Service of Friendship

November 17th, 2011

Categories: Friendship, Whistleblowers

friendshipWe’ve written before about whistle blowers. In our society they are never rewarded.

The most recent example is the Penn State assistant football coach, Mike McQuery, who was placed in protective custody and on administrative leave last weekend because of his role in the Jerry Sandusky child molestation mess.

whistleblower2While thousands are angry at McQuery because his seemed to be the first pin in the nasty bubble that spilled filth over the school and their beloved coach Joe Paterno–his boss–some accuse him of not blowing his whistle loud enough. He didn’t follow up with the police after nothing happened once he reported a horrific assault on a 10 year old boy in the school’s showers. He said that he did and the police say he didn’t. Nor did he rush in to stop it–though again, he wrote a friend that he had.

No matter what he did or didn’t do, he was in trouble.

penn-state-football2But the subject of this post is friendship. Paterno was known for running one of the most reputable teams in college football–the Penn State players actually go to class and are not given professional-level goodies like cars, cash and prostitutes.

Yet he protected Sandusky, his longtime associate and friend, by restricting his report to going to his superior and when nothing happened, he didn’t initiate or demand an investigation nor did he report the incident to the police.

I don’t know if Paterno had good intentions: To protect his friend and longtime associate. Or like the school’s president, did he have in mind the university’s image and/or jeopardizing the team’s income generating future? Or did he question the source of the allegation?

He did seem to do one thing: Forget the innocent victims.

How far would you go to protect a friend? Would you continue to consider a friend a person who allegedly assaulted little children? Would you tell them what you’d heard?  dogprotectcat

6 Responses to “Service of Friendship”

  1. Lucrezia Said:

    What appears to be lacking in the Penn State saga is greater focus on the person who reportedly was the first to witness former coach Sandusky’s sexual activities. How is it he remains on the school payroll after having failed to scream long and loud enough to call attention to the situation? Unless and until there is a full explanation of why the university is protecting this individual at the expense of the coach who did so much for it, one is led to suspect that A) Joe Paterno has powerful enemies; and that B) The school is in the business of sheltering one of its less than savory employees for reasons yet to see light of day.

    A person who hits on those smaller and weaker than him/herself is no friend, so there is no reason to reply to such a question. One who acts upon rumors and allegations without proper investigation is a fool and isn’t worth much in the friendship department since he/she could turn on anyone.

    The very fact that a Hall of Famer who knew Paterno and publicly supports him, has just lost his job, increases my personal suspicions onehundredfold.

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:

    The friendship I was referring to was the one between Sandusky and Paterno, not between Sandusky and his victims.

    It’s impossible to know whom to believe. McQuery says he reported the incident and stopped it. The police say they have no record of his call or contact with them. Are they covering something up? No doubt we will learn what the story is.

    It’s such a sorry story from everyone pointing fingers without knowing the facts to the children, if, in fact, they were abused.

  3. Lucrezia Said:

    I either missed reading about this alleged friendship between the two coaches, or there was nothing to read. Either way, Paterno and Sandusky are the only ones qualified to comment on that score. If your read on McQuery is correct, then either he and/or the police are lying through their teeth, and it continues to mystify why McQ remains at the school. If there are any brains in any of the investigators heads, they will force an explanation, and it better be good.

    From personal experience, and well before it was fashionable to call the dogs on molesters, authorities were quick to respond in sexual abuse cases. Of all the alleged rape cases, it seems strange that not one victim alerted his parents, which calls to question whether certain things actually happened (which they undoubtedly did) and why said parents sat there doing nothing.

    Your question regarding reporting a “friend” for molesting children is abundantly clear, as was my reply that such people have no friends. Since when does a tiger befriend his dinner?

  4. Simon Carr Said:

    Your provocative post pricks multiple sore spots.

    A few years ago, I was a guest at a formal dinner in New Haven and found myself sitting next to me the wife of one of Yale’s better known college masters. She regaled me, brimming with an aura of self-righteous goodness, the story about how she and her husband had spent the previous Saturday night and Sunday rescuing the captain of the Yale football team and two of his buddies from the clutches of the New Haven police. She emphasized that they were, of course, black, and as a consequence, more at risk than would otherwise be the case. I, feigning innocence, said that I was a bit disappointed to learn that anybody at Yale took football seriously anymore and that getting football players out of jail now was part of a Yale master’s job description. I ventured that I would have thought that scholars at supposedly reputable institutions of learning would have had more useful things to do with their time, and she didn’t speak to me again for the rest of the meal.

    The idea that playing sports can make a positive contribution to the education of the young at institutions of higher learning is not old. It also made sense when somebody first thought it up. Exercise is good for the body and old fashioned ideas like fair play and being a good sport are good for the soul. But then money got mixed up in the equation, and new attitudes inevitably seeped into the idealism, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” and “It’s O.K. to cheat as long as you don’t get caught.” Interestingly, such ideas have become the standard in society as a whole.

    If we are to do something about the Penn States of the world – and I doubt that we will – then the only answer is segregate the money side of sports from the learning side of education. The scandals will move with the money. Return college sports to where they belong, and make them part of the education process. Don’t treat them as being a source of revenue, whether from TV rights or alumnae gifts. Get rid of all of it, from those so called athletic scholarships to the fancy salaried coaches.

    How to replace the lost revenue stream? Sell the business side of college sports to pro sports on a revenue sharing basis. The corruption will drift to pros who know how to manage it with a minimum of fuss.

    As to whistle blowers, like most of us, I don’t have much use for them, but as we become more corrupt, we must rely more than ever up on them to maintain some semblance of a sophisticated society. Our laws and the way we administrate them must be changed to make the judicial system more accommodating towards whistle blowers.

  5. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Lucrezia,

    There are reports that parents complained, so children did tell them.

    Molesters threaten their young victims who are petrified to tell a soul for fear of harm to them and their families. It’s understandable that some won’t tell anybody out of fear and embarrassment.

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Simon,

    Creative idea. The college sports situation is way out of hand and your solution sounds like a great one. Your wording that the “scandals will move with the money” is perfect.

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