For the first time in my life, I cringe every time I hear Penn State on the news. I had the most incredible four years of my life in State College, PA and only the fondest memories and the closest friends remain. I wasn’t going to write about the scandal, but I find it hard to remain quiet. Penn State is so much more than football and it breaks my heart that an entire community is being judged by the inaction of the few at the top.
Let me be crystal clear: Jerry Sandusky is a sexual predator who deserves to be locked up most likely for the remainder of his life.
The real tragedy here is that this monster could have been stopped in 2002. It’s maddening that even though Sandusky’s charity, The Second Mile, was alerted that an investigation had taken place yet chose to take the word of someone from the University instead of launching their own. The entire program revolved around young, disadvantaged children. You’d think at the mere mention of inappropriate behavior that Sandusky would have been out.
Could JoePa have done more? Absolutely. Everyone involved could have done more. Made sure the authorities were notified. I’m sure in hindsight they see how their inaction led to continued abuse. They will have to live with that for the rest of their lives.
The worst part is how this tarnishes the University. We are such a close community of alumni; the largest in the world. I feel sad for the current students; for the future students. Penn State is home to the largest student run philanthropy in the world. What I’m reading on the internet about a place I love so much just breaks me heart. None of us can defend what those few at the top have chosen to do, but don’t get me wrong, I will defend a University that has given me so much.
This is an awful way to see Joe Paterno go, but he made his bed and as he stated earlier today his inaction is “one of the great sorrows of his life.” I think we can all agree the real victims here are those children.