Tuesday, November 08, 2011


I'm sorry, but this is almost certainly going to be a total mess. In all cases, assume "alleged" is inserted in front of anything that hasn't been proven in a court of law.

I've come to the conclusion that the worst part of college football is when it bumps up against reality. The world is often a brutal and horrible place. Football is supposed to be an escape for all of us, something that we can care about that doesn't really matter. And when that wall comes down, it's almost always uglier than the facade. It seems like it's usually an extra benefits case, which is disappointing enough, but this? The sexual abuse of minors? It's simply appalling.

I loathe what is alleged to have happened at Penn State. It's nightmarish in its scope, and at least half a dozen people could have stopped it, including the revered leader/spiritual godfather of one of the premiere programs in college football. How does this not make it to the real cops? How can anyone sit with this for nine years? Sexual predators exist, and that's sickening enough, but how can anyone let this guy operate after what Mike McQueary witnessed?

I guess the (admittedly trite) answer is that people are often terrible, and even good people make horrible choices. It sounds stupid and obvious, but it's a hard thing to accept. Anyone who knows someone who works as a homicide cop or a medical examiner knows for sure that this is true. They've probably seen a baby who was shaken to death by his parents, overdoses, drunks, crack murders*, a teen who didn't know the gun was loaded, and a woman who killed herself by driving off a freeway overpass with her dog in the car. All too often people are horrible or weak, and people in sports aren't exempt from that, no matter how respected they are.

Penn State should clean house, from the president on down. Anyone who knew about this and didn't go to the police should be gone. Maybe it'll crater the program, but so what? It couldn't protect ten-year-olds from a DC who'd been retired for four years, possibly as a result of NEARLY IDENTICAL allegations. Who cares whether it can protect its red zone from Nebraska?

*Pro tip: If you're dealing crack, don't let your penniless addict client live with you. And if you do, definitely don't leave a hatchet lying around.

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