Why Abuse Gets Covered Up: Penn State & The Dangers of Being Starstruck

Some Penn State students are wrongly protesting the firing of their beloved, "legendary" football coach--a man who covered up pedophilia for years. It's always difficult for us to believe that someone we love and admire is capable of gross negligence and massive moral failure. But we must realize that legendary men are not made by football wins. Legendary men are made by their willingness to defend the defenseless.

Joe Paterno could have done the right thing years ago. As one of the most powerful men on that college campus, he could have easily and swiftly brought justice to bear upon the egregious rapist in his midst. Instead, he chose to look the other way--engaging in the equally devastating complicity of silence.

This is why Paterno deserves no pity.

Penn State students do well to remember that celebrity status, extraordinary accomplishments and all the accolades in the world cannot make up for massive moral failure--especially as it concerns the welfare of helpless children.

We ALL do well to remember that.