July 2, 2012
When word first came out that former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was being charged with child molestation and we had time to process the gruesome grand jury report, it seemed pretty cut and dry that Joe Paterno and Penn State administrators Gary Schultz, Tim Curley, and Graham Spanier conspired to cover up Sandusky’s heinous crimes. Here’s what I wrote at the time:
Penn State administrators were more concerned with self-preservation than justice for past victims and prevention of future ones.
Telling Sandusky “not to bring any Second Mile children into the football building” sends a clear signal that Curley and Schultz did not care about sexual abuse victims as long as Penn State would not be implicated in them and be held liable.
Considering this callousness and utter lack of responsibility for humanity, it is not a stretch to believe that Curley, Schultz, Spanier, and Paterno chose not to go to the authorities with this matter because they did not want to incur intense scrutiny from the media and general public as to a) why Sandusky wasn’t prosecuted the first time he was investigated despite a mountain of evidence which included a tacit admission, and b) why he was still allowed unfettered access to campus facilities with young boys from his charity when he had been investigated for sexually deviant behavior in the past.
Media coverage wouldn’t have been AS bad as it has been this week if in 2002 Sandusky was turned in to authorities because there would not have been such an egregious cover-up and the internet had not yet evolved into what it is today. However, it would not have been pretty for those in power at Penn State. Couple that with the fact that the Nittany Lions were not winning on the field (they had no bowl appearances from 2000-2002) and Paterno would have had an extremely difficult time keeping his job in a scandal where his long-time defensive coordinator–who had been previously accused–raped an underage boy in the football team’s locker room. Jobs would have been lost and Penn State’s pristine reputation would have been immensely and perhaps irreparably tarnished. Only now, it’s worse.