The full report into Penn State’s response to allegations of sexual abuse by longtime defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, following an eight-month investigation overseen by former FBI director Louis Freeh, fills 267 excruciating pages. But to put the finishing touches on the obliteration of a half-century of goodwill, it only took 163 words:
The evidence shows that these four men also knew about a 1998 criminal investigation of Sandusky relating to suspected sexual misconduct with a young boy in a Penn State football locker room shower. Again, they showed no concern about that victim. The evidence shows that Mr. Paterno was made aware of the 1998 investigation of Sandusky, followed it closely, but failed to take any action, even though Sandusky had been a key member of his coaching staff for almost 30 years, and had an office just steps away from Mr. Paterno’s.
At the very least, Mr. Paterno could have alerted the entire football staff, in order to prevent Sandusky from bringing another child into the Lasch Building. Messrs. Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley also failed to alert the Board of Trustees about the 1998 investigation or take any further action against Mr. Sandusky. None of them even spoke to Sandusky about his conduct. In short, nothing was done and Sandusky was allowed to continue with impunity.
It is one of the saddest and sickest stories in the history of college athletics. It turns my stomach so violently that I don’t even like to write about it…so, I will let the selected links highlighted below do the talking for me.
First, CBS has a fantastic article that starts from the premise that ‘negligence is the least of their sins’.
First, the facts. In 1998, an allegation by the mother of an 11-year-old boy (later identified in court documents as “Victim 6”) who claimed Sandusky had sexually assaulted him in a locker room shower led to an investigation by Penn State campus police and local law enforcement. That investigation resulted in a 95-page police report â€“ but no charges against Sandusky. During that investigation, according to a November 2011 indictment by the Pennsylvania Attorney General, “Sandusky admitted showering naked with Victim 6, admitted to hugging Victim 6 while in the shower and admitted that it was wrong.” According to the mother of Victim 6, who reported Sandusky to authorities when her son told her they had showered together, the coach told her during the investigation, “I understand. I was wrong. I wish I could get forgiveness. I know I won’t get it from I you. I wish I were dead,” while detectives secretly listened to the conversation in another room
The article goes on to analyze and contextualize many of the revelations and developments of the entire scandal. It is worth reading.
Also worth reading is the conclusion drawn by Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal Constitution,
If we make a big deal about a college football program playing dumb when a recruit takes free shoes or tattoos, or his family lives in a house rent free, how can we look the other way when evidence screams that one of the nationâ€™s most powerful universities enabled a pedophile?
How can we sit through something so sick and vile as the testimony in the Jerry Sandusky trial and conclude that this was a one-source scandal worthy of only one individual or entity suffering consequences?
Penn State should not be allowed to play another football game. It put sport, image and fundraising above everything else. That is what every cheater in college athletics does, and because of that it deserves the NCAAâ€™s â€œdeath penalty.â€
Southern Methodist University, one of the nationâ€™s top academic schools, saw its football program given the death penalty in 1987 because it put athletic success above what so obviously was considered morally acceptable. Isnâ€™t it now clear that Penn State did the exact same thing?
In fact, what the powers Penn State did was worse. Their actions involved not materialistic goods but defenseless victims who will suffer for the rest of their lives.
According to a 267-page report by former FBI director Louis Freeh, the four most powerful men overseeing the university and the football program â€“ president Graham Spanier (since fired), athletic director Tim Curley (on â€œadministrative leave,â€ under indictment for perjury), vice president Gary Schultz (suddenly retired, also under indictment) and the late coach, Joe Paterno (fired in what would be two months before his death) â€” knew far more about Sanduskyâ€™s sick perversions and abuse than they let on. They knew it far longer than they let on.
And hereâ€™s the punctuation, your honor: They â€œconcealed critical facts,â€ according to Freeh.
Thereâ€™s a term for that: cover-up.
â€œOur most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sanduskyâ€™s child victims by the most senior leaders at Penn State,â€ Freeh stated.
We donâ€™t need to know anything else.
I agree. I don’t need to know anything else. The role of the institution that is Penn State University in this awful tragedy is clear. Accordingly, there MUST be accountability and retribution and for their actions. The leaders and the people that compose the leadership and fabric of this institution have had their chance. Why should they ever be trusted again?