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PSU scandal exposes corruption

PSU scandal exposes corruption

Penn State students carry a Joe Paterno cutout on Wednesday, Nov. 9, after the Board of Trustees announced the firing of University President Graham Spanier and head football coach Joe Paterno. Both men were fired surrounding the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal. (Nabil K. Mark/Centre Daily Times/MCT)

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Could they have done more?

Penn State University evidently thinks so, as they fired former President Graham Spanier and head football coach Joe Paterno, after the allegations against assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky came to light.

Many fans still remain loyally devoted to Paterno, outraged at his dismissal and supportive of him during his recent diagnosis of lung cancer.  However, others question his morality such as Vicky Triponey, former Vice President for Student Affairs at PSU.

According to CNN, Triponey accused Paterno of favoring football players who violated school conduct, unfairly reducing or eliminating their punishments.

Paterno’s actions have been questionable.  He was legally correct in his decision to report his knowledge of the abuse to his superiors, but not the police was morally wrong.  By refusing to take the responsibility to involve law enforcement, he disregarded the safety of any past, present, or future victims.  Paterno cowardly washed his hands of the situation with a total disregard for the boys’ mistreatment.

The charges against Sandusky are still considered allegations because he is still denying the 40 accounts of sexual abuse against eight boys over more than 10 years.

Some of the victims were thought to have been from “The Second Mile,” a charity foundation Sandusky established, which worked torwards helping thousands of underprivileged kids.

Sandusky was arrested on Nov. 5 and has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Dec. 13, when he claims he will eradicate  all charges.

This is highly doubtful, as there are currently over four investigations happening at PSU, including an internal investigation done by the university itself.  They plan on conducting a “comprehensive investigation” that is “without fear or favor” in order to “leave no stone unturned,” according to Louis Freeh, who is in charge of the investigation.  But it’s a little late for that.

Stones were overturned years ago, but what was discovered underneath was so horrifying that it was immediately covered up again.

A mother of one of the victims went to the police in 2008.  In 2002, Mike McQueary, a witness of one of the attacks, told Paterno what he saw, who in turn told athletic director Tim Curley.  This game of telephone went horribly wrong, as the incident remained unreported to the police.

In addition to PSU’s investigation, the NCAA is also searching for answers they expect by Dec. 16. The NCAA is particularly concerned for the outcome of the inquiry and what that will imply for the value of higher education that is supposed to be the basis of college athletic programs.  Instead, athletics have precedence over academics.

This scandal has pointed out fatal flaws in the corrupt athletic system, such as the gaping holes in policies, protocol, and ethics .

It is not just the scandal itself that is horrifying, but the cover-up as well.  PSU’s refusal to own up to the situation exacerbated it instead of eliminating it.

The university’s skewed priorities caused them to value the football program’s reputation more than the safety and care for the young victims.

The NCAA claims to be looking for other “lurking allegations,” according to CNN. In other words, the crumbs swept under the sink won’t be hidden for much longer.  Hopefully they uphold their promise of taking a closer look at athletic programs and no longer turn a blind eye to crime for the sake of a game.

Cara Reilly is the Copy Chief for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.

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