The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Penn State swept up in scandal

(courtesy of Patriot News)

   A swirling cloud has arose over the Pennsylvania State University campus on Nov. 10, as legendary football head coach Joe Paterno was fired amidst a child sexual abuse cover-up that could be paralleled to that of the Catholic Church sexual abuse fiasco. 

  The nightmare of Penn State began on Nov. 4, when former assistant coach and defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was indicted on forty counts of sex crimes against young boys that lasted for at least a fifteen year period. Those charges include: felony charges of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse of someone under 16, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault of someone under 16, indecent assault of someone under 13 and corruption of minors.

  Most of the victims were participants in the Second Mile charity Sandusky founded. Sandusky continued his work with Second Mile on the Penn State campus even after he retired in 1999.

  “This is a case about a sexual predator who used his position within the university and community to repeatedly prey on young boys,” stated Attorney General Linda Kelly to FOX Sports.

  FOX Sports reported that Penn State’s athletic director Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, vice president for finance and business, were also arrested on perjury charges  of failing to report the abuse. Also, Sandusky, who was arrested and formally charged on Nov.5, has been banned from the campus.

  The Grand Jury reports that Sandusky had molested 8 unnamed boys within the Second Mile program. The first instance came to light in 1998, when the mother of one of the victims reported allegations of sexual abuse that soon triggered the investigation culminating in Sandusky’s 2011 arrest. 

  In 2002, then graduate assistant coach Michael McQueary was witness to one of many instances of abuse. Although he reported the abuse to Paterno, who later reported it to his superiors, nothing more was done and the abuse was reported to have continued. 

  The bare-minimum of Paterno’s effort to report the abuse of his former long-time assistant is most likely the reason why he is no longer the head coach of Penn State. President Graham Spanier, who had offered his support to the two officials charged with perjury, was forced to resign his position joining the list of officials forced out by the scandal. 

  McQueary, the most recent member of the football staff to be affected, was placed on administrative leave due to reportedly growing threats toward him. Both he and Paterno have been criticized for their failure to act more prompt to end the alleged abuse. 

  In addition, the Penn State students who rioted the night Paterno was fired, were harshly criticized for their actions. They simply did not understand that this was a situation of a much greater scale than one legendary coach, albeit one who has been a representative of the university for some forty plus years. 

Penn State Interim President Rodney Erickson said that the university is committed to the victims and raising awareness of child sexual abuse.

  “We understand there will be lawsuits filed,” he said on Good Morning America. “We’re prepared to do the right thing for all the victims. We will do everything we can do … We’re going to engage in a wide range of programming that will raise the issue of child sex abuse, to make this a national issue.”

As the investigation continues, the dark cloud over the Penn State campus will most likely linger. More information is expected to be exposed as the investigation continues.  

  A valuable lesson about reporting crimes against innocent children and the wrong decisions made by Penn State officials could be learned as the investigation continues, as reports continue to leak out of this atrocious cover-up and more officials are fired or put on leave. In fact, Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett stated that more victims may come forward.

  “When the word gets out, when people understand that authorities are actually doing something about this, that they may be believed, then more people come forward,” he said on Fox News Sunday. “If I had to speculate I wouldn’t be surprised if we had more victims come forward.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Guilfordian intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Guilfordian does not allow anonymous comments, and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Guilfordian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *