Will The Penn State Scandal Expand?

The US and the rest of the world is still in shock at the accusations toward Penn State University that several boys had been the victims of  abuse at the hands of the faculty there.  Not only was a former coach pointed to as the prime culprit but it was soon discovered that others who had reported the assaults had been negligent to follow through and notify law enforcement as well as federal authorities.

The resulting scandal has led to the firing of several top people at the school including the legendary sports coach Joe Paterno who coached there for 50 years.

The issue here is three-fold.  One, the accusations of abuse, the college authorities’ original lack of response, and the apparent lack of action by law enforcement on all levels.  There is no way that these abuses could have occurred for such a long period of time amongst so many victims and people in the upper crust of the region not know about it.  Penn State’s athletics’ program is a huge money maker for the region.  Many legendary sports figures have emerged from the program.  Paterno, the patriarch of the school’s athletics program is such a living legend that his mere suggestion could launch a candidate into stardom.  To have him at the  center of such a volatile scandal not only ruined his legacy but damages the carers and academic associations of tens of thousands of Penn State alumni.

How pervasive this scandal is has yet to be fully presented as the investigation is still ongoing and more victims are emerging.  The sociological impact suggests that if this could go on at such a college like Penn State could it go on at other institutions?

The answer is turning out to be yes unfortunately and it says a lot about American society that such horrid things can occur and there are those who are afraid to report or follow through.  Often foreign countries will rail against the US for being a depraved and degraded society and you can’t fault them when stories like this occur.  Here you have a large population of people with strong ties with academia and politics, media, and law enforcement but it took this long, well over a decade, almost two, for this scandal to break.  It shows just how perverse this kind of behavior is in the country and to the possibility that it is sanctioned on a level the US public and the world are not prepared to hear.

It may well turn out that such abuses not only occur in sports but in other venues and with the level of similar crimes in the US at record levels as well as incarcerations it says something about the decay of the American social infrastructure.  Certainly abuses against children is nothing new and is indeed part of the human landscape.  The difference is that with today’s technologies and professed values you would think it would be more preventable and when uncovered being committed by so called upstanding members of the community, you wonder what the heck is going on behind other closed doors.

It’s more than a good bet that this scandal is not only going to grow at Penn State but other colleges, schools, businesses and more.  The perpetrators and those who are in collusion with the Penn State scandal are going to pay for sure but they’re not the kind of people who can do jail time, they’ll sing, and when they do you can be assured that others will fall.

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Posted by on Nov 23 2011. Filed under New, Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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