Was Biggie Smalls trying to shed light on this current scandal at Penn State through his verse on “All About the Benjamin’s” back in 1997? Probably not! However, it is an interesting coincidence that the sexual relations that Big briefly spoke of at Penn State was actually occurring with a grown man and young boys at one of the most prestigious institutions in America. I know lately #DaBlock has been showing a lighter side, but as a sports fan and more importantly a father of 2, I had to write something regarding this subject. I don’t want to focus on right or wrong in terms of the gross and perverse actions, I believe they speak for themselves; what I really want to focus on is the notion of “How can you watch something like this happen….and not do a damn thing?”
For those who have no idea of what I am talking about I will give you a run down of the alleged activity that has brought shame to not only the Penn State football team, but the university and the community of State College, Pennsylvania. So here are the key players so that you have reference.
Jerry Sandusky- former Penn State Coach, who is beloved and a staple in the State College community. He has been arrested and charged with 40 counts of inappropriate sexual relations with at least 8 different boys between the ages of about 10-16.
Mike McQuery- current WR coach at Penn State; was an #EyeWitness in 2002, as a graduate student (28 years old at the time) during one of Sandusky’s sexual acts with a young boy in the shower of the Penn State football locker room…
Joe Paterno- current head football coach at Penn State.has coached therefor 46 years and is one of the icons of college football. However, he is also like a god at Penn State and pillar in that community.
There were at least 5 other adults, 3 upper level Penn State administrators including the current President, a janitor who now has dementia, and the father of McQuery, who was told about this.
1994– Sandusky was accused of having inappropriate relations with children but was not charged with anything.
1998– Sandusky was found showering with a young boy and again was not charged with anything, but said that he would never be found in the showers with boys again.
2002– Sandusky was found, basically sodomizing a young boy, about 10 years old, in the Penn State locker room by McQuery
2007– Grand Jury Investigating Sandusky
This pastSaturday– Sandusky arrested by authorities for a bunch of nasty acts
Sunday-all hell begins to break loose in State College
This week-Hell busted wide open
Ok I have to give you the back ground so that you will enhance some context to answer this question: What would you have done?
In life it’s easy to comment on what you would have done, could have done, etc, in various situations. I mean most of us know and have probably used the colloquial phrase that “hindsight is 20/20” However, when we hear about situations that are completely heinous and chilling at their core, when people who could have done something to stop the madness, and they don’t, we crucify them. We interject our feelings of disgust. We scream with unbridled passion what we would have done… But unless we were there or have been in the situation, we honestly are not completely equipped to answer that question.
I know, I know….that’s the bull
shit right? You would have done something…right? I feel you and am right with you as it relates to the thought, but i’m not convinced that we actually do know that we would have done something, anything that was different than what was. I mean let’s take McQuery’s situation.
When he walked in and saw what he saw in the shower, he wasn’t just watching a grown man raping a young boy. He was watching a man that he idolized; a man that he grew up as a young kid going to his house and playing with his kids. He saw a man that was friends with his father, a pillar in the community that McQuery lived in, and a prominent figure at the university and on the team that he attended as a student, played for as an athlete, and now worked with as a graduate student. Yeah he was 28 years old when he saw this, and believe me I’m not giving him a pass or saying he shouldn’t be criticized for his lack of action, but I am suggesting that we understand the variables that may have factored in his decision making. What happens if he tried to stop it, gets his ASS whooped ( because Sandusky was a former football laager and still a pretty huge dude) or loses his career in coaching. Who is more likely to be believed? This larger than life figure Sandusky or a grad student? The report says that McQuery testified that both the 10 year old boy and Sandusky saw him, as he saw them and then he (McQuery) left the scene immediately. We’re not sure that the action stopped when they laid eyes on each other, but to presume that he should have ran in the shower and physically stopped this assault….i’m just not so sure it was that easy for him.
I believe McQuery should have tried to stop that man. We not talking about Kobe sodomizing a 19 year old hotel employee…we talking about a grown man raping a young boy. I would like to believe that I would have died trying to save that little boy, but the reality is that I can’t put myself in McQuery shows and say for a fact that I would have acted differently. I believe that, when hearing the story from his son, McQuery’s father should have gone to the Police first instead of Coach Paterno. I believe that Coach Paterno should have done more than just tell his bosses and that the President and other Officials at Penn State who knew what happened should have done more. I know for a fact that the Police should have done more back in 1998 when the mother of one do Sandusky’s victims, pleaded with them to act, and the Prosecutor at that time felt there was not enough evidence. But I don’t know what the dynamics of that town are. I have no clue how the community would have responded to allegations and people trying to prosecute a beloved member of the Penn State football team.
Look, in the end all involved will have to answer for what happened in me way or the other. I would love to hear from all of the people who took action or lack thereof, so that more clarity can shape the opinions a lot of people have. I just don’t want to rush to judgement, completely vilify everyone, well not Sandusky- what he did is nasty and i can only hope he gets his in jail, and just assume that I would have done something more than what was actually done. It’s a sad situation and I feel bad for all the victims of this mess.
So again I ask, if it were you in McQuery’s shoes, can you honestly say you definitely would have done something different? How many times have you witnessed something and turned the other cheek because it was “none of your business ” or because “that’s a grown man/woman and they gone do what they want to do”? Have you ever failed to do the right thing or say the right thing when you witnessed something you knew was wrong, but feared the #consequences or feared being viewed as a #snitch? Would you have thrown caution to the wind, potentially losing your job and career?