Jerry Sandusky: We Barely Knew You

Something has finally taken my mind off of the quarterback problems that Penn State has been having this season. And unfortunately, it’s much graver in nature. By now, you’ve probably heard about the scandal at Penn State involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. Allegedly, he sexually assaulted eight different young boys over a 15 year period.

There are a few things that really sicken me about this whole situation. The first is the fact that Sandusky founded the Second Mile organization in 1977. On the Second Mile’s website, it states:

“The Second Mile, founded in 1977 in State College, Pennsylvania, is a statewide non-profit organization for children who need additional support and who would benefit from positive human contact. The Second Mile plans, organizes, and offers activities and programs for children – and adults who work with them – to promote self-confidence as well as physical, academic, and personal success.”

It really makes you wonder if Sandusky had the evil intention of launching this program just so he could get closer to younger kids in the hopes of somehow sexually abusing them. We may never know his intentions for the program, but it’s clear that Sandusky should never have been allowed to be around kids in the first place. Unfortunately, hindsight is 20/20.

There were previous allegations that Sandusky had conducted sexual misconduct on children before these latest ones sprung up. In 1998, there was a police investigation in which Sandusky made admissions about inappropriate contact in the shower room with a child. In the end, nothing came out of it. And apparently, it was a close call for Sandusky that didn’t scare him away from these types of actions. Even after the 1998 event, Sandusky was still allowed on Penn State’s campus and even more mystifying, he was allowed on the football facility premises with children – alone. There were some reports that Sandusky was even in the Lasch football building working out as recently as last week. How could this happen? Penn State is a school that prides itself on success with honor. It’s one of a handful of major football schools in the nation that never had major recruiting violations and other than a few other isolated incidents involving player conduct off the field, Penn State has been golden. Penn State’s athletic director Tim Curley and Vice President Gary Schultz apparently knew about Sandusky’s actions and never did a thing about it. No one called the police. It was brushed aside, and in my opinion, covered up. Like I mentioned before, Penn State was a clean school and it seems that these two “higher ups” tried to ensure that it stayed clean, whether misconduct had occurred or not. We don’t have many answers right now, so it will take some time to find out who knew what and when.

Another reason why this case really disturbs me is because I had met Jerry Sandusky on quite a few occasions. He was friends of a family that lived in my area years ago and I was on the same little league team as a kid from this family. Jerry attended a few of these little league games, and because of his status as a Penn State football coach, we were always excited to see him there. I also had the opportunity to meet him on a few occasions while attending an annual football camp in my area. The man that ran the camp was the father of the little leaguer I played with, so it made sense that he brought Jerry in to talk to the campers about football and life. I don’t remember exactly what was said when I met Sandusky, but I do remember he came off as a very nice person. Despite his elite status as a well-known football coach, he was very down to earth and extremely personable, especially to kids. If these charges were true, we were speaking with and taking advice from a monster. The allegations concern younger children, around the ages of 10. I was about that age when I first met him at the little league games. Now, he won’t ever be allowed anywhere near a baseball diamond with kids on it. I was deceived and so were my parents. They wouldn’t have let me be around Sandusky at the time if they knew what he was capable/responsible for behind closed doors. It makes me sick just thinking about it. A few people had jokingly asked me if I was one of the little boys that “Jerry touched.” All joking aside, if circumstances were just slightly different, who knows, I very well could have been.

Again, I’ll reiterate that we don’t know for sure what happened with Jerry Sandusky. Perhaps there are some reasonable explanations for what we all think he did. Unfortunately for Sandusky, that’s a real long shot right now. If it were about just one incident, then maybe it could be resolved and Sandusky would be a free man. But if the allegations are true, then Sandusky was guilty of sexually abusing kids on many occasions. He was charged with 40 criminal counts. You can read the entire Grand Jury report here from the Washington Post. ( http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/documents/sandusky-grand-jury-report11052011.html) That means it happened a lot. How he was able to get away with these encounters so many times is beyond me and perhaps more people knew about it, but just never came forward. For their sake and the sake of these children, I hope any witnesses or anyone with information about Sandusky comes forward.

The final reason that this shocks me is because of Sandusky’s family situation. He has six adopted children. Does this fact scare others as much as it scares me? Were those kids ever at risk? For me, it’s safe to say that this man should never have been allowed to adopt any kids, period. Again, hindsight is 20/20. It will be interesting to find out what his family has to say about these recent charges and I certainly do wonder what else will be uncovered. For now, I’ll wait to see what happens. But I anticipate the news will only get worse for Sandusky from this point forward. Justice will be served and I’m willing to bet that he will spend some time in prison. Child molesters are walking bull’s-eyes behind bars and the time he may serve in a cell will not even come close to the punishment he’ll receive from his fellow tenants.

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About Pete Dombrosky
Pete is a graduate of Penn State University and a life-long Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates fan. He covered men's hockey, golf, tennis, swimming and the enterprise beat as a reporter at the Daily Collegian, Penn State's award-winning, independent student-operated paper. He currently serves as the Assistant Managing Editor for Thrillist Media Group (www.thrillist.com).

4 Responses to Jerry Sandusky: We Barely Knew You

  1. Pete Dombrosky says:

    Also, the grad assistant was Mike McQueary.

  2. Matt D says:

    At this point, the ones I’m willing to throw under the bus are Schultz, Curley, and Paterno Sandusky is innocent until the Commonwealth proves he committed a crime. However, no one at the University reported the 2002 incident to the police – the alleged rape of a child. Both Schultz and Curley had knowledge of these allegations. Once again, I realize these are just allegations at the moment, nothing has been proven. But the grad assistant, whose testimony was found very credible by the grand jury, reported what he saw to Paterno, who kicked it up the ladder. Reports of sexual abuse of children CANNOT stay in house – someone had to go to the police. What are they, the Catholic Church? I want to see resignations.

    • Pete Dombrosky says:

      Schultz re-retired (he had formally retired a few years ago, but remained in that position on an interim basis). Curley is currently on administrative leave to work on his defense of the case. And Paterno….well, this could be the ultimate end to his legacy. It’d be a shame to go out like this, but the odds are he wasn’t going to be coaching much longer anyway. We’ll just have to wait and see.

  3. Cayla says:

    great post. and OF COURSE his intentions were to start this 2nd Mile organization so he could prey on young boys. Try googling some psychology analysis on this sickening disease that he has… because clearly being a rapist for underage boys is a sickness (ya know what i mean?). i’m sure many infamous sexual predators had done great things in life to make them look good and i’m sure the things they did brought them closer to their “prey”… they say that with the majority of rape cases, the victims often know who their rapists are.

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