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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Mike McQueary Might Have a Point

He was a whistleblower.

His contract was not renewed.

He has brought suit.

It will all boil down to what McQueary was told about his performance and what Penn State documented.  It also might boil down to whether the university can keep any settlement with him confidential.

This, as much, is clear:

1.  McQueary should be rehabilitated, quickly.  The Paterno family has spent much time, effort and money to rehabilitate Joe Paterno's image.  How successful they've been remains an open question.  But at the time McQueary witnessed the most famous shower scene since Psycho, he was a young grunt in a situation that none of us would have wanted to be in.  He did report what he thought he saw up, perhaps not to all of the right people.  But he reported it.

2.  McQueary should land a college coaching job quickly.  He was a big deal at Penn State by the time Paterno resigned and much before then.  Okay, he's memorable because of his bright red hair, so it's hard for him to blend in and not have people point and say, "hey, that's the guy."  But, so what?

Right now, it seems that he is in limbo, without a job.  That just doesn't seem right.  Is it that people have not forgiven him?  is it that anyone involved in the Sandusky affair remains radioactive?  Is it something more than that.

We're at a point in the world where it's sometimes hard to distinguish the appropriate level of remedial activity, the media is quick to rush to judgment, as is the public.  The result is that detached reflection is not all that available to decision makers.  As a result, people in authority can come to quick judgments, as could the rest of us, and they could be dead wrong.  We also can hold others to tougher standards than we hold ourselves, because it's easy to say "well, there is no way that I would have failed to do that" when you weren't there in the heat of the moment.  Atop that, people are human, they suffer lapses in judgment and they make mistakes.  Admittedly, the standards are higher for those higher up in the authority chain, and I get that.  What I am less clear on is what standard someone like McQueary should be held to and how will the public let him rebuild his life.  Or, depending on what happened, whether he should be coaching again.

There has been a hue and cry about university presidents, administrators and the beloved Paterno.  McQueary has fallen off the radar a bit.  What will become of him?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

If McQueary's career is over because he reported what he saw, the next coach/teacher/mentor who sees something untoward might just look the other way rather than risk his or her career.

5:42 PM  
Blogger SportsProf said...

Great point. Somehow, he seems radioactive, but it doesn't seem fair that that is the case. He was in a bad place at the wrong time for him, but if he doesn't get a job does it say that head coaches only want people who are blindly loyal and do not speak up? And what does that say about a DI football culture? Thanks for your comment.

7:08 AM  

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