The conversation about the Penn State scandal took a decidedly drastic turn last night, after the university's board of trustees announced that not only was the school's president, Graham Spanier, let go of his position, but so was football coach Joe Paterno. At the press conference, which was held late last evening, those in attendance grew audibly disturbed once the news broke.
Outside, near the Joe Paterno statue on Penn State University campus, students were gathering at an alarming rate. When it became known that the legendary football coach was told over the phone that he had been let go, things took a turn for the worse.
But, what the students did after that isn't important.
Yes, the events went downhill and the police were summoned to break up the surging disturbances, but many of those students would say that they were completely in the right. Some would agree that they were out there simply to be part of it, while others were out there to wreak havoc. What is important, is that Joe Paterno has been let go from the Penn State Nittany Lions—and yet Mike McQueary has not.
As it stands right now, even a few days into this ordeal, information is lacking. While we know the basics, it is the details that we are all still missing. What makes the situation now so disastrous, especially in light of the firing of Paterno, is the fact that we are missing so many details. We don't know so many things, and yet decisions are being made (and not made) as if the whole story has already been resolved.
And yet, with this lack of information, the board of trustees at Penn State University felt they could move forward with the firing of Paterno and Spanier, and somehow completely overlook McQueary. It was this last man who actually witnessed the incident in 2002 between former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, but only went as far as Paterno up the chain of command to declare it.
How can the board of trustees suggest that Paterno did not do enough by informing administrators, and yet McQueary did just enough by informing only Paterno?
There is not a single person who would say that this alleged incident isn't vile, corrupt and horrifying, nor should they. This situation, this scandal and all its components is as far-reaching as everyone should expect it to be. We aren't simply talking about a coach being fired, or a president being released from his position; we are talking about child sexual abuse, cover-ups and the reaction.
However, while Penn State is pointing out how huge this problem is, it would seem that their reaction isn't as wide. The fact that McQueary is still allowed to be on the field in any capacity seems wrong when compared to the letting go of Joe Paterno.