Did Paterno Die of a Broken Heart?

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by ollinger, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    Very possible, in fact, at least in part. One of the most fascinating areas of psychiatric research is the interplay between T-lymphocyte function (thought to resist the growth of cancers) and depression. Dr. Marvin Stein at Mt. Sinai in the 70s and 80s, his protege Dr. Steven Schleiffer and others thereafter, demonstrated decreased T-lymphocyte function in depressives, with improved lymphocyte function when depression remitted. They demonstrated decreased survival in breast cancer patients who became depressed (carefully controlling for the stage of illness and level of debility, to insure that the more depressed subjects weren't depressed because they had more severe illness than the non-depressives.) Paterno looked very sullen the past few months, and this might have rendered his body less able to ward off the lung cancer.
     
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  2. mrmike

    mrmike Rookie

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    I really feel bad for Joe and his family. It does make you think that the unfortunate turn of events had something to do with his passing away so quickly.
     
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  3. volleygirl

    volleygirl Semi-Pro

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    Maybe the guilt he felt had more to do with it than a broken heart. How many kids got molested because he looked the other way all those years?
     
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  4. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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  5. Kevin T

    Kevin T Professional

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    I think so. My Mom's side of the family has experienced multiple instances of one spouse dying within a few months of the other. I remember when June Carter Cash died, I told my wife Johnny might make it 6 weeks. Of course, he was already in poor health and he lasted a bit longer than 6 weeks but not much.
     
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  6. Fee

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    I think there is a very real possibility that Paterno knew about his lung cancer at least a month before he announced it publicly. It's possible that it was so far advanced that his mood had nothing to do with his survivability. He was in his 80's, not sure how much could have been done for him at that age.
     
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  7. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    ^^ You miss the point. The man was still on the sidelines coaching a football team until a few months ago, a fairly vigorous activity for an 85 year old. For him to have died so quickly thereafter is a remarkably fast acceleration of the disease, the sort of thing that is known to happen when the T lymphocytes stop working. Depression is known to cause such a change.
     
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  8. Fee

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    I didn't miss the point at all. I understood exactly what you were saying in your first post.
     
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  9. Capt. Willie

    Capt. Willie Professional

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    The day he was fired I said "he will be dead within a year". Now I don't mean to brag about something like that, but at the time I just felt someone like him loses the will to live. Of course I didn't know he was sick, I was just basing this on his age and having everything he lived for suddenly taken away.
     
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  10. heartman

    heartman Rookie

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    I think he did. I believe the kind of situation he went through can kill people.
     
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  11. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    ^^ yes, and now you know HOW it can kill people. Some pretty good studies in US and UK some years ago showed that elderly males who are widowed have a mortality rate increase of about 400% in the six months following the loss. Women recently bereaved have lower increases in mortality rates as well as lower depression rates (during that time period).
     
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  12. Kevin T

    Kevin T Professional

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    Ollie,

    Isn't it true that widowed men tend to find a new partner, even re-marry much sooner than widowed women? I believe I read the data a few years ago. We (men) truly are the weaker sex.
     
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  13. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    True, probably because we are indeed "weaker" in terms of not being as able/willing to take care of ourselves (cook, clean, sew, etc.), though elderly men are also more "in demand" as men don't live as long, so there's a shortage of older men relative to older women.
     
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  14. Kevin T

    Kevin T Professional

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    Can't wait to be elderly!! I had a SNF/nursing home rotation during my internship and as you say, the men are in demand. I can see myself returning to my roaring 20's wicked ways. :)

    Fee,

    Just post when it's time to be admitted to a nursing home and I'm there...provided I outlive my wife, of course. :)
     
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  15. maleyoyo

    maleyoyo Rookie

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    It’s a nice theory, but I don’t buy it. Here are the facts:
    1. He testified a year a go in front of a grand jury. We can safely assume that things were going to come out and he knew it.
    2. After the charges were laid last November, Paterno announced that he would retire at the end of the season only to be fired less than 24 hours later.
    3. His testimony was very vague and it didn’t sound like he was very forthcoming with the truth. The school administrators have maintained that Paterno never told them about the allegations.
    It seems to me he knew exactly what he was doing or not doing until the last month of his life including the last interview with the Washington Post. He didn’t act or sound like a man with a broken heart to me.
    Here is more:
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/20...ski/01/24/joe.paterno/index.html?sct=cf_wr_a1
     
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  16. Fee

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    And my husband, who is younger than me. But yeah, I'm all yours. You have a house right? One story, indoor laundry room? ;)


    Yeah, all of this. Also, I vaguely remember reading when the Sandusky story broke, that Paterno had stopped coaching from the sidelines this season because of his hip or some other health issue. The assistant who took over when he was fired had actually been doing most of the work, while Paterno was up in the coaches box communicating via headset. There were already rumors last summer that this was going to be his last season because of his age and his health (but that could have just been cover for the grand jury report that some people knew was coming).


    Anyway, to the broader issue of emotional health affecting physical health... yes, definitely. It shows up in all ages. I just don't think it was part of the equation here. He was old, he was unhealthy, and I think that lung cancer was far more advanced than they ever let on. My uncle was diagnosed with lung cancer, he was barely 70 and very active. He was dead within 6 months, despite being in great spirits and saying every day that he was going to his cousin's wedding in June.
     
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  17. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Read the latest issue of Inside Tennis. A very provocative article about what may have happened/be happening in tennis and how the powers that be may be suppressing it by threats. The title is "Are we Penn State?"
     
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  18. Kevin T

    Kevin T Professional

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    Fee,

    We're set!! Single story in Norcal and Ocean Beach (San Diego), laundry, dishwasher, ten years worth of medical and nutrition journals for light reading...just think of the possibilities...provided our spouses kick the bucket earlier than us, of course (my wife is 5 years younger, so don't get your hopes up). :)
     
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  19. Fee

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    Excellent. Good to know I've got this going for me since I don't have kids and the nieces and nephews are not fighting to be my conservator like I had hoped.
     
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  20. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    He died from being unceremoniously stabbed in the back with a broadsword, late at night, while his wife and he were about to go to bed, from a dishonorable trustee from an institution that Paterno had a huge part in building. So much for honor and loyalty.
     
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  21. Miso

    Miso Rookie

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    Possible. I think he had nothing else to live for. He was living to coach and without it, he was done. Sad but he was a good guy. I don't hold that scandal against him. He wasn't the culprit.
     
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  22. jtrain_36

    jtrain_36 Rookie

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    Thank you. I'm tired of everyone defending JoePa now. Yes, he died, he was old that's what happens. If he had died a year ago before the Sandusky story came out I would've been right there thinking it was a loss for the sport, but now, now I hold him responsible for turning his back and allowing children to be raped.
     
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  23. blastforehand

    blastforehand Rookie

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    In my opinion, poor Paterno likely could not live with himself. He lost the will to live, which in a way, is to his credit. Deep down Paterno probably understood he was the best "friend" and protector the monster Sandusky could ever have. Those guys worked together 16 hour days for decades, under stress. Paterno likely "knew" Sandusky as well or better than his own wife. Football is a rough culture. If Sandusky was often seen around with young boys, etc., there would have been no holding back those observations. There would likely have been plenty of "jokes," winks, and nods behind Sandusky's back, and probably to his face also. How could it have been otherwise?

    The Paterno/Pedd State scandal (Sandusky is merely an uninteresting criminal predator who should have been locked away long ago) is, in my opinion, an indictment on violent and stupid football culture, and on ourselves. Looking the other way is too easy in the short term. We all (and in particular those of us who have our identity idiotically and pathetically wrapped up in a football "program") need to think better, and do better.
     
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  24. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    It is pretty easy to connect the dots on the 180 degree turnaround in his public personae and his demise. However, I would look for a different case to try to establish an anectodal connection. Perhaps someone not 85 years old with a terminal illness... Devil's Advocates don't need to look very far to find other reasons for his death.
     
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  25. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    ^^ people with cancer who are expected to die soon aren't generally marching up and down the sidelines in a college football stadium two months earlier.
     
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  26. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    "Generally" true. Unfortunately causation is not implied by generalities. Associations yes, causation, no..
     
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  27. Avles

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    As somebody pointed out further up in the thread, Paterno wasn't on the sidelines-- he coached from the press box for most of the season.

    He was up there because in August he broke his pelvis in a collision with players. He also broke his pelvis again in a fall in his home in December. That's not so good for an 85-year old man I'd think. So maybe that had something to do with his rapid decline as well.

    Sure, it's very possible that Paterno's sadness over being fired contributed in some way to his death. But he was an 85 year old man with the most aggressive form of lung cancer and repeated pelvic fractures. I don't think "died of a broken heart" is really accurate.
     
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  28. Avles

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    Paterno was diagnosed with cancer two days after his firing.

    Here's some info on the kind of cancer that killed him (source: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/280104-overview):

    Doesn't seem too likely to me that the firing was the cause of death. I think I'd chalk it up to metatstatic small cell lung cancer.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
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  29. maleyoyo

    maleyoyo Rookie

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    Poetic justice or karma for JoePa?
     
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  30. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    IMPO as a coach myself, he did exactly what he was supposed to do, and the AG prosecuting the case, agrees. He had no legal obligation to go to the cops, and in fact, if he did, it would only be hearsay. Only the witness could do so. In addition, Sandusky no longer worked under Paterno, and he had no obligation to oversea Sandusky's activities. That doesn't help the child's plight, but Paterno did more than he even had to by reporting what the GA reported to him, to the AD. He had no part in the cover-up, as he has no authority over the athletic facilities--only the AD does--and he should have never been fired. Note: I say this as a parent and a frequent coach of minors. With that being said, I would have had my 28 year old son, if he were the GA, call the police and make an anonymous complaint, to both help the child and to protect his scholarship and himself legally. Once it got out into the public or when a detective became aware and started an investigation, the other kids that Sandusky abused would have then come forward. Lastly, there has to be some parental responsibility and judgement. My child would have never had been around Sandusky to begin with. You can always tell when someone is shady.

    Bottom Line: The trustees stabbed him, and he bled to death.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
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  31. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    Many people will themselves as they fight cancer and outlive their prognosis. It's difficult to do so when you're a few pints of blood short.
     
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  32. Avles

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    Ok, so you grant that Paterno's prognosis was very bleak. You're really claiming that, because Paterno failed to beat the odds and outlive his bleak prognosis, that means the trustees are to blame for his death? I think that's presumptuous to say the least.

    And for what it's worth, Paterno's son [url="http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2012/01/joe_paternos_final_wishes_take.html]disagrees with you[/url]:

    Paterno's son could be wrong. But I see zero evidence that Paterno died from anything but lung cancer. Maybe his death was accelerated by stress or sadness and maybe it wasn't. Either way, the cause was cancer. It wasn't "backstabbing" by PSU trustees.
     
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  33. jtrain_36

    jtrain_36 Rookie

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    Yupp you're exactly right, he had no legal obligation whatsoever. However, he without a doubt had a moral obligation to do what was right. I think we can all agree, or at least I hope we would, that he definitely should have done more to prevent the future **** of children on the Penn St. campus.
     
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  34. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    How was it his responsibility for what goes on on-campus? That is the AD's purview in/on the athletic facilities, and the president's purview on all campus grounds. They had the moral obligation because they controlled the facilities. The head football coach oversees only the football team. Paterno was scapegoated in an overreaction.
     
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  35. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    Paterno's son needs to be able to have free reign on-campus to rehabilitate his father's rep and to keep things totally positive. He needs to stay non-controversial.
     
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  36. maleyoyo

    maleyoyo Rookie

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    It’s hard for me to digest that you defend Paterno citing legality, responsibility, technicality…while there was a child sexual predator on the loose.
    People affectionately called him “JoePa” for his father-figured character for crying out loud.
    Bottom line is he knew of what was going on and could do more with his power to save those kids. If that was true, he betrayed the trust of so many kids and their parents, not just the victims. We still don’t know if he was part of the cover up until the trial.
    Now, as you say, the school hung him out to dry. Poetic justice indeed.
     
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  37. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    Expain how one person is responsible for another's actions? And then, how is one person responsible for someone he has no jurisdiction over, nor, having no non-hearsay knowledge of wrong doing? Sandusky did not work for Penn State, nor did Joe Paterno witness the assault. attacking someone with a life-long stella reputation with zero proof is to do so without honor. Lastly, why doesn't the AG agree with you?
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
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  38. jtrain_36

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    You're telling me that Paterno had no way of making sure Sandusky never set foot on campus again? Haha good one. The reason this whole situation got out of hand was because people viewed Paterno as more than just a coach, he was a legend in the community who could do know wrong. The board of directors wanted to fire him or have him step down in the early 2000's but he basically said, nope I'm staying around. He definitely had the power to make sure that Sandusky would never molest children on the campus again and failed to do that. Morally that puts him at fault for every child that Sandusky abused since 2002 when McQueary told him about the incident he saw in the showers. You could even argue that he could have done more in 1998 when he was first made aware of what a monster Jerry Sandusky was.
     
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  39. blastforehand

    blastforehand Rookie

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    If you really believe this, why couldn't Paterno and others see the "shadiness" in Sandusky?

    Answer: They looked the other way.

    By the way, people who prey on defenseless children are not "shady", they are monsters.

    Also, Paterno, like other successful college football coaches, was likely the absolute ruler of the Penn State athletic program. The Athletic Director and others were peons compared to Paterno. They only ranked ahead of him when it was useful to him, as in this case. For big stuff, Paterno was king.

    Might be time for a reset.
     
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  40. jtrain_36

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    Well said, Paterno was put up on a pedestal at State College and that's what led to the continuation of these problems.
     
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  41. TennisMaverick

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    It wasn't his responsibility. That's the point. Plain and simple.

    The people who are the most responsible, besides the perp, are the parents of the children. If your BS radar isn't up to protect your own, then you have no one to blame but yourself. It's analogous to the idea that if your husband beats you or cheats on you, that's partially your bad; you choose him and should have known better.
     
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  42. r2473

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    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
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  43. jtrain_36

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    Ah so it wasn't his responsibility? How so? He had knowledge that children were being abused, not just on the campus where he coached and was arguably the top of the chain of command for the university, but in his football buildings where he is undoubtedly the head of operations. He even let Sandusky keep his office there! Paterno was responsible for the children that he allowed into the football buildings especially knowing that a child rapist was in the building at the time.
     
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  44. maleyoyo

    maleyoyo Rookie

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    You can point fingers wherever you like, the fact remains that the system failed those kids and Paterno was a very integral part of that system. Nobody cared enough about those kids to make a difference. The end result was many kids got hurt.
    At the time, 12 years ago, Paterno was already a legend in his seventies having accomplished so much. It wasn’t like he was risking his own career blowing the whistle.
    It all comes down to what you value more in life, protecting children from a child molester or protecting the football program, the trophies, and your own behind. Paterno made his choice obviously.
    Ironically, in the end, do we care how many football games or trophies he’d won?
     
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  45. TennisMaverick

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    Nope....head of the building is the Facility's Manager. His boss, is the AD. What goes on inside the buliding, is the AD's job. That is why the AG is going after the AD and the president, and exonerated Paterno. Once Paterno reported to his boss, he was done with his responsibility. Once the AD went to a VP or the President, his responsibility was also done. Everything you have to say is conjecture; not legally binding nor institutionally/organizationally correct. PERIOD. Apparently, you've never been on staff in an athletic department nor a college campus. LOL!
     
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  46. TennisMaverick

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    I could careless who was responsible. My kid would have never been in that situation, plain and simple. His parents and Sandusky are responsible. It was never Paterno's responsibility, he wasn't there to see it, he had no paid institutional relationship to Sandusky, as Sandusky was off Paterno's staff for two years, and the only person who counts in the whole manner, is the AG, and there is no grand jury hunting Paterno. That says all that needs to be said. PERIOD.
     
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  47. jtrain_36

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    Yes you are correct, I have never been on the staff of a college campus nor is anything he did legally wrong. I never said that. What I did say is when he reports it to his boss and then notices his boss does not report it to the police he is morally obligated to go to the police himself. He has knowledge of a rapist on his campus, which lets face it, was his campus. Paterno was the most powerful man at Penn St by far, the board tried to fire him before but he said that he was staying. After seeing the proper course of action not being taken by the people above him, Paterno was obligated to go to the police himself. His son said today that he died with a clean conscience, and that's ********. If he did, well then he was just as sick as Sandusky knowing he endangered children and not feeling remorse about it.
     
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  48. TennisMaverick

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    Nope....that's called hearsay, and of no legal use. If he did do that, without actually witnessing it, Paterno opens himself up for a lawsuit.

    The only person morally obligated, if in fact, he actually shares your morals--which he does not have to share with you, as this is America and he is free to believe in whatever he wants, regardless of who you are--is the GA who witnessed what happened. It's obvious that the GA didn't because he would have most likely have lost his scholarship in the power struggle. That is why I mentioned in an earlier post, if my 28 year old son was the GA, I would have advised an anonymous phone call to the police and fulfilled our personal moral responsibility.
     
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  49. jtrain_36

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    I agree, McQueary was also at fault and should have done more. Also at the very least Paterno needs to make sure Sandusky never sets foot on the campus again, which despite what you're saying he for sure had the power to do.
     
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  50. TennisMaverick

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    Maybe, but you don't know that. Secondly, it's SIMPLY not his responsibility.
     
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