Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Two News Reports Call for an Independent Investigation into PSU Sex Abuse Scandal

There were two articles in the news today about the lack of independence and transparency in the Penn State University Board of Trustees investigation into the allegations of child sexual assault. 

The first call for independence is in The Nation. It includes my full statement in response to Dave Zirin’s article of November 15, 2011 entitled “The World Joe Paterno Made."  In that article, Dave Zirin quoted something I said in 2006.  Here's what he wrote:

The signs of this malignancy did not emerge overnight. Looking backward, there are moments that speak of the scandals to come. In 2003, less than one year after Paterno was told that Sandusky was raping children, he allowed a player accused of rape to suit up and play in a bowl game. Widespread criticism of this move was ignored. In 2006, Penn State’s Orange Bowl opponent Florida State, sent home linebacker A.J. Nicholson, after accusations of sexual assault. Paterno’s response, in light of recent events, is jaw-dropping. He said, “There’s so many people gravitating to these kids. He may not have even known what he was getting into, Nicholson. They knock on the door; somebody may knock on the door; a cute girl knocks on the door. What do you do? Geez. I hope—thank God they don’t knock on my door because I’d refer them to a couple of other rooms.” Joanne Tosti-Vasey, president of Pennsylvania’s National Organization for Women in Pennsylvania, was not amused. With chilling unintentional prescience, Tosti-Vasey responded, “Allegations of sexual assault should never be taken lightly. Making light of sexual assault sends the message that rape is something to be expected and accepted.”
Mr. Zirin and I corresponded last night after this article was posted.  This morning, he posted my full statement regarding NOW's current call for an expanded, independent review as part of his blog.

The second call for independence is made by the editors of the Harrisburg (PA) Patriot-News.  They don’t ask for an expanded review, but do call for independence.  And one of the people they mention as a better leader for the committee (rather than a PSU Board of Trustee member) is Barbara Hafer, former Commonwealth of PA Treasurer and Auditor General as well as a former, long-time NOW member. 

1 comment:

  1. I had forgotten about this mind-boggling statement made by Paterno. Thank you for putting this in front of us now as we contemplate next steps.