Friday, July 13, 2012

Penn State must prioritize

By Jeff

Note: I did not attend Penn State University. I am not a fan of their football team, nor do I hate it or the university. I have not read the full Freeh report, but have gone through about 100 pages and seen many statements/findings pulled from it.

Forget about the Joe Paterno statue. Forget about the upcoming football season. Forget about the fucking ice cream flavor.

In the wake of the Freeh report that came out yesterday, which found that former Penn State head coach Joe Paterno, president Graham Spanier, atheltic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz "failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade," (referring to Jerry Sandusky raping boys, sometimes on campus) Penn State University must take steps toward redemption.

The first thing that should be done is a clean sweep. The Freeh investigation was just the beginning. The board of trustees need to go through that athletic department, find anyone who knew about this and didn't speak up, and give them pink slips.

That includes Mike McQueary. He may have gone to Paterno and kind of, maybe told him that he saw something strange going on in the shower between Sandusky and a boy, but he never went to the police. He thought a boy may have been being raped by a grown man, and all he did was slam his locker loudly. Nice job, Mike. Granted, that is a situation none of us ever want to be in, but I'd like to think that myself and just about every one of my friends would do more. I can say with all confidence in the world that Swan, any of my past blog contributors and any friend I know well would jump in there and make sure whatever was going on stopped. They'd also go to the police, not just the football coach.

So McQueary is out and so is anybody else might have seen what Sandusky was doing and didn't speak up. I'm looking at the former coaches and players who were defense witnesses in the Sandusky case, who saw Sandusky bring boys to the showers and didn't think anything of it.

Next, admitting their failure is a good step but now they have to go above and beyond to help victims of child, or any, sexual abuse. They can never make it right in regards to this situation. Their institution was used as a playground for a child molester/rapist. Those victims in the courtroom last month, and who knows if there are more and how many there are who did not testify, will never forget what happened to them at the hands of Sandusky. All while Penn State leaders closed their eyes and hoped it would go away.

What they can do is go to great lengths to ensure this never happens on their campus again. They can create programs to help victims of sexual abuse, harassment and rape. They can become a leader in raising awareness for the fact that most of these crimes go unreported and share resources with victims so they can find help.

Whether there is a football season this year, or whether Paterno's statue is torn down or not should be the farthest things from Penn State's mind right now. The fact that ESPN and others are asking those questions, rather than "What is Penn State doing to help others who have been abused?" is absurd.

I'm not going to give an opinion on any of that crap. I don't care if PSU plays football this year. I don't care if there is a statue of Paterno or he has his ice cream flavor. What I want to know is what is Penn State doing to hold everyone involved accountable to the fullest extent of the law and the institution's power. I want to know what programs and policies are they putting in place to make sure kids brought on campus are safe.

These are the questions the media, Penn State alumni and students should be asking. Football should be the least of anyone's concern right now.