Working on a Dream




Thursday, November 10, 2011

Anthony on Paterno.

All over Facebook, ESPN and just about every other media venue people are going nuts weighing in over Penn State's Joe Paterno being fired.

--I have found that most folks end up in 1 of 2 camps:

The first camp seems to think that because of Paterno's legacy as the head football coach and what he means to college football he has the right to retire at the end of the season.  After all, he didn't directly molest anyone and when he found out about what was going on he reported the findings to the next level of authority. So at the end of the day, Paterno did the right thing, reported the incident and let the appropriate people handle the situation.

The second camp is filled with people that believe Paterno basically harbored a criminal and rapist.  They reason that for years he had full knowledge of the events and whether or not anything was done about it ... he had a moral responsibility to ensure that this monster Sandusky was banned from the Penn State staff.  Paterno committed the deadly sin of OMISSION.   

Before I share my thoughts, I want to share something that I learned a long time ago by way of Peter Drucker.  Drucker is best known for his proficiency in leadership studies and has influenced much of today's leadership theory.  He said, "Managers do things right and leaders do the right things."

With that in mind, let me share with you my thoughts:
-Sure, when Joe Paterno found out about the incident(s) he filled out his paper work and sent them to the authorities. Nothing wrong there.  But when nothing had happened, why didn't Paterno press the issue?  And when I say press the issue, I mean having 5 of his offensive lineman grab this lowlife by the scruff of his shirt and toss him off of Penn State's campus? 

What people seem to forget about in camp number 1 is that just because Paterno coached since Christopher Columbus set foot in America does not nullify the fact that when children are being raped or molested you must be certain that it is being dealt with.  And by dealt with, I mean taking ANY means necessary to remove the lowlife.  The reality is, whether you loved Paterno or not, he is not a leader.  A leader simply does not sit back and allow things like this to happen and then reason to themselves that "they did all that they could" and just wash their hands of any guilt.


So please go and do yourself a favor...change your Facebook status to anything BUT supporting Joe Paterno. 
And if you do not like what I said in this post, feel free to defend your position.

---I look forward to it.  

PS:  One last thing, to everyone in camp number 1, I guarantee your tune would change if you or someone close to you ever felt the ugly sting of some ingrate forcing themselves on you.


Troy Sowden said...

Totally agree buddy. I am sad for Paterno that it had to end this way, but the bottom line is that whether he upheld his legal responsibility or not, he clearly did not uphold his moral responsibility. It seems to me that when nothing came of it JoePa embraced willful ignorance "well, I guess nothing happened", rather than pursuing the protection of these kids.

I think he should have been let go face to face rather than over the phone. But letting him go was absolutely the right choice, the only choice really. said...

Let's assume he did his paperwork. He didn't fire him. He didn't block him from accessing the young kids in the locker rooms.
Sorry- this is what the Poles and Germans tried to claim after WWII. Smelling the burning bodies, they did nothing.
This is emblematic of the problem with Football on college campuses- too much money and power. It is emblematic of the problem with money being fed to Congress. And, it is emblematic of the problems with Wall Street.
Here's what I posted early this AM

Anthony K said...

Thank you so much Roy for your powerful analogy!

Anthony K said...

This issue is a matter of "Boundaries." Some people choose to see this through the lens of rules & regulations. This group understands their roles in society via laws and polity. They look to guidelines in their place of employment or the society in which they find themselves living in. This is why they can be OK with what Joe Paterno did. According to the laws of Pa., Penn State Etc. Paterno did exactly what he was supposed to.

On the other hand, some people choose to see this through a transcendent moral lens. This group understands their role in society is to follow rules and laws...however; they adhere to a higher standard. This is why many of us are outraged and feel that Paterno did not fulfill his moral duty.
--Boundaries decide where one person ends and another begins and whereupon you find yourself standing will determine how you see Joe Paterno.

Anthony K said...

"Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way."
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Ann Mullen said...

I have not been following this business, but it appears to me that sending a memo and then letting it drop is real lame given that fact that children were continuing to be molested.

I'm sure I will see this story on one of my crime shows. You have to wonder at people.

Steve Nicholas said...

Great post, Anthony! I must say, though, that I think that my biggest problem with a lot of the coverage is the way that the lion's share focuses on Joe Paterno. Yes, he is a legend and the most well-known figure in this scandal, but to me, the thing that I am outraged by is that the one person who saw the act and had a chance to stop it at the time, Mike McQueary, all 6'4 of him and a former QB to boot, did nothing to stop the actual act. I do not say this to try to let Paterno off the hook, but because a lot of people have responsibility. I will be shocked if this does not end in the death penalty for Penn State if the allegations prove to be true.

Anthony K said...

Jen Gabriel Stanton Every choice we make has a consequence and being fired is his. All I know is that if I found out that Thali was being molested and someone knew about it and did basically nothing I would want the head of the one who did it AND the one who let it happen!

Tim McClain ‎@Leah -- Above you say: "Did you want Joe to be a vigilante and and step above legal authority to pursue it? He would have broken the law by doing so." My question to you is, is it ever wrong to do right? ( Excuse my cliche.) We are not bound by laws when we have a moral responsibility to go beyond them. Yes, he should have broken the law in this case, if, indeed you are correct in your assessment of what would constitute breaking it.

Tim McClain I might add that Tom Corbett, now Governor of PA and former Attorney General, doesn't seem to believe that Joe would have been breaking the law by doing more.

Anthony Kladitis Tim, you are correct. I can name numerous men and women (heroes) that have done so...including Martin Luther King, Jr, Rosa Parks, and not to mention everyone of our Founding Fathers.

Patrick McIntosh said...

For real. He is not a leader. Leaders make sure the issue is dealt with...