Just minutes following the conviction of former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky for his part in a child sexual abuse scandal, the disgraced coach's former employer released a statement (via Bryan Fischer of CBSSports.com).
The university seemed both apologetic and regretful for what had happened in the wake of Sandusky being found guilty on 45 of the 48 counts against him. In the statement, Penn State expressed its respect for the victims who came forward to testify against Sandusky and accepted responsibility for any abuse that occurred on campus.
One part of the statement that certainly jumps out is that the university will be setting up a program for Sandusky's victims. As part of this program, Sandusky's victims will be able to maintain an open dialogue with Penn State regarding compensation from the university for its role in Sandusky's actions:
The purpose of the program is simple – the University wants to provide a forum where the University can privately, expeditiously and fairly address the victims' concerns and compensate them for claims relating to the University. Counsel to the University plan to reach out to counsel to the victims of Mr. Sandusky's abuse in the near future with additional details.
Penn State has essentially rid itself of every administrator that had any sort of knowledge regarding the Sandusky scandal. Late head coach Joe Paterno was famously removed from his longtime post following the allegations being made public. Also, athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz were let go for allegedly not reporting what had been told to them by former Nittany Lions assistant Mike McQueary.
With that said, Penn State has clearly taken the necessary steps to remove itself from the scandal, and this program for the victims may be the final step in moving on from what has become an incredibly damaging situation for the university. Penn State will never be able to put this fully in the past, but perhaps working closely with the victims will create some closure for the scandal that rocked Penn State and the sports world as a whole.
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