A week removed from the initial firestorm of media coverage about the Penn State child molestation scandal, everyone’s role has been more or less defined.
Jerry Sandusky is the alleged pedophile, tried and convicted in the court of public opinion. Joe Paterno is the wise elder who should have known better, ultimately fired because he didn’t live up to his ethical obligations.
But what about Mike McQueary, the assistant coach who allegedly walked in on Sandusky sodomizing a young boy on that fateful night in 2002, and reportedly got this ball rolling by putting his exploits on record?
Well, there are varying schools of thought as it applies to McQueary.
Initially, it was believed that McQueary, when he witnessed Sandusky’s allegedly molesting a young boy, turned and ran away from the scene. The grand jury report that detailed the incident seemed to indicate that. Later, in a private e-mail that was ultimately leaked to the press, McQueary maintained that he stopped the alleged molestation before turning around and running away from the scene. There is enough broad language in the report for that to potentially be true, albeit it’s probably not. (Why wouldn’t McQueary take the boy with him? Why leave him with a man he just saw molesting him?)
Unfortunately, there is also this – two separate reports that McQueary participated in golf fundraising games put on by Sandusky a month after and a year after the alleged shower incident took place. SportsbyBrooks has reported that McQueary took part in both golf games, and PennLive.com has confirmed the latter game.
This is troubling on a number of levels. For one, McQueary’s continued involvement with a man he allegedly walked in on raping a young boy will no doubt be a powerful weapon for the defense. After all, how could McQueary continue to work with a guy who he supposedly saw raping a young child, right? It just doesn't jive.
The other side of McQueary’s participation in the fundraisers is that it re-enforces the picture we had of the man before he tried to pretend that he stopped the alleged rape from occurring on that fateful 2002 night. The picture of a scared, confused little weakling who, when reportedly confronted with the picture of a young boy being violated, turned and ran away.
Soon enough, McQueary’s role in this mess will be defined as clearly as everyone else’s. Sandusky is the alleged pedophile. Paterno is the wise elder who should have known better. And, lastly, McQueary is the coward who allegedly witnessed a young boy being raped first hand, and enabled the rapist for years after the fact by doing nothing to bring him to justice.