THE BLOG

New Charitable Blocking Dummy

11/16/2011 11:50 am ET | Updated Jan 15, 2012

When one door closes another opens. Life is a circle. Insert here your favorite life phrase about what goes around comes around.

While the sex scandal at Penn State University was taking down a college president, a legendary football coach, officials at a nonprofit child protection charity, and a former coach was taken away in handcuffs, William Aramony quietly died in Alexandria, Va.

Aramony was the center of the United Way sex and finance scandal during the 1990s and for a quarter-century was the punchline for charity officials going off the rails. There was this issue regarding three sisters from a trailer park in Florida. It sounds like the start of a bad joke. But, it has been no joke to United Way and the people who put the organization back on square footing and who dealt with the fallout and inevitable comparisons -- like this one.

Aramony was convicted in 1995 on 23 of 27 counts, including fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy and sentenced to seven years. Meanwhile, United Way, now United Way Worldwide, was sentenced to decades of ridicule. He died of bone cancer related to prostate cancer at age 84 on November 11, the same day a coach at Penn State was put on administrative leave after admitting to seeing something fishy involving an adult former coach and some young boys in the school's showers and not calling the cops.

The Penn State scandal, which is all about corruption on many more levels, can be the new example that people - donors -- can point to as power unchecked. It is high time people moved on to another scandal after Aramony.

United Way and Penn State were at the top of their games when egos got in the way. It has taken United Way a couple of decades to overcome one person's greed and lust. Let's see how long it takes Penn State, given the offenses at the school in "Happy Valley" were made against the defenseless.

So instead of William Aramony it will be Jerry Sandusky whose name is now brought forward with a snicker and knowing nod for his, just alleged for now, conduct.

The question for Penn State is whether or not it can truly reform and become an integral part of the community such United Way has done. With Penn State and Sandusky, the sector doesn't need Bill Aramony to kick around anymore.