Problems Piling up at Penn State

Posted on December 16, 2011 by

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Lately it seems to be one bad thing after another in State College.

It all started back in early November when former Penn State University defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky, was indicted on 40 counts of sexually abusing eight children. Penn State’s athletic director Tim Curley and vice president for finance and business Gary Schultz were also indicted on charges of perjury and failing to notify authorities.  They were subsequently fired from the University.

Jerry Sandusky founded The Second Mile, a children’s charity, in 1977. Sandusky is accused of using the charity to find his victims.

Many have wondered what will happen to The Second Mile. The new director says they are looking at two options: shutting down the program permanently, or transferring programs to other non-profit groups that work with disadvantaged youths.

In an interview with Bob Costas, Sandusky said he was not guilty of those charges but that he should not have showered with those kids. At one point, Costas asked him how such charges could have come about. Sandusky said, “I could say that I have done some of those things: I have horsed around with kids, I have showered after workouts, I have hugged them, and I have touched their legs without intent of sexual contact.”

“The whole thing is sick,” FAHS media teacher Sean Gaston said.  Gaston is a father of two young children. “I read the 23 page grand jury report and almost didn’t get past the third page. I honestly can’t see how someone can maintain their complete innocence after all that.”

Penn State president Graham Spanier and legendary coach Joe Paterno were also fired from the University a few days after the other three. Both of them were fired because they did not do more than the minimum of what was required when a football team graduate assistant, Mike McQueary, claimed to have seen Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulting a young boy in the shower of a locker room inside the Lasch Football Building in 2002.

It was first reported that Mike McQueary, who is now the assistant football coach at Penn State, did not try to stop the assault or call the police. Instead, he called his father and they both went to see Paterno the next day. McQueary was placed on indefinite administrative leave before the Nebraska game at Penn State after receiving many threats. Days later, he released an official statement saying he stopped the assault and reported it to police.

As for Joe Paterno, things just keep getting worse. A few days after he was fired, the Big Ten made the decision to remove Paterno’s name from the Stagg-Paterno Championship Trophy, which would have been awarded at the inaugural Big Ten football championship game. Instead, the winner received the Stagg Championship Trophy.

“We believe that it would be inappropriate to keep Joe Paterno’s name on the trophy at this time,” Big Ten commissioner Jim  Delany said. “The trophy and its namesake are intended to be celebratory and aspirational, not controversial. We believe that it’s important to keep the focus on the players and the teams that will be competing in the inaugural championship game.”

It was also announced after Paterno was fired that he has lung cancer, which he was told is treatable. Joe Paterno still has many supporters who will give him and the University the strength to make it through these difficult times.

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