Saturday, November 26, 2011

Panther Footballers Learning Hard Way That Mouthy + Stubborn = A Giant Sack Of Pitt

As Pitt and West Virginia abandon regional rivalries for far-flung, far-from-green conferences -- Pitt, State Penn Penn State, and West Virginia wind up in three conferences, spanning from Boston to Lubbock and Miami to Nebraska? -- it seemed fitting that the game that might have concluded a century of Backyard Brawl football turned out to be a sack of coal.

West Virginia produces coal. Pitt's offense mass-produces sacks.

(Or, as Todd Graham might boast, "We're number one!")

Pitt's mediocre performance this season was predictable, yet apparently blindsided Todd Graham, whose devotions to system and to bragging overrode reason synergistically. Graham inexplicably stuck with a complicated offensive system long after experience confirmed the smart-money predictions that Pitt's personnel could not succeed with it.

No later than September -- when Pitt proved proficient at being sacked even in maximum-protection formation -- it was obvious that a pass-happy offense would be pass-sad for this year's Panthers. Fortunately for Pitt in these circumstances, the Panthers had one of the top runners in college football, Ray Graham. The only things that stopped Ray this season were Todd's play-calling and a knee injury.

Graham instead stuck with an intricate, fast-paced offensive strategy that relied on the quarterback's arm and head. What Tino Sunseri lacks in instinct and judgment, he makes up for with being short, slow, and flutter-armed. (Has Pitt ever won a game in which it trailed in the second half and had Sunseri at quarterback?) During yesterday's second half, Sunseri played like a young man whose mother was being held hostage by Mountaineers and whose father had bet the family's souls on West Virginia.

Graham's self-promoting mouth compounded his operational failures. He promised a "high octane" team. His image, more than Ray Graham's, was placed on tickets, programs, promotional materials, and the like. He predicted strong performance. Worst -- because it exposed a lack of honesty or competence -- Graham repeatedly endorsed Sunseri:
"I have full confidence in him as a quarterback."

That's millions of dollars in football insight talking, at least as measured by Steve Pederson and Mark Nordenberg. Those tempted to discount Graham's words as puffery should recall that Graham moved his most experienced backup quarterback to another position.

As Pitt limps home to play Syracuse and pursue a 6-6 record (and invitation to the Beef O'Brady Bowl), Steve Pederson and Mark Nordenberg should recognize that they will have competition new and old as the Graham Era unfolds. The new competition will come from Atlantic Coast Conference programs. The old competition will come from Ed Bozik.

There are increasingly strong signals that Jamie Dixon may be considering an expansion of his employment horizons. If Dixon leaves Pitt, he may take Ed Bozik's aging crown of thorns with him.

Infytune: Run Like Hell, Pink Floyd

Friday, November 25, 2011

Save Your Money And The Date: Bruce Springsteen Could Be Back In Pittsburgh!

Forget big-screen televisions, Ipads, and the other Black Friday junk! Save your pennies and hold your holiday gift-giving plans open, because Bruce Springsteen will bring his rock-and-roll revival hour (three hours, some nights) and the E Street Band to America in a few months, and tickets will be available soon.

At least a half-dozen of the tentative dates involve shows within road-trip proximity to Pittsburgh and -- despite InsolvenCity's decline to third-tier status for concerts that don't involve country and doo-woop -- Bruce and the E Streeters are scheduled to play for Pittsburgh in March.

Tentative dates near Pittsburgh:
Philadelphia / Wed. and Thurs., March 28, 29

Pittsburgh / Saturday, March 31

Nassau / Sunday, April 1

D.C. / Monday or Tuesday, April 2 or 3

Detroit / Thursday, April 12

Buffalo/ Friday, April 13

Cleveland / Tuesday, April 17

The tour also will visit New Jersey, probably in late April or early May. Clearances and other logistics are in progress; dates could change.

Infytune: Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, Bruce Springsteen with Joe Grushecky (Flood Aid, Pittsburgh, 2004)
Infytune: Incident On 57th Street, Bruce Springsteen (Soldiers and Sailors Hall, 2011)
Infytune: The Wish, Bruce Springsteen
Infytune: We're Having A Party, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes with Bruce Springsteen (The Agora, 1979)

JFK New Frontier Award Signals Happy Days For Mayor Ravenstahl And The Kennedys

After ascending from somewhat modest (and sketchy) beginnings, reaching rarely matched levels of power and honor, tracing a memorable arc through American public culture, and experiencing the inexorable and inevitable erosion of dynasty from generational decline and historians' analysis of previously concealed information, the Kennedys finally jumped the shark on Monday.

The Post-Gazette has the local angle.

Infytune: Sweet Caroline, Neil Diamond
Infytune: Abraham, Martin and John, Dion
Infytune: Sympathy For the Devil, The Rolling Stones
Infytune: Happy Days Theme, Pratt & McClain

Thursday, November 24, 2011

An InfiCollection Of Holiday Movies

For many, the holidays reunite families and provide a break from normal schedules, creating opportunities for movie-watching. Some worthwhile holiday films:

It's A Wonderful Life (1946): It's a wonderful film. Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed.

Planes, Trains And Automobiles (1987): This Thanksgiving film is one-holiday-fits-all great. Steve Martin, John Candy (left).

Trapped In Paradise (1994): Best crime-as-comedy holiday film you've never seen, set in Pennsylvania. Nicholas Cage, Jon Lovitz, Dana Carvey.

Bad Santa (2003): Funny as hell, but not before the children are asleep. Billy Bob Thornton (right).

Die Hard (1988): John McLane survives the worst holiday party ever: "Come out to the coast [for Christmas], we'll get together, have a few laughs ..." Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman.

Home Alone (1990): The rare, if not unique, kid-outsmarts-adults movie that works. McCauley Culkin, Joe Pesci.

Trading Places (1983): Hilarity with a sociology lesson. Eddie Murphy (left), Dan Aykroyd, Ralph Bellamy, Don Ameche, Jamie Lee Curtis.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989): The Griswold formula -- strive, fail, recover -- at Christmas. Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo.

A Christmas Carol (1984): George S. Scott (right) as Ebenezer Scrooge, Charles Dickens at the pen.

Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964). So cute most don't notice Burl Ives is preaching tolerance.

Your recommendations invited.

Infytune: "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!", Vaughn Monroe

Monday, November 21, 2011

They Are . . . Penn State!

One of the victims of the Penn State-related sexual abuse of children is reported to have been driven from high school during his senior year by bullies who blame the 17-year-old for the firing of Joe Paterno.

Infytune: What's The Matter Here?, 10,000 Maniacs

Why Not Do It Correctly On Thursday?

Why not removed sliced fingers, bruised feelings, and mangled bird from Thursday's menu?

Infytune: Wish You Were Here, David Gilmour
Infytune: Wish You Were Here, Roger Waters and Eric Clapton
Infytune: Wish You Were Here, Pink Floyd

Saturday, November 19, 2011

(Soccer Champion) Women Are From Mars

The young ladies from Mars produced an out-of-this-world result in the Pennsylvania high school soccer AA championship game, defeating traditional powerhouse -- and nationally top-ranked -- Villa Joseph Marie of Bucks County, 1-0, at Hersheypark Stadium on Friday.

The lone score -- in a game in which Mars did not place a single shot on goal -- was an own-goal precipitated by a crossing ball from the left foot of Crysta Ganter (second from left).

Congratulations, Fightin' Planets!

Infytune: Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves, Annie Lennox and Aretha Franklin
Infytune: Just Fine, Mary J. Blige
Infytune: Respect, Aretha Franklin

Friday, November 18, 2011

Onorato To Highmark? It's Over -- UPMC Wins!

If KDKA has it right, and Highmark is going to rely on Dan Onorato's post-executive connections and persuasiveness in its government relations and regulatory affairs, it's over (technical knockout). UPMC has won.

Infytune: Bad Moon Rising, Creedence Clearwater Revival
Infytune: It's Over, Boz Scaggs
Infytune: Money For Nothing, Dire Straits with Eric Clapton

Penn State's Eerily Perfect Self-Protective Pitch Continues To Sound Wrong Notes

Penn State's insularity, self-centeredness, and lack of self-awareness has begun to approach absurdity.

Which of these would be the least apt legal counsel the school's trustees could engage to assist with the Official Penn State Investigation of how the entire Penn State community -- from janitor to emperor, from police to board of trustees -- failed to protect children from rape:
a) a Penn State graduate whose legal practice focuses on investigation of wrongdoing "syndicated and commercial lending/bilateral finance" and "corporate and securities mergers and acquisitions"

b) a Penn State insider with a history of advising Penn State and its trustees

c) the law firm that helped Frick, Carnegie, and other powerful interests dodge all accountability to the victims of the Johnstown Flood (and is still boasting about it, even from the grave), or

d) all of the above?

Infytune: Still The Same, Bob Seger

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Parsing Ravenstahl's Play Against Franco Harris

InsolvenCity Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, demonstrating a new and uncharacteristic concern regarding the character of people participating in Insolvencity's public affairs, has called for Franco Harris to resign from the board of the Pittsburgh Promise scholarship operation. The mayor (far right, with advisor on problem nightclub issues) employed strident terms -- taking the friend-of-the-enemy-of-my-enemy's friend approach customarily restricted to anti-abortion zealots -- in assailing the former Steeler running back's character and judgment for expressing support of Joe Paterno, Harris' (and Penn State's) former college football coach.

Some have ascribed Ravenstahl's unusually energetic response to Harris' pro-Joe statements to family history (Harris' son Dok haplessly challenged Ravenstahl in a mayoral election).

Others might claim Ravenstahl's move against Harris is based on the mayor's heartfelt outrage concerning systematic child sexual abuse, a point we might consider plausible if someone produces evidence that Ravenstahl denounced the Catholic Church for concealing and facilitating sexual abuse of children at a level that makes Penn State (at least so far) look like a bunch of altar boys. (Make that an exceptionally large group of altar boys.) Did Ravensthal murmur even a word of disapproval concerning the shameful misappropriation of public funds for Catholic Church use in North Park?

We also suppose it is possible that Ravenstahl is dumb enough to conclude that Harris' statements betray a lack of concern for the victims of Penn State's depravity.

Each of those explanations, however, seems less likely than our hunch: Ravenstahl doesn't like Harris simply because Franco is a Democrat.

Infytune: Be True To Your School, The Beach Boys

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Time To Shun And Expose Penn State, Which Is Still Looking Out For Itself (And Football)

It seems reasonable to conclude that unless and until Penn State cancels a football game, the university's reactions to the revelations of institutional facilitation and concealment of sexual abuse of children constitute a self-serving (but perhaps more polished) continuation of the cover-up that consigned children to molestation.

Is no one connected with Penn State, State College, or Centre County capable of self-awareness, or of recognizing the need for an independent review of every element of this entire moral meltdown?

The district judge who slashed prosecutors' bail request, gave Jerry Sandusky a no-money-down bond, and sent an accused serial child rapist home to a residence that abuts an elementary school? Leslie Dutchcot (right) (1) was the beneficiary of a fundraiser conducted by a Second Mile foundation executive, (2) was a volunteer for Sandusky's child access program, (3) did not disclose her relationships with Sandusky's child molestation operation, and (4) might have an opportunity to explain all of this to the State Supreme Court soon.

The university trustee selected by Penn State's board to lead the investigation of how the school reached its current level of depravity? Kenneth Frazier is the attorney who masterminded Merck's multi-billion-dollar, scorched-earth effort to avoid responsibility for harm caused by Vioxx.

The lawyer defending Sandusky (although not necessarily effectively) with respect to sex-with-minors charges, and declaring he would leave his child alone with Sandusky? Joseph Amendola reportedly prepared for this assignment by impregnating a 17-year-old client -- at age 49. (That woman recently posted on Facebook, "OMG did Joe just say he would leave my kid alone with Jerry Sandusky?")

No reasonable observer would take the university's investigation seriously. For several reasons, the prosecutors who seem to have placed gubernatorial ambitions above warning central Pennsylvania's parents are poor candidates to provide a comprehensive, independent review.

That leaves lawyers for the victims as the best prospect for a credible illumination of the circumstances that protected Penn State and its football team at the expense of many molested children.

Until fundamental changes at Penn State are confirmed, every Penn State football player should leave the team; every Penn State student should transfer (excepting those who proximity to graduation would make transfer impractical); every high school senior should choose a school other than Penn State; every parent should refuse to approve a child's enrollment at Penn State; every sponsor should abandon Penn State football; no bowl should invite the Nittany Lions; and every Penn State graduate should implore the school to develop self-awareness and a moral compass.

Until Penn State cancels a football game, every time Penn Staters yell "We are Penn State," the rest of the world should hear "We are Penn State football!"

Infytune: Judgment Day, Method Man

Sunday, November 13, 2011

For Some Fans, It Is Time To Re-Evaluate Your Taste In Heroes And Associations

For anyone who rooted for the Nittany Lions yesterday (perhaps after a stop to have a picture taken at the Paterno statue, left), and will devote this afternoon to cheering for Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers, it is time for some soul-searching.

If, between games, you visited a Catholic Church, you might have a hard time finding a soul to search.

The rest of us can contemplate the thought of Jerry Sandusky out for a bit of shopping this week --at Dick's, of course.

Infytune: Hallelujah, Leonard Cohen
Infytune: Cathedral, Crosby, Stills, and Nash

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Nittany Credulous

Penn State students and alumni tend to be loyalists. Followers. Traditionalists.

(The skeptics, independent thinkers, and creative minds among Pennsylvania's college applicants generally have chosen other institutions, such as Pitt, Penn, and Carnegie Mellon. This is changing in Oakland, as Pitt abandons it traditional mission -- offering a big-league education to striving students from the local middle to lower classes -- and pursues the more lucrative role of backup school for Ivy League rejects from New Jersey, New York, and the Philadelphia suburbs whose applications are augmented by parental ability to pay full freight.)

No change in credulity, however, is apparent in State College, even as the endowment becomes the Victims Of Penn State's Immorality Compensation Fund.

Observation of a stubbornly faithful herd (right) supporting the 20 or so Penn Staters who concealed and facilitated the rape of children -- for more than a decade, and for the purpose of protecting the image and finances of a football program and its university auxiliary -- is, therefore, not entirely surprising.

Some reported comments from fans assembled at State College for today's football game are nonetheless jarring.

Fifty-something Penn State alumnus Tom Lowe, for example, wore a "Thanks Joe" sweatshirt for the game (and preparatory tailgating).

"I still love Penn State." said 1991 Penn State graduate Dave Granski.

Most Penn State fans not only did not permit the scandal to interfere with today's entertainment, but indeed "were supportive of Mr. Paterno," the Post-Gazette reports.

For Tom Lowe, Dave Granski, and others drinking, socializing, and cheering at Beaver Stadium today, this weekend would have been better devoted to having their moral compasses adjusted.

Infytune: Luka, Suzanne Vega

Friday, November 11, 2011


Today is 11-11-11, a once-in-a- . . . well, somewhat rare occurrence.

Infytune: Tonight I'm Gonna Rock You Tonight/C.O.D., Spinal Tap
Infytune: Don't Lift That Kilt (Instrumental and Interview from Dennis Miller show), Les Paul and Nigel Tufnel

Veterans Day 2011

Today's Americans stand on the shoulders of those who strove before them, beneficiaries of centuries of ingenuity, sacrifice, intrepidity, investment, and effort throughout the world.

For most Americans, Veterans Day is a relatively minor holiday; a day of leisure for some, another workday or schoolday for others. Even when mentioned by a colleague or a newspaper article or a radio broadcast, it can be a passing thought, particularly among those outside the relatively thin slice of America currently shouldering the military burden with sweat, anxiety, and blood.

More than one million persons have accepted active duty in the military service of today's United States of America. All have been volunteers, pushed by patriotism, practicality, and perhaps other factors in varying measures.

Millions of other veterans have completed their service. Some enlisted, some were conscripted. Some pursued danger, some had no choice other than to confront it. Some accomplished great missions, others have been sent on fools' errands, some were issued immoral orders. Some were required to overcome not only the enemy but also the ignorance and bigotry of their peers or superiors.

Nearly all have distinguished themselves, whatever their orders, by simply doing their duty. Some returned as heroes, some (including heroes) returned to a society that treated them like dirt. Some returned in caskets, some never returned.

More than one million persons have died in the military service of the United States. At a technical level, Memorial Day honors the dead and Veterans Day honors the living. All, however, deserve a moment of reflection, a kind thought, a measure of gratitude today.

Infytune: The Wall, Joe Grushecky
Infytune: The Wall, Bruce Springsteen
Infytune: Shut Out The Light, Bruce Springsteen

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Penn State's Child Rape Problem Progresses

The pro-Joe holdouts among Pennsylvania State University trustees and influential alumni are reportedly being wrestled to submission by donors, public officials, and others. President Graham Spanier possesses even less support, and seemingly no chance to survive in office as he awaits criminal charges, but some trustees apparently fear a short-term leadership vacuum could aggravate a situation already marked by institutional paralysis and staggering liability exposure. Disgraced coach Joe Paterno (smiling with chanting supporters gathered outside his home, right) is said to be nearly delusional with respect to the scandal and his position.

(Until evidence overcomes the probability that Tom Corbett's political ambitions influenced the timing of state prosecutors' handling of this matter, Penn Staters would be smart to exclude Pennsylvania's governor from anything beyond an ex-officio trustee's position during these deliberations.)

Those attempting to salvage the football program (and hold some recruits) appear to be pushing defensive line coach and recruiter Larry Johnson, at least informally, to accept a promotion. Given the toxicity to be associated with Penn State and its athletics program throughout the foreseeable future -- the situation seems likely to worsen as revelations emerge -- the prospect of persuading an accomplished head coach to move to University Park seems remote.

Infytune: Ball Of Confusion, The Temptations

Why Were Registered Democrats Permitted To Vote For The Non-Democratic At-Large Council Position?

Why were registered Democrats permitted to vote today for candidates for the unexpired Republican (or, for the fastidious, non-Democratic) at-large Allegheny County Council position?

If the opportunity a number of Democrats have reported -- to vote for Heather Heidelbaugh, the Republican nominee, or to cast instead a vote for another candidate -- was a proper, intended circumstance of ballot preparation, the prospect for mischief is plain. Having already selected Jumpin' John DeFazio, a Democrat, for one at-large position, Democratic electors could have arranged today for someone other than a Republican (a Libertarian, perhaps, or a Republican more attractive to Democrats, or a non-partisan) to complete the term Ed Kress relinquishes after being selected by county council Republicans to replace Chuck McCullough as the non-Democratic at-large member.

Devious Democrats seemingly could have even arranged for a Democrat to switch registrations (to Republican, or non-partisan, or Green, or something else other than Democratic), then challenge the Republican nominee for the second at-large position.

Anyone who believes such low-grade political cheating involving disingenuous party registrations would be beneath public officials (and partisans) must be unfamiliar with the sordid recent history of the United States Commission On Civil Rights.

[Note regarding second Infytune: If Todd Gaziano and Gail Theriot can masquerade as non-Republicans, why can't Henry Famborough pull off XX-chromosomed vocal chords?]

Infytune: Lowdown, Boz Scaggs
Infytune: Games People Play, The Spinners (dude ridiculously masquerading as Barbara Ingram version)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Infindorsements: Hold Your Nose, But Vote!

Residents of Greater Insolvency may be excused for exhibiting a lack of excitement with respect to candidates set to appear on Tuesday's ballots, but lackluster candidates should not be enough to disincline a citizen to exercise a hard-won entitlement to vote. So hold your nose and push the pixels in these directions:

Allegheny County Executive: The best news associated with this Election Day is that citizens will soon be rid of Dan Onorato (left, with junior aide), under whose lack of leadership the County of Allegheny is in shambles, acutely failing nearly everyone who comes in contact with county government and chronically violating the United States Constitution and fundamental decency. The sole consolation for those who will elect half-heartedly Infindorsed Rich Fitzgerald to succeed Onorato is a slim hope that Fitzgerald's coziness with Onorato policies and playmates will be cast aside in January, when Onorato is to become an unproductive lobbyist collecting a six-figure reward for eight years of favors funded by taxpayers. Republican Raja, an unattractive candidate, deserves sympathy -- he has paid dearly for being duped by Republican Party leadership and by a sleazy set of campaign consultants -- but not votes.

Allegheny County Controller: After overcoming a familial connection with ugly InsolvenCity politics to become a worthwhile legislator, and overcoming her most worthy competition by defeating Valerie McDonald Roberts in the primary, Chelsa Wagner has earned the Infindorsement.

Allegheny County Treasurer: A small-town pol of the type that has shackled our region for decades, but a likeable and relatively effective one, John Weinstein carries the Infindorsement with him to victory on Tuesday.

Allegheny County District Attorney: Jordan Miles merits the Infindorsement; incumbent Steven A. Zappala Jr. is far too conflicted to deserve the additional term of office oblivious voters will provide on Tuesday.

Allegheny County Council: Infindorsed candidates are John DeFazio (Democratic at-large), Edward Kress (Republican at-large, although Republicans were silly enough to nominate tiresome but loud ineffectiveness embodied by partisan flamethrower Heather Heidelbaugh), District 2's Jan Rea, District 5's Vince Gastgeb, District 6's John Palmiere, District 10's William Robinson, District 11's Barbara Daly Danko, and District 13's Amanda Hawkins Green. In the sole contested race, in which Republican Michael Dell offers unsophisticated but well-meaning opinions against Nick Futules' proven insipidity, the Infindorsement belongs to Michael Dell, largely because Futules chose cowardice over conviction (an easy call for someone who lacks conviction) in ducking the drink tax vote.

Pittsburgh City Council: Infindorsees Darlene Harris (District 1), Bruce Kraus (District 3), and Dr. Patrick Dowd (District 7) are a flawed and fractious bunch, but they appear to constitute the principal hope for averting catastrophe in InsolvenCity until a competent mayor takes office. With Natalia Rudiak, Bill Peduto, and District 5 rookie Corey O'Connor (who holds an Infindorsement crafted entirely of hope), they possess a responsibility to forge a durable coalition against List-Maker predations and parking privateers.

Pennsylvania Superior Court: David Wecht was chosen for the bench too young, primarily on name recognition, but needs only outpace a lame Republican to get the Infindorsement and easily meets that standard.

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court: Kathryn Boockvar is too young for an appellate position, but is nonetheless plainly preferable to her opponent and therefore takes the Infindorsement to the polls.

Judicial retention (Pennsylvania): Voters should consider retaining Infindorsed judges Renee Cohn Jubelirer and Mary Hannah Leavitt (Commonwealth Court). Voters should push the "reset" button and create vacancies with respect to the judicial positions currently entrusted to Michael Eakin (Supreme Court), John Bender and Mary Janes Bowes (Superior Court), and Robin Simpson (Commonwealth Court)

Judicial retention (Allegheny County): The Infindorsed candidates for retention are Kathleen Durkin and Randal Todd. Voters should thank David Cashman, Guido DeAngelis, Michael A. Della Vecchia for their judicial service with a vote to return them to the pool of local pols.

Library funding referendum (City of Pittsburgh): Although a county-wide funding mechanism -- such as Regional Asset District revenues, which would be adequate for this purpose were relevant board members to refrain from self-promoting, hypocritical ass-kissing in the form of iniquitous subsidization of entertainments preferred by the tuxedoed corporate class -- would be preferable, we encourage InsolvenCity voters to recall the wisdom of Emil Faber ("Knowledge is Good") and support public libraries by voting to enact a modest tax.

Infytune: Salt Of The Earth, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger
Infytune: Electioneering, Radiohead
Infytune: Won't Get Fooled Again, The Who

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Nittany Lions Reportedly Played In Catholic League With Respect To Criminal Sexual Abuse Of Children

One of the essential foundations of Penn State's football program has been careful management of information and image. Assisted by small-town circumstances and horribly misplaced loyalties, university officials and compliant (perhaps cowed) locals -- including law enforcement personnel -- controlled investigations and imposed secrecy with respect to unflattering events for decades.

Recent revelations indicate that Penn State has been no better than the Catholic Church with respect to concealment and facilitation of sexual abuse of children, relying -- as has the church -- on undeserved pedestal and privilege to promote and protect self-interest at shocking cost to victims and morality.

Why did Penn State officials refrain, for more than a decade, from alerting officials to evidence that defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky had been observed molesting children on university premises? Why did they enable Sandusky to continue to operate a program for at-risk children, and to use his affiliation with Penn State to arrange access to children?

Long-overdue criminal charges will provide an opportunity for Penn State's athletic director and a Penn State business executive to answer those questions, but it seems probable that the circumstances and motivations resemble those associated with campus police officers who extended unwarranted courtesies to Penn State footballers over the years, or midstate journalists who pulled punches (what are the career prospects of a Centre County sports writer who publishes information damaging to Joe Paterno?) with respect to Penn State. Cowardice, poor judgment, flawed character, and a warped environment appear to have enabled pressures to build, and wrongdoing to compound, until an explosion occurred.

For too long, protecting the football program at whatever cost has been the Penn State Way.

Penn State President Graham Spanier (who, like Mark Nordenberg, appears to have outlasted his institutional usefulness some time ago) has promptly gone all-in with respect to defense of his administrators. Unless those Spanier has vigorously defended -- perhaps from self-interest -- are exonerated without qualification, Spanier will deserve to be fired, scorned and ruined.

(Important point: The worst to be said about Nordenberg is that his period of effective leadership ended some time ago, and that Pitt's performance and mission have deteriorated in recent years.)

We applaud the law enforcement personnel who have disregarded decades of small-time, small-town protocol by filing criminal charges against Penn State royalty. We hope any victims of Penn State-promoted predations will advance civil claims against every person and institution that engaged in, concealed, and/or facilitated selfish destruction of children's lives; the facts, long submerged, should be illuminated.

This episode could provide a few pointers with respect to Pittsburgh's relationship with sporting royalty.

Remarkably, Jerry Sandusky's autobiography (right) was entitled "Touched."

Infytune: Universal Child, Annie Lennox
Infytune: Covered In Cowardice, Billy Talent
Infytune: Like A Rolling Stone, Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones