Penn State used to be thought of as a prestigious school with a good sports program and a pristine record when it came to allegations and scandals. Now, people think of Penn State as a disgrace to NCAA Division I football and a place where students have rioted freely in the streets.
Jerry Sandusky, former defensive coach of Penn State and founder of The Second Mile, a program for at-risk youth, was charged with sex abuse allegations late last month from a minor identified as “Victim 1”. The first allegation eventually led to more victims coming out, adding up to over 40 counts of alleged child sexual assault over the last decade. Victim 1 allegedly met Sandusky through the program, and slept at Sandusky’s house, where the sex abuse took place. Sandusky is currently free on $100,000 bail pending trial and faces life in prison if convicted. His final charges are as follows:
-7 counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, all 1st degree felonies punishable by up to 20 years in prison
-1 count of aggravated indecent assault, 2nd degree felony
-4 counts of unlawful contact with a minor, 1st degree felonies
-4 counts of unlawful contact with a minor, 3rd degree felonies
-4 counts of endangering the welfare of a child, 3rd degree felonies
-4 counts of endangering the welfare of a child, misdemeanors
-8 counts of corruption of minors, misdemeanors
-1 count of indecent assault, 3rd degree felony
-4 counts of indecent assault, misdemeanors
-2 counts of indecent assault, misdemeanors
-1 attempt to commit indecent assault, misdemeanor
Joe Paterno, the coach with the most wins in Division 1 football history and beloved head coach of the Nittany Lions for the past 46 years, was fired shortly after the Sandusky allegations became public. Although Paterno was not charged with any abuse, he allegedly had knowledge of Sandusky showering with boys and touching them in the showers, yet allegedly did almost nothing about it. This in turn kept Sandusky around, and on campus, where he allegedly continued to abuse children.
When asked if what had been done to Joe Paterno was right, Matt McMahon, a freshman Broadcasting major said, “I honestly think he deserves it one hundred percent. He is pathetic for not getting done what should have been done. He’s referred to as a “role model.” It’s ridiculous he didn’t do enough about it.”
Nicholas Sesto, a freshman Bio Technology major, said “Turning a blind eye in a situation like that is a bad thing to do, but you can’t exactly put the actions of Sandusky on Paterno’s shoulders.”
Although Sandusky denies being a pedophile, he has been banned from Penn State campus, and his house has been vandalized. Many people are not convinced of his innocence; it’s hard to think of a jury being convinced either. What’s most astonishing is that the cover up went up and down the Penn State hierarchy from a University President, to a graduate assistant. I suppose we’ll have to wait and see what happens during the trial.