By the time somebody at Penn State did the right thing, it was too late.
Too late to save football coach Joe Paterno from the indignity of being fired.
Too late for the university to salvage a hint of self-respect.
Too late -- far too late -- to save so many young boys, all of them victims of suspected pedophile Jerry Sandusky, from the singular horror of sexual abuse.
Isn't it amazing how quickly Penn State moved when it was its reputation on the line? Where was this sense of outrage, this moral direction, when there were reports of an assistant coach doing illicit things with young boys in the Penn State football locker room? . . .
For Colts coach Jim Caldwell, it's hard to know what to think or to say, at least publicly. He was an assistant coach under Paterno from 1986-92, and was on the same staff with Sandusky, who retired in 1999. Like so many people inside and outside of football, he reveres Paterno.
"I'm in prayer for the young people involved -- young men now -- I certainly feel for them,'' Caldwell said earlier Wednesday, when it appeared Paterno would retire at season's end. ". . . I'm very close to coach Paterno, and if things do end this year, it's just tough to see his legacy end this way.''It really is amazing just how many people turned a blind eye towards Sandusky's pedophilia. There really are no reasonable excuses for the years of inaction by Sandusky's colleagues and superiors at the university. From reading the grand jury report, it almost appeared that Sandusky was begging to be caught given his willingness to rape young boys in the showers, locker rooms and other athletic facilities at the university. It's also hard to believe that Sandusky woke up one day after reaching the age of 50 and began having sex with underage boys. Chances are very good that he began plying his sexual perversion at a much younger age. Some have observed that he had been highly sought as a head coach prior to the first known allegations back in 1998 after which the offers suddenly dried up. The number of boys victimized by Sandusky over the years could reach into the dozens. The grand jury investigation describes crimes he committed against eight young boys.
Former Star columnist Dick Cady discusses in his book, "Deadline: Indianapolis", how a young Joe Miller, who was on the government's payroll at one time as the grand jury bailiff for former Marion Co. Prosecutor James Kelley, was known as a chicken hawk because of his taste for young boys. According to a retired vice officer with the Indianapolis Police Department, a twenty-something Miller told police investigators in a sworn statement after he had been charged with molesting two Johnson Co. boys that Kelley had employed him in return for sexual favors he provided to him, describing himself as a young Greek slave boy purchased by Kelley at an auction. Based on the accounts of those who knew him, Miller's proclivity for seeking out underage boys for sex continued throughout his adult life, even after he managed to wiggle out of the charges of molesting two teen-aged boys back in the 1970s. One source says Miller turned to vulnerable young boys in impoverished foreign nations to satisfy his urges after he became a wealthy businessman. Some of Indiana's most prominent elected officials, community and business leaders warmly embraced Miller despite common knowledge among them of his taste for having sex with underage boys. Miller committed suicide last year at age 59, suggesting he may have had a conscience after all, even if it never fazed the prominent people who showed up at his memorial service to glorify his life. Perhaps Joe Paterno is no different than some of Indiana's most prominent citizens when it comes to turning a blind eye to pedophiles.
UPDATE: Yikes, check out this story suggesting that Sandusky and the Second Mile nonprofit at which he volunteered to help at-risk youth was actually pimping the young boys out to donors. It also suggests a cover-up was agreed upon in exchange for Sandusky's resignation from Penn State.
UPDATE II: It gets even more bizarre. The DA, Ray Gricar, who failed to prosecute Sandusky disappeared in 2005 and was later declared dead even though his body was never recovered.