Jerry Sandusky: The Latest News on the Disgraced Former Penn State Coach
Jerry Sandusky in custody, photo from Commonweath Media Services via AP
If you haven't heard about the horrifying scandal involving former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, then you've obviously been living under a rock. The story has dominated the headlines of virtually every news outlet from CNN to ESPN.
Sandusky has been arrested for allegedly molesting at least eight young boys over a 15 year period. Many of his heinous crimes allegedly happened on Penn State's campus, using facilities he had access to as a former coach and leader of the charity Second Mile.
Since the story broke, legendary coach Joe Paterno has been fired, University President Graham Spanier has been sacked and the entire Penn State community has been reeling in the aftermath.
The story is nowhere near over, unfortunately. Sandusky has yet to have his day in court, and the community will be dealing for a very long time with the prospect of what happened right under their noses by a man they once respected as a great leader of young men.
To fully understand what has happened and what is still happening, we need to stay abreast of the developments.
Here are the latest tidbits from this terrible tragedy that has rocked the nation.
A "Telling" Autobigraphy Reveals Much
Jerry Sandusky's autobiography, titled "Touched: the Jerry Sandusky Story" Photo by Joe Hermitt, the Patriot-News
Jerry Sandusky's autobiography is titled: "Touched: the Jerry Sandusky Story." As website pennlive.com notes, "you couldn't make that up."
Yet, I can't help but wonder what subliminal messages are scattered throughout. What hidden horrors are spelled out between the lines of Sandusky's printed words?
"I thrived on testing the limits of others and I enjoyed taking chances in danger," Sandusky wrote.
At the time it was written—shortly after he retired from Penn State in 1999—most people probably would have thought Sandusky was talking about anything from harmless pranks to the way he pushed the young men on the football field.
Certainly, most young men have a penchant for pushing the boundaries of both authority and danger. It's a part of growing up a man, a part of our coming of age.
In light of what we now know about Jerry Sandusky, however, the words sound as a haunting alarm of just how far he would go to "test the limits of others" and just how many "chances" he would take with danger.
The few snippets provided by pennlive.com (which also links to the autobiography) speak volumes into the troubled mind of a charged pedophile. He may have been a masterful defensive coordinator, but his words make him sound as disturbed as we now know him to be.
How Much Did the Second Mile Know?
As CBS Evening News reported, The Second Mile was potentially made aware of the possibility of Sandusky's abuses as early as 1998, 2002 and 2008. That's three reports of potential abuse.
Yet, the charity didn't "separate (Sandusky) from all of our program activities involving children" until 2008.
How is it possible that a charity, whose purpose is to help at-risk children, can receive three separate reports of potential abuse and decide not to do anything about it until the very last report—10 years after the initial report?
The charity explained that "at no time was The Second Mile made aware of the very serious allegations contained in the Grand Jury Report." Do they have to have the gory details to launch an investigation or contact child protective services?
Joe Paterno apparently had fewer notices of what had taken place and he lost his job. How much did the charity know? Why didn't they do more? Why didn't they act sooner?
Apparently, these kids were failed by many people, multiple times.
Sandusky's Home Vandalized
Sandusky home from myfoxphilly.com
According to philly.com, the Sandusky residence was vandalized Thursday night when someone threw two cinder blocks through the bedroom window.
It's not particularly surprising, really. Emotions have run high since the story broke, and the nature of the allegations bring out the very strongest responses from the depths of our souls.
It's somewhat amazing that—as the site also announces—Sandusky has managed to keep a very low profile since being released from custody on bail. He and his family have been able to stay holed up in their home while others at the center of the scandal have been bombarded with media and on-lookers.
Unsurprising as it may be that Sandusky's house has been vandalized in such a way, it's also a little disappointing. As Sandusky's neighbor, Paul Kletchka noted, "we have two small children, and we're concerned for the safety of everyone in the neighborhood."
Kletchka went on to state the best advice I've heard yet. "We ask for people to give him his day in court. We understand that people are angry, and we understand why they are angry, but bringing violence to this neighborhood isn't going to help anything."
What's even more disturbing? Sandusky lives next to an elementary school with a playground just off his backyard.
The Fallout Goes Beyond the Obvious
Gene J. Puskar/AP Photo
Obviously, when you have a scandal like the one plaguing Penn State, you expect a certain amount of fallout. There's bad press, lost jobs, vandalism and the possibility of lost revenue (new students).
However, you rarely immediately think of a downgrade in credit worthiness.
Yet that's exactly what may happen to Penn State as well. According to ABC News, Moody's credit rating agency is placing Penn State under review for a potential downgrade.
Why? What does one thing have to do with the other?
Well, the answer to that is pretty clear when you stop to think beyond the recent headlines and immediate focus of the issue. I actually alluded to it already.
Everyone knows that the nation is in a very bad economic situation. State's are having to cut budgets like a butcher at Thanksgiving. There just isn't much money to go around.
Penn State was already slated to potentially see $182 million fewer from the commonwealth in coming years. Add to that the undoubted lawsuits that the university will be facing in the near future that could reach well into the millions of dollars.
Then factor in the possibility (not probability, but possibility) that there could be fewer new students in the immediate future, and there's a very real possibility that the school could have a more difficult time paying the estimated $1 billion of rated debt it already has.
Beyond the embarrassment and pain, Penn State could be looking at a credit dip as a healthy slap in the face.
Texas Looking to Potentially Prosecute as Well
This isn't exactly breaking news. MSNBC placed this story on their site yesterday, but it hasn't gotten a lot of attention.
The Sandusky situation goes beyond the borders of Pennsylvania. Prosecutors in Texas are looking into potentially filing charges against Sandusky as well.
In 1999, when Penn State was in San Antonio for the Alamo Bowl, it's alleged that he may have abused one of his victims, who was a guest at the game.
The full scope of the situation is staggering, and we may not have even heard the end of the allegations yet. As more evidence is uncovered, we will likely be shocked all over again at how far the situation reaches and how deep the troubled waters run.