Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sexual abuse at Penn State

I usually don't delve into political topics, but this one is really sticking in my craw in several ways.

By now I think everyone has heard about Penn State, Joe Paterno and Jerry Sandusky.  I am beyond appalled at what transpired there and the "higher ups" that covered it up and allowed it to happen.  

As a sexual abuse survivor, I have a different insight on this.  There are several things about this that bother me and quite frankly, just piss me off. (Pardon my French.)

1) Football was placed above the welfare of children. Yes, these were legally adults that were victimized, but the people who committed the offenses were in charge of protecting the welfare of these young men.  Age 18 may make you a legal adult, but you still trust those in leadership roles in programs, and these men violated that trust in the worst way possible.

2) Several people knew what was going on and chose to ignore it and allow it to CONTINUE!  No one valued these young men enough to put a stop to it.  See point 1.

3) This is where I'm going to get arguments, I'm sure.  The fines handed down are ludicrous.  Why?  They do nothing for the victims.  Stripping Joe Paterno of his wins?  What exactly does that accomplish?  He's dead.  How does this hurt him at all?  And what about the members of the teams over all those years that legitimately earned those wins and were not part of the cover up?  Their hard work and effort has been negated.  Don't get me wrong.  I think athletics are overly inflated and more focus should be on education, but....the athletes that participated earned those wins and should not be negated when they did nothing wrong.  

I fully agree that Penn State needs to be punished.  They allowed this to happen, covered it up, and put their football program above the welfare of the young men that they should have protected.  Plain and simple.  There is a quote that I agree whole heartedly with.  "Punishing past, present and future students of the University because of Sandusky’s crimes does not serve justice. This is not a fair or thoughtful action; it is a panicked response to the public’s understandable revulsion at what Sandusky did.

4) The reaction of the Paterno family.  "The NCAA never contacted our family or our legal counsel."  WHAT?  You don't get a say!  Your family member committed a heinous crime, and yes, covering up sexual abuse is a crime, and you think you should have a say in the punishments handed down?  NO!  The families of the VICTIMS get a say, not you!  What in the world makes you think you have any rights here?  

5) Lastly, Jerry Sandusky abused his own child.  I understand why it took his son so long to come forward and my heart breaks for him.  And to have his abuse so publicly played out....it makes it so much harder to deal with.

I'm sure this will remain in the news for a long time and there will be plenty that will disagree with me.  

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you Kelly. Punishing the students and the players does not serve as justice for a horrible man's actions. Yes, they want to make an example out of Penn state, but the punishment does not fit the crime. Once again these poor men who came there for football and education are being punished not Sandusky. The school should be held accountable, but I feel they have punished 1,000's of young people for a few sinners.