What to do?
Jerry Sandusky and Joe Paterno
A teenage boy attacks another with a broken bottle and slashes him viciously on the shoulder, opening up a 30-centimetre cut. When the boy's trial starts, his best friend lies in court to help his mate avoid a criminal conviction. What would you do?
A few more details. The alleged attacker was drunk, the alleged victim was sober on the night; he wasn't a drinker.
Only one person saw the alleged attack but, if the participants are to be believed - and only one was sober - the drunk guy launched himself at the other for no reason.
The drunk apparently instigated an argument, punched the sober kid and then hit him with a glass. The sober youth then king hit his attacker in retaliation.
When the whole sorry mess went to trial - and it did - the drunk's best friend perjured himself in court and said it was the sober youth who started the fight and threw the first punch.
His thinking was clear enough: if his mate - no matter how dopey and dangerous - was convicted of grievous bodily harm, he could not get into the university course he wants and could not travel to the United States.
So the friend lies, the drunk gets off, and the "victim" is left with a 30-centimetre scar to remind him of the duplicity of "friends".
As Aussie men, we're told time and again we have to "stick by our mates", we have to "have their backs" but, I wonder how many of you would go to the lengths the friend did in this situation?
I'm not sure what I would have done as a teenager, but I'd like to think I wouldn't have perjured myself to protect a buffoon, even if he was a mate.
But life is seldom black and white.
Take the awful case captivating the American public at the moment.
In 2002, Mike McQueary, a then graduate assistant on the storeyed Penn State football team, allegedly saw the then defensive co-ordinator of the team, Jerry Sandusky, sodomising a 10-year-old boy in the showers at the team's football complex.
Last week Sandusky was charged with molesting eight young boys between 1994 and 2009.
Because of alleged inaction over the 2002 incident, the revered 84-year-old Joe Paterno, head coach of Penn State Nittany Lions for 46 years from 1966 until this year, has been sacked.
Paterno - known affectionately as JoePa - is an American icon.
He has won more division one football games than any other coach. He is the doyen of college football in a country that regularly has more than 80,000 fans turn up at games all over the nation.
He is next to god at Penn State.
A 2011 grand jury investigation reported McQueary told Paterno in 2002 he had seen Sandusky abusing the boy, a report that would later detail McQueary saw Sandusky sodomising the kid.
According to the report, Paterno notified Penn State's athletic director Tim Curley the next day about the incident.
However, Paterno did not go to police.
Sandusky retired in 2002, but maintained an office in the Penn State football team's building, and was on campus as recently as two weeks ago, working out.
Paterno has now said McQueary informed him that "he had witnessed an incident in the shower ... but he at no time related to me the very specific actions contained in the grand jury report".
Paterno has since said McQueary's description of the assault was nothing more than "touching" and "horsing around".
Prosecutors have stated Paterno is not accused of any wrongdoing, as he fulfilled his legal obligation to report the incident to his immediate supervisor, Curley.
However, he has been lacerated by the press and critics for not going to the cops himself, or at least ensuring that the incident was reported.
An anonymous Penn State trustee told The Morning Call of Allentown, Pennsylvania, that he and his fellow trustees felt they had no choice but to fire JoePa.
According to the trustee, he and many of his colleagues felt Paterno "either knew about it [the abuse] or brushed it under the rug, or didn't ask enough questions".
Now poor old McQueary, who is the receivers coach for the Penn State football team, has been criticised for not doing more, despite yesterday saying he stopped the assault and "spoke to police".
The guy is an outcast because, supposedly, his actions brought down Paterno, and a pariah because he didn't stand up to the most powerful man in college football.
It also seems likely Paterno was confronted with some very unsavoury facts about his good friend and colleague Sandusky and, like the young man mentioned at the top of this post, made a decision to protect a mate and the immaculate reputation of his school.
I wonder what you would do?