In a year where scandal has rocked the college football landscape, news surfaced on Sunday that was so egregious, it should make you forget about everything that happened earlier in the year.
Jim Tressel was forced to resign from Ohio State earlier this year for hiding information regarding some of his players trading uniforms and bowl swag for free tattoos. Terrelle Pryor, Tressel’s all-everything quarterback, ultimately left the program because of his part in the scandal.
Butch Davis, the former head man at the University of North Carolina, was forced to resign after allegations came out that players on his team were committing academic fraud, taking illegal benefits and trips to South Beach, and having a runner on the sidelines for an agent. At that point in time, it made what Ohio State had going on look minuscule.
The University of Miami was rocked back in the summer with news that former booster Nevin Shapiro had funneled several million dollars of illegal benefits to players over a period of years. He didn’t stop with the football program either. His influence reached the basketball program as well. Shapiro is currently serving a prison sentence for an illegal ponzi scheme.
While those three situations are bad in the world of college athletics, the story that broke late Sunday goes far beyond the realm of sports.
In 2002, a graduate assistant on the Penn State University football team, walked into the locker room shower area and saw former Defensive Coordinator Jerry Sandusky illegally touching a young boy. The graduate assistant went on to tell Head Coach Joe Paterno about the situation.
One may argue that he should have called the authorities before going to Paterno, and he should have, but he did notify someone of the situation.
Where it gets really atrocious is from that point forward. Paterno, instead of calling the police, went to Athletic Director Tim Curley with the information. Everyone seemed to want to follow the chain of command rule instead of doing what was right by that young individual.
The issue didn’t stop there. Curley then went to Vice President Gary Schultz with the information. Schultz sat on the news he was given. It wasn’t until 2009 when a high school that Sandusky was working at notified the police of molestation. It took 7 years for anything to come to light.
It has come out that Sandusky had been molesting boys for a period of over 15 years. 15 YEARS! How was this not known before 2002? Much less, why did it take until 2009 for someone to let the police know?
Worse, he was seen in the athletic facilities as soon as last week. During an interview request conducted by the media on Monday morning, he came to the door in a full Penn State athletic suit. After the allegations came to light in 2009, the university still allowed Sandusky access to the athletic facilities, even knowing of incidents in the past happening in those very facilities.
Most of the youth he was molesting he met through a charity he set up for troubled boys called “The Second Mile.” Sandusky even wrote an auto-biography entitled “Touched.” What a horrible sick man.
Now former Athletic Director Tim Curley and Vice President Gary Schultz have been arraigned on charges of failing to report the abuse and perjury before a grand jury when questioned about the incident.
Things cannot stop there, however. Penn State University President Graham Spanier needs to go as well. Even though he hasn’t been charged with any crimes as of yet, as the school president, Spanier has a duty to uphold the highest standards; not only for the university, but for what is right for all people involved. In this case, the youth that were being molested by Sandusky under his watch.
It can’t stop there either. Coaching legend Joe Paterno should resign effective immediately. While Paterno claims his actions were within the means of the law, he had a moral obligation to report the incident immediately to the police. He is just as guilty as his former AD and Vice President.
Paterno has always held steadfast that he runs a clean program, one that any parent could trust their child to be a part of. There is no way he can stand behind that claim any longer.
Paterno has been the head man in Happy Valley for 45 years. He has brought the school two national titles. All of that no longer matters. The most heinous thing that could ever happen under anyone’s watch has happened under his.
There are no excuses that can be made by anyone at that university any longer. Every single person in that administration from the top down needs to go. This weekend is homecoming, and the final home game of the season at Penn State. Students need to protest and not show up if Paterno is roaming the sidelines.
Protesters have been doing their “Occupy” thing to make a stand for the economy. Maybe now is the time for the student body to “Occupy Penn State.” Make a stand for the morally right thing. Stand up for the kids that were abused under the school’s watch.
Certain news organizations are trying to spin the story into a recruiting aspect. Now that the allegations have been brought public, it will be negative on recruiting student athletes across the board. Those certain news organizations have a twisted mind. This story has nothing to do with recruiting. In fact, recruiting should be the farthest thing from anyone’s mind now.
At this very moment, we can all forget what Ohio State, North Carolina, and Miami did. The situations at those schools combined cannot add up to the horrific news that came out of Happy Valley on Sunday. If you ask this writer, the school should suspend the entire football program and start from scratch. Essentially they need to give themselves the NCAA “Death Penalty.” Short of the entire administration stepping down, it the only right thing left to do.
Photo courtesy of media.lehighvalleylive.com
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