Why, in this country, do we have some irrational need to blame as many people possible in a bad situation? For some reason we've come to the point where when something bad happens, we want a pound of flesh from anyone who was even remotely associated with the incident.
Take this whole Penn State rape scandal thing. Joe Paterno got fired because of this asshat and his asshat bosses. Yes, I'm defending Joe Paterno.
Let me pose this question to everyone: what would you have done differently? Now I'm sure many of you are going to say "well I would have gone straight to the police, Jack! That was his moral obligation!" Okay, let me paint a picture for you.
One of your employees comes to you and tells you that a guy you've known for over 20 years was raping some 10 year old kid. This is a guy that you've known to be kind-hearted, honorable, and upstanding. The guy started a charity for Christ sake. Some kid that you barely know tells you that a friend of yours was raping a boy in a public place. First off, do you believe it? Do you believe that this man would do something so horrifying and be so brazen about it?
It's possible that the kid, in the haze of the moment, mistook the assailant. You know that something like this could completely ruin a man forever, so if the kid was mistaken about the identity of the offender, or if he was mistaken about what was going on, or if the guy telling you this was even lying, it would be fairly shitty to go straight to the police and get this all out in the open.
Not to mention the fact that your legal obligation is to report the activity to your boss and let your boss handle it, and there really is nothing you can do beyond that point.
"But Jack, there is something you could do. Morally you should go to the police!" And do what? Tell the police that someone told you that he saw a guy raping a kid in a public shower? What would the police think? And remember, you don't even know that the kid was being raped. You were just told that he was being inappropriately touched or whatever. You know almost nothing of what actually went on. But it's your duty to go to the police, on your own volition, with nearly no facts about what happened and potentially smear a friend's good name?
What was Joe Paterno supposed to think? Here's what I would think. The claims must have been unsubstantiated. No one has come foreward claiming that this guy raped him, and the university or whoever must have done their own investigation to determine the veracity of the claims. They probably couldn't determine whether or not the guy did was he supposedly did, and to play it safe they kicked him off campus. If the guy really is guilty, then the victim would surely come forward. Victims came forward in the Catholic priest sex scandals, right?
Joe Paterno did not have enough information to go to the police. All he had to go off of was someone else's word, and the guy, McQueary, didn't even tell him what exactly went on. If my boss just told the guy to not show up around campus, my thought would be that the allegations were unfounded.
McQueary and the men that actually had a legal responsibility to do something should be on the hook for this, not a 75 year old man who's had numerous health problems over the last 10 years, all while trying to manage a Big 10 college football team.