Penn State Scandal: Why Mike McQueary Should Be Next in Firing Spree

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistNovember 10, 2011

STATE COLLEGE, PA - SEPTEMBER 12:  Assistant coach Mike McQueary of the Penn State Nittany Lions walks the sidelines against  the Syracuse Orangemen during the second half at Beaver Stadium  September 12, 2009 in State College, Pennsylvania. Penn State won 28-7. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
Chris Gardner/Getty Images

In the face of the Jerry Sandusky child sex scandal, the Penn State Board of Trustees took swift action in firing both university president Graham Spanier and long-time Nittany Lions head football coach Joe Paterno.

While that was simply the first step in removing the program from the Sandusky controversy, there figures to be many more decisions to come. While athletic director Tim Curley will likely be let go soon, his administrative leave gives Penn State some time to make a decision.

Other than Curley, there is really only one more chip that needs to fall, and that is wide receivers coach Mike McQueary.

A former Penn State quarterback, McQueary was eventually hired by Paterno as a graduate assistant.

It was during his time as a graduate assistant in 2002 that he allegedly witnessed Sandusky engaging in inappropriate acts with a young boy in a Penn State locker-room shower. This prompted McQueary to alert Paterno, who then informed Curley.

Ultimately, the university made the decision to not notify the authorities of Sandusky's alleged actions.

While some of that burden falls on Paterno and Curley, McQueary needs to be held accountable as well. If McQueary did, in fact, see Sandusky sodomizing a child, then he should have done something about it.

You can't fault him for going to Paterno first, but there are plenty of other things he could have done. He absolutely could have gone to the authorities on his own accord. Perhaps he was worried about losing his job over the backlash, but that type of thing has to be put on the back burner when it comes to the safety of a child.

Also, he could have physically stopped the abuse himself. It seems like a situation you would have to be in yourself to truly know what type of action you would take, but if McQueary saw Sandusky sexually abusing a young boy, then it is pretty unacceptable that he walked away from it.

The university may let McQueary finish out the season in anonymity so as not to call attention to his role in the scandal, but I think Penn State should make a statement by firing him now. McQueary was just as guilty as Spanier and Paterno—perhaps even more so.

Regardless of whether Penn State decides to fire him or not, McQueary probably doesn't have much time left.

With Paterno out of the picture, a completely new coaching staff is on the horizon. McQueary will ultimately pay the price by losing his job, but I think the university should prove a point by taking it from him.


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