Thursday, November 17, 2011

Changing Story

I recently wrote a post, among others, which described some of the Penn State scandal that is being discussed far & wide. At that time, Mike McQueary, an assistant coach who said he saw Jerry Sandusky sexually molest a young boy, had not said, publicly or to a Grand Jury, that he contacted police after he saw it. Many people assumed he did not contact police, but now he says he did. Police are denying they have any reports of it.

It's easy to jump to conclusions when a Grand Jury report is presented to the public with such explosive implications. Many have called for McQueary's firing, and I agree. McQueary now says he acted in the right way at the time and reported the issue to police and Joe Paterno. For Paterno's part, it was upon him to investigate whether the accusations were true or false. We can imagine how difficult that would be for Joe after working with Sandusky all that time, but Paterno was a leader and needed to do what leaders must do. But as for McQueary, was he bound to do more?

If he did indeed do those things he now says he did, either the Grand Jury report is lacking completeness or the police were the culprits. It will probably take time, an unfolding of events, a legal process, for truth, or as close as we can get to truth, to come out. It is human to react emotionally in the first comprehension of a terrible disclosure, as I and others did. But we eventually must overcome the emotions to give others a hearing.

If McQueary was a worker in some less-visible job, it would be easier for him to keep it until the necessary time went by. Even then, he may have trouble with fellow workers. But unfortunately he is in a very visible place, one which may be unnerving to the students and other who work with him even if he is legally innocent. But that is not all. Being legally innocent still doesn't explain why he didn't follow up on why Sandusky wasn't being arrested, when nothing seemed to be happening. Maybe the police and Paterno weren't responding, if that is what was going on. Yet he still had the news media and police of higher jurisdictions with whom to appeal.

Though my emotions are more level and I realize he was in a terrible situation, I think that unless McQueary continued to seek police investigation in a way we don't know about, he should resign as coach of Penn State football or be let go by the administrators. It is not to say he can't repent of his failings to the Lord, because we all have to do that, and work on where his life may turn to do good. But we all must take sin very seriously. Life is not a game.

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