Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Cult at Happy Valley

      All of the allegations and evidence are burying Jerry Sandusky and making Joe Paterno ignorance front page news.  As the evidence mounts against everyone involved in the scandal we learn more and more everyday about who was involved, what happened, and who did what to cover it up.  The pride for Penn State allowed people to think it was okay to ignore the monstrous acts that were being done on campus.  When thinking of the cover up and allegations, we think of the hierarchy at Penn State.  Sports Illustrated interviewed a woman working in a barber shop in State College.  She claims that after Sandusky left, she began hearing speculations.  The barber shop she works at has been around a while and she claims she saw many Penn State administrators.  She claimed that the speculation of Sandusky and young boys had been “in the rumor mill quite a while”.  I believe more stories like this will be coming out in the coming days.  People in town who had heard stories and rumors that something was going on in the community.  It is hard for me to believe that people can defend Joe Paterno and say that he thought it was done and over with after he was told of what had happened in 2002.  Really? 
    After four years of reported incidents, an investigation revealed that Sandusky openly acknowledged showering with young boys.  He admitted it was wrong and “promised” never to do it again.  And the district attorney told investigators that no charges would be filed.  With that, the University Police Chief had the case closed.  As simple as that.  A promise, a smile, and thirteen more years of sexual abuse.  Give me a break. 
     In 2000, a janitor told his coworkers and his adviser that he saw Sandusky abusing another child.  So now janitors know about what this guy is doing…but Paterno still doesn’t?  Paterno was told of the incident in 2002, that graduate assistant Mike McQueary witnessed in the showers at Penn State.  Finally, Paterno knows!
     Assuming this knowledge, I believe it is fair to assume that more people had known as well.  Still, nine years go by before it’s put to an end.  If barber shop employees overheard, janitors and coaches witnessed, and the highest regarded individual at any university in this nation knew of what Sandusky was doing…then what took 17 years for it to be stopped?  Negligence by everyone at Penn State University.  People knew, but didn’t care.  To Happy Valley, Penn State was bigger than any child that was getting abused.  The university took on a cult like atmosphere, even now, with people defending it because Sandusky claims innocence.  He admits to showering with children!  He is not innocent.  Joe Paterno knew all along and did not want his football program, his university, his legacy to go down in flames.  Paterno had the opportunity to do the right thing, to save children from this man.  His selfishness allowed for this to continue.  He had more power at that university than most presidents of universities have.  If he spoke, authorities would have listened.  Instead he tried to cover everything up, leaving his legacy destroyed, and costing too many children their innocence.

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