"This is a case about a sexual predator who used his position within the university and community to repeatedly prey on young boys"- Attorney General Linda Kelly

Those words, spoken by Pennsylvania's Attorney General, Linda Kelly, are the key to figuring out how a middle-aged man could sexually abuse nearly a dozen children, ranging from ages 8-15, for close to two decades.

Jerry Sandusky, a former Penn State University defensive coordinator for over two decades, was indicted this past Saturday when a grand jury report presented 40 counts of sexual abuse, stemming from 8 under aged victims, which dated between 1994 and 2002. The victims came from a program started by Sandusky called "The Second Mile". The goal was to give underprivileged kids shelter from the harmful ways of the world. While there is little doubt Sandusky will be sentenced to a lengthy time in prison, the bigger question is surrounding the university who, reportedly, knew of allegations as early as 1998 but did little to investigate.

Penn State Athletic Director, Tim Curley, placed himself on administrative leave among speculation that he would be arraigned on perjury charges. University VP Gary Schultz has stepped down from his position upon hearing the same perjury charges doled out to him as well. According to the grand jury report, Michael Mcquerrey -then a graduate assistant and now an assistant to Joe Paterno at PSU- witnessed Jerry Sandusky performing a sexual act on a child "estimated to be 10 years old." Mcquerrey went to his father to explain what he had seen, then went to head coach, Joe Paterno. Paterno went to Curley and Schultz to describe what had happened, based on a report submitted by Mcquerrey the day before.

Unfortunately for, well everyone, neither Curley nor Schultz filed a police report. When brought under oath, they claimed that the charges were never believe to be serious, that the sexual acts by Sandusky were described as "just horsing around," and therefore, a report to the police was never filed. The final decision not to file a report was made by University President, Graham Spanier, who has managed to invent new levels of cowardice since the report was released on Saturday.

This is where the focus gets taken completely off the child-groping maniac, Sandusky, and, instead, gets placed on the other involved parties.

Why did Mcquerrey not go to the police? Why did Joe Paterno not go to the police? Why were Curley and Schultz trying to cover up what is seen in modern culture as one of the most despicable acts by a human being?

In response to hearing of these allegations in 2002, along with a police report stating there was sexual misconduct by Sandusky in 1998, Spanier banned Sandusky from bringing kids on the football facilities. Unfortunately, it was later admitted by Tim Curley that the ban was "unenforceable".

Was it unenforceable or was there just a careless attitude among the school officials to take these dangerous witness accounts under consideration? Or, was the school more worried that their football program would suffer child molestation charges from former employees on school grounds?

It appeared non-football employees at the university were hesitant to express their eyewitness accounts in fear that they would be fired. Jim Calhoun, a janitor, witnessed Sandusky performing a sexual act on a boy roughly 11-13 years of age. "In discussions held later that shift, the employees expressed concern that if they reported what Jim had seen, they'd loses their jobs" (page 22 of the report). The report goes on to say that Sandusky drove past the facility several times that night.

The lack of action starts with Mcquerrey. He should have gone to the police from the moment he witnessed the act, assuming he could not go into the shower and rescue the young child. Joe Paterno should have called the police and he should have never allowed Sandusky on his football field ever again. By allowing Sandusky to continue to bring young, underprivileged kids on school grounds, Paterno indirectly created a haven for Sandusky to sexually abuse kids. After all, it was reported Sandusky had been lifting weights in the team weight room as early as last week! Coach Paterno, is it safe to assume you are OK with your former employee's behavior?

And what about Spanier, Curley and Schultz? Three "high-ranking officials" whose inability to take their university from the hands of an 84 year old man will now sit result in hours of litigation, civil trials, lawsuits, NCAA sanctions. The football program that once defined Penn State will be gutted -by the fans, alumni, recruits, boosters if university officials do not act fast enough- while the rest of the university will live in embarrassment.

All because of indecision and a fear of upsetting a football program that brought $70 million in revenue last season.

Well now, the program is starting to collapse. One top recruit, Noah Spence (#1 Defensive End in the country), has already expressed his disinterest in the university on twitter: "Um psu might be a no no for me ewww." Several fans/alumni have expressed their anger and embarrassment over the situation with severe actions based on the condition of discipline the university hands to iconic head coach, Joe Paterno. Many have reported their relinquishing of future season tickets while some have trashed their Penn State gear. Yesterday, alumni dating back as early as the mid-70's publicly burned their PSU diplomas in front of Old Main. If the NCAA does not give Penn State football the death penalty, all signs point to fans, possible recruits, and alumni doing it for them.

I am not stating that the university officials are more to blame for these crimes than the criminal, himself. I am simply stating that these horrific allegations were improperly handled due to the influence and power that the football program had over the university. While the school profits most from their football team, Tim Curley, Gary Schultz, and among all others, Graham Spanier, should have put aside their monetarily influenced decisions to focus on making the correct decisions every human is morally and lawfully obligated to make. Now, due to their inconsiderate attitude towards these abused children, they will be forced to spend a significant time in prison while their once proud school is left in ruins.

Posted in College Sports, Pittsburgh Steelers

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