People in the Metro react to Penn State abuse scandal

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Longtime Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno announced plans Wednesday to retire . Paterno has faced criticism since former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was charged with sexually abusing young boys.

Former Raytown South coach, Bud Lathrop, has been following the Penn State abuse scandal.

"You are talking about young kids being destroyed by a fellow coach. I couldn't even imagine," said Lathrop.

His coaching career in Raytown spanned five decades and his players trusted him.

He said he can't understand why legendary coach Paterno did not do more to protect children.

"I don't know how they thought they could sweep this under the rug," said Lathrop.

Sweeping abuse under the rug is something that recently made headlines here in Kansas City.

Bishop Robert Finn and the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph were indicted for failing to report abuse to authorities.

Rene McCreary, the director of clinical services for the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault, said these scenarios are heartbreaking.

"We all would like to believe we live in a society where we are all invested in protecting children. I think often times those coaches may not have had specific training about how to report abuse. They may not have understood the larger system. They may have been protecting their friend," said McCreary.

After coaching 48 years, Lathrop said he does not understand people in high places of power putting children at risk by allegedly looking the other way.

Penn State's athletic director and vice president have been indicted as well, accused of lying to a grand jury during their investigation.

The following is a statement from the Penn State Club of Greater Kansas City:

"The Board of the Penn State Club of Greater Kansas City is deeply saddened by the recent allegations against past and present PennState officials. If the allegations are proven true, these actions are reprehensible and run counter to everything we believe Penn State has stood for over more than 150 years of service to students, communities and families. We are further outraged that several individuals, some in prominent, leadership positions at Penn State, who may have been aware that something inappropriate had occurred, did nothing beyond their minimal legal obligation.

As a board, our primary concern today is with the alleged victims of sexual assault and abuse. Our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families. Like all members of the Penn State community, we are shocked at the charges that have come to light, and we fully support efforts to bring both justice and healing to the alleged victims.

Our respect and devotion for Penn State is bigger than any one individual or group of individuals; it is based on a long and proud history that dates to 1855. We will continue to cheer for the young men on our football team. They did nothing wrong and they need and deserve our support more than ever."

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