“Sports Has a Penn State Problem” – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/sports-has-a-penn-state-problem_us_57d06d5be4b0f831f706938f?section=
I am a passionate college football fan. University of Tennessee football has been part of me for as long as I can remember. I can’t always tell you what is going on with the presidential election but I can tell you how yesterday’s practice went. I spend more time on football websites than I do this one. I am a to the core of my being fan.
When I read the story linked above I wanted to vomit and I cursed the religion of college football.
The story about the sex abuse scandal at Penn State has been told a million times and I am sure you have heard it. Joe Paterno was crucified during that investigation. I believe he knew and he let kids get hurt to protect his football program from public scandal. Whether he “knew” or not he didn’t do enough. His coaches didn’t do enough. The university didn’t do enough. A monster was given open and free hunting to kids who also loved college football. Their innocence and the closed eyes of Joe Paterno and company were all it took for Jerry Sandusky to have his way.
Penn State should ever be ashamed and they instead are commemorating a statue of the 50th anniversary of Joe Paterno. The article above makes me want to scream.
It didn’t have to happen. They let it. People knew…. They should have known. They should have done something and they didn’t.
50 years ago was an anniversary of a sort for me too. As a 13 year old perhaps a lot like some of the kids Jerry Sandusky knew I was sexually assaulted by my pediatrician at the Air Force Academy for a period of about six months. I think he has long since died but for a very long time it lived for me. Looking back on it with what I know now several things are clear to me. I was not his first and most assuredly not his last. He was skilled. Every move was practiced. He knew who to approach and how to approach. I was “groomed” long before I ever knew what the word meant.
And you know I am convinced people knew. I can’t prove it but there were things said and looks and if people didn’t know they wondered. And I will forever wonder why no one said anything. Still I wonder.
I hear stories now about rapists being let out of jail after three months least they be hurt as a consequence of their crime and I wonder why it is a crime for some to be hurt but not others. I wonder about decency.
Today has been a bad day to be a college football fan and I wonder about universities that measure themselves by it. I wonder about fans who care only about touchdowns and tackles.
I wonder what those kids from Penn State think about that statue. I do.
I wonder about whether or not people knew. And I wondered about how they defended themselves from knowing.
And I wondered about another little boy about 50 years ago. I wondered a lot.
It was a bad day in so very many ways.