Even though this is extremely hard for me to talk about, I’m going to put my 2 cents into the Penn State uproar. It’s too bad their football program is taking a hit. It’s too bad a famous coach was fired for covering up a crime, but let us not forget the victims here. Those children who will have to live with the horror of what was done to them for the rest of their lives. The adults in this case made their own decisions, and they put the football program ahead of children.
The athletic programs at major universities, particularly the basketball and football programs, are major sources of income. That’s why these programs are so important. Like most things in today’s world, it all comes down to money. While hopefully none of these adults would have taken part in selling children to the highest bidder, what they did basically comes down to the same thing.
In 2002, a graduate student witnessed Jerry Sandusky raping a child. This rape took place on university property (locker room showers). This student, instead of dialing 911, went to the head coach Joe Paterno the next morning (he now says he reported the crime, but the police deny it—somebody decided on inaction). Paterno didn’t call the police. Instead, he waited another day before he met with Tim Curley, athletic director and Gary Schultz, Senior Vice President for Finance and Business they chose not to call the police. Instead they met with the graduate student a week and a half later and the matter was essentially dropped (Sandusky was told not to bring kids to the locker rooms). Gary Schultz recently retired, and he and Paterno are getting great retirement benefits.
The grand jury report reads like a horror story. Incident after incident reported and ignored or actively covered up. for instance, a janitor saw Sandusky performing oral sex on a child (11-13 years old) back in 2000. He was afraid of being fired, but he did tell his superior. This incident was never reported .
This whole horrible story is just one more time that a child’s welfare was completely ignored. This time, it was for money. Sometimes it’s to “keep a family together” or embarrassment—somebody is afraid of what the neighbors will think.
I said in the beginning that this blog was very hard for me. It’s hard because I’m a survivor of sexual abuse. I was abused by both a close family member and a family “friend”. I could write my own horror story here, but I won’t. Both abusers are dead now, so it’s up to God to decide what happens to them. The reason I began to speak out in the first place (many years ago) is because sexual abuse is a hidden crime. Most victims don’t tell, of those who do, few see their abusers punished. It’s a horrible thing, and it won’t get better until we as adults speak openly about it, make others admit what it does to its victims, stop covering for the perpetrators, punish those who hurt children.
We have to protect the children.