Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Penn State. Stop the madness

How much is enough? Where and when will it stop? Since the sordid revelations began coming out of Penn State, consider what has happened. Legendary and beloved head coach Joe Paterno got fired, and died a couple months later. The university President was ousted, and the culprit, one Jerry Sandusky, has been tried, convicted, and will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.

Though it may sound cold, the young men that were victimized will either get past the trauma they experienced, and go on to live fruitful lives -- or they won't.  Other than counseling, there's little to be done about that now. Some people are mentally and psychologically stronger than others. That's just human nature.

Now, Penn State's athletic director, Tim Curley, currently on "leave", and retired vice president Gary Schultz await trial on charges of not properly reporting child abuse, and lying to a grand jury. It's all about who knew what and when, and how they passed that information on, either legally or morally. It's also over a decade old. Is putting them on trial the best thing to do? Depends how you look at it.

In the name of justice -- if they broke laws -- they should be held accountable. Yet, possibly a much more important point, which has gone largely unnoticed, should be considered. What exactly will those trials accomplish?  Sure, if convicted, Curley and Schultz might head off to jail, but likely not for very long.

It will also be splashed all over the media as it unfolds. Contrary to what many may think, Jerry Sandusky wasn't the most important person in this mess. He's history. It was, and is, the kids that were victimized. Those young men are in their 20's now, and I dare say being reminded over and over again, through various proceedings, about what happened to them -- isn't exactly helpful as they strive to get on with their lives. As the media and authorities continue their witch-hunt in the name of stories or justice -- it seems they've totally ignored what effects their actions might have on the people that should matter most. Or they don't care.

Lastly, there's the matter of probing through Joe Paterno's emails over a decade ago. What did he know? Who did he tell? The man's dead. Does it really matter now, or do they plan to dig him up and put him on trial too? All this nonsense is accomplishing is smearing the name and legacy of a very good man, and a sports icon, who obviously can't defend himself.

Rooting out every last detail in the name of "closure" is one thing. Making several young men constantly relive their worst nightmare while doing so is quite another.

If anybody deserves closure -- it's THEM.

This whole thing has gone on long enough.

For the kids' sake -- can we please stop this madness?


  1. John, this time I think you have really taken leave of your senses.

    "Though it may sound cold, the young men that were victimized will either get past the trauma they experienced, and go on to live fruitful lives -- or they won't. Other than counseling, there's little to be done about that now."

    John, you are ignoring a thing called civil litigation, the victims will be suing Penn State and collecting millions in damages, and rightly so. By prosecuting ANYONE in the chain of command who allowed Sandusky to do what he did, especially after the accusation years ago, will strengthen the case against the school. Putting Penn State's reputation above the welfare of innocent young boys is despicable and criminal.

    You are right, it is going to get ugly. Everything should come into the open, and let the chips fall where they may. Maybe it will prevent something like this happening in the future, at Penn State or at any other school. I guess if you don't want to hear it, then you should change the channel when it is covered, and ignore the articles written.

    And as far as Paterno not being here to defend himself, who was defending the kids? Where was JoePa when the kids needed him the most? When nothing happened he could have gone to the police himself. For reasons only known to him, he didn't. In my judgement he has waived his defense.

    1. Ah yes. The money. It always seems to come down to that, doesn't it? Perhaps you should reread the article, because it appears you missed the whole point. Whether or not I want to hear more gory details come out is irrelevant. I was trying to point out that making these young men relive their worst nightmare is not exactly conducive to healing their mental and psychological wounds. Regarding the civil suits you mention -- in my opinion, and I dare say many would agree with me -- such litigation got out of control a long time ago. Everybody sues everybody for everything. The plaintiffs would not want me on such a jury. There's no way I would award them mega-bucks just because some guys didn't tell the right people what they suspected might be going on. It seems we have progressed into an age where many think getting a pile of money heals the soul. I respectively disagree. Besides, since when have civil suits, even the successful ones where millions eventually change hands, ever served as a deterrent to future evil-doers? The answer is -- they haven't. Regarding Joe Pa -- he reported what he had heard to his superiors. The man was under absolutely no legal obligation to do anything else. Some people will stay say he had a moral obligation to do more. They have a right to express their opinion. But drawing a line on morals can be very tricky business, and a slippery slope, Al. Smearing the name and legacy of a dead man, iconic or not, that in no way, shape, or form had anything to do with the crime(s) themselves -- goes against MY morals. That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it. Hope you had a holiday.