Saturday, November 12, 2011


I really did not expect to be posting anything on this blog for several weeks, as things on the work front are still bordering on the insane.

But this has been stuck in my craw all week and I had to hack it out.

You see, young children are our future.

All right, I know that borders on a quote of a Whitney Houston lyric.

But mistreatment of children really pisses me off, and I am not even a parent. I can only imagine how parents feel about this story.

Every adult, every last friggin one of us has a DUTY to protect children from the adults who would prey on their innocence.

On November 5, a former Penn State assistant coach was arrested on charges of child molestation, beginning a chain of events at the university that culminated in the firing of beloved football coach Joe Paterno.

When I first heard the story, and heard “young boys,” I was thinking college-aged boys.

While I still was disgusted, I thought if they’re old enough to go kill senselessly in the Middle East, they’re old enough to know don’t go into a shower with a perverted coach.

Then I started reading some details.

And, if the allegations are true, they’re disturbing.

Jerry Sandusky, a now retired defensive coordinator at Penn State once touted as a possible replacement for Paterno, was charged with multiple accounts of child sexual abuse.

Sandusky allegedly used a charity that he had created to help young boys as a means of gaining access to his victims.

In 2002, a graduate assistant on the football team witnessed Sandusky having sex with a young boy in a Penn State shower.

The badly shaken assistant informed Paterno the next day;

Paterno in turn informed the two administrators who have now been indicted.

But nothing much happened.

No police report was ever made.

Sandusky was not arrested, and as a result the alleged assaults were allowed to continue.

The overwhelming moral and legal obligation of adults to protect children in such vulnerable circumstances was ignored.

Paterno and university officials had a RESPONSIBILITY to make sure that event was given the attention it deserved.

If the allegations are proven true, Paterno and the university are culpable in every act of abuse perpetrated by Sandusky after that day.

After Paterno’s dismissal, thousands of students stormed the downtown area to display their anger and frustration, chanting the former coach’s name, tearing down light poles and overturning a television news van parked along College Avenue.

Demonstrators tore down two lampposts, one falling into a crowd. They also threw rocks and fireworks at the police, who responded with pepper spray.

Now maybe the turning over of the van was symbolic of the children that Paterno threw under the bus by worrying more about winning football games than children.

Somehow I doubt it.

I do not care if Paterno coached the football team to a thousand straight victories after that day-if even one child could have been spared, it was worth every victory Paterno ever presided over.

Because simply put, football is just a game.

Once the season is over, it’s pretty much forgotten. At least, it should be.

To the children, the abuse may never be forgotten.

As a former Pennsylvania resident, I used to see news stories all the time about how Paterno was dedicated to making sure the students grew up to be good adults.

I guess that only applied to his players.

He sure didn’t give a damn about the kid in the shower. Or the last kid, or the next kid.

I am not saying Paterno needs to be vilified as a child abuser.

But to every student who was out whooping it up on Wednesday night, you know this was more about an excuse to get drunk and misbehave than anything else.

Every adult has a duty to protect iinocent children.



And the board of trustees did not put a cloud over the end of his coaching era.

He did it to himself.

And you should all be ashamed of yourselves.