Jayce (vea29) wrote,
Jayce
vea29

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Okay, I have to say this...

Anyone watching ESPN lately probably knows what this is about...and, I have no doubt you are feeling a lot of the same things I am. But, as this thing stretches out further and further, I find my emotions boiling closer and closer to the surface. So, I've taken to LJ to vent out some things that have been playing out in my head and heart over the last few days...This isn't something I would usually spend so much time discussing or even thinking about, but the emotional impact it's having is just a bit much to keep locked away.  So, here is my not-so-little rant session and much-needed venting session...

For the last few days I have been sitting and listening to sports radio hosts and ESPN analysts talk and talk and talk about the ongoing scandal that has blown up over at Penn State University.  (For those of you who don't know or can't tell by my LJ theme, I'm a bit of a football fan.)  And, while I don't generally pay a lot of attention to college sports, this particular situation has drawn the attention of the entire world, sports fan or not.  And, as I've listened to the reports and opinions regarding what is going on there, I find myself growing angrier and more frustrated and more heartbroken.  Yesterday at work, I even had the manager of the Poker Room (where they have four flat screen televisions all tuned to some version of ESPN) turn one of them to another non-sports channel simply because I couldn't stand to watch another minute of it.

For those of you that don't know, haven't heard, or may not be aware of what's going on and why I find myself so emotionally affected by it, let me give you a brief rundown.  On Saturday Jerry Sandusky, former assistant coach at Penn State, was indicted by a Grand Jury on 40 (yes, FORTY) counts of child sex abuse.  Penn State president Graham Spanier and athletic director Tim Curley were indicted for perjury for lying to the Grand Jury.  Seems that since 1994 Mr. Sandusky has been preying on boys as young as 7 or 8 years old.  The Grand Jury report actually goes into sickening detail regarding these accusations, including a very specific incident in 2002 when a graduate assistant actually witnessed Sandusky violating a young boy in the University shower room.  As bad as all this is, the worst part is that for the last nine years, that incident and a number of others have been covered up, and Sandusky as been allowed to remain free to prey on who knows how many other innocent boys.

Now, obviously, my anger is focused first and foremost on the predator himself, Jerry Sandusky.  However, my frustration and increasing anger is directed at the others involved in covering up for him and allowing him to remain free, thereby putting what could eventually amount to dozens of innocent children at risk.  Specifically, regarding the 2002 event.  This sickening event was actually witnessed by a then 28 year old Mike McQueary, who was a graduate assistant at the time and is currently an assistant coach.  At 28 years old, this "man" witnessed Sandusky violating a 10 year old boy, and the only thing he could think to do was run to his office and make a phone call.  Who did he call, you ask?  No, not the police.  He called his father...28 year old man witnesses disgusting crime against a child and he calls his daddy to ask what to do about it...Something wrong with this picture.  And, what does daddy do?  Tell him to go rescue the boy?  Call the cops?  Nope.  Daddy says, "Get out of there and come to my house so we can talk about it."  Good job teaching your son right from wrong there, Pops...So, the next day they run over to head football coach (and campus legend) Joe Paterno's house.  They tell him what McQueary saw...Paterno calls his boss, Curley, who calls his boss, Spanier.  At this point, Paterno washes his hands of it as does McQueary.  As if saying, "Oh, well, done my part."  Curley and Spanier, supposedly, tell Sandusky that he is not to bring "his boys" to the University anymore for any reason.  (Yeah...seriously, that is what the Grand Jury was told as far as discipline for Sandusky.)

After that, nothing happens.  No police are notified...no reports are filed...even University police are kept in the dark about this monster roaming their campus.  Because they did not report this abuse to authorities and lied in their testimony, saying they were never made aware of such abuses taking place, Spanier and Curley now find themselves facing charges.  Paterno and McQueary, however, since they did technically report it to their superiors, are found not legally culpable.  Morally, however...that's another story.

And, that's the part that kills me.  There are people, even now, who are standing by Paterno.  They say he reported it, he did his part, he's not the monster.  Okay, no, he's not the monster who did these horrific things...he's just the one who let the monster get away with it.  Did he report it?  Yes.  But, as soon as he saw Sandusky wasn't arrested, he should have contacted the authorities himself.  Same with McQueary.  As soon as he opened that locker room door and saw what was going on, he should have dialed 911, not his daddy.  And, afterwards, when he saw Sandusky walking around free, he should have called police and demanded to know why this child rapist wasn't in jail.  Did these guys commit the actual crimes?  No.  Did they hurt these kids just as much as Sandusky by keeping their cowardly mouths closed?  Abso-frickin-lutely!

As far as I'm concerned, (and, I apologize now to anyone offended by what I'm about to say, but this is about my honest, true feelings regarding this unimaginable situation) any one of these grown men that knew what was going on, be it actually witnessing it or by word-of-mouth, and did nothing, NOTHING to prevent this monster from continuing to abuse these kids, might have well have patted him on the back and said, "Give him one for me, Jer."  Because they were f-ing these kids as hard as he was...

Who knows how many victims have yet to come forward?  Who knows how many innocent lives he was allowed to destroy because these men were more concerned with their school's reputation than with protecting society from this predator?  Legally culpable or not, every single one was responsible for what was allowed to happen...And, every single one deserves to be punished for allowing it.  

Paterno has lost his position at Penn State, and his legacy is forever stained by what has happened.  Spanier has been fired; Curley has retired, and both are facing possible prison terms for their dishonest testimony.  McQueary, however, remains an assistant coach at Penn State; however, he has been asked not to attend this Saturday's big game against rival Nebraska...due to threats...And, Sandusky...let's just say that with any luck, the guards at whatever prison he ends up at forget to lock his cell door one night because even felons don't let you get away with messing with kids.

And, as for Sandusky's victims...the young boys, now men, who have had their entire lives destroyed because we, as a society, failed them...to them I offer my deepest, humblest apologies.  Our society has placed an almost irrational importance on sports and success.  It is that importance that led to grown men failing to respect the most basic, fundamental principle of the human condition...protect our kids because they cannot protect themselves.  Evil flourishes when good men do nothing, or so the saying goes...my question now more than ever is, how can they call themselves good men when they did nothing?  How do we, as a society, react to this?  How do we make sure it doesn't happen again?  That no one, no matter how athletic or how successful, is ever allowed to prey on the innocent and get away with it?  I don't have these answers...not sure anyone does.  But, what I do know is that my heart breaks for these young men...for what they have been through...for what was stolen from them...for what should have been done to protect them...and for what wasn't... 
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