There aren’t many bad decisions in life that are so bad you can never walk away from them. But there are a few.
According to PennLive.com, one of the PSU coaches gathered several players in a room on campus and allowed McQueary to speak to the team via speaker phone.
McQueary reportedly told the team, “I wanted to let you guys know I’m not your coach anymore. I’m done.”
McQueary also told the team he’s not at the University, but in protective custody after receiving several threats … and “double fisting” booze.
Penn State placed him on administrative leave today but it sounds from that passage like he’s done for good, likely for his own safety. Some of the bloodlust for this guy, I think, is simply hatred for Sandusky being redirected towards one of his more accessible enablers. If/when Sandusky is tried, convicted, and then thrown to the sharks in some state prison where he’ll be the lowest, most widely despised perp in the pecking order, some of the anger towards McQueary will cool. Not all of it, but some.
Meanwhile, via Red State’s Jeff Emanuel, here’s what Paterno was allegedly told by McQueary at the time about what happened in the showers:
In 2002, McQueary, then a graduate assistant, went to Paterno and reported seeing Sandusky assaulting a young boy in the Penn State football team’s showers. Paterno notified the athletic director, Tim Curley, and a vice president, Gary Schultz, who in turn notified president Graham Spanier.
A source told ESPN that Paterno recalls McQueary “vaguely” referencing “fondling” or “touching” or “horsing around” by Sandusky and a youth. But Paterno never had the understanding that McQueary had witnessed a “sodomy” or “rape.”
I’m not sure how him knowing there was “fondling” going on as opposed to actual sodomy is some hugely exculpating detail for the wrist slap Sandusky got from the program in the aftermath. In fact, read this long, harrowing piece from the Patriot-News about the endless red flags that various people in Sandusky’s orbit missed dating back to 1995. Evidently, McQueary’s account of what he saw was progressively watered down among the PSU brass in some sort of pedophile-themed version of “telephone.” Fancy that:
Even though Paterno himself had told the grand jury that McQueary saw “something of a sexual nature,” Paterno said this week that he had stopped the conversation before it got too graphic. Instead, he told McQueary he would need to speak with his superior, Athletic Director Tim Curley, and with Schultz.
That meeting did not happen for 10 days.
What was said at that meeting is in dispute.
McQueary testified he told the men in specific detail exactly what he’d seen, and what he testified to before the grand jury.
Curley and Schultz say nothing criminal was described. Instead, Curley says, it was characterized as “inappropriate conduct” or “horsing around.
Schultz said it seemed like “not that serious.”…
According to the grand jury, then, here is how McQueary’s eyewitness account became watered down at each stage:
McQueary: anal rape.
Paterno: something of a sexual nature.
Schultz: inappropriately grabbing of the young boy’s genitals.
Curley: inappropriate conduct or horsing around.
Spanier: conduct that made someone uncomfortable.
Raykovitz: a ban on bringing kids to the locker room.
You can hate McQueary for not intervening to stop Sandusky in the act, but are we sure he’s the main enabler here? Paterno, by his own admission, apparently knew “something of a sexual nature” was happening between Sandusky and a 10-year-old. If he wanted to raise hell about it, Curley and Spanier were in no position to stop him. They’re top administrators but Paterno is a god on campus. Blame McQueary for leaving that 10-year-old for the wolf, but who should be blamed for all the kids who came afterward?
In fact, Paterno’s divine status continues even now, and even among people allied with Sandusky’s alleged victims. Read this surreal NYT story about how a lawyer who’s advising some of the boys is angry at Penn State for … firing Paterno. The ferocious backlash, he says, could end up intimidating some of the boys and making it less likely that they’ll speak out. Good point, but why he’s blaming PSU for that instead of the amoral savages who actually caused the backlash by rioting on Paterno’s behalf a few days ago, I have no idea. Two clips for you while you try to figure that out: The first is GMA’s exclusive with the mother of one of Sandusky’s victims and the second is today’s message from PSU’s new president, who’s inherited the happy task of restoring the school’s reputation. It’ll get worse before it gets better.