It is about Child Abuse/Molestation and how to Prevent/Stop it in ANY environment despite ANY perceived stature or professional consequences. More importantly, it sadly represents the premature “End of the Innocence” for at least Ten (10) + 8-12 year old victims. A Tragedy in every sense of the word.
While I have never been abused or molested and thus can’t possibly presume the accompanying anguish, I do suffer from a persistent and pervasive incurable and painful chronic illness (i.e., Crohn’s Disease) which often makes my life seem unbearable. In fact, I am writing this from a hospital bed in a New York City Hospital where I have been for the past 8 days and 100 times before! But I do know people who have been abused as children and they have scars which are ALWAYS fresh and it takes courage, understanding and compassionate relationships and professional help for them to go on to lead a happy life and/or to simply survive. For many, however, that’s not enough.
That said, I watched and listened to all I could about the Penn State University situation and I was appalled at the public’s & media’s fascination with the one man who most likely could have exposed the situation in 2002 as opposed to the predator who hid behind the money-making brand of Penn State University Football to scout and molest 8-12 year old victims from approximately the early 1990s through 2009/2010.
I am not a parent nor do I have any children but when I read the 23-page Grand Jury Indictment vs. Gerald A. Sandusky (the “Alleged Monster”) [see http://www.freep.com/assets/freep/pdf/C4181508116.PDF] I experienced an extraordinary array of emotions including rage, anger and sadness.
I also was disgusted by the actions of the following adults who, despite apparently complying with the Pennsylvania “Reporting Laws” regarding such matters, could have nevertheless EASILY prevented additional victims past early, 2002.
More specifically: The Alleged Monster for treating the Penn State University Football Program and his Charity Organization, The Second Mile, as breeding grounds for potential child molestation victims; Mike McQueary who in 2002, as a 28-year old graduate assistant, witnessed the Alleged Monster anally raping a ten (10) year old boy in the Penn State locker room shower at 9:30 PM and instead of utilizing his formidable physical prowess to come to the immediate rescue of this helpless child he merely followed bureaucratic reporting protocol and reported the incident to his superior, legendary Penn State Coach, then 76-year-old Joe Paterno; Former Coach Joe Paterno who mimicked McQueary’s minimally legal compliant bureaucratic responsibilities and told his so-called immediate superior, Tim Curley, the Penn State University Athletic Director, of this 2002 incident even though Paterno had ruled a very successful, prominent and lucrative Penn State University Football Program since his tenure as Coach had begun in 1966 and thus arguably held one of the most powerful institutional positions in the entire State of Pennsylvania and possibly in the entire United States given how iconic he became and how popular big-time college football has become; and finally, Tim Curley, the Penn State Athletic Director, who reported back to McQueary “a couple of weeks later” that in response to his Reporting Complaint the Alleged Monster’s keys to the locker room were taken away and that The Second Mile organization was notified. Worse, Curley characterized McQueary’s account of the alleged rape of the ten (10) year old boy to the Grand Jury as merely “horsing around.” (In fairness to Curley, I must point out that he told the Grand Jury that McQueary never mentioned that sexual conduct of any kind had taken place in the locker room. However, if Curley’s tame Grand Jury characterization of this 2002 McQueary-reported incident were true, why did McQueary possibly risk his coaching career by telling the iconic larger-than-life Paterno about it and then file a formal Complaint resulting in Curley rescinding the Alleged Monster’s locker room keys and notifying The Second Mile charity organization? The Grand Jury similarly found these portions of Curley’s testimony NOT CREDIBLE.)
My foregoing analysis is just the “tip of the iceberg” because if it is proven that McQueary gave an accurate account of the 2002 incident then the people above were key players in a reprehensible cover-up of ongoing child abuse/molestation covering the period from the early 1990s through 2009/2010.
So, let’s not for one second characterize this as a Football Story. This is a Criminal Child Abuse and Molestation Case which merely took place within a bureaucratic college football environment. To that end, it must remind us how and why to protect children from cold-hearted Predators in ANY environment no matter what the perceived stature or personal consequence.
And I thought it took Real Men to play College Football. These people should be ashamed of themselves as their minimal actions and monumental non-actions have crushed the lives of defenseless children who now stand as adults robbed of their childhood. Damn, parents entrusted these people with their children. God’s speed to the victims.