One of the many disturbing things about the Penn State abuse scandal is that sports, like religious ritual, is supposed to offer an effective means to sublimate violence. In this case, violence and power were allowed to grow wildly without proper ethical oversight.
To me, had Sandusky been effectively prosecuted in 1998 as he should have been, many young boys would have been saved from Sandusky's horrendous conduct, and Penn State's integrity and reputation would not have been so severely tarnished.
We exalt athletics at the college level for the benefits it provides, there needs to be equal focus on the character lessons it is teaching.
What do we need to know to help break the cycle of shame, secrecy and ignorance that allows sexual abuse to continue?
I feel as if I'm recovering from a hangover. I'm waking up wondering, "What just happened? Is my memory serving me correctly?" I'm a Penn State graduate who, like others in the school's community, is left wondering whether this hell we've experienced is real life.
The Louis Freeh report on the child sexual abuse incidents committed at Penn State University makes for chilling but important reading. You should read this report. It should make you angry.
The consequences of untrained professionals trying to muddle through the complexities of child sexual abuse cases are only too apparent. Just ask any of Sandusky's victims. We can and must do better.
The rank and file united behind the University to excuse and support it after the dimensions of the scandal and its extension throughout the system had become apparent -- and nothing in the Freeh report will change this.
For me, the burden of being Penn State includes taking responsibility for being part of the myth machine that brought us to where we are today.
The Penn State football team was a secular holy order Paterno was seen as the pope of college football. But it was a facade, and those who knew the story from the inside knew that. The program wasn't clean. Paterno wasn't clean. Penn State wasn't clean.
We cannot undo the harm done but for the sake of those brave enough to come forward, we can move forward as a society. What Sandusky and his enablers did was on them -- how we respond to help victims is on us.
I'm sure nobody was shocked by yesterday's findings. The expression "it's not the crime, it's the cover-up" doesn't apply here. The crime was abhorrent, and the cover-up was just as heinous.
There is a tension in identity between every institution and its community: whether the institution sets itself up as the core of a collective identity, or whether the community shapes the institution's identity as a reflection of its diaspora.
As any Penn State alum will tell you, Joe Pa did enormous good for his school and his community. But as most non-Penn-Staters will tell you, he seemed to put the image of his school above a rigorous commitment to rooting out monsters.
The committee has spoken. And its message is for all of us, not just those who looked the other way at Penn State.
As a current Penn State student, I urge my fellow Nittany Lions to follow Freeh's instruction. We must actively participate in the prevention of future injustices.