Shocking Reality from the Child Abuse Nightmare at Penn State
There was absolutely no doubt this final cleat would fall.
Joe Paterno will never coach another game at Penn State.
Fired by what remains of the University Administration on the same day he announced his "retirement", attempting to use his once considerable power one last time.
Since the story first broke and this fetid stench began to rise in State College, PA, one thought arrived and remains stuck in my mind.
Please people, stop being so incredibly naive.
I can forgive college students because most of them have absolutely no idea how life works, save for the fantasy land their teachers dish out every day.
However, those adults who are either supposed to know better or are hiding behind the veil of inane hyperbole have to be called out.
Why should anyone truly be shocked?
It is the height of hyperbole and hypocrisy to feign any shock at all about what is shaping up to be the greatest cover-up in major college athletics history.
Because let’s face it, cover-ups are what major college athletics excel at.
Sexual assaults. Attempted rape. Slapping women around. Disorderly conduct. Weapons possession. Weapons discharge. Drug possession. Trafficking controlled substances. Aggravated assault. Resisting arrest. Driving while under the influence of various substances.
These are just some of the more pedestrian issues a wide swath of major college jocks have been involved in in just the last year alone.
Having covered games for over 20 years, I am very comfortable in saying there is not one major college athletic program that at some time in the last two years, has not squashed activity that would be considered criminal in the “outside world.”
The majority of these transgressions would not even be worth a ripple next to the vast ocean of depravity that apparently has been allowed to go on at Penn State for over 15 years.
But it’s further evidence that when it comes to the business of college athletics, football and men’s basketball to be specific, there is almost no rule that cannot be bent, no regulation that cannot be ignored to keep the cash flowing.
The Nittany Lions' football program ranks as one of the top 10 cash animals in the NCAA. Annually depositing anywhere in the ritzy neighborhood of $100M per season, whether the team wins big or merely teases the fans with any inkling of a national title.
But let’s step away for a moment from the seamy athletic side of this, and ask the same question in a tragic social sense.
Why should anyone truly be shocked with the uncovering of another child abuser?
The group “Prevent Child Abuse in America” reports that one in six boys is abused by the age of 16, but fewer than 10 percent are reported to authorities. In 90 percent of the rapes committed against children younger than 16, the kids knew their attacker. And the FBI has known for years that many of these abusers are bright, well-educated people.
The estimated cost of child abuse and neglect in this country, borne by the victims, families and social programs costs over $105B. Every year.
And the cost keeps rising.
One must indeed be repulsed and sickened at the allegations of what could be mind-numbing depravity. If true, as both prudence and legalities compel us to consider everyone here innocent until proven guilty, investigators have uncovered a sordid tale of serial child abuse.
A tale that was known by many, and denied by all.
Former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky is accused of molesting underage boys from 1994 to 2009. Evidence indicates that Sandusky may be more than just a child molester, but a predator in a very premeditated style.
If true, the man deserves nothing short of frontier justice. Let the punishment fit the crime. Something as heinous as forever ruining the life of innocents deserves the full measure of the law and then some. Personally, I have no patience for such leering cowards, and would have a difficult time settling for any sentence that did not include chemical castration as a first measure.
The late Andy Rooney put it best when he said about the Oklahoma City bombers, “I could kill the bastards.” I echo those same sentiments when it comes to anyone who violates a child.
If the allegations are true, and one can only surmise that prosecutors snapped a very tight bow around this one before going public, the same punishment needs to be meted out to those proven complicit in allowing Sandusky to fondle and assault little boys: University President Graham Spanier, former AD Tim Curley, former Sr. VP Gary Schultz and yes, head coach Joe Paterno.
For 46 years, Joe Pa had been the leader of the football program. Much more than that, he was the very embodiment of Nittany Lions tradition and respect. Joe Paterno IS Penn State.
When he reportedly was told in 2002 about the scope of allegations against his former assistant coach, and there is plenty of confusion as to what Paterno was told and what he recalls, the legend chose the path of least effort.
Paterno notified his immediate supervisor, without another word to anyone.
Late Tuesday night, Paterno spoke to supporters gathered outside his home.
“As you know, the kids that were the victims, I think we ought to say a prayer for them,” said the coach.
So many lives permanently destroyed. Some reports indicate as many as 20 victims. Shattered by a man secretly given carte blanche to continue in order to protect bank accounts and the never-ending quest for a trophy that will one day gather nothing but dust.
Offering only prayers for these victims while refusing to take responsibility?
Now that is truly shocking.
Ed Berliner is heard on radio stations across the country commenting on college sports, the NFL and much more. He is also Managing Editor at "Pro Football Masters" (http://profootballmasters.com)
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