I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of hearing about how Penn State stood around picking their noses while a child predator was running loose. OK, not literally digging for a big one, that’s a joke, but I do mean it in the proverbial sense and I’m sick of hearing it.
Not in the way that I’m tired of hearing about Kim Kardashian’s “marriage” to Kris Humphries ending in divorce. Sick meaning it literally makes me ill, and on multiple levels: as a parent of two young children, as a human being who was taught to do the right thing, and as a writer who prides himself on railing against things that are blatantly wrong in sports.
If you haven’t heard what went on at Penn State then, please stop reading this column immediately and go back under the rock you crawled out from under. Even my friend in London (who doesn’t follow college football) has heard the brutal details of the child sexual abuse allegations against former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky and the ensuing fallout that rightfully cost Head Coach Joe Paterno his job.
The fact that Penn State wide receivers coach Mike McQueary (then a graduate assistant) allegedly witnessed one of Sandusky’s assaults on a 10-year-old boy in 2002 − and yet nothing was done − is infuriating.
The prevailing reaction among people with half a brain has been, “How could this happen?” I’ll tell you how: because those involved at Penn State spent the next nine years going about their business instead of reporting a vile predator to the authorities and “following up”. Standing around idly and worried more about their jobs or the wrath of a coach or a university to DO THE RIGHT THING.
Is this what we’ve come to as a society?
And then we have to endure Sandusky’s creepy interview with Bob Costas on NBC’s ‘Rock Center’ this past Monday. And then we have to hear that McQueary sent an e-mail to a friend, claiming that he did stop Sandusky and even spoke to police after the 2002 incident. Borough police chief Tom King later said that McQueary did not report anything to the police.
The whole thing is eerily reminiscent of a Martin Scorsese movie. “The Departed” comes to mind, and if you cross it with “Cop Land,” set it in a college town and replace police with football, you’ve got yourself a movie. Only this isn’t a movie, and life has truly imitated art.
Enjoy your inevitable destination, Jerry Sandusky. I hear it’s a dry heat. But at least you’ll have a few of your Penn State buddies to hang out with there. Your (alleged) actions are despicable, and those of your former colleagues aren’t too far behind it. You’ll all face your inevitable karmic retribution.
Forget sports, this story should be a life lesson. As my wife and I tell our kids “Don’t do bad things − they always catch up to people.”
It’s ironic that kids can comprehend this, yet grown adults at a major academic and collegiate football institution can’t grasp the concept or even consider the well-being of innocent children.
DO THE RIGHT THING.
Used with permission of the author.
Chris Lardieri runs the “West Coast View” column for Sports Climax. A veteran to the keyboard, Chris also covers the Los Angeles Dodgers for Examiner.com and has written about Major League Baseball for Inside Edge, a scouting company that provides content to ESPN Insider and Yahoo Sports. Follow Chris on Twitter for more sports observations.
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