At its core there was an illegal operation taking place within the walls of Penn State University. It happened to be crimes of child molestation that were allegedly being perpetrated by assistant coach Jerry Sandusky who supposedly used his Second Mile youth charity to recruit children for his own purposes. This story will only grow as more information is revealed and it puts the university in a position where it will need time to cleanse itself of those involved. If the NCAA chooses not to or does not have any authority in this matter because it is not related to school programs then the university itself needs to suspend the football program for one year.
Essentially this atrocity began in 1998 when Penn State assistant coach Jim Sandusky was initially in court facing charges of child assault. At that time Centre County (Pa) district attorney Ray Gricar decided, for reasons we are unaware of at this point, not to proceed with the case and freed Sandusky to continue his illegal and immoral activities. Speculation is that the university, not wanting anything further to come from this issue, accepted Sandusky’s resignation as punishment enough for the crime and informed him that there would be certain restrictions placed on him going forward. The restrictions included the fact that he would not be allowed on university grounds accompanied by any children but they did not include his absolute banishment from university grounds.
In 2000 a janitor saw Sandusky in the shower with a young boy and told his supervisor, but any inquiries into the matter quickly died. In 2002 Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary saw Sandusky again in the shower with a boy and alleged that he saw a rape taking place. McQueary went home where his father told him to go the next day and inform told football coach Joe Paterno. The next day McQueary met with Paterno and informed him of the the matter. For his part Paterno took the matter to the university athletic director and to the vice president. Again nothing came of it. Each of the men involved chose the sanctity of the university and the inherent financial crisis that could evolve from such an expose over the health and well-being of these and many other children. They chose to ignore the situation and hope that would go away.
In their grand jury testimonies each of the three powerful Penn State executives gave vague answers as to what they were told by McQueary but considering the initial charges brought forth in 1998 it certainly wouldn’t take a genius to assimilate the information and understand what is happening. To believe that any of these men were unaware of the circumstances would be incredibly naive. Those within the university hierarchy and those involved with the football program knew what was going on but because of the morally reprehensible nature of the crimes they chose to turn their backs on it. When pressed on the matter each believed that by passing the information up the ladder that the issue would be taken care of and they need not worry about it anymore, when in fact they wanted to run and hide.
Coach Paterno, while not under investigation for the criminal activities, is guilty for allowing such conduct to take place under his supposedly watchful eye, and is guilty for knowing that something so egregious was occurring and not doing his utmost to bring the guilty party to justice—no matter if it was his long-time friend and compatriot. He chose his friends’ well-being over those of the children.
There are other suspicious pieces to this puzzle. Gricar went missing in 2005. His car was found near the Susquehanna River and his laptop was pulled out of the bottom of the river. It would be easy to speculate that Gricar met with foul play since if he was going to kill himself why would he toss the laptop into the river—an action that effectively erased any information for the case or cases that he was either working on or had worked on. Granted if foul play was suspected—and it has not been ruled as such—it could have evolved over any professional event or even a personal event and does not tie directly in with the Sandusky case. Still it does raise suspicion. The case will cost Penn State millions of dollars in funding as benefactors back away from the now sinister and disturbing nature of the university.
The issue is that the university chose to turn their back on abused children for more than a decade. Each of them knew the situation. President Graham Spanier, AD Tim Curley, VP Gary Schultz, head coach Paterno, assistant coach McQueary are the ones that have been implicated in the cover-up. Each needs to be removed—most have been. The university needs to work closely with the courts to ferret out each and every individual who could have been involved in this atrocity—whether as active members or s members who conspired to conceal the evidence. The university can no longer protect itself and, in fact, by attempting to do so for the past decade proved that they are liars and cheats and portray nothing of the university’s so-called missions of learning and integrity. They chose a veil of secrecy more than a decade ago to ensure there was no blight and instead have to live with the fact that they have allowed a permanent stain to cover the university.
Strictly from a financial concern the civil lawsuits that begin shortly, filed by those who have been allegedly assaulted, will likely cost the university much more in the long run than they would have lost if they had simply turned Sandusky over to the court system when the atrocities were first brought before them. For such supposedly intelligent and astute men they were morally bereft and emotionally stunted, and they were also short-term thinkers as they obviously believed that public knowledge of the incidents would prove harmful to the university. In the end they are being castrated not for having such morally reprehensible behaviour occur on campus but for the fact that they did nothing to end it.
This season needs to be completed since the players who came to the university did so under the guise of learning, both academically and athletically, and should not be penalized for the actions that began long before they were of university age. But the best thing the university can do is suspend operations in their football program effective at season’s end. That way a complete cleansing can occur of everything and everyone involved. It will allow the students on the football team to relocate to another university (the NCAA at the very least should waive any red-shirted policy in this regard) and will give the university time to heal. If not then they will continue to appear to be an institution that is not about its people but is only about itself.
…So the NBPA has decided to reject the FINAL and revised offer from the owners setting off a chain of events that could send the league spiralling into the ground. The players felt that they were being “strong-armed” into an agreement and believed the deal was not in their best interests and in doing so began to decertify the union. The NBPA is no longer—they are now a trade association. Unless the owners and players can together soon on an agreement the lawyers will take over and begin to run the sport. There’s nothing like sports being consumed by lawyers. Perhaps the best thing to do now is for the lawyers on each side to suit up and play a sudden death winner take all game. It may be the only action we see this year.
Follow me on twitter @mhobson12Tags: Decertification, Jim Sandusky, Joe Paterno, Lockout, Mike McQueary, NBA, NCAA, Penn State, Ray Gricar