Jerry Sandusky Scandal: What Penn State Must Do To Atone for Sins

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistNovember 8, 2011

As more information comes to light with regards to the 40 counts of sexual abuse of young boys against former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, it has become very clear that this is one of the most egregious scandals in the history of college sports.

An incredible amount of damage control needs to be done by the university, and the first step has already been taken with athletic director Tim Curley taking a leave of absence and senior vice president Gary Schultz stepping down from his post.

That isn't even close to enough, though. Regardless of how much school officials really knew about Sandusky's inappropriate contact with children, he should have been reported to the authorities immediately after there was any type of suspicion.

Current wide receivers coach and former graduate assistant and Nittany Lions quarterback Mike McQueary reportedly witnessed Sandusky sodomizing a young boy in a Penn State shower room in 2002.

Rather than go directly to the police, McQueary told his father about what he had seen, and the two of them told Penn State head coach Joe Paterno. Following that, Paterno notified Curley. Both Curley and Schultz met with McQueary a week later to discuss what he had seen.

Presumably, McQueary explained what he witnessed, but Curley and Schultz made the decision to not tell the authorities about the alleged sexual assault. Even if they were unsure of what had exactly occurred between Sandusky and the young boy that day,ย it should have been enough for them to blow the whistle on him.

Ultimately, I think the only thing that can save Penn State's reputation is for the university to eliminate anything having to do with Sandusky or the scandal. First and foremost, Penn State must remove all records of Sandusky being involved with the university, which should be a no-brainer at this point.

That won't be enough, though. Any and all staff that had any knowledge of Sandusky's actions need to be released. Schultz has already stepped down, and rather than allow Curley to remain on administrative leave, he should also be fired.

McQueary, who failed to report Sandusky to the authorities should also be let go. He was obviously in a very difficult situation, but common sense should have taken precedence. He did the right thing by telling Paterno fairly quickly, but he should have told the police as well.

Finally, the Nittany Lions need to do something that it seemed like they would never do, and that is fire Paterno from his head coach position. Paterno has been Penn State's head man since 1966, and it seemed as if he would have the job until the day he died.

As difficult as it may be, the university has to make an example of Paterno. Paterno was made aware of the Sandusky incident by McQueary and he notified Curley. While that protocol was correct, he also should have went to the authorities.

Paterno has known for nine years that Sandusky did something inappropriate that day, but he has largely kept it to himself. It was a collective effort by Penn State to sweep Sandusky's actions under the rug, and because of that, an entirely new regime is absolutely necessary.


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