Thursday, November 10, 2011

From Penn State to the State Pen

From Penn State to the State Pen
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
November 10, 2011

This is not a sports story. This is, however, a story about the egregious behavior of placing sports above humanity; where once again the cover up or the sweeping under the rug is the undoing of people whose salvation should have come from moral conduct and not the adherence to the letter of weak legislation.

It was not a happy day in Happy Valley on campus at Penn State University November 9 as both legendary head football coach Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spanier saw careers careen to bitter ends in their firings.

But, please, shed no tears over their ouster. Instead, shed tears and get angry over the lack of humanity and compassion shown to a yet to be determined number of young boys who suffered physical and mental anguish in a sex abuse scandal rocking the State College campus to its foundation.

To date, former Paterno assistant coach Jerry Sandusky has already been charged with the molestation of eight boys during a 15-year period – charges he denies, and for which he is entitled to his day in court. In spite of the denials, a former graduate assistant with the team, Mike McQueary, still an assistant there, claims to have witnessed two of the assaults on campus, reporting one of them to Paterno that ultimately reached Spanier.

Sandusky also ran a group home for troubled boys.

While Paterno is not being implicated in the alleged crimes, it begs the questions, a la Watergate, what did he know and when did he know it. And while Paterno may have acted within the confines of the law, he certainly did not act with any sense of urgency or morality, either hoping it would go away or that it was an isolated incident.

Adding to this horrific scandal is the behavior of over 2,000 Penn State students who took to the campus upon hearing of Paterno’s firing in mob-like fashion to defend their oft deified coach. Riot police were dispatched to extricate the students, misguided in their support of a man who has fallen from grace when they should have been hanging him and Spanier in effigy over their moral shortcomings.

No child should endure what the young boys under the charge of Sandusky supposedly underwent. Sadly, they are not alone, but they have recourse with the proper authorities who should take such accusations seriously until proven otherwise. Some things really are bigger than the game.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.

1 comment:

  1. This is story is beyond horrific. Anybody who covers up any type of abuse, especially sexual abuse - pedophilia, for that matter - does not have a conscience. I hope the real truth comes out and justice is served.