It seems that former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was considered a ‘likely pedophile’ back in 1998. The question which arises is: what took so long to take action? Sandusky was not charged with a crime until 2011, which is almost 15 years after the fact. He has been charged with molesting two young boys, but 15 years is a long time and who knows how many other possible victims there have been.
This brings back the painful memories of the Catholic Church priest sex abuse scandal which rocked the nation but Boston in particular. Growing up Catholic in Boston during the reign of Bishop Bernard Cardinal Law was no easy chore. Cardinal Law reigned supreme and preached about being virtuous, yet his clergy were committing despicable crimes with young children. What did Cardinal Law do? He hid these acts from Catholics and instead of dismissing these priests he moved them to other parishes where they continued their crimes. Law put the institution of the Catholic Church above the children it was to protect.
The same could be said of Penn State University which seemed to be more interested in protecting the image of its football program instead of the youngsters which Sandusky allegedly abused. This whole situation ran from the same script of the Boston church scandal but in this drama the role of Cardinal Law was played by Penn State head coach Joe Paterno. “Papa Bear Joe” had a godlike status on the campus of Penn State. He had led a legendary program only to have it end in shame with the Sandusky fiasco. What could Paterno have been thinking? Did he put the football program above the welfare of children?
Here it would appear that the religion of football was more important. This is sad where football has replaced God’s role in the lives of people. Yes, we are all human and we make mistakes but the failures of Law and Paterno show that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.