Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Fall of a Legendary Football Coach...and More

Small successes in the Penn State Scandal - NCAA fined Penn State $60 million and withdrew all the school's victories from 1998 to 2011 (knocking Joe Paterno as major college football's #1 coach). Other penalties include a four-year ban on postseason games that will prevent Penn State from playing for the Big Ten title, the loss of 20 scholarships per year over four years and five years' probation. The NCAA also said that any current or incoming football players are free to immediately transfer and compete at another school.

And of course-Jerry Sandusky was found guilty, and is finally off the streets and no longer able to rape our children.  Think that's extreme?  Well, it's time someone got extreme and started calling the situation for what it is.  Molestation is not quiet strong enough of a word here.

I write this in my small office, feet away from my sweet little children.  They are laughing and playing together; the picture of a perfect family evening.  It's astonishing to me, that there are people in this very world; people with children themselves running around, innocent and harmless-who'd do whatever it took to protect a vicious monster like Jerry Sandusky.

When I wrote originally about the Penn State Rape scandal, I got some kickback.  People were on the fence about whether the legendary coach Paterno had done the right thing or not by not notifying police or stepping up in anyway to make sure that a predator like Sandusky couldn't act again.  It's amazing how fast people are to protect someone just because they are great at something; just because they are a celebrity.

Even more astonishing, there were more people involved in this scandal.   While Penn State’s leaders bear most of the blame for the body-and-soul-damaging abuse that Mr. Sandusky committed, the report shows that the entire university system — the police, the trustees, the athletic department — failed at just about every level by a string of emails reflecting their desire to keep the situation "quiet".  The emails are proof itself of the insanity of which our country has come to; proof that money and fame rise far above what's right and honorable.  Emails proving everyone wanted to keep the rapes secret and within the walls of the school.

There was no steps in the appropriate direction, other than a slap possibly on Jerry Sandusky's hand for putting school officials in that place to begin with by perprating these terrible acts on school property.  It was far more important to keep the school's image untarnished then it was to ensure another poor boy wouldn't be violated.  It was more important that Paterno could retire a famed football coach, rather than be involved in one of the hugest college scandals yet.  Too bad for him, fate had other plans.

I watched them take down Paterno's statue from the college grounds the other day on the news...and rather than feel happy as though I assumed I should; I felt only sadness.  So many young boys innocence could have been saved; by a single act of courage.  By someone standing up for what was right, and looking beyond the immediate ramifications; and only wanting to put a stop to the atrocities.  But, adult after adult knew about this, and only participated in trying to cover it up.  Instead, many young lives have been gravely affected and there's only a statue being removed, a few football credits gone; and a small fine in comparison  to show for all the misery and pain afflicted on these young boys.

In my previous article, I mentioned I hoped to see lawsuits....big lawsuits.  Because money talks more than anything; and this corruption might just bankrupt the school-which is more than what it deserves.   The NCAA said the $60 million fine is equivalent to the annual gross revenue of the football program. The money must be paid into an endowment for external programs preventing child sexual abuse or assisting victims and may not be used to fund such programs at Penn State.  I'm ready for the families to start suing...$60 million doesn't quite cover it.

It appears that the police are reviewing the documentation found to see if further criminal charges can be made; and that's only fair.  Coach Paterno may not have to pay for his criminal acts (other than at the gates of heaven)...but the others should.  I believe that people who try to protect or cover up for a criminal and pedophile; a predator stalking our children such as Sandusky - deserve the same punishment as the rapist himself.

If we can't have faith in the people we are supposed to be able to entrust our precious children with...then who can we trust?  NCCA presedient, Mark Emmert had this to say: "Football will never again be placed ahead of educating, nurturing and protecting young people."  All I can say at this point is....I certainly hope so.  ~Trina

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