BOZICH: Sandusky Verdict Doesn't End Search For Justice At Penn State
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – We know that Jerry Sandusky is a creep, a predator, a disturbed monster who will live out his life in prison, convicted of heinous acts against children.
That is what we know, what was confirmed by the heroic testimony from the victims of sexual abuse who stepped forward and gave a Pennsylvania jury the powerful evidence that convinced them beyond any reasonable doubt that Jerry Sandusky was GUILTY.
That is what we know.
But we still don't know enough about what really happened at Penn State for all those years that Jerry Sandusky coached football and ran a charity in the place they call Happy Valley. We still don't know about the cover-up.
For many years Sandusky was the most important football coach who wasn't named Paterno at Penn State, a guy entrusted with coaching the defense at the school that proudly promoted itself as Linebacker U.
Now that the judicial system has judged Jerry Sandusky, we need to know if his exalted status in the football program and in the community explains how a predator was able to prey on all those kids for all those years without fear of being caught or punished.
How could something this evil occur? Guilty verdicts on 45 counts of sexual abuse of children. How did this happen?
That's where this Penn State story goes now. Not how does Penn State football bounce back with a new coach. Not how will recruiting be affected by what happened. Not anything that has to do with football. That's all secondary.
What did people in power in the football program, the university and the community know – and when did they know it?
That's why the Jerry Sandusky Story cannot and should not end with Jerry Sandusky walking into the night with his hands cuffed in front of him as he contemplates a life lived out grimly in prison.
There is reason to believe that people had to know, but they failed to act. Why would they fail to act? Why do people usually fail to act? They're protecting other interests they consider more important.
In this case that would be a university that they loved, a head football coach (Joe Paterno) they loved even more and a football program they loved more than anything in the world.
Until Jerry Sandusky changed everything, Penn State was a football program that loved to market itself as the old-school program with the old-school uniforms and the old-school values, a place with an image of utmost integrity that carried itself in a way that was superior to other college football programs.
Other programs might win more game, but other programs were not Penn State.
It was, of course, a lie.
We know that in at least one instance somebody in the football program warned Paterno that he had seen Sandusky in the shower with a young boy, behaving in deviant ways that needed to be addressed. You don't need FBI assistance to sense the alarms that sound when men are showering with young boys.
Nothing to stop Sandusky from taking advantage of more children. Nothing that suggested that Paterno, the university president, the athletic director or any other responsible person at Penn State understood the outrageous things they were essentially approving by doing what they did – which was nothing.
That's why this story cannot stop here – not with Sandusky in jail. Not with Paterno dismissed from the head-coaching job that he held for nearly 46 seasons before he died three months later. Not with the Penn State president and athletic director also forced from their jobs.
The investigation must continue. The cover-up must be uncovered. The responsible parties must be outed as irresponsible.
We know that Jerry Sandusky is guilty. We need to know who else was guilty of letting him commit the heinous acts that he committed.
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