The recent news of the sex scandal at Penn State, centered around former Assistant Coach, Jerry Sandusky, performing sexual acts (abuse) with boys as young as seven years old is completely overwhelming and devastating to me. I am in complete shock that so many people knew about these heinous acts, yet swept them under the rug purely to protect the reputation of the football program as well as guarding against the financial impact this would cause. This entire cover-up has haunted me since I first saw this on the news last night. These poor children… and for Victim #2 to actually have been witnessed by then graduate assistant, Mike McQueary, being raped in the shower by Sandusky, only for no one to come to this child’s rescue completely tears me apart.
While referencing Mike McQueary (photo with Paterno top left), who is now the Assistant Coach of the football team, it has just recently been released:
“Due to multiple threats made against Assistant Coach Mike McQueary, the University has decided it would be in the best interest of all for Assistant Coach McQueary not to be in attendance at Saturday’s Nebraska game.”
Who is threatening McQueary? The students and fans of Paterno who protested and caused a riot last night due to the firing of the famous coach? Or is he being threatened by those people who feel he should have done more to stop Sandusky, as in go directly to the police and the local child protective services? Or a combination of both?
Last night, hundreds, if not thousands, of students, fans and alumni filled the streets in Beaver Canyon outside of Paterno’s home all in protest of the school board removing Paterno from his position as head coach. The scene becaome chaotic: students ripped down light posts, and threw rocks at a news van, smashing its windows. They then flipped the van over. Around 100 police in riot gear confronted students, and used pepper spray to control the crowd but there were no reports of arrests. “There’s a large student and alumni outcry against what happened,” Villani (freshman-industrial engineering) said. “They should have let him finish his last home game.” No, they should not have let him finish the season. This is not a matter of what Paterno has done for the school, it is a matter of what he did NOT do.
In TIME magazine (online) this morning, an article was published by Sean Gregory which best sums up the reasoning for Paterno’s release:
“If Paterno had coached Penn State’s final home again of the 2011 season, against Nebraska, it would have haunted the school for a long time. Imagine millions of television viewers watching Paterno coaching from his press box perch. What would they be thinking? This man let a possible sex offender roam free. This man, the face of the university for 46 years, the winningest coach in major college football history, a legendary figure on campus – a library is named after him – passed a powerful claim of sexual conduct, between a man and a child, up the chain of command and never followed through on it. This school’s priorities are such that it would permit this man to represent the university, which has over 45,000 students and a proud academic tradition, on such a public stage. No sane executive would make that error, and further damage an important institution.”
(Photo above: Fired: Legendary coach Joe Paterno, pictured celebrating with his players after a win at Beaver Stadium, was sacked for his role in the scandal)
Students, fans, and alumi… WAKE UP! Paterno may have been the winningest coach in college history, but for him to not pursue Sandusky’s acts of violence is the same as condoning Sandusky’s behavior. Paterno, in addition to all other staff who knew, should all be considered accomplices to the crimes Sandusky committed. The rape of the 10-year old boy in the schools shower occurred on March 1, 2002, and was brought to Paterno’s attention first, then several other school administrators. Had the proper actions been taken and Sandusky turned in to the proper authorities, then dozens, if not over a hundred, children would have been saved from the torture and rape at the hands of Sandusky. I do not think we will ever know the true numbers, as many will fear for their own safety and do not wish to be exploited by the media. Eight victims are listed in the indictment either via personal testimony, or testimony from witnesses.
Why was this covered up upon discovery? And silenced for nearly a decade? Two reasons… reputation and money. Penn State has one of the strongest football programs in the country. For this to come out in the open, when Paterno is on a winning roll, would have completely torn apart the football program. The revenue the school gains each season would have been critically lost.
In essence, those that knew within the school pimped out these boys purely for financial gain and selfish reasons.
So, who knew? For one, Tim Curley (photo, left), Penn State Athletic Director and Paterno’s immediate superior, who Paterno contacted upon hearing the shower-room scene from McQueary. Shortly thereafter, the Senior Vice President for Finance and Business, Gary Schultz (photo below, left), was brought in as well. This alone tells you why this was covered up. Sandusky’s child molestation does not directly relate to Finance and Business, but all the parties knew what the impact would be should the word get out to the public. Eventually, University President Graham Spanier “was apprised in 2002 that a report of an incident involving Sandusky and a child in the showers on campus had been reported by an employee. Schultz testified that Spanier approved the decision to ban Sandusky from bringing children into the football locker room and the decision to advise The Second Mile of the 2002 incident.” (Source: Indictment, pages 8-9). Additionally, Curley and Schultz eventually twisted the story which described a scene of anal sex/rape into a scene of “horseplay” in the showers in order to cover up their own asses. Even if this was “horseplay,” which according to all the witnesses in the indictment it was NOT, a 50-some year old man “horseplaying” naked in the showers with a 10-year old boy is completely and utterly inappropriate and should have been addressed immediately.
Banning Sandusky from bringing into the school any children from his self-founded charity for under privileged children, The Second Mile, is nothing more than a slap on the wrist. Spanier is just as guilty as everyone else for not taking more drastic measures in stopping Sandusky. I am not familiar with Pennsylvania laws, but hopefully there is a law that any party must report to the proper officials when an act of sex against a minor is witnessed. If so, I hope each and every one of the parties who knew about Sandusky are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Even more sickening to this whole ordeal, is that is appears a member of The Second Mile was aware of Sandusky’s behavior back in 1998 and never further investigated – or addressed it, and simply dismissed it for whatever personal reasons. According to the indictment (page 9), “…Schultz acknowledged that there were similarities between the 1998 and 2002 allegations, both of which involved minor boys in the football showers with Sandusky behaving in a sexually inappropriate manner. Schultz (photo, left) testified that the 1998 incident was reviewed by the University Police and “the child protection agency” with the blessing of then-University counsel Wendell Courtney. Courtney was then and remains counsel for The Second Mile….” What happened here? A failure of our system? Or a cover-up for alterior motives?
Today, according to an article in Huffington Post, Pittsburgh radio host Mark Madden appeared on The Dennis and Callahan Show on WEEI in Boston and shared the following:
“I can give you a rumor and I can give you something I think might happen,” Madden said on the radio. “I hear there’s a rumor that there will be a more shocking development from the Second Mile Foundation — and hold on to your stomachs, boys, this is gross, I will use the only language I can — that Jerry Sandusky and Second Mile were pimping out young boys to rich donors. That was being investigated by two prominent columnists even as I speak.”
This just keeps getting worse and worse.
We must remember that all these are alleged crimes… one is innocent until proven guilty. However, for the board of trustees of Penn State (ranked #12 in the AP Top 25) to make such drastic moves only days before a major football game, the last home game, against Nebraska (ranked #19 in the AP Top 25), only supports that all the evidence is horribly damning to Sandusky and all parties involved.
College football will never be the same, and has been evolving into a sport of sponsorship and profit. During my time at Purdue, another Big 10 school, college sports was much different and was full of integrity. Not so anymore. I mourn the days that used to be, and cry for all the victims of Sandusky which could have been stopped back in 1998 – most certainly no later than 2002. But Greed stood in the way.
VICTIM 1: He was 11 or 12 years old when he met Sandusky in 2005 or 2006 through the Second Mile, a charity Sandusky set up to help disadvantaged boys. The coach gave the boy gifts — golf clubs, a computer, clothes — and often had him stay at his house in a basement bedroom.
Sandusky would crawl into bed with him, have the boy lie on top of him and “crack his back,” pulling the boy against him and then rubbing his back. The grand jury said Sandusky performed oral sex on the boy more than 20 times in 2007 and 2008 and had the boy perform oral sex on him once.
VICTIM 2: A boy, about 10 years old, was seen naked in a locker-room shower at Penn State with Sandusky in 2002 by Mike McQueary, then a 28-year-old graduate assistant and aspiring coach. The grand jury report said McQueary saw the boy “with his hands up against the wall, being subjected to anal intercourse by a naked Sandusky.”
VICTIM 3: A boy, about 13, was invited by Sandusky in 2000 to his home for dinners, to go on walks and to attend Penn State football games. They exercised together and then showered. Sandusky patted him, rubbed his shoulders, washed his hair and gave him bear hugs. The boy stayed at Sandusky’s home, where Sandusky blew on his stomach, rubbed the inside of his thigh and touched his genitals.
(Photo above: Arrested: McQuery testified that he saw former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky, pictured being taken into custody, sodomising a 10-year-old boy in the showers)
VICTIM 4: A boy, 12 or 13, “was repeatedly subjected to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and indecent assault at the hands of Sandusky,” the report said. Contact took place in 1996 or 1997 in the locker-room shower and in hotel rooms. Sandusky gave the boy dozens of gifts — sports equipment, clothes and passes to sporting events — and threatened to send him home from the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio when the boy resisted his advances.
VICTIM 5: A boy, 7 or 8, was invited in 1995 or 1996 to Sandusky family events and football games. When the boy was 8 or 10, Sandusky would roughhouse with him, then say they needed to shower. At one point, Sandusky, naked, pinned the boy against a wall in the shower, then placed the boy’s hand on his genitals. The boy slid away, and Sandusky never touched him again.
VICTIM 6: When the boy was 11, in 1998, Sandusky was driving him to the university and put his hand on his thigh in the car. At the university they wrestled and Sandusky said they needed to shower. He lathered the boy in soap and bear-hugged him from behind. After the boy’s mother reported the incident to the university, Sandusky told investigators that he was wrong and that “I wish I were dead.”
VICTIM 7: A boy, about 10, was invited in 1994 to numerous events and sleepovers at Sandusky’s. After a couple of years, Sandusky began putting his hand on the boy’s thigh while they were driving and on at least one occasion put his hands down the boy’s pants, though never touching his genitals. Sandusky bear-hugged him, cracked his back and shared showers.
VICTIM 8: An unidentified “young” boy was seen in the shower with Sandusky at Penn State in 2000 by a university janitor. The janitor said Sandusky had pinned the boy against the wall and was performing oral sex on him.
The janitor who also witnessed Sandusky in the shower with a young boy (Victim 8), and reported this scene to his superior, both decided to remain silent due to the fear of losing their jobs. This just goes to show the power those involved with knowing of Sandusky’s illicit sex with minors have. No more. I am glad the Penn State Board of Trustees has acted in behalf of the victims and is doing what is right.
In closing, here is an excerpt from the Time article which shows how Paterno, a man who was in a very powerful position, thought he was impervious to the revealing of Sandusky’s crimes. Kudos to the board for doing what was right and not falling into the trap of “elite people”:
We’re not talking about the school’s students, who reacted to Joe Paterno’s dismissal Thursday night by rioting on campus. The school’s board of trustees, however, did the right thing by letting the football coach go. Earlier Thursday, Paterno had announced that he would be stepping down at the end of the season. “At this moment the Board of Trustees should not spend a single minute discussing my status,” Paterno had said in a statement, which now reads like a failed pre-emptive strike to save his hide. Paterno probably didn’t help his case by lecturing the school’s board. “They have far more important matters to address,” Paterno said. “I want to make this as easy for them as I possibly can.” His subsequent reaction to being fired indicated that he wasn’t 100% on board with the decision. “I am disappointed with the board of trustees’ decision, but I have to accept it,” the 84-year-old said in a statement. “A tragedy occurred, and we all have to have patience to let the legal process proceed.”
In prefacing these pictures and video below, of those who were protesting the removal of Paterno, remember… this is NOT about what Joe Paterno has done… it is about WHAT HE DID NOT DO.
News coverage of the students rioting last night, showing the overturning of the News van:
(Photo above: A photojournalist falls to the ground of College Avenue early Thursday morning after being struck in the head by a thrown object. Police officers and fellow photographers rushed to his aid. Andrew Dunheimer/Collegian)
(Photo above: A student signs a petition to bring Joe Paterno back as head coach after his termination was announced by the Board of Trustees Wednesday. Tyler Sizemore/Collegian)
(Photo above: Students in the HUB-Robeson Center watch as reports come in that Head Football Coach Joe Paterno has been fired on Wednesday night. Kelley King/Collegian)
(Photo above: A student attempts to kick out one of the ground lights underneath a flag pole at Old Main on Wednesday night after hearing a press conference from the Penn State Board of Trustees that Joe Paterno had been fired. Kelley King/Collegian)
(Photo above: Students riot on Beaver Ave. during a riot downtown that ensued after the Penn State Board of Trustees held a press conference announcing the firing of Joe Paterno. Kelley King/Collegian)