Unless you live under a rock, you must know about what happened at Penn State with assistant coach Jerry Sandusky being charged with 48 counts alleging that he abused 10 boys over 15 years. It was a horrific, egregious crime. What adds to the horror of a trusted coach and mentor doing these things is that there were reports of what was going on that were ignored by head coach Joe Paterno and other head officials.
Paterno was fired within days of the reports coming out, albeit it with a pretty nice money package. (Granted, Sandusky had not yet been convicted, but they could have held the money back until they knew for sure.) He was treated for lung cancer and has since died. Penn State is not asking for the money back from his family, with which I agree. However, I don’t think they should have given it in the first place. They should have waited on Sandusky’s official guilt or innocence first being determined. Someone who knows about abuse and does nothing is as guilty of the abuse as the person doing it, in my book. Letting him retire with a huge amount of money was, to me, rewarding him for his silence. Yes, it was less than he would have gotten, but still…
Sandusky was tried and found guilty of 45 counts of child sexual abuse. He faces a maximum of 460 years in jail. Even though it cannot even begin to undue the horror of these boys’ experiences, it is nice to know that he is at least going to jail and, hopefully, for the rest of his life…such as it is.
But what about Penn State and its football program? Should schools be allowed to just continue as if they had no hand in helping the perpetrators to continue their horrors due to turning a deaf ear and blind eye to what was happening? Apparently, the NCAA does not think so. The organization just handed down its penalties against the Penn State football program and they are huge. Penn State football program fined $60M, wins vacated from 1998-2011 Penn State is not going to challenge the sanctions and penalties, although Sandusky is going to appeal his conviction.
So, will justice be done? Has justice been done? I don’t know. Ask the boys and their families as they face the ongoing effects of what happened. This is not something from which one just “moves on”. Yes, a certain amount of healing can be found, but this changes you for life. Like a wound that heals and leaves a scar, you never really forget.
I hope the survivors of this abuse will turn to the Creator. He can give a healing like no other. He can help them to walk through this. I know He has for me. He is a loving Abba/Father who grieves over the injustices we perpetrate against one another, no matter what form that injustice takes.