The Horror of the Penn State Scandal

If you have been anywhere near a television today while the news was on or if you regularly check online news sources, then you have heard about former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky being indicted on sex charges involving young boys. It is one of those scandals that you want to not be true, because the horror of it being true makes you so uncomfortable you don't even want to think about it. Sadly, the charges that have been brought against Sandusky are true and very real.

Being the mother of two children, including a 14-year-old boy, I tried to avoid reading the details, because reading the details would lead me to imagine something like that happening to my son. But avoidance is for cowards, and I am not a coward. I read this article by a Sports Illustrated reporter who is kicking himself for a positive article he had done on Sandusky over a decade ago. In the article, he mentioned that the Grand Jury Report is available online. Again, I tried to talk myself out of reading it, but along with not being a coward I also work in a law firm as a legal assistant, so there was a desire to read for myself how this sexual predator was allowed to get away with what he did for so long.

You can find the presentment of the Grand Jury Report here, but PLEASE before you click on that link you need to understand that it is a legal document that goes into detail about the incidents that resulted in the charges for which he was indicted. It is not pretty or sugar-coated - it is ugly, nightmarish, and horrific. I'm glad I read it once, but I won't read it again. Once was enough. 

The most shocking part of the report - after the incident reports from the victims - is how badly the people in charge at Penn State handled the situation when a witness came forward. The two men who have already stepped down deserve whatever book gets thrown at them. And more. And as great and storied as Joe Paterno's career has been at Penn State, he was the first person in the chain to be told by the witness what he saw. So no matter who else he told and no matter what other travesties of justice were committed, Coach Paterno KNEW about at least that one incident.

I'm not going to go into the details, because the report most definitely speaks for itself. I'm incredibly saddened that these boys were preyed upon by someone whom they trusted. It's just sickening. I am in the camp of those who believe Coach Paterno should step down, but rather than give my reasons why I'm going to direct you to another article, this one written by a Penn State alum, former cheerleader, and longtime PSU fan: Horror in Happy Valley: Paterno Must Go

This is so much bigger than football.

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