Move over Catholic church. The current scandal at Penn State University is bringing the constant barrage of child molestation problems in the United States full circle. The cases against Catholic priests were disturbing enough, and the church’s apparent attempt to make it all go away even worse, but now this epidemic has found its way into the heart of a major university, and its ramifications for beloved coach Joe Paterno are staggering.
Sometime in 2002, a young graduate assistant, Mike McQueary, approached the revered coach to alert him that he had witnessed something terrible happening in the Penn State athletics shower room. According to Joe
Paterno’s public statement, he was not aware of the magnitude of it, only that it was disturbing and perhaps could be of a sexual nature. The actions reported were those of one Jerry Sandusky, who served as an assistant coach for Paterno throughout most of his career. Once a major candidate as a future head coach, Sandusky was honored as Assistant Coach of the Year twice for the 1986 and 1999 football seasons. On November 4, 2011, Sandusky was indicted on 40 counts of sex crimes against a young boy that took place over four years of the boy’s life, from the ages of ten to fifteen. It is fully expected that more victims may come forward. The incident that was witnessed by Mike McQueary took place in 2002, and he put his trust in Joe Paterno.
The response? Joe Paterno did the minimum amount necessary. He did report the incident involving his four-decade friend to university officials according to the chain of command. This is what is absolving him of any legal ramifications surrounding this scandal. He did what he had to do. Technically. Precisely. And nothing more. A massive cover-up ensued, and now other Penn State dignitaries are being indicted for their role. Paterno will suffer; his legendary coaching reign at Penn State is about to end. Sources already indicate that the university is discussing a plan to speed his exit. This week’s game should be his final home game for the Nittany Lions, but it will not be the gala affair it should have been. Joe Paterno’s name is mud.
The sobering point of all this is that if people like Joe Paterno had taken real action in this matter, over four years of molestation of this young man could have been prevented. As more victims surface, the amount of children that this will eventually affect is staggering. The fact that Sandusky was banned from campus after the incident but continued to use facilities is even more unnerving. The man even presided over a children’s camp for the university after his ban was in effect.
People like Jerry Sandusky are beyond help, in the opinion of Common Sense Conspiracy. To have a compulsion to the point of acting on these fetishes, if that is even a proper word to describe it, even in a public place where one might definitely be seen, indicates that they are beyond help. Hopefully, the legal system will administer some punishment, or at the very least guarantee that these atrocities will not happen again, as officials could have made sure had they taken the appropriate course of action almost ten years ago. The real question, and the conspiracy, is why do people feel compelled to cover up these actions?
We’ve seen it in the Catholic church over and over. Priests molest young boys. The church makes excuses. It tries to divert attention. It acts as if there is some kind of counseling or program that can “fix” this. There isn’t one. Every child that is exposed to this suffers. They are maimed, as if a limb were taken from them. And rightly so. These children are not only victims, but lifelong sufferers of a disease that none of us can understand, and the cause of it is wholly preventable.
There are some lines that people cross where there is no coming back. If you saw your friend of forty years, four decades, who you loved and respected, forcing sex on a 10-year-old boy in the shower, what would your reaction be? Do you think this is an isolated incident? Do you think he just succumbed to this inexplicable desire one time? Two times? One time is one too many. It is 100% the responsibility of any human being that witnesses or has knowledge of this atrocity to make sure, and absolutely sure, that it never happens again. Joe Paterno, you failed us. And your legacy will never be the same.
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