Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Happy Valley Sadness

Joe Paterno is on his way out as the head coach of Penn St. The winningest coach in college football history will no longer be at the helm in Happy Valley. This may come as a surprise to many, but given the set of circumstances it is completely necessary.

Jerry Sandusky, coach Paterno's right hand man for over 30 years has been accused of sexually abusing countless children connected to his charity organization Second Mile. Penn St. athletic director Tim Curley and vice president of finance Gary Schultz were arrested for lying to the grand jury and failing to alert police of their investigation into the allegations.

The evidence of sexual misconduct is overwhelming. There were reports of inappropriate behavior as early as 1998 and a graduate assistant witnessed Sandusky touching a young boy in the shower in 2002. Sandusky himself admitted to one of the victim's parents how ashamed he felt for his actions. This guy is so repulsive he was banned from a high school campus in 2008. How could upstanding moral men allow these crimes to go unreported and unpunished?

The answer is frighteningly simple. Penn St. is a football factory. It's a machine that generates millions of dollars, replenishes the NFL with able bodied physical specimens, and supports an entire city and university. No one at Penn St. had the guts to divulge information that would inherently turn the machine off. Football in Happy Valley is more important than protecting innocent children.

There were multiple opportunities for someone to step up, but they never did. Their silence was bound by an oblong shaped, revenue generating piece of leather. Nothing is sacred when it comes to big time college football. There is nothing worse than the sexual molestation of a child yet these so called men of honor stood idly by as these heinous acts from Sandusky continued.

Right now the Penn St. faithful are shocked. They feel betrayed beyond belief. The man they thought was the moral compass of an entire community turned out to be nothing more than a football coach that would protect his own interests by any means necessary.

I am curious to see how this scandal affects the legacy of Joe Paterno. In my mind his legacy is forever tarnished. As for Jerry Sandusky? I don't think he has the courage to face the music. Suicide watch should be in order. As for the victims? Irreparably damaged for the sake of a football program. Sick.

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