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.
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.
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.
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.
It disgusted me when I saw the streets flood with people in State College to support Paterno when he lost his job, and it disgusts me that there continues to be a statue of the man on campus.
Beyond the requisite rue surrounding Sandusky's alleged victims, we're permitting ourselves to feel superior to those who didn't intervene in the right ways. But have we forgotten about the McMartin case?
One part of the Jerry Sandusky story that did not get much attention is the social media and crisis communications aspect. How would you handle social media within an organization faced with a major crisis like this?
So how do we move forward now, after hearing about the nightmares these men say they lived as little boys, stories of screams that went unanswered, abuse that went unnoticed?
What are we willing to do to protect those who are innocent and vulnerable? What are we willing to do to expose practices that disregard the dignity of others?
I agonized over what I felt about the Child Victims Act. Why wouldn't I, a teacher and mother of three, not leap to support legislation (against which the Roman Catholic Church in New York is currently lobbying hard) that protects the victims of child abuse? Because I did have reservations.