This One Hurts

Posted by on November 6, 2011

The charges of 40 counts of sexual abuse of minors by former Nittany Lion defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky is stunning.

It’s so much worse than even the reports last spring hinted.  Eight different young people allegedly are involved, and at least one third party eyewitness reported the activity.

Many of us in York County met Sandusky over the years.  The Penn State Alumni Association York County Chapter had a celebrity golf tournament featuring former players at Heritage Hills for many years, with the proceeds benefiting The Second Mile, the foundation Sandusky founded to help children who had encountered legal and other problems.

Sandusky came most of those years, arriving in the morning, even helping get things ready, duties not many people of his stature would take part in.

He shook hands with all the folks who signed up to golf with the players, joked with the alumni running the event, posed for as many pictures as everybody wanted, signed autographs.  He rode around the course on a golf cart during the tourney, laughing and joking with the golfers.  He stayed for the dinner many times, speaking on occasion.  He couldn’t have been nicer.

He seemed so friendly and gentle, almost incongruous terms with a coach in a violent sport at such a high level.  The guy who made Penn State Linebacker U, devised that great strategy against Miami in the 1987 Fiesta Bowl, who for a decade or so was thought to be the guy who would replace Joe Paterno.

Jerry Sandusky was all this.  A great coach, no doubt.  A nice guy, at least to most of the world.  A person who, perhaps, did genuinely care about young people.

Jerry Sandusky, if the allegations are true, was also something else, something totally at odds with the person those of us who welcomed him to the York County golf event every year thought we knew.

That Athletic Director Tim Curley and a Penn State vice president may have lied about this whole sordid affair and tried to cover it up instead of taking action to stop it, doesn’t surprise me so much.  They are corporate higher ups protecting their high paid positions and the $100-million dollar plus annual business enterprise of Penn State sports.  No different than the Wall Street bankers and housing scam artists.

All the people involved in this are innocent until proven guilty, something we are all entitled to as American citizens.

But, if the allegations are true, this one hurts.

Jerry Sandusky seemed like such a great guy.

But if we knew what the child molesters looked like, we’d all keep our kids away from them, wouldn’t we.

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