Penn State Scandal

Kyle Nanton

One of the most storied universities in America’s History has been turned upside down within the last two weeks. The eyes of the nation have been glued to State College, Pennsylvania and Penn State University, waiting for the next unsettling story or allegation to come to light.

Former Defensive Coordinator for the PSU football team, Jerry Sandusky, was arrested and released on $100,000 bail on Nov. 5 after being arraigned on 40 criminal counts. The former right-hand man to legendary head football coach Joe Paterno was accused of having multiple sexual encounters with at least eight young boys ranging from  ages of  7 to 13 years old.

Sandusky earned the faith of the community and parents early in 1977 when he founded The Second Mile, meant to be a charitable organization to help “at-risk” youths in the state of Pennsylvania. Well over 100,000 children participated in this foundation annually. This gave Sandusky access to his alleged victims. He was also upgraded to the defensive coordinator position that same year, presumingly “validating” his credibility to be safe around kids.

One of the most disturbing things to turn up in this entire revelation is that the first encounter happened nearly 17 years ago in 1994. According to the grand jury testimony to of the alleged victims, Sandusky began taking showers in the locker rooms with the boys. In 1999 Sandusky finally retired from PSU but still had access to all Penn State facilities and his own private office.

A few years later in 2002, the story that is currently sweeping the nation, took place in the PSU showers. Graduate assistant Mike McQueary witnessed Sandusky sexually abuse a young boy. He proceeded to tell his father and then was instructed to tell coach Paterno. According to the grand jury report Paterno then echoed the issue to PSU athletic director Tim Curley and both he and senior VP of business Gary Schultz did not report the incident to authorities.

Fast Forward to November 7 2011, after the arrest of Sandusky, both Curley and Schultz were charged with perjury and a failure to report allegations of sexual abuse involving a minor. Curley went on administrative leave and Schultz retired from his position.

A few days later on November 9, 2011, this whirlwind story turned into a full F5 tornado after the PSU board of trustees made their decision to fire president Graham Spanier, and more importantly, beloved coach “Joe Pa”.  A place once known for its moniker “Happy Valley”, faced community and nationwide uproar, riots and serious danger for the safety of those involved.

McQueary was placed on administrative leave right before the Nittany Lions first game after the scandal broke. To sum up the universities week in a nutshell, they lost a football game 17-14 to Nebraska, falling just short of a comeback.

PSU is still facing the media and the eye of the nation and, as recently as Nov. 14, Jerry Sandusky finally spoke. Sandusky claimed innocence. He admitted to NBC’s Bob Costas to showering with the kids after workouts and to having touched their legs but without intent of sexual contact on NBC News’ “Rock Center.”

This scandal is just beginning to take off and there are still stones left unturned. This uproar demonstrates that the safety for our nations youth and taking a stand against despicable wrong doings are bigger than any one person, game or university.