With Jerry Sandusky being tried for 40 counts of sexual abuse, Mike McQueary, who isn’t currently being charged with anything, may be public enemy No. 1—and rightfully so.
Any of McQueary’s ties with the school should be ended. Adam Jacobi of CBS Sports reported head coach Joe Paterno and school president Graham Spanier are out.
So why is McQueary still there?
According to the Grand Jury Report about the case, McQueary says he saw Sandusky raping a boy around the age of 10, but left the scene without an attempt to stop the action.
If that holds true, McQueary will be forever held as a coward in the public eye.
An old idiom that gets tossed around after heartwarming stories is, “Anyone would have done it given the situation.” In this case, McQueary isn’t capable of saying that because he possibly failed to save an innocent child.
I have tried to place myself in McQueary’s shoes. At the bare minimum, there’s no way I would have left without making sure Sandusky was away from the boy. Maybe because Sandusky and the boy noticed him, McQueary thought he would stop and he might have—that time.
Why McQueary didn’t make sure Sandusky left the boy alone is beyond moral comprehension. However, it does not seem like he is in violation of the law at this point, so he probably won’t face legal punishment.
He does not deserve a spot on the Nittany Lions' sideline anymore. His lack of action is partially responsible for the fallout at Penn State. I believe in second chances and McQueary deserves one—but it should not be in Pennsylvania.
Social psychologist Mark Levine had this to say in an article written by Maia Szalavitz for Time Magazine.
It taps into something people feel about human psychology, probably mistakenly: that somehow, when we're with other people, we lose our rational capacity or personal identity, which controls our behavior.
Basically, he’s implying that good people can lose track of their morals in the presence of others. In this case, the others are anyone at Penn State that allegedly helped to cover up the scandal.
Even if McQueary’s failure to act was one wrong in a life full of rights, it’s one that demands his departure from Penn State.
There’s no way he’ll ever be socially accepted in that area, meaning removing himself from the situation would be in his best interest.
If he tries to stay, the school should take action against a name that will always be associated with this scandal.