Joe Paterno Checked Up on Mike McQueary Months Later, But Didn’t Bother Following Up on Jerry Sandusky
Mike McQueary testified Friday that he told Joe Paterno what he saw in the shower, and it was apparently so bad JoePa apologized. Paterno also felt so badly he later followed up with McQueary.
“I went to his house and sat at his kitchen table and told him I saw Jerry with a young boy in the shower. That it was way over the lines and extremely sexual in nature,” McQueary testified. “The rough positioning I described but not in much detail.
“(Paterno) was slumped back in his chair, he said well I’m sorry you had to see that. It’s terrible. I need to think and tell some people about what you saw and I’ll let you know what we’ll do next.”
Yes, what McQueary told Paterno was so bad, the coach apologized to his assistant. But here is what really shows Paterno’s complete irresponsibility.
“Coach Paterno did ask me … two or three months after that… if I was OK in relation to what I saw and if I was handling it OK,” McQueary said.
Paterno knew what McQueary witnessed was so bad that he followed up with him a few months later. You don’t follow up with someone who saw incidental horsing around in a shower. You do follow up with someone who witnessed an older man sodomizing a young boy in the shower.
If what Paterno heard from McQueary was so bad that he had to apologize, that would mean he took it very seriously. If it was so bad he felt he had to follow up, that means he took it very seriously. An incident you take very seriously is not something you just kick to your superiors and forget about — it’s something you talk to people about and try to address.
If those two statements are true — that Paterno apologized for what McQueary had to see, and that he followed up a few months later — then he has no excuse for not following up on the case and doing more. And I’m not talking in a moral sense, I’m talking in a sense that this shows me there may have been a cover-up type reason why he did not do more. It’s clear the incident was still in his head a few months later, yet he did nothing to address it.