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Greed is not good

July 16, 2012
By MIKE MATHISON - Sports editor (mmathison@heraldstaronline.com) , The Herald-Star

In the 1987 movie "Wall Street," Gordon Gekko said "Greed is good."

Twenty-five years later, through the Wall Street crashes, housing foreclosures and too many other things to list, it is more and more obvious that the iconic statement of the 1980s just is not true.

Throw the Penn State mess into the equation, and it is rather obvious that our nation needs to figure too many things out to count.

Statements and actions from House and Senate members continually show that they really don't care about the country, about you and I, about others - they care about what is in the best interest of their respective sides of the aisle.

"Mother always said you were greedy," Randolph Duke said in "Trading Places." "She meant it as a compliment," brother Mortimer Duke replied.

After Jerry Sandusky was convicted on 45 of 48 counts of sex abuse a month ago, the next shoe to drop was when Penn State trustee Kenneth Frazier announced in November that the former director of the FBI, Louis Freeh, would lead an investigation into the actions of the university's personnel.

It was announced in June that the report would be out during the summer and would be done so "without being reviewed by the school's general counsel."

That report came out Thursday and it showed that four people circled the wagons, so to speak, during Sandusky's terrible abuses.

Frank Lopez said in "Scarface," "Lesson No. 1: Don't underestimate the other guy's greed."

The bottom line of the report is that former coach Joe Paterno, former President Graham Spanier, former Senior Vice President Gary Schultz and and former Athletic Director Tim Curley cared more about themselves, about Penn State, about their legacies and about Sandusky than young boys being abused by Sandusky.

After reading the Freeh report, MSNBC legal analyst Wes Oliver wrote: "The Freeh Report is a scathing indictment, to speak colloquially, of officials at Penn State. But it could also preview actual indictments against Graham Spanier, Tim Curley, and Gary Schultz, key Penn State officials at the time Jerry Sandusky's sex abuse of minors was first being reported.

And if Joe Paterno was still alive, his name could easily be added to that list.

"... By not reporting Sandusky's activities and allowing him on the campus after these incidents, university officials essentially assisted Sandusky in his crimes. As the report poignantly states, university officials gave him access to the university and the trappings of a top college football program. The officials thus 'provided Sandusky with the very currency that enabled him to attract his victims.'"

If you would like to read the report, go to www.TheFreehReportonPSU.com.

Just read the first 30 pages, through the timeline, and it will disgust you beyond belief.

These recent scandals in college football - USC, Ohio State, North Carolina and Miami (to name a few) - are all because of greed in one form or another.

Greed is "excessive or rapacious desire, especially for wealth or possessions."

So, if these guys turned their backs on this, what else did they turn their backs on while employed by Penn State?

"But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived." - 2Timothy 3:13

These five men were not broken-hearted, were not remorseful and were not caring for the kids.

They were deceiving others, and really deceiving themselves into thinking they were doing the greater good.

Their commitment was not to the kids, but to each other, in one form or another.

That, folks, is greed.

These children put their faith into these adults and were let down in the worse possible way, in a horrific manner, in a way that you and I cannot even fathom.

"Messrs. Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley never demonstrated, through actions or words, any concern for the safety and well-being of Sandusky's victims until after Sandusky's arrest.

"In critical written correspondence that we uncovered on March 20 of this year, we see evidence of their proposed plan of action in February 2001 that included reporting allegations about Sandusky to the authorities. After Mr. Curley consulted with Mr. Paterno, however, they changed the plan and decided not to make a report to the authorities.

"Their failure to protect the Feb. 9, 2001, child victim, or make attempts to identify him, created a dangerous situation for other unknown, unsuspecting young boys who were lured to the Penn State campus and football games by Sandusky and victimized repeatedly by him.

"Further, they exposed this child to additional harm by alerting Sandusky, who was the only one who knew the child's identity, about what McQueary saw in the shower on the night of Feb. 9, 2001.

"The stated reasons by Messrs. Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley for not taking action to identify the victim and for not reporting Sandusky to the police or Child Welfare are:

"(1) Through counsel, Messrs. Curley and Schultz have stated that the 'humane' thing to do in 2001 was to carefully and responsibly assess the best way to handle vague but troubling allegations.

"(2) Mr. Paterno said that 'I didn't know exactly how to handle it and I was afraid to do something that might jeopardize what the university procedure was. So I backed away and turned it over to some other people, people I thought would have a little more expertise than I did. It didn't work out that way.'"

"(3) Mr. Spanier told the Special Investigative Counsel that he was never told by anyone that the February 2001 incident in the shower involved the sexual abuse of a child but only 'horsing around.' He further stated that he never asked what 'horsing around' by Sandusky entailed.

"Taking into account the available witness statements and evidence, it is more reasonable to conclude that, in order to avoid the consequences of bad publicity, the most powerful leaders at Penn State University - Messrs. Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley - repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky's child abuse from the authorities, the board of trustees, Penn State community, and the public at large.

"Although concern to treat the child abuser humanely was expressly stated, no such sentiments were ever expressed by them for Sandusky's victims."

"The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness." - Proverbs 11:6

Two years ago, the NCAA cited the undefinable term "lack of institutional control" in handing the University of Southern California its penalty of losing 30 scholarships over three years and two years of no postseason games.

It was said that former standout Reggie Bush accepted thousands of dollars in gifts.

Last year, Ohio State was issued a postseason ban for a year because players traded golden pants, bowl rings and jerseys for cash and tattoos.

So, if this Penn State mess isn't a version of lack of institutional control I surely don't know what the term means.

What does the NCAA do?

Well, it must do something and NCAA's version of the death penalty is also on the table.

The death penalty has been imposed five times by the NCAA:

University of Kentucky basketball program for the 195253 season.

The basketball program at the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette) for the 197374 and 197475 seasons.

Southern Methodist University football program for the 1987-88 seasons.

Morehouse College Division II men's soccer program for the 2004-05 seasons.

MacMurray College Division III men's tennis program for the 2005-06, 2006-07 seasons.

"Abstain from all appearance of evil." - 1Thessalonians 5:22

Does this tarnish Paterno's legacy at Penn State?

No.

It changes his legacy and his association with the school has to be over. Statue down and all remnants of Paterno gone.

Any member of the Paterno family and the lawyers for Spanier, Schultz and Curley really need to stop talking until any of them get inside a court room.

They need to "no comment" at all times and say "no" to being interviewed.

All because of greed.

(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at mmathison@heraldstaronline.com and can be followed on Twitter at @MathisonMike)

 
 

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