Submitted by Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger
The reports from State College, Pa are shocking. Long-time assistant to iconic coach, Joe Paterno, charged with multiple counts of deviant sexual acts with at least eight minors — most under age 12. University administrators who did nothing despite horrific credible eyewitness accounts of explicit sexual acts in locker rooms and showers. Disadvantaged kids taken advantage of by an authority figure who founded an organization ostensibly to help them, but apparently designed to fulfill his own aberrational desires.
These are the findings of the Grand Jury, and once unassailable Pennsylvania State University stands at a moral crossroads. At the institution’s hip stands legendary football coach, Joe Paterno, who is held out by the football world and the media as a guy who “does it right.” No cheating, no lascivious recruiting, no flashy uniforms a la’ Nike’s Oregon or Under Armour’s Maryland–the guy who made his football team clean the stadium after a game when criminal charges were placed against two of them. In short, a saint in the religion that has become football in Football America.
The center of the storm is former Penn State assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky, who made football fans everywhere think of the school as “Linebacker U.” An innovative mind who literally wrote the book on linebackers, Sandusky was Paterno’s right-hand man, and his heir apparent in Happy Valley. The problem was Paterno just didn’t ever retire. Now at age 84 and in his 44th season coaching, Paterno is going strong and adding to his record 409 FCS wins. Frustrated by the wait, Sandusky, 67, applied for several head coaching jobs, but, failing in that, retired in 1999 to work full-time with the Second Mile Foundation he created in 1977. Second Mile was designed to give disadvantaged youth “activities and programs for children [and] … to promote self-confidence as well as physical, academic, and personal success.”
Sandusky is alleged by the Grand Jury to have done quite a bit more. In 2002, a Penn State grad student overheard “rhythmic slapping” noises in the locker room showers. After putting away his tennis shoes, the 28-year-old went to investigate. What he saw can only be described as deviancy. According to published reports, the young man saw Sandusky involved in anal intercourse with a child he estimated to be age 10 (Victim #2). He fled the scene shocked and the next day, accompanied by his father, reported the episode to Paterno. Paterno listened intently and then immediately reported it to University AD, Tim Curley. A week and a half later, the grad student met with Curley and University VP for Finance, Gary Shultz. They too listened intently and assured him that steps would be taken. They weren’t. All that happened was that Sandusky’s keys to the locker room were taken away.
Then there’s that report by a University janitor who also caught Sandusky in the showers with another child victim ( Victim #8). He reported it to his supervisor. What happened at ol’ PSU in the face of the most unspeakable of crimes? Nada, zip, zilch… why, nothing at all. No report to the police as required of all educators under Pennsylvania law (In Pennsylvania, the statute requires all individuals who encounter a case of abuse through their professional capacity to make a report). No attempt to find out who the child was or to help him.
There is lots more. The Attorney’s General’s Report, found here (Warning:
it’s graphic), reports fondling, oral sex, and night-time sexual assaults against children “sleeping over” at the Sandusky home and at other places. There’s even lots more about Curley and VP of Finance Shultz. Seems neither man recalls the grad student mentioning anything about anal sex in the shower that night. All these folks remember is something about Sandusky and the naked ten-year-old just “horsing around.” Maybe that’s how they view screwing people over in the world of university finance and university athletics?
The Grand Jury didn’t buy it either and have charged both with perjury in their testimony.
As you probably guessed, the Old Boys have pulled together. No charges of failing to report the act to police against the iconic coach or anyone else at Penn State either — at least not yet. University President, Graham Spanier, issued a statement saying, “I have known and worked daily with Tim and Gary for more than 16 years. I have complete confidence in how they have handled the allegations about a former University employee.” Tim and Gary aren’t issuing statements.
St. Joe’s not talking either according to the Athletic Department, but as a football icon he can’t keep that up forever. I’d like to pose a question here from a fellow coach: “Joe, as a legend in a profession who has as its mantra that ‘we’re in it for the kids,’ why would you ignore the suffering of and brutality against one of those kids whose only flaw seems to be that he’s not old enough to suit up yet?”
I’d like an honest answer to that. And then I’d like another question answered of every man that was involved – whether as a witness, authority figure, supervising coach,or just as a father of kids. Why didn’t you step up and confront that old bastard in the showers and hit him with all your might right square in the nose?
Source: Washington Post
~Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger