Jerry Sandusky Sex Scandal: 5 Things Penn State Can Do to Salvage Reputation

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer INovember 7, 2011

Jerry Sandusky Sex Scandal: 5 Things Penn State Can Do to Salvage Reputation

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    With the recent allegations that former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulted young boys for years while at the university, Penn State is taking fire from all sides.

    For a university that has tried hard to build its reputation alongside storied head coach Joe Paterno throughout the years, it's a devastating blowβ€”and well deserved if the allegations are true.

    Penn State has responded by placing athletic director Tim Curley on administrative leave, while still keeping his pay and benefits intact.

    Gary Schultz, interim senior vice president for finance and business, will retire.

    Penn State can't erase the past, but it can take steps to bounce back.

    Here are five things Penn State can do to repair its reputation.

5. Suspend Curley Without Pay or Benefits

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    By placing Tim Curley on administrative leave, and keeping his pay and benefits intact, Penn State looks like it is doing the bare minimum in response to the uproar.

    The university is trying to smooth things out instead of taking the situation seriously and making a statement that it will not tolerate this.

    This is like when Ohio State stood by head coach Jim Tressel's side when the university knew full well that he oversaw his players violating NCAA rules and did nothing about it.

    In fact, given the seriousness of the allegations, this is much worse than the Ohio State situation.

    Penn State needs to suspend Curley, not place him on administrative leave.

4. Don't Pay for Legal Counsel

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    Penn State is reportedly offering legal counsel for Curley and Schultz in wake of the allegations.

    But if the university knows these allegations are true, they shouldn't throw gasoline on the fire by sticking up for Curley and Schultz in court.

    Tyler Barnard, a junior at the school, is standing up to the university for offering legal counsel to Curley and Schultz, who are charged with failing to report the alleged crimes and with perjury.

    Said Barnard, via The Christian Science Monitor, "I want to start a protest movement saying I don't want my tuition to pay for their screwups."

3. Suspend Joe Paterno

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    Joe Paterno may have built up a reputation as one of the most beloved head coaches in college football throughout the years, but this certainly changes things.

    Paterno apparently told Curley of the offenses, but when nothing was done you don't just leave it at that. He could have easily exposed the university, but he probably didn't because he cared about the school or his job more than the allegations.

    It's ironic that Penn State would suspend Paterno given he brought the situation to its attention from the start, but at this point Penn State needs to assure everyone that it will take responsibility.

    Paterno should be suspended for the rest of the season, or part of next season, without pay.

2. Self-Impose Sanctions

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    Penn State didn't violate NCAA rules when it pertains to football, but the university disgraced college football with the recent allegations.

    If Penn State is really serious about these charges, the university will forfeit a chance to be placed in the BCS rankings and an opportunity for a bowl game.

1. Take Full Responsibility

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    I don't expect Penn State to take full responsibility right now, but if the alleged charges prove to be true the university should absolutely take full responsibility for its actions...or inaction.

    You don't simply smooth something of this magnitude out. You meet it head-on, admit you were wrong and be completely up front with everyone.

    With kids and families involved, they deserve the right to know exactly what was going on.

    By trying to cover up past indiscretions, you absolutely destroy your reputation at this point.