Authorities were clear that they didn’t play on charging Penn State coach Joe Paterno with any crimes connected to the Jerry Sandusky scandal, but that doesn’t mean they feel he did enough to stop the sexual abuse happening on the Penn State campus. State police Commissioner Frank Noonan said yesterday that while Paterno mayhave fulfilled his legal obligations, he’s not sure if the moral obligations were met.
“Somebody has to question about what I would consider the moral requirements for a human being that knows of sexual things that are taking place with a child.”
“I think you have the moral responsibility, anyone. Not whether you’re a football coach or a university president or the guy sweeping the building. I think you have a moral responsibility to call us.”
It’s really hard to disagree with Noonan. And this seems especially true given the defense that the two charged PSU officials plan on using, which is that they are exempt from the mandatory reporting law because they didn’t come into direct contact with the victims. Who knows whether that passes legal muster, but it’s a vomit worthy explanation.
And Joe Paterno’s explanation seems to be that he didn’t know how serious the allegations were. It seems from the Grand Jury fact finding that he did know, but he’s not being charged with perjury, so presumably the Grand Jury felt he was honest in his testimony.
Either way, Noonan’s words about moral obligation still ring true. How any of these people did not do everything in their power when they heard even whiff of news like this is hard to understand.