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. a few minutees with zombie Andy Rooney

    Have you ever noticed how annoying it is to be dead. People tend to avoid you, even more than when you were alive. No one gives you the time if you ask, cars drive right through you at crosswalks, and forget about picking up cheap floozies at bars. Like they're better than me, or something. Personal hygiene is tough, not that I was very attractive when I was alive, but now it’s a nightmare. I’ve got fluids oozing from everywhere, dry dusty skin falling off all the time, and I’ve got these green and brown spots that are getting bigger and bigger, especially in my private areas. People seem to think I’m after their brains. I don’t know, I’m a pretty smart guy. I think the brain I’ve got is already pretty good. CBS stopped paying me too. Imagine that. I suppose the worst thing about being dead is the cleaning lady keeps trying to throw me in the dumpster every evening, along with all the rest of the trash on my desk.

    November 7, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  2. DisgustedinDenver

    My seventeen year son said that if he had caught Sandusky in the shower with a 10 yr old little boy he would have beat him to a pulp so that he could not leave the scene and called the police immediately. First and foremost, he would have put a stop to the abuse of the child at that very moment. Also, how could Sandusky's wife not know about his pedophile ways??? Didn't she think it was odd when there were little boys sleeping over? What is she covering up? I am pretty sure if my husband started bringing home little boys for sleepovers I would be like "Hey, what are you doing?"...even if he wasnt a sick pervert, I would still say "Hey, it just doesn't look good, so stop."

    November 7, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      You have raised your own son well, and obviously taught him a good set of values.

      November 8, 2011 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  3. Bushyman

    Sandusky was married??? Kinda put to rest the people thinking only GAY men are pedis...

    November 7, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • DisgustedinDenver

      Creepy details on Jerry Sandusky...Married with 5 boys and one girl. Before joining the Penn State staff, Sandusky served as an assistant football, basketball and track coach at Juniata College in 1967-68 and as offensive line coach at Boston Universiry in 1968. He also was a Penn State graduate assistant in 1966, while working on his master's degree.

      A three-year Penn State letterman, he was a starting defensive end in 1963-65. Sandusky earned bachelor's and master's degrees in health and physical education in 1966 and 1970, respectively. He graduated first in his class and served as student marshall for his college at commencement.

      A standout athlete at Washington (Pa) High School, Sandusky was named Penn State's defensive coordinator in 1977.
      In 1993, Sandusky and his father, Art, received the annual Human Rights Award presented by the Washington, Pa., branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

      Sandusky is married to the former Dorothy Gross of Chattanooga, Tenn. They have six children; five boys and a girl. Ray, Kara and E.J., the starting center for the 1992 Nirtany Lions and head coach at Albright College, are Penn State graduates.

      Sandusky is the author of "Developing Linebackers, The Penn State Way." Proceeds of the book benefit The Second Mile, a charitable organization founded by Sandusky that addresses the welfare of young people. The Second Mile has touched more than 100,000 children through eight programs: A. B.C. Residential, Friends, Summer Challenge. Counseling Service, Foster Family Support, Children's Fund, Nittany Lion Tips and PE A.K. There are offices in State College and Harrisburg.

      November 7, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • nonPCdude

      Your kidding aren't you? You've never heard of GAY men trying to live the "normal" live by getting married.

      November 7, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      Why do we keep associating gay men or women with child abuse. One has nothing do with the other.

      November 7, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      Aren't the kids all adopted or foster?

      November 8, 2011 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  4. Davelion

    What I've read elsewhwere is that Gary Schultz, the university's senior vice president for finance and business, was also the person who was in charge of the University police. So JoePa basically reported the incident to the Police Comissioner. If a private citizen learns of a crime second hand, and reports it to the police, is he then responsible for making sure the police conducted a proper investigation, and required to call the State Police or the FBI if he doesn't llike the police investigation's findings?

    November 7, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      Yeh, yer right. There's no real difference between campus police and real police. Joe is good to go.

      November 7, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |

      Joe knew a lot more than just this one incident......

      November 8, 2011 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
  5. aNN

    are these guys aspiring Priests ?

    November 7, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  6. DisgustedinDenver

    All of these organizations need to be investigated for child victims...Sandusky is the author of "Developing Linebackers, The Penn State Way." Proceeds of the book benefit The Second Mile, a charitable organization founded by Sandusky that addresses the welfare of young people. The Second Mile has touched more than 100,000 children through eight programs: A. B.C. Residential, Friends, Summer Challenge. Counseling Service, Foster Family Support, Children's Fund, Nittany Lion Tips and PE A.K. There are offices in State College and Harrisburg.

    November 7, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  7. aNN

    Just goes to show men would rater protect football over a child. This is not just one weird man but several weird men.

    November 7, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini

      No, it's a bunch of right-wing fanatics who believe that might makes right who have been and are running Penn State. To them, child molesting is no big deal. Has anyone here noticed how these right-wingers stick together? I have!!!

      November 7, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. me

    Yes I hope this guy goes to prison for the rest of his life and Penn State pays a lot of money to the victims.

    November 7, 2011 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      The problem is that any such money would come out of the pockets of the students, not out of the pockets of the administration.

      November 8, 2011 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  9. nonPCdude

    Right-wingers, how do you figure? Most gays are liberals. Realy, I don't think political leanings have any bearing on this disgusting behavior. But I doubt anything will stop those that want to use even non-political events to push a political ideaology or to push against a political ideaology. Very sad how some shift the focus from personal responsibility.

    November 7, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Sad PSU Alumnus

    It all comes down to "moral responsibility" . At Penn State the apparent warped priority was keeping the lid on who knew what, who saw something terribly wrong or who did not pursue an issue that impacted a child. Now the university is even footing the bill for attorney fees for two accused of perjury! No matter how this all plays out, men who knew better did not do nearly enough. No only those who eventually manage to wriggle themselves through the obvious legal battles that are forthcoming but also those who do not escape facing their actions have all caused great harm that will not be forgotten by the victim(s) and by Penn State.

    As a mother and retired teacher, I cannot condone such heinous acts plus the covering up or turning of blind eye for the sake of avoiding a scandle. When a child is being hurt by molestation, passing the buck just doesn't cut it no matter who you are! Moral responsibily above and beyond legal responsibility was not in the minds of men who certainly should have known better. Many of us envision a house of cards falling fast while taking with it quite a few high profile names....those who did not do enough. These people have undeniably sullied PSU without much care for the child or children who are the vistim(s). I am ashamed and terribly saddened by what they have done...and not done!

    November 7, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sad PSU Alumnus

      My apologies for incorrectly spelling "scandal".

      November 7, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Portland tony

    Happy Valley...To many administratiors people turned a blind eye to what was happening under their purview. Each was pretending it was not their responsiblity. Shame ....Let their conscious be their guide. Shame Penn State ..Shame!

    November 7, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  12. IrishNewcomer

    Why did two of Paterno's colleagues and superiors have to resign and Paterno gets a free ride? Joe must go...he is an anachronism who has finally been "outed" for his wrongful and arrogant ways. As Head Coach, he must set the ultimate example of adherence to the rules...and he did not...he just "kicked the can down or up the road"...so to speak. Another example of the arrogant people who abuse the American Way and Values.

    November 7, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ???

    I just got done checking on a few websites about STATS on male raype.
    These have male attackers, reporting themselves as NOT being g-a-y.
    Now, if I just got done attacking a male under age mind you, any good lawyer is going to tell his client "say NO, your NOT g-a-y cause it's going to hurt your case!"
    It would stand to reason that if the attacker admits he's g-a-y, he must have done the crime, right ?
    If the attacker says NO he's NOT g-a-y, it would be harder to prove that he did it, right ?
    So are these stats based on truth or the attackers skewed truth?
    A hetro-male will attack a female if he is really NOT attracted to men or boys, It would just be too disgusting to him to do raype another male.
    Yet if your going to be in prison for life, then a male would be the next best thing.

    November 7, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ???

    Even though I left out the (bye's) the point made still stands. This Guy is gonna use EVERY trick in the book to get off!

    November 7, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • ???

      correction (Bi's)

      November 7, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Should I care

    Teachers and Coaches are the most likely adult fields to molest children. They have access and trust. They destroy trust. They murder souls. This is not something we can stand and let go by unpunished. Joe Paterno did not report his moral obligation to authorities that he knew a child or children was harmed. Resign? No, he needs to be charged with whatever crime the books can possibly uncover. Our society failed our children by letting Catholic priests walk away without jail sentences, we have to stop. It is too late. America, you are in a sad state of affairs showing so little regard for your children. America, you are pathetic.

    November 7, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • PAD

      Read the report, he was told SOMETHING happened-not WHAT happened. You can't report what you don't know. He's not a psychic.

      November 9, 2011 at 3:37 am | Report abuse |
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