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Guest MINDSETTER™ Mary Ann Sorrentino: Penn State Spin is Sickening

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

 

Even knowing that every citizen is innocent until proven guilty, this grandmother and many other parents and grandparents are tired of the Penn State spin. We know:

* Former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky admitted to Bob Costas in a radio interview that he showered with young boys, that he liked “horsing around” with them (towel-snapping, wrestling naked and the like) and that he “touched their legs” (though “not in a sexual way.”)

* Joe Paterno (after assistant coach Mike McQueary reported eye-witnessing Sandusky naked in the shower and having sex with a young boy) supposedly told the athletic director. Then, apparently, Paterno did nothing more. If Paterno had, instead, requested new uniforms for the team and — after several weeks — those uniforms never materialized, we think he’d have done follow-up.

* After Sandusky retired (with Paterno boycotting his retirement dinner) no coaching offers or endorsements came his way. This is highly unusual; yet no one wonders why it happened.

Beyond these facts, we suspect the following may also be true:

* Campus knowledge of Sandusky’s behavior must have been more widely known. Unless the janitors, campus police, security staff, faculty, staff, trustees and students at Penn State are a breed apart, they have a grapevine — like every campus. The alleged abuses were taking place over a span of years so great that it makes no sense that no one ever knew or talked about this at Penn State or in the hushed offices of local police, state prosecutors etc.

* Campus authorities and local law enforcement participated in a culture of silence. Even the judge at Sandusky’s bail hearing was compromised by her past contributions to Sandusky’s Second Mile, yet she did not remove herself.

* It makes no sense that the president never confided in any trustees. Every CEO has a small number of trustees or board members in whom he or she confides. Seventy-fine million dollars in football revenues make innocent children pale in comparison.

As far as this grandmother is concerned, they could set fire to Penn State tomorrow and grind the ashes into the ground. This school has failed abysmally at “Victory with Honor”

Joe Paterno’s alleged status as a “legend” is irrelevant. Even “legends” are capable of perjury, opportunism, greed, and self-absorption at the expense of innocent people. Try to convince the parents and grandparents of abused children that Joe Paterno deserves a $500,000 annual pension and no punishment.

If any of the declared victims were a child or grandchild of mine, and I were sitting in the jury box during a trial to establish that Sandusky (and by extension all those who likely participated in a cover up) are not guilty, I would be filing my nails simply waiting to vote “guilty!”

This story crystallizes the dictum “Justice delayed is justice denied.” Every day wasted “spinning” the events violates children further. Let justice begin!

Editor's Note: This piece originally ran in the Keene Sentinel.


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