Years ago, I worked as a psychotherapist on an inpatient unit with children who had been abused sexually, physically, or both.
In most of our cases, there were individuals who played the roles of Sandusky, McQueary and Paterno. I had no hope for the Sandusky's then, and I do not now, as their recidivism is so strong and profound. Talking with an unrepentant abuser (as I had to on occasion) made me physically ill.
My cases teamed with Paterno's -- usually older, nice, naive grandparents who rightly fastened themselves onto their religious moorings in their panic. My treatment team colleagues excoriated their religiosity -- but I didn't agree. It's what people of faith should do when faced with horrors like the actions of Sandusky. In each case, it was the Paterno's who failed to prevent the demonic sodomizations: but it was usually always they who helped the most over the long haul in providing longterm relief and shelter for the victim.
It was always the old fogey playing the role of Joe Pa, who were so rightly horrified in their naivete, who didn't know what to do -- who were always willing to be told what to do, who naturally wrapped their arms around their little grandchildren and tried to keep the world away.
I, as a world-worn trench-fighter who had to deal with the results of porn and unbridaled lust, could do a lot with such naivete.
I was most appalled at the McQueary's -- the ones who who actually "there" and were so befuddled by competing loyalties and confusions about personal freedoms and idiotic sensibilities of relativistic moralities. They were so confused that they became moral cowards, and failed to physically stop the abuse as it was going on. In almost every case, there was someone there at the abuse within listening distance: and I always had to deal with the child-victim asking, "He/she was there -- why didn't they do anything?"
And to that question I had no good response.
In this sad Penn State case, I would say, in my own fallible opinion, that it was Sandusky who killed Joe Paterno; and the trustees and administration of Penn State that stood by in moral cowardice and watched an old man being offered up as a sacrificial lamb.
Because in this culture, we are fond of getting rid of old fogeys, and castigating their memory, while we let the real causes of child sexual abuse fester and abide.