By now, I’m sure you’ve heard about the Penn State scandal. You know, the one where the football team had an accused serial child molester, Jerry Sandusky, as an assistant coach for about 30 years. The one where prominent university staff such as the president, athletic director, and vice president of finance all knew about what was going on.
The one where all of them turned a blind eye to the entire situation and never once told police young boys were possibly being molested in their very own facilities.
The very same one that has the entire country second-guessing society as a whole, wondering how it was possible for an entire program to enable this behavior for so long. Whose fault is it, exactly? Is it the graduate assistant, Mike McQueary, who states in 2002 he witnessed Sandusky in the shower with a presumed 10-year-old boy and decided to wait a day to notify head coach Joe Paterno? Is it Paterno, who simply told his higher-ups and left it at that? Is it the AD, Tim Curley, and the Vice President of Finance and Business, Gary Schultz, who heard of multiple occurrences and never contacted police?
My answer? All of them. Every single person with even the slightest hint of knowledge regarding Sandusky’s alleged actions over the course of 20 some-odd years is to blame. And people knew. Sandusky was even told not to bring children to Penn State after the shower incident. In a way, that was the school saying, “Now, you can do this on your own time, just don’t do it here.” Now everyone knows the men at the top (Curley, Schultz) are liars who tried to cover up this mess as they’re currently facing perjury charges. However, some in Happy Valley seem to think Paterno “did what he should have done” and deserved to leave on his own terms given his status within the football program. Really?
This fiasco supersedes sports entirely. It’s safe to say this is one of the bigger disgraces in recent memory. A man who heard about “inappropriate” and “disturbing” behavior between a man and a young boy just turned it over to his bosses who did nothing? In fact, Sandusky was allowed to retire in good grace. Apparently it was just another day at the office over at Penn State.
The fact that Penn State students rioted in the streets because their beloved coach was dropped on the spot shows how unreasonable and blinded some truly can be. It doesn’t matter Paterno has won more football games than any other coach or how long he’s been with the university. Paterno, along with everyone else, failed when it mattered the most.
The board of trustees at Penn State absolutely did what they had to do. The only solution is to clean house and rid themselves of all those involved or even remotely close to the situation. Given the negative attention and various lawsuits the university will encounter over the coming months, it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to shut down the football program entirely for a year or two.
If you happen to think that any of the outcry concerning Sandusky, Paterno or whoever else is over the top — do yourself a favor and read the 23-page grand jury report for Sandusky’s indictment. That’s all there needs to be said.
To contact Morgan Beard,