College Football Sex Scandal Could Ruin Star Team for Good

football picPenn State University's star football team has been shattered by a sex abuse scandal that could bring down the Big Ten college's athletic program for a long, long time. It could even mean the out-and-out death of Penn State football.

It's bad enough that former coach and defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was arrested Saturday on 40 counts of sexually abusing eight young boys ages 8 to 14. He's accused of luring troubled children from a charity he was involved with to games and dinners with coaches and then subjecting them to horrible acts of molestation, including fondling and oral and anal sex.

But even worse is that in 2002 a graduate assistant witnessed anal sex between Sandusky and one of the boys in a shower at the Penn State football facility. The graduate assistant told head coach Joe Paterno, who in turn went to the school's athletic director, Tim Curley. But none of them ever reported any of it to police.

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Curley and another administrator Garry Schultz have now been charged with perjury and failing to report the incident to the authorities. And you know what? It sounds an awful lot like they deserve to be.

Sure, they say that the way the encounter was characterized was that Sandusky and the boy were "horsing around in the shower." But come on. It was a child he was allegedly fooling around with, for heaven's sake. He should have gotten a lot more than just a slap on the wrist -- which in this case was an order to stop bringing children to games that wasn't even enforced. He should have been turned in right then and there.

Instead, authorities say, the abuse kept happening for seven more years. Seven more years of boys being scarred for life because they were -- if the charges are true -- molested by a man in power, a man they looked up to, a man who dangled the excitement of meeting big-time college athletes and attending action-packed football games in exchange for getting what he wanted out of them.

It's sick. But what's sicker is that it was kept quiet by those in charge. On a much smaller scale, it's like the Catholic Church's sex scandal and cover-up. In both cases, numerous children could have been spared becoming victims of molestation if someone -- anyone -- had had the courage to do the right thing and go to the cops, immediately. Instead, the young men who were robbed of their innocence when they were kids will have to live with the long, slow, and painful process of healing from sexual abuse.

Do you think the administrators at Penn State deserve to be punished?

 

Image via prettylittlephotos/Flickr

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