The Penn State sex scandal that brought down university leaders as well as football coach Joe Paterno, hit a powerful note for the ladies of “The Talk.”
Paterno, who has been fired as head coach after a 46-year run leading the Nittany Lions, drew intense scrutiny and criticism for not taking further action in 2002 when a graduate assistant and current assistant coach Mike McQueary told him that he had seen Paterno’s former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky in the team’s showers embracing a 10-year-old boy. Paterno reportedly told his superiors and moved on.
“As a human being, as a father as a man, as a husband, he did the wrong thing,” said Sharon Osbourne, who later noted that Paterno’s long career will forever be tainted for not acting further. “All people will remember is that he kept quiet.”
Sandusky was charged over the weekend with 40 counts of molesting eight young boys between 1994 and 2009. Sandusky is out on bail and has a Dec. 7 date for a court hearing.
“The fact that it got to victim number seven makes me sick,” said Sara Gilbert.
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Police charged university athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz on Monday with failing to notify authorities after McQueary reported the assault. Both have left their positions at the university.
“This is a tragedy,” said Paterno on Wednesday. “It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more. My goals now are to keep my commitments to my players and staff and finish the season with dignity and determination. And then I will spend the rest of my life doing everything I can to help this university.”
Paterno’s decision struck home for Sheryl Underwood, who talked about her own sexual assault.
“When I was raped, my father had no idea how to discuss it,” she said. “He was a man who had been raised in a way where all he knew was ‘We’re going to go to the police. But he never talked to his daughter about sexual violence because he didn’t know how.”