Greg Schiano Firing Highlights Disturbing Guilty Until Proven Innocent Trend
Greg Schiano is a control freak. Greg Schiano is a martinet. Greg Schiano is a a micro-manager. In other words, Greg Schiano is your standard college football head coach. What Greg Schiano now is, more than anything else, is a guy that the majority of Americans will think of when the name Jerry Sandusky pops up. This should not be the case, but it did not stop a rabid University of Tennessee fan base from dragging Schiano’s name through the mud despite an utter lack of evidence connecting Schiano to the child rapist.
Anybody that harms a child in any manner should be sent off to jail and never seen or heard from again. Anybody that sexually molests anybody (female or male), should be ostracized, condemned, and in my opinion, castrated. That goes even more so for somebody that does it to a child. If you cover up something like that you should also have to deal with the consequences of being the type of person that does not believe protecting a child is a worthwhile endeavor (i.e.; somebody that does not belong in our society). However, if there is no evidence you did anything wrong, you should not have to endure any punishments. The punishment needs to fit the crime. No crime? No punishment.
This is one of the tenants of the American legal system. You are innocent until proven guilty. Better to have nine guilty men walking free than to have one innocent person incarcerated. But this is no longer the case in 2017. In the modern social media age, anybody with a keyboard can sit down and in 140 characters (now 280) and produce a story out of thin air (yes, I understand the irony of putting hand to keyboard to produce an article complaining about “anybody with a keyboard”). This is a day and age where a major paper gets lauded for actually practicing journalism instead of literally just printing fake news. Abiding by the most mundane of professional business practices is now somehow tantamount to discovering how to split the atom. No longer do we as a society have the patience to actually take in to account the evidence that is available.
We must all be “first.” It used to be some egghead writing, “first” in a comment section. Stupid, but harmless. Then it devolved to a site or paper breaking a story first, knowing that they had a story and corroborating the evidence later. Now, it seems like there is a race to show who can show off their righteous indignation first, regardless as to the merits of the story. We must be the first to react. Reacting in of itself is now a praise-worthy endeavor. Regardless if there is any thought or critical thinking behind the reaction, just doing something and showing others we are doing something is good enough. This leads to all sorts of problems because it becomes the blind leading the blind. Behind each “retweet” and “quote this tweet,” is another score of followers getting more and more angry. The message boards start filling up and this vacuum of vitriol becomes more and more explosive until it is ready to explode. We have exchanged mobs in the streets for mobs via tweets.
How Did Greg Schiano Get Involved in the First Place?
No longer is thinking and looking at the evidence enough for people. Thinking is too hard. Reacting is easier, and following the mob even easier (and apparently more fun). Greg Schiano is now inextricably linked to a child rapist because of this uncorroborated exchange:
A: [Bradley] said another assistant coach had come to him in the early ‘90s about a very similar situation to mine, and he said that he had—someone had come to him as far back as early as the ‘80s about seeing Jerry Sandusky doing something with a boy.
Q: Did he identify who the other coaches were that had given him this information?
A: The one in the early ‘90s, yes.
Q: And who was that?
A: Greg Schiano (assistant coach at Penn State from 1990-1995).
Q: Greg Schiano?
Q: And did he give you any details about what Coach Schiano had reported to him?
A: No, only that he had—I can’t remember if it was one night or one morning, but that Greg had come into his office white as a ghost and said he just saw Jerry doing something to a boy in the shower.
That comes from Mike McQueary’s deposition. It was McQueary who thankfully came forward and provided enough evidence to finally put Jerry Sandusky away and stop the child rape. The Bradley he is referring to is Tom Bradley, the now defensive coordinator for UCLA who was hired recently without any furor (nor should there have been). The problem with the deposition is that it is hearsay to the highest degree. “I heard this guy had said something about something this other guy had seen.” Is Jerry Sandusky evil incarnate? Yes. Obviously. Greg Schiano is not. There is absolutely no evidence outside of the above statement saying Greg Schiano did anything wrong during his entire tenure at Penn State, most notably including covering up child rape.
A Total Lack of Evidence Against Greg Schiano
This situation is so despicable that a current Penn State trustee felt compelled to come out and defend Greg Schiano’s character (the trustee started his position in 2012 and the entire statement can be found here). This is the crux of the trustee’s statement and he is right on the money, especially the second paragraph:
I can confidently say that Coach Greg Schiano had nothing to do with the Sandusky scandal. Any stories about his involvement are completely uncorroborated and without basis in fact. To impugn Mr. Schiano’s character based on hearsay alone is irresponsible and unfair.
It is disappointing that University of Tennessee officials have been influenced by the voices (and keyboards) of a grossly uninformed social media mob. Had they sought to understand the truth of the matter, and stood firm in their offer, they would have seen firsthand the benefits of hiring a man of high integrity and strong character.
The key here is evidence. There is practically nothing saying Greg Schiano did anything wrong. One uncorroborated statement of hearsay. That. Is. All.
And yet, here we stand. A twitter mob descended upon the University of Tennessee via social media and now Greg Schiano has been fired before he was hired, but worse, his reputation has been forever ruined. Not just tarnished, but ruined. “Greg Schiano helped cover up child rape at Penn State.” That is what was written on the fabled The Rock at Tennessee. Greg Schiano, abettor to child rape. That is what the twitter mob wants you to believe, and now a majority of Americans think this is the truth despite no evidence substantiating the claim. If an innocent man being thought of in connection with child rape does not make your skin crawl, I hope you are never in my corner.
The only reason something like this can occur is because we as a society no longer possess any empathy. Innocent until proven guilty was put in place because empathy made it real easy to understand the consequences of being wrong. “Oh boy, I would certainly hate for that to happen to me.” We do not have that capacity any longer. Greg Schiano is a hard-nosed, over-the-top, excessive micro-manger to the point of lunacy. He might not be the best football coach in the world, but that is not a crime. In fact, there is no actual evidence outside of a two-step hearsay proclamation ever saying Greg Schiano has done anything wrong.
But yet, when he woke up this morning he did so with the stigma of being connected to covering up child rape, one of the worst things somebody can be accused of shy of committing the act itself. Maybe you sit here reading this article thinking Greg Schiano got what he deserved. But the evidence says otherwise. The evidence says Greg Schiano has never done anything wrong. But you think, “I do not care, I never did anything wrong, this could never happen to me.” Ironic, because I bet Greg Schiano, accused by social media of abetting child rape, had that same thought sometime recently.