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Sunday, January 01, 2012

Posnanski: F.C. Lane

My excerpting here is felonious to the Phelon part.

If you have numerous hours/days to kill, I heartily recommend going over to the Baseball Magazine Archives (The wonderful LA84 Foundation has many of the magazines from 1908 to 1920) and just typing in any keyword at all.

I first went over the to those archives because of a story that appeared on Fangraphs a few weeks ago with the nerd-friendly title, “Was wOBA actually invented nearly 100 years ago?” Fangraphs’ author Sam Menzin refers to a story that F.C. Lane wrote in 1916 called “Why the system of batting averages should be changed.”... What I found, however, is a lot greater than that just one story…

Two months later—in May of 1916, Lane’s second batting averages article appeared, and it is even more fascinating than the first. It is called: “An Improved System of Batting Averages.” And it is a point-counterpoint between F.C. Lane and an old sportswriter named William Phelon…

The third F.C. Lane article about batting averages appeared less than a year later—January of 1917—and it is the most complete and involved of them all… Lane and the people at Baseball Magazine had watched and carefully compiled the records of 1,000 hits in games during the 1916 season played by every team (and including one World Series game)... he figured out that:

A single is worth .46 of a run.

A double is worth .79 of a run.

A triple is worth 1.15 of a run

A home run is worth 1.55 of a run.

Pause once more to think about this. He only looked at 1,000 hits in 1916. He came up with a quirky system to figure out how many runs scored. Now, jump ahead 50 years. John Thorn and Pete Palmer wrote “The Hidden Game of Baseball,” an all-time classic. In it, they introduced the Linear Weights system. For it, they used computer simulations and ALL the data available going back to 1901.

And this is what they determined.

A single is worth .46 of a run.

A double is worth .80 of a run

A triple is worth 1.02 of a run

A home run is worth 1.40 of a run

The District Attorney Posted: January 01, 2012 at 08:38 PM | 365 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: baseball geeks, history, sabermetrics

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   101. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 03, 2012 at 06:49 AM (#4027454)
Well, I've just now figured out why they put in that "ignore" thingy. Who was that who just wrote that above bit of idiocy? "Cajun"? "Gaelic"? Seems like it was something like that, but I don't see him anywhere anymore.

I posted my #4 right before I engaged in a day's worth of air travel, and came back to find a firestorm. Well, the words I chose probably merited that, but the honest truth is that (and I usually don't find myself saying this) Ray D's done the best job of summarizing precisely where my disgust and anger stem from. His #75 actually does a great job of cataloging it. Before people (hey there Andy!) hop on Gaelan and pull out the old "ignore" threat, it's worth revisiting what really revolted people like us about what Posnanski wrote, and again #75 is a pretty decent summary.


It isn't what his position is. It's the whole tone of it, but even more his threat. I have no interest in having to read crap like that.

---------------------------------------

Andy, what was the ignore-worthy offense Gaelan committed?

It was his threat to torch every Posnanski thread, which amounts to little more than a childish form of blackmail. It's not that I agree for a second with what Posnanski wrote about Paterno, and I've said that many time in previous threads as well as in this one. But at some point enough is enough, especially since absolutely nothing we say here is going to do a damn bid of good for the victims of Sandusky's rapes.

Esoteric, I think the confusion came from Gaelan's #66 and Andy's #76.

Ron: For the record (I think I've unraveled it), Andy in #76 was quoting Gaelan in #66 who was quoting Esoteric in #4. But the promise to make mention of this in every Poz thread was Gaelan's, not Esoteric's.


Correct. Which is why my ignoring doesn't apply to Esoteric, and it won't even apply to Gaelen in non-Posnanski threads.

I do know this: That if time permits, and this thread continues to get hijacked, I intend to start posting brief excerpts of Batting for anyone who hasn't read this terrific book.

   102. Lassus Posted: January 03, 2012 at 07:32 AM (#4027463)
100 - I don't think anger at someone refusing to report a serious sexual abuse allegation to a higher authority than your boss is sanctimonious mobilizing. I just don't. Do you?
   103. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: January 03, 2012 at 07:35 AM (#4027465)
Hoping that with "time to see things clearly," some miracle shows Paterno to be above blame for acting despicably in not making sure children weren't being raped on his watch, so that Poz doesn't have to write that Paterno's actions deserve utter contempt?

What that miracle is I cannot conceive of.


Even though you use a question mark, it's clear that you think you know the writer's motivation, but yours is the type of comment that, if someone else had made it, you'd usually respond with "you have no way of knowing this".


edit...this is responding to Ray's #16.
   104. Swedish Chef Posted: January 03, 2012 at 07:40 AM (#4027468)
100 - I don't think anger at someone refusing to report a serious sexual abuse allegation to a higher authority than your boss is sanctimonious mobilizing. I just don't. Do you?

You should probably read that comment again.
   105. zachtoma Posted: January 03, 2012 at 07:43 AM (#4027469)
100 - I don't think anger at someone refusing to report a serious sexual abuse allegation to a higher authority than your boss is sanctimonious mobilizing. I just don't. Do you?


Indeed. I don't think it's a stretch to say that Joe Posnanski may just as well have raped those boys himself. And that goes double for anyone who dares defend him.

I, for one, have lost all respect for the man. I don't trust Joe Posnanski any farther than I can throw him, and only if I'm throwing him in front of an oncoming train, which is all that creeps like him deserve.
   106. Kurt Posted: January 03, 2012 at 08:00 AM (#4027473)
Indeed. I don't think it's a stretch to say that Joe Posnanski may just as well have raped those boys himself. And that goes double for anyone who dares defend him.

I, for one, have lost all respect for the man. I don't trust Joe Posnanski any farther than I can throw him, and only if I'm throwing him in front of an oncoming train, which is all that creeps like him deserve.


Andy, some excerpts from the Lane book would be (sincerely) appreciated.
   107. zachtoma Posted: January 03, 2012 at 08:24 AM (#4027481)

Andy, some excerpts from the Lane book would be (sincerely) appreciated.


Oh great, another Poz apologist. So little character and integrity on display I'm ill to my stomach. Barf.
   108. J. Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: January 03, 2012 at 09:01 AM (#4027487)
Andy, some excerpts from the Lane book would be (sincerely) appreciated.

The same goes for F. C. Lane, who was clearly acting as an accessory before the fact to these horrible crimes. To Massachusetts! We shall exhume his remains and defile them as a warning to others.
   109. Lassus Posted: January 03, 2012 at 09:04 AM (#4027489)
Swedish Chef - Other than an auto-correct weirdness to get 'mobilizing', I don't understand what you mean.
   110. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 03, 2012 at 09:11 AM (#4027493)
Andy, some excerpts from the Lane book would be (sincerely) appreciated.

Since I haven't found any online excerpts that I can just copy and paste, it's going to be tough, since I have to copy manually. But to give you an idea of the depth to which the book goes into the subject, here are the chapter headings:

---The Scope of This Book
---To the Beginner
---What Batting Really Is
---What the Records Tell Us
---The Batter's Equipment
---Taking Advice
---Choosing a Bat
---Position at the Plate
---How They Stand in the Box
---How They Grip the Bat
---Hitting at Bad Balls
---Hitting the Next Ball
---Pulling the Ball
---The Pros and Cons of Left Hand Batting
---Batting With the Feet
---The Secret of Heavy Hitting
---The Theory of Place Hitting
---The Art of Bunting
---The Hit and Run and the Sacrifice
---Making Good in the Pinch
---Batting Spurts
---Batting Slumps and How to Cure Them
---Striking Out
---Getting the Pitcher in the Hole
---The Batter's Weaknesses
---The Use of Signals
---When Not to Hit
---Mental Qualities That Influence Batting
---Confidence
---Outguessing the Pitcher
---On Being Gun Shy
---Don't Let Them Get Your Goat
---Grasping Sudden Opportunites
---Pulling the Unexpected
---How Batting Aids All-round Play
---How the Batter Helps His Team Mates
---Obeying the Manager's Orders
---How Mental Impressions May Help or Harm the Batter
---Where Other Interests Intrude
---Various Batting Handicaps
---How Batting Varies With the Position Played
---How the Batting Order "Colors" Batting
---The Importance of Health
---When the Fans Razz
---How Press Notices Influence a Player's Work
---You Can't Beat the Official Scorer
---Ball Players' Superstitions
---Sentiment in Baseball
---The Perfect Hitter
---The Importance of Batting


In each of these chapters, you'll find comments from the leading batters of the deadball and early lively ball era, up through 1925. There's not a single batter from that period I can think of whose views are not represented, and there's never been a book like it before or since. It was a huge bestseller in its day, and was being offered as a premium by Baseball Magazine more than a decade after its original publication.

Again, here's the Amazon link, where the prices start at $0.59 for used copies and $4.91 for new copies. Before SABR put out this edition in 2001, I used to sell the original edition for up to $50.00 with no complaints. And I may be perverse, but I've somehow found this book even more interesting than trying to prove how much I hate child molesting.

   111. Swedish Chef Posted: January 03, 2012 at 09:16 AM (#4027498)
Swedish Chef - Other than an auto-correct weirdness to get 'mobilizing', I don't understand what you mean.

The comment was about the fury against Poz, not Paterno, as far as I know Poz hasn't covered up any crimes.
   112. Swedish Chef Posted: January 03, 2012 at 09:21 AM (#4027502)
---When the Fans Razz

I hope that chapter includes bat techniques for bopping hecklers on the head.
   113. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 03, 2012 at 09:34 AM (#4027517)
---When the Fans Razz

I hope that chapter includes bat techniques for bopping hecklers on the head.


No, but Cactus Gravath related a tale of how he once went into the stands and engaged "a certain bug who had been riding me pretty hard throughout the game" in conversation, got his address, and said, 'Suppose I came down tomorrow morning to your office and started to bawl you out the way you have me....You would bust me in the nose, if you had backbone enough....That's what I would do to you if you were a man and fair enough to hear me face to face.' I didn't hear anything more from him for the rest of the afternoon."

I'd like to think that the "bug" would have run out into the street in panic and had his pinkie toe chopped off by a street sweeper, but I guess that life can't always anticipate art.
   114. Morty Causa Posted: January 03, 2012 at 09:38 AM (#4027521)
When people have to defend themselves, when apologies are demanded, for not going off the deep end, that should remind us of things and happenings that should give pause. That it doesn't, but just serves to fuel the fires of those extremist, to excite ever increasing condemnation and censure is scary. It should be scary, anyway. Contrary to what the more temperate apologists for the rabid vigilantes would have you believe, there is definitely a mob mentality here (and everywhere right now in general of course) surrounding persons and issues in this Sandusky affair--and that is not a matrix for truth-finding and parsing specifics about guilt and shame. Some are doing everything to intimidate the conversation but brandish torches.

When people censure you simply for not being enthusiastic enough when it comes to losing your head on this issue (and, yes, that's what pisses off a lot of people--this is classic mob hysteria), that's not good. Sandusky is not raping anyone right now. There's no reason right now to act like Yosemite Sam slapping his horse on the ass hell-bent for leather with a "Hyah mule, hyah!" What this all too clearly is, despite protestations of some, is a group cohesion mentality thing. That is not an appropriate intellectual stance, and this is neither the time nor the place for this sort of violent vapid attitudinizing. Especially when it is steeped in a "this sure looks suspicious for you guys not rallying around the flag there boys maybe you got a reason for playing this down you closet pervert you."
   115. base ball chick Posted: January 03, 2012 at 09:39 AM (#4027523)

RayDiPerna Posted: January 03, 2012 at 01:38 AM (#4027396)

i'm not like poz - i know only too well that we are all people, we all sinners and i disbelieve in saints. i don't hero worship anyone and i know people are complicated.

Poz's childlike worship of a football coach is really bizarre. Paterno was exposed as a fraud. Here was a guy revered as an "educator" for half a century, all because he... won football games?


- the childlike worship of football coaches/players is common as dirt. i grew up here in texas. and there's too much of that right here although best i know, no one at any college program has the kind of power joe paterno had. my mama grew up in dallas, and the cowboys football coach, according to her, was worshipped like paterno and he had that kind of power in dallas.


He wasn't a great man to begin with. The surprise was not in learning that. The surprise, if there was one, was in finding out that he had no real character at all.


- it's a surprise to people who think that there are people without sin, who are worthy of worship. and it wasn't that he had NO character. he was like the mafia guys who go and steal, murder, intimidate, etc, then go to church on sunday, put lots of money on the plate, and go to confession and have their sins taken away, leaving them free to go out and do it all again. paterno just put a large tip in the collection plate to absolve the sin of sacrificing little boy butts to The Football Program. and all the other "good things" he did and all those other lives he is supposed to have enriched by football. or something.

Usually when people think of college coaches "winning at all costs," people think of recruiting violations. (I think it's terrible not to pay these student athletes what they're worth, while the Paternos of the world rake in millions of dollars, but that's a discussion for another day.)


- personally, i agree with you about paying the athletes instead of pretending that they are innocent STUDENTS who just happen to be having fun with exercise to the glory of their school - it even SOUNDS idiotic - but it ain't gonna happen because the money everyone else gets off them is too great. fans who pay money like that fantasy and as long as college football/basketball is the minor leagues for those sports, won't nothing change because too many people are too seriously into that fantasy. sort of like the one about how pre-freedom ballplayers were "loyal" to their teams because they couldn't leave. and how they didn't care about money and would have played for free - all that REAL fantasy crap


And apparently Paterno was a saint when it came to not committing recruiting violations. Apparently he had a good record for student athletes graduating under him (as if this low bar is supposed to be an achievement). Well, so what, when he allowed even a single eye witness account of child sex abuse to go unreported to state authorities?


- like i said, consider those little boy butts a, um, sacrifice to The God Of Football. and atoned for with contributions to the collection plate.
- sigh
- don't look at me, i can't think that confession and fake repentance leaves you spiritually free to go out and repeat the sin with the assurance that all you have to do is confess on sunday and your sin will be wiped clean. my own personal religious belief is that confession is not the same as genuine repentance.
- like i said, paterno did what he LEGALLY had to do, but he's not going to have an easy time of it when he has to look upon the face of God on judgement day.


It strains belief to think Paterno knew nothing at all other than McQueary's report of the 2002 incident, but we don't need to make any assumptions at all about what Paterno knew to deem Paterno's inaction in the face of the single McQueary report worthy of utter contempt.


- you preachin to the choir here. like i said before, i think that what paterno didn't do is far FAR worse than what mcqueary didn't do. sin - wise, i mean.

but i still say you should give poz some rope. as my mama and daddy often say, revenge is a dish best tasted cold. i'd rather hear nothing now and a FULL story in 2-3 years than some mealymouthed ooopsies right now and nothing later. now THAT would be the easiest thing for poz to do, politically, careerly.

if he writes a REAL expose of paterno and penn state, that is gonna be some SERIOUS poopoo hitting the fan. because i would guess that the volume of paterno worship hasn't gone down real too much. it's easy to ignore the trifle of raped little boy butts - and those boys were just nobodies, too, so who cares. like i said, it's really like the ancient tradition of child sacrifices to appease the gods...

   116. Don Malcolm Posted: January 03, 2012 at 09:44 AM (#4027529)
In each of these chapters, you'll find comments from the leading batters of the deadball and early lively ball era, up through 1925. There's not a single batter from that period I can think of whose views are not represented, and there's never been a book like it before or since. It was a huge bestseller in its day, and was being offered as a premium by Baseball Magazine more than a decade after its original publication.

Yes, and I think that the list of chapter headings shows us how "the book" that many have come to disdain (and that, an eon or so later, Tango etal tried to refashion) came into existence as a result of what Lane compiled. The "science" got boiled off and the "folktale element" prevailed.
   117. Swedish Chef Posted: January 03, 2012 at 09:48 AM (#4027532)
No, but Cactus Gravath related a tale of how he once went into the stands and engaged "a certain bug who had been riding me pretty hard throughout the game" in conversation, got his address,

And then he ordered one of each item from the Sears catalog for him.

   118. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 09:51 AM (#4027535)

- the childlike worship of football coaches/players is common as dirt. i grew up here in texas. and there's too much of that right here although best i know, no one at any college program has the kind of power joe paterno had. my mama grew up in dallas, and the cowboys football coach, according to her, was worshipped like paterno and he had that kind of power in dallas.


Definitely the root of the problem.

- like i said, consider those little boy butts a, um, sacrifice to The God Of Football

And it really shouldn't be that surprising to us. College coaches have been sacrificing the women their players rape and beat up for generations.

Hell, they basically pimp out coeds as part of the recruiting process.

Why would they blanch at sacrificing little boys as well as women?
   119. villageidiom Posted: January 03, 2012 at 09:54 AM (#4027540)
I intended to come here to praise Posnanski as someone who generally prefers not to rush to judgment, as someone who defaults toward seeing the good in people. This trait is admirable in general, and in his career it has served him - and us - well. Us? Yeah, us. But more on that later.

However, this trait is also his undoing, and I cannot simply praise him. When Poz gets too close to a subject, his urge not to rush to judgment makes him rather slow to react when judgment is clear. His current project is a book on Paterno, and it's clear from his public comments that in the process of writing and researching he has grown close to Paterno. That closeness has put him in an even better position to write an even better book about Paterno, but it has also made that book harder to write. So, yes, in the meantime Poz is making statements that look reprehensible out of context, and inadvisable in context, undoubtedly because he wants to believe the rush to judgment, and the severity thereof, is unwarranted.

But this is not Posnanski's first book. The release of his prior book on the Big Red Machine coincided with an SI column in which he asserted Pete Rose should not be banned from baseball. The rules on gambling are clear; the evidence proves Rose violated those rules; and Rose later admitted to it as well. But, Poz's argument essentially goes, that rule doesn't really matter. Rose worked hard; he was a good - no, great - teammate, without whom Joe Morgan wouldn't have worked as hard, other teammates wouldn't have emerged from slumps, etc. In working on the book, Poz grew close to the members of that team; in growing close, he wanted to believe that the severity of judgment against Rose was unwarranted.

This is not to say his position on Rose is wrong; it's merely to say his position on Rose is consistent with the Paterno situation. The same can be said for his position on steroids and the HoF: whether it's right or wrong is beside the point that he got to that position by giving pariahs the benefit of the doubt.

But here's the thing: that's exactly what he's done with the sabermetric crowd. That's exactly what he's done with us. And we're better off. I believe strongly that Poz wouldn't have embraced sabermetrics as much as he has, had he not first given the benefit of the doubt to the people who were pushing it. While many of his peers were doing their best to devalue the sabermetricians and their work, Poz was willing to listen and to consider the work on its merits. He was also willing to believe that his peers weren't evil, that they would listen to a well-crafted rational argument from within their ranks. In that sense, Posnanski (and his character trait) is worthy of our thanks and praise.

So, should we give him the benefit of the doubt? Absolutely not. Should we shun him? Absolutely not. We should acknowledge his limitations, and recognize where these limitations fail us. He wouldn't be in this situation with Paterno if not for this character trait; but if not for that trait it's likely that we wouldn't have given a damn about him in the first place. If not for that trait he wouldn't have given a damn about us.
   120. aleskel Posted: January 03, 2012 at 09:56 AM (#4027546)
Joe Posnanski should never have written that book that he hasn't finished writing yet.
   121. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: January 03, 2012 at 09:57 AM (#4027548)
When people censure you simply for not being enthusiastic enough when it comes to losing your head on this issue (and, yes, that's what pisses off a lot of people--this is classic mob hysteria), that's not good. Sandusky is not raping anyone right now. There's no reason right now to act like Yosemite Sam slapping his horse on the ass hell-bent for leather with a "Hyah mule, hyah!" What this all too clearly is, despite protestations of some, is a group cohesion mentality thing. That is not an appropriate intellectual stance, and this is neither the time nor the place for this sort of violent vapid attitudinizing. Especially when it is steeped in a "this sure looks suspicious for you guys not rallying around the flag there boys maybe you got a reason for playing this down you closet pervert you."


Wait a second. Who is suggesting anyone is a closet pervert?

   122. Morty Causa Posted: January 03, 2012 at 10:00 AM (#4027549)
Good lord, Gaelan, this is how you teach your students to think and reason?


Yes, I’m rather surprised myself. But, really, scratch an absolutist (and we're all absolutist on some things unless called on it) and you’ll find him defaulting to a failsafe “there are some things we don’t want to calmly think about—important things!”
   123. fra paolo Posted: January 03, 2012 at 10:02 AM (#4027552)
Don't we at BTF criticize writers all the time for sanctimonious moralizing?

There is moralizing and there is sanctimonious moralizing.

Posnanski stood up for someone in whom he had a professional interest. We all do that at least a little bit, because it is part of being a friend or associate. The moral line here is at what point do you stop holding your nose and join the accusers, or at least show the good sense to shut-up, to recognize that one's own view is out of line with the conventional wisdom, and that there might be a lesson to be learnt here?

If Posnanski crossed that line in the eyes of some, it is not sanctimonious for them to moralize.
   124. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: January 03, 2012 at 10:11 AM (#4027556)
I intended to come here to praise Posnanski as someone who generally prefers not to rush to judgment, as someone who defaults toward seeing the good in people. This trait is admirable in general, and in his career it has served him - and us - well. Us? Yeah, us. But more on that later.

However, this trait is also his undoing, and I cannot simply praise him. When Poz gets too close to a subject, his urge not to rush to judgment makes him rather slow to react when judgment is clear. His current project is a book on Paterno, and it's clear from his public comments that in the process of writing and researching he has grown close to Paterno. That closeness has put him in an even better position to write an even better book about Paterno, but it has also made that book harder to write. So, yes, in the meantime Poz is making statements that look reprehensible out of context, and inadvisable in context, undoubtedly because he wants to believe the rush to judgment, and the severity thereof, is unwarranted.


Yeah, I think this is well stated. I guess if you want to be cynical you could say that his generous outlook is a strategy for success in the very competitive field of sports writing and reporting. He is able to gain access by being a sympathetic voice for those he writes about. Maybe that's fueling some of the anger here because you could interpet his defense of Paterno as a defense of his own ambition. I don't know.
   125. fra paolo Posted: January 03, 2012 at 10:23 AM (#4027568)
you could interpet [Posnanski's] defense of Paterno as a defense of his own ambition

It was precisely that.
   126. Grunthos Posted: January 03, 2012 at 10:24 AM (#4027570)
I've put more people on ignore here in the past three weeks than I have ever done for many years previous.


This is the first time I've felt the need to use the function. The people who have concluded that Poz is a shill for child molestation are completely off base here, and their statements have reached the point of utter lunacy.

Gaelan, I retract my statement in the previous thread about respecting your POV. Have a good one.
   127. Bourbon Samurai Posted: January 03, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4027573)
What 119 and 114 said. It would be a shame if every time Posnanski posts something interest about baseball (remember that?) we have to spend two hundred posts beating our chests about how he's worse than Steve Garvey.
   128. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: January 03, 2012 at 10:31 AM (#4027579)
I haven't seen it posted or linked anywhere in this thread, so here (without comment) is the transcript of Paterno's grand jury testimony:

Transcript: Joe Paterno’s Grand Jury Testimony
Posted by Brooks on Dec. 23, 2011, 7:46am

The date is January 12th, 2011, 11:06 a.m. The questions were asked by Ms. Jonelle Eshbach, Witness, Joseph V. Paterno.

Q: Would you please introduce yourself to the Grand Jury?

Mr. Paterno: My name is Joseph V. Paterno.

Q: I’m sure everyone in the room knows, but just in case there’s anyone that doesn’t, how are you employed?

Mr. Paterno: I’m a football coach at the Pennsylvania State University.

Q: As that football coach at the Pennsylvania State University, did you have as employed under you an individual by the name of Jerry Sandusky?

Mr. Paterno: I did for a while, yes.

Q: Do you currently have employed for you since sometime in the early 2000s an assistant coach named Michael McQueary?

Mr. Paterno: Yes.

Q: I’d like to direct your attention to what I believe would be a spring break of 2002, around that time. Do you recall Michael McQueary calling you and asking to have a discussion with you about something that he observed?

Mr. Paterno: I’m not sure of the date, but he did call me on a Saturday morning. He said he had something that he wanted to discuss. I said, come on over to the house.

He came over to the house.

And as I said, I’m not sure what year it was, but I know it was a Saturday morning and we discussed something he had seen.

Q: Without getting into any graphic detail, what did Mr. McQueary tell you he had seen and where?

Mr. Paterno: Well, he had seen a person, an older — not an older, but a mature person who was fondling, whatever you might call it — I’m not sure what the term would be — a young boy.

Q: Did he identify who that older person was?

Mr. Paterno: Yes, a man by the name of Jerry Sandusky who had been one of our coaches, was not at the time.

Q: You’re saying that at the time this incident was reported to you, Sandusky was no longer a coach?

Mr. Paterno: No, he had retired voluntarily. I’m not sure exactly the year, but I think it was either ‘98 or ‘99.

Q: I think you used the term fondling. Is that the term that you used?

Mr. Paterno: Well, I don’t know what you would call it. Obviously, he was doing something with the youngster.

It was a sexual nature. I’m not sure exactly what it was.

I didn’t push Mike to describe exactly what it was because he was very upset. Obviously, I was in a little bit of a dilemma since Mr. Sandusky was not working for me anymore.

So I told — I didn’t go any further than that except I knew Mike was upset and I knew some kind of inappropriate action was being taken by Jerry Sandusky with a youngster.

Q: Did Mike McQueary tell you where he had seen this inappropriate conduct take place?

Mr. Paterno: In the shower.

Q: Where was the shower?

Mr. Paterno: In the Lasch Building.

Q: Is that on the campus of Penn State University?

Mr. Paterno: It’s right on the campus.

Q: Did you tell Mike McQueary at that time what you were going to do with that information that he had provided to you?

Mr. Paterno: I don’t know whether I was specific or not. I did tell Mike, Mike, you did what was right; you told me.

Even though Jerry does not work for the football staff any longer, I would refer his concerns to the right people.

Q: You recall this taking place on a Saturday morning, the conversation with Mike?

Mr. Paterno: Yes.

Q: When did you — did you do something with that information?

Mr. Paterno: Well, I can’t be precise.

I ordinarily would have called people right away, but it was a Saturday morning and I didn’t want to interfere with their weekends.

So I don’t know whether I did it Saturday or did it early the next week.

I’m not sure when, but I did it within the week.

Q: To whom or with whom did you share the information that McQueary had given you?

Mr. Paterno: I talked to my immediate boss, our athletic director.

Q: What is that person’s name?

Mr. Paterno: Tim Curley.

Q: How did you contact Mr. Curley?

Mr. Paterno: I believe I did it by phone. As I recall, I called him and I said, hey, we got a problem, and I explained the problem to him.

Q: Was the information that you passed along substantially the same information that Mr. McQueary had given you?

Mr. Paterno: Yes.

Q: Other than the incident that Mike McQueary reported to you, do you know in any way, through rumor, direct knowledge or any other fashion, of any other inappropriate sexual conduct by Jerry Sandusky with young boys?

Mr. Paterno: I do not know of anything else that Jerry would be involved in of that nature, no. I do not know of it.

You did mention — I think you said something about a rumor. It may have been discussed in my presence, something else about somebody.

I don’t know.

I don’t remember, and I could not honestly say I heard a rumor.

Q: You indicated that your report was made directly to Tim Curley. Do you know of that report being made to anyone else that was a university official?

Mr. Paterno: No, because I figured that Tim would handle it appropriately.

I have a tremendous amount of confidence in Mr. Curley and I thought he would look into it and handle it appropriately.

Q: We have no further questions of you.

Testimony concluded at 11:13 a.m. Date, January 12, 2011, 11:20 a.m.
   129. Ron J Posted: January 03, 2012 at 10:42 AM (#4027588)
Thanks Ray (and others) for digging into this. Eso off ignore.

Incidentally, Dan's #128 explains my decision to go the ignore route. The other option being to go to Dan and/or Jim.
   130. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: January 03, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4027596)
This may be known by everybody here, but were the quoted comments by Poz made after the grand jury testimony was made public? How soon after? Is it possible that at the time that Poz made the comments, that he hadn't read the testimony?
   131. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 03, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4027601)
Yes, I’m rather surprised myself. But, really, scratch an absolutist (and we're all absolutist on some things unless called on it) and you’ll find him defaulting to a failsafe “there are some things we don’t want to calmly think about—important things!”


You should probably replace "absolutist" with "human" in this sentence. The only people who don't have and use the emotional centers of their brains are sociopaths.
   132. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: January 03, 2012 at 10:55 AM (#4027604)
This may be known by everybody here, but were the quoted comments by Poz made after the grand jury testimony was made public? How soon after? Is it possible that at the time that Poz made the comments, that he hadn't read the testimony?


Yeah, they were made before his exact words were known, when all we had were bits and pieces and paraphrases from the grand jury presentiment. The presentiment was pretty damning, however.
   133. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 03, 2012 at 11:03 AM (#4027608)
In each of these chapters, you'll find comments from the leading batters of the deadball and early lively ball era, up through 1925. There's not a single batter from that period I can think of whose views are not represented, and there's never been a book like it before or since. It was a huge bestseller in its day, and was being offered as a premium by Baseball Magazine more than a decade after its original publication.

Yes, and I think that the list of chapter headings shows us how "the book" that many have come to disdain (and that, an eon or so later, Tango et al tried to refashion) came into existence as a result of what Lane compiled. The "science" got boiled off and the "folktale element" prevailed.


That's not really true, since prior to Batting the "science" was never really there to be "boiled off". Lane's book was an attempt to show how the best hitters of his era approached the various aspects of winning the eternal battle against the pitcher, both physical and mental, and that's what makes it especially insightful for anyone who's interested in the game of the deadball and early lively ball period. It made no pretenses of any statistical analysis, and whatever bad advice was contained within had long been preached before its year of publication.
   134. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 11:06 AM (#4027611)
   135. Morty Causa Posted: January 03, 2012 at 11:06 AM (#4027612)
The only people who don't have and use the emotional centers of their brains are sociopaths.


The only people who don't allow for those centers to be herded by the rational part of their brain are the psychopaths.

Thinking, Fast and Slow
   136. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 11:08 AM (#4027613)
This may be known by everybody here, but were the quoted comments by Poz made after the grand jury testimony was made public? How soon after? Is it possible that at the time that Poz made the comments, that he hadn't read the testimony?


At the time Posnanski made the remarks that I emailed him about as detailed in post 75, Posnanski had already claimed to have read the grand jury report:

"Beyond this two things, though, I said I wasn't going to write about this because I feel like there's still a lot of darkness around. I don't know what Joe Paterno knew. I don't know how he handled it. I don't know if he followed up. I don't know anything about Paterno's role in this except for what little was said about that in the horrifying and stomach-turning grand jury findings. People have jumped to many conclusions about Paterno's role and his negligence, and they might be right. I'll say it again: They might be right. But they might be wrong, too. And I'm writing a book about the man. I can't live in that world of maybes."


And, again, note the half-truths by Posnanski above. "I don't know what Joe Paterno knew." At the time Posnanski wrote that, we did know what Paterno knew, at a bare minimum. From the grand jury report: "Joseph V. Paterno testified to receiving the graduate assistant's report at his home on a Saturday morning. Paterno testified that the graduate assistant was very upset. Paterno called Tim Curley ("Curley"), Penn State Athletic Director and Paterno's immediate superior, to his home the very next day, a Sunday, and reported to him that the graduate assistant had seen Jerry Sandusky in the Lasch Building showers fondling or doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy."

Posnanski: "I don't know if he followed up." At the time Posnanski wrote that, we knew that Paterno never saw to it that the McQueary account went to the authorities. We know this because there is zero evidence that any of the authorities ever received the McQueary account from anyone. That includes from Paterno. And nobody has challenged this fact. From the grand jury report: "Department of Public Welfare and Children and Youth Services local and state records were subpoenaed by the Grand Jury; University Police records were also subpoenaed. The records reveal that the 2002 incident was never reported to any officials, in contravention of Pennsylvania law."

There is no need to "jump to conclusions," as Posnanski wrote, and one need not make "assumptions" or "maybes" about what Paterno knew in order to conclude that his failure to ensure that the McQueary account went to authorities was reprehensible. We have the facts of what Paterno knew at a bare minimum, as provided by his own testimony, and we have the fact that he never saw that the information went to the authorities.

Posnanski is a liar.
   137. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: January 03, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4027623)
Ray, have you actually read Paterno's testimony or just the grand jury's findings?

I'm genuinely curious here and am not trying to defend (or condemn) anyone.
   138. Don Malcolm Posted: January 03, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4027625)
That's not really true, since prior to Batting the "science" was never really there to be "boiled off". Lane's book was an attempt to show how the best hitters of his era approached the various aspects of winning the eternal battle against the pitcher, both physical and mental, and that's what makes it especially insightful for anyone who's interested in the game of the deadball and early lively ball period. It made no pretenses of any statistical analysis, and whatever bad advice was contained within had long been preached before its year of publication.

I wasn't suggesting that the "science" was there before Batting. I was noting that Lane's own efforts to create such "science" stemmed from his own interaction with the insiders who had their various ideas and insights (we'll stop short of call those "theories," though they are somewhere in between).

What I'm suggesting is that Lane's book compiles a lot of ideas that, in the absence of anyone following through with his (parallel) quantification efforts, eventually prevailed (and ultimately calcified) as folklore. Bring that forward forty or so years later and you have "the book" that Bill James began to question. Rickey and Roth were claimed by the BP folks as the "real" theorists back in the late 90s, but the same issue comes into play--those efforts to create a quantification scheme/model/etc. for the game didn't take hold. Schwarz' book is very good in tracing all that, and how there were shadow stats in the 60s (that you could buy if you perused the ads of baseball publications) that bore some resemblance to what the Elias folks did, but that didn't follow up with what Lane or Rickey/Roth had been doing. That part clearly languished for about half a century.
   139. Morty Causa Posted: January 03, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4027626)
123:

Wrong. It was sanctimonious, and it was kneejerk sanctimonious, on the part of many here from the very outset. Something in us just waits to pounce on pretexts excuses to go berserk like some clearly have here. We want to take comfort in a "us v. them" mental defense. It's emotionalism feeding mental anarchy. There is evil, and your part of it if you the guidon touch the ground. Pretending your sensibilities are the best, and don't need to be tested, is the easiest cherry shot imaginable. And none of us pass it up. That's why a opposition, and the appropriate venue where concerns can be aired, is so important. It's the fallacy of the banana peel to hold that there can only be one interpretation that can be placed on words or actions.
   140. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 11:26 AM (#4027631)
This may be known by everybody here, but were the quoted comments by Poz made after the grand jury testimony was made public? How soon after? Is it possible that at the time that Poz made the comments, that he hadn't read the testimony?

Yeah, they were made before his exact words were known, when all we had were bits and pieces and paraphrases from the grand jury presentiment. The presentiment was pretty damning, however.


See the below paragraph from the grand jury report, which I've quoted:

"Joseph V. Paterno testified to receiving the graduate assistant's report at his home on a Saturday morning. Paterno testified that the graduate assistant was very upset. Paterno called Tim Curley ("Curley"), Penn State Athletic Director and Paterno's immediate superior, to his home the very next day, a Sunday, and reported to him that the graduate assistant had seen Jerry Sandusky in the Lasch Building showers fondling or doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy."

When I read that, it seemed quite clear to me that the entirety of that paragraph reflected Paterno's testimony. But even if one thinks it's not clear that that last part ("fondling or doing something of a sexual nature") came from Paterno's testimony, that is not the argument Posnanski made. And it doesn't fit, anyway. From that same grand jury report, Curley (now facing criminal charges for perjuring himself) testified that when he met with McQueary later, McQueary never reported to him "anything of a sexual nature whatsoever." So it wouldn't make sense to conclude that the language about "fondling or doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy" came from Curley. And, again, the paragraph on its face reads like it is simply providing an account of Paterno's testimony.

And if Posnanski truly was unsure whether the "fondling or doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy" came from Paterno's testimony, he has had weeks now since the release of Paterno's actual testimony to concede, if he had any doubt, that the language came from Paterno. And as quoted in 129 above, it most certainly did.

   141. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: January 03, 2012 at 11:27 AM (#4027633)
Thanks, Ray. I would think that at least some sort of "excuse" should be coming from Poz, then. Even something along the lines of "You know, I skimmed the testimony and it didn't seem like it had much information, thus my comments."
   142. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4027638)
Posnanski is a liar.

And?

Yes, he seems to have lied (or at least bent the truth beyond recognition) in defense of someone to whom he had become emotionally attached.

Why does that mean we have to ignore his sportswriting?

It's a lie that seems to have had zero impact. To echo BBC, I'm sure 50% of athletes and sportswriters have done worse things than that. Why pick Posnanski to boycott?

Should we boycott Ravens games b/c Ray Lewis was an accessory to murder?
   143. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4027640)
Ray, have you actually read Paterno's testimony or just the grand jury's findings?

I'm genuinely curious here and am not trying to defend (or condemn) anyone.


I read the grand jury's findings immediately when they were released. I did not have access to Paterno's actual words until a few weeks ago, when they were released. Paterno's actual words change nothing, and confirm what was obvious from the beginning, that the paragraph in the GJ report was a reflection of Paterno's testimony.
   144. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: January 03, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4027642)
141- Well, I did say the report was pretty damning even without his exact testimony being know yet. Anyway, I've found myself visiting the Black Shoes Diary message board a few times since the scandal broke and it's amazing to see the defenses of Paterno there. Actually, it would be great, Ray, if you could log on there and tear them apart.
   145. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: January 03, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4027644)
Post Deleted
   146. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4027646)
lastly I blame the parents for not raising a kid to speak out.

This is a more despicable comment than anything said by Pos.

I can only assume you are not a parent (or are an inexperienced parent) if you think you can just "raise" a kid to do a specific thing in a specific situation and be guaranteed that s/he does it, especially after experiencing a serious trauma.

Victims of abuse often think that they did something wrong. I'm sure the parents are blaming themselves enough without your odious help.
   147. The District Attorney Posted: January 03, 2012 at 11:34 AM (#4027647)
Andy mentioned Gavvy Cravath, whose writing is excerpted in the article. (Poz says "undoubtedly in the words of F.C. Lane", and that certainly could be... but Poz may have forgotten that Cravath went on to be a judge, so presumably he could put pen to paper... who knows, I suppose.)
"There is a certain charm about the phrase '.300 hitter' which seems to appeal to the crowd. If a man is a .300 hitter he is a star. … I am not a statistician myself. I claim no ability to advise a system of batting averages which would be perfect or anywhere near it. But I do think that batting averages should do more than record the mere frequency of hits. They should do something to record the quality of hits. I do not even suggest that the present system should be discontinued. But I do claim that some system ought to be put in operation which would indicate a player's actual batting ability as expressed in the length as well as the number of hits made.

"It is the the real batter, according to my way of thinking, the man who wins games with his bat, who is being discriminated against by the present system."
   148. Morty Causa Posted: January 03, 2012 at 11:38 AM (#4027650)
This was a grand jury proceeding in which Paterno was not the target. GJ proceedings are by their nature one-sided and limited. That's why there's the saying that a prosecutor can get a GJ to indict a ham sandwich. That's why a grand jury doesn't convict you--and neither should an internet forum going by only what was said in what is basically an investigatory proceeding.. All assertions made about what was said and what that meant in that GJ proceeding are necessarily nothing more than rank speculation and interpretation. Any protocol, any ####### protocol, that does not allow for an adversary/contradictory take (and I don't mean just in a legal way) is suspect and should be taken with a grains of salt. If you want to discuss calmly on those terms, fine; but you do not have the right to be so sure about anything based on mere GJ statements.
   149. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4027653)
Fred, #146: #129 provides a link to Paterno's testimony. But I read live blogging of it from reporters in the courtroom at the time it was read in court a few weeks later, and the live blogging confirmed that the "fondling or doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy" "in the Lasch Building showers" came from Paterno's testimony.

(Yes, yes, now we'll get some apologist telling me that the live blogging could have been made up. Whatever. At some point people are going to have to accept that Paterno is worthy of contempt, and that the level Posnanski stooped to to defend him should really have been beneath him.)
   150. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 03, 2012 at 11:44 AM (#4027654)
The only people who don't allow for those centers to be herded by the rational part of their brain are the psychopaths.


Some problems require pathological solutions.
   151. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 11:44 AM (#4027655)
This was a grand jury proceeding in which Paterno was not the target. GJ proceedings are by their nature one-sided and limited. That's why there's the saying that a prosecutor can get a GJ to indict a ham sandwich. That's why a grand jury doesn't convict you--and neither should an internet forum going by only what was said in what is basically an investigatory proceeding.. All assertions made about what was said and what that meant in that GJ proceeding are necessarily nothing more than rank speculation and interpretation. Any protocol, any ####### protocol, that does not allow for an adversary/contradictory take (and I don't mean just in a legal way) is suspect and should be taken with a grains of salt. If you want to discuss calmly on those terms, fine; but you do not have the right to be so sure about anything based on mere GJ statements.


? I'm not believing someone else's account over Paterno's. I'm taking Paterno at his word. Which he made under oath, no less. Neither McQueary nor Paterno has disputed that, at a minimum, McQueary reported to Paterno that he had seen Sandusky in the showers "fondling or doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy."

I'm at a complete loss to see your point, Morty. If McQueary and Paterno disagreed about this basic point you could reasonably say that I shouldn't just accept McQueary's word over Paterno's. But that is not what's happening at all. They don't disagree about this basic fact. I'm not even taking McQueary's account at all; I'm using Paterno's account.
   152. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 11:47 AM (#4027656)
Paterno's actual words change nothing, and confirm what was obvious from the beginning, that the paragraph in the GJ report was a reflection of Paterno's testimony.


Frrankly, the actual testimony makes Paterno look worse:

Hey Joe Paterno, someone just told you an ex-coach of yours was seen naked doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy in a shower on the Penn State campus after hours last night! What are *you* going to do???

Uh, well, I'm totally going to tell my boss ... but, uh, not right now, or maybe even today ... it's like the weekend and that's his downtime and that's important, but it's totally on my list of things to do before Monday, ok?


The "I did tell Mike, Mike, you did what was right; you told me" ain't so hot either ...
   153. Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: January 03, 2012 at 11:47 AM (#4027657)
Posnanski is a liar.

The actual extracts you post do not remotely support this conclusion.

Poz says: "I don't know if he followed up." While he would have known from the grand jury report that Curley in fact failed to report the allegations further, this doesn't eliminate the possibility that Paterno "followed up" by having a further conversation with Curley (in which Curley might have indicated that he had or would be making a report).

Since you have already made up your mind that Paterno acted "reprehensibly" by not reporting the allegation directly to the police, you presumably consider it irrelevant whether or not Paterno ever followed up with Curley. Posnanski, who evidently sees the world in a more nuanced fashion than you, seems to think that Paterno's failure to report the matter directly to the police would only merit this kind of extreme condemnation if he subjectively foresaw that Curley would not act on the information Paterno had gave him (as he was legally obliged to do). If that is indeed Posnanski's point, I agree with him.



   154. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 11:47 AM (#4027658)
At some point people are going to have to accept that Paterno is worthy of contempt, and that the level Posnanski stooped to to defend him should really have been beneath him

Is anyone arguing the contrary?

It seems to me the only argument is whether we should, or should not, shun Posnanski over his actions?
   155. J. Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: January 03, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4027660)
The moral line here is at what point do you stop holding your nose and join the accusers, or at least show the good sense to shut-up, to recognize that one's own view is out of line with the conventional wisdom, and that there might be a lesson to be learnt here?

That's not a moral line. Abandoning your friends so you can embrace the conventional wisdom, on anything, is not a moral stance.
   156. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: January 03, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4027663)
I read the grand jury's findings immediately when they were released. I did not have access to Paterno's actual words until a few weeks ago, when they were released. Paterno's actual words change nothing, and confirm what was obvious from the beginning, that the paragraph in the GJ report was a reflection of Paterno's testimony.
I actually find it rather reasonable that Poz would want to see the details of Paterno's exact testimony as opposed to just the GJ summary before arriving at a harsh judgment. Whether he unwisely went too far in defending Paterno in between is another matter.
   157. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4027664)
you presumably consider it irrelevant whether or not Paterno ever followed up with Curley. Posnanski, who evidently sees the world in a more nuanced fashion than you, seems to think that Paterno's failure to report the matter directly to the police would only merit this kind of extreme condemnation if he subjectively foresaw that Curley would not act on the information Paterno had gave him (as he was legally obliged to do). If that is indeed Posnanski's point, I agree with him.

No, it also merits condemnation if he didn't follow up with Curley when he didn't hear anything from the police that week.

If Curley reported it as he should have, there would have been cops there that week questioning everyone, including Paterno. When that didn't happen, Paterno had the moral obligation to call Curley up and say "WTF? Didn't you call the cops yet?".

I mean, if I see my neighbors' house on fire, and tell my wife to call 911, if I don't hear sirens in a few minutes, I've got to follow up and see if she did it.
   158. Lassus Posted: January 03, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4027665)
Swedish Chef - re: #111 - I'm reading the comment as (@100) I type, and you are incorrect. It calls attention to BTF getting down on sanctimonious writers, and says we are now getting down on Poz for NOT being so. My response notes that I would not call - nor would many here call - a position from Poz criticizing and taking issue with Paterno's crappy course of action sanctimonious on Poz's part.
   159. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4027666)
Frrankly, the actual testimony makes Paterno look worse.


Yeah, like this:

Q: When did you — did you do something with that information?

Mr. Paterno: Well, I can’t be precise.

I ordinarily would have called people right away, but it was a Saturday morning and I didn’t want to interfere with their weekends.

So I don’t know whether I did it Saturday or did it early the next week.

I’m not sure when, but I did it within the week.


Ahhh... the calm and tranquil Penn State campus. Birds chirping, the smell of spring in the air... and people in high positions of responsibility allowed to enjoy their Saturday mornings without being interrupted by eye witness accounts of child sex abuse.
   160. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4027689)
I have to agree with Ray on that last point: the part of the testimony that really bothered me was that he waited. Maybe it's a generational thing, or...something, but hell, when a crisis happens where I work, nobody waits for the weekend to be over.
   161. Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: January 03, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4027690)
No, it also merits condemnation if he didn't follow up with Curley when he didn't hear anything from the police that week.

If Curley reported it as he should have, there would have been cops there that week questioning everyone, including Paterno.
When that didn't happen, Paterno had the moral obligation to call Curley up and say "WTF? Didn't you call the cops yet?".


Maybe so, but there are different degrees of condemnation. Paterno is never asked in his grand jury testimony whether or not he ever followed up with Curley or, if he didn't, why he didn't. All Poz seems to be saying is that we shouldn't rush to judgment about the degree of Paterno's negligence without knowing all the facts. What exactly is wrong with this suggestion?
   162. JPWF1313 Posted: January 03, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4027699)
At some point people are going to have to accept that Paterno is worthy of contempt, and that the level Posnanski stooped to to defend him should really have been beneath him

Is anyone arguing the contrary?



why yes it looks like there are some people here arguing to the contrary
   163. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4027717)
Maybe so, but there are different degrees of condemnation. Paterno is never asked in his grand jury testimony whether or not he ever followed up with Curley or, if he didn't, why he didn't. All Poz seems to be saying is that we shouldn't rush to judgment about the degree of Paterno's negligence without knowing all the facts. What exactly is wrong with this suggestion?


Because the only possible defense for Paterno is that Curley (or Schultz or Spanier) lied to him and said that the matter had gone to authorities. But even that provides no real defense after a few days or weeks, because, as Snapper says, in the days or weeks after that -- indeed, in the 7 or 8 years after that -- no authority ever went to Paterno to get a statement from him during the course of any investigation. And there is zero evidence for this theory anyway.
   164. Andere Richtingen Posted: January 03, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4027719)
It's important to keep in mind that when Posnanski made the statements for which he is being vilified, he did not have actual transcripts of Paterno's testimony. We only had isolated quotes and paraphrases from the GJ presentment.

Now we have transcripts, and yes, taken at face value they confirm that Paterno and others made multiple grave errors of omission, or worse, in how they handled the situation. There are still the issues of inconsistencies between the testimony of the principals involved, but Paterno's own testimony about his own behavior indicates a very serious moral failure.
   165. Something Other Posted: January 03, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4027720)
1. You write:

"Beyond this two things, though, I said I wasn't going to write about this because I feel like there's still a lot of darkness around. I don't know what Joe Paterno knew. I don't know how he handled it. I don't know if he followed up. I don't know anything about Paterno's role in this except for what little was said about that in the horrifying and stomach-turning grand jury findings. People have jumped to many conclusions about Paterno's role and his negligence, and they might be right. I'll say it again: They might be right. But they might be wrong, too. And I'm writing a book about the man. I can't live in that world of maybes."

This is utterly wrong, and shameful for you to write. We DO know if Paterno followed up. We know, with absolute certainty, that he DID NOT follow up. We know that he did not follow up, because we know that the police were not informed by Paterno of the 2002 incident. So there is no "don't know;" there is no "might."
As bizarre as it might sound, I know next to nothing about the story. Is it that Paterno was told of (though did not himself witness) Sandusky abusing a boy, reported it to campus security, and did nothing more, including not following up with campus security to see how they handled the allegation?

Thanks for any clarification.
   166. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4027728)
As bizarre as it might sound, I know next to nothing about the story. Is it that Paterno was told of (though did not himself witness) Sandusky abusing a boy, reported it to campus security, and did nothing more, including not following up with campus security to see how they handled the allegation?

Thanks for any clarification.

He reported it to his boss, the AD, not campus security. He may or may not have followed up with the AD, but he clearly never contacted the police, and it doesn't seem like he contacted anyone else.
   167. Something Other Posted: January 03, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4027730)
I don't follow football. What's an "AD"?
   168. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: January 03, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4027739)
It's important to keep in mind that when Posnanski made the statements for which he is being vilified, he did not have actual transcripts of Paterno's testimony. We only had isolated quotes and paraphrases from the GJ presentment.
This.

Edit: "AD" is athletic director.
   169. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4027740)
#168, Athletic Director. Sheesh, Something Other; I have never followed college sports, but even I know that :-)
   170. Andere Richtingen Posted: January 03, 2012 at 01:01 PM (#4027741)
As bizarre as it might sound, I know next to nothing about the story. Is it that Paterno was told of (though did not himself witness) Sandusky abusing a boy, reported it to campus security, and did nothing more, including not following up with campus security to see how they handled the allegation?

1. He did not report it to campus security. He reported it to the administrator who oversees campus security. One might argue that's just as good, or better... it should have been. However...

2. As pointed out above, he waited to report it. For all he knew the victim was still in Sandusky's custody and subjected to additional assaults.

3. There is no evidence that he followed up in any significant way to make sure that the situation was being handled. He was told weeks later that Sandusky was not to be on campus with kids from his charitable organization -- surely that official response did not jibe with what McQueary reported to him.

There could be some facts that mitigate some of this to some extent, but there is little doubt that Paterno was negligent here. Not necessarily legally negligent, but negligent considering his authority and ability to get something done.
   171. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 01:13 PM (#4027752)
All Poz seems to be saying is that we shouldn't rush to judgment about the degree of Paterno's negligence without knowing all the facts. What exactly is wrong with this suggestion?

He seems to have done a bit more than that, going out of his way to read evidence in the absolute best possible light for Paterno.

It was a mistake, but let me add, not one that I think should tar Posnanski for life. His mistake didn't actually hurt anyone.
   172. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 03, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4027756)
I wasn't suggesting that the "science" was there before Batting. I was noting that Lane's own efforts to create such "science" stemmed from his own interaction with the insiders who had their various ideas and insights (we'll stop short of call those "theories," though they are somewhere in between).

What I'm suggesting is that Lane's book compiles a lot of ideas that, in the absence of anyone following through with his (parallel) quantification efforts, eventually prevailed (and ultimately calcified) as folklore. Bring that forward forty or so years later and you have "the book" that Bill James began to question. Rickey and Roth were claimed by the BP folks as the "real" theorists back in the late 90s, but the same issue comes into play--those efforts to create a quantification scheme/model/etc. for the game didn't take hold. Schwarz' book is very good in tracing all that, and how there were shadow stats in the 60s (that you could buy if you perused the ads of baseball publications) that bore some resemblance to what the Elias folks did, but that didn't follow up with what Lane or Rickey/Roth had been doing. That part clearly languished for about half a century.


Don, I think I understand what you're trying to get at, but I still don't see how Batting ties into any sabermetric-type complaint. Schwartz talks about Lane on 19 pages of his book, and doesn't once refer to Batting. And that makes perfect sense, since the book is more about technique and approach than it is to statistics.

Although even there, if you look through Batting you'll find comments that hardly reinforce a troglodyte approach to strategy. For instance, in the chapter on "Striking Out", one of the first quotes we get is from Ed Reulbach, who disputes the public's view that a strikeout is any worse than any other sort of out. In the chapter "What The Records Tell Us", he quotes Cravath and several others who dispute the primacy of BA in determining value. I guess my reading of this book is more for the insight it gives me into how the best players of 85 to 100 years ago approached the game, not for any rigorous analysis of which statistics best measure value. I wouldn't have expected a book like that, and I wasn't disappointed that I didn't get it.
   173. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 03, 2012 at 01:21 PM (#4027760)
I don't follow football. What's an "AD"?

Athletic Director of the campus, who theoretically oversees and makes the final decisions (at least within the Athletic Department) concerning hiring and revenue distribution among the various sports.
   174. JPWF1313 Posted: January 03, 2012 at 01:36 PM (#4027792)
Athletic Director of the campus, who theoretically oversees and makes the final decisions (at least within the Athletic Department) concerning hiring and revenue distribution among the various sports.
and in some colleges/universities the AD really is in charge :-)

I think Poz' main sin wasn't that he looked at the available evidence and then said, "Hold on a minute, Paterno did nothing wrong"- it was that he semi-consciously refused to look at teh AVIALABLE evidence - likely because he was afraid of what he'd find, crossed his fingers and said "well we don't know."

I think Cardsfanboy's argument on the 1st page of this thread was worse and Bill James' behavior was even worse than that- and Morty in the Conlin thread... None have been worth shunning over, critcising for their willful contrarian blindness yes, but not worth shunning over.

   175. JPWF1313 Posted: January 03, 2012 at 01:40 PM (#4027799)
He seems to have done a bit more than that, going out of his way to read evidence in the absolute best possible light for Paterno.



That was more James than Poz, Poz seems mostly to have refused to look and simply intoned, "slow down, we don't know"

James came up with some indefensible real winners, like "we have every reason to believe" that Paterno called the police - and a few others...
   176. Nasty Nate Posted: January 03, 2012 at 01:42 PM (#4027800)
I haven't been following the story recently, isn't it suspected that there were other incidences of cover-up by PSU authorities for things other than the McQueary-witnessed thing? Is there evidence of this?
   177. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: January 03, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4027809)
---You Can't Beat the Official Scorer

Fact.
I used to play on a team where the pitcher kept team stats. Anything that could be called an error or unearned run, would be. Yeesh.
   178. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 01:49 PM (#4027816)
James came up with some indefensible real winners, like "we have every reason to believe" that Paterno called the police - and a few others...


I haven't read James's comments in depth, but from what I skimmed of them, they were as bad or worse than Posnanski's comments.

it was that he semi-consciously refused to look at teh AVIALABLE evidence - likely because he was afraid of what he'd find, crossed his fingers and said "well we don't know."


Yes. Posnanski was shouting "Hold on, hold on, everyone is scapegoating the sainted Paterno, we don't know anything yet" when we absolutely knew something yet.
   179. fra paolo Posted: January 03, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4027822)
It was sanctimonious, and it was kneejerk sanctimonious, on the part of many here from the very outset. Something in us just waits to pounce on pretexts excuses to go berserk like some clearly have here. We want to take comfort in a "us v. them" mental defense.

I'm not sure, in that case, how you could view any moralizing outside of speaking in generalities ("Thou shalt not covet") as anything other than sanctimonious. Moralizing is essentially sitting in judgment, creating an 'us vs them' mental defence. Since we are all sinners in some way, none of us can be permitted to condemn.

I certainly think there's been a lot of overreacting here; but there always is, as you note. Nonetheless, Posnanski made a mistake, and villageidiom in 119 does suggest that there is a pattern here that should be noted.
   180. Eddo Posted: January 03, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4027823)
James came up with some indefensible real winners, like "we have every reason to believe" that Paterno called the police - and a few others...

Oh, definitely. Are we going to shun all of Bill James's work, too?

I can't agree with Posnanski in this case. And it's totally reasonable to remember how he handled this when reading his work, particularly with regards to character-related issues. But if we were to shun or even totally disregard the writing of every journalist or author that made an error in judgement, we'd have nothing to talk about.

------

I haven't been following the story recently, isn't it suspected that there were other incidences of cover-up by PSU authorities for things other than the McQueary-witnessed thing? Is there evidence of this?

It's suspected only, last I heard. Though, if you read between the lines, it sure seems like his "voluntary" retirement in the late 90's was due to the university suspecting he was not completely on the up-and-up when it came to the boys involved with his organization. Obviously, this is far from being proved as fact, but it needs a good amount of investigation, I would say.
   181. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 02:02 PM (#4027840)
I can't agree with Posnanski in this case. And it's totally reasonable to remember how he handled this when reading his work, particularly with regards to character-related issues. But if we were to shun or even totally disregard the writing of every journalist or author that made an error in judgement, we'd have nothing to talk about.


I never read him that much to begin with -- a couple times a month, and I've kept to that schedule even since his PSU comments.

That said, every time I see his name I think of his PSU comments, and every time I read anything he's written his diminished stature and misleading defense of Paterno is always in my mind.

Quite simply I can't take him seriously anymore and have no respect for him as a writer. Again, people like John Feinstein, Nancy Grace, Wendy Murphy, etc. also come to mind in a different context.

It's suspected only, last I heard. Though, if you read between the lines, it sure seems like his "voluntary" retirement in the late 90's was due to the university suspecting he was not completely on the up-and-up when it came to the boys involved with his organization. Obviously, this is far from being proved as fact, but it needs a good amount of investigation, I would say.


And this is the kind of stuff -- what Paterno knew and when outside of the 2002 incident -- that Posnanski's point about assumptions and wait-and-see and jumping-to-conclusions rightfully applies to. But we know enough about the 2002 incident to judge Paterno harshly.
   182. Eddo Posted: January 03, 2012 at 02:04 PM (#4027844)
And this is the kind of stuff -- what Paterno knew and when outside of the 2002 incident -- that Posnanski's point about assumptions and wait-and-see and jumping-to-conclusions rightfully applies to. But we know enough about the 2002 incident to judge Paterno harshly.

Absolutely agree. I tried to be careful with my wording about any prior shenanigans.
   183. Lassus Posted: January 03, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4027846)
I agree pretty much with snapper's 172, for all of you 2012 apocalypse deniers.
   184. Nasty Nate Posted: January 03, 2012 at 02:10 PM (#4027855)
It's suspected only, last I heard. Though, if you read between the lines, it sure seems like his "voluntary" retirement in the late 90's was due to the university suspecting he was not completely on the up-and-up when it came to the boys involved with his organization. Obviously, this is far from being proved as fact, but it needs a good amount of investigation, I would say.


Yeah, this is the stuff I was wondering about. Is an investigation even happening? Who is conducting it?
   185. Morty Causa Posted: January 03, 2012 at 02:11 PM (#4027856)
? I'm not believing someone else's account over Paterno's. I'm taking Paterno at his word. Which he made under oath, no less. Neither McQueary nor Paterno has disputed that, at a minimum, McQueary reported to Paterno that he had seen Sandusky in the showers "fondling or doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy."

I'm at a complete loss to see your point, Morty. [I’M NOT SURPRISED] If McQueary and Paterno disagreed about this basic point you could reasonably say that I shouldn't just accept McQueary's word over Paterno's. But that is not what's happening at all. They don't disagree about this basic fact. I'm not even taking McQueary's account at all; I'm using Paterno's account.


And as my post makes clear, you are over-assuming. You, we, haven’t reached the stage where we can fairly parse that out. It’s a matter of deference I am speaking too—but only for the time being. Some people here upon minutes of hearing about this immediately began sharpening the ax. The nature and limits of the proceeding should preclude such categorical dispositions for the time being, and, at the least, we should be open to considering possible extenuating circumstances and explanations. You simply can't take his testimony before the GJ to the extent that you do. The interrogator got what he wanted, and he shut it down. That's what prosecutors do before grand juries. That's why a GJ is not enough to convict its target, much less a mere witness not the target of the investigation who is not allowed to have an attorney with him but is told, and should be told, by his attorney in outside conference to keep his responses brief and to not fall into the trap of elaborating and explaining.

But, even if you (or I) think there is no conceivable extenuating explanation, you don't really know that for sure until he is given the chance to actually present his case according to strictures and along some kind of procedural protocols. Many cases look open and shut at the point where the prosecution rests. That's not where the trial ends, though. And sometimes those open and shut cases turn out to not be open and shut after all.

That paradigm doesn’t apply just to trials. It’s the way we say we want things done in everyday life, too. It’s how I want to be treated, and I bet it’s how you would want to be treated to—by employers, teachers, lovers, friends. When kids get into fights, good parents wait to hear both sides before going ballistic, and really good parents don’t even go ballistic then, which is not what happened on these BBTF forums.

Moreover, your mindset is irretrievably stuck in Monday Morning Quarterback mode. We all have 20/20 hindsight and once an outcome is concluded, it’s a mug’s game to say what should have been done. It’s easy for the mind to revert to the Thinking Fast confirming mode. I bet, given the exact same factual scenario (McQ tells him what he did, Paterno goes to the AD, the AD does or doesn’t do what he did or didn’t do, Paterno doesn’t follow up, etc.), except that McQueary is found to be wrong (or a liar, say), Paterno would be praised for not over-reacting and for not mucking about in the process. Probably by the same people here who want to torch him. In fact, that’s what authorities tell you to do—report, shut up about it, and don’t go sticking your oar into the process. Yes, I know, it’s Joe Paterno—but still, it’s not Harrison Ford as Joe in Air Force One: From Here to Paterno.

You don’t get to bet on who’s likely to win the horse race after that race is run. But that’s the position and predicament most of you insist on placing Paterno in. We can’t go back to that time and those conditions as they actually were—they are forever tainted by what we now know. We don’t know what was in Paterno's mind at the time McQueary gave him the information. We will have a hard time now assessing the reasonableness of his assumptions at that time because of what did in fact eventuate, but to be fair, that’s what you got to do.
   186. Morty Causa Posted: January 03, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4027859)
Because the only possible defense


Stop right there! You’ve said this time after time, but you simply cannot know this until there is an actual undertaking whose goal is to address that very point. That was not the GJ proceeding. You cannot make assumptions this if you have any vestige of fairness within you. You're being positively medieval.
   187. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4027870)
Because the only possible defense

Stop right there! You’ve said this time after time, but you simply cannot know this until there is an actual undertaking whose goal is to address that very point. That was not the GJ proceeding. You cannot make assumptions this if you have any vestige of fairness within you. You're being positively medieval.


I invite you to speculate as to a possible defense of Paterno for not making sure that McQueary's account went to the authorities. Curley/Spanier/Schultz lied to him and said they had reported the incident to the authorities? Snapper and I covered that; any such defense evaporates after a few days or weeks when Paterno was not visited by any authority investigating the matter.

And what else is left? Sandusky threatened to murder Paterno's family if Paterno went to the authorities? Aliens came down from outer space and threatened Paterno not to report the incident to authorities because they loved Sandusky's Linebacker U? That's what we're down to, at this point.
   188. Topher Posted: January 03, 2012 at 02:25 PM (#4027876)
I guess I'm having problems sending Posnanski to the 9th circle of hell. Figure I should make that clear from the get go so the rest can be ignored by those that choose to do so.

I'm defending Posananski in this paragraph for the purposes of defending him. I honestly don't know what to make of his words. Poz is being called a liar, betrayer, etc.. That might be true. But it seems to me that the idea of the lie is that Paterno never went to the cops and when Poz is saying let's wait and see, there is more to come out of this, etc. then that is a lie. But when I first read the quote (without seeing the tarring and feathering), I assume that meant that the cover-up went higher than Paterno. If that's what Joe is saying, he isn't lying at all. Morally, Paterno should have gone to the cops. Legally, he was under no obligation and he did report it to administrators. It's not admirable but to be honest I find Paterno's actions less despicable than the PSU admin. All of them had interest in burying this story, but the folks in the Ivory Towers should be one step removed to do do something about it. I have no idea what Poz was trying to say and he well might be a liar. But he also might have been simply suggesting the crimes went higher than Paterno. (I realize there is an open question if anybody at PSU was higher than Paterno, but that's a separate issue and given direct reporting lines not too relevant.)

Keep in mind that Pennsylvania is rare in that there isn't a legal requirement to go to the cops.

For what it's worth ... I work in an industry that has adults in contact with kids. In the aftermath of this story, everybody received a note from HR reminding us that the Penn State story was an eye opener for us all and that we should not hesitate on reporting any potential problem, conflict, etc. that we might hear or see. If that were to happen, we were reminded to go to our HR director. Not the cops, HR -- and I do work in a state were there is a legal obligation to report. (I assume so that they too could choose to bury it under the rug if need be.) This isn't to defend anybody's actions but to simply note that I think it is almost inherent to put one's head in the sand, minimize impacts, etc. when it comes to these types of things.
   189. rr Posted: January 03, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4027886)
189 is a well thought-out, nuanced post, but what I keep going back to are the nature of McQueary's account, and the fact that Joe Paterno was JOE PATERNO. Regardless of the legal obligations and procedural protocols, Paterno had the power/status etc. to really get out front on this thing and press hard for a resolution. He didn't do it.
   190. Morty Causa Posted: January 03, 2012 at 02:39 PM (#4027892)
Yeah, right, Harrison Ford as Joe Paterno. He can do it all. The thing is, it's not required that he do it all, and he didn't get where he's at doing it all (I can't believe I'm reduced to defending a ####### college football coach, a class I'd like to wave bye-bye to as the cattle cars carry them to extermination camps--but I want them to die for the right reason.)
   191. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 02:43 PM (#4027896)
It's kind of a shame that this thread devolved into this because of Galen, who is probably the stupidest person around here and definitely someone that everybody should have on ignore.
   192. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4027905)
Morally, Paterno should have gone to the cops. Legally, he was under no obligation and he did report it to administrators. It's not admirable but to be honest I find Paterno's actions less despicable than the PSU admin.


It may be so that Paterno's actions were less despicable than the PSU admin (Curley, Schultz, Spanier). But that does not excuse Paterno's despicable actions, in much the same way that a murderer can't say "Well, at least I only murdered one person; he murdered two" and expect that to relieve him of harsh criticism.

Paterno by his own testimony received an eye witness account of child sex abuse on school premises. From that second it should have been Paterno's singular focus to make sure that the account went to the proper authorities immediately if not sooner, particularly since he had no clue where the child now was or whether the child was still being victimized. Evidence was getting cold as well. If Paterno couldn't do that, then of what use is he as an educator, or even to polite society?

   193. SoSH U at work Posted: January 03, 2012 at 02:50 PM (#4027907)
It's kind of a shame that this thread devolved into this because of Galen,


It didn't. This thread was already well on this path long before Gaelan entered the fray.

   194. rr Posted: January 03, 2012 at 02:51 PM (#4027911)
(I can't believe I'm reduced to defending a ####### college football coach


Here's the problem: in State College, PA, Paterno wasn't--and isn't--"a college football coach." Many articles I have read focused not only on his iconic cultural status there, but on the fact that the university's prestige, money, etc. has been based a lot on the football program--Paterno is credited with building the university, as well as being a huge boon to the region, economically, etc. If that is accurate, there was more to Paterno's power base than the excessive glorification of college football and tribalism.

So, sure, he was not "required" to do anything else, but he was not, like so many others would be in analogous situations, at much professional risk had he done so.

And of course there is the visceral angle. Paterno openly and aggressively sold the program as clean, the "grand experiment", the training ground for young men etc. That is one mistake Poz made, with his "Miami" comment. Penn State wasn't ever trying to be "Miami."

   195. Ron J Posted: January 03, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4027916)
I will say one thing WRT James/Poz. I think it's one thing to come up with something lame in a mailbag and another thing to come up with something somewhat less lame in a live talk to students.

I see it as semi-defensible to dash something off -- Bill seems to default to cheap snark without a great deal of thought in those mailbags (although he'll often give very thoughtful answers. Seems to depend on his mood), while I'd hope that Poz plans what he says (and I'm willing to hold him accountable)

Doesn't mean I don't hold either of them accountable for their words. Just that the setting seems to matter somewhat.

On a baseball related note, talking about duty to report you'll find that if a player is approached with some kind of match fixing proposal it's his duty to make sure the Commissioner's office is informed. It's not adequate to go to the manager or GM and trust that they'll do the right thing.
   196. Morty Causa Posted: January 03, 2012 at 02:56 PM (#4027917)
The player doesn't have to go to the police? I'm shocked, shocked.
   197. Eddo Posted: January 03, 2012 at 03:01 PM (#4027921)
Here's the problem: in State College, PA, Paterno wasn't--and isn't--"a college football coach." Many articles I have read focused not only on his iconic cultural status there, but on the fact that the university's prestige, money, etc. has been based a lot on the football program--Paterno is credited with building the university, as well as being a huge boon to the region, economically, etc. If that is accurate, there was more to Paterno's power base than the excessive glorification of college football and tribalism.

Agreed. A brief visit to the Black Shoe Diaries comment threads in the aftermath of Paterno's firing should show you this.

Generally, fans of a college program are quick to turn on any coaches or players that bring any negative press to said college and get the boot. I've seen it happen to Ohio State with Tressel, and he was beloved there.

However, the Penn State fan reaction was if God Himself had just been fired.

Oh, and they had no problem directing their hatred toward McQueary or Curley or the others, so it wasn't like they were defending the whole situation. No, they were only defending Paterno.
   198. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4027924)
While I'm at it, from post 129:

Q: You’re saying that at the time this incident was reported to you, Sandusky was no longer a coach?

Mr. Paterno: No, he had retired voluntarily. I’m not sure exactly the year, but I think it was either ‘98 or ‘99.


Now I'll engage in the type of speculation Posnanski finds so distasteful. Who speaks that way of a retirement? He retired "voluntarily"? Isn't that assumed, absent some reason not to assume it?

Paterno's phrasing suggests either (1) that Sandusky was forced out for some reason, or (2) that there is good reason to believe that Sandusky was forced out but Paterno wants to make it clear that that's false. Either way implies that Paterno knew there was a secret about Sandusky.

More charitably, perhaps Paterno just wanted to set the record straight now that a formal investigation was being conducted.

Q: I think you used the term fondling. Is that the term that you used?

Mr. Paterno: Well, I don’t know what you would call it. Obviously, he was doing something with the youngster.

It was a sexual nature. I’m not sure exactly what it was.

I didn’t push Mike to describe exactly what it was because he was very upset. Obviously, I was in a little bit of a dilemma since Mr. Sandusky was not working for me anymore.

So I told — I didn’t go any further than that except I knew Mike was upset and I knew some kind of inappropriate action was being taken by Jerry Sandusky with a youngster.


1. Taking Paterno at his word, it doesn't speak well of this famed "educator" that he didn't try to get to the bottom of exactly what McQueary had witnessed. They're both adults; Paterno's reason for not asking further - I'll assume it's true -- speaks badly of him.

2. Paterno describes it as a "dilemma" that Sandusky wasn't working for him anymore. This suggests (here I'll engage in "assummption" again, contrary to the sage Posnanski's recommendation to proceed cautiously) that the only thing in Paterno's mind was to deal with the situation internally -- and not by going to authorities. That's why it was a problem for him that Sandusky no longer worked for him, because he now didn't have formal power over Sandusky as his employee.

---

In this next portion of the transcript, Paterno seems to hedge as to whether he knew of any other "inappropriate" behavior from Sandusky:

Q: Other than the incident that Mike McQueary reported to you, do you know in any way, through rumor, direct knowledge or any other fashion, of any other inappropriate sexual conduct by Jerry Sandusky with young boys?

Mr. Paterno: I do not know of anything else that Jerry would be involved in of that nature, no. I do not know of it.

You did mention — I think you said something about a rumor. It may have been discussed in my presence, something else about somebody.

I don’t know.

I don’t remember, and I could not honestly say I heard a rumor.

   199. CrosbyBird Posted: January 03, 2012 at 03:05 PM (#4027925)
It strains belief to think Paterno knew nothing at all other than McQueary's report of the 2002 incident, but we don't need to make any assumptions at all about what Paterno knew to deem Paterno's inaction in the face of the single McQueary report worthy of utter contempt.

What comes after 11 on the dial? If Paterno's sin of failing to report McQueary's account to the authorities is worthy of "utter contempt," then what is McQueary's sin worthy of? Or Sandusky's?

When you read some of the comments on this thread, it's as if Poz said something like "those children loved the attention they got from Sandusky."
   200. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 03:13 PM (#4027933)
And of course there is the visceral angle. Paterno openly and aggressively sold the program as clean, the "grand experiment", the training ground for young men etc.


That is what drips with irony. The coach was "training young men." And meanwhile he allowed at least one eye witness account of child sex abuse that took place right on his watch to go unreported to authorities. And he didn't want to further upset the grown McQueary by probing him for further details of what he had witnessed, nor did he want to interfere with peoples' weekends on a glorious Saturday morning. Never mind that the young boy's weekend -- and life -- was severely "interfered" with.

A training ground for young men. Uh-huh. Who was training the trainer?
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