Yesterday, former long-time Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was found guilty on 45 counts of child sexual abuse. The trial that began on June 11 in the tiny Pennsylvania town of Bellefonte (just ten miles from the Penn State campus), reached a verdict just 12 days later. Sentencing will not be handed down until late September, and of course his defense attorney plans to appeal the verdict. Many believe the 68-year old former coach will be spending the rest of his life in prison.
Jerry Sandusky is obviously a very sick man who molested AT LEAST EIGHT boys over a 15-year period. Justice, at the total humiliation of the victims and their families, has finally been served. However, Sandusky’s perverse behavior was certainly well-known to many University administrators and local law enforcement officials for well over a decade, yet even after his “retirement” in 1999 he was permitted to maintain full access to the campus, his office, a reserved parking space, and all football facilities until he was eventually banned from campus on November 6, 2011…the day after he was first arrested. Why? More importantly, why was he also permitted (up to his November 5 arrest) to remain involved with The Second Mile underprivileged youth charity he founded in 1977 where he groomed his victims? There are many “layers” to this very ugly tragedy, far too many to completely understand and resolve at this time. Many questions may never be fully answered. This case will go on forever, in my opinion, because too much would be lost for too many if the entire truth ever comes out. Just a few of these “layers” are highlighted below……and then, I reveal MY shocking conspiracy theory!
Sandusky was an icon at Penn State, almost as big as the boss he served for over 30 years……. Joe Paterno. He received the national “Assistant Coach of the Year” award twice (1986 and 1999), and produced ten first-team All-American linebackers, but the heir apparent to JoePa was unceremoniously (and somewhat mysteriously) dumped immediately after the 1999 season. Why? No formal statement(s) from the University or the football program ever surfaced.
The very first (known) child abuse against Jerry Sandusky was filed in 1998. State District Attorney Ray Gricar, located in nearby Centre County, handled the investigation. However, almost as quickly as it began, the investigation was abruptly ended by Gricar. Known as one of the most thorough and tough prosecutors around, his quick dismissal of the case puzzled many of his close friends and peers. Then, in 2005, he completely disappeared. Never having been seen nor heard from since that time, he was declared legally dead in 2011. Out of nowhere, his county-issued laptop and corresponding hard drive were separately found several months apart at the bottom of the Susquehanna River too damaged for any information to be retrieved. Oh yeah, Ray Gricar’s boss at the time…..the State’s Attorney General and now Governor of Pennsylvania Tom Corbett. You fill-in the blanks.
As soon as charges were finally brought on Sandusky in November last year, many of the other powers that be at Penn State fell with him. University President Graham Spanier was fired, Vice President of Finance (who also oversaw the University’s police force) Gary Schultz “retired”, Athletic Director Tim Curley is still on administrative leave, and legendary head coach Joe Paterno was eventually also fired. These high and mighty University administrative weasels ALL knew exactly what was going on with the “cover-up” on Sandusky (Schultz even kept a secret file). They are ALL charged with perjury regarding their contradictory statements previously made to the grand jury. Of course as we know, NCAA all-time winningest football coach Joe Paterno at his advanced age and deteriorating health just could not handle the enormous pressure of it all and suddenly passed on January 22, 2012. He too certainly knew about the behavior of his long-time assistant (but I believe just could not grasp the reality of it), did what he thought he should do, was not charged with any crimes, but will forever be sadly blemished.
Understand that the Penn State “community” makes up a large portion of central Pennsylvania. I know, I was a graduate student there in 1977 and was born in PA. With over 40,000 students, and its many faculty, researchers, administrators, staff, suppliers, consultants, football fans, and alumni, it drives a very significant portion of the economic engine for the state. Penn State University is an institution, much like the Catholic Church, that embarrassingly found itself suddenly having to deal with child abuse allegations. Again, much like the Catholic Church but on a much much smaller scale, the University has recently said it would seek to “fairly compensate” the victims, and further, have invited them to participate in a “program to facilitate the resolution of claims against the University arising out of Mr. Sandusky’s conduct”. Give me a break! This is all-out damage control at its worst.
To begin to answer some of the questions above and perhaps make some sense of why certain occurrences have taken place surrounding Jerry Sandusky, I submit this thinking. It’s always about the MONEY! Money drives this and all other institutions. Without money, institutions crumble and fall. State and Federal funding is dwindling all over, and private sources of cash flow through contributions MUST be targeted and secured. Institutions do NOT crumble and fall easily and willingly. I believe the reason Jerry Sandusky lingered around for so long (but out of high-profile sight) was to continue to facilitate other similar perverse behaviors of (present and potential) major donors through his Second Mile connections. Ask yourself why else would he have been left “alone” but fully maintaining “access” for so long? In this instance of institutional corruption, the villain has been convicted but the many others who covered it up remain to be prosecuted…..and I’m not just referring to those mentioned by name above!
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