has been barred from being alone with his grandchildren under a temporary order on behalf of three children.

— Penn State students congregate on Paterno’s lawn in a show of support for the 84-year-old coach. Paterno briefly addresses the students, telling them to pray for the victims.

— The Board of Trustees releases a statement, saying it is “outraged by the horrifying details contained in the Grand Jury Report.” It also states that at Friday’s meeting, the Board will appoint a Special Committee to investigate the circumstances that “gave rise to the Grand Jury Report.”

Nov. 9: Penn State’s Board of Trustees fires head coach Joe Paterno and president Graham Spanier, effective immediately. Defensive coordinator Tom Bradley is named interim head coach and Rodney Erickson will serve as the interim school president. The news comes after Paterno announced he would retire at the end of the season. In that announcement, Paterno said, “This is a tragedy. It is one of the greatest sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more,” he said.

— U.S. Department of Education announces plans to launch investigation into the scandal at Penn State

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