What the Penn State Scandal tells us about Society
"Paterno told Penn State athletic director Tim Curley that McQueary had seen Sandusky "fondling or doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy." About two weeks later, Curley told McQueary that Sandusky's keys to the locker room had been taken away." -The Detroit Free Press
Really? That's it. Are you kidding me? Paterno and the Penn State brass are told about a young boy being sexually abused and they treat it like some underage drinking offense? Whether or not this quote is fabricated, the fact is Paterno did not do enough. In this case it's not enough to just play by the book. Paterno backers and Penn State Alum will defend Paterno to the death and I guess I can understand that. He is Penn State. At the same time don't for one minute think they would be defending any other coach from any other school if they did the same thing. Sports fans have blinders on especially when it comes to the college they went to.
In case you've been living under a rock for the last week you know about the heinous acts committed by former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky to 8 ( at least) young boys during his tenure at Penn State. The acts are the most despicable you can imagine. The fact is Paterno knew that it was happening and didn't put a stop to it. Taking away someone's keys to the locker room? What a joke.
The riots at Penn State are microcosm of what is wrong with society. We treat our sports figures as larger than life and put them on a pedestal. The backers are all talking about how Joe didn't deserve to go out like this or they should've let him finish the season. Why? First off Paterno stopped coaching the team about 6 years ago, but that is besides the point. If this happened anywhere else the person would've been fired. Did Joe commit a criminal act? No. At the same time he knew a criminal act was going on and just filed a simple complaint. That isn't acceptable. This isn't someone cheating on a test. This isn't someone getting a free ticket. This is knowing one of your coaches is having sex with young boys and ruining their lives forever. Yes, these kids lives are ruined forever and I guarantee he did it to more boys because not enough was done.
I saw riots at Umass after Red Sox wins and didn't understand them. In fact I don't really understand riots and breaking stuff in general. This isn't just a Penn state thing it's a society thing. I love sports as much as anyone but why are we so passionate about relatively unimportant things like sports and not about moreimportant matters like a child's well being? There were more people rioting against Joe Paterno's firing than rioting against the the Penn State leadership and everyone involved with these crimes. It's sickening.
Did we forget about moral code? Why is selling a jersey more of an offense than not reporting sexual abuse to a child? Sometimes it's not enough to just play by the book when their are young kids lives at stake. These kids are tainted forever and so are there families and so are there families families. Sure, Penn State is in chaos now, but it will bounce back. Unfortunately the victims will never be the same.