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Posts Tagged ‘College football’

Penn State: What if the victims were girls?

November 14, 2011 1 comment
I can’t help but wonder if the student response at Penn State might be different if the victims were female.We as a society are programmed to automatically assume that grown men who hang out with little girls are creepy, although this is definitely NOT always the case. In the same vein, we’re also programmed to look at a grown man who hangs out with young boys as a mentor and a role model. This is likely why Jerry Sandusky was allowed such unlimited access to the young boys he victimized- he started a charity to help young boys, and was looked at as a wonderful mentor.Someone should have questioned many of his actions, like going down to the basement of his house when the boys would stay overnight.

Why didn’t anyone think it was strange? Or, more importantly, why didn’t they act on their suspicions?

Imagine, if you will, a man Sandusky’s age starting a charity to help young girls. Are your eyebrows raised? Imagine him spending time with them at night, staying with them on road trips. Are they raised now? Imagine him showering with the little girls. Are your eyebrows raised yet?

What disturbs me is that almost anyone who saw a grown man raping a young girl in a shower would intervene, call the cops, etc. Yet nobody attempted any of those interventions for the young male victims. Is that because we assume boys can take care of themselves, that they don’t need our help?

In the aftermath of this tragedy, we must pause and assess ourselves as a society. It goes without saying that we have to strengthen the system that failed so miserably, but we also have to consider our own perceptions, and the adjustments they may need.

I can understand not wanting to believe that an idol of yours is an actual monster. But when you are confronted with undeniable evidence, you have to step up and take action. Anyone who doesn’t is a coward, which makes every single person involved in the cover-up a coward. And that includes Joe Paterno.

Kelly B
Links:

Joe Paterno to Retire

November 9, 2011 2 comments

This morning, legendary Penn State football head coach Joe Paterno has announced he will retire after this Saturday’s home game against Nebraska, in the middle of his 46th season at the helm of the Nittany Lions.

The 84-year-old coach is the winningest in the history of college football, with 409 as the head coach. He has served on the coaching staff since 1950, and has been a part of 691 of Penn State’s games overall, 56.5% of their total games since the start of the program in 1887.

There have been calls for Paterno to retire in the past, but none as loud as the ones that have risen in the last week, since former assistant coach Gary Sandusky was arrested and charged with 40 counts of child sex abuse; Athletic Director Tim Curley and Penn State Senior Vice President Gary Schultz were also charged in failing to report the incident to police. Paterno was not charged, and when the story first broke it sounded like the coach had nothing to do with any of the incidents. In fact, he followed the letter of the law when he was informed by a graduate student of a disturbing incident he observed in the shower in a football facility; he informed AD Curley, but the buck stopped there. Curley and Schultz allegedly did nothing to prevent the further abuse of Sandusky’s victims, and even allegedly perjured themselves during an investigation into the abuse.

The resignation of Paterno, or “JoePa” as he is affectionately called around the campus, marks yet another in a string of head coach resignations in college football. The circumstances surrounding the resignation are far more distressing than, say, that of Ohio State’s Jim Tressel, but it does further the trend we’ve seen in recent years of head coaches either covering up or not doing enough to stop and prevent misconduct in their football programs. The once-sacred world of college football has been rocked by scandal recently, but none of the scandals have been as tragic and serious as this one at Penn State. According to multiple reports, there is a significant possibility that Penn State will be forced to “clean house,” all the way up to the president of the university.

Kelly B
Sources: http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/7211281/penn-state-nittany-lions-joe-paterno-retire-end-season
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Paterno
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Sandusky_child_sexual_abuse_scandal