Penn State University experienced rioting from disgruntled students over the firing of long time head football coach of forty five years Joe Paterno. Additionally, the school president, Graham Spanier, has also been dismissed by the Board of Trustees. Originally, Coach Paterno was to resign at the conclusion of the current season but after a closed session of the Board of Trustees of Penn State this departure has been advanced to immediately. News of his dismissal was delivered by phone.
The rape scandal that is currently rocking Penn State comes from allegations against former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky who has been accused of raping young boys within witness of Penn State football program staff. In 2002, then graduate assistant and current wide receivers coach for Penn State Mike McQueary witnessed Jerry Sandusky raping a ten year old boy in the Penn State showers and reported it to Coach Paterno, who reported it to school authorities after which it was quietly tucked away until erupting into this program and legacy shattering scandal before us all now. Truly horrific allegations and reports concerning the incidents, handling and alleged lack of action on the part of Penn State administration. The Grand Jury Report can be accessed here in all its horrid detail. The school’s response to what McQueary saw was to bar Jerry Sandusky from Penn State athletic facilities. Above is footage captured of the student reaction to Paterno’s firing while the video below is of the board’s press conference. Disturbingly, Sandusky ran a foster home for kids in State College, Pennsylvania called ‘The Second Mile.’
Allegedly Sandusky met many of his victims through this program. Sandusky was first reported in 1998 by a mother for having showered with her son, which Sandusky admitted to having done. In 2002, Mike McQueary witnessed the rape of the ten year old boy in the showers by Jerry Sandusky. Athletic Director Tim Curley and Vice President for Finance and Business Gary Schultz were relayed McQueary’s account by Paterno and had a meeting with McQueary two weeks after the alleged incident. Under oath, Tim Curley admitted that the allegations were of an inappropriate nature but not of a sexual nature. Gary Schultz stated that the allegations were not that serious and that no crime had taken place. Since the explosion of the scandal, Tim Curley has been stripped of the John L. Toner award for administrative excellence he was to win in June and he has since taken a leave of absence. Gary Schultz is retired. The victims, whose identities have been protected given the nature of the charges, should not be lost in the media maelstrom before us now. A few charities that help children in need or who do not have both parents include the following: Angel Tree (an organization that gives prison inmates children gifts at Christmas time) and the Children’s Hunger Fund of the United States. It is really hard to fathom what the victims of sexual assault must feel and how they carry that with themselves every day. The abuse of foster children, who are already lost and confused, many of them struggling to simultaneously form an identity and understand their plight, is beyond deplorable and has a specialness sickness about it. Joe Paterno’s legacy will survive but what of the victims? What consolation will they have to look forward to in the future? It really seems to be a time for the Penn State community to come together and make sure this never happens again. No child should be the victim of sexual abuse, and nobody should ignore said abuse. When all is said and done hopefully concrete changes have been made to prevent the recurrence of such horrible things, at Penn State or any college for that matter.
To quote Edmund Burke: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”