Penn State football coach Joe Paterno released a statement on Wednesday in which he said, "With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more." How lame is that, Coach?
Would you have accepted that excuse from one of your players? "With the benefit of hindsight, Coach, I wish I had run the route we rehearsed a thousand times in practice." See how stupid that sounds? It doesn't take "hindsight" to know that when some monster is raping children in your locker room, you call the police.
Coach, you knew back in 2002 that Jerry Sandusky had anally raped a ten-year-old boy in the Lasch Football Building. You handled the matter quietly with your athletic director, Tim Curley. You took away the rapist's keys and barred him from the facility -- but you didn't call the police. You didn't lift a finger to help the victim. No hindsight needed, Coach. You screwed up.
Yes, we all know about your 61-year career at Penn State. But when you allow children to be victimized right under your nose, you wipe out 61 years of achievement. The Jerry Sandusky scandal is your legacy now.
This scandal has also indelibly stained the reputation of The Second Mile, the charity Jerry Sandusky founded in 1977 as a foster-care program for at-risk kids. Turns out the kids were most at-risk from Sandusky himself.
The Second Mile was one of George Bush Sr.'s Thousand Points of Light and probably did some good work. But the grand jury says Sandusky met his victims through The Second Mile. So even if the program survives this scandal, it will always be remembered as Jerry Sandusky's private sandbox for recruiting rape victims.
As for the child rapist himself (do I have to say "alleged," given what we know?), you have to stand amazed at his gall. He actually had the brass to title his autobiography "Touched: The Jerry Sandusky Story." What is that, the punchline of a sick joke?
I don't want to hear any more "benefit of hindsight" excuses. So let's be clear about what you should do if you learn that a child is being sexually abused. Print this out, post it on your bulletin board, and make sure everyone in your family, company, or organization knows how to respond to child sexual abuse.
1. If you see an act of child abuse in progress, step in and STOP IT. I have to wonder why the grad assistant who witnessed the rape felt he only had to report it to someone. Why didn't he jump in, knock Sandusky on his butt, and protect the child? If you see a child being raped by an adult, please have the guts and good sense to intervene.
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