Monday, November 7, 2011

Questions for the Penn State President

In story after story about the Penn State sex abuse scandal you see the same quote from the president of the university.   President Graham Spanier says, "I wish to say that Tim Curley and Gary Schultz have my unconditional support."

But what's missing from the stories is the obvious question.   Before making that statement, did President Spanier read the grand jury report?  I've asked that question and will post the university's response here as soon as I get it. 

Did President Spanier refused to be interviewed?  Possibly, but in a quick scan of articles I'm not finding any indication of that.   What IS there in article after article is Spanier's statement of unconditional support that is simply a  university provided statement so no questions can be asked.   Why isn't this university president in front of microphones and cameras?  And if he's refusing to be interviewed, why isn't that being reported?   What did he know and when did he know it?

Today's press consistently fails to get answers to questions because it is willing to play interview by press release.  Today's press consistently fails to push public officials on the record.  

Coach Paterno claims he wasn't told the details of the abuse, just that the actions were "inappropriate."  Right.  Is there anyone dumb enough to believe that?   A graduate student witnesses this and goes to the coach and says, "Ah Coach Paterno, I think you should know I saw something that is inappropriate."  Football players, coaches and assistants don't even talk like that at Brigham Young.

Like all stories, this one demands specific, direct questions.   And when public officials and even the most highly honored and revered in American society (that would be the football coach) sidesteps the question, it needs to be asked again and again. 

Protecting children is far more important than protecting a football program.   Let's hope more than one person goes to prison for this, and let's hope anyone who had knowledge of this and failed to report it to law enforcement or child welfare either resigns immediately or is fired.



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