Joe Paterno Will Retire at Season's End -- Not Good Enough
"The worst people. The twisted and demented psychos who kill people for pleasure, the cannibals, the degenerate bastards that molest and torture little kids." -- Tony Soprano, in response to the question "Who deserves to go to hell?"
Not so proud a claim now.
Exactly, Tony. People like Jerry Sandusky.
Sandusky, the retired Penn State defensive coordinator and soon to be convicted pedophile, was arrested over the weekend on 40 different counts of sexual abuse of children, charges dating back to 1994.
The number of victims should unfortunately climb over the next several days. As of yesterday, reports had the latest number at around 20 children targeted and raped by Jerry Sandusky.
The victims were children who Sandusky came to know through his charity known as The Second Mile, a charity for which Sandusky served as front man and whose mission (per its Web site) is outlined as the following:
The Second Mile is a nonprofit organization serving the youth of Pennsylvania. At The Second Mile, we are committed to helping young people achieve their potential as individuals and as community members and providing education and support for their parents and youth service professionals.
As of today, the only instances of Sandusky's name on the organization's Web site occur in a statement on the front page where the charity's employees left to deal with Sandusky's mess, in a desperate, Darwinian plea of survival, try to explain to visitors that Sandusky's assaults occurred independent of Second Mile events and that the charity remains committed to helping kids in need.
If it's possible to make a story of a pedophile using a children's charity as his own twisted grooming ground worse, prominent members of the Penn State community knew about specific instances involving Sandusky's raping of young children and failed to report it to the proper authorities.
Mike McQueary, a Penn State graduate assistant in 2002, went into the football facility late one night and heard strange noises emanating from the showers. He walked in to find Sandusky anally penetrating and raping a ten-year-old boy. McQueary's response to that horrifying image was to call his father, tuck tail and run from the facility.
And thus began the cycle of denial, secrecy and betrayal of the poor children whose lives were being ruined by the monster Sandusky, who had retired from Penn State in 1999 but inexplicably still had an office in the football building and full access to the facilities.
I'm not sure what part of ignoring a ten-year-old child being raped in the shower counts as the "honorable" part. Perhaps McQueary can help clarify that, if he ever decides to speak.
One day after witnessing the child being raped, McQueary reported what he had seen to head football coach Joe Paterno (more on JoePa in a minute), who in turn reported McQueary's findings to the athletics director, Tim Curley, and Gary Schultz, the school's vice president for finance and business. Curley and Schultz, apparently busy with something far more pressing than a pedophile running around unchecked on their campus, met with McQueary ten days later. TEN DAYS.
Eventually, school president Graham Spanier was apprised of the matter, which was couched to him with the very general description of "inappropriate behavior."
So McQueary, Curley, Schultz, Spanier and Paterno all knew about this most deplorable of acts and this most evil of individuals roaming their hallways unchecked. Their collective reaction? Sandusky was no longer allowed to bring kids on campus. That's it.
In other words, "If you're going to rape little kids, all we ask is that you do it in someone else's house."
And so it went. No calls to the police, no confronting Sandusky, no seeking out the victims. Just a trail of victims left in Sandusky's wake of pedophilia over the next nine years.
In 2011, the tendency with reporting anything impactful is to label it with superlative or extreme adjectives. Best, worst, great, evil. All of these words get thrown around and ultimately land in the hyperbole graveyard next to every other overexaggeration. So let the record reflect that I've acknowledged this annoying tendency when I say that this is, by far, the worst story brushing up against the sports world that I've ever heard.