Overheard on CNN.com: Penn State head coach should have done more
Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno calls sex abuse allegations against ex-assistant coach Jerry Sandusky "shocking."
November 7th, 2011
02:01 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Penn State head coach should have done more

Comments of the morning:

"Sounds like Penn State and the Catholic Church have the same kind of cover-up talents." - CommDecker

"Please, if you saw this happen on the street you'd call 911. So because it happens at work, telling a supervisor is adequate?" - WatAnon

Penn State coach calls sexual abuse charges against colleague 'shocking'

2 Penn State officials tied to sex abuse case step down

A child sexual-abuse scandal swirling around the Pennsylvania State University football program had many CNN.com readers venting their shock that head coach Joe Paterno did not follow up after reporting a "locker-room incident" to university administrators in 2002. The "incident" was the alleged sexual assault of a 10-year old boy by former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, according to Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly.  Sandusky, who retired from coaching in 1999, maintains his innocence. Two university administrators are facing perjury charges connected to an alleged cover-up.

Just43242 said, "I can't believe that a 10-year-old boy was molested, and the coaches basically said, 'Just don't bring boys here again!' What a message. And Paterno didn't follow up?"

Guest said, "Yes, Paterno alerted the Penn State administration back in 2002. But, why didn't he follow up when it became clear the PSU administration was sitting on the allegations? Didn't he find it odd that Sandusky was never charged with a crime?"

OvrHyped said, "And it's very late 2011; how is it possible the authorities have taken almost five years? Lots of questions, too few answers."

guest1guest2 said, "Paterno's hands aren't clean. Regardless of what 'specifics' were left out when he heard about it, the words 'coach,' 'boy' and 'shower' warrant a little more than reporting the incident to administrators and going on with your life."

Sbul said, "I thought coaches, like teachers, are mandatory reporters - which means Paterno had an obligation to make sure that the proper authorities were contacted, not just university officials. Why is he off the hook for not making sure this incident was reported to law enforcement or child protective services?"

damnyankee20 said, "Sandusky had retired and was no longer part of the team. Paterno stated the witness didn't tell him the specifics but he knew something was amiss so he followed policy/procedure and immediately notified his superiors. It was his superiors' job to follow up and look into what occurred and if criminal, to notify the police."

Rachel2010 said, "If that makes Joe able to sleep at night, then good for him. This was a child. Paterno knew the man had contact with children. To not report it to the police shows an enormous lack in morals on his part. Period. No excuses."

Many CNN.com readers had harsh words for the eyewitness as well. CLEpost said, "The first thing wrong with this story is that the graduate assistant did nothing to stop the abuse. This is not going to end well for anyone, including Joe (Paterno). There is a difference between the 'responsibilties' of the parties involved here and their moral obligations."

gdouglaso said, "So an assistant sees someone sexually assaulting a 10-year-old boy and does not try to stop it. He does report it to school officials though. It says two things: (1) the cowardly nature of the assistant, and (2) the inordinate power that college sports plays on campus that someone was in any way afraid of stopping or calling the police. ..."

Westernslope said, "There are no activities that are safe for kids. People have their eye on your children. Keep them really close. Seriously sad but reality."

Do you feel your views align with those of these commenters? Post a comment below or sound off on video.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (230 Responses)
  1. saywhat

    Cover Up is the name of the game. Vatican, Catholic Church , Corporate balance Sheets, the Establishment, missing Tax Payer dollars, crimes of war etc.etc.

    November 7, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • michaelfury


      November 8, 2011 at 7:16 am | Report abuse |
  2. Nadean

    Quietly but discreatly they'll be an out of court settlement
    The laws for s-e-x ualy abuse need to include, no amt of money can be thrown at a case such as this and be swepted under the carpet.
    Until then these so called humans will continue they're torment on these precious souls

    November 7, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Steve

    There was an extensive child abuse investigation of Sandusky in 1998 by Penn State and State College police. This all could have ended then. Instead Center County DA Ray Gricar (missing since 2005, now presumed dead) called the investigation off. Shultz and Raykovitz (president and CEO of The Second Mile) knew about the investigation (not sure how Paterno and Spanier missed this??), yet Sandusky continued to be part of Second Mile overnight youth camps until he left the organization in 2010.

    November 7, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Al T

      That's because Paterno didn't miss it. There's just no way. Sandusky was still on staff at that point and in a small town like that where Paterno is the leading noble, somebody had to have told him which makes what happened in 2002 all that much more damning in my opinion.

      November 7, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ann

    Catholic church....where's the outrage

    November 7, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Nadean

    Oh, the investigation was called off! what a surprise (being sarcastic)

    November 7, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  6. saywhat

    That would tantamount to blasphemy @Ann. Men of Cloth are involved.

    November 7, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Nadean

    Not one religion has it's hands clean of these horrific crimes! It's not just physical but mental abuse and it doesn't only effect the child but those around him and for years to come.

    November 7, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Everybody in my industry knows "ABOUT" a well known series of child molestations by a very famous and powerful classical musician. I think that the acts occurred, but I don't know anybody who could prove it.
    Accusations are made, then charges are dropped. Allegedly large sums are paid.
    If I were a poor parent of a molested child, I would have to consider the benefit to my son of having a substantial income for the rest of his life. I would not take the money–said to be at least one million dollars for each boy, and three in one case–but I would have to consider it, if I were very poor.
    Powerful people get by with terrible things.

    November 7, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |

    College was obviously more worried about their image, which is in worse shape now than if they would have done the right thing then

    November 7, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Nadean

    I can see your point Joey and would have to consider it myself, yet believe that the therapy gained from the child being able to stand-up to his mo-le-ster would may be of even greater benefit. All said and done if that were an option, It would be up to each individual Family.
    In any case well said Joey

    November 7, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Larry Miller

    As sad as it is Joe has to go. First graders know to call 911 when a crime happens. His lack of diligence enabled more victims to be harmed. He failed tpo take the appropriate actions to ensure the safety and well being of children. Decades of football does not replace a minute of neglect.

    November 7, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Nadean

    BTW, Joey I'm going to see WESTSIDE STORY this Wednesday night, can you give your take on the film version, I would be very interested in what you think from an inside view, muscially that is.

    November 7, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Vee Jay

    Paterno and McQueary should resign. How can you know what's going on with this man for 10-15 years and not do anything about it? Apparently, he was "allowed" to retired, but he was allowed continued use of the facilities, for his work with children! Did this make any sense to anyone involved??? On second thought, they should be fired!

    November 7, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ Nadean:
    I don't remember much about the film of WEST SIDE STORY.
    I've worked on that fantastic music many times, coaching opera singers preparing to perform it in concerts.
    Bernstein's musical theater scores work even in a bad performance.

    November 7, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. PSU alum

    Does anyone else wonder why the GA hasn't been identified by the TV media – but it has been reported in print that it was Mike McQueary. Reportedly his father went with him to tell Paterno what had been witnessed. These two men know what happened in that conversation. Interestingly, McQueary was hired as the football administrative assistant in 2003 and then made Recruiting Coordinator in '04 – and is now the Offensive Coach. Hmmmmm...... just sayin.....

    November 7, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • JMazz

      It was Mike McQuery. He was 28 at the time. He witnesses this horrible crime, does nothing. The next day goes with his dad to tell Joe Paterno? Huh? I witness a horrible crime – I'm going to tell Joe Paterno? Why wouldn't you tell the campus police? Sadusky is never punished? No one investigates who the child was? How could you live with that? He's now the offensice coordinator. Starting to make sense.

      November 7, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
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