What It Was, Was Not Football

America has been rocked by the news of pedophilia in the football locker room of Penn State University, where living legend, Coach Joe “Joe Pa” Paterno  strode the sidelines for 47 years.

After this week he will pace the sidelines no more.

Reuters.com gives us the latest developments:

Penn State University students were warned by local police not to take to the streets on Saturday at the football team’s final home game to protest the sacking of legendary coach Joe Paterno amid a sexual abuse scandal.

State College Police Department Captain John Gardner said he plans to have every officer working at the game against Nebraska, where some fear students may protest the ouster of Paterno after 46 years in charge of the team.

“It you truly support Coach Joe or Penn State, this is not the way,” Gardner told a news conference. “Stay off the street. The behavior of last night will not be tolerated.”

Chanting “Hell no, Joe won’t go” and “We want Joe back,” thousands of students took to the streets overnight to protest the decision, overturning a television van during a demonstration which some police dispersed using pepper spray.

Gardner said more than a dozen people were arrested when as many as 5,000 students protested on Wednesday evening in what he said degenerated into a “riotous mob.”

Pennsylvania State Police and the university police force will assist the town’s police on Saturday, Gardner said.

A child sexual abuse scandal brought down Paterno, one of the most iconic names in American sports, amid criticism he did not do enough to stop crimes allegedly committed by his long-time former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

Paterno, winner of two national championships and in his 46th year as head coach of the Nittany Lions, was criticized for not doing more to intervene when incidents of Sandusky’s abuse were brought to his attention in 2002.

Sandusky, 67, is accused of sexually abusing at least eight boys over more than a decade. Two other university officials have been charged with not reporting an incident in 2002 when Sandusky allegedly was seen sexually assaulting a child.

Lawyers for all three men have said they deny the charges and maintain their innocence.

Graham Spanier, Penn State’s president for 16 years and a family therapist by training, was also sacked on Wednesday.

Former athletic director Tim Curley and former finance official Gary Schultz were charged on Monday with failing to alert police after they were told Sandusky was seen molesting a young boy in the locker room showers in 2002. They were also charged with perjury in their statements to a grand jury.

Things are getting curiouser and curiouser.  Rumors abound, including one started by Pittsburgh radio host Mike Madden yesterday morning on the Dennis and Callahan Radio Show.

Madden wrote a remarkably accurate story about Sandusky and the problem at Penn State last April.

He told John Dennis and Gerry Callahan:

I can give you a rumor and I can give you something I think might happen. I hear there’s a rumor that there will be a more shocking development from the Second Mile Foundation — and hold on to your stomachs, boys, this is gross, I will use the only language I can — that Jerry Sandusky and Second Mile were pimping out young boys to rich donors. That was being investigated by two prominent columnists even as I speak.

What is the Second Mile Foundation?  According to their website:

The Second Mile is a nonprofit organization serving the youth of Pennsylvania. At The Second Mile, we are committed to helping young people achieve their potential as individuals and as community members and providing education and support for their parents and youth service professionals.

…The most recent reports we’ve read this past weekend state that Mr. Sandusky met the alleged victims through The Second Mile. To our knowledge, all the alleged incidents occurred outside of our programs and events. However, we are encouraging anyone with information regarding this investigation to contact investigators from the Office of Attorney General at 814-863-1053 or Pennsylvania State Police at 814-470-2238.

…The Second Mile was first contacted by the Attorney General’s office in early 2011. Since then, we have done everything in our power to cooperate with law-enforcement officials and will continue to do so.

Our highest priority always has been and will continue to be the safety and well-being of the children participating in our programs. We encourage program participants to report any allegations of abuse and/or inappropriate sexual activity wherever it has occurred, and we take any such reports directly to Child Protective Services. We have many policies and procedures designed to protect our participants, including employee and volunteer background checks, training and supervision of our activities.

The Second Mile has helped thousands of Pennsylvania’s children to lead better lives, and we remain committed to that mission. Our success is a result of the trust placed in us by the families and professionals with whom we partner, and we will take any steps needed to maintain their confidence in us.

There seems to be a lot of blame to be shared in this sorry, heinous, tragic situation.

As a college football fan, it grieves me to see it happen.  As a father and grandfather, I wish I had been there instead of that 28 year old Graduate Assistant who caught Sandusky with a little boy in the locker room shower.

I remember my father, who loved to laugh , buying a 45 rpm featuring a spoken word performance by Andy Griffith.  The title was “What It Was, Was Football”.

Andy, playing the same type of character he played to perfection in” No Time for Sergeants”, described his experiences while attending his very first football game.  At the end of the narrative, Andy said:

An’ I don’t know, friends, until this day what it was that they was a-doin’ down there, but I have studied about it, and I think it’s some kindly of a contest where they see which bunch-full of them men can take that punkin an’ run from one end of that cow pasture to the other’n without either gettin’ knocked down—‘er steppin’ in somethin’ !

Penn State stepped in somethin’…and the depraved stench of it ain’t goin’ away anytime soon.

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