FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
As the Penn State child sex abuse scandal continues to grow, there are more questions about how the situation got so out of hand.
And at least part of that answer lies in the outsized influence of sports teams on college campuses around the country.
At Penn state, football is a religion; and for almost five decades, legendary coach Joe Paterno was a god.
That could be why officials looked the other way when they learned an assistant football coach, Jerry Sandusky, was allegedly raping little boys.
It appears that Penn State cared more about protecting the football program than protecting the children - sort of the same way the Catholic Church responded to its own child sex abuse scandal.
Of course, big sports also means big money for these colleges. With big money comes the potential for corruption and misplaced priorities. Oftentimes, people affiliated with these sports programs develop a sense of entitlement.
As one expert tells The Boston Globe, "You're making a deal with the devil. These programs become larger than life. It has nothing to do with higher education."
What's ironic is that Penn State was a college known for running a clean football program, yet it has still managed to land itself in what is arguably one of the worst scandals to ever hit a college campus.
Some people think it's way past time to take a hard look at the role of college football or basketball teams. But others say it won't make much of a difference; that the culture is way too powerful and deeply entrenched.
Here’s my question to you: What role did the outsized influence of college sports play in the Penn State child sex abuse scandal?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Jack, Your question is an understatement! At the "Pop Warner" level, a kid who is bigger than the rest or possesses better than average coordination is identified. That starts the special treatment for life. In succession: little league, middle school, high school, college, and then NFL coaches await the arrival. The special education, training table, locker room enhancements, easy courses, medical care, and alumni with hands out make for a privileged life. And at the end the specially groomed athlete makes millions, Las Vegas betting makes billions, TV networks make multi billions all because of Pop Warner and Little League, who make nothing.
Dan in Long Island, New York:
Jack, It is the "money" sports that corrupt. There are many college sports that are enjoyed by student athletes where stadium ticket sales, t-shirt sales, corporate sponsorship, pro agents, and network executives aren't so embedded. The Penn State situation is a corporate athletics crime. Money out leveraged the truth, as it too often does.
Nancy on Facebook:
Not for nothing, this is just another male-dominated institution. It’s like the Catholic Church, where they all closed ranks and protected each other and the group, as first priority. Was it only because sports are big business? I'm not so sure.
It probably played some role, but unfortunately, what occurred is not that rare in locker rooms across the county. If you've spent much time in high school and college male locker rooms, you've likely seen, and maybe even experienced, sexual harassment, bullying and/or molestation. Actual sodomy is more rare, but even that is not unheard of. Males are even less likely to report it than females, because of the humiliation factor.
Mel in Houston:
Maybe a fractured cliché is the appropriate answer: "Money talks and common sense walks."
What horrifies *me* is the rioting...in *support* of the alleged perpatrator.
And no outcry at all from Penn State's students for the victims.
Is *that* the kind of "leadership" school athletics is teaching?
If so, we can do without it altogether.
A very significant part. Football is the primary reason alumni revisit universities and donate money. Football and basketball sometimes seem like the only reason a university exists. Students don't riot over the dismissal of a physics professor, or over poor grades, or over the dropping of a class. But should a football or basketball team lose a championship game or a popular coach dismissed then riots, vandlism, and general mayhem are likely.
Priorities, you know, Jack. Maybe we Americans need to do a little soul searching after this. That is, of course, right after we catch the latest Dancing with the Stars and Housewives of wherever. At least we have enough decency left not to blame the victims in this case. Very sad what we've become.
Maybe a fractured cliche is the appropriate answer; "Money talks and common sense walks".
Love your commentaries.
This man was allowed to hide under the umbrella of Joe P. because he was a member of the good old boys network that ran the school. It is the same old story of the tail wagging the dog. Had Sandusky been (1) black or (2) just a lowly professor; or (3) a coach on the girl's volleyball team, you know the reaction of the grad student and the school's administration would have been drastically different and a whole lot faster.
Lastly Jack can you address the fact that Joe P. was allowed to stay on until he broke Eddie Robinson's record for most wins by a college coach. (read this with a voice dripping with sarcasm "or is that just another coincidence?"
These boys were sacrificed for power, greed, and records. A national championship is much more valuable to the school than the protection of an innocent child or the prosecution of disgusting child molester.
There can be no question that Sandusky was protected by people who knew what was going on, including Paterno. The role that college sports, specifically Penn State football, played was to create an environment where even basically good people would choose to retreat into cowardly silence rather than saving children from such unspeakable evil.
Whatever their decision, I'm sure it will be good for another 20-25% increase in their net worth.
Football and the income it generated was clearly more important to Penn State than the ruined lives of the children being sexually abused. It's sickening. The lawyers for the victims must be lined up for blocks.
Jack: The importance of football at Penn State is huge, and for this reason people just turned a blind eye. They turned the blind eye until someone poked them in the eye. Sexual abuse is very bad, but only gets worse when ignored by supposely competent authorities. It will cost Penn State the great reputation at the campus, and it will cost millions of dollars in law suits. I am from a crazy football state. I graduated from a university that has 22 SEC Championships and 13 NCAA National Championships in football and I know how crazy it can become on campus. But we have a coach whose defining motto is, "Before you can be a champion on the field, you have to be a champion off the field." It seems to be working.
PSU is no different than Nebraska Cornhuskers, or Alabama Tarheels, etc that are all too crazy and allow football to dominate their environment. I think ANYthing taboo is pushed under the rug if it may disrupt the football programs and the "aura" of football at PSU of any big football university.
Jack, I think the football program made the story much more sensational because Paterno is so famous. But, sports gets a disproportionate amount of publicity anyway. The ridiculous amounts paid and controversies about crimes,etc. Some of the big stars are called heroes. The real heroes are in Afghanistan and right here at home working to feed families and without the time to watch or care about sports. It is a big money industry that would lead you to believe education is not the most important thing of all. There are many, many people that don't really care for sports at all and a much smaller percentage of people that are avid sports fans, But they tend to be louder and get more publicity.
It probably played some role, but unfortunately, what occurred is not that rare in locker rooms across the county. If you've spent much time in high school and college male locker rooms, you've likely seen, and maybe even experienced, sexual harrasment, bullying and/or molestation. Actual sodomy is more rare, but even that is not unheard of. Males are even less likely to report it than females, becuase of the humilation factor.
Tom Wolfe encapsulated the corruption and outsized dollar-influence on sports programs in America' s large universities in his masterpiece novel "I Am Charlotte Simmons", 2004. No wonder we are lagging behind most developed nations in education and technological development. All the money goes to jocks.
Carol in Northampton, Ma
Very simple. Big money demands that anything that gets in its way be ignored or destroyed. Nothing is sacred when there is money to be made. That is the greedy nature of our society, at least in the upper echelons.
It's just a different version of "too big to fail". Too much money, too much media, too much hero worship, and too much emphasis on turning pro.
It is senseless to provide a judgement based on assumption as no one yet knows the entire details.
As a society that continues to make useless judgements before the facts are available we continue forming beliefs that are therefore based upon pure lies. We really have to stop doing this.
It is the "money" sports that corrupt. There are many college sports that are enjoyed by student athletes where stadium ticket sales, t-shirt sales, corporate sponsorship, pro agents, and network executives aren't so embedded. The Penn State situation is a corporate athletics crime. Money out leveraged the truth, as it too often does.
Jack pedophiles do not need a college to sexually assault children. All they need is the opportunity. Each and every day across America there are organizations that teach educate and coach children and in most of these no problems ever occur. However when one man is creative enough to manipulate a vulnerable child and the right set of circumstances become available it can happen. This does not only happen to boys but girls as well. Sometimes bad people do bad things no mater how hard we try and prevent it. Parents need to talk to their children and realize that child predators are out there. There are 549,038 registered sex offenders in the United States. These are the ones that we know about and does not include the ones that we don't know about.
I think it played a big part. Penn state makes over 75 million off of football. But by not reporting to police of a boy being raped in the shower they put a stain on the college and Penn state football forever. They could have prevented many other boys from being attacked and that makes my blood boil.
It was 100% responsible for the cover up. Just one more thing that shows what is the most important thing in this country, money. How do these people live with themselves?
THis would not have been allowed to happen except for the fact that Penn St's football program would have suffered both financially and reputation retrobution! This is the same thing that happens when major college programs pay 6 figure bonuses to athletes to play for their program. You can't convince me this doesn't happen when a kids from a lower class family suddenly drives around campus in a new Escalade or Vette! or BMW! Money is the name of the game. At least Old Joes graduation rate is higher than most. Give him credit for that!!!
Truth is, if players were the molesters innstead of a coach this would be delt with a slap on the hand. Seldom does anyone get punished if they are super at either playing or coaching. No one is going to jail over this and the money train will still run for Penn State.
It's the same outside influence that has ruined our fair system of justice in this country, Jack.....money. Look what money has played in the operating of our country, it's wrecked it. Joe Paterno is Penn St. In that he brought in $74mill/yr. With that kind of influence who ran the school? Not the Math Dept, but the athletic dept. I was watching last night a "small" California football team on the pennsula. They happened to show this guy in the stands who donates money to both schools....$100mill to the No. Cal school, and $300 mill to a school in the state just above Ca. Now, can you imagine what kind of money Joe Paterno brought in? It's mind boggling. I can only hope that there is fair justice for these young men. Perhaps Penn St shouldn't have football.
The bulk of the Penn State child sex abuse cover up is due to college sports favoritism:
A) The college sports winners are rewarded with the bulk of the scholarships, spoiled with worship, and sheltered from the law.
B) These "winners" begin to think that they can get away with rape and murder.
C) At Penn State the "winners" got away with rape for 13 years.
College should be about education, not sports. All this focus on sports is part of the reason it costs so darn much to go to college in America. Yes, a few programs are profitable, but most are not. The tail is wagging the dog, and someone needs to bring some common sense to the table.
It was Sandusky's license to rape with impunity. Frankly, college should be broken up into public and private schools from grades 11 through 14, where earning 60 college credits is enough to graduate and funding is public rather than parental – and sports are state based, not national – and professionally orientated advanced study paid for by employers and with no sports program. Let the great athletes join the NFL at 20 and have everyone else give up the dream.
I think it played some part however, it is probably a different question – more toward why men protect men with a hope the whole thing will go away. Recently men protecting men has cost millions of dollars to other organizations where people had also contributed large amounts of money to honor and their support something close to them – a church. It seems to be a man thing that they can't believe their employees force bad things to happen on good people (usually boys who can't defend themselves) and they fail to turn the thing around before it becomes world-wide known.
College sports are big business and big money. With big bucks comes big scandals. At the end of the day, it's the God almighty buck that counts. And that's the invaluable lesson that our Universities and Colleges are really teaching.
Jack, your question brings up a bigger issue, namely, what's most important in college –academics or sports. As you have stated, football at Penn State is almost like a religion. The fact that Joe Paterno coached there for over six decades confirms he was as much an institution as the school itself. The university, by its failure to notify authorities when the first incident by Assistant coast Sandusky was observed, soiled itself and should be suspended by the NCAA.
Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona
Jack,Lets be clear.It was NOT, "college sports" it was people and their lust for fame and their greed.It was people not sports.HOW LOW can you go Jack when you can't step up to protect kids.Now this guy is out on bail like nothing happened......................and still as we speak making money hand over fist......................wow!!!
What about the kids ??? What do they get in America ??? In an NCAA campus shower and no one cared,
I don't think the sports program had much influence or play in the sex scandal.
It is like the church, and who knows how many other institutions, families, and work places, in the same situation, are willing to remain quiet, sit tight, and hope the mess would go away.
Have any of Jerry Sandusky's computers been seized?? It would seem to be the first thing the authorities should do but I haven't heard a word about it. Are they once again turning a blind eye while he's out on bail free to destroy any evidence?
It probably has a lot to do with the cover-up. However, I'm wondering if Joe Paterno was perhaps limited by his contract not to talk about issues such as this. I think, in view of all he did for Penn State, he should have least been able to finish the season, especially being allowed to coach this past Saturday's last home game and Senior Day. I hold the Penn State administration with most of the blame, not Coach Paterno. He did report what he knew to his superiors–they obviously dropped the ball on this. Mr. Sandusky should NOT have been granted bail!
It is all about power and greed. Why did an assistant coach have so much power over the coach and the school. It could have been over and done with twenty years ago. And they would still be holding their heads up... after the arrest and conviction of Jerry Sandusky.
With big money comes the potential for corruption and misplaced priorities.
That explains it, the egg came before the chicken.
If parents knew how dysfunctional, political, and petty most state universities were, they would think twice about their children’s higher education. Universities’ marketing packages tout the finest academic standards, the most attention to students, etc., but that’s likely exaggerated or false. Ditto for faculty bios. Most universities strive for bigger buildings, a ranking in the NCAA, and more prestigious research. Do these priorities sound like they are really trying to educate students? Our higher education system is as broken as our congress.
Every rat in the chain of command ...the student coach, head coach, university president...knew about it but chose to protect their assistant coach pedophile over protecting 10 year old defenselss kids. People keep griping about how bad kids are today. Maybe they just don't stand a chance with the role models we have for them. The path those 'adults' chose was pure evil.
Gee Jack, you're not insinuating that big money has a way of compromising people's value, are you?
"I think it's just a group thing! It can be the same in the armed forces; you just have to learn the hard way. Group showering is one of the worst places to meet these guys. Swimming pools are also the worst things for youngster.
But the authorities do nothing about it..."
Are you kidding me? It had everything to do with the effect it would have on the football program (or any other sports program for that matter). We're talking big bucks here.
"What role did the outsized influence of college sports play in the Penn State child sex abuse scandal?"
EVERYTHING, but let's be clear...Jerry S did the dirty deeds, repeatedly for years...everyone else just looked the other way for years to save the Penn State football empire. All are to blame...all are to be punished. And NUMEROUS boys have lost their childhood innocence and faith in humankind. All that destruction for the sake of football...so bad, so sad:(
Unfortunately it is all about money and power. Power corrupts, we see it all too often and in the wrong places.
It appears that Penn State cared more about protecting the football program than protecting the children – sort of the same way the Catholic Church responded to its own child sex abuse scandal – Jack – The Catholics think they are above the law of the land. As a Catholic, (born & raised) I got tired of being teached by Nuns ( in the 60's) so I transferred to public schools, and never went back – tried all of the 'other' religions, but went back to the 'old stand-by' they still preach in their sermons that they are always hungry for money, for this, for that, & etc. That's why I go at Easter & Christmas. They are just as worthless as the other religions.
Until we know more, I'm not sure how much the football angle played. I think this is just one of those crimes that people hope will go away rather than deal with because of embarrassment since it's a crime involving sex. That's what happened with the incidents in the Catholic Church, and I have a feeling that is what happened at Penn State. However, the real crime is that, since there was no law on the books requiring the reporting to law enforcement, people felt they had done their duty by pushing the issue up the ladder and then forgot about it. While these coaches acted within the law as to what they were legally obligated to do, you would like to think that someone would have done more and they did not.
Lets call it like it is Child Rape.
Even CNN wants to hide the truth.
Big time college athletics and Institutional cover-up in general is in our DNA. The catholic church, corrupt. police forces, corporations like Enron, MCI/World Com, etc are classic examples. And It extends to the highest reaches of governments throughout the world including our own ie. Watergate. Is it a fairly recent phenomena? Or has it always been with us. I say it's always been with us and every so often the magnitude of it hit's us right between the eyes.
Better yet...what role did cowardice play in so many opportunities to report this sicko to authorities. What part did our pc thinking play in needing to prove beyhond reasonable doubt. All put together in a nice package 17 or more years to late...makes it easy to judge all the mistakes.. The mom that knew and tried to do something but failed. The cops...the janitors. The coaches and admins...THe charity. It all came down to a high school principle and wrestling coach and some mom to stop him(at least we hoped he is stopped since he is out on bond).
Well Jack, let's take a look at what we already know. Last week we learned that a charity, a coach (plus at least one staff member), multiple administrators, a local police department, a district attorneys office, the state police, and the attorney general's office all dragged their feet in this matter. But it didn't stop there, as today we learned a judge presides over this case with certain conflicts of interest. I think it's safe to say this "secret" wasn't a secret. As far as outside influence of college sports, it appears they had all the influence they needed already.
Religion and God allow horrific events to occur on earth every minute, so your analogy to Penn State football and its coach is pretty lame Jack, their events could have been prevented.
This was both a cover-up for Penn State Football and Penn State University. The two are indeliby linked as one institution. Let me ask this: What if the child molestor had been a history professor? Would the administrators have covered it up? From what I understand, I think they would have. Which tells me this is slightly more about covering up Penn State the University than it is about Penn State Football. So my answer is, 60% cover up for PSU, and 40% cover up for PSU Football.
University currently place to much focus on sports and not enough on curriculum. If the same dollars were placed on education we would all benefit more. The current focus feeds into this type of cover up.
It's more than Penn State or the Catholic church. If you do some research, you will see that it has happened in all religious denominations and in many public schools. The reaction was largely to cover it up and avoid any negative publicity. Religious preachers were often quietly shown the door from their particular congregation and were free to seek employment at another. The same thing often occurred at public schools. It has only been more recently that you see any sort of public action being taken.
The undue influence in sports begins before college. High schools cater to football teams and place players above all others. Maybe all of us need to re-examine our priorities. EJM Granville Ohio
If it hadn't been for their football program they would all be in jail.
Money, Jack, it's all about the money! That is all Penn State cares about and because a sex scandal involving children would have damaged or halted the money train, the children were sacrificed. A sad comment on our times isn't it? It's all about the circuses! We do not value our children. And so an obsession with football came first. College is very over rated. Certainly not worth the money. Not in this world!
Jack, you can analyze this situation from now till eternity but the bottom line is..........................this is what happens when you living a life pleasing to God.
People will laugh and sneer at this statement which only illustrates it's truth.
We indeed live in a broken world.
It's still astounds me that this school is still able to continue as if nothing is going on. Where is the NCAA? If this had been any other college, there would fines, games cancelled, etc. Why is it that Ohio states gets so much from the NCAA and Penn State gets nothing?
The elephant in the room as I see it, is that Paterno at the time, eyeing the NCAA all time wins record, couldn't afford for petaphelia criminal allegations against his defensive coach to become public. If that happened Paterno could have been blown out then and never accomplished the feat.
Jack, I think it goes further than just the sports. What happened to Ray Gricar? Why did he drop the charges in 1998, he heard Sandusky appologize to the mother of a child that was violated. High Schools are cutting some subjects from the schools and they keep supporting the sporting programs and then wonder why our children are falling behind.
I think the question boils down to "what role did money play in the outsizing of sports over education, or anything else of integrity." I fullly agree with the statement that the sports culture is too intrenched and powerful for real change to occur, I think I have heard this reality with reference to like "deficit committees" and other government "programs", at all levels. Wer're screwed, but sports can ease the brain.
Time for some nuetering!!!!!!!
Football is an important sport, Coach Sandusky was an important man, and playing the "he said/she said" game with Sandusky to the local police would likely have been intimidating. Maybe they wouldn't have believed you. But Jesus people, find your moral compass. As I told my husband, "the simple lesson is that if you ever see any hint of child abuse, you call the police." He replied, "No, the lesson is, if you see someone anally raping a 10 year old in the bathroom, you beat the guy to a pulp, then you call the police." I think my husband's right here.
Jack, we'll never know. As for me, I'm tired of hearing about abuse scandels, sexual harrassment, failing economies and our inflacted national dept. I'm looking for an escape and I think this weekend I'll put on my favorite teams jersey, crack open an ice cold beer and watch some football.
Hey Jack, what happened to innocent until proven guilty? If ever there were a more blatant case of the media stirring up a frenzy before a presumed innocent man has had trial....I don't know of it. And you, Jack, are one of the more 'tell it it like it is people who I respect in the media. Why did you jump on the bandwagon? Imagine if he's innocent! How would you feel if it were you?
"All that is required for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." Edmund Burke
I love college sports, but it looks (at this early stage) that the influence of football took precedence in this case over the safety and well-being of children. I can only hope this is an isolated incident.
First, to Dan Bostaph, the rioting was down town not on campus. Many of the people "rioting" were probably not students. There are a lot of graduates, flunk outs, and hangers on who live down town for the party not for academics. I think the smug people who criticize the football program should first look in the mirror. There is a well know, and vocal, columnist who writes for a paper in Altoona. For the last few years, he and the people who write him every week have been critical of Penn State. Mostly for not winning big enough, not crushing their opponents, not playing for the national championship every year. These are the people who drive teams to cut corners. So don't just blame the coaches. As was said by Shakespeare: "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves."
The impotance of sports overshadows education. The University had a vested interest in keeping this horrible information secret. All we have to do is look at the big money thrown at colleges in connection to football or basketball. Many universities keep secret crimes commited on campus. Occasionally there will be a story, but overall, crimes on campus are not reported because the university is more important than the victim.
IT DOES NOT MATTER!!!! They all were were the 3 monkeys – eyes, covered, ears covered, mouth covered. I heard on the news today that his charity knew that he had been banned and his keys taken for the showerroom at Penn State and not allowed to be there with young boys... So how did the charity not know? I want to know: Who else was involved? Who else participated? Did he take photos? This is going to get really ugly.
The former president of Penn State, Graham Spanier, happens to be the head of the NCAA's Board of Trustees. We do not have all the facts regarding THIS scandal, but it is way past time for the NCAA to cease as a governing body for college athletics. We have seen corruption in bowl committees and at many so called "academic institutions" in the past. It is time for our corrupt politicians to intervene and end this nonsense once and for all. College is no place for the academic.
Collegiate football is a lucrative business. By record, Penn State's football 'profit' exceeded $50 million last year, surpassed only by that of University of Texas. In the sad case of Sandusky, and the seeming cowardice of McQueary as well as Parerno, the program had to be protected at all costs, even to allowing Sandusky to continue his predations on the innocent.
That said, it is clear even to a blind man that football at Penn State had everything to do with the scandal.
I cannot conceive of punishment severe enough to visit upon these excuses for men that would begin to fit the nature of the crime and the coverup. To be sure, every member of the Penn State coaching staff that was employed before Sandusky's retirement is suspect, Even if one says "I didn't know," that one should have known–the signs were there for all to see. The entire staff should be fired and the football program put in abeyance for at least one season, to be restarted from scratch.
One final thought concerning McQueary–his back is not wide enough to wear the yellow stripe he deserves.
Yes the sports program had somewhat to do with this but, Can ya say lack of Morals & caring for others more than self Jack?
When people instill their own morals for False gods, then out go the True morals of the True God, & his name ain't allah either, but the footbal god is related to allah.
It did amaze me to see so many of the students reaction to the firing of Joe as a bad thing & then the death threats to McQueery for his reporting the sick acts against those kids to Joe.
Its kind of mixed up & morally bankrupt of them, but ha, these same kids probably are some of those that abort 6000+ babies a day in America due to bad choices from lack of morals.
Second observation. Income from the football program at Penn State supports ALL the other NCAA sports on campus including men's and women's basketball. It became the cash cow for the university.
I just have one question. Does anyone think it would have taken this long to see prosecution if the grad assistant had seen an English professor raping a 10 year old? The guy would have been in jail that night. Colleges and universities are supposed to be centers of education, of enlightenment. What's Penn State football been teaching people? If you see something horribly wrong happening, keep your mouth shut.
Isn't it odd that this story broke just after Paterno broke the Eddie Robinson record? It looks like they sat on it just long enough, in case they had to fire him. What would any of these guys done if that had been their child in the shower?
Laith F. Gulli, Columbus, Indiana
You can be sure any entity that stands to make money out of college sports will turn a BLIND eye. A perfect example of this is the blind eye Joe Paterno and others did–just ask the question to these monsters;; would they have turned a blind eye or passed on the responsibility to someone else if it was their child being molested.
Laith, Columbus, Indiana
If the NCAA should issue the death-penalty to Penn State Football (for at least a year). If you can issue the death penality for players accepting cash and cars and do not for failing to report child abuse (to protect the reputation of the football program), then our priorities as a nation are in serious need of attention.
The same role that a pregnant soldier played as the fall guy for the Bush administration and CIA using sexual abuse and torture against prisoners in U S military custody: The guilty, more powerful people never got prosecuted and got away with scapegoating subordinates. As a country, our priorities are SICK.
My daughter goes to Penn State. I drove out there last weekend, so I feel I have some insight as to what is going on there. The comment from Dan Bostaph states "What horrifies *me* is the rioting...in *support* of the alleged perpatrator." Nothing is further from the truth. No one, and I mean NO ONE in Penn State is supporting Sandusky. This story is terrible enough without you and your commentators making stuff up.
People have been correctly arguing that college sports organizations have too much influence on campuses. And the students care more about the quality of their teams than the quality of their teachers and education. And this all because of the money that the teams bring in (some of which, admittedly, helps non-sports aspects of the school). It's terrible. But let's not forget to blame the fans, be they alumni or general sports fanatics. If we didn't pay obscene amounts of $$$ to watch these teams, or wear the shirts, money would have much less of a corrupting influence. Face it, these teams give us, and their universities exactly what "we" want. We're to blame. Now turn off the game and go read a book.
Jack, Penn State wasn't trying to protect the football program, they were protecting something much more valuable..." The Penn State image". That image brings in alot of new students, revenue, trust, and respect. That means power and influence. Football was a second thought.
Let's face it, the big college sports culture has a big part in it – big college football equals big revenue for the colleges and creates a culture that protects the Cash Cow sadly at the expense of integrity and it fosters a culture of cover-up and looking the other way. Big college football is more of an industry than it is a sport.
The 'outsized influence' has everything to do with it. JoePa, Bradly, all the others who have since resigned and/or who have been fired all have valuable information. If football isn't first, then the game should be sacrificed at this moment for the cause of validating the victims of this abuse, and all the others that go unreported. McQueary is in the thick of it. My intuition tells me, not only, that he has tons of information, but that he has been intimidated and bought off for his silence. These men, and all the other coaches and members of administration, and members of the second mile charity ALL need to start talking. As of now Sandusky is free, and arrogantly denying all allegations. These people all need to become transparent and do it for the vicitims, and ultimately it will help there number one cause (football). Transparency is what Tom Bradly REFUSED to be at his press conference, which, again, my opinion, makes him look like he's hiding some valuable information.
(sorry I left off the place) As much as I love sports, I've finally come to the belief that the NCAA & Division I universities are pimps, and the athletes are the unfortunate, unknowing prostitutes. The ridiculous amounts of money thrown about (TV contracts; Bowl Money; coach's salaries) ...the moving of universities from one conference to another...these schools are absolutely addicted to the almighty dollar. You call these educational institutions? Are you kidding? Let's get back to educating kids – and stop turning our colleges into minor-league sports leagues.
Doesn't really matter Jack. What matters is what I will do differently now that I know (something) about it. So off to a board meeting of my local youth-focused non-profit organization I support, and guess what I'm putting on the agenda...
There's absolutely no doubt that the reputation of Joe Paterno and the Penn State football program greatly amplified the angry lynch mob of holier-than-thou Monday Morning Quarterbacks.
Yes, we all wish that the police had enough evidence to lock away Sandusky when the very first incident was reported. But the major media seems more intent on tearing down an football icon than reporting this tragic story objectively.
Shame on all of you. A witch hunt does not honor the victims who were molested.
I think the reason Paterno let it slip under the rug was his desire to go down in history as the all time winningest coach. At the end of the day the money will still be there. Penn State has a pretty loyal family as was witnessed by their shameful support of their coach.
I can only hope the outrageous crimes against children will overwhelm the powerful NCAA. I cannot bear to watch college football because of the shear numjbers of people who did nothing.
Penn State obviously has more rules for playing sports and the money it generates then living a proper life. It sounds like there really wasn't a mechanism in the rule book, for the entire university, for reporting these type of crimes regardless of where they occur or it would have been nipped in the bud 15 years ago, or more.
College athletics don't make people do what Sandusky did....colleges need to stop treating football and mens basketball programs as amateur sports, they generate the same if not more revenue than their professional counter part and are just as susceptible to corruption and scandals if not more because of its amateur standing the rules and laws have no teeth and are not easily enforceable, however, The psu scandal has everything to with ineptitude and failing to act on behalf of those who needed help the most, than with big time athletics. They wanted to protect the school itself from the scandal not so much psu football because an allegation of this magnitude threatens a schools integrity at its core rather than affect just the football program. – Carl Horton Jr. Morehouse College Grad writing from silver spring md
Jack, the money involved produces undue influence not just within the University but throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Tom Corbett, who happens to be the Governor now, had knowledge of this while he was the Pennsylvania Attorney General. Rather than following up actual cases of child rape like this one, Attorney General Corbett and his Assistant Attorney General within the Child Predator Unit, Anthony Forray, chose to waste their time creating sting operations like those seen on NBC's "To Catch a Predator." While you might argue that those might prevent some incidents, it is the height of irresponsibility to prosecute people who never laid hands on an underage individual while they completely ignore ongoing provable cases of anal rape. Not only should Sandusky and Paterno be behind bars but so should Forray and Corbett for allowing this to go on for so long.
i played college sports (football and soccer)in the Big 10. i, as a former athlete,find it absolutely disgusting that a molester would affiliate with the team. it should not be an indictment of the players or the sport...most of those kids are dedicated, many of them train during the off season, seeking to perfect their game... this travesty should not tar their efforts.
that said, i have 3 nieces and 3 nephews... to think that some sick embecile would view them as 'sexual' opportunites absolutely disgusts me. today i read that about 60 million americans were sexually abused as children. how sick have we become that we now view children as tools for sexual gratification? child porn is on the rise... what does a grown man get out of watching a little 6 year old girl or boy naked? this is really disturbing.
people like sandursky should not be sent to prison.. that is too good a punishment. people like him should be fed alive to a bunch of hungry lions (after spending some time being tortured in guatanimo). at a minimum, the death penalty should be adjudicated.
the bigger question is: what have we become as a society? where are we going as a society? this is just one high profile individual who is being portrayed for his deviant behavior. how many other sickos are out there?
worse.. what will become of the innocence and joy of childhood when parents have to lock their kids in doors out of fear? will kids grow up to become paranoid adults?
If this guy had just kept to raping women, assault, b&e like other big name college athletes, we wouldn't be hearing about him. It saddens me to say that I don't see this changing anytime soon...way too much money involved, and that's what it comes down to. I'm already seeing stories about how Penn State has begun to heal...how nice for them...not many comments on the victims.
No more of a role than any large company, church or organization that has lots of money and power. Money and power are the corrupt forces that kept this unconscionable and horrific behavior from being reported. The criminal (OK, alleged criminal) could have easily have been a corporate exec and the "good ol' boys" club would still have protected him. Perversion is an equal opportunity affliction.
We have become a society that places more value on the dollar than it does in morality. Every aspect of our society's fiber is wrapped around the almighty dollar. Yes, the priorities of the dollar far outweigh human decency, in doing what is right, and in protecting our most vital resource, our children. When such corruption occurs on Wall Street, in corporations, and in our Government, then nothing or no one is sacred, including the last refuge left, our schools. Penn State may be on the front page today, but it certainly is not without company. As long as we continue to let the Penn States of the world investigate themselves and set the standards of what constitute a crime, then expect nothing that tarnishes their "reputation" to be reported. Yes, even children do not rise to the level of their "precious reputation". Honesty, values, and fairness died a long time ago in this country. The cause of death was attributed to "malnutrition".
There is a special place in Hell for Sandusky and those who put college football financal prospects before a child's safety. It took a high school to do what college could not – stop a child predator. This story is about the moral weakness. If mother's ran the world, this would NEVER have happened.
The situation of child abuse is so sad. I can only hope the children can lead a normal life. The criminals must be punished.
Its as if the false worship of a meaningless victory which generates Millions of dollars superceded morality ..
A huge role. If it had been a custodian or a security guard (or a History Professor) who was doing what is alleged at Penn State he would have been reported instantly and nobody would be protesting the accusation, let alone rioting. We have gotten so far out of control in our love of football and sports in general that we're willing forget the very basics of right and wrong. Penn State fans are saying in effect: "oh, some 10-year old boys were raped at Penn State? Yeah, we should look into that -unless it's going to reflect badly on my football team!" Very sad. And I think it could have happened at any top-tier University in the country. Time to start evaluating your unhealthy addiction to sports, America.
I don't understand shy McQueary hasn't been fired. He is the worst of all of them. He saw a rape in progress and did NOTHING! A child was being raped and he went home and told his dad. Here is the conversation, "Dad, I don't know what to do. If I say anything, I might lose my chances of coaching here." Dad, "lets talk to Coach Panero and let him handle it." Did he ever follow up to make sure the police were involved, nope. So Sandusky goes on to molest more kids. This guy needs to be fired and prosecuted for not reporting the raped when he saw it.
Our society builds up demi-gods, only to be surprised when they fall short of being God-like.
“See no evil...Hear no evil”, Jack. The problem here goes to our society's warped view of success. Penn State ran into the same program as Bernie Madoff, Eddie Long, and even Conrad Murray– taking advantage of their authority at the expense of others...
It's all about the MONEY, from sponsers and TV Networks. The MONEYwas more important than these children. Everyone knew that once the cat was out of the bag. The MONEYwas GONE. All of those who knew consipred or cooperated to keep the money coming as long as possible. It is so sad and so disgusting.
There is a serious problem when any adult looks out for their career or reputation at the risk of exploiting and harming children. This is a clear example of how money and fame can blur some people's vision. It's all about "Money, Power and Respect" even at the expense of the most vulnerable… It’s just sad.
As a small boy I had an opportunity to meet John Wooden, my dad taught at Indiana State and John was a friend. I learned that college sports were used as a means of teaching such concepts as sportsmanship, character and perseverence. As I grew into manhood I saw these sports being corrupted by money into what they are today. There is little honor left now that colleges are simply farm teams for the pros.
Jon, Solsberry, IN
When a major university makes more money from intercollegiate sports than from tuition, the result is to be expected.Conversely, Penn State should not hold the entire football program responsible for the actions of one pervert. Do not overreact. Let those guilty pay for their crimes.
The answer to your question Jack is, in my view, fairly obvious. Penn State athletic programs – largely dominated by football – are worth something in excess of 100 million in annual revenue. Undoubtedly this provides a very strong motivation to avoid drawing any public attention to sensitive issues that threaten the program(s). My suspicion is that Mr. Sandusky's retirement was orchestrated to deal with this "problem". The parallels with how the catholic church initially dealth with a similar problem are also spot on. The parallels between religion and organized sports are obvious: Both are firmly rooted in "faith and hope" (in a team or a God) and blind allegiance that defies logic. The fact that both now are also rooted in big money has clearly provided the motivation for something less pure and innocent.
The deification of sports in some colleges make them immune to being questioned. We've already seen the reaction of the PSU students when they were told that their icon was horribly wrong. What did they do? Riot, not because a pedophile was allowed to roam free, but that their coach was canned for trying to ignore the problem. If the coach fails, they think that reflects on them. and boy, did they show that they aren't worth anything either.
The prestige that many people place on a college or university's football program more often than not has a habit of turning into an addiction that many people have to get a constant fix of, no matter what unpleasant side effects may result. This is just an extension of the privileged mentality that most people tend to face with stories of star athletes getting into trouble with the law. If Penn State had a below average or so-so football program it would have been likely Sandusky would have been nailed not longer after he got caught in the shower with the boy and there wouldn't have been outrage at Paterno's firing. There's a real danger when a unviersity's sports program becomes a sacred cow that means more than basic human decency to some..
Here's one right back at you, Jack... What role did the media play in this? What did they know and when did they know it? You telling me the media that can sniff out rumors and gossip daily did not see this for how many years??? Come on! As blatant as this guy appears to have been (he's not guilty yet...right? We still follow some for of law here.) No one but one assistant saw this happening...and how come he didn't immediately step in and do something or call the police? Sure sports played a big role but there's a lot of people with dirt on their hands in this one...Joe P is not Satan.
Something else to think about...he loses his job but how many bishops and cardinals have been fired? Pope still has his job. Hmmmm
I can't imagine what the cost of a college education at these colleges would cost without their sports programs bringing in big money. What has this country come to when this is the only way a middle income student can afford to go to Penn State. College administrators, coaches, and professors should all take a cut in pay. Especially, professors that are on sabitical while getting full pay.
It's all about the money, from sponsers and TV Networks. The money was more important than these children. Everyone knew that once the cat was out of the bag. The money was G.O.N.E. All of those who knew consipred or cooperated to keep the money coming as long as possible. It is so sad and so disgusting.
This may be nothing more than semantics to some but I think that this was more about protecting the broader instituion than just he football program. But I guess the leadership felt they couldn't do one without the other. They were wrong.
Gee..uh Duh! What a question....do you really need us to tell you Jack. A little wisdom and common sense should tell you that American sports down through pee wee leagues is all about $$$ yes even that young. Why are 6th and 8th grade students monitored in their sports by high schools and then colleges and then the pros. The high ground and morality is gone with respect to sports..just like it is with politics and the media..thats you Jack
Athletics, generally is out of control in this country. Maybe Penn State did try to sweep this under the rug. Why? The alleged crimes had nothing to do directly with the football program. They should have thrown Sandusky to the wolves. Now they've lost a president, AD, a vice-president and their head football coach. They may even lose another assistant. All this to save one assistant, who they no longer have anyway. Seems like poor management to me.
“See no evil...Hear no evil”, Jack. The problem here goes to our society's warped view of success. Penn State ran into the same problem as Bernie Madoff, Eddie Long, and even Conrad Murray– taking advantage of their authority at the expense of others...
The situation at Penn State recalls the Watergate scandal. In both there were terrible crimes and in both there were cover-ups designed to protect corrupt people and institutions. In the case of Watergate, it was President Nixon and his abuses that were shielded. In the case of Penn State, it is a big-time football program that reportedly brings in $70 million a year. Invariably, cover-ups collapse and the truth comes out.
Huge role - all about the institution and money.. the welfare of the kids was not even on their radar.
It's not really 'sports' as much as it is organizational dysfunction. Why did Enron try to hide its financial losses? Why did the Catholic Church hide abusive clergy? Why is our current government hiding the 'Fast and Furious' scandal ? Why don't cops narc on other cops? The answer::: THEY ARE TRYING TO PROTECT THEIR OWN, even if their 'own' is downright evil...
This just sickens me! Sports and money are apparently all that is important anymore! Innocent children were harmed and for that there is no excuse! They have a special place waiting for people like this!
Jack, this was more about money than it was about sports. You know the old saying...."Money talks and the civil rights of children walks". The university had to choose between doing the right thing and making a lot of money by keeping it quiet. They chose the latter. As a society, our best recourse is to impose heavy penalties so that this type of tragedy doesn't happen again.
Kinda reminds me of the congressional pages a few years back...and dozens of other similar stories...remember Kitty Genovise in NY ? It has nothing to do with college sports,but everything to do with cowardice.
It is clear that no one associated with Penn State is capable of being objective on this whole ordeal. From top to bottom, protecting the "brand" that is Penn State football/Joe Paterno is more important than unveiling the truth. It is time for the federal government to step in and take over the case, as justice cannot be done in Central Pennsylvania. Everyone there is too close to the situation and the accused.
Jack- did you know that Govenor Corbett was a member of the Penn State Board of trustees when the initial charges were made against Sandusky. Don't you media guy's find it a lttle odd that at some point when Corbett was the Attorney General at the same time he was on the board at Penn State . Could it be that Corbetts bid for the Governorship was more important than protecting those children. The Penn State footbal players shouldn't be punished for the stupidity, greed and selfishness of the real scum bags in this whole taudry affair. Where is Edward R. Murrow when we need him.
What role does the outsized influence of sports have on the decline of our society as a whole?? In my city, Pittsburgh, only one new high school has been built in 85 years yet the city has gone hopelessly into debt to the tune of over a billion dollars to build a new football stadium, a new baseball park, a new hockey arena, and a tunnel under the river to make it easier to get to them.
Sandusky is the criminal who raped little boys. Those who know of it are complicit and should also go to jail. When money enters the game - whether college sports or politics - morality and doing the right thing go out the door. There's an old saying about "pride goeth before a fall." Penn State's prestige is in free fall; where it lands is anyone's guess right now. I wonder if anyone now thinks Sandusky was worth this? I feel sorry for the victims. No amount of money can return their childhood to them or erase their nightmares. Big money is what allowed this situation to occur and big money is what it's going to cost Penn State in the long run after the lawyers for the victims start filing in court.
What role did the outsized influence of college sports play in the Penn State child sex abuse scandal? I think a better question, leading or not, is how LONG should a big time sports program be run by one person. I think Coach Paterno's longevity at PSU is a contributing factor. It appears that nearly everyone that works at PSU in any capacity manages to do so for nearly forever. Sandusky was there for 32 years!
Mike in Columbus, OH
The inability of the NCAA, Penn State University's so-called leaders, Joe Paterno himself, or any of the other "authorities" within the university to deal with something of this nature, should prove the need for a free and fair civil justice system in which each of the perpetrators gets sued for their irresponsible behavior. Then they can answer questions under oath in open court and pay damages accordingly for the crimes that were perpetrated.
We know the criminal justice system won't do anything about it until long after the abuse has been committed.
Colleges have the good old boy system in place just like branches of government. They take care of each other and if it meant turning their heads while a coach molested children, then so be it. Seriously, how did these people go to sleep at night. This is an outrage and the people who knew about this and did nothing should go to jail along with the rapist for a long time.
Big sports have plenty of problems but this problem comes from one perverted man thinking with his little head and too many people afraid to bust his big head.
Big Money College Football has covered up Pay for Play ( SMU, USC with Reggie Bush ), Steroids ( Michigan State Tony Mandarich, FSU & numerous others ) and Criminal/Sex/Rape scandals ( U Miami, Penn State ) for years. Big Money brings big power & political influence in covering up these messes .
When this is all said and done, we are likely to find out this story is about much much more than sports. It may well be that this time, the cover provided by the big athletic fall guys was just sufficient for the really evil to stay under the radar. We'll be better served if the media stops looking at the "big-time college sports" aspect of this story and starts digging deeper.
This makes me sick. Any adult that knows of child being abused sexually, physically or mentally needs to report it to the police.and It should be a crime if you don't.
All of these people involved are sick- os an should all have to register as sex offenders in the future, if they new about it and did nothing they are just as guilty as the person who did the abusing .
Any monies coming from the Alumni should go straight to the victims for counseling.
It had everything to do with it. The high school programs that received complaints about Sandusky reported them to law enforcement. The organization that had the most to lose, in money and reputation, did not.
That really says it all.
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